SOME TIMES I DID WITCHCRAFT
That same spring I became a volunteer for a local animal shelter and ended up taking in a very pregnant cat named Mary Shelley Overdrive. Mary was the sweetest cat I had ever met but she refused to eat. To keep her healthy I had to force feed her a mixture of turkey baby food and pedialyte using a big plastic syringe. She would thrash around a lot while I was trying to feed her and she usually made such a big mess that I had to do the whole thing on a tarp in my underwear- so as not to get my clothes or the carpet dirty. I was very worried for Mary’s babies since she hadn’t been eating very well and had been thrashing around so much during feedings. So, I made a drawing on a piece of butcher paper that featured the Queen of Pentacles and the words “PLEASE LET THESE KITTENS LIVE.” The queen of Pentacles is a figure from the tarot who represents material motherhood. I also added six nipples to the drawing so it looked like a cat’s belly. In addition, the drawing included an image of Mary with some kittens and some flowers. The flowers represented good health according to a book I had about plants in mythology. I forget what flowers they were and I wish I still had that book. Anyway, the next night I had sex in my bedroom while Mary was there and the next morning Mary threw up all over the place. I was really worried about her until I offered her some cat food later that afternoon and she actually ate willingly for the first time. Mary gave birth to six healthy kittens a few days after that and I couldn’t have been happier. Mary was a great mom and maybe the nicest cat I’ve ever known.
Another piece of magic I did that spring was for a friend of mine who was a big hairy gay bear. He was a very sexy guy but he was very insecure and still thought of himself as the fat kid. He swore to me that he had made an appointment to have lasik hair removal done on his entire body. He also told me that he was going to get a lap band. I was really worried that he was about to do something he would regret and that he would end up looking like a post-op Star Jones. To make myself feel better, I made a big drawing in the shape of a wolf on which I wrote out an invocation to Ishtar in the form of Walt Whitman. Ishtar is, perhaps, the first recorded goddess of love and Walt Whitman is a bearded American poet who celebrates the body. I asked Ishtar Whitman to somehow sway my friend’s mind away from getting all those horrible procedures. Nowadays, my friend has fully accepted his hairy fat body and seems much more satisfied with his image. He gets a lot of butt.
That spring I also started a coven, the coven of Elk and Swan, and I often did Tarot card readings for many of my friends. I did Tarot card readings for friends so often that the readings began to clearly relate to one another. Most of them relayed fairly harmless information to their querents, but several of the readings I did for several different people pointed to a friend getting sick. For a long time I didn’t know who it was. Then one day I gave a reading to my friend Jon that looked pretty bad. The death card was featured in his future and the card I laid over it for more detail was the nine of swords which shows someone crying in bed. I suddenly got the feeling that Jon was going to get sick. That summer I myself became very sick with a fever and thought for some reason that this would be a good time for me to clean Jon’s future. I astral projected to who know’s where and asked god know’s who to protect Jon from sickness. Whoever I was talking to said that Jon’s sickness would not simply go away, but that I could transfer the sickness onto somebody else. I chose to put the sickness on a guy from my high school who reminded me of Ursula from the Little Mermaid and was known for feeling up 9th grade boys against their will. The next fall I found out that a guy I knew who looked kind of like the Ursula guy had been diagnosed with brain cancer that summer. Maybe there was no connection, but I blame myself for not doing enough to prepare for that act of magic. Usually I try to do serious witchcraft in a fairly clean space. I burn some sage or green candles, make sure some appropriate artifacts are around, cover a pentacle somewhere, and make sure a cat or person is present to anchor me in reality. That time all I did was anchor myself to my cat and I really don’t even remember that much of what happened. I had thought that myself being sick would bring me closer to the problem and make it easier for me to alter reality but it also made me sloppier. Of course, all of these events and actions could have nothing to do with one another.
The next fall the community garden at my college was in a horrible state of disarray and the school was threatening to turn it into a lawn if someone didn’t show up and try to take care of it. Several teachers and administrators thought I would be the one to do something since I was making a lot of artwork about animals at the time and they thought I was a big hippie. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about gardening. But I did know a little bit about witchcraft. So me and a few of the people in my coven went over to the garden at dusk. I read the story of the Lorax while sitting in the garden. Afterwards I hung up a picture of the Lorax and we all began chanting the word “unless” over and over again. Before coming to the ritual, I had stolen some tins full of live ladybugs from Do-It-Center. As we continued our “unless” chanting I released the ladybugs by pouring them out onto the soil in the shapes of norse protection runes. About a week later I found several grad students from the film program working in the garden. I had never met them before and they said that they had spent a long time trying to figure out who to talk to about working in the garden, and when they never could find out who that was they figured they should just start working in the garden on their own. They managed to make the garden look a lot better and it lasted at school for another two years.
