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Friday, November 28, 2008

To Attract Friends

To successfully perform this spell you will need:

Pink Candles

Attraction Oil

Whole Cloves

To begin you'll need as many pink candles as friends that you wish to attract. For example, if you wish to attract 3 friends you'll need 3 candles.

Take each candle and anoint them with Attraction Oil. Then, focusing on the type of friend that you'd like to attract and the qualities that you'd like them to have, take one whole clove and press it in the candle naming that quality.

When you are done with each candle, light them one by one saying:

These candles burning true & bright,

brings new friends into my sight

one for all and all for one

as I will, so be it done!

Allow the candles to burn themselves out. Save any leftover wax and cloves and put them in a safe place.

Carolina Dean

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ritual of Thanks-Giving

At your altar or shrine, light a tea-candle and incense to your patron deity saying,

In honor burns this candle flame,

in praise of (N's) holy name;

In thanksgiving for & recognition of,

all you've done for me from love.

Say a prayer from the heart acknowledgin your blessings, be specific and relate what your blessings meant to you. Make a special offering of food, milk, wine, honey, or a special object to the deity.

When you are done, allow the candle and incense to burn themselves out naturally.

Carolina Dean

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gods Loves F@gs

Note: Here's a little poem I wrote in respond to the likes of
Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church group, of God Hates Fags Dot Com.

God loves f@gs
and leather daddies
guys in drag
and Queens chatty

Go Go Boys
and bingo players
bondage toys
and burly bears

Porn stars
gays for pay
lovers behind bars
who swing both ways

Verbal Tops
and chubby chasers
uniformed cops
and high heeled racers

Straight Actors
and closet cases
fudge packers
with pretty faces

Boys that spit
men who choke
guys that hit
dudes who smoke

Construction workers
cable guys
circle jerkers
web cam spies

Wolves and Fairies
otters and chubs
Priests who marry
twinks and cubs

God loves weeny
and beefcake too
God loves me
and God loves YOU!

Carolina Dean

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ritual to Cultivate Self Love

To be free, one must give up a little part of oneself.

Hedwig Robinson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

This rite is (very) loosely based on the Native American Vision Quest. The one who performs it should not leave the circle of fire until all the candles are spent. The whole of your energies should be directed toward the shedding of self-hate, one's doubts and insecurities while in the circle so that you emerge from the experience as if from a cocoon.

To begin you will need Pen and Paper, The Lovers card from a tarot deck, six candles (fire, masculine energy) and six pennies. (earth, feminine energy) Alternating these 12 objects, form about you a circle large enough so that you can sit inside it comfortably. Symbolically, six is the number of the lovers; here we're thinking of the lovers as one's own inner masuline and feminine selves. Consequently, twelve is the number of the great work of self-transformation.

In addition, copper is the metal associated with Venus, the planet of love; and Abraham Lincoln (whose image can be found on the penny) is famous for two things 1) His Honesty and 2) Bringing freedom to the enslaved. To perform this ritual, you must be prepared to be honest with yourself, and be willing to break away from the yoke of your personal demons. If you are not ready to make real positive changes in your life, then do not attempt this ritual because you will fail.

When all is ready, light the candles and sit in the circle facing Westt (the gate of death and regeneration.) Go into a meditative state where your mind and body are both completely relaxed. When both your mind and body are completely relaxed, say:

As without so within

let the healing work begin;

as within so without

let there be no more doubt.

I am the phoenix that in fire burns,

dies transforms and returns;

I am a treasure that in earth hides,

whose self worth won't be denied.

I am He and I am She

strong & powerful for all to see;

I am worthy of all good things,

& accept that which to me life brings!

Don't just read these words, but take them to heart. Think about their deeper meaning, because you are telling the universe that everything you've been doing up to this point has been wrong. You are ready to banish negavtive thoughts, words, and behaviors that do not projuce the results that you desire.

With this in mind, contemplate the Lover's Card and write down anything insights, wisdom, or inspiration that comes to mind. I'm not going to tell you here what you should be looking for, or what you should see. This ritual is different for everyone and no two people will see the same thing or relate what they see in the card to their situation in the same way.

