A while back I sat down and was talking about positive triggers.  I’m going to try to expand on that today. The reason why it popped into my head is because this past week, I got news that left me seeing red and thinking black. I can honestly and safely I did not consider harming myself…unless you count the mistake of drinking angry. Which BTW Brandy is most emphatically NOT the liquor to be drinking when drinking angry. Get some horse pis… I mean… light beer to drink. At least you’ll be full before you’re drunk or sick. (No ribs were cracked in the result.)


This is something that is the culmination of a lot of reading, talking to other people who deal with the same or similar problems as I do. Let’s jump into this.

60 things/minutes:

  • 60 crochet stitches
  • 60 knitting stitches
  • 60 strokes of a paintbrush
  • 60 minutes of music
  • 60 minutes of your favorite TV show
  • 60 pushups
  • 60 situps
  • 60 pulled weeds
  • 60 strokes of brushing your hair (should have the longer locks)
  • 60 minutes reading a book you’ve read before (that way it’s easier to put down when the times up alarm goes off)
  • etc etc

The point is to spend 60 minutes doing something or do 60 of the same thing. If you do minutes of something, set an alarm. The point of the 60 is something long that forces you brain to reset. Forces you to calm down. Also rolls into the idea of a Zen project. A Zen project is a project you only work on when feeling anxious, depressed, angry etc. Can be any hobby. Woodworking, crocheting, embroidery, etc. Some of my zen projects have gone on to very happy owners after they were done. Which was basically icing on those particular “cakes”.

10 minutes/things:

  • play with your pets
  • put ten things away
  • spend ten minutes working on one thing
  • go outside for ten minutes
  • spend ten minutes gathering up trash and then throw it away.
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 situps
  • 10 dishes washed
  • pull 10 weeds

Again, same as with the 60. Only in a smaller chunk. You’re doing something productive. And you might only get one of those done in a day, but you’ve just accomplished a measure of control on your world.

5 minutes/things:

  • jumping jacks
  • crochet
  • knit
  • play with dogs
  • wash five dishes
  • five minutes in a room and clean something
  • sit down with a cup of tea or coffee
  • Organize a book shelf
  • sweep room
  • wash a window

Starting to see a pattern? Many of these tasks you’ll find you spend more than five or ten minutes on. Once you get rolling washing dishes many times I find by the fifth dish I’m checking over the drainer to see how many more I can fit in.

Many times I start sweeping and find I want to do just one more room, which ends up turning into the whole house sometimes. I’ll dust for five minutes. Add five stitches to a project over here, then another five to a project over there, and soon I’ve worked on five things and made a little bit of progress.

These are not hard and fast number triggers. These are what I’m finding are working. Some folks might want to adjust it to a 45-15-1 rule.

The point is to deliberately set out to do a thing. Do it for a set amount of repetitions or time. Oh hey look at that. You should took control in your life and have induced a measure of order.

When you’re working on yourself, sometimes the only progress you can make is in small steps. Especially if you’re one of those folks who works every day at a regular job. Your day might look something like:

  1. Wake up.
  2. make breakfast (five minutes)
  3. Make coffee (favorite cup)
  4. Make lunch (ten minutes)
  5. head to work
  6. get home from work
  7. Sit and chill playing pets (5 minutes work but I recommend ten)
  8. wash ten dishes
  9. make dinner and eat (60 minutes)
  10. wash ten more dishes put everything up
  11. check social sites (seriously start breaking that up into smaller chunks too!)
  12. room at random to clean something in

You get the idea. If you work from home like I do technically, set an alarm or timer or something so that you’re breaking your work up into 60 minute chunks. Take five minutes into between each hour and play with your dogs, stretch and just step away from the work in general.

Small steps after awhile when you glance over your shoulder, will have carried you a lot farther than you thought. Again, as emphasized in my last positive triggers note, you need to journal journal journal. Document everything or as much as you are comfortable writing down.

You’ll start noticing which 60-10-5 things work the best in taming an internal problem. Keep those things tucked away in the back of your mind for days that just seem to be out to destroy you mentally. On those days, give yourself permission to do 10 five things. Those are the days to limit it to small things until you’ve started to feel things calm down then do a couple ten things.

