Mailbag: Ask Sage (8)

Hello all! A few things have been going on here with me:

  • I attended the Pagan Unity Festival in Tennessee– quite a drive from southern Florida, but worth it! Read my review here!
  • I’m working on finishing up my next book, 8 Suns to Becoming Wiccan
  • I’m STILL sifting through my huge, stuffed inbox
  • I’m working on those YouTube videos — See the Latest: What Your Mind Should Be Doing During a Spell

With that, I’m going to get to a few new questions. If you’re thinking of writing in, I welcome you to do so! Just give me time to get through– I never expected so many people needed help!  I can’t tell you how truly honored I am, I am humbled by the fact that you’re interested in my input.

Also, please check for previous Mailbags to make sure a question similar to yours wasn’t already answered.

Here are the latest crop of questions I’ve gotten through! Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful questions!

Your English is, I’m sure, waaaaay better than my ability to speak your native tongue, lol. So no sweat– actually, your English is very good for a non-native speaker.

Wow, that’s a lot of questions! Good ones, though, so I would like to tackle them one-by-one for you:

Whenever you do something new with your life, you risk change: getting an education, starting a new career, new hobby, moving to a new land, getting married, having kids, etc. It’s all going to change you. Witchcraft is no different in this respect. It’ll change you; I know it’s changed me– I learned a lot from the Craft, and it’s helped me become the person I am today. I’m very happy with that.

It’s also possible to ‘lose yourself’ in any new endeavor if you let yourself get sucked into bad choices and negativity. I can’t promise you it won’t ever happen– I don’t know you, or what you intend to do. But I can say that if you’re aware of the fact that you don’t want it to happen, that’s half the battle.

I’m getting the sense that the bigger issue here is that you’ve been taught the idea that Witchcraft = bad, and you are worried that even if you approach it with innocent intentions, some evil force behind it is going to sort of suck you in and make things go wrong. In my experience, that kind of worry comes from fiction and rumor. I would say that in my religion, Witchcraft is simply a self-help measure and magic is a tool of nature. If you approach it with good, healthy intentions, you have no need to worry.

Some people approach it with darkness– they want power over others, they are petty and want revenge, they are selfish and want to take from others more easily, they don’t care who they hurt. They wallow in negativity… so that’s what they get out of it. If you’re not a dark, negative person, then you don’t have to worry about it.

2. But it will be really you. Just like if you get a new dress or lose weight or fix your hair. Magic simply aids you in achieving your goals.

3. I can’t help you with that; there are a lot of people (particularly in your neck of the woods) who have real fears and prejudices against the Craft. Some people prefer to guard their privacy. Some people stand up to others and don’t care what others think. If you really fear that you’ll be shunned or attacked or your safety will be in danger for your beliefs, you need to consider whether you really want to open that particular can of worms.

4. Then learn how to do spells right, lol.

Seriously, everything in life has consequences. You are at risk when walking across a street, when cutting up veggies with sharp knife, when standing in a slippery, wet tub… life’s a gamble. Magic is like fire; it’s energy, to be used, but with respect. It can heat your home or burn it down. That doesn’t mean it’s bad or good. It’s just a matter of respecting it for what it is and exercising caution.

Witchcraft is no different… if you aren’t careful, there can be consequences. But probably not the kind you are worried about. I’ve cast spells that had unintended results… when my husband once needed a confidence boost for a job interview, I cast a spell on him upon request to motivate him to go after what he wanted. And he got the job… but he was also an argumentative, selfish, annoying bitch for the next couple of months until that boost wore off. I wanted to smack him sometimes, lol.

There are always natural consequences for everything we do, Witchcraft included. But I think your fears are born more out of misconceptions of Witchcraft than of what it actually is.

5. Again, I think you have some misconceptions of what Witchcraft is. Witchcraft is utilizing magic, a natural resource. A neutral resource. It doesn’t just automatically attract ‘evil’ or bad things to you, unless that is what you’re looking to attract, anymore than lighting a fire in your fireplace would automatically attract the devil.

It definitely sounds like she’s been working magic,most likely with the aid or guidance of a spellcaster (a costly one, probably) that convinced her that what she was doing was somehow a good thing. I’ve heard that spiel before about a ‘bonding cord’. Personally, I don’t believe those kinds of love spells are good; being restrained against your will, with real cords or with magical ones, is still bondage and imprisonment no matter how you slice it.

Some things you might have felt if this was a spell:

  • obsessive/compulsive about her
  • overly idealized her, ignored red flags, denied warnings, looked the other way when problems arose
  • resentful of her sometimes, almost as if you were angry that you couldn’t get away even if you wanted to, like a part of you was annoyed that she had this effect on you
  • she would become very frustrated that you weren’t turning out to be what she’d hoped for, that things weren’t going her way
  • very difficult to break up, thoughts of breaking up dragged out, actual attemps were very messy, lots of baggage

If you think you were under a spell, then it is good that she’s unbinding you (something she never had a right to do without your permission). But you should take extra precaution for yourself. I’d do an uncrossing ritual if you know how or are so inclined to such a big ritual if you want to be sure to break any last remnants of magical workings she may have done on you.

If you feel that would be too much for you for now, or if you don’t feel it’s that urgent, I recommend just getting an uncrossing oil from a good, reputable source like Lucky Mojo or The Sacred Grove. An uncrossing bath wouldn’t hurt either.

At the very least, get some salt and do some purifying/cleansing baths and/or showers and do some cleansing meditations. Best of luck!

Wow, see… that’s the tough thing about dreams. It’s so hard to know if it’s a psychic attack, a message/warning from the subconscious, a scary nightmare, etc. This is something you might need to explore– meditate, pray, and visualize white light around you to protect yourself before going to sleep.

