The C Word

C is supposed to be for Chimera this week. But I just can’t get into the mythological/metaphorical end of it the way I normally do.

Yes, I know a Liger is a hybrid and not a chimera . . .

I have had some valuable realizations about Vanishing Twin Syndrome and have discovered that there are a lot of traits that are considered “symptomatic” for surviving twins (ambidexterity, some rather strongly “Gemini” personality traits, long-lived and unambiguous childhood “imaginary” friendships, etc.).

Asking about my in-vitro months also led to a fun little conversation with The Momma where we made lots of “There can be only one!” jokes and where she told me about the whack-a-doo dreams she had in the summer of 1970.[1] If you need to catch-up on that storyline, you can read s’more about my Yuletide coming-out.

(And for those who believe that I haven’t made it crystal clear[2] to her about who and what I am, I rekon you’ll be relieved to hear that she “believes full-well that we[3] need a better label that doesn’t have all that historical baggage.”[4]  And she sent me a Facebook message that said, “Happy Imbolc.” Squee. Adorable.[5])

Momma has always told me that she often thought that all of her kids have “great abilities” but that mine (I’m her youngest) are keener than the others’. This is true of my youngest too. It’s like all of the magic knew that this was the last chance to get born and so every last drop squeezed its way into her (and my?) tiny fairy-like body. This week, Momma added that she believed that with absorbing all of my brother’s nutrients and life-force[6] I also may have gotten all of his “abilities.” At that moment, it occurred to me that my youngest, my fairy-child, my force-of-nature-baby, is also a twinless twin too. Is there something to this?

Most of what I found to be true of most twinless twins is a little harder to get my brain wrapped around, let alone blog about it. Some of it is deeply personal and I always just passed these traits off as character idiosyncrasies – things I needed to “work on.” Now, while doing my own mirror-work  – as a result of having chased my tail too long last week, I find that what I really have to do is accept the things that I previously thought I needed to change. Like any good chimera, I’ve been fighting against my dualistic nature when what I need to do is accept my chimera-ness. Sounds bizarre, but I’m beginning to think that the healthiest route is to embrace my own conflictedness. Bad Witch, indeed.

  • So, I poked around in my bag of tricks and thought I might write about Calx. That could be fun. But I thought it would be redundant in light of my recent post on The Black Work.
  • I figured Cauldron would be done and that I wouldn’t be able to do the volumes justice.
  • And Chaos. (But here’s a great link to Open Path and Mr. Black’s definition of Chaos.)
  • The Bad Son asked for Cthulu. Overruled. I’m teaching vampires and zombies  this semester. Let’s keep the creatures in the classroom.
  • I also thought of Coven – I’m actually having a fairly interesting conversation about covens at the moment, but I thought I’d wait to see how that conversation plays out.
  • Also Celestial. Hmmmm.
  • China. It doesn’t have anything to do with magic but it’s where The Bad Hubby is this week. Being treated like corporate royalty, it seems. Merh.
  • And then there’s Cerridwen, Cernuous, Cairngorm, Cearcall and Sean Ciall – ah, maybe that’s on to something. After all, I haven’t had the chance to share everything my first mentor told me over winter break, have I? Yummy.
  • Then I ran across a magnificent definition for Cats[7]: “It is a deceitful animal, and when enraged, extremely spiteful (“Glossary.” Natural Magick: The Works and Life of John Baptist Porta). But, no. I’ve sworn off that wearisome subject, even if the cat hasn’t given up the chase. Ho-hum. [8]

And there’s the best of all C words – which I may have already worn thin, I mean, um – what do I mean?

So, I think I’ll settle on copping-out. (Copping out, in true Bad Witch form, is, as ever, more a comprehensive hypertextual compendium than an actual circumvention).

Ciao y’all!




This post is part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . .    The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet” (


[1] a.k.a. The Summer of Discontent, thank you very much.

[2] The Bad Witch recognizes that there are some folks who need to spell things out a little better for their kin, on account of having been, um, economical with the truth in the past, but TBW is not among them.

[3] “We”=Witches. “We”=her and me. She considers herself a Witch too, but she was raised by a *real* pseudo-Christianized Native American woman and just doesn’t like the word. I can respect that. But then again, I can respect just about anything my Momma ever did or said.

[4] My retort was, “That baggage isn’t mine, though.”

She just laughed and said, “No, honey. Ain’t nobody could make you clean up a mess that wasn’t yours.”

