In the Movies Ep. 16: Christmas Party By Proxy

It ain't a holiday without a Drunk Disney episode from your favorite podcasters/drunks! This time, we're watching 90's teen heart throb, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (not his real name, as we discover) in a delightfully terrible Christmas movie. Also starring the ageless beauty Jessica Biel as our new feminist hero.

As usual, when we get drunk and try to talk about a movie, we end up talking about so many other topics that have nothing to do with the movie. This time, we talk a lot about how annoying it is that we had to record while my landlords are having their Christmas party upstairs. Apologies if the crappy electric guitar sounds make it impossible to listen to the podcast at all, but we weren't going to cancel a date to get drunk. Oh no, we have a responsibility to our listener(s?) to provide you with a festive, drunk podcast before Christmas, so here it is. Upstairs Christmas party and all. 

Here are the drinking game rules that we used for the movie, including the ones we made up as we watched.

Drink every time...

Your heart is warmed.

Someone says "Merry Christmas!"

You sing along with a Christmas carol

Someone says "The spirit of Christmas" (or similar)

You see a mall Santa and/or a Santa costume

You see an angel or a guardian angel-type character

Christmas decorations being used incorrectly

There's a disaster!

Someone calls Jake (JTT) "Santa"

Jake is in a new state

One of the college dudes refers to himself as "-man" (ie Ed-Man)

And don't forget the classic Santa hat on the corner of the TV. Drink every time it looks like someone is wearing it.

The next podcast will be our 2015 Year in Review, so stay tuned! And check out our latest (spoiler-free) movie review video for Carol!

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inthemoviespodcast@gmail.com

.

Rated FTishIn the Movies, Podcast
Buddy the Elf is Just Like Us!

Oh, hello. You’re probably here about the story...

It's the story of a grown-up who loves Christmas a little too much. Like we all do, right? Elf is the most relatable Christmas movie because we (just me?) have so much in common with Buddy...

He feels like a failure when he compares himself to his peers.

He wants to make friends with all the animals. 

He mistakes overweight men with white beards dressed in red for Santa. 

He knows what revolving doors are really for. 

He likes pushing all the buttons on the elevator. 

He has trouble with escalators. 

HE LOVES CHRISTMAS DECORATING!

He loves singing Baby, It's Cold Outside. 

He knows that guy at the mall is not the real Santa.

He has awesome holiday plans. 

He has a healthy, balanced diet.

He takes snowball fights very seriously. 

He has trouble expressing his feelings to the person he likes. 

Office work bores him. 

He likes skate dates.

He feels he is a disappointment to his parents. 

He knows the true meaning of Christmas. 

(It's, like, "spending time with family" or something, right?)

Rated FTishIn the Movies, Writing
In the Movies Ep. 15: The Family Stone & Ensemble Casts

We're getting Christmassy on the podcast! We have fun talking in depth about one of our favorite Christmas movies, The Family Stone. We break it down how characters are introduced, what characters tell us about themselves and other characters, and how creepy Everett actually is. We talk way too long about the movie until we briefly talk about other types of ensemble movies. We agree the separate-but-connected type never really works, and how movies like The Avengers use an ensemble cast in an entirely different way.

Movie News

Reese Witherspoon producing a Barbie movie [

Fortune

]

Trainspotting sequel [

Nerdist

]

As we mention in the podcast, I can't stop winning those advance screening passes! We went to see Brooklyn this week, so watch our spoiler-free review!

Listen on 

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Podbean

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inthemoviespodcast@gmail.com

.

Rated FTishIn the Movies, Podcast
Doctor's Companions Ep. 21: Christmas BFFs

It's Christmas time at the podcaaaaast! We choose our favorite Christmas specials and then talk about how much Linda loves Kylie and Juliana and I love Russell Tovey. There's a lot to talk about in this Christmas special, even though we don't think it's that great.

And then it's The DoctorDonna! I think we can all agree that The Doctor and Donna miming/mouthing/signing at each other across the room is one of the best scenes in television ever, right? And then there's the cute little Adipose! What a great way to lose weight and meet some cute lil aliens! We are so excited for this season with Donna. She's an amazing character and their relationship is just the best!

Our question for episode 23 is a weird one: What vegetable or fruit would you like to use as inspiration for a Doctor Who alien? Sometimes we struggle with coming up with questions related to the episodes, so the potato-looking Sontarans is the direction we went.

