The most absurd things work for a witch.
My eldest son Bel, brought his new van up to the cabin. We all wanted to ride in the new car so when we needed to take a trip into town…an hour’s drive from anywhere…he drove.
About thirty minutes into the ride, we got a flat tire. He had never used his jack before and we had a devil of a time trying to A) find it, B) get it unscrewed from under the hood and C) finding something to replace a missing socket wrench-like tool. Bel; son, Mannanan and youngest daughter, Dru, all fumbled with it for over thirty minutes. I said okay, “This is stupid, I’m flagging down the next passing car!” The decision came to me, right after the last car passed us for the rest of our dilemma. Another thirty minutes went by and I began to entertain myself by playing on the empty highway. (Sympathetic magic...I thought my daring to be hit by a car might draw another one down the road.) I was balancing myself on the center dividing line as if on a tight wire when a casual thought occurred to me; one of those "when all else fails" kind of thoughts... I stopped and said, “I could just yell for help and hope someone hears me.” Everyone tossed a cynical grunt at me. They were too occupied cussing at the stubborn jack which resisted them as they tugged, pried, bashed and banged the damn thing that refused to release itself from its cubby under the hood. There was no traffic. No civilization for miles. Even the wildlife was silent.
I renewed my tight-rope walking and being further in need of entertainment, began to yelp like a pathetic wounded cat who knows it’s going to the vet. Help. Help...hhhhelp. Changing pitch and tone to sound sadder and more pathetic…I cried... Help. Help. The children tried to ignore my foolishness.
Help. Help. Help.
I had said it ten or twelve times, when a man stepped out from the bushes about fifteen feet away from us and asked, “Do you need help?”
We all looked over at the man, gapmouthed. Then everyone all looked at me like I was a witch or somethng. We all just stood there stunned for about three heartbeats trying to assimilate the reality of the situation. A man miraculously stepped out of the wilderness in answer to my call. We gathered our wits and said that we needed a socket wrench. The man said that he had a complete set in his RV…parked behind a grove of trees – just over there.
We all follow the man to the edge of the road where it met the bushes that this man parted like Moses parted the Red Sea. We watched as he walked a distance through the brush. We could barely detect the rear of the white beast of an RV parked off road as he disappeared behind the stand of Lodgepole pines and Aspen trees. He and his wife were retired and everything they owned was in that RV. Consequently, the RV carried a full toolbox.
He had the right socket wrench to fit the missing do-da thingy. And we replaced the tire in twenty minutes. We tried to give him some money but he said that he was happy to help. He said the irony of a grown woman playing in the middle of a empty highway wailing for help like a wounded animal – and getting it, was going to be a great story he could tell his grandkids and payment enough.
“What are the odds?” He said to me. “You have some kind of luck, Lady!”
If he only knew…
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December Initiation 1989 - The Moonlit path
My oath taking gifts were:
Open to the Ancients
Balancing the Senses
An internal island of serenity
BOS dedication read: In the tradition of my ancestors, and with a pagan heart, I begin to record my workd as a Book of Shadows with this dedication to Mother and Grandmother, who carried the message of the Old Ones as legends, songs, saying and philosophies. They were not practioners in any formal way, but with or without their knowledge, carried the old ways through the dark days - through skepticism, modernity and enlightenment.
I also dedicate it to the good witch who opened his library to a seeker who didn't know she was in search.
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BAD Witch! Bad, Bad Witch!
My most arrogant display of witchly power to "scare the hell out of someone" began in innocence. Four out of six of my kids and I were on a two hour horse ride in Montana. I took up the rear just behind my youngest daughter, Dru, who was about 11 at the time. It was a very hot day and as we left the barn, she casually asked me to make it rain. I had a small reputation for being a weather witch, so I didn't think anything of the request and absently said, "Okay, baby."
I began a familiar, playful, psudo-Indian "rain" chant. Right on que, my well rehearsed children all jumped in to chant with me. The chant was really no more than a game my mother played with them to familiarize them with magickal concepts. (We also have one that sounds African, but one we most often used it around the firepit.) I assumed the wrangler just thought we were being silly. We knew we were just having fun. Within about 20 minutes it softly began to rain on us. "Thanks, Mom," was Dru's response. And I thought no more about it.
