[Manager’s note: Please welcome Danette Wilson who will be joining us here on the Agora. She’ll be writing the Outside the Circle column twice a month. Welcome, Danette!]
Everyone hits a low point. No one is all that all of the time. We all get life crap thrown at us, it’s how we deal with it that defines us. I try to think outside the box. I am unashamedly dabbling, learning, always reading and trying new things, making my life my magic.
Allow me to introduce myself here at Patheos, as well, as I share a story from “Outside The Circle.”
There I was. I couldn’t sleep and those frickin neighbors downstairs were having a car tune up marathon. As I looked at the clock on my nightstand, the glowing red numbers embedding my dry eyeballs, 3:00 am. Who tunes their car up at 3:00am? I was aghast and damn sure the apt. manager would get a heated and lengthy letter and/or phone call about this. It was always something. First, the parties, then the drinking. I’d come out to my car on the way to work and the last vestige of their night long beer fest would be strewn around the lawn. They were disgusting and to top it off, there were a host of new people I started identifying that started coming over and who never left. In the morning I’d hear the bicycles, yes they all had bicycles. They scattered like cockroaches every morning. Just the sight of the 6+ bicycles parked and chained in front of their door made me quiver, God in an emergency, say fire, they would never get out the door in time to hurdle all those bikes as they ran outside screaming……and it kinda made me smile to myself in a sick way.
The apartment manager was new. Did I mention we had a new one every 3-4 months. They came, they went, like my neighbors. Each time I would mention the neighbors, the noise, the parties, it was the same reply. “We’ll talk to them, put a note on the door.”
I tried to get on with my life, but the piece de resistance came gift wrapped one morning. The sound of loud, insane laughter piercing the misty 4:00 am silence. I looked out the window and saw one of the neighbors below with a friend relieving themselves in the plants.
My girlfriend Alex had her own personal hell, on the other side of the complex. She needed a new clothes washer and the Manager of the month was noncommittal about when it would be either replaced or fixed and to top it off she had neighbors who were never the same and who met people by the nearest dumpster at all hours and always got packages. The clouds of smoke and the smell told all she needed to know.
So there I was, going down the street, when I passed a Botanica. Botanica Santa Barbara it was called, and an inner rightness rang out. I loved going to Santa Barbara, California. I had a friend named Barbara, she was awesome. This was a sign. I rolled over and parked the car.
As the tinkling of bells on the door heralded my entrance to the shop, I was overcome, in a good way, with the scent of incense burning. As I looked around to see an altar aglow with candles in pictorial glass containers, and stepped closer, I saw different Saints and a statue of St. Barbara. “She is the protector and bringer of good things” said the owner of the shop, standing by me. I asked about the bowl by the door with herbs and water, she replied “that’s basil, to clear away negativity” in a lovely, calming, melodic voice. I liked instantly, told her my problems, and she understood, in fact she held my hand as she took me to the counter as I let it all go, all the crazy, for myself and for Alex. I said we wanted to take back our apartment complex and she told me how!
“Go down 2 shops and bring me back a coconut. I will dress it and provide you instructions for tonight.” When I came back with a coconut, holding it like a tender newborn to my breast, she took it and disappeared in the back. When she reemerged from the room and gave me instructions I took copious notes.
The Night Of The Coconut
It was a brilliant full moon as I stood outside anxiously awaiting Alex’s arrival. We had both done a bath clearing before undertaking this event. We did as we were instructed and put such enthusiasm into every detail, only once laughing as the coconut went way beyond the intended kick. One time it fell down a couple of steps and we would grab for it with the dust pan we had brought since we were told not to touch it. As we finally moved from the property, as instructed, after it’s entirety was circled, we threw that coconut down and watched like children taking in their first Christmas tree. It broke into 2 big chunks and from one of the chunks, again, 3 more white chunks trailing off as in a shooting star pattern. We immediately felt an omen of good trying to outweigh any bad energy. We toasted champagne later to a job well done.
The thing is, in about a month the people beneath me moved away, replaced by a nice man and 2 children, who are very quiet. Alex lost her druggie neighbors to be replaced by the sweetest little old lady, and she got a brand new washer! The best part was getting a new manager that stayed for more than a couple years.
Do I think this was all just a coincidence, or did Alex and I get a blessing from the Orishas that night?
Magic and miracles defy the generally accepted laws of nature. They make lies of physical limitations.
Real magic is intentionally and consciously directed. When you do a magic spell, you choose an objective and design your thoughts and actions so as to bring about that objective. Thought empowered by emotion and will produces an outcome in the material world.