The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 12

Chapter 12: The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonGeillis was helping her mother tidy up the spare bedroom in her little condo. As with most folks, it was more of a storage locker than a bedroom, collecting more junk with each passing day.

“Would you like this, dear?” her mother asked, handing her a journal, its dusty cover illustrated with pretty, hand-painted wildflowers. “Someone gave it to me long ago, but I never used it.”

Geillis accepted the notebook gladly, but with reservation, too. She already had half a dozen such journals taking up valuable real estate on a shelf at home – all blank, all far too pretty to write in.

Except for one. A few years back, a friend had given her a wonderful, medieval-looking book with an embossed leather binding studded with tiny, jewel-toned cabochons. Geillis knew at once that it would make a perfect grimoire.

Her grimoire. A witch’s Book of Shadows – a “textbook” containing instructions and observations on all things witchy: spells and rituals, folklore, moon phases and recipes for potions, lotions and the like. A bullet journal of magick, if you will.

In it, Geillis wrote oh-so-carefully in shimmery grey ink from a fountain pen. The only thing wrong with the grimoire was that it didn’t have a lock.

But Geillis Goodmoon knew how to keep unwelcome eyes from discovering her secrets.

book-of-spells-vintage-edition
The Book of Spells: Vintage Edition by Nicola de Pulford (2010, Barron’s)

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 11, here.
⇒ Geillis is on her broom taking flying lessons for the next few weeks and will return in September.

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The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 11

Chapter 11: None of Your Beeswax

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonGeillis Goodmoon stood in the candle aisle of the natural foods store, breathing in the sweet, honeyed scent of beeswax.

Every time she came across a display of candles – tapers, chunky pillars, those cute little tealights – she had to stop and sniff.

She did that with incense, too. There was just something so evocative about the heady fragrance of honey – and amber, sandalwood and myrrh. The lazy curl of smoke from a candle or joss sticks was so meditative. A witch could even tell things from how a flame flared or the smoke wafted.

Geillis closed her eyes. She pictured great halls and lofty cathedrals, their flagstone floors well-worn and aglow with the light of a thousand votives. Frankincense perfuming dark niches. Iron sconces making thick stone walls flicker.

Dragon’s blood and trade winds and the Silk Road.

Perfume of the ancients.wax-candle-flame

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 10, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 12.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 10

Chapter 10: Stay Wild, Moon Child!

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonGeillis Goodmoon loved the rain.

The sun, not so much. She was too fair-skinned to be spending much time in the sun; more than fifteen or twenty minutes and she turned red as beets. No, just like her name, she truly was a moon child.

A moon child who loved when it rained.

A gentle patter on the rooftop, a soft mist, thick fog, a thunderstorm. Wild weather was thrilling – so primal. It made her feel connected to earth and water, to the elements, to that from which she had come. She had fond memories of searching for wildflowers in a summer meadow and being caught in a sudden downpour, drenched to the skin. Clouds, befuddling mists and tempests were in her blood.

As long as the power didn’t go out. Geillis loved her modern appliances, too. But when it did happen, she’d light candles and the old oil lamp. Their golden glow more than made up for the harsh rays of the sun.

There was more than one way to live with Mother Nature!old-typewriter-rainy-window

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 9, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 11.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 9

Chapter 9: Caught Red-headed

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonIf anyone saw me doing this, Geillis thought, they’d think I’m a lunatic!

The hammer glanced off the corner of the brick she was hitting, straight onto her thumb. The witch scowled and swore under her breath.

When she thought she had enough, she gathered up the tiny chunks and dumped them into the mortar bowl for grinding. The DIY instructions for making red brick dust hadn’t said what the hard material would do to her precious tools, but fortunately she had more than one set of mortar and pestle. In fact, she had about … seven? (She’d lost count.) Surely the stout granite one would be just the thing for reducing the brick to a fine powder.

A lot of elbow grease and some sweat later, Geillis wiped her forehead and sat back in satisfaction. There was enough of the ochre-coloured dust to fill a sweet little apothecary bottle she’d found at the antique store. All it needed was a handwritten label – on parchment, in spidery script – and she’d have her latest bit of witchy kit.

