Suicidal Teen to Warrior Witch: How Does THAT Happen?

When I was 14 years old, I was suicidal. I was an outcast who didn’t fit anywhere. I was the poor girl of divorced parents in a private Catholic School. I kind of hated everyone.

suicide-girl

At school, I was ridiculed by students and teachers alike because I was so awkward, depressed and different.  Teachers looked at me like I was some kind of a bug under a microscope, as if maybe they could figure out what kind of disease I was.  The other kids barely looked at me at all, but when they did, they just flung insults at me.

I had this fantasy, at the time, where I was sitting on a cloud, hovering above it all.  Each hurtful word or look that sailed my way, I saw as a stone that I would catch and use to build a rock wall surrounding me.  I had no desire to fit in.  What I really wanted was to disappear.

At home my family had begun treating me like a bomb that might suddenly explode. The year prior to this I had been raped by the man who was keeping company with my mother. He disappeared from our lives right after that but he left his mark on the whole family.

I was told that it was very important, for my reputation and for the whole family that we keep that “situation” very hush-hush. Don’t talk about it.

No, of course it wasn’t your fault, but don’t you dare tell anyone. They’ll think horrible things about you, and us! Just… get over it.

My way of “getting over it” was to just stop being. I made a few cowardly and not quite-strenuous-enough attempts at suicide. And then, one night, there was a school dance. Someone I barely knew gave me a fifth of Southern Comfort. I drank it, blacked out, passed out and was dumped by the kids who gave me the alcohol at my doorstep.

dead-inside

 

When I came-to in the morning in my own room the first thought in my head was, “I don’t have to kill myself!  I can just drink!”  It brought me to that place of nothingness that I desired. I decided to continue technically living. But I was mostly dead inside.  And I did drink, whenever possible after that.

Fast forward about 14 years and my husband of 2 years, whom I loved deeply, was looking at me in disgust and giving me an ultimatum. I had to get help and quit drinking, or we were done. I remember feeling, suddenly, like I was underwater and couldn’t draw a breath. I didn’t want to lose him, so the next day, I did get help and I stopped drinking.

Three months after quitting drinking, I discovered that I was pregnant. So, it was quite a whirlwind first year of sobriety. New home, new life, and I was doing all the “right” things. Under my “keep-it-together” exterior, I was terrified of the changes, of becoming a mom, of everything.

I felt as though I’d better have something to hold onto after my child arrived because I felt like I was rattling apart. I felt like my whole body, mind and soul were being shaken with the fore-shocks of an earthquake that were increasing in intensity. And childbirth would make me just crumble into a million tiny, broken pieces.

But when my daughter was born, everything changed. I fell so hard in love with her that, if the shaking continued, it just couldn’t touch me. My early days with my baby were idyllic and peaceful and just so full of a love I’d never even imagined was even possible before. The quiet and calm were positively blissful.

But when she became a toddler, with high intelligence and a gigantic (Leo) attitude, the world began quaking again. I was almost 3 years sober and the reasons I started drinking in the first place started rearing their ugly heads.

I began having horrible night terrors and full blown panic attacks during the day. Memories jumped at me like the slasher in a horror film and stopped my heart in the middle of a sentence sometimes.

I began to have dreams that uncovered older memories; memories of molestation when I was very young. And all of this was going on while I was trying to navigate early sobriety and early motherhood.

One day, while grocery shopping, I was beset by a panic attack. My daughter sat in the child seat in the shopping cart as we started to check out and she watched as my hands shook and my face turned red and my breath quickened to sprinter pace, while sweat poured out of my body. She gaped up at me with wide eyes saying, “Momma? Momma?”

I had to grab her out of the seat and just leave. I left my basket and the groceries half in the cart, half on the check-out conveyer, and I just ran. I ran, with my baby girl in my arms, like we were being chased by a murderer. But we weren’t. It was just my past chasing us.

I managed to get her buckled into her car seat and myself into the front seat and I just sobbed.

crying-woman

I cried with frustration and fear over the panic attack, I cried over all those things that happened to me as a child that I never acknowledged or dealt with, but mostly I cried because I NEEDED to be a better mother.

I couldn’t have this MESS of a woman that I had become be an example for this precious, innocent child. She was looking to ME for guidance, for information about how to go through the world. I couldn’t have that.