Who News
Michelle Akin's Plan Like the Doctor Workshop! (Sunday, December 13th! Join us!)

Listen on iTunesPodbean, or right here using the player below! Don't forget to answer this week's question by emailing us at doctorscompanionspodcast@gmail.com!


The Doctor's Companions Ep. 20: Here Come the Drums


This week, we talk regenerations, our love/hate for the psychotic Master, how his wife is affected by their abusive relationship, and how Martha finally redeems herself with us by saving the world.

News
Matt Lucas and Greg Davies join Christmas special [BBC]

Our question to answer in episode 22 (in which we will discuss The Fires of Pompeii, guest starring Peter Capaldi) is; How upset were you when they announced Peter Capaldi as the next Doctor? 


Listen on iTunesPodbean, or right here using the player below! Don't forget to answer this week's question by emailing us at doctorscompanionspodcast@gmail.com!


Tuesdays with Tish: Happy Quizmas!


I invited my friends Juliana and Linda (my Doctor's Companions co-hosts) to play a fun Christmas trivia game, Quizmas, and they accused me of cheating because I own the book and then booed me when I won. (Oops, spoiler alert.)

I promise you won't be booed if you play along! (Unless you cheat with the Google.) Write down and check your answers as we do and then leave your score in the comments! Fun times!

TishTuesdays with Tish, video
In the Movies Ep. 14: Entourage and TV Show Movies

Yeah! Oh yeah! My boys are back! Juliana and I have a great time talking about the Entourage characters that we know and love on another Hollywood adventure. We talk about what we love about each of the characters and lament over the lack of female characters, and how terrible the few are represented. 

The Entourage movie really felt like the show which is great as a viewer of the show, but other TV show movies don't accomplish that. We agree Serenity is the best example of how to end a TV show with a movie (R.I.P. Firely. Gone too soon.) and the second Sex and the City movie was unnecessary and ridiculous. We also discuss the countless movies based on old TV shows that are made in an attempt to reboot the property. (Dukes of Hazard, anyone?)

We're very excited and looking forward to our next couple of episodes. That's right, we actually have them planned already! We're getting Christmassy with the next episode about The Family Stone and ensemble casts. And then we're getting really Christmassy with another Drunk Disney episode watching I'll Be Home for Christmas starring JTT. We've never seen it before, so send us your drinking game ideas, or we're going to have to make it up as we go along!

Don't forget, we're making videos now, too! So far, we're just reviewing new movies that we see at advanced screenings or in theatres (spoiler-free) but in the new year, we'll be doing some more movie-related fun sketch/vlog kind of videos! Find In the Movies videos on my channel;

here's the playlist

.

Listen on iTunes, Podbean, or stay right here with the player below! Let us know what you think about this episode, suggest future episodes, or just say hi by emailing us at

inthemoviespodcast@gmail.com

.

Rated FTishIn the Movies, Podcast
Tuesdays with Tish: Christmas Decorations DIY

In which I show you my Christmas decorations, watch the Kemptville Santa Claus parade, and shoot an episode of The Unicorn Hunt.

Some things I didn't mention about my DIY decorations...

Felt Mistletoe: I drew a couple different stem with leaves templates on paper, pinned it to the felt, and cut it out. (You could also trace it with a felt-tip pen and then cut it, but I wanted to avoid the inky mess.) I made five sprigs and glued them onto another little piece of felt rolled in a cylinder. This made it easier for the sprigs to be a little further apart, so they don't all fall flat on each other. I cut the white berries out of a white fuzzy fabric I had, but tiny white pom-poms from the craft store would be great, too.

Paper Snowflakes: Remember to fold your paper to make six points, not eight. Try using a protractor to get the angles, 6 x 60º = 360º. For my big snowflakes on fancy cardstock that I couldn't fold, I had to trace a pattern on and then cut out. Try making the snowflake the regular way on paper, then tracing that onto the cardstock. Or make just the pattern (60º angle, fold in half, cut pattern) and repeat it (measure your 6 60º sections) tracing it, and then cutting it out. I hung my snowflakes with white thread tied to the snowflake and to a sewing pin (which I painted white, so they wouldn't stand out) which I could easily stick in my false ceiling tiles. You could try white thumbtacks or just scotch tape for regular ceilings.

