I am a witch, but I am poor. I am not beautiful. I am not a worldly success.
What good, you may ask, does my craft do me?
If you have to ask, I answer, you'll never understand.
I am very content, in my small house with my cat, my books and my garden. I
make a small living by working in a coffee shop. By day, I write and dream
and garden. In the evenings, I make espresso and cappucino and latte,
dispense biscotti and scones, boil water for tea. Occasionally, on special
occasions, I read tarot cards for the customers. They are curious and
disbelieving, but it is $25.00 per session, and I never give a false reading.
My employer is half my age, and of a commercial mind. He does not believe in
the cards or my power, but he uses it. On tarot evenings, profits double, not
to mention the shop's cut, and he is too wise to cook the golden goose. There
are younger employees, who can mop and sweep faster, clear tables faster, but
I am thorough, and I contribute to the income.
My life is peaceful and productive. My garden is flourishing. My cat is sleek
and happy. I am happy with my books.
I am so lonely I might perish.
This has come upon me suddenly, on very quiet feet. One day I was perfectly
content; the next morning I awoke, aching for the touch of a man. Hormones, I
told myself, and fixed myself a cup of raspberry leaf tea and ate sweet
potatoes for two days. It didn't go away, though. Each evening I dreaded
going to bed, alone, with no one to talk to, to hold me, to love me.
It isn't as if I haven't had lovers, in the past. When I was young I was
pretty, and stupid with it. I gave my body and my love to any fool who picked
it up, and was crushed when the fool would throw it aside. I grew careful,
and began to hide myself. I craved the peace of solitude, of a single
As they say, be careful what you wish for.
So, here I am, in middle age, lonely and unsure. I have seen old school
mates, with their husbands and children. I've seen them on Sundays, at the
churches, leaving with their families. I do not attend myself, and often
feel, keenly, the sense of being outcast. The fact that I cast myself out
does not help.
What can I do? I am set in my ways, now. I have never been outgoing, and I
attend few parties. Occasionally, I have attended a city council meeting, but
only when there is a specific item I wish to address. I am not a business
owner or manager, so I don't have those contacts. I am the rather quiet lady
at The Mug Shot who hands out coffee and pastries and reads cards, and seldom
I've tried ignoring the feeling, and I've tried redirecting it. I started
painting again, thinking it was creative energy. My images were sensual and
lush, and didn't help one single bit.
Finally, I gave in. This past Imbolc -- Candlemas -- I did a spell, a calling
spell, to bring the right love to me. That was all -- just the right love. I
see attractive men, and women, all the time, but I will bind no one. Whoever
it is, must come to me of his or her own free will.
I am very much afraid it will work. My candle flared, blazed -- very unusual.
My parchment caught instantly, was ash, and then powder, in seconds. My house
has smelled of roses for days, a scent growing stronger and stronger, more
heady, though I have no roses inside and the bush outside will not bear until
I fear my Lady has someone in mind, someone She will send me, and I will be
consumed. I'm not sure I can bear this.
At Eostara, the Vernal Equinox, I decorated my altar as a child would. There
were bright flowers, and crayon drawings. I had toys; Silly Putty, and a
Slinky, and a yo-yo. I am very fond of yo-yos, though not very good at it,
and most of my ritual was spent practicing Walking the Dog. I think I
mastered it. I did not think of my Imbolc spell.
Beltane is approaching, and my body is sensitive. I feel warm breezes, and
cool rain, through my skin directly to my nerves. I sleep, deeply, dreaming
erotic dreams, waking drenched with sweat and with aching thighs and a
swollen mouth. Who am I kissing, I wonder? Who is loving me so thoroughly?
Lunar Beltane arrives, the Sun in Taurus, the Moon in Scorpio -- a Full Moon,
large and silver and bright. I have to work, and the early May evening is
warm, heavy with the scent of jasmine and honesuckle. I am wearing a light,
floating dress, in a soft rose color. It honors my Lady of Paphos, and is far
more becoming to me than my usual black. I walk to work, drinking in the
night, open to all experience, hoping I will have someone to dance with in
the damp grass, someone to hold.
All evening, my coworkers are jumpy. They giggle, flirt and squeal
explosively. The youngest, Kristin, drops a whole tray of cups, and I sit her
down with a cup of tea before cleaning it up myself. She is shaky, but still
giggling, and Peter, the manager, holds her hand and smiles at her.
I'm not jealous. They leave early, and I will close up. At 11:30, a half hour
before closing, a man comes in. He is not young, he is tall with dark eyes,
intense eyes -- Scorpio eyes. He would like espresso, a double shot, and I
fix it for him. I start the cleaning up as he drinks it, and am ready to
close up when he finishes it.
He looks at me intently, willing me to look back. My body is so sensitive, it
is as if he is touching me with his eyes. Something is shifting inside me,
something hot is happening in my heart. It hurts, and he smiles at me and
asks me to read his cards.
I put the closed sign on the door, and I sit down next to him. The shop is in
darkness, except for the candle on this one table, and the streetlamp
outside. I can feel his heat, and I can smell him, and I am so very calm.
I lay out the Court Cards, and he chooses the King of Cups. I place it in the
center. "You only need three more cards," he says, his hand on my wrist as I
begin to lay out the Keltic Cross.
I nod, and pull the first card. The Magician -- the perfect man, active, one
who can make anything manifest, who can direct energy. The second card -- The
High Priestess -- the perfect woman, who is the moon, receptive to the
energy, keeper of secrets. The third card -- The Lovers, to make a choice, to
blend, for two to truly become greater than one.
After I close, without saying a word, we both walk to the Library Park across
the street, around the green spaces, sitting on a bench, feeling the evening
coolness. We talk; he teaches at a local college. His subject is Physical
Anthropology; what we used to call Great Apes. He is divorced, and felt the
need for coffee. He has seen me, and wanted to talk to me, but put it off.
He walks home with me, and I invite him in. I have prepared my bed with this
in mind, though no one person in mind. It is high, and soft, with many
pillows and clean linens. My bedroom window is open, and the scent of jasmine
fills the room, along with the roses. As he undresses me, and kisses me, and
I fall back, pulling him with me, I thank my Lady of Paphos.
The next day, I give Her a rose candle, and I dry all of the two dozen roses
he sent to me. I make incense, and potpourri, and the scent fills my room. He
calls me all the time, and I stay with him, and we plan to jump the balefire
at Midsummer. His cat and mine even get along, and I would have bet good
money that my cat hated all others.
Was it my spell? Possibly it was, but more likely it was just time. It
doesn't matter; the Lady arranges things in Her own good time. My solitude is
gone, and I don't miss it. I have given myself, and the gift is valued. We are content.
Patricia Day is a 47 year old witch, mother to an adult daughter, and slave to The Cat.
She lives in a small house in Southern California, and has finally decided that damn the
torpedoes, she is really going for that Fine Arts degree. She believes that words
are magic, and her motto is that there is a different path for every pair of feet.