Mental Health Awareness Month

So, this is an essay/article I have been considering writing for a while, and since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it seemed like now would be a good time to try it out. I just want to preface this with letting you know this is not a cry for help, I’m not looking for pity, and I’m also not seeking advice. I am sharing this because I feel like this is a perspective that I don’t see a lot online or in media, and maybe someone out there will feel less alone, or perhaps someone will see things in a new way.

AND HERE IS YOUR TRIGGER WARNING: What follows includes topics such as depression and suicide. Please do not read if these subjects make you uncomfortable. If you need assistance, text NAMI to 741-741 and connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

I am suicidal. Not actively, but I am. At one point I was actively suicidal, and not in a testing the waters kind of way, but in the secretly researching ways to kill yourself. Late at night while my husband was sleeping and standing alone in the kitchen fighting the urge to take a kitchen knife to myself suicidal.

I have issues. Many issues. Looking back, I suspect I have always been clinically depressed, but life was stable and so I would have depressive bouts, but nothing too serious. However, you take that person and start piling on chronic pain conditions that defy diagnosis, and well, you first become a full-time clinically depressed person and when nothing changes, you become suicidal.

Luckily for me, antidepressant medications have worked. It is true what people tell you, antidepressants do tend to dull you, so you don’t feel the highs of happiness, but it is a good trade off for not actively researching your own death. The thing is, other than being medicated, nothing has changed. If I stop taking my medication, I will eventually slide back into being suicidal. On the two occasions I forgot to take my medication I had total emotional meltdowns.

So, it is not like I WAS depressed and suicidal, I AM depressed and suicidal. I do not think about it in the past tense, every day I acknowledge that I AM suicidal.

If you feel suicidal, GET HELP. There are absolutely ways to help you not feel that way. You can start here.

The Magical Buffet: After Dark

Some of you may remember that I started a Magical Buffet Patreon. Starting in 2021 there is a new tier available, bringing it up to three tiers.

Tier One is “Rated E for Everyone” and is available for $1 or more a month. This allows you to show your appreciation for my work, gives you access to Sarah Sundays (which follows the adventures of my pitbull mix named Sarah), and behind the scenes content.

Tier Two is “Parental Guidance” and is available for $5 or more a month. First, you get access to anything that Tier One Patrons do. Next, you get my monthly tarot/oracle forecast. Finally, I try to offer one article a month. Thus far I’ve shared coffee magic, different types of divination, and an introduction to various styles of meditation.

This brings us to the new tier, Tier Three, “Magical Buffet: After Dark” which is $10 or more a month. Obviously, with this tier you get access to everything provided to Tier One and Two. This tier is only for ages 18 and older. Here I’m going to be exploring a sensual side of magic and spirituality in a mostly visual format. There will be adult themes and nudity. The whole thing is an experiment, but hopefully there will be people out there who will be into it. It officially starts in January 2021, but anyone who signs up before then will find a cheeky surprise already there waiting for them, and will receive a small token of appreciation in the mail in January.

Visit my Patreon to sign up!

I also want to remind you that the fun, limited edition Krampus/Saint Nicholas collection I created will be gone FOREVER at 11:59pm eastern on December 31, 2020. Don’t live with regret, get your Krampus now! https://www.cafepress.com/themagicalbuffet


Favorite Things 2020

Every year I go through the emotionally tortuous task of putting together The Magical Buffet’s Favorite Things list. Honestly, I do not know how Oprah does it. However, I will tell you this, every year I feel smugly superior to Oprah because I know my list is filled with 100%, guaranteed bad ass things, that just about any person can afford. No surprise bougie, overpriced items here. I am truly, the people’s favorite things list maker.

By the mid-point of this year I knew it was going to be hard to do this list. The first draft had 21 entries that I needed to whittle down to 10. I even cheated and clustered some together and still had a bunch to eliminate. This list is pulled from my favorite things featured on The Magical Buffet’s website since the 2019 list was published. So, the things featured here may not have been produced in 2020, but they were featured on the site in 2020.

I am providing the links to each entry’s original post on The Magical Buffet website. There you will also find links to places you can purchase these items, because holidays.

With no further ado, and presented in no particular order, here are The Magical Buffet’s Favorite Things 2020!