But before she corked the bottle up, she carefully sprinkled a line of brick dust across the threshold.

“That should keep the door-to-door salesfolk away,” murmured Geillis Goodmoon. To be on the safe side, she sprinkled a circle around the landline, too. Air duct cleaning, indeed!

Hours later, she looked in the mirror and laughed at the red streak smearing her forehead, and the ochre dust still powdering her eyebrows and hair.

“Well, I did always want to be a redhead!”

red-brick-dust-magick• • • • • • • )O( • • • • • • •

“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 8, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 10.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 8

Chapter 8: In Which Ms. Goodmoon is Admired

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonSaturday night, and nothing good on TV. Geillis was visiting her mom, and as usual, they couldn’t find anything to watch.

And then, the thing that happened every few months, happened. At the exact same moment, mother and daughter gave each other The Look.

“Is it time?” her mother asked.

“Oh, I think so,” Geillis grinned, and went for the DVD shelf.

She slotted Pride and Prejudice – the 1995 Colin Firth version, the mini-series they watched several times a year; the only one worth watching – into the machine. A timeless classic, so perfectly cast, and so well-acted. As the theme music started and the credits rolled, the two women, who knew each episode scene-for-scene and word-for-word, settled happily into the sofa for a good binge watch.

When they got to the scene with Lizzie at the piano, and Mr. Darcy gazing in brown-eyed adoration from across the room, Geillis and her mother heaved enormous sighs.

“Just look at that look he’s giving her!” Mom cried.

“Holy Hecate! I wish someone would look at me like that,” Geillis lamented.

The witch, who was supposed to be so good at reading other people’s feelings, had never noticed that every weekday, with unfailing devotion, she was greatly esteemed by a quiet, brown-eyed computer nerd at work.wise-old-owl

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 7, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 9.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 7

Chapter 7: I’m a Little Teapot

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonGeillis Goodmoon yawned and stretched like a cat, savouring the pleasure of an unhurried Saturday. Stepping into her fluffy-bunny slippers, she shrugged on a robe and shuffled to the kitchen.

On days off like this, she had the time to consume, over the course of several hours, an entire pot of tea. She plugged in the kettle and filled the Brown Betty with hot water to warm.

It was a blogging day – time to post another how-to article, witch lore or short story – but first, she needed caffeine. Now wasn’t the time for a loose-leaf herbal blend like Summer Strawberry or dandelion root – the ones that made her feel like a Righteous Witch. Only plain old orange pekoe, brewed so strong you could stand a spoon in it, would do.

One of the Red Rose bags split open before she could pop it into the pot. Geillis grinned; accidentally dropping tea leaves was a good omen for the woman of the house. And when she set down the pot to brew, a little water sloshed from the spout. That was lucky, too! It was going to be a good day.

Two cups down, and with the laptop warmed up, Geillis sat at the desk to start her post. But what, exactly, to write? She cupped her steaming mug, redolent with black leaves and honey, and mused. A lightbulb came on. She put down her cup and began to type.

“T(ea) is for Tasseography.”blue-willow-herbal-teacup

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

Tasseography, also known as tasseomancy, is the practice of divination by reading tea leaves.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 6, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 8.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 6

Chapter 6: For a Strange Time, Call…

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonWhen things got crazy at work, Geillis liked to spend her lunch break at the local new-age emporium – one of her favourite sanctuaries. It was never very busy, they had incense, and she could unwind for twenty minutes enveloped in a myrrh-scented atmosphere of calm.

The staff knew her well. Not by name, but by her plain, round face and unassuming habit of browsing the displays of crystals, books, tarot cards and goddess statues. Once in a while, when she felt the need for some grounding – or just something pretty – she’d ask them to take out the trays of gemstone necklaces. They had the patience of Job, did those people; Geillis usually went through every single one on a quest for a turquoise, or sodalite, or maybe a nice agate, of just the right size and shape.

Geillis Goodmoon was a people-watcher, and a bit of an eavesdropper. Not deliberately, of course, but in a small store like this, you couldn’t help but overhear other people’s conversations.

