Love and Magick—Imperfect Witchcraft

Love and magick? We’re not talking about love spells, we’re talking about the feeling of love. The pure, fuzzy, delicious and overwhelming kind. The power of love.

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Click image to watch my video!

Valentine’s Day is coming up, so now is as good a time as any to talk about working some love into your daily life and into your spellwork.

Okay, so why does love matter?

What does that even mean, the power of love?

If you’re a practicing witch you know that your intent is influenced by your emotions. You can’t really do spellwork without any emotion at all. Even when people think they’re living and working as unemotional witches, they’re not. They’re likely using a serious combination of anger and denial.

But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re talking about positivity, thankfulness, gratefulness… We’re talking about love.

In my video, Love + Spellwork—LOA for Witches I talk about why approaching your witchcraft from a place of love is not only important but can elevate your spellwork and magickal success rate.

You see, love is the most powerful force in the universe. When you experience love for something, it’s present in your mind in combination with that overwhelming sense of contentment, happiness, strength… well, love.

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So, imagine that feeling powering your intent. Imagine that power being the one that drives your spell into the universe and outward to do your bidding.

The idea that love and gratefulness, combined with the concept that all things which belong to you already exist for you, is known as the Law of Attraction. I’m certainly not an LOA expert. But it’s certainly supercharged my spellwork and manifestation in your daily life is fun, to boot!

When did a bit of positivity hurt a person? Give it a try!

Are you already familiar with the power of love and the Law of Attraction? If you try this new technique, please let me know! Leave a comment below with your opinions! I know you have them. 😉 Or drop me a message on Instagram, and if you thought “Hey, that was a cool video-bloggy-witchy thing there,” then go find more cool stuff on my YouTube channel.

Later, witches!

The Pain of a YouTube Restart.

Don’t worry, there will be some good shit in this article and less angst. I think.

My first YouTube attempt was with a vlog channel when I was a teenager. I talked about my opinions, mostly concerning (are you ready for this?) Christianity and lifestyle. It was mostly a rant outlet. I think I uploaded 3 videos total. The whole debacle was covered up many years ago with the use of the “set to private” button.

My second start at YouTube was today (or last week, or last month, depending on when I get this shit posted) and it has been transformational. Already. And my damn video hasn’t even come out the other end of editing yet.

“Content creation” was never a title I would have used for the work people do on YouTube. However, that’s often exactly what it is.

YouTube, like any creative platform, has tremendous depth and possibilities. And those who take advantage of all the platform can do, those who model it to create the image they see in their mind’s eye, well, those people are artists.

YouTube thumbnail with 3 Reasons You Don’t Practice Witchcraft

 

Not everyone who uploads a video belongs in this category, in my not-so-humble opinion. But boy, I could go on for ages listing a few of the ones who do and barely scratch the surface.

A brief, non-inclusive list of great YouTubers (in no particular order):

  • How to ADHD
  • Mic the Vegan
  • Harmony Nice
  • Leeor Alexandra
  • Sorelle Amore
  • Cheap Lazy Vegan
  • Jade Darmawangsa
  • The list goes on
  • And on and on…

Fun fact (probably): YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Google actually owns YouTube. So, that makes sense, really. And I don’t have to cite that. You can find that info on YT.

We go to YouTube for answers and entertainment, we go there to connect with others. And what so few of us really know, I mean really know, is what goes on behind the tripod (or stack of books, if you’re like me), and what gets cut in editing.

YouTube is really hard.

YouTube process:

  1. Deciding to FINALLY do it
  2. Planning
  3. Scripting
  4. Talking yourself into doing it
  5. Equipment
  6. Setting up
  7. What to wear
  8. Too much makeup
  9. Being okay with seeing yourself on camera
  10. Throwing out the script
  11. Taking takes (so many takes)
  12. Intros, outros, banners and digital art out the whazoo
  13. Editing and splicing
  14. And being okay with seeing yourself on camera
  15. Brand-new intro, end card and so on
  16. More takes (because you missed some shit)
  17. Pins, tags, i-cards (I still don’t do this), descriptions
  18. Uploading
  19. Convincing yourself not to take the dang thing down
  20. PROMOTING THE FUCK OUT OF IT
  21. Convincing yourself you love it
  22. Doing it all again, because you love it

Okay, I know I said this bloggy snippet would be a bit more sunshine and frills, but let’s be real: did any of you expect that from me?

