Megaera and the Mojo Bag

Sunset; Escondido, CA Oct 2007

It’s been raining in California, which is kind of a miracle.

An even bigger miracle (for me) is that it was raining last night, during the full moon. So I stuck some glass jars on my balcony and collected some rainwater under the full moon. Hello, ritual water.

I strained it through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into clean jars, labeled them, and stuck them in the fridge because they won’t evaporate as fast as they will at room temperature, which is usually about 80 with the heater on.

Anyway. As I was cleaning up, holding the remaining cheesecloth in my hands after doing this magical/ritual thing, I was reminded of an old ex-friend of mine and now I have a story for you.

This friend, we’ll call her Megaera after one of the Erinyes who caused jealousy and envy, and punished those who committed marital infidelity. I think this is fitting, because she was often jealous and envious of others (despite her protests to the contrary, her petty actions/words gave her away) and, while never really unfaithful, wasn’t someone I would describe as quite faithful, either, but I won’t get into that. Point: It’s a fitting name and if she ever stumbles on my blog she’ll immediately know I’m talking about her, which is hilarious because I am also petty, but out of spite rather than insecurity, because… well, you’ll see in a second.

So much spite.

ANYWAY. Story time!

So, for a little context, I’m a witch. I hope this is obvious. “Cupcake Witchery,” you know. I first got into witchcraft and Paganism when I was eleven or twelve, mostly because my mom kind of got into it. I don’t do spell work very often, because usually I don’t feel a need these days, and who has the time? But I used to, when I was younger and had fewer responsibilities. I also lived in an area where there were a few ghost-story-type places which were supposedly haunted.

When I was about eighteen or nineteen, Megaera and I, along with another friend we’ll call Scott (after Scott Summers of the X-Men; they’re both very douche-y), decided we wanted to go drive through and possibly explore one of these places. Now, I can’t recall exactly if it was before or after this event, but Megaera also dabbled in Paganism, but she wasn’t a practicing witch by any means. As far as I know, she never did any spell work or devotional work, but she wore a pentacle and praised the Goddess (and burned incense and candles).

The Point: She obviously had some interest in the occult, so I wasn’t surprised when she asked if I could make a protection charm for the trip because, “We definitely need some kind of protection charm.”

“Sure,” I said. “I can make a quick mojo bag. I’ll need something to wrap everything in, though, like cheesecloth or something.”

Which she, apparently, found hilarious. Cheesecloth. Whatever. I was a little annoyed because, yes, cheesecloth is a thing used frequently in cooking, why is this funny? But you’d have thought I just gave birth to a turkey for how absurd she found it.

I whipped up a quick (very quick) mojo bag, asked the gods for some protection, and we went off. It was kind of boring and uneventful, but we acted like terrified kids because we were stupid teenagers out for mischief.

Later, she took great delight in making fun of that mojo bag. You know, the one she asked me to make. She said it was basically useless and did nothing (but we did get home unharmed, which was the whole point of the bag, so I’m not sure what she was expecting). More or less what I took away from the exchange was, “Your beliefs were fun for the moment, but now that we’re back in Real Life™ I think they’re stupid.”

Which pretty much sums up our entire friendship, if it could be called such a thing. She once asked me to do her hair, but would constantly tell me how weird my own looked with those sort of backhanded compliments, “It’s amazing how you can pull off a hairstyle like that.” Like what, asshole? “I’m so jealous. I would never be brave enough to do that.” It’s not bravery, it’s hair dye. (Also, when I did do her hair, I tried to tell her we didn’t have time for the dye job she wanted, but she insisted; ended up having to wash it out about fifteen minutes early, so it looked like a splotchy mess and I found out later that she totally bad mouthed me about it to everyone.)

So, yes. Bitter and spiteful when it comes to that one.

A lot of my friendships were like that, though. People giving me backhanded compliments, or just downright insulting me under the guise of “I’m just joking! I’m just playing by making fun of this crippling insecurity you have and have expressed discomfort with in the past! The fact that I feel comfortable picking at your worst self-confidence issues actually means I like you!”

Which is at least 50% my fault, because I attracted those people with the vibe I put out, but that’s for another day.

I love you all.

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