I Put My Hands to My Own Earth

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It’s my uncle’s death anniversary again.  On the day, I’m fairly normal.  MFHG (my favorite house guest) is in town, we’re carrying on merrily with Jow and it feels like what my uncle would want so that’s soothing.  MFHG heads out to visit his brother and I go to Trader Joe’s with my headphones in.  As I’m leaving this song comes on my playlist and I suddenly realize how it could be my uncle singing it for a lot of reasons, but this part:

They’ll have a little wake
They’ll drink bad wine and they’ll eat lemon cake
And my mother’s little heart will break
And she’ll say: “Wait! There must be some mistake!
He can’t be dead—take me instead!”

Reminds me so hard of my mother’s unarticulated grief that it’s full out ugly Claire Danes crying in my car for like twenty minutes until I pull over into an unused parking lot so I can hide from my kind supportive husband like the normal peoples do (or at least me and A2). I text friends and my sister who kindly asks if I feel better since usually it’s like getting blood from a stone for me, tears wise.  I don’t, not really.  I just have a headache and I feel listless.  My mother in turn starts threatening to buy canned vegetables for Thanksgiving again and I give her a hard look about that.

I’m trying so hard to grow.  To find what’s sprouting in my earth  To learn to listen to my body and my heart again.  I’m going to the gym during my lunches to watch trashy reality television so my sister and I can talk about All of the Many Sufferings of Kate and I can laugh which I turn and churn.  I’m trying to open my heart like an oyster shell because sewing it shut hasn’t really done anything great for me in the last couple years.  I’m trying really hard to remember that I shine a small light into this world, that I can make people laugh, that I can make people think and that I can reach a hand out and say, it’s not just you. I’m starting to think about my next book.  I’m working on my next class.  I’m trying to make myself write.  I’m re-reading my book for the first time in a couple years.  I’m thinking about what I have to say.  I’m thinking about my glamour, how it’s been a bit dormant lately and that’s when I know I’m off the rails when playing solo dress up doesn’t bring me joy and neither does lipgloss.  I’m trying to wake that back up by donating some old clothes and getting some new fun pieces since it’s the 90’s again at Le Target.  I’ve stocked up at Sephora during their sale so I can re-interest myself in lipgloss and skin care.  I’m spending time working on sleeping swan pose in yoga.  I got to do rituals for a wonderful art show by one of my students in NYC who was inspired by The Rites of Glamour class I gave and then did a solo art show about her work with Fortuna.  I’ve been mini KonMari’ing which is soooooo much faster once you’ve already done it.  I’m working on starting to stock my shop for the holidaze.  I’ve really organized my witch cabinet and my working kitchen altar.  My offering cordial glasses are no longer shameful because they are gone and replaced with tiny espresso mugs so I feel like a more civilized suburban (cranberry) bog (marsh wetlands) witch.  I’m thinking about Baba Yaga and how she makes perfect sense to me.  I’m thinking about Hestia’s hard work and warm hearth space.  I’m thinking about how the audio book of The Hate U Give broke my heart open into a million little pieces.  I’m thinking about my occult (gender neutral) aunties and all the food they fed me and how they are encouraging me to write, to create ritual, to be present.  I think about the women’s space in my gym/spa and the salt waters and sauna and steam and how I feel like I come closer to myself there.

I don’t feel any of this yet.  Not really.  I’m a teeny bit thinner, my heart is a tiny bit more open, my wardrobe and cosmetics and house are a tiny bit nicer.  It hasn’t been this a-ha revelation where now life feels full and interesting again – even though it should frankly.  I’m saying, I’m doing all of these things anyway.  I’m saying, witchcraft doesn’t work only when you feel lively and vivacious.  I’m saying, I’ve been grinding at the gym for almost six weeks so far so it will stop sucking so hard and I don’t have to like it, I just have to keep doing it.  I’m saying, glamour appreciates the fact that not every moment of life is La Dolce Vita which is why it matters so much that we put on the goddamn lipgloss when we don’t feel like it.  I’m saying, everyone likes a nice altar.  I’m saying that creating things can make you feel less dead inside.  I’m saying opening your heart in places that makes you want to sew it shut is revolution.  I’m saying, listening to books keeps your muse dreaming.  I’m saying that trying to make yourself leave the house and put on a sequin mini to do so has an impact.  I’m saying, I don’t much feel like doing these things either.  But I’m doing them all anyway.  And so should you.  Because this is how we make our inner terrariums bloom- one small act of defiance at a time.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  

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