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Episode One: "Who is they and what is this?" Some critical witches deconstruct.


Episode Summary:


*CW: explicit language, suicide.

Lex Storms, introduces themself and talks about where the idea for the podcast Care Spells came from, concepts of magic and care work, along with an introduction to the relationship between rigid radicalism, magic and accessibility. Lex also shares general expectations of the show as a space that centers the narratives and experiences of lgbtq2sia*, BIPOC, and disabled folks leading those conversations in the margins of queer care. The segment “I have questions.” Christine joins us to share their curiosities. While both Lex and Christine discuss their histories, practices, and relationships to magic they also delve into mental health, narrations of the witch, cultural appropriation, and critical queerness. Also, sneak peek into a future episode that Christine will be joining later on. Special guest Christine can be found on IG @cynicalpinay. Follow the podcast on IG @CareSpells or through the website where all transcripts will be available at www.carespells.com. For any questions, concerns, or expansions you can also email carespells@gmail.com.


*Content warning: this episode contains explicit language and mentions of suicide. If you are struggling The National Suicide Prevention Line can be reached at 800-273-8255 or online HERE.


Resources:

Rigid radicalism is cited through the interpretation of Nick Montgomery and carla bergman’s book Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times. Christine mentions the podcast Strange Magic now known as Between the Worlds, introduced to them by @sleepybbybutt, Potions from Snake Root Apothecary, and Sophie Macklin’s event Ungovernable Bodies.


Do you live in traditional Wiyot Territory? Consider paying an Honors Tax HERE. If you do not live in traditional Wiyot Territory and want more information about Honors Tax where you live please click HERE.


Transcript:


*Melancholy instrumental background music plays.


Content warning this episode contains explicit language and mention of suicide, if this is a triggering subject please skip through first half of the episode. More Information and resources can be found in the episode summary.

*Calm instrumental background music plays.


Lex:

Hello and welcome to the first episode of Care Spells I am your host Lex Storms and today we are going to talk a bit about where the idea of this podcast came from. This is the awkward bit where I try and think of what to tell you about myself. I’ve identified as a witch for about 28 years. I grew up in a Pegan household. Earth, wind, water and fire baby. I’m queer, gender fluid, white person who is currently residing on unreturned Wiyot territory. I have centered the majority of my adult life around different forms of care work, from deconstructing modalities of power, privilege, and control to making resources to live and feel joy more accessible. And that’s kind of what I'm just continuing to do at the moment. I’ve struggled a lot with mental health and magic has quite literally saved my life, bringing me back to feelings of wonder, dreaming, joy, and imagination. This past year has been full of grief and turmoil, full of love and full of loss.

To be honest I didn't really come into creating Care Spells with a goal, other than just an intense curiosity about how magic is showing up for other people working towards a more compassionate liberatory world. But I also realize that I hope for this podcast to unravel more accessible ways of feeling joy and practicing magic in ways that are in direct relationship to harm reduction, antifascism, food sovereignty, and other forms of care work. The general expectation of the show is a space that centers the narratives and experiences of lgbtq2sia*, Black, Indigenous, Peoples of Color, and disabled folks leading, and have been leading, those conversations in the margins of queer care.

As this podcast is revolving around magic let’s talk about what I mean by it. Right now, I think of magic as the happenings around and within us that can evoke feelings of wonder. People obviously have different understandings and definitions of magic, that’s what’s fun about it, its fluid and unexplainable. The way I feel when magic is happening is like when something creeps into all of my cells, raising all of my hairs, and it feels like there’s butterflies made of honey flying around in my stomach. Kind of like the feeling of being in love. I think some folks shy away from magic thinking that it’s something that’s completely outside of ourselves or drape the idea of magic in a dreary belief system-probably related to the Church State- that really limits people's imaginations to where magic is actually happening. Magic and spell casting can exist in a lot of different ways. Some of the moments I’ve felt and seen magic happen is through the creativity and imaginations of protest and liberatory practices, feeling moss rain, or the sun on my cheek, feeling my inner child’s hand held, witnessing an accountability process tend to community repair, witnessing the growth of seedlings, pulling a card from my tarot deck with my morning coffee that’s like “what’s up, you already know but here’s a reminder-get your shit together, here’s a tool you already have, and I fucking love you.”. I’m quoting verbatim. What I’m getting at is that magic is a life force and entity that lives and breathes and sometimes when we limit our imagination to rigid practices and beliefs of magic it becomes just that, rigid. Just to clarify, I’m not here to yuck anyone else’s yums. I am interested in deconstructing any idea that there is some kind of “pure” or absolute way of practicing magic or casting spells. There have been times in my life where I haven't had the capacity to practice spell casting but that didn't mean that magic wasn't existing all around me.