Remain in the circle until the candles are spent. When you are done, dispose of the candles, but take the six pennies and Lover's Card and wrap them up in a special cloth (for the purpose of this ritual, you can substitue a picture of the Lover's Card that you have printed online) and keep this in a safe place. Record your notes in your Journal or Book of Shadows. Date the entry and leave room to go back and make more notes.

If you truly keep the promise that you've made to the Universe and to your own inner spirit you'll go back to this page often.

Carolina Dean

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Love. What is it Good For?

I was going to share a quaint love spell I found in my journal with you today, but then I began to think of why it had attracted my attention so much in the first place.

I've been thinking about love spells lately. No. There's no one specific person I have in mind. I haven't really been bitten by the "lonely-bug" as of late either. But with my friend Robert moving back to South Carolina in a few weeks, I'm forced to face the reality of actually being quite alone.

Robert is the only person I know here. Although he is not always reliable, we've been there for each other in many ways. He's worked on my car, I've taken care of his child. I'v washed my clothes at his house, he's slept here when the weather knocked his power out and he didn't have heat. We've shared groceries with each other when there's wasn't enough money for food, we helped each other pay bills, etc...Things that friends do for each other.

I've not made any friends here. I have my work friends, and my online friends, but no one that I socialize with in real time. When he's gone I'll have no support system in place. I've tried to make friends. When I first came here I responded to a witchvox ad for a pagan night out type group, but the person running it seemed only interested in getting people to do her yard work and all her traditions were secret so we couldnt' even talk about the one thing we had in common. I put my own advertisement on witchvox and although I got well over 1000 views, I was only contacted by one person who just seemed to disappear after a few months.

In another instance I added a guy to my myspace page who was looking for other Wiccans on the Island to hang out with. Everything seemed find till he noticed I was gay and then be deleted me as a friend and blocked me. Somehow I thought Wiccans and Pagans would be different, but we're still human and we have our prejudices.

I'm already thinking about the changes Robert's moving is going to bring about. I'll have to start going to the landromat. They'll be an extra 40 dollars a month just to wash my clothes. I wont' see K. anymore.

When I was younger, love spells were all about "getting the guy" I was young and stupid, I thought that once I had him in my bed there'd be no escape. I even fell into the trap of "if I have sex with him he'll love me.," and that sex = love. Well, as always, life has a nasty way of delivering that wake up call.

Then I went through that phase that I think alot of gay men go through as some point, seducing the straight man. And then sex became a game, and magic just a way to cheat. I'll admit I used magic to gain my share of lovers but at the expense of a part of myself. Thankfully, I've made it to the ripe old age of 35 disease free.

After more than a few hurts, I swore off love and became bitter. I told myself I didn't need love. I told other people that I wasn't interested in sex or love. Was that to make the hetero's I work with more comfortable around me, or was it just to fool myself? Probably a little of both.

Over the years I begun to think of myself as too ugly to be loved, that no guy would ever be attracted to someone like me. I guess that says alot about how superficial I am huh? I know there's alot of people on here who like me, but I honestly think of myself as an awful person in alot of ways. Working with the public I see people all day and then I'd see some couple and I'd think...hmmm If she could get a man, then surely I can as well?

And so I'd start letting myself think that it would be possible, but then that old negative thinking would return. You're too ugly, you're too fat. No man's gonna want you. You won't be compatible, etc....and then the un-thinkable would happen. Some cute guy would flirt with me, and I'd pretend not to notice, or become cold and unfriendly because I would think that he just wanted to use me for some reason. Why is it that I cannot concive of a man likeing me just for me? Why is it that in my mind a man can only want me for sexual pleasure of my money (yeah, I used to have money and excellent credit, but that's another story).

Now I'm starting to think of love in terms of security. I'm sure you married folks will tell me that you and I are all in the same boat and that just because you have a partner in life you're no more secure that anyone else. It just seems that in my mind I imagine that if I had a man in my life, I wouldn't have to worry so much about how I'm going to pay this bill, or that what am I going to do if my car breaks down, what's going to happen if I lose my job because of the ecomony. I wouldn't have to go through so much alone.