She was particularly amused, and a little exasperated, when the talk got really airy-fairy. (If you’re talking faeries, that’s entirely another thing.) Geillis tried very hard not to be judgmental, but really – angel auras and demonic possessions and crystal cures for cancer??? Give a good witch a break!

“That pain is pretty bad, eh?” the voice made her jump. Geillis looked dumbly at the nice-looking woman beside her.

“Uh, the pain?” she said clumsily. “What do you mean?”

The woman smiled. “This one,” she replied, gently taking up Geillis’ hands.

Geillis watched as the woman spread her hands millimeters above her skin. She felt the radiating electricity begin to tingle, then surge. The energy bubbled like soda pop in her veins, coursing warmly through her aching wrists until the pain eased, then disappeared.

A few days before, Geillis Goodmoon had learned to knit. Delighted with her first attempts, she’d embarked on a seven-foot scarf (never use even numbers, darling), staying up half the night in a frenzy of casting-on, garter stitch and purl. It wasn’t long before her wrists were on fire.

“Better?” the woman asked, rummaging in her purse and handing Geillis a business card.

Stella Feelfine, it said. Geillis read on.

Medium
Spirit Guide • Intuitive Counselor
Certified Reiki Practitioner, Master Level

Don’t call me. I’ll call you.gypsy-fortune-teller

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 5, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 7.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 5

Chapter 5: Write On, Geillis!

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonGeillis Goodmoon fairly skipped back from the post office, the parcel tucked under one arm. The order she’d placed three weeks ago, from that awesome little stationery shop downtown, had finally arrived!

At home, she tore the package open eagerly. The new fountain pen, a sleek black ‘demonstrator’ with its see-through barrel and piston filler, was just the thing for that new bottle of shadow-grey ink a-shimmer with silver sparkles. With it, she would fill her grimoire with moon observations, recipes, and all sorts of other witchy things.

With a growing collection of old-timey pens, Geillis had never used one with this type of filling mechanism. After reading the instructions – she always read instructions in case she irretrievably messed things up – she carefully unscrewed the barrel and dipped the nib into the squat glass bottle.

A sheaf of writing paper – nubby linen, size A5 – lay waiting. Geillis had never liked her own handwriting, but with the first strokes of glimmering grey on creamy white, felt transformed. Somehow, script flowed from nib to paper more smoothly – more articulately, more beautifully – with a proper pen in her hand.fine-wrting-instruments

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 4, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 6.

The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon – Ch. 4

Chapter 4: A Nose by Any Other Name

grimoire-of-geillis-goodmoonGeillis’ eyesight might not be very good (in fact, it was awful), but the witch had an excellent nose.

Except when it came to hybrid roses. To Geillis, those fancy flowers just smelled planty, just green. Old-time Rosa damascena, however – source of attar of roses, that ancient perfume – was a different story. When she sniffed that one, she thought she’d died and gone to the Otherworld.

Every once in a while, she’d get inspired to mess with her essential oils and concoct a new fragrance. Nothing with nasty chemicals, mind you. Just a few drops of e.o.’s in a carrier oil, a few adjustments to the blend, and voilà! She’d have a brand new, fabulously witchy scent with a twitch of her nose.

Today, it was a hippy-dippy type of smell she was looking for. Summer was coming, and she was feeling particularly bohemian. She visualized an album cover from Heart, one of her favourite bands – the one with the group dressed up like troubadours and gypsies.

There should be some roses in it, she thought. And a little lemon, to lighten things up. And the base note should be … patchouli. Definitely patchouli. Can’t be a gypsy without patchouli.

“Ugh!” she grimaced, shoving her eyedropper and the rollerball bottle aside. The tiny stillroom filled with a musky reek.

Too much patchouli.essential-oil-perfume

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“The Grimoire of Geillis Goodmoon” series & Geillis Goodmoon character © 2019 Valerie J. Barrett. All rights reserved.

⇐ Missed the beginning of this series? Start here.
⇐ Read the previous installment, Chapter 3, here.
⇒ Want more Geillis? Turn the page to Chapter 5.