If you haven't already you should definitely check out the book Joyful Militancy Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by Nick Montgomery and carla bergman. It’s a really excellent resource to talk about some of the complexities of care work and ways we can show up for one another in ways that don't perpetuate harm. They have this definition of joy that absolutely love…


Joy is a desubjuctifying process, an unfixing, an intensification of life itself. It is a process of coming alive and coming apart. Whereas happiness is used as a numbing anesthetic that induces dependence, joy is the growth of people's capacity to do and feel new things, in ways that can break this dependence period. It is aesthetic and its older meaning before thinking and feeling where separate; the increase in our capacity to perceive with our senses. (Montgomery and bergman 2018: 60)


As someone who experiences chronic pain and sometimes dysphoria the idea of perceiving more with my senses is sometimes overwhelming and kind of annoying. That said, that’s where I’ve found the existence of magic can be the most tender. In the folds of pain and hurt, and numbness magic allows me to experience the world in the most nonbinary sense. Again, breaking from this rigid view and practice of magic as some kind of “positive vibes only” space that actively further marginalizes those most vulnerable to state and social violence. Sorry I went on a bit of a tangent-I’m sure we’ll have an episode on that.

Anyways in the book they also unravel this term called rigid radicalism which I find super relevant to the rigidity of some magical practices...especially when we’re talking about the magic of protest and care work. Rigid radicalism- I had a hard time understanding it at first, but it’s basically like. “This is the way to be anti-oppressive, you’re either with it or against it” it’s this ideal, absolute, pure, form of activism that derives from a lot of performative comradeship, white patriarchal supremacy, and is pretty ableist. I'll be going more into that next episode. But what I’m getting at is that rigidity in our radicalism and our magic doesn't allow us the space to melt into the messiness and fluidity that is inevitable in care work. So again, asking the questions and having conversations about how magic can be related to access to mental health and selfcare, reproductive and SWers rights, abolition, and other forms of care work is in direct relationship to imagining the possibilities of a more compassionate world. Magic can be a remarkable tool in unlearning external conditioning.


That said, I want to introduce a conversation with a dear friend and comrade Christine who is second generation Filipina anarcha-feminist residing on stolen Tataviam territory. She is a visual artist and intuitive healing practitioner. her work investigates various topics including multiplicity, healing, and autonomy. Her most recent work, desire portals, has been showcased through the music center of Los Angeles as part of their offstage virtual platform. Christine's upcoming project, tall child, explores jewelry design while integrating play, energy work, and the akashic records. This past year during quarantine on turtle island, she has enjoyed desert hikes, nature trips, meditation practice, and daydreaming. She is a new cat guardian to an 11-year-old bombay named Cassimere. She is definitely someone who sparkles just to make hearts more tender for worlds. This is our recording of “Christine has questions.”


*Interview recording starts There is no background music.


Christine:

How are you feeling?


Lex:

Good! I feel pink.


Christine:

I love it. I'm feeling blue...The thing is, like I mean, I think maybe I've had magical moments but I wouldn't say that like magic was clear to me or like, I was like, clearly consciously like intentionally like, oh, this is magic. Like a couple of years ago, which was when I started when I was like listening to a lot of Strange Magic podcast episodes with Sarah Faith Gottesdiener and Amanda Yates Garcia, now called Between the Worlds with just Amanda Yates Garcia. When I got really into it was hearing their kind of storytelling around the Tarot. And I also read an Amanda Yates Garcia's book that was really cool to like, hear some buddies, like story, or like upbringing, specifically with witchcraft and kind of like coming into her own. So, I don't know why, like, I'm very aware that these are white women whose witchcraft is like, very specific to them. But I felt like I was like learning a lot. And I know that our culture, there's all sorts of like, magical practitioners, like traditional practitioners. One is called the Babaylan, which they're kind of known as, like the community healer, or like spiritual person. And I don't really know too much about it. But that's an example. I think for me, just because I grew up like in the so-called United States, it's like I don’t know.... It makes kind of sense. It just feels more like resonant to like access what I understand is like magic from anything from like, the recent sort of, I don't know if we'd call it a trend, but just like this, wave of millennials and Gen Zers are really getting into it and that feels good. I feel like it can feel really commodified.


Lex:

Mm hmm.


Christine:

In ways... but it also feels significant. Yeah. And like, I feel like we won't really know much about it until, you know, a few years down the line. We can like, look back and be like "Oh, yeah, there's totally a shift going on here. For these number of reasons...." That's kind of what I'm thinking about. I'm just like, kind of the times I've maybe seen, like a spiritual practitioner. Um, yeah, I would say in a lot of ways, I mean, I don't know how much we could unpack this, but like, yeah maybe, like, magical and spiritual are kind of synonymous. Um, yeah, I don't know.


Lex:

That makes sense. Yeah. And also, like, again, I think the wording of like the magical has been adapted in a lot of different ways. So, it makes sense for your interpretation, or like, understanding of what magic is now maybe not being applied, you know, to things that you've witnessed in earlier years.


Christine:

Yeah.


Lex:

Oh, you kind of answered the second question, huh?


Christine:

I kind of did. I'll ask again for you. Because I mean, again, this is like me genuinely being interested in your view. My next question is, how did you know you grew up in a magical household? And then I also wrote, I think your mother was your primary caregiver and how did you know that? What your mother was pagan? Like, what? Yeah, I guess like, how is that all clear to you?


