Thursday, August 18, 2011

About Miller's Mysteries and a Mess of Cobwebs

I have been very busy of late with several big projects which has kept me away from the Conjure Corner forum more than usual. One of those projects was finishing up on the Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook. Who knew there were to be so many reviews before the final copy is approved? I mean, just when I thought I was done I had to review it yet again. But I am glad that I did as there were those last minute changes that needed to be made. All in all, I am VERY happy with the book and the way it turned out. And I am thrilled to have endorsements from Dorothy Morrison, Ray Buckland, Aaron Leitch, and Christian Day, among others.

My only regret is that I had to cut out a lot of material to make the approved page count. But, I decided that the cut material is every bit as important as what remained, and so I will be publishing that material at some point in the future. The Voodoo Hoodoo Spellbook Volume 2 anyone?

Another of my big projects is the redesign of Doc Miller's hoodoo drugstore website, medicinesandcurios.com. This website is the sister site to Miller's Rexall, which is his main business located in downtown Atlanta. And let me tell you, this has been some project! With over 4000 products I am still adding pictures and descriptions, but we are happy to announce that it is live and awaiting your visit. I am not kidding when I say he has everything you ever wanted and if it is not listed, just call the store and ask and I am sure he can get it for you. You can find the contact info at the site.

Real hoodoo drugstores don't exist like they used to down south or anywhere else for that matter. Especially in New Orleans, we had plenty of them and I remember frequenting the Dixie Drugstore as a kid, but that was many moons ago. I'm talking about real pharmacies that also carry a complete inventory of hoodoo materia medica, not some website that has sprung up on the internet in the past couple of years that calls itself a hoodoo drugstore or puts itself in the class of a hoodoo drugstore. I'm talking about a hoodoo drugstore that has withstood the test of time and that persists from a bygone era. I'm talking about a hoodoo drugstore that is employed by folks from the neighborhood who know what folks from the neighborhood are looking for. And as a bonus, I am talking about a hoodoo drugstore that is owned and operated by one of the nicest people I know.

The hoodoo drugstore is Miller's Rexall, in business since 1965, and the new and improved website is medicinesandcurios.com.

Read an excerpt from Volume 2 of Hoodoo and Conjure Quarterly about Doc Miller and his historic enterprise at our blog, Miller's Mysteries.

Miller's Mysteries: A MESS OF COBWEBS MAKES A BELIEVER OUT OF DOC MILLER...: OVER 45 YEARS AGO, Richard "Doc" Miller was just 12 years old when he started working with his uncle Dr. (Doc) Donald Miller at Miller's Rexall in downtown Atlanta...

 
Copyright 2010-2012 Denise Alvarado, All rights reserved worldwide. Please ask if you would like to repost this article.
 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Curse, Paranoia, or Psychology?

Okay, I think we need to talk about this one because it is an issue I am perpetually hearing. Life is going to hell in a hand basket, relationships are going sour, finances suck, health is going bad, interpersonal conflicts, bill collectors, can't find a job, your Facebook page has been hacked, you are the victim of identity theft, your best friend sleeps with your husband or wife, and the list goes on and on.

You must be cursed, right? Surely, this can't be a natural phenomenon, it MUST be the result of someone throwing some left-handed conjure your way, right?

WRONG.

98% of the time this is the result of life folks, not a curse, not some enemy throwing down at you. It is the result of choices YOU make and beliefs you have that cause you to continue to make choices that result in a state of living that is less than your desired life.

Sometimes it all starts with a significant event that occurs at some point in your life, maybe in childhood or maybe in adulthood. Maybe you were abused as a child and internalized those events so that your core belief about yourself is that you do not deserve to have an easy, free living life. You believe you don't deserve happiness because that is what you were told when you were little. Everything that happens to us when we are 5 to 6 years old shapes our personality and life perception for the rest of our lives. If you were beaten or sexually abused when you were so little, the messages that go along with that kind of treatment are:

*You aren't worthy of respect.
*Your body does not belong to you.
*You are less than everyone else.
*You better not say anything or you will suffer more atrocities.
*You can't trust anyone.
*You have no control over your life.
*Life is not safe.
*No one will come to your rescue because you aren't worthy, your body doesn't belong to you, you are less than everyone else and you better not say anything because you will be hurt again or someone else will be hurt and it will be your fault, life is not safe, you have no control, and you DEFINITELY cant trust anyone.

