Many Witches are Interested in the “Paranormal”
While it’s definitely true that being a witch doesn’t necessarily entail doing any work with spirits or mediumship or “ghost busting” or anything remotely similar, it is still true as well that many of us who study witchcraft in any of its many forms are also interested in the Spiritual Arts and in the Unseen and its realms. Like many of us, I found myself able to sense, see, smell, hear, and otherwise become aware of spiritual manifestations, infestations, and general phenomena as a child, long before the idea of studying witchcraft ever occurred to me. Also, being a “sensitive,” it is not lost upon me that this can be a doorway to occult studies, witchcraft studies, and spiritual operations of many diverse kinds, for many people. And as such, it’s a topic that I think we should discuss, and also educate ourselves about it, concerning WHAT it is we are doing and HOW we can keep ourselves safe and in good health as “sensitives,” whether or not we seek out experiences with the Unseen.
A Romantic Evening Turns Paranormal
Last night was an intensely romantic evening, by “been married forever, old person” standards. My husband and I rarely have an evening alone, and as our coven has recently changed to a “Sabbats only with occasional classes” venue, we actually had a Friday night while the moon was full to ourselves, with no circle preparation, no preparing to draw down the Gods, no cleaning and shopping for feast, nor any of the countless things that coven leaders must do before each and every circle, which is often blissfully outside the awareness of those whose responsibilities do not include such things. Also, it was right before Valentine’s Day, and as people who refuse to be forced into a “retail holiday,” we chose instead of celebrating on the 14th to the tune of hundreds of dollars keeping up with the Joneses, to do a movie and dinner, in that order, at our favorite restaurant in downtown Minneapolis 4 days before the fact. And it was absolutely wonderful in all senses of the word, with one interesting exception. The 20 year old theater we chose for our movie is paranormally infested. And we both became aware of that fact about halfway through our movie.
In my considerable experience (most of it unwilling and of the self-preserving variety) with paranormal infestations, I’ve learned that many times, these phenomena carry with them very discernible, “real” sensory experiences that can be noticed by all but the most psychically dense among us. These sensory experiences can take the form of noises, crawling sensations (the “heebie jeebies”), breezes or other air displacement, visual experiences such as lights, “dark spots,” “white spots,” and darting movement at the edges of peripheral vision, smells with no source, and even sometimes physical outbreaks of unexplained substances or even insects (slime, “blood,” maggots, flies, roaches, etc., with no scientific explanation of the same). Other things that can happen, which I have witnessed myself include the sudden disappearance of physical objects, cracked mirrors or windows, stuff “flying across a room” or “floating,” the spoiling of fresh food, and footprints where none are possible. And while these things are far from “common,” they do happen and I’ve been called in to “get rid of” such things more times that I can probably count.
So last night, my husband and I settled in to watch our movie in a decidedly well-kept, clean theater that is not “new” by any stretch, but certainly isn’t “old” to anyone over the age of 30 or so. We had our popcorn and our soda, we were holding hands and whispering to one another about the previews, etc. Then, the movie started and we began enjoying the story. About halfway through the presentation, I became aware of a suddenly appearing, completely unexplained smell that was so intense that it almost slapped me. It can only be described as a super strong, filthy urine smell with undercurrents of rotting garbage and a top-note of day-old vomit in a mid-summer city dumpster. Let me just tell you that this was the kindest, most gently worded description that I could accurately assign the smell. You’re welcome.
I looked around a bit, of course, in the dark, during the movie. I did NOT see anyone around me looking around, not even my dear husband, who was so close to me that I was almost sitting on him. Of course, I just decided to breathe through my mouth as much as possible and try to enjoy the rest of the movie. I was earnest in my attempt to ignore this noxious, disgusting sensory experience, and tried intently to distract myself with the story before me. Were I not a sensitive, I would not have also experienced the following: (To Myself): “…Male…White…Violent…Angry…Black coat…Feeds off of violent films and the emotions they engender…May have worked here…Strong hint of suicidal thoughts/actions…Strong fantasy life…Knows he’s dead…Accompanied by non-human diabolical entity….”
Dinner was Divine….