So, once again, I sought help. I’ll spare you the stories of the months of seeking for the right kind of help, and let you know that I finally did find it. And I was introduced to meditation and I became what I would describe as a spiritual seeker. It was kind of like I just found a new addiction. But this one was healthy.

Little by little, my “episodes” slowed down and finally stopped all together. My meditation practice grew, my spiritual practices evolved. Through all of this, I came to understand, and eventually appreciate, ALL of the experiences of my life. And I became the role model that my daughter deserved.

(And what I mean by evolved is, Catholicism to other “lighter” forms of Christianity to agnosticism, to spiritual-not-religious to Buddhism to an eclectic combination of practices with a healthy dose of Hindu philosophy I saw as “Renee-ism” to atheism, to Wicca to a more general paganism to the weirdo-crone  warrior witch that defies description that I have become today!)

renee-sun-orb-copy

I sought out personal power in every arena. I learned how to govern my own life and I won my freedom. After years of this practice, every aspect of my life changed for the better, and I began to encounter other women who were in need of healing in ways that were similar to mine and in ways that were different as well.

What I understood was that, having come through these difficulties, and finding solutions, I now had a responsibility to share what I know. I was finally armed with enough information, personal power and experience to help others strategize their battles.

This is just one of the reasons I became a Diviner, spiritual adviser and coach. And today, I absolutely LOVE seeing the women I work with improve everything about their lives.

 

13 Weird Tips to Improve your Spellcraft (Parts 2 & 3)

So, You’ve already read Part 1 of this post, right???  If not, You absolutely must because the first 5 tips are the most important!  Go Read it.  Here. Then come back.

Part 2 – Preparing for Spellcraft/When and When NOT to Cast: 

spell-casting-fantasy-art

There is a time for a spell and there is a time to wait.  Sometimes knowing when, and when NOT, to cast is just as important as the components of the spell itself.  Following are some tips to help you determine when is the right time and to prepare for the spell you want to cast. (The inspiration for this particular tip comes courtesy of Bernadette Montana, fabulously witchy proprietress of Brid’s Closet in Cornwall, NY and High Priestess of her own rather phenomenal coven.  Check her out!)

        6.          Question Everything.

Once you’ve an idea to work a spell, start questioning it.  Play your own devil’s advocate, so to speak.  Ask yourself why you want this outcome. Try to ascertain whether you REALLY want it with your WHOLE Will.  (See #4)

The depth and breadth of your questioning, of course, should be commensurate with the scope of the spell.

If it’s a simple spell for some fast cash, you may not spend as much time on this step as you would if it is a spell to change your whole career and start a new life.

Broad scope spells have a much higher chance of yielding questionable results.  Explore the possible outcomes.  You may have in your mind that a great new job is offered to you in your chosen profession in a city where you’d love to live.

But what might happen instead is that you lose your current job, causing a move to another city to be necessary to reduce expenses, followed by a struggle to obtain a position in the career of your choosing. (Note: this type of result can be largely mitigated by practicing step 4 above.)

And if you’re okay with either route, then that’s fine, but just ask the questions and be sure, at the outset that you’re ready for the possibilities.  And, by the way, knowing yourself, as is facilitated by steps 1-5 is extremely helpful in this endeavor.

     7.            Clean Your Side of the Street.

sweeping

 

If your spellcraft involves other people and if your working has anything to do with something that was done by someone else, you’ll want to pay special attention to this step.

Check your intentions and motives.  Examine the situation as objectively as you can and look for the possibility that you may have misunderstood something or that there may be a way to solve this issue with relationship work, talking or a simple apology and an opening of a door to healing.

Make sure that you’ve done all you can, personally, to solve the issue before resorting to magick. Which brings us to….

 8.          Actual WORK.  

There is footwork to be done in the mundane world in order to set the stage for any magick to work.

If your spell is about a job, you’d better get your resume in order and be searching the want ads, or networking in your field.

If your spell is to sell your house and find that home of your dreams, you’d better have contacted a realtor, saved up some money for closing expenses and tidied up and repaired your house to the best of your abilities.

Do the earthly work that will help your magic work.  You MAY even find that taking this step eliminates the need for magick.  Do everything in your power in the material realm first.  Then do your spell, if you still need to.

