Everyone Wants to Be Famous, No One Wants to Do the Work.

posted in: career occultism | 12

So, I’m working on building my empire.  On crap days (which are currently more than the “good” days) I finish that sentiment a la Ani Difranco, “out of car tires and chicken wire/I’m queen of my own compost heap/ I’m getting used to the smell”.  As we discussed ad nauseum, accepting this year is going to suck is one thing, living it is another.

I’m depressed.  There.  I said it.  It feels better every time I say it.  My mom says it’s because I have too much going on and I think she’s right.   But I also feel if I were doing this “right”, I’d feel awesome and this depression is a failing on my part in some way.  Because . . .that’s the kind of positive self talk I excel at frankly. 

So we’ve established that when trying to build an empire from scratch, depression is inevitable.  For me it’s because none of my coworkers can talk yet and crafting (besides the selling) and writing aren’t really known as team activities.  All your “usual” self care is probably super sucktastic right now.  You feel like you’re accomplishing nothing besides possibly becoming agoraphobic.  If your mate is trying to build his/her/zir own empire too, congrats!  You can add irritating the shit out of each other too to the list.  And with Mercury in retrograde among other treats, everyone you know is likely acting like a self absorbed psycho like yourself even if they’re not magical. 

What to do?

1. Subscribe to Marie Claire if you are female identified.   It’s awesome.  It’s the first mag in forever (since Sassy 1.0) to have interesting fashion, cheap buys, talk about relationships (including queer id’ed) in a realistic manner as well as serious women’s issues and women kicking ass and taking names.  I felt really revitalized after reading it, like I could take over the world again.  At the very least like I could buy a few freaking velcro hair curlers ($4) and see what happens.  I would have never known this if Jow hadn’t bought it for me on a whim.

2. Start an evening beauty regime (all genders, we all have skin and teeth).  First off, it calms your ass down.  I don’t know why but it does.  Evening beauty regime should include: washing your face (I use CVS brand cucumber wipes because I’m lazy), moisturizing your face (I use moisture surge by Clinique) and eye cream (I use Murad eye cream because I have a sample of it), brushing your teeth and moisturizing your hands and feet.  It takes five minutes and I may have discovered this regime at 2a pawing through my makeup bag of samples while completely intoxicated and reading a French aspirational book but whatev.  It’s worth it for the smug feeling of accomplishment alone.

3. Patronize local business.  Stay with me. You probably need goods for your empire.  I know I do. And I could buy some online or even at the grocery store, but that’s not keeping my local Pagan brick and mortar in business. And if I want them to stay in business, I need to do the work.  So I buy shit from them. Not everything, but some things.  Yet another coffee house just closed by me taking the tally down from three semi-locally to two.  When I go to shop at Trader Joe’s, I also get something at the local coffee shop because I like them and want them to stay in business.  Part of building your empire is keeping other tiny empires that you appreciate afloat too imo. 

4. Japa. It calms your brain down like whoa before bed and Shiva seems especially inclined to grant petty favors (pleeeeeeeeeeeease help me have a good attitude tomorrow, please help the baby take a long nap, etc).  All you need is a set of prayer beads with 108 beads and the correct pronunciation of “Om Namah Shivaya”. 

5. Diversify.  I’m sort of working on two empires with some overlap at once.  My crafting business and my Pagan business.  With my crafting business, I’m keeping up an Etsy presence and also making sure I’m trying different kinds of craft friendly events to see where I’m making the most money.  My portfolio for the summer will include shows that are fiber arts only, farmer’s markets, standard craft shows and indie craft shows.  This will help me see where I’m successful and will also help me figure out where my wares don’t sell so I can map out my “bunny trail” for next season even better.  Next year will be year three so that’s the real “make it or break it” year.  This year I’m focusing on buying my materials in bulk.  Next year I’ll focus on buying machinery and more equipment to make my process faster and easier.  With my Pagan focused business, I’m focused on keeping up my blog presence as well as my presence on WitchVox and Witches & Pagans. I’m working on running my first class and making tangible goods as well.  I’m going to set up a pre-release book sale date so I am forced to sit down and write it.

6. Glad Game.  I started doing “the glad game” a la Pollyanna with my circle of friends when we were 21.  Picking out three things a day you’re happy about keeps you from falling into a giant depression instead of a minor one.  I do it on my Twitter with the hashtag #gladgame.