That same fall I moved into a new place where I had this real awful landlord. Her and her husband never fixed anything, they thought that being gay “wasn’t right,” and she didn’t like me fostering cats from the animal shelter in my room. They also liked to barge in on us unannounced and her husband once walked in on me in my room while I was sleeping naked with another guy in my bed. One day while I was thinking of a way of getting back at them a bird of prey landed on a railing outside my window and I immediately started thinking about Joey Stefano. Joey Stefano was a gay porn star who grew up around the area where I went to high school. He was a model in Madonna’s SEX book and he eventually died from a drug overdose while very sick with AIDS. After the raptor flew away I rushed to my room and projected to my astral temple where I consorted with Joey’s spirit. I asked Joey if he could do something about my landlords and he said he would but only if I had as much sex as possible. Joey said that if my landlord didn’t start treating me better then my love would be like a bird of prey, a predator on her existence. The day after I had my first three way my landlord had kidney failure or something. I don’t know what it was but she ended up in the hospital and she apparently almost died. I felt really bad because she was pregnant but as I understand it the baby survived. I promised myself I would never use magic to hurt anyone ever again.
Unfortunately, I broke that promise while I was studying wildlife in South America the following spring. While there, I found out that the first guy I ever loved had started dating a friend of mine. I burned a drawing of the two of them with the flame from a black skull candle. The black skull candle was from the witch market in La Paz, the capital of Bolivia and it had these chilis or herbs or something in it that made the flame spark a lot as it burned. I took a picture of myself and my ex-lover and burned it in half with the flame so the two of us were separated. A couple days later my ex-lover and my friend apparently got in a huge screaming match and they never really got back together after that. I later told my friend about what I had done and he didn’t believe that it had anything to do with the two of them splitting up. One of the best and worst parts about witch craft is that most people won’t hold you accountable for your actions.
Anyway, while I was in South America I had become very interested in Andean occult practices. I bought probably twenty different Aymara animal fetishes (sculptures) which all were supposed to bless their owner with some different kind of good fortune. A friend of mine had a bad back and I told him that I had burned some sage around a turtle fetish for him since the turtle represented good health and I think a strong back. The truth was that I hadn’t actually gotten around to doing the ritual yet. The next day I went on a cross country road trip and my car got totaled by a huge boulder that had rolled into the middle of the highway. The primary Andean deity is Pachamama, the goddess of the earth who creates earthquakes. I immediately became paranoid since it was a boulder that had destroyed my car. I resolved to perform the turtle ritual as soon as possible, but the next day when I went to remove the turtle fetish from the pouch I’d been keeping it in it slipped out of my hands and broke into two pieces on the gravel. For the rest of that summer I would often hear a woman’s voice whispering condescendingly in my ear during times of stress. Because of this series of events I mostly stopped doing more active forms of witchcraft for about two years and I still will never do witchcraft that heavily relies on Andean traditions.
This past January, I decided to try my hand at magic again and gave myself a Tarot card reading which I prepared for rigorously. I had just started dating a guy at the time and I really liked him. I wanted to know where things were going to go. I never had seen a tarot card reading that more emphatically pointed to signs of love. I was thrilled. Unfortunately, he started to ignore my text messages almost immediately after that and told me that we should just be friends. I became very dejected about my skill as a witch. The truth was that up until that point every Tarot card reading I had ever given myself had ended up being completely correct.
However, I found myself jumping into another big magical situation at a party this past fall. It was the friday after Halloween just a few days prior to the election. Me and my friends had spent the night drunk and dancing uncontrollably in my sweaty beer stained living room. I dressed up in a Wonder Woman costume and invoked the spirit of Diana in the form of Wonder Woman. I asked Diana for a spiritual apocalypse and rebirth for the human race in 2012. I asked her for a world where women, queers, animals, and plants would be treated with more respect. I also asked her to make sure Barack Obama would win the election, which made some of the anarchists in the room mad.
Of course, the most major recent act of magic that I’ve done is have you read this piece of fiction. Everything I’ve said here is a complete lie, but I’m pretty sure that some of you will think it’s true.
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