Lex:

Okay, I guess first off, how did I know that my mother was pagan was she would like straight up at school be like, "I'm pagan. My kids aren't doing this because we're pagan." And, like, get us out of a lot of things because we were pagan and whether or not I knew exactly what it was I knew that it was some form of religious practice. So that's how I knew that my mom was pagan. I think I knew that I was in a magical household when... Okay, to be honest, I think I don't think that the way that I grew up wasn't completely different from a lot of the folks that grew up in this area. I think there was a lot of just like these witch caregivers. So, I didn't have a moment where I was like, okay, this is a magical household. It was like a lot of my friends were also in magical household. So, if you're surrounded in, these households that are practicing spells and doing Equinox celebrations and things like that, it's not something completely different than then maybe going to a school or like being in a space where I was the only one. I think that I realized how not every household was like, practicing those kinds of ceremonies, essentially, in the way that I knew. And it wasn't until I was in a different school and a different atmosphere, when I moved to San Diego, or down South, is when I was like, Oh. Yeah, magic is still around me. Magic is still existing, but also not everyone around me is witnessing it, feeling it, or whatever it may be.


Christine:

Hmm. Wow. Yeah. And it's like, cool to think that I don't know, like, you had like growing up, you had other friends, families, like maybe, you'd go over to their house, and I imagine that they also have like broomsticks, or like, cupboards of herbs. And yes, that's, yeah, I mean, that's really cool. Because that just reminds me of how like paganism or witchcraft or just like having that connection to nature or the earth is so like, in so much intersects with like feminism. And so that was probably also like your first kind of introduction to feminism, maybe?


Lex:

Yeah. Okay. So as like a gender queer person, and as someone that has, like, yeah, learned more about, what feels good for me and also does less harm to myself and other people, I think that like, the feminism's that maybe I learned at that age, have developed. And so like, okay, I learned at that age, a lot about living in this femme body, and what that means culturally. But at the same time, I think that I have learned a lot more also, like, understanding that I am genderqueer and that feminism is definitely in relation to the ways that I practice. It's also more expensive now, I guess.


Christine:

Yes. 100%. Yeah. I mean, we sort of had this conversation before, when we were like, on a call. About, I don't know, I think I was trying to like, think about what magic means. And I sort of I think we've tried touching upon it. And I know that like, Care Spells is about kind of deconstructing magic or expanding what it magic means and I know that's going to be explored. I know that we're exploring right now. But yeah, I'm interested in you deconstructing, what does magic means? What is it? What is magic? (Both laugh)


Lex:

I kind of think of magic as like the reclamation of being connective with each other and the world around us and kind of taking in our different forms of like relationship with each other and again, the world around us. Not just like recognizing, but I think a part of reclaiming magic in a good way is also understanding the connectedness between like us, and the earth, us and like, the water while also deconstructing how those relationships exist, and being really cognitive, of the ways that we are practicing magic. That's kind of I think, the important part of practicing magic for me.


Christine:

No yeah, like magic is already like...when one practices magic it's already with intention, but you're almost saying like, okay, how do we push that intention? Or like, how do we add another layer of intention to it?


Lex:

Yeah. I'm like talking about magic, having like a really expansive definition, and also a fluid definition, and specifically in relation to like different forms of care work. When I was talking about rigid radicalism, I think like, that's when I'm like, okay, so if...if magic is a way in which we can connect with our ourselves and the world around us, rigid radicalism within magic is like, maybe you're connecting, but you're not being critical about the ways that you are practicing magic that actually are harmful.


Christine:

I mean, yeah, that reminds me of like, just a lot of, yeah, you're used to with the word like, rigid radicalism makes me about just how a lot of people like in the New Age movement Just tend to do a lot of spiritual bypassing around identity or like, the existence of intersectional feminists. Yeah. So, I was kind of just like, looking at sort of general definitions of magic. I guess Google definitions from Oxford languages say It's a noun "Magic is the process of apparently,” ‘apparently.' I love the addition of that (Laughs) “apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces." And then like, as a verb "move, change or create by, or as if by magic." I guess sort of referring to these definitions. I guess like when I think about magic, I think about building or creation. And then like, it also makes me think about the magician card and the Tarot, which is about like, creating. I think about expansion. And so practicing magic, for me, is kind of recognizing, like your own agency, as a spirit inside of a body. And knowing that, I don’t know, there's just this, like faith or like an inner knowing of, yeah, the ability to sort of change one's course in life, or to create things that don't currently exist.

Yeah, it's interesting, because, like, when I think about magic, it's just like, and I'm talking about, like, creation. Another thing that comes to mind is like, yeah, I guess abundance. Yeah, it's like impossible to practice from a space of, like, lack. So, it's just the act of magic is kind of like, knowing that you can, create and build whatever doesn't currently exist. And that sort of, I don’t know what other word to use but sort of necessitates just like faith, and trust in yourself. It's like, when we practice magic, I think there are days when I try to, and those days, I might feel depressed or really low, but it's just like, even though on those days, it's like, "Oh, okay, well, if I remember that I can do this. And then I remember that, like magic exists, then there's like, there must be like, a small part of me that has faith or trust in something better than this moment."...or like, I just feel like I'm getting somewhere but I can't,, it's hard to like, reach. Sort of related, yeah, if you were to describe that you practice magic to someone who has never heard of it before. How would you describe it to them?...Can I just say really quick that like, when I was becoming friends with you. It's not as if you were to be like, "Hey, so have you heard about magic before? Like, do you know about witches?" (Both laugh). It's just kind of like...oh, like this is totally just a part of you and like whoever gets to know you is along for the ride. You're not like "Um. So. This is what I do." You're just like, "Hey, you want to try this tea that I made?" And I don't know, if someone hangs out with you, it's just like already, like a part of who you are. So, yeah, I'm wondering if just if other people who might just be as intuitive can already pick up on that when they meet you. Or like...


