Sometimes the spells we cast, break, especially the ones we cast upon ourselves, and perhaps righteously so because what we want to happen isn’t meant to be. Or so I thought. As an experiment, the very last love divination spell I cast was on Samhain 2012, it required the use of a mirror, and behind me a blurry image of my true love was to appear. The image I thought I saw was that of a creepy comedy mask, like that of a Venetian carnival mask or the Greek comedy mask associated with the muse Thalia. I interpreted this as a sign of something funny, or representing an actor in a costume, or just a spirit making fun of me. The simplest answer to my quest for love was: someone’s smiling at me, I’m making them laugh, or happiness comes my way!
I considered the spell a success, but then on February 14th, Valentine’s Day 2013, the mirror BROKE. It didn’t shatter, however, it just broke within the frame into the shape of a crow’s foot, the rune Algiz, also known as the “z-rune”, that popularly means, when pointed downward, an omen of warning. I didn’t pay attention to it as a bad omen, until my cat took ill in the summer and died August 30th. I was blocked from writing and feeling anything for a long while after that.
What I did not mention were all the feelings I held back the entire year, and what was really going on in my life, I could only let some poetry out of me. What I did write last year I censored a great deal, and I was very self-conscious about sounding too sad. I felt shame over being shunned by two friends who exited my life just before I cast the mirror spell. I think one of those people thought perhaps I cast it because I wanted to see him, but my infatuation over him was long gone. He misunderstood that when I reconnected with him in 2011, I was attempting to let go of the past and be a better friend no longer bound by pesky crushes, but I tried too hard to impress that upon him. Desperate to make a friendly connection with him, one like I felt we didn’t get to have before, my behavior came off as the desperate kind that came off as me wanting a romantic relationship. My other friend, and several others concerned, all felt I had lost my mind, I was accused of not being able to let him go. It was all very poisonous. No matter what I did to defend myself, it just further sabotaged myself, and the more frustrated I was, the more of a mess it made me look. I was even told by one friend that she would stop talking to me if I were to mention the subject to her again. I stopped talking about it entirely and kept my tears to myself. I bet even now bringing it up I’ll be accused of changing the story to further my ends whatever they are because, you know, I’m such a manipulative cow, right?
What was unhealthy was I was ashamed of my own words, of expressing myself the way I do, of how I talk, which is who I am, what I am about. Despite being told, in a sense, to shut-up and not speak my truth, I’m breaking out. In reality, does anyone really care what I say? If you don’t like me, you don’t have to read me.
But I beat myself up. I am a kind creature, I want to get along with people, and I love my friends, and what they say to me matters, their words go to bed with me. At night it’s what they say that repeats over and over in my mind, and I give that power over me. The disgust I felt coming from them for me, had me believing I was the ugliest woman alive. I did not shower for over a year, and it wasn’t until the very next Samhain that I made the most wonderful new friends… yes, despite even the power of my shame working a poison throughout my body.
A month after my cat’s death I was contemplating suicide, but not in the physical sense, more in the giving up completely sense, yet still praying for something to happen to give me more to look forward to, and I created goals, nothing stuck, and I kept quitting things. I’ve always said that the worst thing manic depression does to you is it robs you of your self-preservation, you lose care, and even when you have support, you do not have the ability to know it’s there, you sink and drown, especially when weighted down by loss — I just can’t see past it at times, so I hermit myself away to get rid of that. The only thing keeping me alive was hugging the blanket my cat last slept in and staring at pictures of my friends. When I got invited to a haunted house, I almost turned it down…
“No, I don’t think I can do it,” I said, “I just want to be alone.” But did I really? I all but forgot about the mirror spell, too comfortable in misery, not even recognizing the cool, new friends I just made who were not quitting on me.
It all started in a hospital elevator. My new friend Lisa was coming in from physical therapy and I just got done with a routine annual eye exam. When we hopped in, the elevator got stuck for a few seconds and kept flashing the floor number “6” to look like “666” and we laughed.
“Looks like the elevator’s haunted!”
Lisa then winked at me and remarked rather quickly, “Yeah, well, I just bought a haunted house.”
“Really?” I did not take her seriously until I looked into her eyes. “Really.” It sank in. True. The elevator started to run again as we got to talking and thereafter we were new best friends, especially after I told her I was a spirit medium, oracle, psychic, um, Witch… Yes, I’m all kinds of useful in a haunted house.
Flash forward to the weekend of Samhain and I’m in Lisa and her sister Chris’ lovely haunted house, one of the most haunted historic places in Wisconsin, known as The Cottage Cafe, also known as the Old Sherman House, it’s got a long documented history of paranormal activity, but more interesting, is its natural history of all the lives who have come and gone from there. Located at a crossroads, it is yet another place I find like home for me.
Some people desire a paranormal experience. They want ghosts to come out of the walls and touch them, to hear voices and disembodied footsteps, or even witness a possession, or get possessed themselves as some kind of thrill ride, like going to a haunted Disney Land. Most people want to check out a haunted place cautiously, experience the activity from a safe distance, yet also make contact and see if life after death is real. All people want proof, or some assurance, and often they come bounding into the house with many, many questions. The more people you get coming through a haunted place, the more excited energy builds up, and something’s bound to happen. Things sure did.
Never before have I ever experienced more spirit activity in one place so close to home. Not once was I afraid. I was making many spirit friends! Too many stories to share with you. I can say that I fell in love with a house. I do that. I fall in love with houses. With places. Especially old places filled with memories and echoes. I was in love with the spirits. I wanted to take care of them and make sure the people coming and going respected them. I began to understand what was going on there, but the funniest thing was…
Next to me in the hallway, while I was giving customers readings, a big smiley face balloon ghost silently watched the gathering during the Halloween festivities and late night paranormal investigations. It was the happy symbol of True Love I asked for!
Sometimes it’s not a person, but what we love to do that is a true love.
It took me a long while to write about this subject because it was too close to my heart. I didn’t know how to form it into one story. As usual, I’m long-winded and don’t even know how to end this post, but I can report now that I’m happy “talking to dead people” and also happily debunking things, too. I want to travel to other haunted places, but this one no longer has such an angry energy to it, the spirits are happy, there’s no breaking of plates or windows. We get along. Why not? The bakery is delicious.
And, did I mention I’m taking showers again? You can smell me. I’m clean and perfumed. I’m obsessed with perfume! I allow you to send me all kinds of pretty-smelling things because a Spring is happening inside me.