[Rules of Exile] Rule No. 11 Get an Enemy

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Huddle up, Sister Queens.

So let’s start with what you should have already learned from reading my book – frenemies are bad news.  It’s too confusing for your literal heart and your brain to deal with that mess.  Just don’t.

I had spent probably the last five years or so not getting myself into frenemy situations.  Friends are for sisterhood!  Friends are for support!  Friends are for getting day drunk with and eating twenty fried oreos together and then barfing them into the ocean!

The issue with this, is if you have a super well adjusted life with good relationships, steady income, health care, your kids have a good 50/50 divide on being proto-people and nightmares and you are reasonably accomplished, it’s hard to get fired up about anything.  You aren’t in exile anymore, you’re a fat housecat.  Fat housecats aren’t hungry for any kind of hustle.  They want to give bugs a slow leisurely stompy death indoors.  Anything you could be working to further your hustle or issues that are just almost pressing is discarded in favor of garbage animal behavior.

The thing is, Sister Queens, once we’re back to court, we’re taught that all other Queens should be friends.  But not every chick in a tiara is your friend, right?  Some of those tiaraed ladies are slipping some poison into your cup every night and sharpening hair pins to jab them into your skull.  Not everyone wishes you well, no matter how bright their smiles are to your face.

Think your exile (current or past).  You had/have nothing but time which gives you a lot of energy to think about (a) Rival Queens That You Hate (b) Vengeance (c) Plans.  You want to go back to court with your crown planted firmly on your perfectly coiffed head, you want to wear clothes that invoke your glamour, you want to have bododododody, you want to be flawless in your professional and home life so everyone who ever fucked you over is now kissing your ass.  Standard high school movie montage/The War of the Roses in its entirety.  Whichever speaks to you.  How freaking motivated were you?  I bet you were a powerhouse!  Sending resumes, redoing your house, going to the gym, making inquiries about your creative work, herding your kids, sexing your spouse, making new friends, going on dates, doing badass witchcraft.

As soon as you aren’t fighting against your exile and everyone who put you there, what happens?  If you are like me, a complete loss of motivation.  I spent years fighting to get a book published.  What am I fighting now that it’s happened?  What am I fighting now that I’ve, well, showed everyone?  It’s not like these high school-esque Mean Girls impulses just fade into the good night now that you’ve surrounded yourself with loved ones and accomplishments (which no one ever tells you).  Instead, it becomes a sublimated mess in your subconscious that you are no longer in control of all your teen drama machinations because you’re supposed to be an adult who does not engage in a whole morning of gossip with The League of Aprils.

You, like me, need an enemy.  Having endless amounts of love ‘n light does not get my ass to the gym.  It does not have me turn down bread.  You need to chose your enemy as carefully as you chose your bestie, it’s just as important.  And before you get all blahblahblahblah that’s so petty and we all need to come from a place of compassion, I invite you to think about any story involving the Fae ever and most ancient pantheons who made petty into an artform.  Do you want your petty coming out in uncontrolled ways that alienate you from the PTA or do you want to channel it to help you accomplish what you’re attempting to accomplish?

Choosing Your Enemy Wisely

  1. Have as little current contact as possible. If this is someone you have to interact with regularly, it’s not going to do anything actually good for you.  The feels you should have should be benign, even if they are negative.  When’s the last time you thought about this person?  The correct answer should be, I can’t remember.  But they were at one time a rival, yeah?  You were competitive over something, right?  Boys, girls, boys and girls, grades, run time, Pokemon collection, whatever.  That competitiveness is what you want to actually channel.


  1. Your enemy shouldn’t be anyone you are actively interacting with on social media. Because that’s a hot mess.  Don’t do it.


  1. Your enemy shouldn’t be super close to anyone you are presently super close with. ’


  1. Your enemy should be either currently better than you at something you are trying to accomplish or relatively recently better than you.


  1. If you start keeping yourself up at night thinking how much you hate this rival, this is not the enemy for you.


Make no mistake, pretending this is some kind of feel good friendly rivalry.  Rival Queens were not fucking around about their lands, their subjects, their money or their alliances.  If something went wrong with a rival Queen, your head could be on the block.  There was nothing friendly about this and typically no need to dress it up.  So you shouldn’t either.  If you know you have petty tendencies, stop squishing them down and pretending they aren’t there and instead channel them to your hustle.  Think about your enemy’s annoying face and how your enemy is better at whatever.  Well?  How are you going to burn her lands down to the ground and then salt the earth?  If your plan involves actual salt, pause.  Breathe.  Don’t do that, stupid.  How can you make yourself even better than your rival?  Yes!  Go do that!  Get it!  Harness the power of your pettiness to keep you from being complacent.  Go, Sister Queen, go!



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.  


2 Responses

  1. Hi um him .. you might be JUST the medicine I need right now! Your book is slated to arrive on my doorstep today! As a mermaid I must now go check out your store ..
    happy to connect with you!
    Another Queen

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