On Taking Up Spaces

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It’s the first day back after a holiday, my new meds suck (as discussed), I’ve already sat through a two hour meeting, I have a headache and a coworker clearly already wants me to murder her just so we can both be free of this place.

Let’s get to it.

So, as many of you know I work in a “challenging” environment.   I’ve thrown a few things at it but this place has a twenty year old egregore that doesn’t really have any effs to give about what a Gen X/Y cusp would want out of a work environment.  Literally, zero effs.  I’ve tried to adapt, but it really isn’t happy until you’ve fully just submitted your delicious will to it, let it eat it as a late night snack when it gets sad and lonely and abandon all non-work place hopes and dreams. I’m not about that life.

But I’m sort of a cranky secret optimist, so one particularly crummy day, I started to consider how to make this a better environment for myself through witchcraft.  There are some new influences entering this crypt over the next month or two which is not something that happens often so I thought I’d be pretty foolish not to do something with it.

  1. Get A Girl.  Go through your spirit/ancestor/goddess Roladex.  Who is invested enough in you that you also trust to fix your situation?  If none of your current Roladex is a weapons grade Fixer, can you get an introduction from them to someone who is?  Bring your A game.  If you need weapons grade Fixing, be prepared that a half assed piece of pound cake isn’t going to pull you out of the fire.  This is your interview.  What can you offer in this new relationship?  What are you willing to do to get this done?  Can you have a candle holder with a wax electric candle that you keep lit at your desk?
  2. Stop living like a filthy hamster at work, it’s disgusting. Keep your work area neat so gross energetic dust bunnies aren’t collecting into larger grosser entities and making your life harder.  If you are like me and have people constantly dropping files and crap on your desk like you are their personal garbage dump, take care of it as soon as possible and hand it back.  If you are like me, you probably have very little actual personal space to call your own.  Start thinking small and what you can get away with in as vaguely office appropriate new age that you will obviously work over like it is your literal job at home which is not a toxic cesspool at work.
  3. Bake, bake, bake.  You know why.

To de-gross your work place, consider a salt lamp.  It can actually do something for the air, it’s only minorly weird and it’s a huge hunk of salt to banish negative crap from your space.

Start working on your positive mojo.  This is a nearly impossible feat in a crap work environment which is why you should take it as a personal challenge to fix your situation.  Time to figure out how to be subversive and live deliciously.  I am going to pull out some real Teen Witch crap for this.  Why?  Because I think it’s going to work.  There’s no direct sunlight at my desk, right?  Right.  So I bought myself a clear glass ramekin and a Resurrection plant.  I also have a small round mirror and some rough rose quartz.  So the Resurrection plant is going into the bowl with the rose quartz with a round mirror under it to magnify all the fucking positive vibes this place can muster up and when this place inevitable tries to kill them, that’s okay!  My plant is coming back to life, what now, crappy egregor?  

Not having sunlight is a great reason to give as to why there’s a resurrection plant on your desk.  Plus, anyone with an Instagram or a kid with an Instagram will just assume you are suddenly very fashionable.  Whatever.  Use whatever to your advantage.  Stop soaking up all the negative crap into yourself like that is part of your actual job description and focus on what is actually in your job description and keeping the rest out.  Just because you are handed a bag of rocks doesn’t mean you have to carry it, unless it’s part of your job and you’ve agreed to that already.


Let’s work on using temporary space.  Do you go to a festival, a convention, a vacation space?  That’s a great time to work on your magical practice.  I don’t generally have space of my own, but I was lecturing at a convention recently as well as hostessing a tea for them, and I got a suite to myself.  At first, I didn’t see this as an opportunity but then I realized that this was very much my space, where I invited others into it. That set a very powerful standard for me. I loved nesting into my space, arranging my macarons and St. Germain just so. My sheepskin draped over the leather coffee table. My clothes hung up, my sinks and bedside table put together just so.

I loved deciding where my altar would go and not needing to consult anyone else. It was a space for thoughtful glamour choices with music I liked best. I liked seeing how capable I was. Forgot my phone charger? No problem. I called the nearest 5 Below and asked them and then took myself right over there to pick it up, listening to radiomancy omens on the way. I picked up a quartz tiara on a whim, which wound up to be my most complimented item. I loved telling admirers that it was 5 Below, not as compliment apology but a triumphant caw that it’s for all of us to access, if desired.

I set up my altar to Babalon on the desk, intentionally arranging my vanity next to it so I was constantly sitting next to it. Purple embossed velvet, a crimson opened pomegranate, a sfogliatelle shaped like a yoni, a tiny gold tea cup with the word tramp scrawled across it, shining rose quartz, a delicate peacock feather, a red wax sealed love potion, snowy deer antlers, a pink glass container with a perpetually lit (electric) candle, a perfume I had mixed for this, an amethyst glass container for the perfume with curled reeds to spread it in my room. Soft rabbit skin. A glittering compact, a shimmering perfume atomizer, a picture of Her. Dried flower petals strewn across the altar.

I could talk about what that did for me during the convention and after, but, um, two can keep a secret/ if one of us is dead.

It was good though.  V. good.

Deb’s book is available for purchase.  Her shop is stocked with ritual oils for your practice and handspun yarn.  If you have already read her book, won’t you please make her publisher happy and leave a review?

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.  


One Response

  1. I have gotten a substance called “Bitch-Be-Gone” at a botanica that one can use on themselves or others to chill them out. I wait until all my officemates are gone at the end of the day and sprinkle the BBG by the door so everyone walks in it and chills out. I’ve also got some “Neg-A-Cide” spray with the same sort of purpose. I don’t uh, live in filth or anything, but I like to try to detox the joint when I can get the time alone in there for a few minutes. Also, if anything smells, hopefully the scent wears off by the next morning.

    That’s really about the best I can do in this place–that and KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT and give people as little ammo as possible. I’ve done job spells for myself and others (certain choice people who both really want to leave and who others also wish would leave), but so far not a one of them has panned out there. Clearly the universe isn’t willing to let any of us out, so…try to get along.

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