Lex:

I do usually introduce myself like, "Brace yourself. IM A WITCH." (Both Laugh) Yeah, I don't. I agree. I feel like...wait was there a question in that? Or was that just...


Christine:

No. I guess we could just go back to the original, which is yeah well, that was just my anecdote. (Both Laugh) Oh! I think this is a great question. And I feel like this question is kind of like, what, Care Spells is about. What are some ways magic has helped you? Go big.


Lex:

Think that I touched a little about it in the recording. But I think like, specifically, as someone who has struggled especially recently. I think all of us have had an increase of you know, struggles with mental health this past year due to like COVID, and a plethora of other things happening. But for myself, someone that's struggled with a lot of like, anxiety, and depression, and chronic pain. I think that magic, in a lot of ways has helped me to, like, move through those times in my life. In a really, like, sweet and tender way. I think that magic, when I'm like thinking of it, I think of a friend, you know, whether that is the magic within me, or like the magic that is existing outside of me. Either way, something helped me through those like, moments of pain, and moments where my own self-worth had been, diminished, you know, it has also like, just expanded my understandings of myself in the world around me, it has helped me understand, my own queerness because magic in and of itself is absolutely, queer. It's just...IT JUST IS. And so, I think that it helped to guide me towards, like, what feels really good for myself, and also, ways that I can, like, yeah, be there for my community, and the people that I care about, and love by I don't know, making teas and giving my friends tea. It can be as, like, simple as that, or... (Lex cries) like, a few months ago, I was struggling with suicide for the first time or like thoughts of suicide, which, was really a scary time for me because...I had like dealt with depression before but never thinking of like, leaving this world because...because I love it so much, you know? But I think that when I was at a really, really having low...spellcasting...like waking up, being able to get out of bed and like, have the intention of putting a spell in what I was drinking, like just having the habitual and intentional moment with, with like, water, you know, and consuming my tea in the morning. Was a moment of like magic and brought me back to life that felt like really good? And brought me back to those like little things about life that I really enjoy. Just waking up, getting out of bed and seeing the sun for the first time of that day. And knowing that, like that moment is magic. Just those little moments of the world reminding me that It's here for me, you know? Holding my hand, I guess through it.


Christine:

Wow, I'm just wanting to share how much I appreciate your vulnerability. I just yeah, that's so beautiful. And just yeah, I'm really like holding how much like.... god now I want to cry.... you how much yeah, you just find life so precious. And how also wanting to validate that those the part of you that just really wanted to, like die was just this great desire to return returned back to source.


Lex:

(Both crying and laughing) Yeah. We are both just bawling...


Christine:

I think that's like also the core of, yeah, spell casting and witchcraft and living a magical life is intentionally coming to terms with death and like, living and like being a human but like, also knowing that like, we have superpowers, but constantly forgetting that too because we're human. Yeah, it's just, it's a really wild ride. And yeah, I would say similarly, it's so real to me. Like, the frickin song.... Do you believe in magic? Like, bro?! Do YOU?! (Both Laugh) It's literally everywhere and it's everything. I don’t know how else to explain it. It's like you can both see it and you can't see it like. Yeah, I, I think the way that magic has, like helped me is, I think going back to like, the bit around like, faith and hope and just like being connected with myself, it helps me to connect with others. It helps me to connect with earth because yeah, we're living in this matrix, baby. And it's so hard and feels so rough. And so spiky. And magic is the sort of fun candy floss that exists through this weird grid on the three-dimensional plane. It sweet, and it's fun. And yeah, and it connects me with my authentic self. That's just the thing that's always been inside of me since I was like a kid. I'd be so interested in knowing like, what everybody's like, sort of spiritual experiences are but yeah, it's just like, those things that you can't really explain. But it's like, these things that happen to you. Like yeah, experiences where you feel like something is happening to you. And it's like indescribable, and yeah, you feel like a part of something bigger, or? Yeah, like just knowing that there's more than the life that we see in front of us....


Lex:

Yeah. So, what are examples you can talk about that describes magic as restrictive, rigid, colonial or binary?


