Looking back on my young childhood, I cannot even consider anything more innocuous than my mother priming me for what I do now with a book on her living room coffee table – the monthly issue of Dell Horoscope magazine. Along with Family Circle and the Reader’s Digest, these were available for me to read when I was to be “seen and not heard” or as a diversion from being out in the hot California sun. This mystical subscription provided the seeds that fostered my young magic. I knew all of the signs of the zodiac, pondered over what transits were and the charts that were drawn for those who would write into the magazine with their birthdates and decisions that needed to be made. Mom never threw away the old issues so I could return to a past publication to pour over the pages again. Who knew this was the tea that I was steeping in that would help define my passion for all things spiritual and mystic.

* * * * *

My first candle spell was in high school. – There was a large Astrology book that I frequently checked out so I could pour over the pages again and again throughout my years of teenaged angst. I can now consider it a ‘cloaked’ spell book, with somewhat ‘tame’ (read: no zoologicals were used) suggestions for candle work and spells that were interlaced between the information on the planets, sketches and photos.

One of my ‘besties’ in high school wanted to introduce me to her brother’s friend in another part of the state. I was too young to drive a car and he being, as I much later found out, in a juvenile somethingorother, sent letters to each other weekly (this was the 70’s young grasshopper millenial reader). Insired by the book, I asked him for a strand of his hair and a photo. Along with a red candle, and the Moon being in the proper position in it’s monthly trek across the sky, I put forth my best intentions for love with “Apache”. Little did my young tender heart realized, as the next letter would request of me, was that “Apache” wanted a nudie pic of me. WHOA! I didn’t think of going down that road with him and I wrote him the letter of his life with all of the Catholic upbringing I could muster. This book returned to the shelves of the library rather quickly, never to be checked out by me again.

* * * * *

How to do a spell without lighting a candle? Just bang it hard on a table. – A client of mine needed help. Her first love (read first lover/sexual encounter) that drew her away from her parents’ home with promises of marriage after living together for awhile, wanted to “make sure” she was ‘the One’ by seeing other people to eliminate any other “possibilities”; this shortly after surrendering her virginity to him. I told her to take the black candle I offered her, go buy a lemon, and do the steps I detailed on a slip of paper.

She left and ran some errands, but forgetting to stop by the grocers for the lemon. Upon arriving home and realizing her forgetfulness, she slammed the candle down on the tabletop with frustration and force that it was a surprise that the glass cylinder did not fracture into pieces. She left it there on the table as a reminder to get the lemon the next day.



Much later that night, her boyfriend gets into a minor motorcycle accident with a tree, calling her in a drunken babble about his sorrow for saying those things to her and needing her help to get him home. She called me at 6:30 am the next morning, telling me what had happened and asking about what she should do with the candle. I told her to toss it in the garbage as it did the ‘job’. She was hesitant to do so, but I said that the force she slammed the candle down on the table was enough to put that energy out in the Universe to activate an action. Unfortunately, they broke up soon after, allowing her to meet a fine individual, with me predicting that they were “the One” upon our first meeting. Many years have passed and they contine to live and love and grow their family with affection and bright hopes for the future.

* * * * *

When you receive a directive, you do as you are told, right? – A windy San francisco night on a beach with a small bonfire was the place where a literal command was given to me as an old college classmate was sifting through love letters and things of her past, inserting them in the flames as burnt offerings. With blue candles encircling the log, she was placing things one by one into the fire. A piece of sheet music stood out to my eyes as I was sitting with her – the Christmas classic “Jingle Bells”. Luckily, I had brought Yemaya’s large silver bell with me (Oshun is not the only one who likes bells), and immediately grabbed it, ringing it furiously until the words turned to ash. S. looked at me quizzicaly without speaking and my answer to them was “The page gave me a directive – Jingle Bells. So I did!”.

Our burning log brought many curious events, including the two young men who asked if we “wanted to party” with them, only to shrink back into the night when we told them we were on a mission “from God” in our best John Balushi imitation. The strong wind took my scarf from around my neck and it floated out towards the ocean as an offering of blue silk once all the materials were ignited and the log was doused. There was no need for conversation while driving home as we were woozy from being massaged by the wind and in wonderment of the events that night. S. soon moved from the Bay Area, on to new beaches on other coasts, and we never spoke again but sometimes I wonder about things that took us down different paths.

You will also have moments like these and more in your spiritual walk. They are like a story or a wee bit of wisdom that is meant for only you to decipher, as the event is meaningful to you and the other participants alone. Whether it was my mother’s close encounter in our backyard in Northern California, or my mates interaction with bioluminescent plankton on the beach near Santa Cruz, we take in these wonders of mystery to enhance or stregnthen our beliefs to make them truly ours to experience.


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