I know that so long as I think of myself as fat, ugly, and un-lovable--no amount of magick is going to draw a man into my life and if it does he's sure to be the type to take advantage of someone with such low-self esteem. Before I can even think about lighting a candle, I'm going to have to make some changes in the way I think, an act, and feel......

Carolina Dean

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Review: The Witches of Eastwick

Review: The Witches of Eastwick
By John Updike (1984)
· Paperback: 320 pages
· Publisher: Ballantine Books (August 27, 1996)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0449912108
· ISBN-13: 978-0449912102
· Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches

The Witches of Eastwick is another example of a great book being turned into a less than stellar movie. If you’re familiar with the movie, there’s a lot in this book that you’ll find familiar as well. Unlike the movie which was set in the late 1980’s, the book takes place in the fictional town of Eastwick, Rhode Island at the time of the Vietnam War. The story mainly concerns Alexandra, an artist; Jane, a cellist; and Sukie, a columnist. They are in the primes of their lives, each having either left, or been left by, their respective husbands. 

Following the void left by their husbands, the women find an inner power they each posses…the power of witchcraft. These witches, however, are a far cry from the an it harm none variety with which many modern readers in the know are familiar. No, these witches are promiscuous, spiteful, vindictive, and they’re not above putting a hex on their enemies.

Enter Daryl Van Horn. Summoned to town not by the witches magic, by rather by a desire to escape a past life and possibly numerous creditors; Daryl promptly takes possession of and begins remodeling Lenox Manor. One by one, the witches are seduced by Daryl who each takes him as their lover. In the mean time, the witches have conjured a cookie jar in such as way as to cause their enemy (and most outspoken opponent) Felecia Gabriel to vomit all manner of feathers, dirt, pins, etc…which ultimately leads to her murder by Felecia’s husband, who goes on to commit suicide.

Following the death of Felecia and Clyde Gabriel, their children Chris and Jenny return to Eastwick to settle their parent’s affairs. Finding the girl to be sweet, innocent, and accommodating and perhaps even out of a sense of guilt, the witches invite Jenny to participate in their activities with Daryl. However, Jenny proves to be too accommodating and accepts Daryl’s proposal for marriage. It is then that the witches conspire to punish the girl they believe stole their shared lover for herself.

The remainder of the story examines the lives of all those involved as the witch’s curse takes its toll and we are able to also see the consequences of the magic they invoked. In the end, it seems that everyone’s relationship suffers. Will the witches be able to undo the damage they have done? Will they be able to heal the rift that has come between them? Will anything ever be the same?

Prudish types may find the frank and sometimes descriptive depictions of the witches sexual encounters unsavory. I personally did not like the slurs the witches use when referring to men they suspect to be gay. However, as a gay man myself I am not unaccustomed to such prejudice and I chalked it up to the women’s generation.
I really enjoyed the depictions of the witches flavor of witchcraft and found their use of common household items in their spells an excellent example of Kitchen Witchery. At roughly 300 pages Witches isn’t a quick read, as it is filled with a great deal of detail that the author is famous for. Some may feel that the story branches off from it’s self in a few places but it only adds to the overall story, as Witches isn’t just about three women, it’s a story about an entire town and the effects of gossip, scandal, and magic run wild.

Carolina Dean


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

That Darn Talisman!

Well, as you may already know by now, I created a Prosperity Talisman on October 17th, which was a Full Moon. Shortly after creating that talisman, I un-expectantly received a check in the mail for over $200.00! Now I haven't been consistent with this, but yesterday I "fed" a candle to the talisman which I had planned to do every Thursday, but other things have come up or I have forgotten.

Today, I came home from work and my friend Robert left me a message asking me to come by his house. He had gotten word that he is going to be getting out of the military in the next month or so and has decided to go ahead and pack up all his things, get rid of some stuff, and put some stuff in storage. He's giving his land lord 30 days notice and is moving in with a friend to save money.