Part 3 – Now that You’ve decided to Wield that Magic Wand:

Ok, so you’ve decided to do a spell.  Let’s get down and dirty with the crafting of something truly magickal!

witch-casting

9.         Study the Greats!

I struggled a little with the idea of including this step with the top five.  It sort of belongs in both places.  By “the Greats”, what I mean is great magicians of literature, wise sages of magickal workings, those powerhouses of mystical theory and history that have forged the way for the witchy revolution that is taking place these days.

Gerald Gardner, Alex and Maxine Sanders, Dione Fortune, Doreen Valiente, Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi.  And go back further to Hermes Trismegistus, Heraclitus, Plato, Ptolemy, King Solomon.  The list is endless and study of their work and philosophies is valuable any time.

But before your spell begins, try to do some research into the specifics of that spell in history.  We have modern greats too!  There are so many great magickal “cookbooks” out there!  Check out the work of Judika Illes in the “Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells” and Dorothy Morrison in “Utterly Wicked”.  The point is, study up on the type of magick you wish to perform.  Gather ideas. Check correspondences. Do your homework.

10.         Align With the Cosmos.

cosmos-align

Timing can be very important to some spells.  You must pay attention to things like moon phases, astrological positions, void of course intervals.

I don’t plan every single spell that I do around all of these factors, but I do consider them and decide whether to postpone or speed up my process depending on the positions and influences of the celestial bodies.

11.  Divine! 

It is a great idea to do a divination regarding the spell you want to cast.  You can gain information about the possible outcomes and the things you need to know or do to help make it a success.

I usually use Tarot, which is a great indicator as to your own psyche’s readiness for the outcome as well as advisor on possible components to include in the crafting of the working.

But if your preferred form of divination is something different, have at it.  Grab your pendulum, crystal ball, runes or Ouija board.   It’s just a good idea to do this before casting for those extra insights you may need.  And upon divining you should…

12.        Use your Intuition!

Once you’ve done all of this footwork, then, trust yourself.  Use your own innate wisdom and intuition, fueled by the personal power you’ve cultivated in steps 1 thought 5, the introspection and mundane channels you’ve gained from steps 6 through 9 and all of the knowledge acquired through this step to decide exactly how to cast this fabulous spell.  You’ve done the work, now waive that wand, witch!

13.          Look for Synchronicities – and Acknowledge Successes!

Once you’ve cast your spell, with confidence in its outcome of course, keep aware.  Notice the small synchronicities that usually show up while the magick does its work.  You may see little indications that your magick is afoot!

For example, after casting that new career spell, perhaps you will see a logo for a company you’d love to work for which has an image that precisely matches something you used in your spell.  Take that as the sign that it is and get your resume in front of a decision-maker in that company.  You have to pay attention and see what channels your magick may open up and then follow them!

Acknowledge and appreciate when you see these indications of the change you desire.

Now get out there and put your wonderful magick out into the world and share your successes with me!  I’d love to hear your stories!  With permission, I’d even love to share them with my audience in future blogs!  E-mail me at Renee@WitchintheWorld.com!

And if you’d like to work with me for coaching or divinations check out this page or email to the above!

Happy Witching!

13 Weird Tips to Improve your Spellcraft (Part 1)

The title for this article was the suggestion of a good friend of mine, who also happens to be a badass witchy wise woman.

maria-bird Maria Bird is a Strategic Motivator and Coach who can help you address many issues, no matter what your current situation. She has helped women recovering from abusive relationships to gain their confidence back and assisted top-level executives in upping their game. She teaches simple techniques using NeuroLinguistic Programming, Ericksonian Methods, mindfulness and voice to challenge and motivate her clients to reach their highest potential. Thank you for this great idea, Maria!

Part 1 – Maintaining your Magickal Prowess:

The first five tips here are related to making sure you are fit and ready to do spell work when you need it. These five practices help to keep your mind and consciousness in tip-top shape as a magickal practitioner.
If you’re not practicing these things on a regular basis, just don’t do magick. It won’t work the way you want it to.

I work closely with my coaching clients on cultivating all of these practices, so if you want some help in any of these areas, contact me. For the sake of keeping this article from becoming novel-length, I’ll boil it down to the bare minimum of basics.

meditation-techniques-bodhi-tree
1. Meditate.

