Frenemies with the Universe

posted in: Uncategorized | 3


Can I just talk some shit for a minute?  Like, I think my Muse is a colossal pain in the ass.  Swanning, click clacking, purse first with one hand and a Dauphin from Boudoir in the other, sneering at my basic frosé that I refrained from almost all summer long in the vain attempt to try the Keto diet (spoiler: it did not work for myself or Jow) having stupid awesome ideas at completely inconvenient times.  She doesn’t care if she annoys me, as long as she gets to be off the leash more days than not.  But at least most of the time that bitch isn’t even home.  She’s off doing whatever where ever slipping the tie that binds to a nearly forty year old chick in suburban Jersey.  At least NYC is only an hour away.

But oh girl.  Her older sister, The (Goddamn) Universe (Herself) makes my Muse look JV af.  So, I had been spending nearly a year gathering camping equipment and clothes for a huge summer festival I would be going to.  A camping trousseau so that when I finally had a space of my own, it would be exactly how I wanted it to be.  Maybe I wouldn’t even want to leave my tent.  After all it has a goddamn closet.  I could even hide under my bed if I was inclined because the bed has an under which is fancy af if you are familiar with camping borkery.  My queenship in exile into what I lovingly call Dork Burning Man (DBM) which involves people who have actually earned Queenships was going to be epic.  Homemade booze, amazing shopping, workshops if I could roll out of bed, amazing parties, everything.

So the weekend before, I go to parties in Hoboken and in Brooklyn, because why not me?  Kick it off right.  I take a day off just to pack because again, why not me?  Everything is in order.  Everything is perfect.  My dance card for DBM filled up with the perfect parties and social events, I was making new friends before DBM even happened (my preferred mode of socializing).

And then. . .

We could blame bacteria but isn’t that really just a teeny tiny minion of hers?  I think so.  So let’s be real, this is clearly the work of T(GD)U(H).  My stomach borked me through a horde of her tiny minions.  I was on a high dose of antibiotics that very rustic camping was not going to be a great match for me.  T(GD)U(H) had zero effs to give about how long I spent working on this and how much I needed to be a feral beast in the woods.  Instead I was unceremoniously handed a perfectly serviceable day at the beach/ancestral grounds with my sister, a magical start to my next book and a bunch of other things that I’m sure I needed but that doesn’t make it any less annoying when it’s not what I wanted.

This summer has been an exercise in this.  I want something that’s fun and sexy and feral, I make arrangements to get it, I am instead handed opportunities to improve my life.  I know, wah wah, poor Deb.  But like, do you want to improve your life and do good productive things when you could instead be an intoxicated animal?  Because, I have to say, I would rather be an intoxicated animal feeling like I’m in touch with the essence that is me surrounded by like minded creatures rather than scrub my walls, replace the kitchen light fixture, make money for furniture, get gigs that can get me out of corporate eventually, work on said gigs, go to yoga, work on writing my next book.  Like OF COURSE this is all shit that’s going to lead me to a better life or whatever but could I please just have one whole fucking weekend to be myself?  No?  Cool, cool.

Like, are you seriously going to be happy with a pile of kale when you were promised a pile of dark chocolate dipped pretzels?  T(GD)U(H) would likely say, nobody promised you shit, sister.  Sit down.  Get to work.  If your Muse gets involved in this after she was promised midnight waffles or whatever, well, you’ll learn what ugly is again, won’t you? Take the small sanity breaks I have bestowed upon you.  Tiny brunches, dinner with E&N where you can shove Korean fusion food down your maw and whine, moments of freedom.  It’s not what you had planned, it’s not what you had wanted, but I don’t really care.

I sniff the air like a deer.  I try to figure out which of my goddesses are forming this terrible coalition for/against me.  Cherchez la femme. But which femme?  It’s set with such clockwork precision that it’s maddening.  I give you something, I take something.  I give you something, I take something more.  If you take something precious from me/ I’m gonna take something precious from you . . .There’s almost a childlike sense of fairness and equanimity that I feel like an ass for not simply being grateful that my router has connected with their router and that my craft is working.   But I can’t get my feet under me, I’m just constantly falling this summer and landing hard enough to bruise.  I’m sure this is the part where if I was a Real Occultist, I could point to x work or y goddess and z result which of course required n sacrifice, even if I never agreed to it.  Even if I’m starting to have an emotional response to planning anything because I’m waiting for it to be yanked out from under me and replaced with something “better”.  There’s nothing saying that show would have made money, but those class spots and that sale sure did.  There’s nothing saying I would have had a good time at that event but hey isn’t it great to have landed that interview?

I don’t know.  I just know that the more my witchcraft works, the less I feel in control of it.  This isn’t a feeling of my will be done forever and ever amen.  This is a feeling of T(GD)U(H)’s will be done over me with a vague approximation of what she feels I need and marginal interest in what I want.  This is what I wanted, right?  I wanted to touch T(GD)U(H) and feel her touching back.  Guess what, Sister Queens!  That sure is shit is happening!

And it makes me cagey af.

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.  


3 Responses

  1. I’m such an introvert, and such a Virgo, that the consolation prizes the Universe handed you sound just perfect, and the event you had to miss sounds like an absolute nightmare. (Much too people-y.) But I can understand why it would be annoying for you. Kind of like being forced into a situation that forced me to socialize but brought me lots of new customers would be annoying for me, even if it was what I “needed.”

  2. It’s been kind of a terrible summer for the plans-made vs. plans-achieved, really. And while I don’t necessarily ‘believe’ astrology, or Gordon’s personal Manstrologer Austin Coppock, I can’t really deny that he called several archetypal realities several months in advance of the mess that was May through August…. just as he called the archetypal realities of January to May, and July to December, and so on, back into the depths of history (three years ago? four?).

    No matter. Gordon and Austin are right — it’s weather. And if your chart is set up certain ways, you get a hurricane or typhoon; otherwise, you just have to remember to pack a raincoat and a change of shoes. I was closer to the typhoon than the wellie boots, myself, but I didn’t get washed overboard.

    On the whole, the summer was a reminder to learn how to navigate experiences gracefully — that the experiences are likely to come regardless of our desires, and so we have to learn how to navigate them without getting too attached to the suffering or joy that each produces. I don’t want to repeat this summer AT ALL, but I’m glad it played out as it did.

    I hope that your frenemies situation with the universe settles into a more-happy rivalry in the near future.
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