In reality, the above list is what you make of it. If you see that list and your insides scream and writhe and shrink up even further inside in a futile effort to get away from the humiliation and impending shame, then, yeah, it’s pretty dark.

BUT. If you go through that list, get to the end and think “Okay, let’s do this better. Let’s fuck some shit up with greatness. Round 2, here we come!” Then, baby, I’ll be seeing you on YouTube. Where I’m pretty sure the pain of it all is going to make me stronger, make me a better person, more determined and less fearful. I have expectations for my art, damnit!

(The list is not entirely inclusive, as I switched from iMovie to Adobe Premiere Rush mid-edit, and re-shot some a lot of my footage, as well.)

If you have expectations for my art, come check out my brand-new, still-crawling baby of a YouTube channel! Especially if you’re a new or practicing witch and would like advice or community.

Do you have high expectations for yourself? Are you ready to set some? Tell me what those are in the comments below, or on my Instagram over here. Don’t forget to follow me (on social media, not literally) and subscribe to this here words blog thing so you’ll always get my words right to your inbox!

And hey, friends. Thanks for hanging in there with me. ❤

Ami Melaine sitting in front of a banner, smiling

The Time I Didn’t Go to New Orleans

A short-ish article about how to fuck up your vacation by allowing your anxiety to reign supreme!

Sometimes, I plan things. Okay, let’s be real. I plan everything. (Go ahead and facepalm now if you’re feeling it.) I plan my showers and my outfits and my conversations. (Raise your hand if you do this too.) I plan it all out like it’s a play. A play that goes hugely, horribly wrong 3 seconds into Act I. And, of course, I only have myself to blame. Thus, frantic improv ensues.

I’ve always wanted to travel. I see myself in a small cafe somewhere, leather-bound notebook filling up with descriptions of the people I meet and the coffees I drink. Ahhhh… I do love coffee. But I digress! Since I’ve been living my sort-of new, sort-of reinvented life, I’ve had to face myself more than I ever had.

We have to face ourselves sometime, don’t we? Perhaps that time is when we’re left to our own devices. That’s when we discover our devices, at any rate.

To the point: I had a beautiful, long vacation planned. I was going to New Orleans for Voodoo Fest, planned to stay through Halloween and head home sometime on All Saints Day. All of this with someone I love. I wanted to share my new experiences with music, ritual, beer, and blood with someone else who would enjoy it all just as much. Potentially even more. Definitely more. My friend had a great time, hoo boy.

Marilyn Manson on stage at Voodoo Fest, arms stretched wide
Marilyn Manson performs Sweet Dreams at Voodoo 2018. Image courtesy of Buckminster

From his perspective—including a sprinkling of artistic license from moi—New Orleans provided culinary delicacies galore. There was creepy history, steamy swamps and interesting shops. There were endless people to look at, that flooded around in piles and droves. Bright, strobing lights and music that womp womp womped like a giant, living thing. There was mystique and culture and a reaching in and drawing out feeling that made a person want—no—need to stay.

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Image courtesy of Buckminster

From my perspective, the perspective of a person who, mere days before planned departure, realized she’d backed herself into a financial and mental health hellhole (say that five times fast) and couldn’t see any way out other than to PANIC! (minus the disco).

Umm, hello. Panicking isn’t the answer. It doesn’t fix things. But you know what it is? It’s anxiety manifesting all messy-like. Or maybe it’s just panic. I’m still fuzzy on how I relate to those two feelings/outcomes differently.

What I do know is that I thought: People mean crowds means touching people means getting pushed around means getting separated which means not finding each other and getting pick-pocketed and not having the money to pay for food or a Lyft back to the Airbnb where the host probably waited to murder me or preach at me (she was actually AMAZING) which meant lying in bed worrying that he’d even make it back and shivering and then he’d laugh at me when he got back and tell me I missed something great and why was I in bed at 10p.m. and I’d sleep like a sweat monster and wake up and do it… all… again.

