“I am seriously in need of a Witch. First of I think they are cool and I wish I could… do spells. I was wondering if you are really a Witch. Could you put a spell on me so I won’t have to worry about money problems anymore? This would really help my family. We are going in a rough patch. Please write back. And if you are not a Witch please tell me. I don’t wanna look stupid.”
I received that email from a person who read one of my articles in the Witches’ Voice reader. This is what replied: “I believe I’m not the kind of Witch you are looking for. Magic doesn’t create miracles. It is more like a kind of prayer with a lot of flare. We focus our energy and make change happen, but not like in the movies. It takes time, dedication and a lot of work. I’m sorry your family is going through a tough period. I hope the best for you and your love ones.”
I didn’t have much time when I got the message, so I couldn’t go into details. I hope the person is keeping an eye on my blog. I thought about the “are you a Witch?” question for a while, and a quote from A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett came to mind. Its words explain exactly how I understand magic and Witchcraft:
“Mistress Weatherwax was right, and Tiffany wished she wasn’t.
‘Why did you and Miss Tick send me to her, then?’ she said.
‘Because she likes people,’ said the witch, striding ahead. ‘She cares about ‘em. Even the stupid, mean, drooling ones, the mothers with the runny babies and no sense, the feckless and the silly and the fools who treat her like some kind of a servant. Now that’s what I call magic—seein’ all that, dealin’ with all that, and still goin’ on. It’s sittin’ up all night with some poor old man who’s leavin’ the world, taking away such pain as you can, comfortin’ their terror, seein’ ‘em safely on their way . . . and then cleanin’ ‘em up, layin’ ‘em out, making ‘em neat for the funeral, and helpin’ the weeping widow strip the bed and wash the sheets—which is, let me tell you, no errand for the faint-hearted—and stayin’ up the next night to watch over the coffin before the funeral, and then going home and sitting down for five minutes before some shouting angry man comes bangin’ on your door ‘cos his wife’s havin’ difficulty givin’ birth to their first child and the midwife’s at her wits’ end and then getting up and fetching your bag and going out again…. We all do that, in our own way, and she does it better’n me, if I was to put my hand on my heart. That is the root and heart and soul and center of witchcraft, that is. The soul and center!’ Mistress Weatherwax smacked her fist into her hand, hammering out her words. ‘The . . . soul . . . and . . . center!’
‘Echoes came back from the trees in the sudden silence.”
If you understand Granny Weatherwax’s words, then you also understand why I love Practical Magic, both the book and the film. This tale is one of the best combinations of fiction and witchery I’ve ever read and watched. No, the movie’s magic isn’t real, but the process and the witchy characters are very realistic.
Don’t be mad at me, but while Hurricane Irene was smacking the East Coast, I was visiting the wonderful spot where Practical Magic was filmed. The Owens’ grand Victorian is no longer there, but the lot in San Juan Island remains magical.
Remember the rocky spot where Sally’s daughters dumped the banishing syrup?
What about the gigantic pine trees?
According to Julia, the author of Hooked on Houses, “Producer Denise DiNova says that the house where the Owens family of witches lived played such an important role in the story that they decided to build it themselves. ‘I don’t think we could ever have found a house that could have matched our needs.’”
Yes, my loves, the San Juan County Park is such a magical spot that Hollywood had to come to it, and build the Practical Magic witchy house on its land. If you visit Friday Harbor one of these days, and decide to visit San Juan Island, you’ll notice that the house is gone, but the magic remains.
Magic is reality sprinkled with will, with intent and with a little witchy flare; practical Witches embrace this knowledge, and live by it.
Grab your broom, a smile, a little magic and a pinch of imagination, and visit the rest of the Practical Magic Partiers. They are waiting…