7.  Accept Failure.  I have not been going to the gym as much as I want.  I’m keeping track of my calories though.  Sometimes you can’t win at everything so figure out what you can win at.

Bon chance, darlings.  You’re gonna need it.

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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12 Responses

  1. Holly Marie

    Thanks for the tips, especially the glad game, reflecting on the positive is always beneficial. I'm working at coming out of an 8 year long depression and it totally is the small things that count towards making a big difference.

  2. Rufus Opus

    Hey, diva, don't forget Solar stuff, it's really potent this time of year. Surround yourself with inexpensive huge ass gaudy Citrine crystal points dedicated to the manifestation of the Solar current through the Sun God of your choice. Position them in the corners of the rooms, and one aimed at the general zone of your head while you sleep. Little decorative bowls filled with Frankincense and Amber resin incense add a subtle aroma of sunshine in every room, and look pretty awesome.

  3. Rose Weaver

    @RO, nice tips!

    @Deb, #7, Accept Failure… Ewwwuummmyeah. I think, when combined with #6, the glad game, failure can be turned into looking at the screw-ups in terms of "mistakes" or "poor choices" rather than the f-word which allows us to frame things in a more positive light. We can then play the glad game and look for the silver lining. I think that's what helped me most.

  4. petoskystone

    "…feel if I were doing this "right", I'd feel awesome…" After reading that, the image of Mary Tyler Moore popped into my head (such an annoying character).
    #7: a strong set of priorities is a must.

  5. Thanks for the reminders, I needed it right now!

  6. I was reading the post and thought immediately about the "Solar Stuff" RO has already pointed out. I just made a solar talisman via his Gates series instruction.

    I deal with self-defeating feelings sometimes because that's just my genetic or astrological pre-disposition, or something. But the Solar talisman (cloth bag) has seemed to keep those feelings out so far, and it's only been a week.

    Besides the wonderful powers of the Sun, Magnesium is a super good supplement for depression/anxiety/insomnia/muscle soreness/low energy/some other stuff. Apparently a ton of people are deficient in it. Magnesium combined with Taurine is the most easily absorbed.

  7. MG Ellington

    How is your war against depression going? This is great advice.

  8. Deborah Castellano

    @ RO – Thank you, I never would have thought of that! Just ordered some!

    @ Rose – I agree! I try to do that as well as well as "fail better" as they say in business. ;p

    @ petoskystone – Yes, that has been my massive lesson so far this year and I'm working on it! I think I do feel like I should be like MTM but you're right she is annoying! ;p

    @ Elle – I take a multivitamin, do you think there's enough Magnesium in that?

    @ MG – Sunday, "the tiger" was def riding me hard, I had a massive meltdown. Today I'm gritting my teeth and grabbing it by the scruff of its neck!

  9. Face-wipes are amazing things. I’m way more likley to take my eye-makeup off (now that I’m wearing it on the regular – trying to charge my mascara – most typically-worn makeup item, for me – to help me see opportunities when they arrive) if I don’t need to find both the makeup-remover-goop AND the cotton balls, so. (I get whatever brand is on for $2.49 at the drug store when I’m there, because I’m cheap like that).
    Trying to work more glamour magic into my life in ways that I can set up and feed easily (can I set up a feedback loop where wearing a charged item will glam me up, while also picking up a recharge from being close to my skin? Is that even a thing? It works in sex and kink, so maybe it would work in magic?)
    Meliad recently posted..Z is for Zero Degrees – Pagan Blog Project 2014 // New Moon – Snow Moon BeginsMy Profile

    • I use face wipes too 🙂 I have you in my thoughts (there’s a post of yours I have thoughts on) and I have you in my correspondence to-do!

      I find charging make up works very well, especially make up that doesn’t go off quickly (perfume, special blush, etc). It starts to create that feedback loop . . .sometimes a little too well!

  10. Anisa Faruqi

    Merry Meet. I am not a Mad Men person, but I do know a little bit about who Joan is. Being an “Administrative personnel” or a lower-level office grunt, we are in a thankless job. I am overcoming my depression by trying to rejoin the “rat race”.
    In Texas, there is no winter. There is Tax season,election season,and Bowl season. I love Joan’s red hair. However, unless I use hair dye “magic”, the Lady is not going to grant me that color. Be careful during the “polar vortex” (not something Houstonians face). It is true though, you have to be careful what you wish for(and what you magick for.

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