I think I explained the rest of my DIYs enough in the video. :)
TishTuesdays with Tish, video
The Doctor's Companions Ep. 19: Chan Don't Blink Tho

This week, we have fun talking about two great episodes. While everyone is trying not to blink, I'm wonder if the camera/us, the viewers, count as a set of eyes, because the Weeping Angels are statues when no characters can see them, but the camera is on them. Plot hole? Or Moffat fucking with the fourth wall?
Speaking of Moffat, he had something great to say about writing for Doctor Who in the corresponding episode of Doctor Who Confidential. "You know you've got a good Doctor Who story if you think- Well, I've just blown that feature film idea. That's the size of story you need for 45 minutes of Doctor Who." Do you agree? Are Doctor Who episodes little feature films? I think the good ones are. 
And then we travel to the end of the universe- with Captain Jack Harkness! He's immortal! What?! Only a surprise if you didn't also watch Torchwood. Chan and then we get introduced to Chantho, my favorite insect/humanoid tho. And, who's this? A very brilliant professor, or someone else...? It's the beginning of The Master! But, more relevant to us, we are introduced to Hermits United. Great fun. For a hermit.

Send us your answers to this week's questions! We answered which episode we would show an outsider to get them hooked on Who, and asked what's your favorite Christmas episode?

News!
TARDIS Maps! [Google Maps]

Listen on iTunes, Podbean, or right here using the player below! Don't forget to answer this week's question by emailing us at doctorscompanionspodcast@gmail.com!






Tuesdays with Tish: I Met Justin Bieber?


It's another week of my life! In which I go to work, meet Justin Bieber, visit my BFF, go to an art show, see Spotlight at an advance screening, win a prize, and fix my Christmas tree.

And what's that? Another advance screening? Yup, we saw Spotlight and here's our review!

TishPodcast, Tuesdays with Tish
The Doctor's Companions Ep. 18: The Professor and The Maid

It's the beginning of something wonderful... We love this two-parter and agree that this is where the show hits its stride and never looks back! No more episodes we begrudgingly watch just because we have to, nearly every episode from now on is spectacular! The rest of this season is great (Blink! The Master!) and then we've got Donna for a season, and then the age of Moffat begins! 

We love this story so much we don't even hate Martha! She's mostly awesome and take-charge in awful, racist 1913, until she whines about her unrequited Doctor love again. On top of just terrible 1913, there are also a truly terrifying villain, the scarecrows. Legit scary. And then The Doctor himself gets legit terrifying with his dark and twisted punishments for the Family of Blood...

News!
Tennant and Tate together again! [Geek & Sundry]
Lego Movie Sequel! [Den of Geek]

Listen on iTunes, Podbean, or right here using the player below! Don't forget to answer this week's question by emailing us at doctorscompanionspodcast@gmail.com!

Tuesdays with Tish: I Have Bond Issues


In which I have a coaching call with Michelle Akin, go to the cemetery to take photos, go to an advance screening of Spectre, and have thoughts about all the Bond movies.

I'm enjoying this vlogging life. It's inspiring creativity and video editing is my happiest time, but it's also forcing me to really practice being present instead of always thinking about what I need to get on video for the vlog.

I'll probably have another out-and-about vlog for the next Tuesdays with Tish as I have plans with friends later this week, but Tuesdays with Tish will also be sketches, more scripted talking to the camera kind of stuff and fun YouTube challenges. Stay tubed!
TishTuesdays with Tish, video
In the Movies Ep. 13: It's My Birthday!

Celebrate my birthday with me and my ten favorite movies! In this special birthday episode, we record the podcast by candlelight and learn about my life in movies. You'll notice a big difference between my and Juliana's top ten lists. My movie choices, and a reason I chose each of them, are visually stunning. It's a big part of my movie watching experience; the sets, art direction, animation style, location, colors, wardrobe, etc. Juliana's list, however, was focused on groundbreaking filmmaking and acting performances. Just another example of we come at movies from different perspectives; I, a filmmaker, and Juliana, an actor.

All of these movies affected my life in big ways. They may not have the same effect on you if you're not a thirteen year old girl watching Thirteen, but I, of course, I recommend you watch all of these movies. If nothing else, maybe you'll get to know me better, which I know is the real reason you're here.