Our wrangler was a young man of about 15 and was apparently disturbed by the rain chant and the rain that followed. He asked Aer, the daughter that was riding directly behind him (who was about 12) if I really was a witch. She answered so matter-of-factly, that he might have been asking if I was a woman. (When kids are raised with certain concepts it never occurs to them that the whole world may not be raised with these same concepts.)
Eventually, over the other kids, he finally mustered the courage to yell to me directly, asking if I really was a witch. Within seconds the older ones (Maxxah and Manannan ages 14 & 18) realized that they could have some fun with the wrangler and piped up for me - "Yeah! She's a witch!" As the ride progressed, the idea chafed at him and he yelled at me, "You aren't no witch." And I only smiled. He said it again, and we all smiled. The kids were baiting him, so he decided to take the bait.
"You didn't make it rain, it was already going to rain."
I said, "How about if I make it stop."
He said, "The rain can do that on it's own too."
I said, "Okay, what if I make it rain everywhere - but on us."
He didn't respond because I started humming a strange and haunting tune. (That was actually the theme song from an Australian mini-series called Against the Wind - except that I sung it in a minor key.)
The rain almost immediately stopped and over the next hour we rode listening to the rain falling on the trees and bushes all around us and moving through brush that was still dripping wet while the sky above was nothing but blue. As the rain game got old for the kids, they started another one (having rode these trails many times) of collecting sunflower pods (while not falling off the horses) and throwing them at each other as we rode. Everyone was pelting each other, ducking and laughing when getting hit. The wrangler joined in the fun until the Aer's saddle began to list. We all stopped so she and he could get off their horses and he could tighten her cinch. They remounted and he turned again to me and said --
"You're no witch" and fired off a sunflower pod directly at me.
Now - it was true that we were playing with karma in having a little fun with the boy; and it was true that whether real magick was being used or not, we were being a bit arrogant over the rain's cooperation in the game; but it appeared that the gods were still amused...
...or what followed could NEVER have happened.
As the boy fired off the sunflower pod at me, I was sitting stone still, leaning forward, right arm resting on my saddlehorn, and looking straight at him from just under my eyebrows. Without blinking or taking my eyes off his, I ninja-caught that sunflower pod - with - my - left - hand! It snapped out to capture the pod like a frog's tongue catches flies. I'd barely moved...
...and I didn't have a thing to do with it.
No one breathed for a heartbeat and apparently I was wearing a self satisfied smile (it was the shock). If he had tested me twice, I would have been a fumbling fool. As it was, his eyes got as big as saucers and his mouth was open and my children were gagging themselves trying not to laugh too loud. To this day, it is still one of their all-time favorite (shameful) stories.
I tried to make amends. I told the boy the truth as we dismounted in the barn - that I was just playing with him, that the rain was being really cooperative and the "pod thing?" that was just a lucky catch, so no hard feelings? Then I pressed a big tip into the handshake I gave him. He didn't say a word, just looked at me cautiously as if to say, "Sure, lady. Anything you say." I realized the damage was done but a minute later guessed he wasn't too badly scarred.
As we left, I smiled and said over my shoulder, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
And he answered, "The name is John."
I don't advise consciously trying to make something like that happen because karma will smack your little hand for it. But it seems this was a case of the god's illustrating their sense of humor and no real harm done. I must say, that although Cowboy John may or may not have learned something from the event, MY children learned quite a bit. Observing me with the kind of confidence I carry, the calm I carry and even the playfulness I carry due to my philosophies and upbringing - it (among other examples) made them seek out my knowledge and the knowledge of other wisdom givers to learn how to achieve these things. Thus, I have never been accused of deciding for my children whether a pagan path is right for them. Three out of six respond with a definite YES, two others a freeform YES and another a conditional Yes. All growing in confidence, calm and playfulness.
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November 17th, 1991
My accidental love spell
I met my Husband at a Star Trek convention. Now before you groan, point and laugh - we were Trekkers, not Trekkies. Believe me, we know the difference after working for over five years for Creation Entertainment (every time they came to Vegas). My kids and I volunteered to help long before there was a Star Trek fan club in town. And standing behind the Creation dealers tables, we met the weirdest of the weird. We weren't them.