The reason he asked me over, other than to help move some things, was because he wanted to give me ALL OF HIS GROCERIES! I now have MORE groceries than I know what to do with! I've had to move all my herbs, incense, and candles from the pantry in which I store them to make room for these groceries. I still need to buy some meats, hygiene items, etc... but I will not want for canned goods, dry goods, snacks, and spices for a good long time.

It's not exactly the financial windfall I had envisioned, but the way I look at it he just saved me a lot of cash that I can use in other areas. I'm so tempted to feed that talisman a candle every day, but I don't want to be greedy.

I'll let you know of further developments.

Carolina Dean

Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Keep an Abuser Away from your Children

Those of you who know me from the old covenspace, know that I have a very special little boy in my life. I knew his mother for more than 20 years and counted her among my best friends. I stood by her through thick and thin. I was there when she attempted suicide, I helped her when she didn't have food for herself or diapers for her children, and I gave her a place to live when she fled from an abusive relationship.

When it came time to return the favor, I moved in with her and her husband. It was then that I discovered that my friend, once the abused, had become an abuser herself. She abused drugs and alcohol, she abused her husband with several extramarital affairs, and ruined the lives of the men she slept with. Some of these soldiers were dishonorably discharged, and none of them knew she had an STD. But it wasn't until I discovered that she abused her children by slipping them sleeping pills so she didn't have to deal with them that my loyalties shifted.

I went to her husband with the truth and her response was yet another suicide attempt. I saved her life again by forcing the paramedics to take her away. While she was in a coma, her husband seized custody of K and initiated divorce proceedings.

He asked me to stay and help take care of K, who I had grown attached to; and when R went into a depression himself, I became mother, father, tooth fairy and Santa Claus to K. When they moved to Washington, R brought me along but I was always fearful that his mother M would return to take him away and ruin his life. I should note that M has at present 5 children by 5 different men, and only has custody of one of them.

I've been keeping a book for K for about three years now. In it, I've written down everything that happened so that he will one day know the truth. I've written down all the stories that I want him to remember...the time he turned the birthday cake over on the floor and ate it...what we did on x-mas...stories about the people in his adventures with his mother...etc...In addition I've recorded the spells and rituals I've performed on his behalf and have shared many of them with you all through my blogs and website.

Yesterday, I finally decided I would make the following entry and I decided to share it with you all and hope that you'll never have occasion to use it....

Dear K,

I really hesitate to add this entry because I dont' want you to hate me. More than I don't want you to hate me, I want you to be safe and grow up in a loving environment where you don't have to be scared that the people who are supposed to love you will hurt you.

I've decided that if I'm going to tell you the truth, I'm going to tell you the whole truth...

Every monday (mother) after the full moon for the past three years, I've anointed a photograph of your mother with vinegar and burned it in my cauldron along with the spell below to keep her away from you, scattering the ashes to the wind before the sun rises....

O blazing force

of elemental source

protect the boy that I hold dear

& keep his mother away from here!

Carolina Dean

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review: Practical Magic (1998)

By Alice Hoffman


If you saw the film that this book inspired in 1998 and think you know all about the Owens women who “for more than two hundred years…have been blamed for everything that went wrong in their Massachusetts town,” then think again. Like most books that make the jump to the silver screen certain changes were made that affected the story as a whole. Some subplots were abandoned while others were expanded. 

After the untimely death of their parents in a fire, two sisters Sally and Gillian are taken in by their eccentric Aunts. Due to their family’s reputation for being witches, Sally and Gillian are harassed and ostracized by their peers and so have no one to turn to but each other. The two sisters couldn’t be more unlike one another. Sally, the eldest sibling, copes by being the perfect child. She cooks nutritional dinners, washes and hangs the laundry and always goes to bed on time. Gillian, however, dreams of being free from the house, the Aunts, the taunting and teasing of the boys who fear her.