Girl, Interrupted

Thirteen

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

The Butterfly Effect

MirrorMask

Lost and Delirious

Spirited Away

The Fall

Under the Tuscan Sun

Sucker Punch

And if you want to know even more about me via my favorite movies, check out my list of

23 Movies for 23 Years

 of my life. You'll see most of these on there.

Listen on

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,

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, or stay right here with the player below! Let us know what you think about this episode, suggest future episodes, or just say hi by emailing us at

inthemoviespodcast@gmail.com

.

And check out this new thing we're doing! A quick video review of advance screening & new movies we go see! This week we went to see Spectre at an advance screening!

In the Movies Ep. 12: Drunk Hocus Pocus

It's not Halloween if you don't watch Hocus Pocus! We got drunk watching Hocus Pocus and then talked about it! But everyone knows Hocus Pocus, and if you haven't seen it in a while, then you should be listening to our drinking game rules, watching/drinking, and then finishing the podcast. So, instead of talking about the movie we all just watched, let's talk about... remedies for the colds we both have, my birthday plans, our plans to be the Sanderson Sisters for Halloween next year, the spider crawling up my wall, Juliana's crush on Billy Butcherson, Thackery's little sister fetish, our relationships with our brothers, my issue with how many colors should be in a rainbow, my hair cut, our high schools' arts and techs programs, the Descendants sequel and Juliana offends possibly everyone with her lisp, black sass, holocaust reference, and poor Spanish.

Yup, this podcast is all over the place and it's great! So, who wants to be Winifred for Halloween next year? Juliana is Mary and I'm Sarah, so...

Here are the rules I collected from various sources on the world wide web.

Drinking Game Rules

Binx emotionally says his sister’s name “Emily”

Anyone says the word “Virgin”

“BoooOOOoook!” opens its eye

The Sanderson Sisters get upset for being called ugly or old

You see Ernie’s “ICE” shaved head

Dani says the word “Yabbos” 

or

 cries

or

screams

Winnie says “SISTAHS!”

Winnie smacks/hits/shoves one of her sisters

The sisters cast a spell together

Sarah flirts with a boy

The sisters sing or dance

When the bullies call Max “Hollywood”

Binx dies and comes back to life

Billy Butcherson loses a body part

Whenever the Sanderson sisters are confounded by the modern world

Conversely, drink every time the Sanderson sisters have knowledge of things they should have been dead for

Shots for title mentions, Duh! 

Have a happy Halloween/Tish's Birthday! Drink responsibly! While watching Disney movies!

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.

The Doctor's Companions Ep. 17: Tish is Here!

This week we talk about a number of fascinating things, most of which have nothing to do with the episodes. You know us, when the episodes aren't interesting we find other stuff to talk about. Like what Linda thinks of the twelfth Doctor. (She's almost caught up!)

We have a variety of answers for this week's question; Which baddie would you like to see become an ally? And we discuss the idea that The Doctor changes his appearance when he regenerates to match his current companion.

But then we get to the important stuff: Tish, Tish, Tish! We get to know Martha's sister Tish! I obsess over her name, her full name (Letitia! The same as mine! Even the spelling! That never happens!), and the Doctor saying my name. *Swoon* I also suggest that someone could pull off this de-aging thing as an elaborate prank and wish that The Doctor would just straight-up kill a bad guy for once instead of putting everyone's lives at risk with his elaborate plans to indirectly kill bad guys.

And then we go to The Impossible Planet 42 minutes until we crash into the sun. We discuss the various scientific inaccuracies, although Linda assures me that a good gangster tint on the windows would be enough to protect their eyes that close to the sun. We all cheer when Martha is jettisoned away and think that she and that guy should definitely hook up and she can forget about The Doctor because it's never gonna happen, gurl! Oh, and Harold Saxon is no longer just whispers, he is real.

So, have fun listening to us complain more about Martha and bad science, and for episode 19 tell us which episode would you choose if you had to choose just one to show someone to get them interested in Doctor Who.

Listen on iTunesPodbean, or right here using the player below! Don't forget to answer this week's question by emailing us at doctorscompanionspodcast@gmail.com!

My Favorite Witches

I've always felt an innate kinship to witches. I like to think it's because I was born on Halloween. I'm sure the deeper psychological reason is because witches are powerful women. I always hoped I would wake up one day with magic powers and I would finally be as unique and special and capable as I felt inside. Okay, I probably had the unique part, I was a pretty weird kid, but I was also a very shy, quiet kid. I was super smart but being so socially incapable made me feel like there was so much I couldn't do. If only I could be a witch and be able to do amazing things and control my life to go the way I wanted. Even if nobody ever knew, I would know that I had something special, that I could do something they couldn't.