Make sense? I hope so.


Positive Triggering

Everybody has heard of triggers. It’s a term that gets aggressively over used by a segment of political identity to the point of nausea. Frankly, I’d like to tell you idiots to shut the fuck up. No, shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down. We’re going to talk about triggers today without the guest commentary from someone who is only repeating what they’ve been told or heard or read from their echo chambers.

For those of you going “Not a gun trigger?”, a trigger is a catch all term for multiple mental health problems that have a multitude of things that can trigger an attack or cause the problems to suddenly flare up. Triggers are no fucking joke despite the attempts of the idiots.

If you have a condition that deals with any trigger of any kind, you should be keeping a log of what they are.  You should be keeping track of EVERY SINGLE TRIGGER you find yourself experiencing. Triggers range from:

  • Not eating enough
  • Not taking your vitamins
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Misinterpreting what someone is saying as trying to give me an order
  • Someone not respecting when I say stop (every damn time almost, doesn’t matter what I’m telling you to stop over, if someone pushes, it’s a trigger every fucking time. And it’s fucking annoying.)
  • drinking too much
  • Not enough water
  • boundaries being violated
  • boundaries having to be re-established
  • being hugged without permission (this is a rare one because most people that do hug me I’m at a level of physical comfort with that it’s not a problem)
  • over socialization
  • too much loud sounds
  • sudden loud sounds
  • being startled (never funny)

Taking the power out of a trigger and mitigating triggers should be a priority if you deal with a mental health problem that has triggers as an impacting factor. I don’t know about any of you, but I like functioning.

Which leads me to my next point: Developing positive triggers that help you set your day in motion and keep it in motion. Call it a routine. Call it a coping mechanism. Positive triggers that you can use to counter act a negative trigger.

There’s a process to getting the day rolling. Coffee, putting on my jeans, putting on a bandanna are positive triggers I use to start my day, to trigger a shift into work mode and trigger a productive state of mind.

By developing a positive trigger, multiple; the quality of your life will improve to the point where you’re in more control of what’s going on. Mental health problems being turned into manageable problems that make day to day wrangling easier.

Just as you document your negative triggers, you need to document which triggers are working for positive effects. Journal journal journal.

What You Owe

According To Hoyt

Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
– Robert A. Heinlein

I found this Heinlein quote yesterday, while working on the article for PJmedia (I know most of my Heinlein quotes at a remove, because I first read them in Portuguese, so I need to check every time to make sure I don’t mangle them.) At first sight this resounds a lot with Mister Obama’s statement that “Sin is being unfaithful to my principles” — which given the changeable nature of the left’s principles means that “sin is what I feel like it should be today.”

Of course, that is not it…

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Basically….books of spells…

And no, I’m not talking about the published spells on the internet or in books. (I have my favorites but those are for another day.)

No kiddies we are going to be talking about your personal books of shadows, grimoire, spell book or whatever the hell you’re calling it.  We are going to talk about something that has really been starting to annoy me with some of the pagan fandom.


This inexplicable desire to mock another person’s spell book. To tell them it’s too messy. It has to be neat and tidy and practical. That you have to have one at all.  Personally I’d recommend having at least a basic one with correspondences in it. However there are some folks who don’t have even a digital one but they still as magicky as I am, so power to you folks who can do that.


Me I wouldn’t be able to remember my colors let alone moon cycles if I didn’t write it down at least once. And with the memory problems, writing stuff is the only way anymore to make sure I’m remembering correctly when I commit to a magickal action.


Back to the main point, there is some petty ass shit going on with some of these bitches. They are forgetting a very key point: A person’s book of spells is very personal. It’s a reflection of who they are as an individual and as a practitioner of magickal arts. Sadly this tendency ties into some other blanket thinking that is harmful to the community such as:

  • demanding all practitioners be vegan
  • we don’t use weapons ever
  • it’s okay to curse everyone (seriously the amount of energy you waste doing that is repulsive to me. Just flip the fuckers off and move on.)
  • That it is not okay to have a shrine to a, b, c because “cultural appropriation REEEEEEEE”.
  • etc etc etc


They engage in very collectivist thinking. They hate the people who are able to show their individuality with their spell books. They hate the people who are able to draw very lovely pieces of crystals into their books. That take the time to work on a page here and a page there, gluing in magazine cuttings or printed off pen sketches or writing very slowly so as to make it’s legible.

