Grand Proclamations to the Universe Yield Mixed Results

There’s a lot of discussion about how everyone likes to talk about their magical successes but not their magical failures.  I think maybe part of the reason we tend to be like that as Workers is that the Universe is a coy bitch and while it can be easy to tell when something worked, it can honestly be hard to tell when something failed.  Even when you word your magic as carefully as a D&D wish spell, we all know in the back of our heads that when we put our wills out to the Universe, the “X” we’re trying to solve for may not come back as expected.

When worlds collide.

Previously, I caught fire.  Or, more precisely as RO said to me, she done set herself on fire folks! Stand back, it’s the catchin’ kind!

I was READY, Universe!

I marched my happy ass to the yarn store for my trunk show and . . .

Texts from a Pagan Household

Me: The owner got my day mixed up even though I told her a million times we’re today not tomorrow.  Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.  All my PR is messed up.  I may not sell anything today.

Jow: . . .shit.  Any Trader Joe’s dessert treats you want me to keep an eye out for?

Me: Artistic Depression Angst Cakes?

Jow: Macarons?

Me: You’re Not a Very Good Mage Muffins?

Jow: Shush.  That prosperity work is going to go somewhere in your life.  It’s too coincidental that things happened that way.

Me: I know.  I agree.

Jow: To me it reads like a kink in the hose.  You put so much pressure in and it got stuck.  When you relax, it will manifest.

Me: I excel at relaxation.

Jow: Don’t be so hard on yourself.  How’s it going?

Me: I’m at home, pouting.

Jow: Maybe consolation gummi bears?  Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is on MTV for you.  Blake Lively just made a bad decision.

Me: Gummi bears didn’t help.  And I’m mad at Serena right now.  Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh, the Nuno I was doing today wouldn’t felt and now I have my period.  Everything I touch today turns to shit.  Dinner should be great tonight!

From a Letter to Gordon Written the Next Day:

After my grand proclamation to the universe/internet, I went to the yarn store for what was supposed to be the easier fiber arts show. Previously,  I show up and make a good chunk of money every time I’ve done it.  Not this day!  The owner announced my show for the wrong day.  So I sold (1) skein of yarn, enough to cover gas.  Well played, universe.  I love washing your jizz out of my hair.  
 Tomorrow is the show that I had my ass handed to me last year.  At this point, I’m full of artistic self loathing and doubt and feel I will somehow manage to sell negative amounts of yarn.

So, I went to the second show with these cheery thoughts in mind.  But it turned out that bitches do indeed love candles and I sold almost all of mine, along with a parcel of Dream Ambassadors and a decent amount of yarn.  My previous competitor came to me for spiritual advice because she’s bought oils from me before and knows I’m witchy.  A few people recognized me from last year and one or two told me that they’ve been trying to catch me at my trunk shows.  A new friend from the trunk show that I epic failed at came to the second show and told me that she recommended me to another yarn store that I’m trying to get an in with for trunk shows.  I have a spinning class set up in stone with the first store and I know I can reschedule a trunk show for the summer.  I keep getting asked if I’m part of a guild which makes me feel like I’m being pressured to rush a particular sorority but it’s good to be wanted for recruitment.

Did I accomplish what I set out to accomplish magically?  Was my spellwork fulfilled to the letter of what I wanted?  No.  I totes failed.  But the thing is, magic isn’t linear, you know?  I didn’t accomplish what I set out to accomplish, but I made connections and sales.  Enough sales that will fund my trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  I’m becoming recognized in the community.  I’m becoming faster, smarter, better.  It would be nice if I got exactly what I asked for but I also realized it’s taken me until now to actually be able to handle selling out in terms of restocking and getting new supplies.

But here’s the thing: Do I feel like my magic just stopped that day?  That I sent it out into the Universe, rolled my dice and the odds were not ever in my favor so it just died?  No.   It felt awfully cheeky from my gods/spirits/the fate tapestry for me to be so well prepped for there to be a malfunction from the owner of the store that I had zero control over.  (I had been emailing her and we appeared to be on the same page).  As Dar Williams sings, It’s not an end/ it’s just a start/ and the world is not falling apart.

 I think maybe that’s why we don’t speak of our failures because we’re both arrogant and savvy enough to know that when we don’t get what we expected back, it doesn’t mean that it’s over.  We’re waiting to see what’s going to happen and to regroup as quickly as possible so when the next opportunity is slung our way that we’re clever enough to see it’s still part of what we initially put out.

I know.  This sounds a little god works in mysterious ways, which was never satisfying to me as a Catholic.  What I’m trying to say is this: I spun a line of yarn out to the Universe with my intention.  It didn’t spin up the way that I had intended, but the line didn’t snap.  I didn’t feel the fibers tearing apart, I didn’t feel the recoil from the Wheel.  My line of yarn is still out there, still being spun on both sides by me and my spirits, both of us trying to shape it into something useful, even if it wasn’t exactly what I intended.  C’est la vie, Charmers.  It happens all the time in spinning, even with years of experience under my belt and a close relationship with my wheel, I still don’t always get exactly what I expected from it.  And you know what?  It suits me fine.  I’d rather spinning and magic be more art than science.  It would be awfully boring if everything was predictable at all times and I hate to be bored.


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.  


6 Responses

  1. Andrew B. Watt

    Polyphanes has written about the idea of the current of magic, and RO speaks about the stages or the steps of the work, and you write about spinning the thread. Gordon is becoming enough of an influence on my work these days that I wonder if I’m brewing ogham stew. And Jason has got me planning like a Major, I’m so strategic.

    But this core lesson, that we wait and see what comes of our work, is critical. The snarl untangles; the next step emerges from the mist; the next set of rapids is discerned in the spray, their presence revealed by the thundering falls. But we’re steering the craft. It’s our hands on the wheel.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    • I’m really interested to see what the “magical baby” of Polyphanes/RO/Gordon/Jason/myself looks like. You’ll have to keep me posted!

      The best piece of magical advice I’ve ever gotten has been, “You’re the captain of your ship, you know what to do. So do it.”


  2. Deb, I can’t express how much I needed to read this tonight. Thank you.

  3. You Said:
    “Did I accomplish what I set out to accomplish magically? Was my spellwork fulfilled to the letter of what I wanted? No. I totes failed. But the thing is, magic isn’t linear, you know? I didn’t accomplish what I set out to accomplish, but(…)”

    But… You also said:
    “Before this act, I wanted to have as much yarn as possible for my second fiber arts show this month, the one I got my ass handed to me at last year. (…) I wanted to have cascades of yarn at my table so everyone would be impressed and know I MEAN SRS BIZNESS. Only, if I do that, it would mean that I wouldn’t sell much at my Tea & Trunk Show which is this weekend.”

    And that’S exactly what wound up happening, albeit through something overwhich you had no control (so you’d know it wasn’t because you weren’t prepared for the Tea and Trunk, for example).

    I wonder if weeks/months of obsessing (directing all your energy and will power) towards having huge amounts of stock for the fibre arts show wound up being a more cumulatively powerful act of will than the enchantment you worked while making the scones.


    Meliad recently posted..I is for Indication – Pagan Blog Project 2013My Profile

    • I always sort of forget about the “evil eye effect” because in my head I always assume NATURALLY this only applies to the evil eye. Which is silly. Energy is energy and obsessive energy towards anything begets obsession towards that thing regardless to if it’s “positive” or “negative”. So yes! I would tend to agree. 🙂

      As my dad used to say, “You know what they say about assuming. You make an ASS outta U and ME.” He liked Laurel and Hardy a great deal. ;p

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