Tag Archives: RealWitchofOC

Q&A – Family Tension

A question from a fan: “Hi MistressPrime, I hope u can help me. I’m Wiccan my family knows and some of them don’t approve because they’re conservative Christian. They’ll leave bible verses or comments that push their beliefs on my Facebook page. They say things on my posts that hurt my feelings. It upsets me. I don’t get why they can’t see my point of view. How can I deal with them but also not create more problems in the family? Thanks for ur help! Caitlin”

Hi Caitlin,

I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. I responded to a similar question on a FB group post recently. It’s the holiday season so family and drama, especially around differing religions, has a tendency to ramp up this time of the year. I’m going to share similar advice that I gave to the person in that group.

Let me start by saying navigating differing religious perspectives and family on social media is a tricky pain in the ass. Understanding that your pushy Christian family members may feel it is their duty to save you from “the devil” means that nothing you say about what you believe, especially if it’s anything other than Christian, will ever soothe their discomfort or even shut them up. So, you have options…

The most passive option is that you can ignore their posts and comments on your page, but leaving it there will be a reminder and a continued form of oppression that will build resentment between you and those family members. In my opinion it’s not the best course of action, but it could be the lowest risk of family drama. Also, If they are comments on a post, you can Hide them. Go to the three dots (…) when you hover over their comment. Select Hide.

Another option is you can screen capture the thread, this way you can ensure you have their whole comment and it’s context, and then delete the comment. This allows you to cover your backside in case anyone in the family disputes what was actually said on your page. I learned this the hard way in a similar issue with my family. Unless they’re looking regularly at your page there’s a chance they won’t even notice it’s gone. Now you can drop it from there and move on or you can choose to talk privately with that family member and explain how their comment was hurtful to you.

If your family regularly leave these kinds of hurtful comments on your page, but you’re afraid to unfriend them because it may cause further family drama I would recommend the privacy settings option. Keep them on your friends list, but add them to a custom list. If you put them on the Restricted Friend List that option gives them access to only your Public posts and information. Putting them on the Acquaintances Friends List means you would need to set your post’s privacy settings to Friends minus Acquaintances to prevent them from seeing any particular posts, but they would still be able to see anything that’s listed as Friends Only or Public. You can further protect yourself if they posts a lot of things you find objectionable on their own page by Unfollowing their pages entirely. This maintains you’re still on each other’s friends list but you no longer see their page updates in your Home Feed. You can still go to their page to read their posts when you want.

Now you also have the option to Unfriend. This has a greater potential for blowback, so choose this option with that knowledge. People get seriously butthurt over being unfriended on social media. But I will add, in some cases this can be the best option, especially if you’re being harassed by family who don’t seem to respect you or your decisions.

The most extreme option is Unfriend and Block. This option is burning the bridge. Also, your family may possibly report back to them what they see on your page. And again, in some cases this may be the best option to help maintain one’s personal well being and limit the toxic interactions.

If possible, I would recommend against arguing in the comments with them because, in the end, it’s just not worth your emotional energy to try to change their mind on FB. A discussion in person, or at the very least by phone, rather than through text where your intention might be misunderstood and could cause greater misunderstanding and additional unnecessary pain is a prefered choice. You have a greater chance of being understood. Granted, they still may not hear you, but there’s a better chance than by text.

In the end, know that YOU aren’t creating this tension in the family. They are. You aren’t the one trying to impose your perspective upon them. You should not feel bad or at fault about what they’re doing to you.

Whichever choice you make, I wish you the best of luck!

Spell for Honest and Wise Communication

Use the spell when communication patterns have become stale, negative, limited, or dishonest.

Materials:

  • Two pieces of paper
  • Writing utensil
  • Clear jar
  • Salt
  • Dried or fresh Sage

Spell:

  1. Write your name and the name of the person with whom you wish to communicate on two separate pieces of paper.
  2. Fill a clean, clear jar with salt and a handful of dried or fresh Sage leaves.
  3. Place the two papers inside the jar. Don’t put the lid on it. Leave it open.
  4. Gently swirl the contents of the jar until the papers are completely submerged in the salt and Sage as you envision yourself having a productive, wise, and honest conversation with the person in question.
  5. Leave the jar in the area where you’re most likely to come in contact with the person, or alternatively, take out the two slips of paper, fold them together, and keep them tucked inside your pocket during conversations.

*************************************************

Found in Llewellyn’s Witches Spell-a-Day Almanac

Ravens at the Crossroads

I’ve mentioned it on most other platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram, but I haven’t remotely mentioned it here yet so if you haven’t been following me on any of those other platforms this will be news. Everyone else, if you already know the story you can scroll down to the music video. 😉

In February of this year, my friend Tyler and I were attending PantheaCon with a couple of our friends. It was their first time attending for all of them. I had attended the event for many years and was grateful to spend it with them. Attending PCon is often like a reunion with my magical family. It’s the only time I get to spend any quality face to face time with some folks, especially those from the east coast.

One morning Tyler and I helped cover the Ardantane Pagan Learning Center booth in the vendor’s room while Amber and Azrael K were busy giving a presentation.

As I sat there lamenting the recent losses of Pagan author, DJ Conway and my friend Ed, I was reminded about a project I knew that had been proposed years ago regarding recording the oral history of the Covenant of the Goddess from the people who had been there. I wasn’t sure what happened with the progress of that project. As I wondered this out loud, Tyler mentioned the word “podcast”.

He explained he had prior experience working on a podcast. I then mentioned I have both experience with radio and journalism as a former staff writer for a magazine for many years. We sat there and thought about it for a moment and then wondered… why not?

It took us a few months to pull some pieces together, but eventually we got everything squared away and Ravens at the Crossroads posted our first episode on July 29 with Tommie StarChild.

Now we’re only 12 episodes in, we’ve already traveled three times for events that allowed us the opportunity to meet people and/or conduct interviews with some amazing people. We’ve also had the good fortune to be interviewed by other Pagan podcasts, with more lined up on the schedule.

Our mundane lives have been keeping us both busy so we haven’t always had a podcast in queue to release each week. Fortunately, we have a bunch of new interviews that will be released next week and for several weeks after.

Overall, we just hope people enjoy them. I really hope folks learn neat new things about other people, traditions, events, and communities.

You can find Ravens at the Crossroads on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play Music, and of course, directly on our website: https://ravensatthecrossroads.com/

Something About You – Level 42

How, how can it be
That a love carved out of caring
Fashioned by fate could suffer so hard
From the games played once too often
But making mistakes is a part of life’s imperfection
Born of the years
Is it so wrong to be human after all?

Drawn into the stream of undefined illusion
Those diamond dreams, they can’t disguise the truth

That there is something about you, baby, so right
I wouldn’t be without you, baby tonight

If ever our love was concealed
No one can say that we didn’t feel
A million things and a perfect dream of life (gone) fragile but free
We remain tender together
If not so in love
And it’s not so wrong, we’re only human after all

These changing years, they add to your confusion
Oh and you need to hear the time that told the truth

That there is something about you, baby so right
Don’t want to be without you, baby tonight
Because there’s something about you, baby, so right
I couldn’t live without you, baby, tonight

And that there’s something about you, yeah
And I couldn’t be without you, tonight

I Might Understand You

As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a young man sitting near the back of the gas station. He looked up at me and as I passed him our eyes locked. I felt a need to check on him, but I needed to be somewhere else at that moment. I figured I could circle back around after I was done.

Once I finished what I was doing I noticed he had moved closer to where I was and was now sitting on a bench. I pulled up, rolled my window down and asked, “Is everything ok?”

“No” he responded, “today is the worst day of my life”. And with that we began talking. I parked my car and walked over with a bottle of water and we talked for almost an hour.

I learned he was 33, was having problems with his mom, his ex-girlfriend, his mom’s boyfriend, and life in general. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggled with anxiety, depression, unemployment, homelessness, low feelings of self-worth, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. When I asked him if he felt like he might harm himself he responded that he did not plan to nor did he want to do that.

He explained that he’d had a disagreement with his mom and her boyfriend the night before and in order to not deal with them he instead spent the evening outside just wandering. Honestly, he looked like he might have spent more than just one night outside.

He told me he sometimes heard voices, but he wasn’t sure if he was actually having auditory hallucinations or if the people who had repeatedly shown him a lack of understanding and intolerance were lying to him. Truth be told, it could be both.

I later learned that some people who have bipolar disorder can suffer from “Psychosis” and have auditory hallucinations but not everyone knows that, even therapists.

I reminded him that he’s going to be ok and that while things seem bleak at the moment they are likely to improve if he keeps moving in the direction that is in his best interest. Things such as continuing with therapy, getting a job, and finding a safe place to live, either with family or friends. He said he had options.

We talked until he felt better overall and decided on a plan to go to a friend’s home, get a shower and rest before planning his next course of action: either move to his father’s or go back to his mother’s. One step at a time.

I honestly have no idea if my stopping to talk with him helped at all, but I hope so. At the very least I wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone.

Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) George Harrison

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord
Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you
Won’t you please
Oh won’t you

Give me love
Give me love
Give me peace on earth
Give me light
Give me life
Keep me free from birth
Give me hope
Help me cope, with this heavy load
Trying to, touch and reach you with,
Heart and soul

Om m m m m m m m m m m m m m
M m m my lord
Please take hold of my hand, that
I might understand you

George Harrison

DNA Relatives

I was put up for adoption at birth and adopted fairly quickly. I grew up an only child and never knew anyone I was genetically related to until 1995 when I first met my birth mother. Turns out our paths had crossed a few times in very peculiar ways over the years, but never in such a way that I knew who they were nor they I.
Blank family tree
Just before our “big” wedding in 2014, I had submitted a DNA test through Ancestry.com. When results came back there were a few DNA connections, many of whom I knew at this point, which grew as the weeks and months passed. 200 grew to 600. Then to 1,000. I was already in awe of the concept that I, a person who was an only child and grew up not having any known genetic connections to the people in my life, now had proof of a genetic connection to over 1,000 people. The idea was a bit overwhelming and I admit I didn’t know what to do with the information. I tried to reach out to a few folks, but when there’s no reply it can get discouraging to try further.

Every now and again I’d work on the family trees and get a bit gleeful when little green leaf hints would lead to genuine information.

Today I went onto Ancestry only to discover my DNA connections page no longer lists how many connections in total because apparently there’s too many. So I looked further… 513 pages of connections. There are 50 people on each page, except for the last page which has 9.

(512 x 50) +9 =25,609

Wait… 25,609 people? People whom I’m genetically connected to and also have an Ancestry.com account. Holey guacamole, dude that’s amazing! Of course, I realize I’m related to even more than that because not everyone that I already know of has submitted a DNA test or is even on Ancestry, but just that number alone is mind-boggling.

UPDATE 3/15/18:

I checked my DNA connections again last night. 660 pages!

(660 x 50) + 12 = 32,962 people

Seriously, I’m just stunned.

UPDATE 5/4/19:

Latest numbers… 1186 pages! 1185 full pages with page 1186 only listing 11 people.

(1185 x50) + 11  = 59,261 people

Just astounding!

MistressPrime & BuzzFeed

So, this happened over the weekend…

Well, not exactly “happened”, more like, this was released over the weekend. The actual filming took place weeks ago.

About late July or early August, I was contacted by BuzzFeed producers to see if I’d be interested in participating in a video series they were considering doing where they explore various religions.

I am often asked to do similar projects and while some have been wonderful experiences (such as with BuzzFeed) others aren’t exactly sincere in their requests and were just looking to capitalize on the sensationalistic nature of having a Witch in their media project during the month of October without affording the basic respect to a religion as they might to a mainstream religion. As such, I tend to be cautious with media requests.

After a couple of phone calls and several emails back and forth we settled on a date to film. I went to their Los Angeles studio and we filmed for about 6 hours. They interviewed me extensively about various aspects of Wicca, what it is and what it’s not, gave me the opportunity to dispel some of the more popular misconceptions, and discussed the wide variety that exists in the hundreds of traditions of Wicca. For my part, knowing that traditions can be so different in their practices, I made sure to explain that my representation is only one perspective.

I’ve done many interviews for the media, for nearly 20 years now, and through all these experiences I’ve learned a few things, one of which is that despite the fact I am only one of many different perspectives I could be held as an example for the entire Wiccan, Witch, or Pagan community so I try to choose my words and attire wisely. Essentially, I decided to tone down my personal aesthetic so that what I was sharing and doing was the focus of the interview.

This is the second time I’ve done a ritual on camera for media (last time was on a national tv network; Women’s Entertainment TV). My ritual was crafted to both address the requested goal from the producers, and again I was careful with the language and the whole process to accommodate an inexperienced audience. I had condensed my original ritual down to 16 pages, so while I had much of it memorized there was still some things I needed to read. A tip I learned after doing public ritual for such a long time, always have your script. Things happen and having the pages there to ensure you have all the info is just smart. Also, there were parts of the ritual that the participants needed to read. The whole ritual, once we got started, took approximately 45 minutes overall.

It was a long day (2-hour drive there, 6 hours on set) and I did fret a bit over how the whole thing would be edited. It was a 2 ½ hour drive home in late afternoon traffic. I spent the time completely second guessing small things I could have done differently.

I wasn’t sure when it would be released and while I knew it would be near the end of September I was never given a definite date. It was released while I was in a meeting. My friend was driving us back and I received a message from a woman in London on my public figure Facebook page mentioning she was contacting me because of the BuzzFeed video. I quickly went to YouTube to search and found it. I started to watch it, but decided I’d wait until we got home so I could watch it on a bigger screen. My husband arrived back home at about the same time we did so all three of us watched. I sat there very tense as the video played and when it ended I was mad at myself for even being worried about it. Hahaa! In the end, I think it was well done and I’m comfortable and proud of my part in it.