They hate that not everyone is using three ring binders, hole punched scrap book paper and bic pens. It smacks them in the face every time they see it that not everyone is doing what they think they should do.   Me? I’m jealous.  I admit. There are witches out there that are damn good artists and I am still practicing to be able to even get a damn tulip right. LOL









You wanna know why Asatrau has become so damn popular? tumblr_otb5zutIUN1u6g8pyo5_1280

It’s not because of the shows. It’s because the faith demands your best and your absolute honesty about who you are.  It demands your individuality be true. Most Asatrau I know don’t have spell books and if they do, I’ve never had the privilege of seeing it as those are probably intensely personal and the kind of thing to only be shared with liked minded tribe. (Yeah there are bunch of dick heads who try to practice it because they also are nazis and that’s papa Hitler idolized however, they ain’t practicing it right and it ain’t the real deal that they are showing.)


The tendency to demand conformity in any way in the Pagan fandom, is toxic. Period. It’s an infection from politics that doesn’t belong.

So folks, if you have a spell book, pimp it out. Get down with your witchy self in decorating it and putting things into. Cuz it’s a part of you and should show it.

When Sanity Hangs by a Thread.

Sit down.

We need to talk.

Pour something. There’s chilled everything because this is Arizona in the summertime. We don’t do not chilled right now.

I’ve recently come under fire in messages for my work. The crocheting and tshirts, but specifically the crocheting. Specifically why that’s my thing and why I talk and post about it as frequently as I do. The store on Etsy and the attempts to set up exclusive swags.

Yarn hack. Whore. Worthless. Lazy. Too submissive of a female for my own. Stupid. I’ve had the full gauntlet of attempts at insults thrown at me. From all sides of all types.

Those are the common things. There were a couple that made no damn sense because I think that person was drunk on liquid courage. Seriously, stay off sites that aren’t movies or music if you’re drinking heavily.

Let’s get one thing straight.


And if you think I’m going to let go of one of the few skills that I have and that I do well enough to actually feel comfortable being semi-arrogant in my level of talent you are as stupid as you are blind.

I’m not going to back off from crocheting or knitting or doing anything creative. I’m not going to stop working with one of the things that helps make time pass. That helps in a lot of small ways and always add up to something big in the end.

My sanity doesn’t ride on your opinion of my craft. My sanity and ability to function ride on me and me alone. There are literally projects all over the house damn near that I have set up specifically to make taking care of this house easier. I don’t want to sweep? That’s okay, I’ll do a row on this blanket.

Dishes? I have this coat project I can add a row to.

Crocheting is a way to pick up momentum for the express purpose of getting things done. It’s a labor of love and an addiction to the satisfaction of holding something in my hand that I made. Something I brought into existence. This is why creatives suffer at the hands of the uncreative. We bring things into existence. The uncreative know they will never feel that satisfaction.

Which is I don’t spend time on insults normally. But with us having had a hit to our financial situation, I pushed the Teespring hard on FB, which seemed to just unleash a torrent of BS.

*shrugs* I am the bigger person most of time. So as far as I’m concerned, you’re not worth my time.

I’ve a crocheting technique to master. This is the last time I will ever acknowledge any small minded criticisms of my work.




Nullification Part 8

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.

In the ten years since the Great Nullification as it was so unimaginatively called by the communities at large, various enterprises fell apart across the globe. Hotels, old abandoned mental hospitals, restaurants, churches, etc reported lessening’s in the hauntings every year until about three years afterwards they reported zero activity. Old war battlegrounds ceased to be places were the dead wandered in vain. Places of atrocities held only the plaques and stories now. For the first time in several hundred years our world’s Spirit boundary was clear and rejuvenated.

I couldn’t have been more pleased. For a long time, spirits had been called to dance on demand but only the Gods of Old and New knew for how long exactly. Most people now after six or seven years only rolled their eyes at the psychics and the palm readers. To go talk to one of them was now purely for entertainment.