A regular practice of meditation is the single most important tool in my magickal arsenal.

It’s really difficult to narrow down the benefits a meditation practice affords to a witch in her craft, but I’ll just give you a short list of the things you NEED to cultivate, that meditation can give you: improved physical health, clearer focus, visualization skills, stress reduction, anxiety relief, detachment, self-possession and composure, connection to source/deity, etc., etc., ad infinitum!

If you think you can’t meditate, find a way. I promise you that unless you cultivate this practice, your magick will never gain the power, accuracy and effectiveness that you desire.

2. Dream Journal.

Your dreams are a portal to your inner life. Ever notice, if you become lucid in a dream, how easy it is to manifest in that dream world? Wouldn’t it be great if you could translate that power to your waking existence?

Well, you can – with lots of practice, insight and work. Pay attention to your night-time dreams. Write them down. Some will be meaningless but some may give you profound insights about what spells to cast and how to carry them out.

A dream, well examined, may even give you inspiration for healing that will make the spell you were thinking of casting unnecessary.

These are important clues to your own psyche. And the one thing that I always teach my students before they begin any kind of spellcraft is, “Know Thyself!”

3. Make Regular Offerings.

offering-altar

Many spells involve calling on deities or spirits for assistance. Cultivating a relationship with those beings is essential to your success.

It’s like building credit. If you’ve never had a checking account or a loan of any kind and you want to buy a house and obtain a mortgage loan, you will have difficulty. Yes, there are lenders who will work with you, but what kind of deal will you get and what kind of sacrifices must you make in order to get it?

It’s the same with spirits and deities. If you are a stranger to them, where is their motivation to help you? But, if you make small, but meaningful, sincere and grateful offerings every day (such as incense or lighting a candle, bits of food or fresh water) to the local spirits where you live, to the deities of your choice (preferably ones that align with your purpose), then you are a known entity.

You have forged a relationship and have shown that you can be thankful, loyal and helpful to them, making them more willing to bestow blessings upon you in your endeavors.

4. Shadow Integration.

Further to the idea that every magickal practitioner should “Know Herself” before endeavoring in spellwork is the practice of Shadow Integration.

The desires of our conscious mind are quite frequently at odds with the desires of our unconscious. I believe that we create our own lives. And when we create hardship, difficulty, even tragedy, there must be a part of ourselves that truly desires to experience that.

Unless we uncover, understand and give permission to that part of ourselves, then we are divided. And a house divided cannot stand. Your magick will not have much power without the cooperation and support of your unconscious will.

So you must integrate. Now, there are many methods and many paths to doing this kind of work. Find one that works for you. And if you want to know more, consider working with me toward that end with one of my coaching packages.

5. Use Your Words!

“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.”
I know, I know! I’m writing for witches and I’m quoting the bible. But many different scriptures point to this idea. Words are profoundly important.

And this goes really deep for a witch working magick. Words used in witchcraft and spellwork are absolutely vital. We craft incantations to bring about very specific desires.

But your word, in general, should also be impeccable (as in Don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements). Every word has meaning and power in it.

If you are casting spells to improve your life i.e., to bring you prosperity or that new job you want or the love of your life, but you post a “FML” status on Facebook, you are working against yourself.

EVERYTHING COUNTS. And the words you use regularly, habitually, continually can easily gain more power than that beautiful incantation you wrote for a spell you’re performing on the full moon.

Think about it. You utter it once – or perhaps chant it a few times during your ritual, but the other 30 days of the month you are speaking about your lack.

You must become hyper-vigilant about keeping your everyday discussion and use of words, in print or in voice, in alignment with the things that you work on in your magickal life.

Speak in such a way that every word can cast a spell for your good and the good of others. It’s not easy and it cannot be accomplished to perfection, but become aware and make changes where you can. This will give you so much more power than you can imagine.

veronica-lake-i-married-a-witch

 

Ok, Witches, those are your first 5 tips, so before you start casting, look for 8 more tips in tomorrow’s blog, where we get to the nitty gritty of crafting great and effective spells!

And here’s Veronica Lake at her sexy, witchy best!

 

 

 

 

*** Image Sources (if necessary) are embedded in the pictures.