However, the sisters have one thing in common. They spend many nights in the shadows of the landing above the stairs in their house listening to their Aunts ply their trade as witches who specialize in affairs of the heart. They listen to the women who come to their Aunts desperate to gain love. The sisters see the toll that unrequited love takes on a woman and are disgusted at the lengths these desperate women will go to in order to obtain the one they desire. Consequently, both of the girls are afraid to love. 

In an expanded subplot from the movie, as the story unfolds we actually get to see the long-term results of the love spell performed on behalf of one of the Aunts clients and the consequences of the magic invoked one night with little forethought and much desperation. 

Gillian escapes the house on Magnolia Street by running off with a boy in the middle of the night after having spiked their Aunts soup so she wouldn’t be caught. She finds herself unable to settle on any one guy, not for very long. However that doesn’t stop her from getting married three times. Sally, on the other hand, stays with the Aunts and fills her days working in the garden, doing household chores, and shopping at the hardware store for cleaning supplies. 

Sally finally meets a man named Michael at the hardware store. They fall in love, get married and have two daughters Antonia and Kylie. For a time, she is happy. Nonetheless, the death-watch beetle begins to mark off Michael’s time on earth and he is doomed to die. At first Sally doesn’t believe her Aunts when they tell her, until she slowly begins to believe their warnings and Sally goes to the Aunts for help. Having already secretly done everything they were able, the Aunts could offer no advice but to accept the inevitable. 

After Michael’s death, Sally goes into a deep depression which last for exactly one year. During that time the Aunts become Antonia and Kyle’s main caregivers. When Sally comes out of her depression, she witnesses that her daughters are now being subjected to the same harassment that she and her sisters suffered through so many years ago. She then decides to do just as her sister had done years before. She uses Michael’s insurance money and some of her own savings to move away from the Aunts and start a new life in New York. There she attempts to give her daughters something that she herself felt that she never had…a normal life. 

Rather than opening her own business as in the movie, Sally takes a job as a school secretary so that she can be home when her daughters come home from school and the job has the added bonus of allowing her to have summers off. Just when it seems that Sally has achieved her goal of a normal life, Gillian shows up on her doorstep one hot summer night with Jimmy Hawkins, her dead boyfriend, in her car. 

Gillian fears that she has murdered Jimmy because she had been slipping him nightshade every night to prevent him from getting drunk and consequently hurting her. It seems that though Jimmy has a long history of hurting, even murdering, the ones around him Gillian is compelled to love him and like many abused women, can’t seem to leave her abuser. Not even her magic seems strong enough to take away her love for him. This is in direct contrast with all her previous experiences with men, in that since the time she was a teenager men and boys fell in love with her at first sight. She often had them wrapped around her little finger and just when they thought their love was secure---she left the relationship. The sisters ultimately decide to bury Jimmy in the backyard and forget about the entire incident. 

The book then begins to focus on the relationship between Sally’s daughters Antonia and Kylie. Being teenagers, the girls have a strained relationship. Like Sally and Gillian, they appear to be more unlike that alike in their outlook and attitudes. Antonia is more like her Aunt Gillian—beautiful, spoiled, wild, and carefree; whereas Kylie is more like her mother—responsible, introverted, and sensitive. It is only when Kylie’s beauty threatens to outshine her own that Antonia begins to contemplate her future and what she has to offer the world, rather than what the world has to offer her. As Kylie develops physically, she becomes surer of herself and more aware of her own beauty. It is only after she is almost sexually assaulted that Antonia and Kylie renew their sisterly bond. 

Throughout these events, Gillian has formed a relationship with Kylie who looks to her Aunt as a role model for what she believes a woman should be. Thus further strains the relationship between Sally and Gillian as Sally feels that her daughters are still babies, and is not eager to see them grow up just yet. Jimmy’s ghostly influence uses their resentment for one another to further destroy Sally and Gillian’s sisterly bond and drive them apart forever. Jimmy’s spirit seems to take over the back yard where he is buried. The lilacs grow great lengths overnight and their scent draws the attention of the neighborhood women who come to the garden gate to look at them. It seems that the scent of the lilacs stir painful memories in these women, who uncontrollably weep when these memories resurface. Jimmy’s influence reaches into the house as well, as food begins to spoil overnight and dead creatures are found in the toilet and sink. 