Well, I didn't get a Hogwarts letter, have a family member tell me I'm a witch, or discover a book of shadows in my attic. I did watch every witch I could find in movies and TV, though. There are many witches that have shaped me, but these are my favorites.

Nancy Downs

,

The Craft

1. The Hair

2. She's a Leader

Obviously, Nancy Downs cannot be said to be a role model, exactly, as she is actually pretty evil, but if we take everything she does down a few notches, we can see her amazing qualities. Nancy is the clear leader of their circle with most of the ideas and knowledge. The other girls look to her for guidance and support. She befriended two other outcasts of the school and created a safe place for them to be themselves and feel powerful in a world that is constantly telling them that they are anything but. And then Nancy welcomes the new girl Sarah into her group and teaches her everything she knows. 

3. She Protects her Girls

This whole movie is about girls standing up for themselves. They fight back against bullies, boys, and abusive step-fathers. We all learn a lesson when they take everything too far, but before that we see how important female friendship is, especially for teenage girls. Nancy, as the leader, takes it upon herself to help her friends by working magic for them, warning Sarah about gross Skeet Ulrich, and she protects her mother from domestic abuse. Before all her new powers turn her completely mad, her first priority is protecting the girls/women in her life.

Gillian Owens

,

Practical Magic

1. The Hair

2. She's a Vagabond

Gilly leaves home at 17 and rarely comes back. She wants adventure. And she has it. She's always moving around, hanging out with new people, and having fun. I was always so envious of characters like this when I was young. I wanted to be independent and bold and social and live on the road. Turns out, that's just not my jam, but watching movies about characters like Gilly definitely is.

3. The Sister Bond

Before Gilly leaves, she makes a blood oath with her sister Sally. They are connected. When Sally's husband dies, Gilly knows she has to come home. When Gilly is in trouble, Sally knows and comes to get her. I don't have a sister, but their connection has always made me desire that sort of connection with a best friend. You're there for each other no matter what, you share your secrets and every detail of your life, and when the two of you accidentally kill your abusive boyfriend, you'll raise him from the dead. And when you have to kill that bastard again, you'll bury him the yard together. And when he starts haunting you and possesses one of you, the other will get a coven together to banish him for good. Just normal sister stuff.

Luna Lovegood

, The

Harry Potter

Series

1. The Hair

2. She's an Outcast

Oh, Luna, my soul sister, I feel for you. People don't understand you, they make fun of you, they don't believe what you believe. You are absolutely brilliant but everyone just thinks you're a nutter. (

Team Ravenclaw!

)

3. She's a Goddamn Hero

Luna is a very important part of the team that ultimately defeats Voldemort and saves the wizarding world. Luna has brilliant ideas and is so brave and level-headed when shit is hitting the fan. She fights in the battles, she tells Harry about Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem, she helps them escape on the thestrals, she is kidnapped by death eaters and doesn't give up hope. She's also just a good friend to Harry, talking to him about why he can see the thestrals and helping him after Malfoy petrifies him on the train. We salute you, Luna Lovegood, hero of Hogwarts.

Sarah Sanderson

,

Hocus Pocus

1. The Hair

2. Witches Just Wanna Have Fun

While Winifred is busy trying to kill everyone or cast a spell on everyone, Sarah just wants to flirt with bus drivers, play with her food (children), chew on her lucky rat tail and dance with The Devil. And in a funny-throughout movie, it's her one-liners and physical comedy moments that are the funniest.

3. She Can Sing

Okay, so I'm not really on board with the Sanderson sisters' agenda, but if I were, I would say Sarah is really the key to their plot. Without Sarah, how would they get a hold of children? Sarah's beautiful voice bewitches all the children of the town making them come to them. "Come little children, I'll take you away..."

Paige Matthews

,

Charmed

1. The Hair

2. Her Personal Growth

Paige is thrown suddenly into the crazy world of the Charmed ones. She rejects the idea of being a freak at first, but she comes to accept her new powers, her position as a Charmed One, and her new sisters. Seeing Paige grow both as a woman and a witch is one of the strengths of the show. Paige goes from rejecting her Charmed duties to becoming Super Witch and finally finding her balance. She finds true happiness in life when she can combine the human, witch, and whitelighter parts of her into a purposeful life of helping people using all of her gifts.

