You meet the most interesting people when working in a New Age bookstore. I should know, I’ve been fortunate enough to work for a few, not only as counter help, but as a store buyer and a practitioner. Even though the pay was minimum, I enjoyed the energy.
I think one of the most memorable customers was this short thin guy who came into the store looking for books on low magic. I took him over to the magic section and was about to go back to my business when out of the blue he asks: “Do you know what’s wrong with Concord?”
“There are to many witches here.” he said seriously.
“You know how I know?”
“I get headaches when they’re around.”
I suppress a laugh and refrained from rolling my eyes. I’m standing inches away from him and couldn’t resist asking “How do you feel right now?”
“Fine” and he started to look through the books on the shelf.
“That’s good. If you need any more help, I’ll be at the counter” and I walked away.
About two weeks later, the same guy comes back into the store. Walks straight up to the counter, looks directly at me and announces in a loud voice. “I am a Wizard.”
Staring back at him and in a calm voice, I said “I am a witch.”
He took a step back and eyed me suspiciously. “What kind of witch?” he demanded “White, red or black?”
Red? There are red witches? I know of witches who refer to themselves as either white (positive) or black (negative) to define the type of magic they work, but I’ve never heard of a red witch. I said “I’m a hereditary witch and color doesn’t apply.”
I guess he didn’t know what to say because he turned around and walked out. I mentioned what happened to one of my co-workers. She said she knew the guy I was talking about and thought he might be from the half way house a few blocks over. I don’t think he ever came back.
Our local junior college had a Pagan Club. On full moon nights about six or seven of them would drift into the store. They were dressed all in black, dripping with crystals and pentacles. They would float (ok they didn’t actually float but it seemed that way) through the store browsing. One of the girls talked loudly about the spells they had just cast in ritual or who deserved to be hexed at school. They never purchased anything and as far as I know never took anything either. They did make some customers nervous, or I should say the one girl did, but all in all they were harmless enough.
On one such evening, they came in while I was trying to change out the water bottle for the water cooler. One of the guys offered to help and set the bottle in the stand for me. I thanked him and went back behind the counter and he went back to his group. A few minutes later he came up and leaned on the counter. His friends were in the background whispering.
He casually said “I can’t get a fire to stay lit in my cauldron.”
“What type of cauldron do you have?” I asked.
He told me he had a pot bellied cauldron that was narrow at the top. I told him that there probably wasn’t enough air getting to the bottom to keep the fire lit and suggested that he fill the cauldron half full of sand, thereby raising the fire closer to the opening. The loud girl came up and asked me how I would know that. I told her that I’d had the same problem in the past. Then the rest of the group came up to the counter.
“Are you a witch?” she asked.
“Yes.” I sometimes find the simplest answers are the best.
“How long have you been a witch?” she asked.
“All my life.”
“So you know a lot.” Asked the guy with the cauldron problem.
I shrugged and said “I know what I know.”
After that, when they came in, the loud girl wasn’t as loud and she didn’t talk about their spells or hexing anyone either. The guy who I helped with the cauldron matter always took the time to say hi and to ask a few questions.
One of our practitioners was a massage therapist. A very nice woman with great energy. As part of my duties I would take appointments for her over the phone. One day a man called and asked what her rates were for a massage. I gave him the hourly rate. He wanted to know the cost of the extras. What extras? I asked suspiciously. He said a friend told him that he could get something more for a little extra. I politely told him that his friend was mistaken and our massage therapist was legitimate, she offered no extras. Then he had the nerve to ask me if I gave massages. CLICK! I hung up. Of course his wasn’t the only call like that. The owners of the store thought it might be a sting operation by the local police department to see if we really were legit. Of course there is no way to know for sure who was making the calls.
We had a store cat. He didn’t have the best disposition in the world. Maybe the fact that he was black and named Spooky had something to do with it. He and I got a long fairly well, though he’d bat me with his claws now and then. Come to think of it, he’d been know to bat at the customers too.
One evening Spooky was sleeping on top of the counter near the register. I saw an elderly couple come out of the restaurant next door and didn’t think anything of it until they walked into the store. I greeted them and the woman went straight to up to Spooky.
“I saw him from outside and he looks so real.”
Before I could say anything. Spooky opened his big yellow eyes and stared at her. She gasped in surprise.
“I thought he was a stuffed toy.”
“No, Spooky’s real.”
“Spooky?” Then she took a look around the store. “Oh well, I guess we should be going.” She said to her husband and they left. Spooky went back to sleep.
One of the stores I worked for was in an old Victorian. Upstairs we held classes and that’s where our resident ghost lived. He had been a sailor in his life time and was attached to the house waiting for his Captain to return. When he got bored, he’d come down stairs to the store and run his hand up some unsuspecting woman’s leg, giving her a startled surprise. Then one of us would have to send him back up stairs.
Often customers would have books jump off the self and land at their feet. Only to discover that it was exactly what they were looking for.
In another place I worked, the store was housed in a warehouse. The co-owner had two spirit guides, a husband and wife from the mid 1600’s, who, on occasions, would have domestic disputes at night. The next morning I’d be picking up books that were strewn around the store.