On Kylie’s 13th birthday, she develops the ability to see auras and other mystical phenomena. It is her that eventually causes Sally and Gillian to realize that Jimmy’s spirit is attacking not only the house, but Sally and Gillian themselves. After Sally cuts down the lilacs, things seem to improve. Antonia’s biology teacher, Ben Frye, falls in love with Gillian and begins to peruse a relationship with her, although she is adamant that she will be “single forever.” Sally too is challenged by love when Gary Hallet, an investigator from Arizona looking into Jimmy’s disappearance, arrives at her doorstep drawn by a letter Sally sent to Gillian some months prior. With no where else to turn, Sally and Gillian call the Aunts for help in ridding themselves of Jimmy’s ghostly influence.

On the whole, the beginning and ending of the book is somewhat similar to the movie. Although Jimmy’s spiritual death is not as dramatic as it was in the movie and no one becomes possessed, however, this is in keeping with the magical realism genre. The middle part of the book focuses more on Sally’s daughters as they grow from teenagers to young adults and draws a parallel between them and the generations of Owens women who have come before. 

Thankfully the absolutely absurd scene from the movie where the witches jump off their roof with umbrellas is absent from the book. I loved the inclusion of actual spells that are so descriptive of the Aunt’s old-world flavor of witchcraft. Although we do get some background information on the Aunts, I think it would be wonderful for Hoffman to write a prequel featuring these wonderful characters. 

Practical Magic is a book that I will return to again and again. The author’s descriptive prose and attention to detail brings a greater depth to the story. It is rich in imagination, ripe with characterization, and possessed of a wisdom that will not be lost on the attentive reader.

Carolina Dean

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blessing a New Debit Card

I lost my debit card last week and no amount of my magick seems to be able to call it back. I canceled it last Wednesday and got the new one in the mail yesterday. I'll be performing the following ritual with it this Thursday.

To begin, go around your home and gather up all your loose change. Form a circle with your found money, and in the center of this circle place all of your paper money. Alternate the paper money vertically and horizontally so that it forms a plus sign (+).

On either side of the circle of coins burn green candles that have been anointed with oil and rolled in a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, and bay leaves. Place your new debit card in the center of the plus sign with the magnetic strip facing up. Light the green candles.

Take a pen and sign the back of your debit card. Then moisten the tip of your finger with your tongue and rub it along the magnetic strip. Thinking of the strip as an actual magnet for money, say:

"Tool of commerce,
talisman for gain;
draw great riches
to my name!"

Hold your hand over your debit card and feel the energy of abundance flow into it, charging the card with the magnetic power to draw wealth and abundance to you. Visualize money being drawn towards your accounts. See your bank account growing.

When you are done, let the card remain inside the circle of coins until the green candles are spent. When you use the debit card for the first time, be sure that you do not spend your hard earned money on anything frivolous. Instead purchase something that can bring you more money and success. For example, a new suit to wear to work, office supplies, educational materials that will help you succeed in your business, etc...

Carolina Dean

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Affirmation

First I'd like to say Merry Meet to my new readers who've chosen to follow my blog. Thank you for your attention and interest in Sex, Magick, and the City. Please feel free to comment or add anything to what you will read here. If you like what you read here, you may also be interested in my other blog
The Grimerie which is an archive of magic and witchcraft as it is portrayed in the media including books, movies, and television.

The Affirmation

An affirmation is a positive declaration of things we desire to come true. We put our ideas about what we wish to be, have, or achieve into words; these ideas become thoughts, and these thoughts become powerful because we believe them. We are taught that what we dwell on inwardly we manifest outwardly. Affirmations are a way of dwellling on our desires in order to achieve them in a positive way.

Another form of affirmation is a statement that is repeated at the completion of every spell that you cast. Many witches have their own versions of this affirmation. Silver Ravenwolf writes that she alway says "May this working carry all correct astrological correspondences" and adds the following line from Laurie Cabot "may this spell not reverse or bring upon me any curse."

