“I want you to notice when I’m not around…” ~Radiohead a-la Postmodern Jukebox

“Are you thinking of hurting yourself?”

Not today, is my usual response but the last two days, I considered it an option. Not the best option but as an analyst, of course, I consider ALL options and Full Stop was one of them.

Was it because the man I love remarked flippantly that he “didn’t feel like making the drive” to visit next weekend? Or that he was considering playing in my backyard in the mountains without inclination to include me? I had been pulling punches since our fallout two weeks ago because he took what I told him in confidence and not only held it against me (“Your insecurity makes you unattractive”) but also threw it back in my face. He JUDGED me. He made me feel so ashamed. So I don’t tell him what I’m feeling now. He doesn’t want to hear it and I don’t want to give him ammo to use against me later. Some friendship, huh?

But the last two days were so dark. A friend text this morning to say “Smile! I love you” and I snickered at his uncanny timing because I was doing the opposite. He joked, “I felt a disturbance in the Force.”

But that’s what this is really about, isn’t it? My friend “L” is staying with me for a few months following a bad breakup. He seemed okay until two nights ago when he found out his ex was seeing someone else. He told me this today. Told me he hasn’t slept in two nights and he is deeply depressed. Bingo.

Empathy strikes again. I share his pain like it’s my own.

The Universe, I’m told, is full of vibrations, frequencies, which I don’t understand but I know this: These vibrations are like metaphysical dog whistles: What one person may not “hear” at all may cause others pain. Saying I suffer from being an empath sounds hokey, like someone suffering from the supposed ghost pain of fibromyalgia. These ailments cannot be scientifically “proven” so they must be psychosomatic, right?

I read Psychic Shielding for Dummies last year and admittedly the techniques haven’t worked for me. Or maybe it’s a Catch 22? Maybe I have to be in a better place physically and spiritually in order to manifest a shield but I NEED a shield because I am physically and spiritually vulnerable!

Not vulnerable. Sapped.

I fondled the bag of rocks and “wish” I had been toting round my neck for two weeks. In a fit of frustration, I tore it off and threw it across the room. Feeling sacrilegious, I apologized and put it back on. Then I lit a sage bundle, set it near a lit candle and walked outside to nurse a whisky while the space fumigated. Walked back in 10min later to see the bundle on fire. Well, that should do it.

I am the worst “witch” ever.

But there is a small comfort in knowing where these feelings are coming from and knowing that the root of the problem is external. Why am I bleeding?? Oh I see. I’ve been shot. A psychic bullet sponge.

If the pain is not entirely mine, it doesn’t hurt less. I exhale every drop of air in my lungs and pause, willing my heart to stop. Just. STOP…

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“She’s got the moon in her eyes” The Eagles

altarBy the time I landed Saturday night, I was depleted. So fried, I couldn’t remember where I parked at the airport. Not the floor, not the color-code, nor the space number…blank. I wandered the aisles dragging my luggage for half an hour before I called for help. An elderly janitor in a John Deere cart with a broom and bucket in the back pulled up and drove me up and down, floor to floor, aisle to aisle until I found my car. From there, I drove straight out to a Metaphysical shop 45 minutes away. Not a metaphysical shop but a Witch Shop. My friend goes there regularly and as the shop I frequented near my house was always running out of what I needed, I decided to pay this place a visit. Besides, I was in beyond desperate need of some positive energy and they just happened to be open late for a Samhain Ritual that evening. I bought a few oils, a few stones, a few candles but really, I just browsed and found excuses to hang-out and mooch off their chi. I guess you could say I was being a ‘psychic vampire’, which I am usually a victim of, not an offender myself. I debated on staying for the ritual—not as a participant but a curious spectator. It’s a purely pagan ritual and I felt a bit strange as they donned rich colored, hooded robes and pentacles as I stood there with my Star of David intersected with a cross burning into my throat. To each her own but I have tread carefully so far to ensure my practice aligned with my Faith. I certainly did not want to do anything to offend G-d but neither did I want to look ignorant and insult these people in their House. I did not ask to what diety (if any) they intended to call upon in this ritual because I was afraid of looking obtuse and I certainly did not want to join hands with them only to break the circle later. I left before the ritual started.

My friend is a Wiccan—pentacle and all—and we decided to co-host a Winter Solstice ritual disguised as a party at my place. Or vice versa. Inviting a select few open-minded friends and keeping it as faith-neutral as a military church service (if you’ve ever attended one, you know exactly what I mean). We will light a bonfire, burn herbs, candles, make sachets (I include a handwritten prayer in mine), blend oils and pass out ‘recipe books’ in which everyone can write down how they created their personal oil. And of course, carb load on my baked ziti and drink massive amounts of wine. We’re still working out the details but the folks at the “Witch Shop” kindly reminded me “Don’t forget the Yule log!”