Christine:

Well, the first thing that comes to mind is well, actually, that there are a couple things, the first thing that comes to mind is I'm thinking about the Tarot and how binary that definitely is. We're only seeing, like, male and female archetypes, just femme or masc even. But I'm also enjoying the fact that there are plenty of decks out there and deck creators that yeah, that changed that and I really appreciate it. One of the first things I think about also, I guess the second thing I'm thinking about is when I think about witch, the first thing I think about is a white woman. And then I also think about what we learn in school which is like sort of colonial history and also part of European history thinking about Jonah of Arc, I guess... I'm just thinking about witches currently. Even though like I can sometimes refer to myself as a witch when I think about the term witch I still think about like, white women, white cis women. And yeah, I'm also thinking about just white feminism. So, it's just like for me, yeah, those concepts are still tied with the term witch for me personally, while knowing like, you know, there's witches in other cultures. Like in Filipino culture like we have the term bruha. Also, in like Latin American cultures But yeah, that's kind of what I'm thinking about. Yes. And just, yeah, going back to what we sort of touched on around New Age spirituality. And you also mentioned appropriation, which I would thing that would be the first thing that comes to mind, but it wasn't. I think that's a huge thing that I see a lot of people in our generation are unlearning. And I think that's positive and hopeful. And, yeah, I'm actually interested more in like, what comes to mind for you around like, when you witness appropriation in witchcraft, because that's another thing is like, not every witch is the same, and everyone has like, different practices, or like styles or way of doing things or just like living? Yeah, I don’t know, what are your thoughts?


Lex:

Yeah, actually, like, what you were just talking about, honestly, is like really resonating with kind of what I wanted to, like, expand on more in the next episode, just because like, there's is so much like, context and history with ideas or like, imaginations of, the witch, or like, witch in general, and especially in regard to restrictive, rigid, colonial and binary ideas of magic.


Christine:

Oh yeah! I think one of the last questions I also had, I'm kind of just adding on to what you're saying, I wanted to know more about like, what you're witnessing in, maybe your circles or just wherever, around like appropriation, specifically, like in witchcraft, or, like, I guess, with white women in general.


Lex:

Totally. Just thinking about, you know, white witch practices. commodifying Indigenous ceremonies and Indigenous herbs. Yeah, when we're talking about witches, or like magic being connected to herbalism, we also need to be constantly in communication with the plant, not only its medicinal properties, but also its story and where it's coming from and what other folks have relationship with that plant.


Christine:

Yeah. This is kind of just like this thought that I've had for years that I really like, which is, yeah, like politics is just an avenue towards, like, spiritual transformation. And there's so much power that can be found there.


Lex:

You mentioned earlier about, like, just recently, moving into, or like leaning into identifying as a witch. I'm just curious. So, what, when did you start identifying as a witch internally or externally?


Christine:

That's a really great question. I want to say it was around the time. Yeah, I mean, I hate that I have to refer to Strange Magic. But yeah, also, I want to shout out that like my friend Meridian, also @sleepybabybutt was the person who introduced me to Strange Magic and I just got very stoked about it. So, I think that's when my witchy fire in me turned on. And I was starting to get more serious about writing spells and being more intentional with things like salting my floor before I clean it up or using candle magic. Just very easy, very practical things that felt accessible to me. Yeah, I mean, I'm not like, I think it's like with most things, it's just like, I'm not going to walk around being like, "Guys, I'm a witch." I think it just becomes like a part of like, your internal knowing of just like, oh, okay, like the sort of actions I'm taking, or ways I like to think about things feels very natural to me, and also makes me feel very connected to my culture in ways or at least, recognizing that bruha or bruhx's like exist in I guess my family in general and in my ancestry. So yeah, I mean, I would say I was more like aware of it a couple years ago. But it was nice to sort of, I guess, the word witch is kind of nice to come into when I think for a long time, I just referred to myself as like a spiritual person. But I think the term witch, what that does for me is like, just make things feel more tangible. Because Yeah, magic is very tangible, to me, the act of using objects, like three dimensional objects in this three-dimensional plane, and also not using I mean, I think that's also powerful too, is like, not having to use objects, but like really like using your body and like using the sort of invisible forces and energy around you to change your material reality. Just like oh, that's, like powerful and magical. Yeah, I think that answers your question.


Lex:

Yeah, it does, thank you for sharing.


Christine:

What about you?...Can I just say that I remember you. Like when I first met you? I think it was like, obvious to me that you are a witch. But like, also, you had said, the first year of knowing you that you are. So, like, I think you're like the first official, witch, I think outside my family, that was very clear about being a witch that I had met.


Lex:

I have this very distinct memory of you asking me directly if I was a witch.


Christine:

Oh my god. I do not remember.


Lex:

Yeah, I just remember like us doing some like, drinking tea and you looking at me being like, "Are you witch?".


Christine:

I loved that.


Lex:

And like, that's why I disclosed.


Christine:

Yeah, you have this memory, but I don't remember. But I feel like, that sounds like a very special moment.


Lex:

It was...also it was very you, so it was like...you're a very inquisitive person. So, like, it didn't come with a lot of stress. It was just sweet.


Christine:

Oh, I just love that.