The purpose of this affirmation is to ensure that your working is in harmony with the energies of the sun, moon, stars, days of the week, and planetary hours as well as to guard and protect against unforeseen negative consequences. The affirmation which I use is as follows:

Powers which in the heavens dwell,
grant success unto this spell
and with harm to none so be it done.
I now invoke the Law of Three,
In the name of Spirit, so mote it be!

This affirmation has the added bonus of invoking the Law of Three, asking that what you send out return to you threefold. If you have invoked a specific deity for the purpose of the spell, then substitute their name in place of Spirit where indicated.

Carolina Dean

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Book Review: The Alchemist

By Paulo Coelho

· Paperback: 176 pages
· Publisher: Harper San Francisco (May 10, 1995)
· Language: English
· ISBN-10: 0062502182
· ISBN-13: 978-0062502186
“Where your heart is, there shall your treasure be also”
-----Luke 12:34

This parable centers on a young man named Santiago. Though his family wishes him to become a priest, he dreams of traveling and so with his father’s reluctant blessings he becomes a shepherd. Santiago spends a great deal of time with his sheep, learning the art of animal husbandry and believes that he has learned all that he needs to know from his close relationship with nature. Though he lives a mainly solitary life, he dreams of marrying a merchant’s daughter. 

One night he has a powerful dream in which a child instructs him to seek out a treasure which is buried near the Egyptian Pyramids. Santiago attempts to forget about his dream, but finds that he cannot. He consults a Gypsy woman known for her ability to interpret dreams. The un-named Gypsy listens to his dream and instructs him to go to Egypt and find the treasure. She expects no immediate payment from him, but asks for one tenth of his treasure in return for the services she provided. 

Santiago agrees to the arrangement, but is still unsure about what action he should take if any. He is conflicted between the known and the unknown. On one hand he is secure in the life of the shepherd, he knows what to expect each day and things rarely change. On the other hand, his dream compels him to find a treasure which promises to afford him all the things that he desires in his life…wealth, the ability to travel, and to marry. 

Finally, Santiago meets a man who claims to be the King of Salem who encourages him to follow his dream and offers him an ancient tool that will enable him to listen to the Soul of the World, the secret language with which all things communicate with one another. Santiago strikes a bargain with the King, who purchases one tenth of Santiago’s herd and which helps him to begin to finance his journey to the pyramids. 

Santiago sets about his journey to find the treasure promised of in his dream. Along the way he meets several characters who cause him to both question his choices as well as to confirm his personal destiny. Through his experiences with both friends and enemies he learns more about himself, the world, nature, and the importance of following one’s dreams. 

Though he struggles with his decisions Santiago continually finds omens that he believes lead him in the direction he wishes to go. Moving ever forward Santiago finally arrives in Egypt where his treasure awaits him, however, not in the form or even the place that he had expected. The ending provides an ironic twist that the reader doesn’t see coming but which reminds one of the importance of the journey over the destination.
I really liked this story and at only about 170 pages I was able to finish it in one sitting. However, some may find the fact that The Alchemist draws upon the religious mythology of both Christian and Muslim spirituality distasteful. However, for me, it didn’t detract from the central theme of the story which is to follow one’s dreams.

While some have criticized The Alchemist for presenting universal truths in a superficial manner, I prefer to read the story as a whole for its message. Though this book was originally published in 1988 (years before The Secret) there are hints to the Law of Attraction that has come to the forefront of society’s consciousness in the past several years. 

In short, I believe that nearly everyone can learn something from The Alchemist; and even if you don’t like the book, no one but the most die hard pessimist can deny there are worse things in life you can do than to follow your dream. 

Carolina Dean 

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To Get Your Own Home

Note: Today, I had an old aquaintance stop by to return some books that I had leant to her over a year ago. Frankly I had abandoned all hope that I would get them back. They were Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, and its continuation Son of a Witch both by Gregory MaGuire.