The majority of customers who come in are looking to further their spiritual growth. Some are into healing, yoga, magic, divination, etc. Some have read all the books and are now ready to take classes or be involved in formal training. Some are looking for answers. Some are looking for validation for something they dreamt, saw or felt. Like the gentleman who brought in a photo that had a ghostly image behind the woman he was taking the picture of. He was afraid to show it to his friends because he thought they might think he was nuts. I told him I saw it too, peaking out from behind a bush. If he would like to learn more I could direct him to some books. Others come in to buy crystals, herbs, candles, oils or want a reading or healing. There are those who come in to hang out in the energy before going home after work. For them the store becomes a positive transition between work and home.
A good clerk is able to make the customers feel welcome and at ease when they come in. Some times all they may have to do is direct them to a book, class or practitioner. Other times they may just need to listen to a customers problem. I always felt better after I knew I had helped someone. I hope your experience in the New Age world is a pleasant and positive one.
On December 31st 2009, New Year’s Eve, there will be a second Full Moon. Usually the second full moon in a given month is referred to as a Blue Moon. This occurs when the moon with its 28 day cycle appears twice within the same calendar month due to that month’s 31 day duration. This happens approximately every two and a half years from the date of the last Blue moon. So when you hear someone use the phrase “It only happens once in a Blue moon”, they are generally referring to something that happens infrequently.
Originally, the Blue moon was the second Full moon in a full season. Let’s look at this for a moment. There are four seasons in a year of approximately 3 months each (well maybe before all this global warming stuff), the fourth moon in a season being considered a Blue Moon. Hmm, wouldn’t that depend on how you calculate the start of a season? Do we calculate the beginning of a season using the solstices and equinoxes (as in our current calendar year)? What about the fact that the Winter and Summer solstices are also referred to as Mid-winter and Mid-summer, that calls into question when does winter/summer really begins? Of course you could calculate the seasons using the astrological dates of when the sun moves into the seasonal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn. Then again, there is always the agricultural cycle of Samhain, Imboc, Beltaine, & Lughnasadh. But, isn’t this all moot? I mean seriously, by the calendar dates, wouldn’t a fourth full moon in a season still give you a second full moon in a single month? How did we go from the Blue moon being a fourth moon in a season to the second full moon in a month? That happened in 1946 when Sky & Telescope magazine made an error stating that a Blue moon was the second full moon in a single month instead of the fourth moon in a season.
Today the witches, Wiccans and pagans I know, celebrate the Blue Moon as an auspicious time for manifesting specific long term goals. Think carefully about what you want to accomplish or have happen in the next two to three years. Do you want to relocate, buy a house, a car or a boat; get a promotion, change jobs, pay off bills, travel, be financially secure…? Be specific in your goal(s) but flexible enough so that the powers you work with can bring you something more. I generally write out my goals in a spiral pattern on a circle of blue paper.
Each Blue moon I make a special Blue moon oil. This consists of a combination of herbs and essential oils I’ve chosen for manifesting long term goals. I begin with steeping my chosen herbs in jojoba oil on the stove. Then I strain out the herbs and add the essential oils. Once done, I charge the oil with long term goals being met, then bottle it in a blue bottle. For three nights before the Blue moon I set the bottle out under the moon to absorb its growing energy. The oil will be used in spell work during ritual. I usually make enough oil to give as gifts to those who participate in ritual with me. After ritual I will continue to use the oil to give a boost to my long term goals between the Blue moons.
Often Moon Goddesses and Faerie Queens are called upon during a Blue moon to aid in manifesting goals. Gods and Goddesses associated with abundance, growth or with your specific goal(s) would be appropriate.
When I have guests for a Blue moon ritual, I ask them to bring blue or white food for the potluck and to wear blue, white or silver clothing. There has been some interesting ‘blue’ foods like: blue potato soup, stew with blue potatoes, blue tortilla chips, blue berries coated in chocolate in a blue candy shell, blue cake, blue lemon lime soda, eggplant (ok its not blue, but purple was a close as she could get). As you can imagine a little blue food coloring goes a very long way.
Blue Moon Spell:
You will need:
A piece of blue paper big enough to write your goal(s) on. This can be cut into a circle to represent the Blue moon.
1 blue candle & holder
a manifesting oil of your choice
matches or lighter
Within ritual, write out your goal on the paper while concentrating on your goal being manifested. Anoint the paper with some of the oil. Take all the time you need to really put your intent into your goal. Place your paper on the altar. Next anoint the blue candle with the oil, again filling it with your desired goal. Set the candle in the holder and set on top of your paper. Ask for any Divine help in the fruition of your goal and light the candle. Meditate on your goal manifesting before the next blue moon. Once the candle has burned out, discard any left over wax in your usual manner. Place your paper somewhere you will see it every morning and evening. You do not have to read it everyday, just keep it visible for your subconscious to work on.
Here are a few ideas for celebrating at your Blue moon ritual:
Evoke Titiania the Faerie Queen from Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’
Cast your circle with faerie dust (blue or silver glitter)
Decorate the altar and ritual space with blue, white or silver
Place symbols of transformation (butterflies & moons) around your space or
on the altar.
Tie streamers on your wand or use a star tipped or bubble wand.
Throw a Blue Moon Costume party.
However you choose to celebrate the Blue moon, I hope all your goals manifest.