Seven Years Later: Reflections on New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Transformation

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The prompts and the background information on New Year, New You: An Experiment in Magical Radical Transformation are available here.  It’s a free self-guided class you can take cyclically to kick open new doors for yourself, do some magic for where you’re trying to go and do the grunt work.

Seven years ago, I could almost say with semi-ironic melodrama, I was a different person then a la Anne Rice’s Louis.  I always loved that phrase when I was a teenager, I think because I was such a different person almost always because I was growing and changing so fast though my wisdom stats would take a while to catch up.

So, in 2013, I reflected on my goals for NYNY and it’s been long enough that we can probably take another look.

1. Grow my magic focused writing: Well, I like wrote a book for Llewellyn and stuff?  That probably counts.  lol.  All of my contributions to anthologies have made it so I almost have a full book shelf of publications.  I continue to blog, though sometimes more slowly than other times.  I still write for Witches & Pagans mag on occasion and blog over at PaganSquare.

2. Grow my crafting business: I’ve now been in business for a decade which is like weird on every level.  I stopped doing candles because they’re a pain to pack and heavy to lug at shows.  I’ve done a lot of shows.  I’ve streamlined the things I want to focus on and my business has grown to the point that it’s hard for me to do shows because I need to be home packing orders and reading Tarot and creating for class as well as new products.  I have a stronger brand, a better name and a sharper focus now.  And, like, more money.

3. Work on personal magical practice: This is sort of funny to read now in a way, after having written a book about magic, read a ton of Tarot for hire, did a bunch of work for my book and taught a class because sometimes I feel like all I do is magic but I think maybe a more accurately, I’ve come to see magic differently.  It’s much more mundane now which has its high points (easy to work into my day) but also lower points (less exciting, less of an occasion).

4. Work on body love while working on eating and exercise habits:  This has been rockier (surprise!).  I’ve tried a bunch of different diets and I’ve had times where I was going to the gym pretty consistently but my weight has been in the same general area for while.  On one hand, body love isn’t so much a thing anymore for me because rarely do I look in the mirror and thing ugh or argh at this point honestly.  Like my style is much more on point and my glamour is usually fairly on point which has helped.  On the other, this continues to be a bit of a white whale for me.  My diet is even better at this point – I haven’t eaten fast food in years, I now can taste sugar in just about everything, I eat mostly whole foods ( . . .and Trader Joe’s turkey corn dogs), I eat a ton of fruits and veggies, but I really need to get back into French eating/intuitive eating because I’m still a dog – I’ll think, hmmmm this only tastes okay and I feel kind of full and just plow right on through instead of asking myself if this is worth it.  I’m focusing more on those aspects along with being more conscious when eating.  I actually like going to the gym – it tires my punk ass out, it makes me feel like a bad ass, I love the sauna but I also love being a slug so I’m working on seeing the positive benefits of regular exercise – what it does for my stamina, what it does for my fibromyalgia, the energy it gives me and not just oh noes work!!!!  I also realize I’m sort of terrified of weight loss because there was a time in my life where I couldn’t handle unwanted attention and I’m a chick who can handle her shit now and has a decent idea of what’s wanted and unwanted and how to firmly extricate myself from unwanted attention and I have to remember I’m a lot more capable now so I don’t need to armor myself with extra weight to avoid extra attention anymore and I can do this for myself and tell everyone else to fuck off.

5. Enjoy our year of engagement together: So, okay, Jow and I have been married for six years now, lol.  I think during that time we’ve really nestled into our home and enjoyed much time together traveling, cooking, yelling at the television, going out and about and doing feets.  We’ve tried to have fun times but really the last five years we’ve been focusing on our future together and I think that’s super important too – he has one more semester before he’s an RN and then we’ll need to adjust to him getting his BSN (generally a requirement now) and working weird hours at a hospital.  I’ve been working on growing my brand in bigger, scarier directions as well as being a corporate ho.  We have health care and are doing decently financially so maybe it’s also been a bit of a priority shift too.

6. Pay off my credit card debt: That was a thing that happened at one point in my past, lol.  The thing is, it’s hard to put one’s spouse through school.  I have plans to go hard on this again once Jow is an RN but it’s not worth it to go crazy about it right now.  However, I do have a thriving 401K which could keep me in the lifestyle I’m accustomed to for about six months!  But still, it’s more than I’ve ever had in savings and I’m pretty proud of it.  I sort of have bigger plans about laying out my future than driving myself crazy about this but I also live within my means much better.

7. Do more fun things: This one is something that has been not great for me in the past couple years.  I realized this morning I was anxious about going to brunch and to see The Favourite with Jow because in the words of Olivia (the Pig), There’s Still So Much to Do!  The thing is, most of my thirties have been about getting my shit together and getting to where I want to be.  I’m now in the I wish to sponsor a festival stage and I need to learn to breathe and let myself have down time sometimes and like enjoy life.  I’m used to pushing so hard that it’s hard for me to read a book or do something just for the sake of doing it.  I need to take some time to enjoy things I enjoy – ritual bathing, the Korean spa, going for brunch or drinks, reading, throwing parties, going to parties.  More of my friends have started living independently so I’ve been out to other people’s houses more lately which has been nice.  Getting there.


So, Sister Queens!  Now’s your chance.  Whatever will you do in 2019?

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’m going to keep on keeping on with my Empress Project, which seems to be working pretty nicely (albeit with a couple of hard spots that are probably going under the heading of “this will take another 10 years to finish unlearning, since it took 20 years of trauma to get you into this mess”).

    Goals for 2019:
    Visit my GF (who lives quite far away) twice, and have her up to visit me twice, too.

    Try to keep the house a baseline of clean, as well as tidy. (I… am not optimistic, but it’s worth a shot).

    Go on some Actual Dates with my wife, because hopefully – gods willing and the funding comes through – we’ll actually have some disposable income to do stuff like buy dinner or play tickets periodically.

    Continue to submit my poetry to (roughly) three places per month, in the hopes of getting 12 pieces published over the course of the year, though six (on top of the above-mentioned anthology) would be great, especially if a few of them are paid markets. (If I get published “for compensation” in three places, I’m eligible for “emerging artist” grants which… doesn’t mean anyone’s going to just hand me money… but it also doesn’t mean they won’t). This will require (a) reading more poetry and generally keeping that creative well topped up, but also (b) dragging my butt out of the house to go write in places where I don’t have internet access, because I know exactly how many hours I waste hitting the refresh button on twitter, and that’s not getting me any writing done.

    Sing more. Move my body more (like… more dancing – even if it’s just in the kitchen – and more yoga, and ideally a little bit more weight-lifting… all of which can happen at home). Eat more vegetables. (You’d think I’d just do this, since all of them are so good for my body/mind but… no. So working them into some kind of a routine where I don’t feel self-conscious would be a good thing, I think).

    Continue my tarot study and my gratitude “practice” and do some more “ritual” things that feel like “church” (stuff I do in community with other weirdo-pagans, and/or stuff that pertains to “How does my faith inform my values inform my actions”), in addition to the magical baths I do so frequently.

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