She filled me in about how her divorce was proceeding and her efforts to find a new home that she could afford. It got me to thinking I had something for just that occasion. So I thumbed through my 10 journals looking for the spell, and wouldn't you know it was in the last place I looked.....

I wrote and performed the spell below when I first came to Washington with a friend. It was nice living with him for a while, but then he got a girlfriend and she took over the house and even starting throwing my things away. I was told that housing was very hard to find and get here. I cast this spell on a Sunday. I starting looking on a Monday, I had an apartment on a Thursday. And here I am two years later still living in this same apartment.

To Get Your Own Home

Mark a purple candle with your name and your wish. Anoint the candle with attraction oil and roll it towards yourself in a mixture of Epsom Salt, (to remove obstacles) Bay Leaves (to grant success), and Sage (to make your wish last).

Write your name on a piece of paper nine times, the turn the paper 90 degrees and cover this with the words, GOOD HOME, also nine times. Set the petition under an overturned saucer on which you then place the prepared candle. Light the Candle and let it burn for one hour as you focus on your goal. You may wish to chant the spell below, or one of your own design. Burn the candle for one hour every Sunday until you get your wish.

"As I tend this sacred flame,

I call upon Hestia's name;

light my path, the way make free,

to a home that's right for me!"

Carolina Dean

Monday, November 3, 2008

Review: Murder at Witch's Bluff

Review: Murder at Witch's Bluff
By Silver Ravenwolf

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications; 1st edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567187277
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567187274

True to its title, Murder at Witch's Bluff has it all, murder, mystery, magick, and even a little romance. As someone who once enjoyed Silver Ravenwolf's non-fictional material as well as her previous book Beneath a Mountain Moon, I was very interested in reading more of her fiction that wasn't geared specifically towards the teenage market.

In this book, Silver has defiantly captured the feel of small town America with all its vices and virtues. The characters, for the most part, are well thought out with a few exceptions. The central character, Siren McKay, is portrayed as a very strong willed woman even in the face of the terrible violence that she was exposed to, and the victim of, in a relatively short amount of time. I absolutely loved the character of Nana Loretta, and the descriptions of her magickal practices were an added bonus. I also felt that Tanner's struggle with attempting to find if magick and witchcraft had a place in his life is also one that many of us have also struggled with ourselves. I also liked that fact that this book portrayed a gay character (Lexi) who wasn't too stereotypical. Although her part was relatively small, Gemma was completely psychotic as any murderous villain. Though he starts out as a very unsympathetic character, Uncle Jess become more endearing as the author peels back the layers to reveal the man behind all the gruff. Other than Siren herself, I felt as though Serato, was one of the most interesting of characters in the book. At times it almost felt as if he was a narrator, as his observations of the other characters in the book were so accurate and greatly helped to move the story along.

I failed to comprehend the exact purpose for the character of Rachael in the story. It seems that the author either had planned to do more with her and decided not to do so, or that she was always intended to be a throw-away character for the purpose of adding to the list of suspects. I also would have liked at least one scene depicting Siren applying her trade as a hypnotherapist.

Overall the plot was well conceived if not original, although I have to admit that the story did not unfold in the direction that I had previously thought it would. Although there were a few continuity errors and more than a few typos, it did not detract from the over all story itself in my opinion. The mysterious in this novel are numerous, although some will not be as mysterious as others to the observant reader. The pacing is fast throughout the book with virtually no slow spots. Fellow crafters will enjoy the inclusion of descriptions of actual spells and ritual, as well as the inclusion of actual Wiccan poetry that has been found in non-fiction works.

I was a bit disappointed with the fact that the author chose not to include a scene in which the characters who were either absent or unconscious at the book's climax were told the truth about the novel's central mystery and how they dealt with this information; instead the reader is left to infer for himself how they reacted. Although the final scene wraps up all but a few loose ends, they seemed to be inconsequential in the face of what actually transpired.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I felt that the bad far outweighed the good and would recommend Murder at Witch's Bluff to anyone interested in magickal fiction, or just anyone who loves a good story!

Carolina Dean

Magic in the Media
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