The awakening of many coma patients happened as well. Several described it as though they had been trapped and then a path, an epic journey that had brought them back. Some of them had even gone to write these journeys down and they truly are epic stories. Many though accepted the choice to finally be able to let go and move on.

And that thing my grandfather asked for? Well, that was making the path clear to find the one you hoped to after reaching the Spirit World. The last time I saw him, was a very clear vision of him finally being able to stay with Grandmother permanently and watching them move to the Beyond.

Many practitioner’s say it was like walking a giant dump for several years but soon it became the focus of many to clean up the place. Most I think mistakenly thought if they cared for the grounds the Spirits would come back. These days there are rather lovely gardens and small houses with no one in them. I still look around there at times and wonder why it had come to this to get them to take care of this place.

Most would never know. The Spirit world was once again now what it was in the distant past. Merely a place of roads and paths to the Beyond.  What was the Beyond? Whatever the person choose. However the Spirits…were never coming back. Now one had to pull from the well that was inside themselves.

However, there had formed a new order since. Guardians for a lack of a better word. During the clean ups, many found horrible traps that had been laid years, decades, centuries ago by the greedy and the power hungry. Traps that sealed spirits of myth and humans alike. Many of the Guardians had been those who found these traps and bore the scares in the real world of having seemed to age a few years over night.

Ours was a thankless work. We kept an eye to ensure no more traps, no more quicksands, no more lost ones. We lead from the shadows if only to keep the majority distracted from the sins of our collective pasts and families lines.  We all knew, those of us who walked this world in our dreams it would be a hard battle. To punish those who would seek an old entrapment meant dealing with them in the real world. That had to be subtle as well. The agreed on prediction was that we’d be able to keep it empty and clean and safe for those Passing on…but most likely only for a couple of centuries.

As for Maxine, myself, Rosscoe and Marcus in the real world not much changed. Maxine decided after her circle finally dissolved that it was time to treat herself. She took the kids and the grandkids on a Disney Cruise. Two of them back to back. One on the Atlantic and on the Pacific. Then her and Rosscoe went to Japan for two months and then South Korea and I think you get the picture. Her and Rosscoe traveled together for a good three or four years. Then Rosscoe came back and co-managed the store with me while Maxine just kept on exploring.

Marcus moved back to his home city and built a new business with his family, one that relied on the skill of storytelling. They tell the tales of old hauntings and speak a blessing to an unknown cause for things finally quieting down so that the living can live.

Me? I still live out on the property though these days with a proper farmhouse. Maxine let me do with what I wish with the place and because of it’s connection to the store (which is going as strong as ever) I started branching out a little bit. Maxine wasn’t happy about the news of the Alpaca herd but it’s been four years. I think she’s forgiven me by now. The workshop was ever busy and in the past couple of years, two apprentices joined me at the property, grandkids of Maxine.

We were ever kept busy now with mundane things now that the Spirit world no longer needed constant curtailing and tending. It was a wonderful thing really. The peace and quiet was a joy that many didn’t realize they had needed.

I was spending Halloween as I did every since then, quietly and out on the porch with a spinning wheel. With it, I could see everyone and how they were doing. Today I was checking on Maxine. She was hanging out in an old cafe somewhere and writing furiously on her laptop. She had take to travel blogging and was happier than a clam.

She paused for a moment and looked straight at me, winked and went back to work.

Yeap. Same old, same old.

Nullification part 7

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.

The lake I chose was way out in deep countryside. Most of the roads to it were primitive roads and in the winter time were off limits to non-appropriate vehicles. I arrived two days before the solstice.  There was no one else out here.  I was alone and in two feet of snow. There was a very specific way that the fires had to be laid out and set up to catch fire by a mechanism controlled from the shore. This was the piece my dad had for me. A way to safely be off the ice.

It was eerie out here. There was no wind, no winter birdsong just cold crackling silence. I had to bring the firewood with because of the snow. It took most of the two days and almost all of Winter Solstice to get everything set up. The bowl had been set dead center. I had taken a rope and made a perfect circle around it so as to be able to place the firewood and journals as perfectly as possible so that they would crack the ice and send it all to the bottom.