Lex:

I had a few thoughts on when exactly I identified as a witch, I think that I had a lot of difficulty identifying as I learned about different histories of and different like ways in which the term witch was applied example being like that witches were essentially healers, or midwives, and can encompass like a plethora of different entities or identities within communities. That said, I think that it got more complex when I was like in, I don't know...I was educated, I guess, in ways that were like, hey...some of the practices that I grew up with were not great in the sense that like, they were appropriative. And I really had to come to terms with like, okay, like, some of the practices that I was doing during that time calling myself a witch were not in alignment with navigating the world with joy, but not causing harm to people. And appropriation is harm. And so, I had to, like, re-assess what witch meant for myself, and whether or not what I was practicing really come to terms with, like what I was practicing and how I was practicing it in a way that was, again in alignment with my belief system. So, like, I think that there was a period of time that I disengaged with witch and then re-engaged with it, knowing where I was coming from, you know?


Christine:

Do you have like an example?


Lex:

Yeah, I just remember. I think just the practices that my mom did, later on learning that they were like ceremonies that were appropriated from Indigenous cultures. And I remember practicing them not realizing that they were a practice that was not my own. I think a lot of new agey, white witches, just commodify all of these different forms of practices, specifically, Indigenous practices being like, "Oh, yeah, like, we're just all just one with the earth or whatever it may be." But in actuality, it's just violent. And we need reassess our own witch practices.


Christine:

So, can I ask?...Like how your mom...was your grandmother a witch? I asked, because I'm wondering how your mom came into it.


Lex:

I know that my grandma did not identify as a witch. until maybe later on. I've had conversations with her. And I think she, has embraced the witch concept and definitely, like, believes in magic, but also again, like everyone, practices in different ways. And I think my grandma practices in ways that maybe don't, you know, do full moon circles or Equinox celebrations or things like that, but she does them through her cooking. And I think that question is kind of bridging the gap of magic accessibility, right? Expanding our knowledge of magic. And so, I know that my grandma definitely practices magic. You know, I have seen that. But at the same time does she identify with witch? She doesn't not.


Christine:

Like you definitely feel like she practices magic, but not in a way that she herself might call it that?

Lex:

Yes. And I yeah, again, like that might not like resonate with other people. But it's my understanding of magic. And also, it could be other people's perceptions of magic. And I think, if we're going back to what magic means it a lot of the times just like ignites wonder or spirit in you and other people are around you. So, if that's what it's tickling, then that's what it is. If you want it to be.


Christine:

Cool. Can I ask the next one? How does your identity as a witch intersect with your other identities? That yeah, that sort of resonate with you or like that you're aware of?


Lex:

Yeah, I think that the witch in me is having constant conversations with all of the other identities and experiences that I'm existing in. I think a lot of people have that reality too. Because when we're talking about magic, I inherently think of like, queerness. You know, like, magic is just the embodiment of queerness. And vice versa. So, yeah, I just think they're in constant conversation, in constant relationship with one another, because all of it is inseparable.


Christine:

Yeah. So, it's just kind of like when you mentioned, like, queerness as magic or is magic and like, magic is queer. It's like, Oh, yeah, that's like, also the antithesis of normative whiteness, and like, the status quo. Because if magic is the thing that connects us toward ourselves, or like, spirituality, and yeah, like, cis-het-patriarchy and like capitalism, and white supremacy, are the systems that take away our connection to spirituality, which is like, which is like what it's designed to do. And like...none of it is queer, like, systems of violence, at least like what I understand when I use that term. Because now I'm also thinking that...queers also, I mean, like, anybody can be violent. It's just about like, yeah, like, how does that...


Lex:

I feel like people get stuck in queerness being an identity versus what you're talking about and versus like, what I understand it and a lot of people understand it as a force or pedagogy. Right? Like an epistemology where we're constantly pushing against and also reimagining different ways of living that like fuel life, and not cisheteropatriarchy.


Christine:

Yeah, well, when you say that, that makes me think about how well I guess how queerness sort of intersects or kind of, it also reminds me of just like anarchism or autonomous Which is like specifically like anti-authoritarian, like anti-fascist and like anti state, at least the people I know, are hoping we like, at least the anarchist I know, including myself, hope to build different worlds or spaces that are outside of, of these systems of violence and oppression in the state. Yeah, I feel like there's definitely something there in terms of like, yeah, there's a lot of overlap within like, I guess my identities as like a queer which anarchist? Those are the identities that Well, I mean, I don't really again, I guess I don't really use witch as much...But yeah, I like that. There's so much like magic and like magical work and practice to be found around being queer, which is also like an umbrella term. And also, like being an anarchist. There are these just forces of energy. Like, sometimes I don't even know how to describe any of this. I'm just like "I don't know, just watch me!" (Both laugh)


Lex:

Yeah, that makes sense.


Christine:

I'm also just wanted to touch again on the fact that like, I'm a diasporic Filipino technically second generation. Yeah, my parents were born in the Philippines and came here to what is known as the states and also so-called Philippines. I know that I have family members that, you know, see like, like, they have spiritual qualities about them, like they definitely like can see ghosts or like communicate with people not in this world or, as well like when I think about like sort of traditional- not traditional, but kind of just like spiritual like related things. Yeah. And also, like, I know, like, in my mom's village, or like, kind of even just across like the Philippines, it's just like, Oh, yeah, like if you get sick, or like if you know someone is, like cursed you or something you go to like this specific person, they can fix it up or like heal you. So yeah, those are kind of what I think about too.