3. She Has the Coolest Power(s)

Paige is half witch, half whitelighter. The prophecy says that the third sister has the power to move objects with her mind. So, after Prue, with her telekinesis, died, Paige filled her spot in the Power of Three. However, Paige's powers work differently because she's half whitelighter. Whitelighters are like guardian angels for witches, so they need to be able to quickly be at their charge's side when their life is in danger. They call it orbing, which is the magic version of teleporting. Paige can orb herself, people or things she's touching, and can also move objects that she's not touching by calling out their name as she uses her orbing power to move them. If I had to choose one witchy, or superhero, power to have, it would definitely be orbing/teleporting. I would be able to instantly be anywhere in the world! I could spend the day lounging on a beach in Fiji or hanging out in Tuscany, hiking a glacier in Greenland, looking at elephants in their natural habitat, meditating at a temple in Japan, and then pop back home to spend the night in my own bed. Imagine the possibilities!

The Doctor's Companions Ep. 16: Art Deco Daleks

This week is full of good times because instead of discussing these mediocre episode, we have fun talking about Dalek snails, whether or not Martha has showered yet and learning about the Cult of Skaro.

First thing's first: Here is the amazing picture Linda made for me! 



This week's question; What would you change about the Daleks? Linda and Juliana really want to get rid of the useless plunger immediately while I imagine a Dalek that leaves a snail trail as it glides around.

We hate hearing the ridiculous American accents and yell at Martha to change her clothes! And then we wonder if she has showered since she got on the TARDIS, and what the TARDIS shower facilities might be like. But that Dalek art deco style, doe! They may be evil but they got the look. We learn about the Cult of Skaro and the OG Daleks. Then we get scared by loud noises upstairs (possibly a murder, but we'll let you decide) before deciding that Daleks fart out that vent area in the middle, and that pig face Laszlo should consider a new life as a truffle hunter.

But we want to hear from you! What would you change about the Daleks? What would you do with your pig face? What do you think Daleks eat/consume and where does their poop/farts go? Wanna make us some fan art? And definitely answer this week's question so we can read it on episode 18: If you were a time lord with a chameleon arch, what object would yours be?

Listen on iTunes, Podbean, or right here using the player below! Don't forget to answer this week's question by emailing us at doctorscompanionspodcast@gmail.com!

That Time I Was Into Wicca
kMqEkD.jpg

Before I get to Wicca, I have to talk about witches. Born on Halloween, I like to believe that I was destined to be a freak, a weirdo, an outsider, someone who loves to dress up and pretend to be someone else (and not just on Halloween). (Also, I’ve really got a sweet tooth, so free candy on my birthday is a dream come true. Or free candy on my birthdays helped develop my sweet tooth...) So, is it really any wonder that as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in and inspired by witches? 

Aside from a inborn kinship to the mention of witches, my first exposure to a witch character was probably Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. As much fun as Sabrina had pointing her finger at stuff, it wasn’t until I saw The Craft that I found my idea of witches. The girls in The Craft, particularly their leader, Nancy, were rebels, outcasts at their school. They weren’t on their own; they formed a group (“circle” or “coven”) to add support and structure to their witch-ness. And, my god, did they look bad ass in their black-and-white school uniforms and outfits. 

It was these 90’s witches (also including the Owens sisters of Practical Magic and Halliwell sisters of Charmed) that inspired my childhood desire to be a witch myself. What would draw a young girl to this witch life (other than her own birthday)? I believe it was the idea of power and control in a world that largely ignored me and gave me none. I was a quiet, shy, timid, introverted kid. It’s hard to make friends when you can’t bring yourself to speak to anyone and no one notices you sitting quietly by yourself. I did have a few friends, though, and I decided that we were to be witches. I had a ring with 4 gems stuck on it that I told them represented the four directions (North, South, East, West) and their corresponding elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water). I, naturally, was the Nancy Downs of the group. No, I didn’t turn evil and crazy, but I was the leader with all the knowledge, bringing my friends along with me, instructing them how to be a witch. I’m sad to report that the only time I remember us attempting to work any magic was to do something mean to a girl we didn’t like. Perhaps our fourth member that had left the group. I do remember that our little coven was broken up due to lack of commitment from the other girls, and perhaps my own Nancy Downs-ing (just a bit overbearing). 