1. SO MUCH FOOD AND DRINK MAGIC! This year on the site I was able to review 4 different books that encourage you to incorporate magic into mealtime. This is an expanding magical niche that I am thrilled to see.
“The Magick of Food: Rituals, Offerings, and Why We Eat Together” by Gwion Raven
“Witchcraft Cocktails: 70 Seasonal Drinks Infused with Magic & Ritual” by Julia Halina Hadas.
“A Kitchen Witch’s Guide to Recipes for Love & Romance” by Dawn Aurora Hunt
“Blackthorn’s Botanical Brews” by Amy Blackthorn

2. “The Magic of Marie Laveau: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans” by Denise Alvarado

3. “Crystal Basics: The Energetic, Healing & Spiritual Power of 200 Gemstones” by Nicholas Pearson (aka, the only crystal book you’ll ever need)

4. “The Hoodoo Tarot” by Tayannah Lee McQuillar, the most informative tarot deck ever!

5. “Magical Symbols and Alphabets: A Practitioner’s Guide to Spells, Rites, and History” by Sandra Kynes, an amazing resource!

6. “The Green Witch’s Grimoire: Your Complete Guide to Creating Your Own Book of Natural Magic” by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, she thinks of EVERYTHING when it comes to grimoire creation.

7. “Modern Witchcraft: Goddess Empowerment for the Kick-Ass Woman” by Deborah Blake, a fantastic introduction to female fueled witchcraft.

8. “Travels to the Otherworld and Other Fantastic Realms” by Claude and Corinne Lecouteux, because Lecouteux will ALWAYS be on the list!

9. “Magic: A History: From Alchemy to Witchcraft from the Ice Age to the Present” by Chris Gosden, the book on the history of magic that I have been waiting for!

10. “The Hermetic Science of Transformation: The Initiatic Path of Natural & Divine Magic” by Giuliano Kremmerz

I would also be remiss if I did not mention the year’s limited-edition Magical Buffet merchandise featuring frenemies Krampus and Saint Nicholas! This vintage art inspired collection will be gone New Year’s Day, so get it while the getting is good! https://www.cafepress.com/themagicalbuffet

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Krampus is Here!

“I can’t go back to sharing Christmas with that soul-singing goat. Always nibbling on my list,” Santa, “American Dad” episode “Minstrel Krampus”

Like all great folklore figures, the origins of Krampus are murky at best. In European history Krampus is portrayed as a half demon, half goat figure that worked in tandem with Saint Nicholas. These days Santa rewards good children with gifts and leaves coal for naughty children. However, back in the day, Saint Nicholas would reward good children and Krampus would punish naughty children by frightening them with rattling chains and swatting them with birch branches.

In the “American Dad” television episode “Minstrel Krampus” they make a compelling argument that in this modern era Krampus is a good guy, and that Santa is a bad guy. Santa spoils children by doing nothing but giving gifts, whereas Krampus loves children enough to punish them when they are bad. Obviously, it is not a perfect argument, but it always stuck with me that perhaps people are a bit too quick to judge Krampus.

Which leads us to this:


I fell in love with this vintage image of Krampus and Saint Nicholas. They look like perfect frenemies. And I decided to do a limited-edition line of merchandise featuring this picture! What kind of things can you buy?


How about buttons, greeting cards, mugs, and more? Prices range from $2.50 for a button up to $41.99 for a hoodie. You can find them all, along with our core merchandise at https://www.cafepress.com/themagicalbuffet.


Shop now, because come December 31, 2020 all this great Krampus merchandise will be gone forever!

Do you enjoy The Magical Buffet? Considering supporting The Magical Buffet on Patreon! For only $5 a month you’ll receive monthly tarot/oracle forecasts, classes, and behind the scenes updates! https://www.patreon.com/magicalbuffet

Say Hello to Sarah

As most of you probably saw on social media, my husband and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary, and on that same day we adopted a dog from a local rescue organization. I’ve gotten many questions about all kinds of things regarding our new dog, so I thought I’d try to answer them all in one BIG post so I can get back to important business of just posting random photos of my dog online. I mean, it is why the internet exists.

We adopted a 2-year-old female pit bull mix that we named Sarah. She was found abandoned and pregnant in Tennessee. I guess down there they have kill shelters, so after she had her puppies, a vet spayed her and did all the health stuff, and she was transported north to Homeward Bound Rescue in Schenectady. There, a kind woman named Patty became her foster mom for about a week, and she helped us decide to adopt Sarah.