Part of the work was just getting enough tinder and kindling ready. My mind wandered many times during this process back to the conversation my father and I had had. Apparently my mother had tried to rekindle the relationship with him but he wasn’t having any of it. He’d found a woman who loved many of the same things he did and had introduced him to a few new hobbies. Yes my father was a craft monkey just like me.

I showed him the chest, the shelves, the entire workshop that had sprung up over the course of this. He nodded approvingly and had told me to be expect a 3D printer to arrive in the springtime some time. I could use to start making things for the store on order instead of ordering online and waiting for it to ship and arrive.

I had everything except the kindling and tinder on the woodpiles. The wind had picked up for several hours on the day of the Solstice and I watched it from my truck camper anxiously. It looked as though the weather had decided to intervene but just in the last hour that I had left, the wind died to a standstill. I’d never mastered ice running quite like I did that night or have I since. I still busted my butt at least once getting back to shore, but didn’t hesitant to hit the switch.

With a pop twenty six piles of wood sparked and ignited. The gasoline soaked pages aided.  I sat down on the shore and watched, singing the song my grandfather had told me to sing. After what only seemed a few minutes the fires broke into an almost perfect circle through the ice and the piece flipped over, the bowl sliding in the dark waters below.

I watched the cracks radiate in all directions and glanced at the night time sky. The stars seemed brighter and clearer for some reason.

The next morning found me packing camp quicker than I wanted to. We had another blizzard bearing down on us and I made it back home with ten minutes before it hit to spare. Maxine ordered me into the tub before I could even speak and had a hot meal ready for me once I was out.

I told about how it went all down and she smiled at me then gestured towards her spinning wheel.

“How long will it take for everything to complete?”

“Once the clay has dissolved in the water, it’ll take three years for everything to come to fruition and wrap itself up. Nice and gentle and no one will be able to ever trace that magic back to me.”

“Will it be enough?”

“Only time will tell.”

“Time.  Time is one thing that has both hindered us and aided us.”

“At least it didn’t betray us with this.”

“That leaves the last journal.”

“I don’t think so. See the person who took it I narrowed down to two individuals. One of them has vanished completely the other is so far down on their luck that I think they’re a homeless person in Denver now. Either way, we don’t have to worry about them or that journal. I’m fairly certain it’s been lost, destroyed or used for joint wrappings. Either way, it’s not a concern we should be having.”

Maxine sat back down at the spinning wheel and began to finish the bobbin.

“What about the workshop?”

“Keep it. Keep making things with it. The store now has it’s own craftmans shop.”

Maxine started laughing.

“Yes, yes that it is a good use for it. We put it together to save our cousins in magic and we shall continue to use to support our local community. I think I like this practical way of thinking.”


Nullification Part 6

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.

Halloween was one of the quietest I had ever experienced. An advantage I found I liked living in the country. Everyone else was at the store for a party. I had the house to myself. Though it was not spent relaxing. I had not been able to find a ceramic pot that suited what I needed and so for the last two weeks, I had been elbow deep in clay.

I had to explain to Maxine and Rosscoe that no, we would not be building a kiln or painting the bowl. That was the spell would enter the water. The water over a period of time would dilute the clay down until there was nothing left and then the working would be begin to seep into the Worlds.

This night however saw me just practicing. There were five bowls made and they would be drying in the sun room for the next several days. I was just playing around. I needed it as the last couple of weeks had been nothing but prep. Keeping myself on task with the store duties had been hard. I wanted to finish everything and now.

“You’re as bad as your namesake.”

I paused and looked over at my rocking chair which was now moving slightly.

“You’re the last spirit I would expect.”

He chuckled and leaned forward.

“Yes I imagine. Since it was me that your mother hated so much. I suppose you barely remember your namesake though.”

“I remember she had fire brown hair.”

“Look fiery in the sun, but was really just brunette with our bloodlines natural highlights.”

I kept working.

“Why are you here grandfather?”

“Because I know what you’re going to do and I’m here to ask you to do me a favor in the spell of yours.”


He explained what he wanted. I had to admit I felt embarrassed to having forgotten that angle.

“I can add another ladder path cord.”

“No, it must be done with a very particular song. Do you remember the path finding song I taught?”

I smiled. Still to this day I would find myself humming that song if I was having a hard time with a decision.

