Magic Cat Designs features a mix of hand-made treasures, ranging from jewelry to to hair accessories to sewn items, in styles from quirky to classic. Most will be one-of-a-kind, while others may be few-of-a-kind. Whatever it is, it will have been made with joy in the Magic of creating something special and beautiful.
How did the name come about?
For several years, Lois wrote articles and sold items under the name of Sew Magical. (She still uses that name at conferences and conventions) When she joined forces with a friend who made beautiful aprons and pieced lap quilts, they wanted to have a new name reflecting both halves of the business. Since her friend’s nickname was Kat, Magic Cat was the obvious result. Although Kat is no longer part of the business, the name remains the same.
What makes Magic Cat special?
Everything sold is hand-made by the owner. Nothing is mass-produced. Each item is created individually, with care and concern for quality.
What about unusual things?
Yup, those too. Items made in the past have included braided wire and bead circlets, folding coronets (for SCA or cosplay ) and minister’s stoles, customized for differing religious/spiritual paths.
You can find Magic Cat Designs online at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/magiccatdesigns. or by email at: email@example.com
Here’s the thing I love best about the Harry Potter books: they make it really, really clear that using magick is like almost everything else. Some people have talent for it, and some don’t, but EVERYONE needs to be taught how to do it right, and everyone needs to practice! (You did know the answer to the title question, didn’t you?) Having good working tools helps, as Ron would point out.
When I was in high school I read the book Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach (if you haven’t read it- do, and his other books are also great), and while the rest of the world was getting excited about the metaphysics, I was struck by the physics of the book. Johnathan learned that you didn’t need to believe you could fly to fly, you needed to learn HOW to fly. This struck me as the most important point in the book.
The sixties were the Occult Explosion, and folks were exploring all the amazing things people can do from ESP to dowsing to energy healing. I was out there with the rest of them, talking to plants, and trying to have OOB (out of body) experiences. At the same time I was also diving into Science Fiction, and when they talked about people doing telekinesis or controlling their body temperature mentally I had to try it. The more I discovered that all these “crazy” things worked, the more excited I was to try the next thing.
My generation, as so many before, thought that we had discovered these phenomena. Although I discovered that while books on the “supernatural” were sometimes hard to find in the local library, I could find them in stores. I read Hans Holzer and Sybil Leek, and subscribed to Fate Magazine, checked out AMORC, read W. E. Butler, looked into folk magick (the Long-Lost Friend) and voudoo, Spiritualists, and Theosophists, everything I could find by Edgar Cayce and the A.R.E., the Society for Psychical Research, got Richard Cavendish’s Man, Myth and Magick, read Rossell Hope Robbins, Robert Anton Wilson, W. E. Butler, Israel Regardie, Jane Roberts, Dion Fortune, Max Freedom Long’s The Secret Science behind Miracles, Carlos Castaneda (of course), and Issac Bonewitts, Montague Summers, Murray and Gardner. I learned to accept that books on developing psychic abilities were grouped with tales of UFOs, Vampires, Bigfoot and witchcraft. (This rather lengthy list is to show that there were plenty of books on magick out there, although some say there weren’t.) I watched the occult sections of bookstores expand, and have watched them shrink again. I’ve watched the New Age explore The Secret and try to use the Law of Attraction because it’s so much less threatening than (cue spooky music) magick and witchcraft. I’ve also watched the media portray witches from old movies like I married a Witch and Bell Book and Candle, through Bewitched, Charmed, Sabrina, and Practical Magick and on to Harry Potter. They still seem to think that witches are a different race than humans. Go fig.
Still, no matter which direction you approach from, you are going to come down to the important bottom line. Wanting and Believing isn’t enough. You have to actually put in the hours and practice. You may well have to do an exhaustive search to find someone who can teach you HOW to do it right. (I have never found that when the student is ready the master appears.)
Some people have perfect pitch, and some are tone deaf. Some people are clumsy and some coordinated. They have finally admitted that there isn’t just one, but there are many types of IQ: musical, spatial, bodily, interpersonal, and others. The traditional IQ tests, in an attempt to get away from cultural information ended up testing for the ability to spot patterns. We all know that simply being good at math doesn’t make you good with words. I personally know that being good at one type of art doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good with other types. I can catch a likeness, but can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. I’ve also learned from my artistic endeavors (as well as my psychic ones) what any athlete or musician can tell you. You have to learn the technique, and you have to practice.
This is why I love Harry Potter and the other fictional depictions of magick that show people learning the how-to of magick. I haven’t seen the new Sabrina, but the old one ran almost every episode on the trope: “using magick to try to fix your problems will only make them worse”. This trope exists because what non-magick users think of as “magic” is getting something without working for it. (“flick and swish”) Magick users know that you have to work to do it, and that’s how it works. It may be able to accomplish things you couldn’t do with other means, but it’s not “something for nothing”.
So like Itzhak Perlman practicing scales every day, if you want to do magick, there will be daily exercises, and always something new to learn.
I was recently talking to a friend about hallucinogenics: Peyote, Ayahuasca, LSD, etc. and it occurred to me that the difference between a life changing experience with the Divine and a “bad trip” was often simply whether your mental journey was being monitored by an experienced spirit worker.
