Wednesday, the 10th of April 2013.
Day of the New Moon.
A slight drizzle and grey clouds hung over Edinburgh, as all three of us sat down in front of the computer, having finished a quiet breakfast, getting up a bit earlier because the cleaner was to come by today. My fellow students and I sat down to separately spend some time at the computer. I, to write down my encounter at the Royal Oak Pub yesterday evening. I’d settled into the armchair at the window with the view to the castle and had all I needed right there. A cup of tea and a tartan blanket.
Hours came and went. As did lunch. Then the time arrived for today’s lesson. Unknown to us all.
The girls had found out, sometime this or the previous week that there was a pub close by that had a storytelling session today at 3 pm.
We made our way to the pub in the area of Greyfriars and as K opened the door and T and I followed behind her, I sensed that there was a certain kind of energy in the room. I got the message that this was “a meeting that had been on schedule for a long time.” But pre-planned by whom, you might ask? Well, who ever runs the show. The Being of Eterneal Mystery, we can call it.
At these meetings, there are only the people present that are suppose to be there. No more, no less.
When I saw the other figure there, besides the bartender, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. We’d encountered another witch. She, I was sure, was aware of her path. Perhaps even overly aware. She was the stereotype of a witch: a very beautiful woman, with deep hazel, glowing eyes, black long hair (I suppose, it was long enough to hold her hat pinned to it). And she was dressed as if she’d stepped right out of the Victorian streets of Edinburgh. She wore a black, broad rimmed hat that was pinned to her head with a hat needle. A long black coat, that almost touched the floor, covered her and offered protection from the cold spring air. Her shoes, ones I would have picked out too, were short, Victorian inspired, black boots.
Underneath the coat, a long black skirt, that almost touched the floor, sat neatly on her slim figure. She wore a grey, woolen shirt with a fun design and orange buttons. Her nails were colourless, long and pointy. In her I recognized myself.
Though, had you taken a look at me, I was quite the opposite. My hair is long too, but blonde. I have glowing eyes as well, but they’re icy blue. I was dressed in a Victorian inspired coat, had on black leggings a brown dress and a blue long-sleeved sweater. From my ears were hanging a couple of Venetian inspired dangling earrings and on my finger was a Celtic inspired amber ring. (My nails are short, though.)
T asked the bartender, a broad, stout man with round glasses and not much hair about the storytelling that was supposed to take place. He answered:
“I just texted them. They were supposed to be here by now.”
I took a look at the clock on the wall above the bar. 15.15. As sure as what I’m telling you here is the truth, as sure was I that there was not going to be any storytelling today. The reason we were here was, as I said before, for something else.
I ordered a cappuccino. When the bartender had made it for me, I sat down in the red leather couch in front of a low wooden table, where a single candle was burning in a purple candle holder.
Almost as soon as my bottom had hit the seat, my sister (the woman who follow a similar path to mine) spoke to me.
“Are you here for the storytelling as well?”
“Yes”, I answered, and thought originally. I was curious to see where this was going.
“What’s your name?”, my sister in arms asked.
I told her.
“Talia.” Talia, I thought, tasting the word, sure that I’d met her somewhere before. Perhaps in another life.
I took a sip of my cappuccino, feeling some words descend upon me, letting them go as I spoke them out loud: “If you’d like, you’re welcome to join us”, I told her.
“Yeah, well…” she answered, hesitantly.
T joined me on the leather couch with her cup of hot chocolate and repeated my offer.
“Oh, well… okay”, Talia finally decided.
K then came too with a cup of hot content and Talia ordered a bottle of cider. Sitting the glass and bottle down in front of her, the bottle seemed to me to be overwhelmingly big for a woman of Talia’s size. As it turned out, when the three of us left a couple of hours later the content of the bottle was half-drunken.
As T inquired Talia as to why she was here and where she was from, I took a closer look at my colleague.
She had an honest gaze, beneath the glasses that she would once in a while readjust, and a nervous laugh that somehow suited her.
“I’m a writer”, Talia answered T. “And I decided that the royalties I make off of writing I could live on anywhere, so I decided to go to Edinburgh.”
“What do you write”, I asked, intrigued as Talia was a pot of gold that had just fallen into my lap. I’d never met anyone that walked a similar path to mine.
“Well, it’s about witchcraft. Sort of “how-to-guides. Also, I do spells for people. Though, some really weird ones come to me once in a while.” Talia laughed her nervous laugh and continued.
“I once had a girl asking me to do a spell that would hack into her schools computers, change her grades and make everyone forget that she’d ever had other grades. And then there was the teenage girl that wanted me to do a spell so she would magically turn into Vanessa Hudgins, have an exact voice as Vanessa Hudgins and become famous like Vanessa Hudgins.”
“I wonder what everyone would think if suddenly a copy of Vanessa Hudgins appeared?” I said and laughed.
These are silly requests, a voice said. Not to mention that of course you cannot turn anyone into someone else. These waters, of which you’re talking, are treacherous ones. They are in truth “superstitions.” Magic, as anything else in this world, follow certain rules, certain patterns. For anyone who wants to know about magic will have to learn about Love, the universal force that everyone is a part of and which is a part of everyone. In order to walk the path of magic one will have to learn about oneself.
The old wisdom about using magic solely for your own good, not turning out the way you expected, is true. Magic and spells – which are just another form of prayer – are not to be used without caution. Hence the old saying: be careful what you wish for. And this is where most people get side-tracked, as they want the dream but are less interested in the wisdom of the journey. But that’s for another story…
For two hours we sat there, teaching. We talked about magic, how “magic” or “miracles” had always occurred in many different paths of religion etc. We were teaching through dialogue. Yet, I sensed the two girls’ concentration and interest diminishing not even halfway through the conversation. I noticed, too, that neither of them took any notes opposite to what they’d done so far. To them, what was going on in this moment was nothing important. K was half sleeping, almost lying down across a table. T was not as obviously disinterested, yet I could feel her confusion and her writing-off of the experience. Yet, I know that the “session” Talia and I had with both of them was important. It will, at least, have directed them toward the fact that there is more to this world than what first meets the eye.