Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Week 7: Fiction - Introducing Charlie Turner

This is the beginning of a story about Charlie Turner, a young witch with a secret that she's kept to herself for most of her life, partly because she didn't think it strange in the beginning and then because she was worried about being thought of as a little too weird (and considering she's a witch in a predominantly Christian small country town that's saying something).  The story is only partially written as I got pulled in another direction. Perhaps, I'll be able to finish it here.

Breathe. Nice and slow. In through the nose. Feel the air as it revitalises each cell it touches. See the light of life flowing with that air. Breathe. Out through the mouth. The used toxic breath leaving the body, its task complete. In, two, three, four. Out, two, three, four. Slowly energy rises and the circle traced around me begins to glow, gently at first, and illuminating more and more with each breath taken. Roots earlier sent into the Earth, draw living energy from the Mother to aid in the task that lies ahead.

To the outside observer I’m merely sitting cross legged on a brown corduroy cushion, eyes closed, perhaps meditating, not unlike a myriad of devotees at some far eastern ashram. The small room devoid of furniture is lit barely by the soft flicker of a single black candle that sits slightly raised on a stack of books before me. The sound of a pan flute probably played by some java swigging hippie as he sits on the bank of a river, disguises my structured breathing. Completing the scene is the sweet aroma of clove incense, fingers of fragrant smoke curling through the air, dancing into each corner of the room.

Smack dab in the centre of this is me. Charlie, well Charmaine if we are being accurate though only my gran calls me that, Turner. Long black hair hanging freely past my waist, where a purple cord is tied around a well worn and wash discoloured white dress. Charlie Turner. Plump first year law student, who turned 18 four days ago. Charlie Turner. Witch. Yes that’s right. Sitting there on the set of what could be a very cheesy porno flick is a witch. I don’t look like what you might expect a witch to look like if you've never met one before. No I don’t have the hooked nose with the wart on the end. I don’t wear flowing black robes (often) nor do I wear (or even own for that matter) a black conical hat. But regardless of Disney stereotypes, witch, I am.

There's no significant calendar reason for tonight's activities. It’s not a Sabbat or a pagan holiday; and by the enveloping darkness outside it certainly is not a full moon. What I’m doing is something I’ve done many times before, and will probably do many times again and though how I do it has changed since I was young it always seems to start the same. Earlier this evening, I began by cleansing myself, which tonight was a long languid soak in a bath richly scented with home blended oil. As I lay there, relaxing in the warm, but rapidly cooling water, I let my worries drain from me. I pushed outward any negative thoughts and feelings that rose, letting the water wash it away. In addition to bathing in the cleansing water, I was surrounded in a soft white light, which came from within me to settle just around my body, leaving an iridescent glow. When I felt that I was ready, that I was cleansed and pure of mind and body, I rose from the water, towel dried off and donned the loosely fitting white dress.

The dress isn’t anything special. It’s not something I have had made just for ritual. It’s not even something I wear exclusively for magic, though it is getting to the stage where I doubt I'd wear it in public. I found it at a thrift store about a year ago when I was looking for furniture for my future student flat. The dress just caught my eye, and I couldn’t believe when it fit so well. It's the same with most of the tools I use for ritual. Each item has multiple uses or began life as something else. My censor is just an old beat up brass pot-plant holder I found at a country fete, the dishes that hold my water and salt are similar garage sale discoveries and the altar cloth is an old scarf I wear from time to time. I didn’t intentionally set out to find these items; to be honest I think they found me.

The censor is the only tool being used tonight. It sits on the stack of books beside the candle and from it incense swirls upwards. Right at this moment though, I don't notice any of it. I cannot see the candle. I cannot see nor smell the incense. I cannot hear the pan flute in the background. If you look closely you would see that my breathing has altered and is no longer a controlled and deliberate breath but has become soft and barely audible. My eyes no longer move beneath eyelids that also remain still. All tension has gone from my body and it sits there, completely relaxed in quiet repose, barely a whisper from sleep.

As the candle flame flickers in a fiery dance, one realisation would come over you.  I'm not moving because I'm no longer in my body.

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