Okay, so that’s hugely oversimplified and only covers the first 3 days of the week-long trip I had so perfectly planned. In my head. I’m certain that realistically, it could have been a lovely trip.

But anxiety doesn’t take vacations. And since I’d ignored it instead of addressing that welling, roiling, bubbling mess inside my stomach…

Well, I couldn’t go.

I could not go.

(You there, in the back. Yeah, the one who refused to raise your hand earlier to avoid being noticed. Would you have gone?)

I wish I could tell you that I weathered the storm that is my emotions like an experienced, adult sailor person who sails a cutter through anxiety like it’s a perfect sailing day. AND that I did all this in THE KNICK OF TIME to make the trip a success. But you already know I didn’t, right? We’re all caught up now? The gods know I wanted to make that trip happen! And I challenged both my own sanity and that of a very dear friend trying to make it happen. I mean, you can want in one hand and spit in another and then, well, the one you spat in will at least have some spit in it.

My friend did go on the trip. He sent me loads of pictures and videos. Some of them are featured in this post. You should check out his Instagram if you’d like to see some of the lovely things he has documented on his travels (the ones I’ve included don’t compare).

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Image: Daria Shevtsova via Pexels.com

What have we learned from this failed trip attempt, Ami? That everything is connected. It’s a bad idea for anyone to ignore anxiety for multiple months in a row. That it’s a bad idea to use a trip with a friend to get over said anxiety (raise your hand again if you already knew just getting over it never, EVER works). That it’s okay to not be okay in every social situation. And that it’s even okay to not be mentally normative. (Did I get that right?) But it is better to be honest with yourself and your travel partner sooner, rather than later.

Do you have social/anxiety-related triggers that seem small or weird? What do you turn to when you’re triggered—or nearly—and need to cope? I’m here, I’m with you, and I want to know. Let’s talk. Bring your answers to these or other questions, your comments and your love (Or not. I won’t force you.) and leave it all in my comments! Or on my Twitter over here, or on my Instagram over there. If you are curious about what I did on my vacation instead of visiting New Orleans (Hah HA! I still took the time off!), let me know that, too! 

And hey, friend. Thanks for being here. ❤

High as Hope: Florence + the Machine [Dallas, 2018]

A not-quite recounting of my first experience at a Florence + the Machine concert. The High as Hope Tour 2018, in Dallas, Texas. A musing about the magic of love.

I’m going to write this while it’s fresh in my mind. When it hasn’t yet had time to degrade, to fade into the ether from whence it came. My hope is that time will allow the details to become only more clear. But we’ll see.*

I’ve been told that I should be able to recount my experiences with eloquence because I am a writer. I should be verbose and have rich descriptors prepared. But the experiences I hold the dearest to me, the closest within my heart’s cage, are the hardest to allow free. img_0998

Writing for the sake of writing is a struggle. But I’m passionate about it.

On September 29 I experienced my first Florence + the Machine concert. The High as Hope Tour, 2018.

Those short hours have marked me, changed my life, and left me wanting.

I could describe the modern, amphitheatre inspired venue. The warm hum of Jim Beam-and-ginger-bubbles in my flushed face and in my veins. The closeness of claustrophobia that comes with too many sweaty, anxious bodies crammed into my own. Or the separate closeness of sharing the experience with someone I love.

But what would lights, sounds, and a list of events say about the evening? That it was easy to catalog.img_0993-1

I can say that when the lights, at last, came up and Florence floated onto the stage, barefoot and fluid, I lost my breath. I lost all words. All sound was gone from my throat. I stood enraptured and she held me there. When she began to sing, tears started to flow and I didn’t dare utter a word unless necessary. I cried without shame because she was the only presence that mattered. I sang only when she told me to, danced when she told me to, and knew she knew my heart. Hoped she felt it beating for her.img_0997.png

I believe in love. In its many shapes and colors, and how it entangles us all differently and frees us for flight. I am an old romantic in a 27-year-old body. I felt everything when she sang. I needed everything. When it was over, I lost everything. Yet left there feeling so full.

There is nothing useless about her magic.

Learn to love each other. It’s the only way to make sense of things.

Have you been told again and again that you should be able to do something or capture something because you’re talented? Have you been told your love should take a certain shape? Tell me about it, here or there. And then, take some steps, stretch your wings and learn to fly.