Her name was Winter when she was first rescued, but none of us could figure out why, and she did not really respond to the name, so I convinced my husband we should call her Sarah. Currently, Sarah is a bit underweight, so she is just bone and lean muscle. It made me think of Sarah Connor in “Terminator 2”, who was also a mother made of entirely lean muscle.

Both my husband and I have had dogs before, but it has easily been 15 years or longer since that time, so basically, we are first time dog owners. Homeward Bound was super nice about telling us to reach out to them with any questions, no matter how dumb they may seem. We also made good friends with the folks over at the Pampered Pooch in Ballston Spa. No better way to forge a relationship with a business by walking in and saying, “We just adopted this dog and we have nothing at home for her.” The staff there helped us make some decisions and we signed Sarah up for obedience training once they can hold classes again.

We are still learning about Sarah, but if you follow The Magical Buffet on social media, you will have seen she is very affectionate and does not care about personal space. She is not interested ice cubes, and handily destroyed the first two toys we bought her. Sarah is not used to be on a leash and would love to destroy the bunny who lives in our backyard. She wants to eat all the food, all the time. She needs to gain weight, but we are trying to do that in healthy way, so she is not getting food from our plates, but lord is she hopeful.

I hope that answered most of your questions. If you’d like to learn more about the rescue that helped Sarah, visit http://homewardbounddogrescue.com/.

Bear with me while I work on striking a new work, dog, Magical Buffet life balance!

Also, help me give my dog Sarah the life she deserves by supporting my Patreon! (My Patrons have seen photos of Sarah that no one else has!)

Favorite Things 2019

It’s that time again folks! That time when I look back at a year of articles and remind you about the best of the best things I wrote about this year. Looking at the list you’ll realize that not every item came out in 2019. My favorite things list is a recap of what I read or used in 2019, not necessarily a thing that released in 2019. So why now? Why not the end of December, or the beginning of January? Because I like to share my favorites while you still have time to buy them as gifts for people, or yourself.

And speaking of shopping, this year I’m including purchasing links (when I can) for IndieBound. IndieBound supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you. I encourage you to shop local, independent bookstores when you can. If you can’t, I ask you to consider IndieBound.

Now, with no further ado, and presented in particular order…..

FAVORITE THINGS 2019

The Little Book of Cat Magic: Spells, Charms, and Tales by Deborah Blake
It’s hard not to be enchanted by this little book of cats. It’s written by Deborah Blake, a crazy cat lady in the best of ways. The book is filled with delightful kitty-centric illustrations. “The Little Book of Cat Magic” is great for anyone who loves cats.

You can read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

Magical Dogs Tarot by Daniel Mueller and Mickie Mueller
From cats, to dogs. It’s hard not to love dogs, and thusly, it’s hard not to love “Magical Dogs Tarot”. Mickie Mueller is a fantastic artist, and her dogs are endearing and whimsical. Daniel Mueller wrote a wonderful companion book, thoughtfully capturing the spirit of canines and merging it with tarot. A great addition to any tarot collection, and obviously it’s fantastic for dog lovers.

You can read my original review here.

Crystals: A Guide to Using the Crystal Compass for Energy, Healing, and Reclaiming Your Power by Aisha Amarfio
This book is ALL about its Crystal Compass. Sure, Amarfio provides loads of information about crystals: uses, care of, properties, etc. However, what sets “Crystals” apart is the super convenient chart she created to go with the book. This colorful graph, aka, Crystal Compass, is an easy to use guide to incorporating crystals into all kinds of work. In a year that saw many great books on crystals, Amarfio’s creation of the Crystal Compass made her book a favorite of this past year.

You can read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

Witchcraft Activism: A Toolkit for Magical Resistance by David Salisbury
Written by a long-time activist, David Salisbury does a wonderful job of inspiring the reader to take action, mundane and/or magical. If you want to take action, this is the book to read.

You can read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

Witchbody by Sabrina Scott
This year saw SO MANY fantastic releases. However, there was no other book like “Witchbody”. Scott created a graphic novel, filled with fantastic art that explores ecology, magic, spirituality, and more. It’s a journey unlike any other you’ll ever take with a book. In my opinion, “Witchbody” is a classic.