I mostly let go of that witchy phase of my childhood, writing it off as a kid playing pretend, as silly as if I’d told my friends we were actually fairies and I knew how to transport us into the fairy realm (Damn, that would have been cool), until I was around 13 years old and decided to look up a word that my favorite witchy show, Charmed, used occasionally; Wicca. I did some Googling and Wikipedia-ing, and learned all I could about the relatively new religion, Wicca, and it’s connection to witchcraft. I learned that the magical world in Charmed had very little to do with the real religion of Wicca, or real life witches, other than some mentions of Sabbats and the vague ideas and tools used for spells. 

This is the part of my article where I encourage you to do your own quick Googling and Wikipedia-ing of Wicca and Witchcraft, if you are interested in learning what I learned back then. If you’re not interested in learning about Wicca for yourself, well, keep reading to learn about how it played a part in my life. 

It was quite a revelation in my life to discover that this magical thing, that I thought I could only imagine ever being a part of, was a real thing that real people did. I could be a real witch(Wiccan)! I learned as much as I could on Wikipedia articles, Charmed fan sites, and Wicca websites. In that research, I found out that someone named Scott Cunningham was basically like the Wicca expert, and that I should get his book. Well, lucky for me my little town’s little bookstore (and not even the used bookstore run by the old British man who smoked a pipe on its steps, but the legitimate new bookstore in the strip mall) had quite a robust “New Age” section. I bought many books in that section over the next year or so. Some, like Scott Cunningham’s book, Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, were written by Wicca experts and practitioners, while some were a little less reliable in their sources with names like “Spells for Teens”. I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could find. I learned the beliefs, the rituals, the Wiccan rede, the rule of threefold, the sabbats, the spells, the elements, the meanings behind every color, rock, feather, number, and candle. I knew it all. I had collected what I needed to create an alter honoring the God, Goddess, and each of the elements, and changed it seasonally to reflect the Sabbat. I was such a good little Wiccan. Except… as much as I knew exactly how to do rituals, or spells, the right phase of the moon, the right candles to burn, the right words to say, that was the part I couldn’t really get into. Sure, I knew all about it, agreed with most of the beliefs, and loved all the stuff that came with it, but I just wasn’t devout enough to really focus to perform a ritual and really mean it. 

Perhaps I should have mentioned this before, but it doesn’t become relavent to my Wiccan journey until around this time. I was raised Christian. Presbyterian, to be more precise. My father was a Presbyterian minister. My brother and I were raised Christian and went to church every Sunday. I mention this all now, because just as I found I couldn’t truly “get into” a completely devout Wiccan way of life, I had never been a devout Christian. Going to church and Sunday school every week did not convince me to be a “good” Christian, or believe anything, or want to worship anything, or devote my life to anything. I just went because I had to. Before you think I was actively rebelling by not being totally down with Christianity, let me say that my “Christian household” was not as overwhelmingly religious as you are probably thinking. The most religion in my house, aside from Christian paraphernalia and books in my dad’s study and sheet music for hymns sitting on my mom’s piano, was saying Grace before dinner. Of course, church was a big part of our household. It was my dad’s job, one that he did mainly from home, and my mom was always involved in the choir, Sunday school, and other parts of church life. But we didn’t discuss Christianity around the dinner table, or say our prayers before bed. My dad would talk about Christianity more like a theologian than a Bible-thumper. And my mom seemed more concerned with maintaining a reputation of a perfect Christian family than actually enforcing Christian beliefs or practices on us. 