*To date, this article took me 12 days to complete. Hot shit, that’s my record!

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My Dog is Magick

A short article concerning the evening I discovered that my puppy is ready to accept her duties as a witch’s familiar and conduit. She loves magick!

My dog is magick. She gets so curious any time I start a working. And when I close my circle, she goes nuts. Bonkers. I mean, like, she just won’t leave shit alone. This isn’t the usual whining that occurs when I’m ignoring her to do yoga or take a nap or because she’s on time out (yes, I do put my dog on timeout). No, it’s incessant, excessive, and upsetting. Emotionally, I can’t bear to hear how upset she is that magick is happening and she can’t reach it. Image of puppy in harness, sitting in car seat, looking pouty

 

Fast forward. My working was cut short. I closed everything off, shut it all down, returned what was mine and opened my circle. I swept it all clean, having decided to save it for later when Lilith was sleeping, and let my dog out of her gated area. She went right to where my circle had been and sniffed out the exact perimeter. Having found nothing, she looked at me with doggy eyebrows raised. She sniffed it again. Sniffed the counter where I’d stowed my candles, the table where I’d stashed my lighter, then looked around the area of my circle again. She came back to me, wiggling and whining, sat down at my feet and yipped. Nah, she bayed. Because she’s half beagle and beagles are tiny warriors of the hunt!

image of puppy flopped on the floor

 

My dog is magick. She didn’t want me to shut my shit down—she wanted to participate. My baby Lilith is ready to be given her job as both familiar and conduit, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I didn’t expect to have another familiar after the forced separation from my last—a pair of bonded cats. (I’m also a crazy cat lady. So, sue me.) But here. She. is. My perfect doggie dog dog doggo. A fellow practitioner who I love and respect—check out her Instagram here. She crochets and is very loving!—told me that no matter how young I think Lilith is, if she’s so drawn to my magick, she’s clearly begging to participate.

So, it’s time for the familiar bonding ritual. *shivers* I can’t even contain my joy. Now I just have to decide if I’m going to do it over the weekend, because I have no patience, or if I’ll wait until the next full moon when energies are high and ripe for the picking. This month is Samhain (Halloween), so anytime will do, lads and ladies! Do you have any recommendations for me?

Do you have a familiar? Do you have an animal friend who acts as a conduit for your magick and workings? OR if you’d be interested in a post about the different types of tools one can use as a conduit or for protection—so many things to use tools for!—let me know. Drop a comment here, or on my Instagram over here, and you tell me!

The Perot: Mars, the Cave of Wonders, and the DINOSAUR!

A very late blog post in which I try to explain how awesome it is to visit the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, but get too excited to make much sense.

I’ve been meaning to write about my experience at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science here in Dallas for some time. Actually, I trounced around their numerous floors (and floors and floors) of exhibits back in February, so… it’s been a while.

It’s not that I wasn’t excited about the Perot. I was. I still am. It’s more that the act of putting my thoughts down on virtual paper can be a big ADHD challenge for my brain—one that I’m mastering daily with my job at a marketing agency. So, I’m not failing completely, right?

The thing about the Perot is that there was so much to see that I don’t know how to properly describe it. The enormity of the experience, well, needs to be experienced. So you can get a taste, though, I’ll try.

Disclaimer: Most of the pictures I took were deleted by mistake. That’s what I get for not taking an analog camera with me.

During my brief excursion (this place really deserves more time) I explored space and planned the colonization of Mars with Patrick Stewart as my guide. I even rode in a shuttle and operated a spacesuit glove. I experienced an earthquake and stuck my arm in a tornado.img_0556-1

I wandered through what felt like glowing chasms sprinkled throughout with every kind of glittering crystal and mineral deposit. I truly felt like Aladdin in the Cave of Wonders and no picture that was taken can possibly portray my awe in this exhibit. Museum-goers held their breath and words out of respect and admiration for the site.