True. She’s right. Why in all creation would I poop-scoop someone else’s back yard when it’s their dogs that’s been ruining visitors’ shoes? My yard is clean.

[5] I’ll never not have her soft Creek-cheek against mine. There’s never been a question of anger, confusion, or disappointment. A few months ago, I didn’t know that. Good thing for me my Momma always knew.

[6] She put it a little more delicately. Having fallen incredibly far from that tree, The Bad Witch is nowhere near as genteel with language as the Momma who likes to say, “With a Ph.D. in English. She can’t come up with a better word than ‘fuck.’” If the profanity fits, Momma, I wear it.

[7] I showed my son the George Carlin bit about cats and eyebrows earlier today. Carlin states that while dogs have the ability to glean affection because “they have eyebrows,” cats “don’t have eyebrows,” they simply have “a bunch of shit sticking out of their heads.” It was one of the few times I’ve shown the kids Carlin where it did not end in mortification on both our parts.

[8] Maybe by the time I get to the “w” words later this year I’ll have absolutely nothing to say about it at all. But for now, while I’m still irked, how about Classless, Coworkers, Cantaloupe, Cacti, Crockpots – and some other choice C words?

The Naughty Witch, Coffee, and Norma Jean

I often get (secular-world) students sign up for my courses after they have already endured one. This tells me that either this little town is full of masochists between 18-25 or I’m worth being around. This semester, 62% of my classes are filled with what I affectionately refer to as “repeat offenders.” This gives my classes an interesting dynamic. We are oddly familiar for Week 3 of a semester.

Yesterday, one of my repeat offenders slinked into my 9:30 AM class with a Venti and a slice of cake. “This is for you.”

And then it struck me. I had responded to this poor girl’s class-unrelated email and then failed to clarify myself properly. I had played a bit of a joke on her and then got busy with a time-vampire and forgot to tell her it was a bit of  a joke.

You see – – – We’ll call her Norma Jean.

Norma Jean is a wonderfully gregarious young women. Unquestionably good-looking. Very level-headed. Calls it like she sees it. She’s my favorite kind of woman. She’s very “girly” and a little silly. Then she opens her mouth and then “bam.” Utterly unexpected brilliance. Her secret weapon in life will be that everyone will always underestimate her because she looks like a particular “type.” She has let me know that she understands this about herself and revels in the stupidity of others’ stereotypical expectations.

I identify with Norma Jean. I have big boobs and big hair and a big personality. I’ve always been underestimated. It took me ten years longer than Norma Jean to learn to revel in it.

Needless to say, I like this girl. A lot.

At the end of last semester, she shared a great deal about her family life, her personal life with a whack-a-doo roommate, her goals, her Self. Among these things, Norma Jean told me about a rough spot that her family endured. She explained that she felt her reaction was selfish but that she’s grown as a person since then.

Over the weekend, she sent me an email that said something like, “If you were in doubt that I was a bad person, read this old English paper. The assignment was to narrate a personal tragedy. Rather then self-reflection on a real event – from which I have plenty to choose – I decided to lie. Enjoy.”

The paper was a very stirring narrative about the lost of a (non-existent) twin. It was so stirring that the teacher of the class brought Norma Jean a condolence card.

Seeing an opportunity to misbehave, Dr. Bad Witch responded: “Norma Jean, thank you for sharing this poignant piece and the tale that accompanies it. You cannot have known this, but I actually did lose a twin.”

Expecting a text or a call, I proceeded to get sucked into a swirling email dramacano vortex(reading them) which simply added to they typical complication of my normal weekend. Sadly, I did not clarify things with Norma Jean.

I accepted the cake and coffee and told Norma Jean that I meant to clarify that mine was a case of “Womb Twin Survival” (a fairly common occurrence – TBW’s daughter started out one of two; it was harder on me as a mother than as a sib).

If you go to my Twitter account, you will see that Norma Jean has enjoyed telling everyone that “The Bad Witch ate her twin.”

Looking around for information on twin death with which to tease Norma Jean, I recalled the idea of chimerism. Having just taught Frankenstein and having discussed Shelley’s use of the term chimera in connection with occult studies, and having just seen the CSI episode, “Bloodlines,” I think this is just one too many run-ins with the term to leave it alone. 

So, for this week’s Blog Project, I’ve decided to talk about Chimera.

I don’t know what I’ll say yet. See you Friday?