Greetings My Witchy Readers,
Well this discussion is sure to titillate and entice you as it is not only filled with the shadows of spirits from a Victorian age but it is true and it just happened in the last month and is still happening as I write this piece!
I opened Enchantments, A School for the Magickal Arts and Witch Shop, in 2004 in a small rented shop and two years later, moved to our present location and bought a building that had been built as a home in 1899-1900, which was at the very end of the Victorian age but as with any age it lingered. A small family lived in this home and since we purchased this building and converted it to our small witch shop and school, and made very few changes save for improvements such as a new roof, new windows which retain the character of the original and we acknowledge the energies of the original occupants.
When I first took ownership and we were starting to clean and fix the place up in preparation to open for business, I met our spirit co-inhabitants one evening as I was cleaning up from a painting project in the center sales room. After I had turned off the radio, and while I was gathering the brushes and other painting materials I heard, very distinctly and clearly, a woman's voice say behind me "hello". Just that. I stood still for a moment, then said "hello", as one would, if one were polite.
When we first bought the building we now call Enchantments and the changes the gardens have undergone.
Then I went off to wash up and wished it had not been at eleven o'clock at night when this had happened but I suppose there is never a bad time to be welcomed in! Since then a number of people, all women, have seen a spirit, who manifests and appears to wear period garb of the Victorian era, but of the middle class era. She is always seen in the same outfit, but I won't say as everyone who comes to me tells me the same description and I keep it to myself to see if they are picking up the energies accurately. It is always possible they could be picking up someone else, so I do not believe in putting it out in print to 'color the waters' if you will.
We moved into Enchantment's current building in November 2006 and so have been here, at 349 East Center Street, Manchester, CT for 13 years and the bottom floor is the retail store and tarot room and we have a kitchen and bathroom, the second floor is a ritual area, classroom and office area.
A few years ago, I had a strong vision to change a back sales room into a tarot card reading room, but to decorate the room in such a way it would be like a Victorian seance room, without really considering where the idea came from? I draped the room with beautiful cloth from the fabric store and painted the ceiling black and with indirect lighting. All of a sudden it took on an entirely new look.
Then just a month or so ago, I was again struck with another image one day, it flashed into my mind's eye that I take the upstairs office that had fallen into disuse and move every single item that had any 'office' function out and turn the room into what I had seen in my mind's vision, a magickal parlor or salon. I could see the center coffee table and I am not really a coffee table kind of person. I could see the side tables, the small knick knacks I had collected over the years, and I started to bring things from home, my friend and Priestess I work with started to bring things from home and all of a sudden the magickal parlor was created! It was done! Right down to the chocolates in the pressed glass candy dish and the tarot deck and pendulum in a period dessert plate on the table!
I had such a feeling of compulsion, of feeling pushed until it was done and then my friend and I found ourselves sitting in the parlor, the store locked up and just relaxing and at peace and so happy as if we really needed to do this!! Now, I suspect the house or maybe. . . ? Maybe the woman spirit in the house wants a room for herself upstairs? I find I do not spend much time myself up there now that it is completed but it is such a comfort to know it is done and when I walk by or into the parlor it feels so right. So perfect. As if I had done something really . . . kind? What a curious word, but it fits!
And now this week! Goodness, well again. Gardening time is upon us and we typically plant annuals and do a similar type of gardening every year, but this year again, I started to walk into the garden and found myself transfixed, just standing there for minutes which I found out were actually 20 or 30 minute stretches, looking at the garden, trying to figure out what I was going to do? It seemed so important and this year it is so different, I went with all perennials with just geraniums as annuals.
I found my choices at the nursery curious, but thought I was choosing for color and growing habit as I was familiar with all of the plants I purchased. I had just gone with entirely different plants in mind. I found myself placing, and spacing and re-setting and moving here and even digging up and replanting from the day before other plants, and being as specific as if I was planting this garden for the very Queen of England herself!! But it seemed every bit as special, until I had every plant placed just perfectly.
The next day we spent placing an iron archway in the newly created rose garden, placed gazing balls, cast iron low garden fencing, whimsical garden decor. That night I was doing research, as usual, and I thought to search 'typical Victorian garden plants and features' and even though I had studied Victorian gardens and the era years before I had not consciously thought about it when I was putting this garden together. Which I thought was really cool, as I went down the list of plants and I saw that every single plant, and I mean every single on was on the typical Victorian garden list. Now, many are that I do not have, considering my planting area is fairly small as gardens grow! (Cackle, I crack myself up!!)
But!!! And this is where it gets, cool and creepy and all sorts of spooky even for me!! It even mentioned the cast iron garden edging, that my husband found gathering webs in the garage corner at home, the gazing balls, the archway!!!! that my dad gave me 10 years earlier and we really did not need or want but I could not get rid of it, and now it is where it is supposed to be!! Picture follows:
Then, as Internet research goes these days the sites I was on took me to another site of Victorian decor in 'Painted Ladies' what one calls Victorian houses of the era that are colorfully painted. And the very cool thing is the magickal parlor that came to me and I recreated with all of the knick knacks and pieces I had from home and my friend and priestess had at her home and we brought all of them in and made the parlor, this apparently was what made a Victorian parlor. Now I honestly did not know this! My research was pretty much restricted to Victorian gardens and societal etiquette as well as funerary practices. You know, the typical. I had no idea how one decorated in Victorian times, and the magickal parlor upstairs could have been in Victorian Home and Garden Magazine!
As I was putting the roses in, and I simply could not settle for a few, I think I finally stopped at 8 rose bushes, ramblers, shrub and climbers and 10-12 lavender plants. After I finished planting the roses and placing the rose garden decor I stepped back and found myself saying under my breath "finally the rose garden is back!" and that startled me, besides the fact it was weird! because there is no evidence anywhere on the property that there had ever been any gardens on the site, but gardens are easily erased in a mere few years after being seeded over with grass. But I know "someone" there is happier now.
The energy of the store, the upstairs school, the outside gardens, the entire space of Enchantments feels relaxed and more comfortable and peaceful. It is a place that is loved and the people who come there enjoy doing so and it can be felt.
I have even happily found people sitting in the lawn chairs enjoying the gardens while sitting under the shade trees. This year I have installed a special bench, a metal bench in front of the rose garden, which is dedicated to friendship and love. Hence the name of the garden. There is a spell on the bench that any two who sit there will be lifelong friends and anyone will always have love in their lives. An enchanted bench? What did you expect in a witch's garden? A toad?
This is the story of the spirits of my Victorian Painted Lady and She is lovely indeed, please feel free to stop by and if we are not open have a sit in the garden if you would like. But do not pick any of the flowers, that is a no no in a witch's garden unless she is there to give permission. But you wouldn't do that, now would you? Hee hee
© 2010-2018 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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