Picture of giant blue crystal exhibit

 

 

 

And I met dinosaurs! Yes, dinosaurs! Towering monstrosities and ginormous, toothy water monsters. Feathery and scaly, small and lumbering! I tell you, my inner child img_0560was only tripped up by the actual children getting in the way of my exuberance! (It’s still frowned upon to step on someone’s children, even if you’re rushing excitedly to peer over the balcony edge into the mighty face of a LONG NECK!*)

Due to the time and length of the NASA: Mars exhibit, we rushed through the other floors, squealing, touching (what? Nooooo!), reading and exclaiming. We took the stairs to avoid elevator crowds. I took especially bad pictures and SWORE to come back at least once per year. And we only missed 1 floor.

Picture of giant turtle and sea dinosaur exhibit

Folks, my friend and I did the Perot (minus that 1 floor) in less than 3 hours. The Perot may well be my Disneyland (someone, send me to Disneyland and I might amend that). I loved it with all the immense joy a 27-year-old child’s heart can hold. I just want anyone out there to know, it’s never too late to learn, and it’s always the best time to enjoy yourself.

Maybe writing about your experiences gives you anxiety until 6 months later, but that should never stop you from having those experiences. As it happens, when the time comes the words will be there.

*Alamosaurus, for those of you who didn’t watch The Land Before Time when you were growing up.

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If y’all want to experience the many changing wonders of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, just click here for more info.

An Unexpected Roar: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

A short review-turned-letter to the writer, which expresses a few of my thoughts and exclamations about Amy Schumer’s book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. If you’re a woman or a person, these opinions probably pertain to you.

I’m always searching for The Way to sound like me, write better, be more interesting, more authentic. But the funny thing about authenticity is that it can’t be faked. In the end, I’ll either sound like myself or like mismatched trash.

I really admire writers and speakers who can just say the thing. Who find the right words and get them out so the rest of us can hear them. They do the work. I love the clumsiness and sincerity of the journey and the necessity of the landing place.

Speaking of segues, Amy Schumer is one such writer and speaker. Through years of determination, she’s crafted a voice that boldly speaks up about things that matter to people and to herself, and she makes us laugh, too. I say “crafted” but she really just makes a point of saying what’s important to her. And she’s been on stage trying to make people laugh for about a decade, learning the hard way.

A’ight, enough trying to sound like someone else.

Maybe I thought I would try my hand at a book review. But I’m sure there are hundreds out there by now. Instead, I’m here to tell you my thoughts on another woman’s thoughts, because she made me take pause, stand up a little straighter (difficult for a woman of the semi-gay persuasion), and think “my opinion matters.”

Now, that is power.

So, here we go. A note to Amy Schumer, and some reasons why you, the reader, might consider picking up her tremendous book:

I listened to the audiobook The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. I gotta say that it was exhilarating to hear your voice in my head, listening to your ferocious and irreverent lioness thoughts. You, as you laughed and swore and ranted and dictated. For yourself, for me… to me. Just to me. Us Amy/i’s gotta stick together.

If you’re a woman, or a person, there’s something relatable to be found in your book. You’ll find that because you’re a person, you have the right to have an opinion. You have the right to look like Beetlejuice in the morning. And let’s be real, only the best people look like Beetlejuice in the morning. Amy, If I repeat “Beetlejuice” three times, will you appear in my apartment, ready to collab on a messy, hilarious adventure? And wearing black and white striped socks?

Because I have pasta at the ready, pretty much every day.

Amy, thank you for being honest about one night stands and people who don’t read. For looking me right in the eyes of my soul and challenging me to be the woman… person… Ami that I’m meant to not grow up and be.

(If you’re still here, guys, I swear this cyber note is almost finished.)

There are a hundred things I’d like to thank you for, like vocalizing how it feels when a guy looks at you like you’re lunch, or what it’s like to be an introvert, or how the real people are barely hanging on by a thread. Thank you for using your voice to fight back when Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux were brutally killed, and 9 other people were injured, during a Louisiana premiere of Trainwreck. Thank you for speaking up for women, for people, for hard work and for humor.

But in the end, I can’t vocalize enough, and a review would turn into a recap which would turn into a cheap imitation which would be a sad injustice to your book.

Maybe I’m not cut out for book reviews or Letters to the Author, but thanks for your time, anyway.

“Anyone who lives and breathes and has an opinion about whether or not first-graders should get shot at school is qualified to speak on this issue.” – Amy Schumer, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo