Tag Archives: witch

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

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.

OC Pagan & Witches Meetup Monthly Dinner event – March

This Wednesday March 8th is the monthly dinner event for both the Orange County Pagan and Witches Meetup groups.

If you’re looking to networking with the local Pagan community within Orange County, CA, check out our group and join us for dinner.

OC PAGAN MEETUP

OC WITCHES MEETUP

DSCN9326x2

Orange County Pagan Meetup ©Yvonne C. Conway

 

 

Butch

5 years ago today, my birth father passed away; one month before I lost my baby, and over 2 years before I found him.

I wish I could have met him. There are times I’m sad I didn’t get the opportunity to grow up with him and his side of the family, but I am eternally grateful I found them at all. It took nearly 20 years for me to find him.

I swear to you, I feel he must have helped guide me to find my sister so I could connect with her and the rest of his side of the family. The series of incredible luck it took for me to find her was just amazing. One right after the other in a rapid succession within hours.

My birth mother gave me two names to find him; his name and his cousin. His cousin’s name was unusual enough that I knew it would be easier to find him than Butch. Since 1995 I regularly search online for Butch and his cousin, but I was never able to turn up any results. I would call information in Hawaii looking for either of them. I had even talked with someone from a veterans group to help search for his service records. What I didn’t know was that Butch wasn’t his real name.  I later learned it was a family nickname. This explained the great difficulty in locating him .

In 2011, and as it turned out, just weeks after he passed away, I did a search, like I had done so many times before, for his cousin.  For the first time I got a hit. I got an actual street address for him. I wrote down the address and then stared at it for a long time.

Now what?

I mean, what do you write to the cousin of your birth father, a man who never knew you existed, and it’s been over 40 years? “Uh, hey! So I’m your cousin’s unknown 41-year-old daughter and, uh, I just wanted to say hi.”

Like, seriously?!

So I sat on the address.

In 2014 Chris and I were preparing for our big wedding and I was in the midst of writing out the wedding invitations. I turned the page on the notebook I was using and there was the cousin’s address… staring at me.  Well, I was already in letter writing mode and I figured one more couldn’t hurt. Besides, what was the worst that could happen? They don’t respond, or it gets returned. Then I was no worse off than I already was.

I grabbed a blank card and proceed to write-up a basic letter with my origin story.  I started with who I was, why I was writing, the story my birth mother gave me about the cousin and my birth father, and the various ways I can be contacted. I even told them to Google me, there’s plenty of pages and video interviews out there if they need more info.

I will admit, there was a tiny part of me that worried they’d see I was a witch and simply never bother to contact me. However, there was nothing I could do to change that fact. Fact is I’m as out of the broom closet as one can get.

About a week went by and a woman I believe was the cousin’s wife friended me on Facebook. I woke to find the notification and was in minor shock. I think I called Chris at work quite excited about it.  I spent about an hour or so looking at her page, mostly scanning her friends list to see if a Butch or anyone with his last name was among the many names. At the time I didn’t find anything.

I scanned her page, saw a neat hula video, and pressed “like”.  That did it! She not only unfriended me, she blocked me completely.  I was incredibly devastated. This was the closest I had ever come to finding him in nearly 20 years since I found my birth mother and learned who he was and it seemed that my best connection to find him was now gone. I was beside myself and unsure what happened or what I should do next.

Fortunately, I remembered some of the names on her list, like her daughters’ names. Oddly, this was the breakthrough I needed! Within the friends lists of her daughters’ I was able to find tons of people with my father’s last name. Every profile with his last name I opened as a new tab. I had over 20 tabs open. I scanned the names and came across two women of which I thought at least one might be his wife. Later I learned I was right on the second name. I searched both of their profiles for Butch, but at the time I didn’t find anything.

I went through a lot of info, scanning for anything that might help me connect with Butch. While I was going back and forth through the profiles I kept going back to the second woman’s page and somehow I opened up a photo album I hadn’t found previously that just happened to be nothing but pics of Butch. I looked at the caption and realized I found him! To be honest I was beginning to think the info my birth mother gave me was incorrect, but there he was.

Just then my father, Ron,  walked down the stairs. Coincidentally he was heading to the airport to spend the week at a family reunion. I started yelling, “I found him!” as Dad was walking toward me. I was so excited! Dad walked over, I pointed at the computer screen to show him. He was really happy for me.

The first pic was of Butch in the early 70s, not long after returning to Hawaii from the Vietnam War.  More pics after that showed him in uniform in various countries.

Eventually I realized all the images were posted on the same day. Then as I read the picture comments it took a second to sink in.  They were all past tense.

“He was…”

I then paid more attention to exactly what people were writing and realized he had indeed passed away. I missed him by just over 2 years.  My heart sank. I sat there for a while crying over a man I never got to meet and who never knew I existed.

As I sat staring at one picture I read a comment from one woman, “Daddy was…” Daddy? I have a sister!

I already had her profile open among the many tabs still open. I went through her profile and discovered she ran a  Hawaiian language and culture organization in Las Vegas. I opened the link to the organization’s website, but discovered there was no phone number and the link to their Facebook page was not functioning. Most of the info on the page seemed to be about 2 years out of date. I really wanted a phone number. The idea of trying to reach her by email seemed like my chances were less likely to connect with her if I didn’t have direct communication. I searched on FB directly to find the organizations page and much to my relief there was a Las Vegas phone number.

I admit, I kinda freaked out for a minute before making the call.  Like the letter to the cousin, what does one say to a sibling that did not know you existed? I mean, these are weird conversations and I hadn’t yet found a Hallmark card that was suitable for this situation.

I was worried if I called her she might be defensive and possibly not believe me. I was so worried about being rejected, but I sucked it up and called her.

For a change I exposed my blocked number so she wouldn’t think I was a telemarketer. However, I got the voice mail and unfortunately, it was not in English. It was all in Hawaiian and I sat there stumped. I had no idea what it said and when the beep came I had no idea what to say, so I hung up.  Fortunately, because I didn’t keep my number blocked, she called me right back. She asked if anyone called from my phone number. I said yes and told her, “this is likely to be the strangest phone call you’re ever going to get” to which she replied, “it already is.” I then explained, “if you’re who I think you are then I’m your sister”.  I feared I’d hear the phone disconnect, but she was still there so I told her the story I was given from my birth mom about her time dating Butch. I gave her all the info I was given. For my sister, the info matched up.  We talked for 45 minutes that day.

This all began around 11am that day and I was on the phone talking with my sister by 5pm. It was a crazy emotional rollercoaster day.

As luck would have it I was planning to be in Las Vegas the week after our wedding for a friend’s wedding.  We chose to meet that Sunday for dinner. My husband sat there listening to us talk. He observed that my sister and I lead different, but very parallel lives.

I’m sad Butch isn’t here for me to meet him, but I’m grateful to have found his family. They’ve been just amazing. Hopefully, next year I can travel to Hawaii to meet the rest of the family.

Kona Blend

My father and his brothers formed a band, Kona Blend. They put out two albums that can be found on YouTube, iTunes, and Amazon. This is the first song my sister introduced me to as we were driving around Las Vegas on our way to an amazing Hawaiian place for lunch. That’s my birth father, Butch, singing.

Original Release Date: April 26, 1979