You can read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

One Truth and One Spirit: Aleister Crowley’s Spiritual Legacy by Keith Readdy
An amazing work exploring Crowley’s Thelema legacy following his death. Thelema’s fractures, power struggles, and ultimately, its staying power makes “One Truth and One Spirit” a worthwhile endeavor.

You can read my original review here
.
You Can Buy Me Here

The Ark Animal Tarot & Oracle Deck by Bernadette King
Some of you may remember that back in April I backed, and promoted, a Kickstarter for this deck. Well, now it is out and I have my copy. It is just as good, if not better, than promised. A beautiful, sturdy box with a magnetic closer. Gorgeous, full color cards. It’s designed to be used as a traditional tarot deck and/or oracle!

You can read my original post about it here.

Witchcraft & Secret Societies of Rural England: The Magic of Toadmen, Plough Witches, Mummers, and Bonesmen by Nigel Pennick
Pennick has created a book that is a highly readable blend of scholarly work and fantastical folklore. Trade unions that operate as secret societies is a trend that might be cool to bring back.

Read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Contact the Spirits of the Dead by Ellen Evert Hopman
I feel like this from my original review says it all, “And no one tells a plant’s story better than Ellen Evert Hopman.”

Read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

Letters to a Dead Friend about Zen by Brad Warner
Brad Warner does Buddhism 101. Need I say more?

Read my original review here.

You Can Buy Me Here

Since this is my favorite things, but also a shopping list, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that The Magical Buffet has a bunch of fun merchandise, as well as a vintage witch collection of merchandise for sale now! The witchy collection goes away December 31, 2019.

Shop The Magical Buffet store here!

12andus and a Freebie!

Do you guys remember Angela Kaufman, author of “Queen Up! Reclaim Your Crown When Life Knocks You Down”? (I interviewed her in March 2018.) She reached out to me about a website that she’s been doing some writing for called 12andus.com. Angela thought you guys might be interested in it.

So, what is 12andus.com? From their website:

Astrology is neither an exact science nor is it deterministic. However, through astrology we can know ourselves deeply. Astrology can uncover aspects of ourselves that might be difficult for us to see through other means. Astrology is the reverberation on the inner plane of the outer planets.

We created 12andus to help people reveal their unique astrological birth qualities and how they match with others. Every relationship, just like every individual person, is a unique constellation of compatibilities and qualities.

We can match another person on many levels: romantic, friendship, business, and spiritual. When we are with a certain person, our connection becomes almost like an independent entity with its own traits. With different people, we may feel practical, affectionate, artistic, sensual, and adventurous, or we may feel lazy, superficial, and argumentative.

12andus will show you the harmonic and conflictual qualities that exist between any two people. In addition to the individual birth reports and relationship reports, we offer forecasts and relationship forecasts.

Another aspect of 12andus’ mission is to collect surveys and big data to statistically demonstrate that astrology works. Research and discovery are our ultimate goals.

Basic membership is free, but I’ve been given a promotional link that will allow people who sign up for the site through it to get the premium membership for free! Premium membership allows access to more personalized reports and chart comparisons with other users as well as access to transit interpretations and tips for the day based on current transits. (This link is specific to The Magical Buffet. I make no money from its use; it is solely for tracking purposes. This promotion ends 10/15/2019.)

If you’re interested in checking out 12andus.com, click here!

Think Before You Pink 2019

Pinkwasher: (pink’-wah-sher) noun. A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures, and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

Corporate giant 3M markets pink ribbon Post-its to raise awareness of breast cancer, but 3M also produces and uses PFAS, a toxic class of compounds known as forever chemicals that may contribute to breast cancer risk. Breast Cancer Action calls this pinkwashing.

What are PFAS? Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large and ever-expanding class of highly fluorinated synthetic chemicals used to repel oil and water. Known for their extreme persistence, they are also called forever chemicals. PFOA and PFOS are two of the oldest and most well-studied chemicals in this group. These chemicals do not naturally break down over time.

There is no way to avoid exposure to PFAS and 98% of Americans have at least one PFAS chemical in their body. The drinking water of approximately 110 million Americans contains unsafe levels of PFAS, and the chemicals have been found in both breast and cow’s milk. PFAS are also found in food, consumer products, workplaces, and dust.

