Random Musings from Salem, MA

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I’ve been in Salem, Massachusetts, for a week now, reading cards at the World of Witches Museum and hanging out with my old friends from Chicago, Ed Hubbard and Don Lewis (the Witch School co-conspirators).

World of Witches Museum logo
Random impressions of Salem:

I should have packed more black. This is a town where over-the-top witchyness is good for business, and I am here, after all, on a business trip.

This is the second year in a row I’ve been in the Salem Haunted Happenings Grand Parade. Not something I would have expected to find on my resume, but fun nonetheless. I’ll see if I can find pictures.

I will enjoy putting on my resume that I am a licensed psychic in the city of Salem, Mass. Of course, all that means is that I passed a criminal background check, but hey, not everyone can pass one, right?

I like the parts of Salem I’ve seen, which is admittedly the tourist area. I have no idea what the rest of the town is like. I don’t have a car while I’m here, so my exploring is limited to what I can reach on foot. But I like that. So far, everything I need has been close enough that I can walk to it. If you are coming as a tourist to Salem, you can pretty much park your car and wander around to everywhere you want to visit. Wear comfy shoes. If it’s October, expect that finding parking will be an adventure.

I might take the train into Boston while I’m here and do a little touristing there myself. Although I visited Cambridge one afternoon a dozen years ago, I haven’t seen any of the museums or other attractions in Boston since I briefly lived and worked there more than forty years ago. I shall presume a few things have changed.

If you think there are witch wars where you live, they’ve got nothing on Salem. I hasten to say I like most folks I’ve met here, but the touch of drama in the air can carry over to interpersonal relationships. And inter-business relationships. Witchcraft is how people (our people, anyway) make there living here, and turf wars do erupt.

Weird things you notice, especially after they’ve been pointed out to you: if a tourist stops outside and reads the “Psychic Readings” sign out loud, even if they come into the shop, they will not get a psychic reading. Hasn’t happened yet. I’m sure someone will do so today, just to prove me wrong.

Pointy hats in Salem are like berets in Paris. Of course, I packed a beret. At least it’s black. And it has the advantage of staying put when the wind kicks up.

As those of you who know me well can attest, I usually wear a ball cap. I brought two with me. One I bought here last year; it’s bright orange embroidered with a black silhouette of a witch above the name of the town. The other one I got at the New York City Pagan Pride Day a few years ago. It’s black (yay!) with an embroidered witch. First time I wore it, Don said I might be mistaken for a police officer. ‘Cause in Salem, even the police patches have witches on them.

Young Witches of Salem logoThe kids who are involved in the web reality show The Young Witches of Salem are really a nice bunch. I wish we had a camera going for all the great conversations we have in the lobby of the museum.

That’s all for now. If you’re in the Northeast, why not road trip to Salem and pay me a visit? World of Witches Museum, 57 Wharf St, Salem MA 01970. I’m there most days, on and off from late morning until 8 or 9 at night.

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I haven’t blogged much this summer. More accurately, not at all.

It’s been a stormy time for me. Part of it has been a heavy travel schedule. I was gone most of July and and almost another week in August.

Part of it has been emotional. I kept remembering year-ago milestones. This was the date of his first emergency surgery. That was the second. This was the day he went into hospice. That was the date we told his family to expect the worst. This was the date he died, one year ago, August 12, 2010. Will I ever be casual about that date?

I’m sitting here now looking out the window at the far edges of Hurricane Irene. It’s grey and windy and raining on and off. Much as how I’ve felt the last months.

Bits of sunshine when I’ve been out and with the Pagan community at various events and venues. I enjoyed being with CUUPS at GA in Charlotte. Chrysalis Moon in Indiana was a very nice intimate event where I met some great people. Spent all-to-little time with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone at The Occult Bookstore. Saw old friends at The Bristol Renaissance Faire up by the Wisconsin border, including Melissa who used to hang out at my store in Peoria almost twenty years ago. (Visit the Faire Labor Day weekend and say hello to my sister who will be helping out at Melissa and Jesse’s Enchanted Chains booth.)

Bits of sunshine when I saw my family up in Chicago in July. My son flew up to be with us for a week, and it is always a treat to see him. My eighty-eight year old mother is still a pistol. My sisters are looking good. My nieces and nephew are doing well. (Valerie, I hope you will be safe through the storm in your new home in New Haven!)

Bits of sunshine, a hot, hot time, in Houston at a CMA fundraiser and with appearances at The Magickal Cauldron and at Galveston’s The Witchery. Saw old friends and made new friends.

And then I was home, with nowhere to go until the end of September. The cat was unhappy with me. The death anniversary was looming. I crashed and burned. Got sick and spent a week in bed. Moped around and played computer games until my mouse hand got stiff.

Somehow, today, with the anniversary past and the hurricane outside, I’m more awake. I’m writing. This is good. Maybe it helped that I actually got myself to a doctor a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it’s the long talks with friends, like the one we had driving through bits of outlying hurricane last night. Maybe it’s Mercury going direct. Maybe it’s that pot of good, strong coffee instead of my morning tea. Whatever. I’ll take it.

May those of you in the path of the storm be safe. May those of you in the midst of your personal storms stay safe.

Hope to see more of all of you.

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