“When you lay the bowl to rest… sing that song.”

“I can do that. Now can I ask you something grandfather?”


“Am I missing anything else?”

“Your father holds the answer to that question, but you won’t be seeing until the Sunday after Thanksgiving am I right?”

I nodded. I wasn’t on speaking terms with my mother as she had divorced my father because he wouldn’t yield the family journal to her. I only spoke to my father these days.

“It was her side of the family that gave you your ingenuity.”

“And fricking ego. Damn thing is harder to keep in check than hormones.”

“Only because you’re still young. Your raw ability comes from your namesake, my mother in law. Claudette darling, do you have time for a bit of history?”

I gestured to the clay I had just collapsed.

“I’m actually taking tonight off, so I’d say yes.”

A pipe appeared out of nowhere in his hand.

“Much of what you are seeking to clean up, as you know is from the dabblers and messy business of sloppy magic. Once many of the families who still carried a folk tradition or two reached the North American continent they picked a few things from the Native Americans that helped circle us back to be more tidy with our magic.”

“However there have always been those who refuse to listen to the lessons that have passed down to every magic user and they do as they wish or blindly follow a tradition. For a bunch of idiots who claim a broom, they sure as hell don’t know how to use one!”

I snorted.

“I’m sure grandmother appreciated that.”

“That woman would spend an exact of amount of time cleaning. You have no idea the weight that was lifted off of her shoulders when the news spread that Down’s Syndrome is genetic. The amount of freedom that has been given back to us by science is something to be grateful for. Sadly, you will continue to encounter those who can’t think past their precious little reputations or noses for that matter.”

He took a long drag on his pipe and thought for several moments.

“Did you recognize the magic on the chest?”

“It was old.”

“Too old to get a good read eh? Well, your great great grandfather, who was a BlackFoot but passed as white is who buried that chest. No, he’s not angry you found it but he does wish you had been able to pull everything together before finding it.”

“I was in a race against other individuals.”

“Yes, descendant of those who were too careless to learn. Which reminds me. How attached are you to those journals?”

“Not very.”

“Good.  You’re to build a pyre along with that bowl and burn them on the lake. The heat from it will melt the ice enough to drop the pages, which are old into the water causing them to disintegrate completely. The time of handing information over on a silver platter is over.”

“So there’s a consensus finally?”

“Yes and it’s that you’re nuts. However the ancestral councils have all agreed it’s time these whippersnappers start over.”

“That could start another Witch’s War. We all know how that last one ended.”

Grandfather took another long drag on his pipe.

“Are those journals accounted for?”

“Yes. They were some of the first I gleaned and then wrapped in ash, salt and sackcloth.”

“Good. They must be burned first. You’ll need to make a fire for each journal. This part you can have some fun with.  Use some random configuration for the fires, the conspiracy nuts will eat up like home made candy.”

“Trying to tell me what you want next year?”

He chuckled.

“It’d be nice.”

He paused and leaned forward again towards me.

“You’re probably going to need a new alarm clock.”

He was right of course.  I may… or may not have thrown the damn thing across the room. Yes it was ten am but it had come too soon for my tastes.  The others didn’t get back until noon. All but Maxine went to bed. We spent the next hour talking as I filled her in.

“I knew him, your grandfather. Sounds like the spirit world doesn’t change a person.”


Poor Darlings

According To Hoyt

You know what?  I’m sick and tired of whining brats.

And if you’re looking at me, just now and wondering what I’m talking about since the sons are 26 and 22, you haven’t been reading newspapers, or even doing an unprotected turn of Facebook, beyond the confines of the friends you trust not to be completely insane.  Because it’s a crying, whining, feet kicking fest out there.

The proximate cause of their insanity is obvious: their chosen candidate didn’t win.  Not that they knew much about the candidate, mind you.  But they were told that she was wonderful and would bring ice cream, and give them everything they wanted.  So, like all children who have been denied candy, they’re metaphorically speaking on the floor, kicking arms and feet and holding their breath.

How is this different from what we did when Obama won?  Oh, it’s markedly different.  The thought process…

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Nullification Part 5

Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Each of the old journals was taking anywhere from a day to four or five days depending on its age. I’d had already gone through a full box of cotton gloves and was on the second box now. Maxine had moved into the second bedroom suite moving in officially with me and Rosscoe was living on site now as well. During one of the days at the store several weeks back, Maxine had fallen and busted her hip. It had been a huge blow to all of us as she seemed to be less herself now.

She was in her 60’s true, but to see a woman you once watched rope an errant bull that then decided to try and run her over and hit the brakes when it realized that she wasn’t backing down and meekly follow like a damn lamb, be brought low was painful. However since moving in with me, her spirits had started to begin to recover. She was an old country gal and when they found themselves abruptly stopped for whatever reason, it tended to take a while for them to come around.

Fall was in the air and we were having to finally turn the heat on at night. Maxine insisted she didn’t need it but I don’t think she’s realized I know she has two quilts and one of my afghans on her bed. The leaves were starting to turn color, the air crisp and ground slowly falling asleep for the coming winter. Halloween was just around the corner leading the holiday season ever closer and with it, Winter Solstice.

That was my deadline. It was a null moon. It was falling on a meteor shower that night and there were all sorts of little astrological goodies that Rosscoe kept raving about. I couldn’t care less. I was finding the clues and keys as needed and had figured out the last of the missing pieces with Maxine’s help.

It had been purely by accident. I was mixing together a batch of moon tea, going purely off smell this time as the last time I did by flavor and it wasn’t a success. As I was measuring out parts, I was explaining to Maxine the wall I had come up against.

“It’s all one hundred percent now laid out on a clear path. The only problem is the vessel or rather the delivery system. If I use what all these journals state is a surefire way I’m going to end up bringing everyone and their cousin down onto my head and this isn’t going to happen.”

Maxine paused from where she had been very slowly pulling out a binding stitch from her families ancestral journal.

“Is there anything from your hobbies that you could use to help yourself figure out a solution?”

“Not entirely. An overlay of all them perhaps.”

This had set me into thinking. It wouldn’t be the first time I had done what the snobs call low or common magic which is to say, prep everything a little at a time and then either burn, bury and drown the magic so that it enters the streams of the world.

If I used a large ceramic bowl, and covered the top with a dis-solvable in water substance that could give me the advantage I needed. Our lakes freeze over by Yule and the ice acts a nice little shield to keep anything from been found.

I hadn’t realized I had been thinking out loud.

“And you’ve stumbled on all this information on how to pull this all off by sheer accident and insane levels of curiosity?”

I nodded.

“I should be grateful you’ve not blown up this house yet shouldn’t I?” she said with a chuckle that sounded more like the Old Maxine.

“How’s the spirit world sounding?”

Maxine sighed.

“It’s loud and chaotic again as it has been for the last several decades.”

“Not for much longer.”

I shoved the cork into the tea bottle.

“I suppose if one wanted to, they could hold it all hostage but how long?”

Maxine didn’t look up from her work.

“This may be why certain ones have tried so damn hard to a hold of it all. It would make them powerful.”

“But also hunted,” I plopped into the rocking chair Rosscoe had bought me as a house warming gift.

“I do think with the place we’re at with the journals, means we can take a break. Besides, I need your help in making a component for this.”


“Do you remember the knots you tied for the Bridge spell you cast several years back?”

Maxine started chuckling.

“I think I see where you’re going with this, but explain to me what you see in that mind of yours.”

I showed her the rough sketch and pointed out where I needed the knots to fall and why I wanted those knots in particular. As I explained my reasoning for each knot her eyes widened.

“You really are trying to cover all bases aren’t you?”

“Do you honestly think I could live with myself if I didn’t? For all I know, it’s the most logical explanation but all avenues must be accounted.”

“What happens when those who choose that second option start to make an impact?”

“The same thing that would happened once their bodies became too old to sustain. It’s staying their choice, I’m just empowering them to make it.”

“This is going to go over well with most anyone.”

I paused in my color selection for the cord.

“I don’t care. There are too many things going on in the Spirit World to just leave it alone. I won’t leave alone and I won’t abandon anything or anyone over there.”

Maxine nodded.

“It’s because of that that my children choose you dear. They could see you shared the fire.”

“Have they been in contact?”

“Yes, they’re spending New Years here with us.”