Lex:

That kind of reminds me of your question that you wrote down, in terms of what the difference between spells, charms, hexes, and rituals are and how these might be under the magic or spiritual umbrella? Also, what's the difference between spirituality and magic? I'm curious if you want I dive into that.


Christine:

Some of these things are just. OKAY, like, even though I'm anti-authoritarian, I also like going by rules. Like it's helpful. I like spreadsheets. I like to use the crosswalk. I only jaywalk if I feel like it's absolutely clear. And I guess like, I don't know the answer. But like, I wrote this question down, because I just know that there's differences and that you use certain things for in order to destroy or create something. Yeah, there's like a certain medicine I take when I'm feeling like I'm about to puke. You know, like, I'm not going to go for the cough medicine. So that's kind of like what I'm thinking about. Um, but yeah, I mean, I'm still find I identify as just as a baby witch, even though that's not a real thing, everybody got the power to do whatever they want at any point, there is no, there are no levels. But also, I could be wrong. Depending. I mean, I think this is a great question. And I'm interested to and what listeners might think, or what they know. And I feel like this is all totally subjective. Depending on each person, you know, what if you know in some cultures or in some individual’s upbringing, what if there's, you know, what if like, hexes aren't even the freakin thing, because it's just like, yeah, like, why would I put my energy to do that? So, it could be an individual thing? I'm kind of interested in what the differences between spirituality and magic. I mean, I did say prior that, like, I think they're almost the same thing. I think magic Yeah, it feels more active and less passive. I think as a verb thing can be magical. I feel like in that kind of sense. It can be synonymous with spiritual. But yeah, those two words can also just be very subjective to two people. Well, you were kind of like sort of touching it on at one point too. You know, like having a cup of tea. It can be completely mundane for one person, and also for you, depending on where your headspace is at.... So, something as mundane as that, I think about being aware enough to pause and feel into, like the present moment of like, what's in front of you? Or like what's inside of you, and like around you are feeling into like your energy or like the energy of being alive. And like looking into you’re the tea that you brewed and thinking about that is like, you're just like, wow, okay, there is water, which is a wild, beautiful element. And then there's the fact that it's flavored by herbs, that is like nourishing me and yeah, and like that's beautiful. Like that's like magical. And I think it takes it takes a lot to recognize that it takes a lot of practice to recognize that. It also just reminds me of a lot of yeah, kind of like Buddhist practices or meditation, mindfulness practices. So, in a way, I almost think that that's kind of like related too. I would say that can be a spiritual moment...I think I would say the same thing is like, anything can be like, anything can be spiritual, if you remember to tap in, and like, also everything is spiritual at every moment, like all the time, like everything has a spiritual meaning, even if it doesn't seem like there is. Oh, and what I mean, when I say like, magic is more active. I don't know if I would say it is more active. I feel like it can be more active in that, like, maybe there's more intention to create or destroy something, more intention to call in your intuition, or tap into a certain energy. But yeah, like what I'm talking about could also just be like someone else's, like, their experience can be completely different. Well, and then, like, you mentioned the word accessibility in the past, and I definitely leaned into being what might be called the "lazy witch", which is like, I'm not fully present, but I'm still going to think about magic, or like, hold an intention for a split second, or like, I'm not going to, like do this, this, and this spell. I mean, I rarely do spells, I maybe do a spell, like, once a year, if anything or less than that, if I'm really feeling called to do something, or if I'm like, really feeling jazzed about it, it's a lot of fucking work. But mostly, I'll be in bed. And mostly, I forget that I'm a magical person. Mostly, I forget that I have power. So, But yeah, I also remember that I am a witch. And so, I don't know. It's just like a lot of sometimes confusion, and a lot of holding both/and, and feeling like shit and feeling powerless. But then it's like, if I didn't feel like that, I also wouldn't feel powerful sometimes. So yeah, I think that there's so much there.


Lex:

Mmhmm. No, totally. I resonate with everything that you're saying. And that's just a really great wrap around to another one of your questions, which is, why is magic important to you now? And how is your relationship with it changed?


Christine:

Well, I think the first thing I think that is just literally as you get older, you get wiser. So, it's kind of just like, there's so much power in being conscious and aware of your environment, who you are as a person, I don't know your weaknesses and strengths. So, like, knowing that, like magic is or like spirituality, or like, yeah, the power to like, create or destroy exists? It's like, how am I not thinking about the fact that I can I have choices on a daily basis that I have, you know, choices to feel a certain way or to, like, respond to someone being terrible at me? I don't know. I just feel like there's just this sense of like responsibility. So, I think that's like, the way its kind of, I think helps me, or like, supports me is just the way that I guess the practice of it. And the way that it just exists makes me think about how I can be honestly just a better person, like, what am I using my actions for? Whether it's like, responding to somebody online, dramatic or petty, or whatever important and political...How do I decide to use my magic or intentions? Or how do I decide to use my energy or think about spirituality? So, I think it's kind of just like, I think like, first getting into it I think it's just fun, and it is fun. But then like, also, I guess, you know, talking about it now. And it's like, oh, yeah, there's just so much responsibility, because we get to live in these bodies. That also just makes me think about, yeah, being in these bodies. Practicing magic is just like, oh, like, we have this opportunity to bring spirituality and just, you know, maybe mundaneness and like, embarrassment of being human like together. I don't know, man. I don't know if I'm getting super philosophical. But yeah. How has my relationship with it changed? I don't know if it's changed. I feel like I'm learning more things. I think a huge thing that like you can't stop learning about is connecting, harnessing and like honing in with your like intuition. Some people seem like, they're really skilled at that. And it takes a lot to connect with it. And I know that we're all born with it. And then we just, we're just conditioned to like to disconnect from it via society. So, I would say that hopefully, I'm becoming the more intuitive person. And yeah, I think I'm just learning more, I think a lot of ways. I'm almost seeing this collective turn or transformation, like out of what we call the new wage, and like, into, you know, all of these witches, magical people and healers, thinking critically about their place in the world and like how to make practices more accessible and thinking more, yeah, more critically, and being more sensitive to the way they act. I just like being able to witness that. And I feel like you know, 10 years down the road, were able to get a clear vision of what's happening right now. But I think there's definitely some shift and I really do appreciate people who are connecting with magic. What about you? Anything I say, spark anything in you?


Lex:

Yeah, I don't know. Um, my relationship with magic, I feel like has definitely change. I think the older that I get, or the more that I just have some life experiences and go through some shit. I think that magic and my relationship with magic, it has definitely just kind of reminded me that I don't have to do all of it. Just because I lay in bed for the full moon doesn't mean that I'm not a witch. And just because I'm not frolicking on the beach naked on the full moon doesn't mean I'm not a witch. Yeah, I just like I feel like magic these like last few years has been like "Lex chill the fuck out. We're here, I'm here, we are together. It is chill. You do not have to do anything. Like you don't have to do anything. Unless you want to do anything. No one's watching. No one's watching but yourself." And then you know all of the like spirits and entities or whatever. And ancestors, everyone is actually watching but like, they're not being like, "oh, what is Lex doing on the solstice? Really? They decided to do THAT?...." Like they're not sitting around me judging me. "They're like, okay, like, what' lex going through? Where's their capacity at? What do they have the space and time for? So yeah, as far as like.... I think that I addressed more how has my relationship changed with magic...I think that it's become more tender. And it has shifted. Like why magic is so important right now, even though it's not like I have a regiment of, these are the spells that I cast. This is how I practice on these days or whatever. Even though I don't have like a regimented schedule of like what I need to do in order to do these like witchy things or practices. Magic is more than ever important because I'm being more and more conscious of the ways in which magic is showing itself especially in spaces that are centering care for one another. And not that one time has been more important than another time to show up and care for one another but also it ideally like with more knowledge and more experience, the intensity and urgency to care for one another is also going to increase. Hence magic being like very important right now.


Christine:

Yeah, tenderness is such a wonderful lesson.


Lex:

Before we go, did you want to share I said a little bit in the bio in regard to your jewelry making Tall Child project? Did you want to talk a little bit about it?


Christine:

Yeah, thank you. So, it's not out yet. But I've definitely been working on jewelry, which is completely new for me, but it's been such a joy that I'm surprised I haven't yet stopped working on stuff. I mean, I didn't wanting to be like, I wanted to be a painter for a long time, and I just would never show up to paint. And I think because jewelry is so much more tactile, and it's easier for me to like to see a finished project? Yeah, it's been really working out for me. And yeah, I think it's kind of just my project that sort of allows me to play and have fun. And I hope people enjoy it when it launches. And I do sort of, I connect magic with it for sure.


Lex:

Yeah. You've talked about connecting akashic records to your jewelry making. I'm curious, how did you come up with that idea?


Christine:

Well, I kind of just remember that anything that has a consciousness has a record, a kind of blueprint of its soul, I guess. So, anything before. Like I send them out, I'll be kind of doing a brief record reading for my finished necklace or piece. And that gets to be sent to the person receiving it. So, it'll be like a little, little special reading. And I've never done that before. So, I don't know how it's going to go. But I think it's going to be kind of fun and exciting.


Lex:

Yay. super exciting. And we'll definitely have you on the show in a future episode to talk more about it. Thank you. Well, Christine, thank you for this amazing list of questions and your time and energy spent and sharing your experiences and also being just an amazing person. Thank you so much.


Christine:

Thank you for having me. I'm so honored to be your first guest and very excited for you and so excited for Care Spells and I'm excited to see this podcast grow baby.


Lex:

Yeah, baby.


Christine:

Shout out to fig! (Both laugh)


*Background Cheerful instrumental music plays.


Lex:


If you’re still there, thank you so much for listening and baring with me through this curiosity train and bumbling through audio editing for the first time. Till the next episode!

Follow the podcast on Instagram @CareSpells or through the website where all episode transcripts will be available at www.carespells.com. For any questions, feedback, call ins, or expansions you can also email carespells@gmail.com.


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