In the modern world we have a view that we should be self sufficient, and do everything on our own. When a child learns almost any new skill, from taking their first steps to riding a bicycle, we understand that we first explain it, show them how, help them do it the first few times, then wean ourselves away as they learn to do it on their own. Yet somehow, adults seem to think we can google a bit of instruction then immediately do whatever it is from medical diagnosis to the Law of Attraction. This is likely to lead to failure and discouragement.
Back to the example of a spirit voyage: Can you travel without luggage? Without a passport? What would you do if you reach a country where you don’t speak the language? Alternately, would you head out into the jungle without a guide? Wouldn’t you take others with you who had been there before and know what they are doing? In most projects, wouldn’t you build a team with complimentary skills? To brave the inner jungle you need a shaman or someone with similar skills who can advise you and follow your progress when you go into the sub- (or super-) conscious landscape. There is nothing wrong with working with others to sure success and rewards for everyone involved.
Sometimes we need help, and the smartest thing we can do is to find the people who are best able to help us.
Advertising in the modern world, is often meant to create the feeling of need where none actually exists. The need is that of the craftsman who must sell what she has made in order to buy more materials, as well as support herself and her family. This tends to make us a bit leery of advertising, but it need not.
Some needs are real, and yet we are unaware of them. When some “ad” lets you know about a product that will make your life much better, when you had no idea it existed, it serves you as well as the one providing it.
It’s easy to recognize physical needs: We need water and food, we need warmth, we need air. But there are other things we need and, like air, we sometimes forget that we need it because it’s usually around. Sometimes we need peace and quite, other times we need stimulation. Sometimes we need hugs. Sometimes we need encouragement, other times what we need is for someone to talk us out of doing something really stupid. When these are part of your normal life, you may not realize how much you need them… until they aren’t there any more.
One thing we often need is to be able to talk about what’s going on in our lives without having to EXPLAIN everything. Old friends are precious because they have all the backstory, you don’t need to fill them in on anything but new developments. Similarly, when you see ghosts, or dowse, use energy healing, or divination, it’s so wonderful to not have to stop and justify your belief in something that you know is real. The relief of not needing to “feel out” the people around you to see if they’re going to start thinking that you’re ignorent or stupid if you admit yor experiences is so wonderful! It’s like taking off tight shoes or confining underclothes at the end of the day. Just to be able not to have to live “on guard” is a joy.
This may be a need you didn’t even consider, that you had. Once a year, come and relax with others who may not approach everything the way you do, but who do know that believing in what’s real (even when that belief isn’t popular) isn’t stupid or ignorant, it’s just human. Come “breathe” with us.
“A crack lets in the light” is an expression reminding us that when we create a solid barrier in our manner of thinking, it becomes difficult to introduce new concepts into our world view. What we, the CTCW community, are doing, is opening our minds to the possibilities. This is required in order to change.
For centuries the paranormal and supernatural have been called “Occult” which means hidden. Why hidden? Because despite the awareness when we are children that this is perfectly normal and natural, as we grow we are told to not talk about it. If it is natural and normal for us to see ghosts, to speak to animals, to find things, to heal others, to perceive the feelings and thoughts of others, and influence the world around us by our inner abilities, we are told to hide it, and to pretend that like “everyone else” we don’t believe in it. Some people buy into the story, for others, who use these abilities, we are taught that we need to hide our abilities and perceptions and not let others know about them. If our family or community practice, we are taught to preserve a “normal” appearance to everyone else. This preserves the illusion that our abilities don’t exist.
Why do we do this? There is history of persecution, certainly. If it became accepted that telepathy exists, many would worry that their secrets would be discovered. If energy healing works most of the time, it raises the question that when it doesn’t work, it could be a fault of the practitioner who didn’t do it correctly, or who withheld their healing? These are problems for doctors, but they defend themselves from charges of malpractice by working within established norms. We couldn’t do that with supernatural techniques as long as we don’t understand the mechanisms for how these things work. We see even now the issue of empowerment being twisted into victim-blaming. If everyone “can” manifest whatever they want, it can be seen that any problems they have are their own choice. Their own fault. Sadly, awareness of our abilities should come hand in hand with compassion and awareness of larger forces in the universe, and that seems to lag behind.
The truth will out, of course. Sooner or later, the modern world will figure out that these abilities are real, and may develop technologies to measure them, or even enhance them. Perhaps, like the GBLT community, we have to start by “coming out of the closet” and letting those who worry about us know that we’ve been among them in our millions without doing and evil things to them, and the only thing we want to do to “subvert the dominant paradigm” is too be accepted.
We mediums, telepaths, magickians, dowsers and others often have little problem with this. Sometimes we need reminding not to have “a mind so open that your brain falls out”. It’s sometimes easy, once you discover that the “normal” world has gotten so many things wrong, to run around trying every new thing, and telling everyone about the new things you’ve learned. This enthusiasm is natural, everyone does it, although they may be enthusing about a new diet, or recipe for chocolate cake, or gadget, but that won’t get them “burned at the stake” or prosecuted as a con artist.
As we change the world to a better place, we on the leading edge of the opening must remember to protect ourselves from the push-back of those who we are making uncomfortable. We must not deny what we know to be real, but at the same time, we need to maintain our credibility with those who haven’t had the direct experience we have had, and have been trained by the the modern world to be hyper skeptical. We need to do it, and I believe we can.