We rushed out of the theater to go to the bathroom and head out into the night toward a romantic dinner. Upon bursting out of the doors of the dark theater into the hallway, I saw swooshing white orbs bouncing about near the ceiling. Having to relieve myself in the most serious of ways, I ran into the nearest ladies’ room that wasn’t blocked off with orange pylons and did my business. The feeling of unseen energies was heavy in the bathroom, which was sparkling clean and meticulously stocked. I couldn’t help but notice what I always do after every movie experience…the unmistakable sound of a young woman vomiting in one of the stalls. A momentary sadness swept over me as I silently cursed the Ana demon, present everywhere…the one that makes young women and men think that they must starve and purge themselves to be beautiful….
Upon walking through the crunchy snow in the dark parking lot, I said to my husband, “Well, I haven’t had a public paranormal experience in quite a while. Did you smell that?” He pointed the electronic starter toward our boat of a Buick and said, “Yeah…I was wondering if the guy next to me had suddenly peed himself or something.” “Nope, I said. That was paranormal. No source, no smell at the beginning of the movie, no explanation.” “Interesting,” was all he said. My husband is a man of few words.
Being a witch has its privileges, and I had decided that this evening was going to be filled with joy for us. As my energy had been sent in that direction, it was no wonder to me that we found one of the last $5 parking spaces in the ramp that leads directly into our favorite restaurant. We had no reservations, but upon arriving, after telling the host that we “hoped to get lucky” with a table, we were led immediately into the main room to a lovely table for two, just far enough away from the live music to talk to one another, just close enough to enjoy the strains of my favorite song from childhood as we entered the room, “Georgia on My Mind.” Sinatra and other classics serenaded us as we perused the menu. There was a sale on my husband’s favorite whiskey, and we both decided on sea food, a rarity for us, as we mostly eat plant based food as a rule these days. The food was impeccable, as it always is in our fave place. We held hands, toasted our luck in life to have found one another, and enjoyed a beautiful, romantic dinner. The rest is none of your business.
A Word to the Wise (Ones)
A decade or so ago, I would probably have gone up to the folks who were working in the theater and told them that I knew that they had paranormal phenomena in their theater. I would have told them that I could clear it for them, and I would have successfully done just that, given the chance. I would have shown up with my basket of witchly wonders, dressed just blackly enough, smelling of just the right amount of Dragon’s Blood and Patchouli (only the best organic essentials), with just the right amount of black eyeliner to look like the stereotype of a Woman Who Knows Witchy Things. I would have used, Widdershins, top to bottom, a proprietary blend of wild-crafted sage, sweet grass, asfoetida, and mugwort as I repeated the incantation that starts with “Hekas, Hekas Este Bebeloi,” with my assistant ringing the chime as I finished the solemn toning of “EE-Ah-Oh.” I would have sealed the space with equal armed crosses of blessed olive oil and kosher sea salt. I would have cleared and blessed each slightly bewildered employee and the unimpressed theater owner who was just doing this because his teenage staff wanted him to go along with it. And the whole place would be squeaky clean and ooga-booga free. That’s what I would have done back then. It’s NOT what I do now.
An experienced witch just doesn’t act like that, folks. It’s not wanted. It’s not needed. A wise witch knows how and when to use their skill set, and knows that the urge to show off, even when it’s “called for” is not an urge to which a seasoned witch succumbs. I do professionally clear spaces. I do NOT ADVERTISE, and do not have any set prices for what I do. Those who need me find me. Those who need me usually include people who have had “paranormal investigators,” classically without any real skill sets in dealing with the dead, come in and rile up the resident ghosts enough to just really piss them off. Or, they had someone come in to clear it and be spectacularly unsuccessful. And if and when they actually need me, my name comes up. Those who need me find me. I don’t recommend that you go around telling people you’re a witch and you “can help them.” Instead, look to your Craft, and if you are interested in working with the Unseen and the Paranormal, hone your skills with those who have such skills. Don’t “investigate the paranormal.” Learn to make the problem past-tense instead, like a professional. Don’t preen and make a show of “talking to the spirits.” It’s vulgar and it’s disrespectful of the dead. None of this, “I sense a 13 year old girl…she is a red-head, and she carries a doll dressed in a blue dress…” That’s classless and awkward and showy like a gold lame mini skirt. Instead, if this interests you, develop real skills. And when you are ready, send forth the intention that those who need you will find you.
More spirit stories to come, my lovelies. Stay tuned, and stay unfluffy.