The weight of the evidence shows that PFAS may increase the risk of breast cancer. One of 3M’s own consultants warned that the chemical used for years in Scotchgard “is one of the strongest cancer promoters I’ve ever seen” and interferes with the ability of cells to communicate with each other. PFAS are known to cause some cancers and interfere with normal hormone functioning. In addition, PFAS have been shown to suppress the immune system, which can hinder the body’s ability to prevent rogue cells from growing into breast cancer. Even low dose exposure to PFAS changes the structure of the mammary gland and interferes with breastfeeding.

3M pioneered this dangerous class of chemicals and the company’s fortunes were built on the development, manufacture, and sale of PFOS and PFOA. Today, 3M is a $120 billion multinational corporation with profits driven by the development of newer PFAS compounds. For nearly seventy years, 3M has covered up the risks of PFAS from the public and regulators, protecting their profits at the cost of public health. One lawsuit charges 3M “maliciously conspired” with trade groups to conceal the chemicals’ toxicity. Through a range of delay and deny tactics, 3M prevented regulation, all the while pushing PFAS into new consumer products. As a result, current and future generations continue to be exposed to these dangerous chemicals. 3M has developed newer so-called “short chain” PFAS chemicals, to replace PFOA and PFOS. But a new report reveals that 3M submitted reports to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showing health risks for 21 of these newer PFAS chemicals it makes. Despite industry’s claims about the relative safety of newer PFAS, there is evidence that these newer chemicals are not safe for humans or the environment. Instead of cleaning up their business to show us they care about breast cancer, 3M is continuing to contribute to a forever problem.

In one study, dying cancer patients were given extremely high doses of PFOA in 2008–2011 despite scant evidence that it would help their cancer or improve their quality of life. Results from this unethical research were never published, and to date, data about the patients’ cancer has never been presented. But instead of disavowing the study, 3M recently harvested the data and paid for re-analysis, which they’re now using to make unsupportable claims that PFOA may not be as persistent as previous studies have shown.

3M claims to be a good corporate citizen and has run several breast cancer promotions over the years, including pink hard hats and tape. In addition to marketing pink ribbon Post-its, 3M is currently selling pink stethoscopes to “help the fight against breast cancer.” 3M says their pink products are a “reminder for a good cause.” But they’re just trying to distract us from the fact that 3M’s toxic forever chemicals cause cancer, suppress the immune system, disrupt hormones, and change the structure of the mammary gland.

Tell 3M’s executives to stop producing, using, and selling PFAS!

Marketing pink products isn’t enough. If 3M really cares about breast cancer, they will put our health before their PFAS-driven profits.

Learn more, and take action at: https://bcaction.org/NeverForeverChems/

(Information provided by Breast Cancer Action. Emphasis on phrases is my own.)

It’s New! It’s Witchy!

We’re in the home stretch of the year! Halloween, Samhain, Día de Muertos, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Yule are all approaching. To make celebrating all these holidays easier, The Magical Buffet has launched a new line of limited-edition merchandise! Whether you want to give a gift to yourself, a friend, or your favorite hostess, we’ve got you covered.

Flasks for your spirits.


Mugs for your witch’s brew.


Shot glasses for more of your spirits.


Decorative tiles, because they look cool.


All these things, and more, are available for purchase until December 31, 2019 at The Magical Buffet’s CafePress store!

https://www.cafepress.com/themagicalbuffet

Flamsteed’s Atlas Coelestis

As most of you are aware, I started selling merchandise a few months back. Everything I created has different phrases and sentiments that I like and thought you might enjoy. However, in the back of my mind there was something else I wanted to do too.

Hiding in the public domain are many beautiful works just waiting to be rediscovered and shared. I happened across several by John Flamsteed. (By the way, if you support me on Patreon this is all old news to you.) Flamsteed (1646-1719) was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. He catalogued over 3000 stars and was responsible for several of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus, which he mistook for a star. After his death his widow helped get his work published as “Atlas Coelestis”. Flamsteed’s work was updated and republished several times, the last being in 1795.

Although the work he did was for science, the images he created are art. And I want to share it! That’s why I used several of his charts to make a line of greeting cards and postcards!



You can see them all in my online store! You’ll want to click in on the images to see what they truly look like, CafePress treats home screen edits more like suggestions than directions. If you like what you see, don’t wait to purchase, these are only going to be available until May 31, 2019!