You needed to know that part of my childhood and family before this next part of my Wiccan journey. Throughout this time of discovery and accumulating many books and candles and crystals, I had never discussed my new interest with my parents. We didn't talk much about, well, anything. I didn’t exactly hide my growing collection from my parents, but I certainly did not show my mom the new book I just bought full of spells. My small bookshelf now read “Wicca” or “Witchcraft” on most of the spines, and I had an alter set up on my dresser, but still, the topic was never discussed. Until The Incident. Okay, it was not as ominous or dramatic as that title makes it sound. This was when my parents officially found out what I was into and we had to talk about it. I had lent a friend some of my books on Wicca, Witchcraft, and divination, at her request. She was curious to learn more about this thing I was into. Well, the next day her dad drove over to drop off the books saying that my friend wasn’t allowed to have them. (Or something to that effect, it was my brother who answered the door.) My brother was absolutely delighted to have something to laud over me and get me in trouble once our parents got home in a few hours. My mother’s reaction boiled down to the statement “As long as you live in our house you won’t practice any other religion [than Christianity].” My Dad was more understanding about my curiousity in other religions and responded by bringing me up an old World Religions calendar which had the holy days of many relgions marked on its days as well as information about the many religions. I was much happier with my Dad’s understanding and, to an extent, encouragement in my seeking knowledge of the world around me.  

I call this The Incident, as it is one of few family drama “big” conversations that we had in my house, and I don’t remember my interest in Wicca lasting much longer after that. It wasn’t because of what my mother said (She didn’t confiscate any books, so I figured I could still believe whatever I wanted to believe as long as I kept going to church) but I think at this point it had been over a year, and I was losing interest. I don’t remember an exact end to my time with Wicca, but I think by the time I started high school, I no longer had an alter, was no longer buying up all the Wicca and Witchcraft books from the bookstore, and was no longer considering myself a Wiccan. My connection to Wicca didn’t suddenly end, however. Throughout high school, I used my knowledge and interest in it for more than one school assignment. They say write what you know, right? 

Aside from the memories of that time in my life, my instinctual connection to any witch characters, and my ingrained knowledge of Wicca, there are a few parts of the religion that I still keep with me today. 

The Wiccan Rede 

"An it harm none, do what ye will." Sound familiar? Ya, it’s basically “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Just about every religion has as similar saying. Because all religions boil down to; “Don’t be dick", right? This rede is what I still use as a sort of morality test, should I find myself conflicted. How do I feel about religion, polictics, beliefs, sexuality, lifestyle choices? Well, as long as you’re not hurting anyone (emotionally, mentally, physically), then I can’t see why people shouldn’t do that! 

God and Goddess 

While I consider myself to be mostly atheist at this point, I did, and still do, like that Wicca specified two deities; one male, one female. These days I interperet that more like the yin and yang theory; that we all have masculine and feminine inside of us. It seems silly to gender anything these days, when even people don’t feel the need to be gendered, but I still believe there is a place for masculine and feminine, however you interpret each, in ourselves and everything we do. 

The Rule of Threefold 

You may have already heard of this one if you’re a fan of The Craft. That movie did have some legitimate Wiccan practices within it. The Rule of Threefold is also seen throughout religions and spirital beliefs. Ever heard of The Secret aka The Law of Attraction.? What you put out into the world comes back to you. Wicca specifies this as coming back to you threefold, but the premise is the same. If you put out positive energy (from an optimisitic outlook on life to performing acts of service) then you wil receive positive energy back into your life. And the same for negative energy, as they learn in The Craft. I like the idea of attracting the things you need in life because you are putting it out into the universe. Even if you don’t want to get spiritual about it, I think you can agree on something like a happy, positive person is more likely to bring happy, positive people into their life than an unhappy, negative person is. 

A Connection with Nature 

The respect and connection with nature and the four elements is an integral part of Wicca. Even though I know a tree doesn’t really have “feelings” like humans do, I still have the respect that my time with Wicca ingrained in me that stops me from, say, breaking a branch off a tree for no reason. Or if I have a reason, to mentally say a little “Sorry/thanks” to the tree. Spirituality aside, we’re all just trying to live on the same big rock flying through space, so let’s all work together and get along, right? 

The Aesthetics 

My love of an “occult” home decor style is everlasting. Candles everywhere, skulls, crystals, bits of nature, figurines of various religious figures… It makes me heart-eye-emoji. I’ve also always been quite a materialistic person. Not that I value material goods over the important things in life, but I get attached to physical objects when they have meaning and memories. So, while I don’t believe my rose quartz will bring me love, I do believe it holds memories and looks cool sitting on my shelf with my other crystals and rocks. 

While the Wiccan time of my life is long past, it will remain a part of my life as memories of my early teen years, knowledge of Wiccan practices, and where I picked up some beliefs that I still hold today. And I will never be able to help myself from being interested in witches in any TV show or movie, even if I end up just shaking my head at the misuse of Wiccan practices.

TishTish, personal, Writing