“SCARY STUFF, KIDS!” If you are under 70 years old, read on at your own risk. Yes, in another incarnation, I was a new ager with a trade name chosen numerologically to match Master numbers in my given name. And I was on cable TV and on radio in a province other than the one I was born in. I was good at what I did; I wrote articles on the subject (in an Australian journal)–hell, when wasn’t I writing on something or other? Chiefly, what you need to know is that I was ethical, serious, devoted; the work I did evoked a kind of religiosity (yes, that is a word) in me, brought me back to God from whom I’d strayed (although I persist in believing She is a woman or, at the very least, a hermaphrodite–after all, am I not made in Her Image, too?). I don’t say that agnosticism doesn’t often rear its tired head and confound and abuse me still, from time to time, but hey, as Mencken said, if you are morally certain about anything, you are probably wrong about everything.
It has been my burden or gift to plunge (and I do mean, dive deeply with eyes closed) into any subject that caught my interest: literature, acting, dance, business, marketing, language teaching (pedagogy), furniture restoration, animal advocacy, indoor and outdoor gardening, and of course, the mantic arts (and that’s just a select few). To be fair, the saying: ”Jack of all Trades, Master of None” doesn’t really apply in this case, because, for reasons not yet fathomable to me, I have been able, in all those cases, to achieve a certain level of expertise in each. Not sure why. Now, as I grow old and grayer by the week, much of what I knew I either can’t remember or, like Ausencia in Ground Manners, can’t finish decorously, all points argued in an eloquent polemic. Hmm…. Even my expertise in the mantic arts seems a dim memory…although I can still look at a chart and, in seconds, say most of what is to come. Now, I say it only to myself, in a whisper, because, like David’s Mum (who was an accomplished astrologer), I now know that there are some things it is best not to know beforehand, or for that matter, at all. St. Augustine said: ”Trying to fathom the eternal mysteries is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon”, and while true, one can covet and wield the teaspoon for a bit until wisdom meets up with you and shakes its head in silence. And that little kernel of insight is what Practical Magic truly is.