Everybody needs a witch. Because a detox is not just for your liver and gut. A spiritual spring clean decongests your home the way Electrogel Cleanser cleans the pores.
Saturn is in my house of destiny, so I booked a session with my witch and asked if the Guru is going to sack me as frequently threatened. Witchy ordered me to pick a tarot card but wouldn’t let me see it.
“You!” she said to my granite table, knocking three times with her purple fingernails. “Listen to your third eye.” Is she talking to me? The tarot? I sneaked a quick look to check if the Guru was under the table. “Pay attention!” the witch screamed. You may be wearing the right shoes. But you know nothing about magic.” That isn’t true but I don’t want to contradict her in case she needs a new face for her voodoo doll.
Maddie is a seventh daughter but the Money family’s psychic powers bypassed her and came straight to me. My aunties paid me to read their gin cups, though really you don’t need a cup or a crystal ball. Everyone has psychic power but most people switch it off; refuse to listen. The past influences the future and the future distracts from the present.
A descendant of Peter Pan, whom I met at a wake for one of Dangerous’s old girlfriends, introduced me to my witch. “You have a lovely home,” the witch said, like she’d expected me to live in a barbed wire cage. The building I live in is on a burial ground for the Soho workhouse, so my witch rings bells to disturb any ghosts who are having a snooze. Dangerous draws the line at naked dancing with a tail attached.
Witchy rang her bell inside my vintage YSL Go Go boots, just in case, whispering, “I’m so jealous of your closets.” She might be a skinny witch, who doesn’t “do solids”, but she still envies storage space for swag. “Clutter is the enemy of Dharma.”
The manservant is wary of my witch since he found coarse black hair hidden in Dangerous’s pillow. A “well known spell”. Don’t ask for what. Just buy Dangerous a new pillow.
There’s no evidence that the witch put pubic hair in my husband’s pillow but, “Who else would?” Even Sherlock isn’t averse to using the process of elimination to reveal a villain. The manservant puts my jade bracelet in the farthest right hand corner from the front door for protection and luck. You could keep your Hayo’u Beauty Restorer there. He is affronted that I hire a witch when he’s Chinese and I’m psychic. Objectivity and bias are embedded in second sight; like curiosity and scepticism.
My witch doubles up as an astrologer and is fond of Jung but don’t mention Ted Hughes and his ouija board if you want to keep your teeth. She isn’t allowed to invoice me because Gordon Brown, the Presbyterian PM, made it illegal to make a living from fortune telling during his short reign. While his more successful predecessor Tony Blair allegedly consulted an astrologer and only called elections when Mercury was direct.
Astrology began in Babylon. I thought Babylon was a place invented by God as a biblical parable until I went there with Dangerous who bought me a lapis lazuli bracelet. Last century, when I skipped Double Maths to flirt with the boy running the waltzers at Glasgow Green, a gypsy told me I’d travel the world with a man I met in a lift. I met Dangerous in a lift at the South Bank Centre but in my twisted noir novel Spying on Strange Men I reinvented this as the mirrored lift up to the Glamour Bar in Shanghai.
“Never marry a man whose face you first see in a mirror,” the gypsy fortune teller warned me. The fate of fictional characters is determined by the author. But in real life you can do what you like.
Sun sign astrology is often sneered at because it’s silly that “everyone who’s the same sign has the same horoscope”. The Guru, me and my evil twin are all Aries! Bossy control freaks or seductive achievers, according to Witchy. Of course the date, time and place of birth are needed for an accurate chart. But the position of the planets affects every star sign; it’s just a question of how and where.
A Saturn return, which happens late twenties and mid-fifties, can cause breakdown or breakthrough. Saturn ate his children; not a nice man. While Jupiter is seen as the lucky planet. But Jupiter rules expansion which includes material gain but also weight gain.
It’s not a competition, as Maddie is fond of telling me and my psychic sister (she dislikes us both equally). But if you want to beat your rival find out their rising planet. This is the one closest to the ascendant, in the first house of the chart. My rising planet Uranus makes me “an unpredictable genius” or a mad eccentric; depending on your viewpoint. Of course I move my birthday forward when I’m in the mood for presents.
I’m not an expert; so you can trust me. Avoid people with stelliums (three planets or more) in the first house; unless you like narcissists. A quick look at your enemy’s chart saves you flying to Havana for voodoo potions.
Astrology isn’t a belief system, it’s a tool to use if you feel like it; like a soak in a ilapothecary Magnesium and Amethyst bath. The planets provide a mood map; hinting at the best times to buy a Tiffany bracelet, or hide from the world under your silk duvet. Believe your horoscope when it’s good and be sceptical when it’s bad. Or you can just follow your instincts, your inner psychic voice, the one that is sometimes silenced by noise.
There’s scientific evidence that the moon affects human behaviour. A full moon makes you want to stay up all night drinking vodka. A new moon is a good time to improve your karma.
At Chinese New Year (always new moon Aquarius) I gave the manservant, who has pores like planets, a tube of Vit C Paste to save him stealing from me; a wee present for his karma and for mine. Anecdotal evidence, also known as old wives’ tales, is often ahead of science. It just hasn’t been proved yet. Experience is another type of truth.
The manservant stands with his arms folded watching Witchy ring her bell. I can’t resist blasting him with SDSM to make him sparkle like the floors which he insists on cleaning while kneeling on a pvc cushion with his nose pressed to the dirt.
When Dangerous came home he said, “There’s something different in here.” The atmosphere is lighter, happier, cleaner. The karma of the dead has moved downstairs.
Carole Morin is the author of Spying on Strange Men