Not knowing your sister in law, or what the deal is with her, it would be impossible for me to judge. But you might want to look into sleep paralysis, because it sounds like that was involved.

Let me know if things progress.

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That’s good for now! Bright blessings to all, and to all a good night!

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Witch Charged for Allegedly Stealing and Selling Human Remains

3rd Wednesday of the Month: Current Events

gravewoman (allegedly) robbing and trying to sell human remains washing up in an old New Orleans cemetery near her home was busted. The fact that she says she practices Witchcraft is not actually relevant, but of course, that’s what the media is hyping.

Devon Marie Machuca, better known online as ‘Ender Darling,’ has been arrested and charged with trafficking in human parts and burglary of a cemetery. The New Orleans Witch got herself in a peck of trouble earlier this year when she (allegedly) posted a note on social media offering to sell bones she scavenged from an old graveyard near her home.

Apparently, a walk through the graveyard after a rain would (allegedly) provide her with an ample supply of choice human remains. Machuca (allegedly) wanted to share this bountiful harvest with Witches around the world so she wanted to know if anyone was interested in buying any (posts claimed charges were only enough to cover the cost of postage).

Machuca (allegedly) claims she likes working with human bones better than animal bones because ‘I can relate and work with the energy they carry.’ That’s fair; I can respect that we all have our ways of doing things. What I can’t respect, however, is the fact that she (allegedly) couldn’t respect the remains of the dead, their descendants, or the hallowed ground in which they were resting. She couldn’t (allegedly) respect county, state or federal laws regarding the trafficking of human remains.

mug-shotI really don’t care if it’s someone’s old-time family tradition dating back to the stone age; I don’t care what kind of argument you want to give me about how ‘everyone’s practice is different.’ That doesn’t give anyone the right to take something that doesn’t belong to them, the right to break the law, or to violate property and people as if they are your personal junk yard where you can go dumpster diving.

Animal sacrifices are also illegal, but people practicing religions like Santeria can apply for special permits to carry out such practices legally. I don’t agree with animal sacrifice either in my personal practice, but at least the people getting permits are following the laws. If Machuca had some kind of permit to obtain and work with human remains, I’d still not want anything to do with her practice, but it would be a different story. This is not about having different spiritual beliefs as Machuca about Witchcraft; it’s about the way one (allegedly) behaves with regards to the society in which they’re living.

I had the same issue with the famous ‘Bodies’ art exhibit, not because human remains were used for art or put on display, but because where and how they obtained the cadavers was questionable and black market grave robbing was suspected to have been involved. Human beings’ remains should be treated with (at best) the utmost dignity, or (at least) by following agreed-upon societal laws. If you don’t like the laws, fight to change them. But don’t simply disregard them. No one deserves to have their remains picked up and used unless they expressly granted permission before their death.
skull-and-crossbones-578212_960_720Every person who practices Witchcraft knows that we don’t need human remains. You may feel you want them, and again, you’re entitled to your opinion. But your opinion doesn’t entitled you to break laws meant to protect others– imagine if someone decided to help themselves to your bones… or your mothers… or your childs. Imagine if they helped themselves and then proceeded to do something with those bones that you find extremely offensive and against everything you stand for. It’s just wrong, and such laws are in place for that reason. We don’t need to break laws to practice our craft. We don’t need to disrespect the dead who are resting in peace. This was not a matter of religious freedom, but (allegedly) a blatant choice to disregard laws and human decency.  It’s nothing but hypocrisy if we fight for our rights under law, but ignore the rights of others afforded them by law.

I also can’t respect the fact that she (allegedly) didn’t respect the responsibility she has to our community by living publicly as a Witch. As Pagans and Witches, our beliefs and practices are still in the minority, and still sadly eyed with suspicion because they are foreign to people and misunderstood. It’s people like Machuca who are (allegedly) fueling those kinds of suspicions, giving credence to those kinds of theories, and making us all look bad. These kinds of acts are going to be spread across more headlines than the Witches who had a food drive for Mabon or who held a healing ritual for those who lost a loved one to violence. People will hold Machuca up as (allegedly) some kind of example of why we’re not to be trusted. The same people will fail to remember or recognize that many of the people who discovered her posts (allegedly) on social media and called for her to be investigated by authorities were also Witches.
That’s just the way things seem to work, sadly. It shouldn’t take one person’s offensive (not to mention, illegal) behavior to set us back, but unfortunately it still can set us back. It’s a sure-fire way of siccing the salem-witch-trials-witch-no-3-c-february-29th-1892-er7j3acrazy evangelicals and conspiracy theorists of the world on us, giving them more fodder for criticism and discrimination. Thousands of responsible, law-abiding, tax-paying Witches who signal when they change lanes and keep their lawns neat have to live under the shadows cast by one (alleged) Machuca. Again, we shouldn’t have to; but unfortunately, we still do need to be aware of how personal choices affect our community.

I’m glad Machuca was caught and charged (allegedly); what she was (allegedly) doing to those poor bodies is, in my opinion, irresponsible, disrespectful and selfish. She has (allegedly) defended herself with reporters. She’s (allegedly) claimed that it was okay to harvest the bones because no one was caring for the old graves in the Potter’s field, and because she’s from New Orleans and some of her ancestors might even (allegedly) be buried in that cemetery. I don’t see how any of that can possibly justify her (alleged) actions of not only collecting bones for her own use, but offering to mail, or sell them, to other people who have no connection to the graves at all.

Locals became so outraged by her behavior that she’s (allegedly) had to flee to another state because she feared for her safety. While I do not wish her harm (vigilante justice isn’t right, either), I do hope that when she is arraigned later this month she will reconsider her (alleged) actions and come to understand why they outraged so many people. She also needs to rethink why she’s (allegedly) done a serious, serious disservice to the Witch community overall.

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