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Thursday, November 19, 2009

MLAAW: The Indian, the Witch, & The Poppet

About eight or nine years ago I was living in a nice apartment complex in my hometown. The complex was shaped like a U and right across from me there lived a large family who had immigrated from India. This family bought one of the convenience stores in town and ran it themselves. I often saw the matriarch of the family who I understood to be the husband's mother beat her front door with something that appeared to be a home-made broom. The other neighbors thought it was strange, but I always kept to myself and it didn't bother me.

The convenience store had a small diner area near the back where the family cooked meals for patrons and I had a friend who often went there to eat, read the paper, and buy her lottery tickets. My friend, let's call her Glenda the not-so-good, was another outsider having moved to South Carolina from Alaska. It didn't help her that she was also Wiccan and didn't do anything to hide that fact. What she did hide, however, was the fact that she simply did not adhere to the harm none rede associated with Wiccans.

Glenda's neighbors where always leaving religious tracks in her mailbox, people would approach her on the street and tell Glenda that they were praying for her. Glenda refused to change and kept right on doing what she'd always done. Then she began to get rocks through her windows late at night, and her car was vandalized. Glenda also had a lot of pets (snakes, an iguana, birds, dogs, men, cats, and a raccoon). Glenda didn't like all this attention because although she told everyone that she was a home health-care nurse, she was in fact a prostitute. She didn't go out at night to sit with her patients, she went to a certain motel in Richburg or as far away as Charlotte to meet her johns she arranged dates with on the internet.

At one point Glenda's raccoon Triqus (not his real name) went missing and she got it in her head that someone had kidnapped him. She asked me to help her put a curse on the person who kidnapped Trique and being a good friend I agreed. This wouldn't be the first time we'd cursed someone together. There was the single mother whose son had tried to build a pipe bomb in her house. I grabbed a few things that I thought we could use and headed over to her house.

In the ten minutes it took me to get to her house, Triqus had miraculously returned. Glenda noticed the black poppet I had brought and liked the workmanship so much, I gave it to her. The next time she and I traveled to one of the many prisons where we taught a Wicca 101 Course, I noticed that Glenda had hung the poppet from her rear-view mirror and that there were a few pins in it. I asked Glenda what that was for and she said that whenever someone cuts her off on the road, tailgates, or drives too slow she takes her frustration out on the doll. I saw her jab that doll with pins several time cursing drivers all over South Carolina.

One day Glenda decided to treat me to dinner and we went to the convenience store. While we were eating she mentioned that she needed to get gas before we leave and the owner offered to have his son fill up her tank while we ate. When the young man returned to give Glenda her keys he didn't say anything but went over to his father and began whispering to him. When we were the last customers in the diner area, the father struck up a conversation with Glenda and asked her what the doll was for in her car. She told him how she took out her frustrations on the road with other drivers on the doll.

The owner asked Glenda for a doll too and she told him that he'd have to ask me since she didn't sew. I agreed to make the doll for the man and asked him what he wanted in the doll. He asked for just the doll and said that mama would know what to do with it. So I made the doll for the man and a few days later when I stopped in to get gas, I noticed that the doll was hanging upside down by a length of cord tied to one of it's feet. The symbolism didn't escape me and I felt a certain level of pride in knowing that I had made the doll. Later I found out that the owner would impale the doll with a pin for every shoplifter he caught.

I have since made these special dolls for friends and family (especially those who have businesses) to hang over their doors to protect them from thieves, robbers, and intruders. I usually stuff them with dried red pepper, vandal root, black pepper, salt and devil's shoe strings.

Carolina Dean

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