These are the messages you carry with you into your adulthood, and these are the messages that guide your decision making. Often, as adults, we will recreate the same abuse we suffered as children as a subconscious means of resolving and working through the trauma. But it doesn't work, does it? You continue to get in one abusive relationship after another, you continue to be attracted to the same kinds of people who treat you disrespectfully, constantly invade your boundaries, treat you like you are less than everyone else. You settle for a man or a woman who is unfaithful, a drunk or drug addict, won't work, or in some way closely resembles the person who abused you as a child.

No wonder you think it has always been that way! No wonder you come to the conclusion that you must have been born with a curse!

But you weren't born with a curse. You may have been born into a fucked up situation, treated badly and learned insecurity and low self esteem, but you have not been cursed.

What about those of you for whom you were not abused as children? What about the chain of bad luck that has happened ever since the death of your mother, father, best friend? Ever since you got married or into a relationship with a certain partner?

Everything we experience comes with a set of beliefs we form as a result of those experiences. If for example, you are sad and do not allow yourself to grieve, you can become emotionally stuck. It can become hard to make even the smallest of decisions. You just don't have the energy to fight for yourself anymore. The bills have piled up and you are so overwhelmed you can't DO anything except wonder, why me? What did I do to deserve this? Surely this isn't normal? It must be a curse!

There's an old saying "life is hard and then you die" (and several variations on that theme). The fact of the matter is that life IS hard. People die. People are not perfect. People will betray us, not everyone will treat us the way we deserve to be treated. We get sick. People we love get sick. Our animals die. We will always have bills and most of us will never be wealthy. OMG, I am exhausted just thinking about it! Why bother, right?

Now, let's think about the saying from a different perspective. Life is hard and then you die. What does that mean?

The fact of the matter is that life IS hard, but there is also joy if we look for it.

People die, but people live longer than they die.

People are not perfect, thank Buddha! Could you imagine if you had to live up to the standard of perfection?

People will betray us, but people will also be loyal to us. We will have friends along the way if we are open to receiving them.

Not everyone will treat us the way we deserve to be treated...IF YOU ALLOW IT. We train people how to treat us. If we allow people to treat us like shit then guess what? We will be treated like shit.

We get sick but we also have periods of good health. And along this line of thinking, what have you done today to ensure you have good health? Are you smoking, drinking excessively, eating junk food, smoking pot, doing drugs and sitting on the couch all day? or are you making a conscious decision about everything that goes into your body? Are you treating your body like the temple it is?

People we love die. Yes, but they also live, usually a lot longer than the process of death. Are you appreciating everyone who means something to you on a daily basis? Or are you taking them for granted? And guess what? The longer we live, the more people we know will die. That is a fact of life...death is a fact of life. Death is part of the life-death-life cycle. Without death, there is no life.

Our animals die. Our animals live...longer than they die. Are you loving your animal companion to the best of your ability today?

We will always have bills. Yes, but we can learn how to pay them off. We can understand that some things we will always have to pay for and then there are those things we never had to buy in the first place.

Most of us will never be wealthy. If we are talking about money, this is true. Can you be happy without being wealthy? What is wealth? What is happiness?

Is the glass half empty or half full? If it is my tendency to believe the glass is half empty, then I will be more inclined to believe that life happens TO me. I am more inclined to believe I must be crossed. If I believe the glass is half full, I will find the joy in each day, turn problems into challenges, and reclaim my life. I am empowered to change the things I can and find serenity in knowing there are things I simply cannot.

There is a concept in psychology of the self-fulfilling prophecy. This is what I am talking about. If I believe it to be, so it will be. This can work for the positive and for the negative, equally.

Life happens. This doesn't mean a curse has been laid on you. It means if life sucks for you, then guess what? You can change it! And how freeing and empowering it is when you come to that realization. This is why magick is so powerful; it gives us tools we can use to make the changes we need. Just know that magick is a cocreative process. Waving a magic wand only has its place in Harry Potter movies, not real life. In real life we have to align our thoughts and behaviors to be consistent with our vision for ourselves and consistent with the work we do.

Here is the basic truth: we were all born sacred and divine human beings, perfect just as we are. No matter what has ever happened, this is the truth. We grow to be adults with the POWER to change. We can co create our lives in partnership with universal forces to be the lives we always wanted to live. Remember this and you will no longer have the need to believe you are cursed.


Copyright 2010-2012 Denise Alvarado, All rights reserved worldwide. Please ask if you would like to repost this article.