Today, I went to my local metaphysical shop with a friend. We were the only people in the place besides the owner, a pretty, petite, Spanish woman that we’ll call Lily. My friend and I looked around and chatted with her for a while, talking about her products and prices and what crystals and baths might make a nasty person a little kinder. In the end my friend bought her mother gifts for Mother’s Day (amethyst and citrine, lavender incense, and bath salts), and I bought tea.
We arrived back at my house after stopping for empanadas and Neapolitan ice cream. We rest a while, and then I brew up this tea. I was excited to try it, at the time. I smelt cinnamon and saw cloves, and the buds of some kind of flower. This had to be good, I thought, because it was similar to chai, smell-wise, and I do love my chai.
I added sugar, and while I waited for it to cool I sniffed it. It smelt so nice, just clove and cinnamon and the faintest flowery scent. I got myself more excited by smelling it. When I finally taste it… Yum… It slides into my mouth. There’s the cinnamon, and the clove, and that flowery thing. It’s like a non-milky version of chai…but with a flower. And then I swallow.
And then I shudder. In the back of my mouth is the taste of pesticides, or something like it. It was kind of disgusting, and I wasn’t sure what to think, because it tasted delicious…but what the hell was this chemical taste it left behind?! I was confused and a little irritated. I’d spent money on this, dammit, and I hate spending money on tea that turns out to be nasty. So I brewed it again, this time following the directions exactly. And once again, I got the after taste of industrial waste in my poor mouth.
I dump out the rest of the cup, and while I’m out doing the dishes, I tell my mom about it. My mom is not an expert in tea, but she loves it as much as I do and has been drinking it for years, so she does know what she’s talking about. I tell her the instructions: steep one teaspoon for ten minutes. Her eyes got kinda wide then, like they do whenever she hears something particularly stupid. She pointed out that ten minutes was a long time to steep tea, and after a minute I realized that she was right. I had never come across an herbal tea that steeped for more than two or three minutes. The only teas I know of that can steep for longer without turning bitter are chai and rooibos (both delicious, by the way). So…this was weird and my mom had a valid point. She recommended that I try waiting for boiled water to cool a little, then steep it for forty-five seconds, and don’t add sugar. So I did. And guys, this tea is ass. It’s absolute ass.
After my mom told me how to try to brew the stuff, I asked her how to tell Ms. Lily that it was horrible. I believe my exact words were something along the lines of:
“I wanna say, like, This tasted really bad, and since you care about your customers and providing a quality product, I figured I would tell you, so you could change how you make it, or, like, tell your supplier that they suck.”
Aren’t I an eloquent little shit?
Well, my mom didn’t think so, otherwise she’d have told me so after I finished, instead of interrupting me halfway through with this:
“Oh, I see, so she’s just a little girl playing make believe. [voice goes sotto] Just mix in a little salt with shampoo and swallow it and you’ll feel so much better! ”
(referring to an incident occurring between my brother and my sister a decade ago, when they were playing doctor and my sister fed my brother shampoo as fake cough syrup. After he threw up and my mom was convinced he wasn’t poisoned, it was hilarious)
She knew the shop I got this tea from was metaphysical, and she knew that witches believe that herbs hold certain properties. She also thinks that this is a load of horse shit.
Now, my mom knows that I’m a witch. I don’t really bother hiding it, and we have a tacit agreement that so long as I don’t flaunt it about in her face, she won’t bitch about it (This is helped by the fact that I’m an adult, and barring throwing me out of the house, she can’t really stop me. She also really doesn’t want to throw me out, because she isn’t a complete zealot-bitch, thank heaven). But the point is, she knows that I am a witch and constantly says that magick is make believe. And as much as I love her, I want to shout at her, because that’s just disrespectful, okay?!
Why is it so silly of me to believe and practice magick? Are miracles silly? Is speaking in tongues silly? No, and you would never catch me saying that they are, even though speaking in tongues is actually hella funny and also very embarrassing to witness. Those are magickal things, weather they are labelled as such or not, and I just cannot understand why it’s bad when I’m doing it, and good when it’s the Shepard’s doing.
And this all leads me to the question of: does she really disapprove of magick as a whole, or does she merely disapprove of me doing magick?
Magick is, in my own definition, convincing or forcing change in the world around you with will alone.
This power is godlike, really.
I hold the power to create change. I. Me. Us.
A good portion of the population believes that this is a power exclusive to the Shepard in his various aspects, or just gods in general. That we, as humans, are incapable of these fetes. Or, maybe, we just have no right to perform them at all.
So…back to my original question. What does my mom hate: magick in general, or just that I perform it?
I do not claim to know my mom’s mind and heart well enough to give an accurate response to this, but I can guess.
She is Christian. She is a borderline zealot. She was taught that we are somehow lesser than the Shepard, and that all great, world altering acts are to be attributed to him, are performed by him alone. That I do these things….is that an act of…treason? heresy? Is doing these things a slight unto her god?
I don’t understand. I’m not a theologian and I’m not objective enough to analyze the Shepard’s motivations. I’m just very confused. No one has ever told me why witchcraft is wrong. The ladies at my old church said something about it being wrong because you would work with Satan, but that is incorrect- I’ve never even met the guy. So, I have no answers. I wish I knew the answer, of why magick is wrong, of why I am sinning by practicing it.
I can live with not having an answer for now though, mostly because of pride and mild rage. Yes, I can do these things that only your god should be able to do. I do not need forgiveness for sins that I never committed. I do not feel guilty for doing what I love, for bettering myself, for finally- finally! -taking control away from a cold, distant being and placing it in my own hands.
Since I have done that I’ve felt more free than I have ever been in my entire life. My future is mine, my fate is mine. He may see it, or versions of it; Fates may spin, measure and cut, but they cannot control me. I will not be a silent spectator in my own life, allowing an unknown to dictate my behavior and thoughts and the course of my life. Because it is my life. Mine. Mine to ruin as I please, and Mine nurture as I please. Mine to give away. Mine to hoard like a miser. I will never again allow a god to control me without question or protest.
I am a free, individual being. I own myself, and anyone who dares to say otherwise, or imply that I need the give my life to a god to be fulfilled, can go to hell.
Flaunt your sins, my darlings.