What I learned on my summer vacation

Posted: August 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

So my time as a full-time Salem Witch is coming to a close as the summer blends into fall. I return back to my Research and Instruction Librarian side on August 20. I admit, there will be a definite change in mindset. While both jobs are a part of me, each representing who I am, they require different skill sets to some degree. All this summer I focused on spells, magick, readings, curses, and the like. I have helped countless people find the right herbs and stones to help them with all kinds of ailments from fear of heights to ridding themselves of extra weight. This is of course research but of a different degree than what I will be doing at Wellesley College. And because of these differences, I love my life. I really feel like I have the best of both worlds. The two things I am really passionate about, being a witch and being a rockin’ librarian are a big part of my life. Now if Wellesley College would only allow me to teach a class in Witchcraft, life would be perfect. I’m sending my energies out right now….

Now, I admit I wax a little poetic here because not every single day I work in Salem is full of sunshine and roses. There is another side to the Witch world that I never really thought about and in some regards was not prepared for. I’m talking about the crazies. Yes, I know that they are in every profession. I’ve met them when I worked at the public library, at the factory, and of course, in retail. But I never thought about the obsessive people who flock to psychics like flies to shit. These obsessives are what I call “tarot hoppers.” They come into town and collect readings, all the while hoping to hear that one thing they desperately need to hear. It can be anything. That they will make lots of money. That so-and-so will finally love them back. That they will finally get that career they always wanted. When the previous psychics fails to tell them this bit of information, they set out to find another who will. These are the people you have to be afraid of because they can get angry or violent or stalkerish. I never thought about psychics needing bodyguards but I’ve heard several stories in the past few months that opened my eyes to just what this world entails. Then there are the people who refuse to leave the reading. These are the ones that linger and keep asking a million questions. They want to know everything there is to know about every aspect of their lives. I want to tell them that sometimes it is okay to go blindly into the night. Besides, readings are a snapshot of the “right here, right now.” Every one has free will so if they don’t like what they hear, they can make the necessary changes to avoid that outcome.

Let’s see, oh, I could never forget the people who come into a reading who are complete wackadoodles. I mean, really, really scary Ed Gein-ish nutjobs. These people truly terrify me and I have had more than a few run-ins with this kind. These are the people who have really bizarre problems like succubus attacks, vampire boyfriends who drain them at night, and dead sisters who set fire their houses because they are mad over who you married. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. I’m not saying that succubi do not exist. Just because I’ve never encountered one doesn’t mean anything nor do I know for sure what your boyfriend really is or does to you once the sun goes down but I’m not sure a psychic is the answer. I think some medication might be a better solution or a nice visit to the police station. Or a the very least a damn fire extinguisher or a phone so you can dial the fire department.

And then there are the tourists. The number one question I hear every single day is “Are you a real witch?” And when I answer “yes” because it is the truth, they reply with, “Can I take your picture?” I’ve never said “no” even when a creepy father of two small children was hitting on me and probably hoping he could whisk me away to take care of his two bullshit brats. Sorry, I’m not that kind of witch. But what I want to say is “You know I”m going to show up in the photograph right? Because I’m a witch not a vampire.”  I really think most of them are disappointed when they see their photograph with me actually in it, standing there all in black, smiling, and looking fabulous. Also, I’m just a person. Who happens to be a witch. Who also happens to be a librarian. Who also happens to have a lot of kick ass tattoos. Who also happens to secretly like “The Goo-Goo Dolls.” There are many different facets to me and I’m not sure being a witch is photo worthy. But if it makes the tourists’ vacation a little more Salem authentic, then what the hell. And I admit, sometimes making a random kid cry is priceless. And yes, it has happened more than once. My favorite was the little girl who screamed, “But I don’t want to see a real witch!”  Well, Gretel dear, you have just landed in the wrong damn city. Curse your parents sweetie not me.

But mainly I’ve learned this summer that I am still in love with Salem. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. This town might be full of more drama than an episode of “General Hospital” but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I know that I made the right decision to move here. Every day that I spent showing my guests (best friend, family, Wellesley College friends) around town, I was full of pride that this is the place I call home. It’s a nice feeling, one I did not have back in Indiana. I’m happy to be a part of this community even if it is a small part, working in witch shoppe helping people find the appropriate herb for a mojo bag. Whether or not you believe in magick, this kind of work matters and the number of people who flock to our shop and Salem in general prove it.

So as my summer comes to a close, I embrace the next chapter. This time when I start Wellesley College, I won’t be a newbie! I’ve already done one semester and had an entire summer to get to know the “me” who made a home in Salem. I’m much stronger, smarter, tougher, and witchier than ever before. And I’m ready to research the hell out of whatever student topics come my way. And maybe, just maybe, someone will want to research the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692. Now that’s good mojo.

Until next time, that is not a freaking lake bordering Salem. It’s called the Atlantic Ocean and I don’t need a psychic to know that you couldn’t find your way out of a paper sack when it comes to geography.

  1. Wendy says:

    In a few weeks the transition; from one world of learning to the other . Life seems so different from your first few months of hell living on Lafayette St. to now. You have achieved so much and happiness is in your soul. You are kick ass amazing!!

  2. Suzana says:

    Thank you for all the smiles of recognition reading your post brought to me… there should be ‘therapy circles’ for wise women…

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