With a marriage that barely could be defined as such, and a husband with health issues, it occurred to me that one day I might have to earn a real living. Up until I decided to go back to college, I had worked as a singer, an part-time copy-editor for my mother's newspaper, a photographer’s assistant, a swim coach, and a secretary/bookkeeper for my children's private school principal. None of the jobs could be considered career material and none of them could support a family. So, I decided to go to college.
I was growing rapidly, both intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. I was learning more about myself than I had even known. I was developing as a writer, a sociologist, and a philosopher. It was a chaotic and fertile time in my life. By the age of twenty-nine, I knew exactly who I was and exactly what I wanted.
I discovered that I had within me a fierce pride in my heritage and began my Irish studies. I began to write down the stories of my family history, recording all the tellings and retellings that I had heard my whole life. Stories of Grandmother and Great Grandfather, stories of Mother when she was young, stories of my Father's time in Japan. I studied the myths of Cormac McAirt, my great ancestor, the last pagan king of Ireland. And for the first time in my life, I really knew what it was to have green blood.
These pages too - will undoubtably show up with dates later to earlier. It seems that is how my memory works.
Uncle Bill passes
S.S.G., G.G and dear family friends G.B. & L.B. used to play
Peaknuckle once a week. S.S.G. had complained that the women against the men couldn't seem to pull two tricks in a row; they were just not getting the cards. She wouldn't have asked for magickal help just to win a card game, but the men were winning rather badly. They were bragging, bullying, and in all ways showing poor sportsmanship. Asking them nicely to stop was not working, either. So, she asked me.
I dressed a glass enclosed candle to make sure it could burn unattended all evening. I carved the incantation in the wax and gave it to S.S.G. She instructed Red to light the candle just before the game began. (It was hiding in the kid's bathroom.) The candle lasted for several weeks of card playing, and - as if my magick - all the cards began coming the women's way. They pulled trick after trick and bested the men into utter silence.
But the women were good winners. They didn't rub it in or tease the men. In fact they were rather sympathetic to the men's run of bad luck. (Sweet of them, huh?) When it began to get downright degrading, how badly the guys were playing - it wasn't any fun for the women anymore and they stopped lighting the candle. All the women who were in on the magick, including Red who was little at the time, agreed that humiliation was not the goal.
After they stopped lighting the candle, the luck was more evenly spread to chance where everyone lost, everyone won, and everyone had fun - with no more arrogance or bullying.
The truth of the event eventually came out and G.B. (to this day) cries foul and abuse! - because we cheated. We just smile a lot. But it brings up the ethics question, and I would agree that helping someone cheat at cards is wrong - if that is what I had done. The truth is, my goal was not to help the girls win the card game, but to teach the men some manners. Losing the card game was karma's interpretation of how that might be done. It was completely successful, however begrudgingly admitted.
© 2004 Ardriana Cahill
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