Here I am! I have arrived. I am a butterfly being, bursting beautifully into bloom. I have busted, boom. I have left the cocoon, I am into the light, I am searing in the rays of the outer world, the metamorphosis is complete. The heavens are open. I invite all divine rain, all divine opportunity. I awaken to the infinite energy that I am, that we are, that is all around us. I know what to do. I am doing the work. Thank you angels. From the ashes, phoenixes rose. From the embers, fire strove. From the darkness, light was sewed. I am renewed, I am reborn, I am not the woman you may have known.

Who am I now? Time has taken me for a soldier. My world has been spun, respun, and my life looks radically different to how it looked six weeks ago. I am aching to tell the story, aching for time to sit and write and read. I have begun my witchcraftery, my gardening of the soul, I have begun to put my orders into the universe, and now we wait to see what returns. I am open, and yet the void is silenced. The void is quiet, while all is manic around me. While the stillness permeates to the core of my being, I am entranced by the magic world I have found myself in. A vortex of smiles. Positive imagery. A coven of African Gods, Australian Wizards and me, Witches, the keeper of my coven.

“There are times when people need stories more than they need nourishment, because the stories feed something deeper than the needs of the body.” Charles DeLint,  The Onion Girl

I am aching to ground down into this heavenly earth, to ground down and focus on telling my stories. What the soul needs now, however, is organization, restructuring, healing, releasing, understanding, integrating. So very much has happened in the last six weeks. I am not quite who you knew me to be! The great big doors have been flung open! What can I do with these wings! As I walk intuitively, following the guidance that has led me so assuredly towards my highest destiny (“I invoke the manifestation of my highest destiny”) I am reminded of the great boons and bounties I’ve stumbled upon while I am following my innermost heart voice. Call it what you will: intuition, God, Great Spirit, the little voices, the conscience, angels, guides; I know you know where to find that voice. I know you’re aware of it, and if not, on some deeply embedded level of your soul, perhaps something is being massaged, contemplated. Have you listened to that energy, yet? Have you paid attention to your higher self’s yearnings?

I can’t say I’m one thing or another thing. I can’t say I am this type of writer or another. I am willing to learn everything. “I am” and “I am not” – I am everything, and I am nothing. Everything is sacred, and nothing is sacred. I have been scared too, I have stumbled and tripped (usually when I’m going down the ‘wrong’ path) and I have skipped and mumbled. I have run and hopped and danced down paths. There are however, no paths unfitting to our growth. There are no shadows left which don’t benefit us with their exploration. We can explore all of it. Personally, I find the light most enriching. Like a green leaf or a flower, it is the suns rays that soak into me and grow me the most. Purple or pine, marigold or vine, I am a living breathing being born from this earth, and it is the light, the sun, the energy from above that feeds me the most. Yes, drink from the well and the cup, drink from the atmosphere and the roots reach deep. Shadows cool the skin, and yet the sun’s light is bright, the sun’s light is sight.

Where do we go from here? With nourishment, we grow, and now I have emerged from my chrysalis shell, I am exploring the limits of this new realm I have found myself living within. I am not looking to be captured. Perhaps this is the key, that now one is flying, one must alight upon whichever flowering bloom appeals the most? Suckle from the nectar of each, and we find the most beauty as we fly. Do not tire yourself. Go only as far as is necessary, and rest. See what you find. Seek who is there. Leave behind the ground. We don’t need to writhe in the mud anymore. It’s not necessary to dismantle or diminish your soul for the benefit of others. Be who you are. Be the being you know yourself to be, elementally. We don’t have long. A lifetime is not enough. You have gifts to give and loving to make. Get what you want. Create your own paths, your own labyrinth. Have your center be gold. Always love. Always kindness. Always bold. Heaven is here. And time? And soul? And space?

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” Henry Van Dyke

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It is with great joy that I unveil with many hand flourishes, the new FEATURE that my amazing comrade-in-shining-armour has added to the Paper Castle Halls! We now have a little mail slot, at your right – which is where you may cast your requests! Basically, you can now have Paper Castle News and other DELIGHTS straight to your inbox when they happen. No need to traipse through the cyber rainstorms any longer to get your Paper Castle Mail! Your mail will arrive fresh as daisies and uneaten by snails! As pure as a coconut!

Just wanted to share the news. Extra, extra! Read all about it!!!!!

From a Children's Book about a Postman that I had when I was younger... (a book, not a Postman)

P.S. This Hobgoblin Supplies LTD flyer came from a book about a Postman I had when I was younger. (I can’t remember the name of the book, but if you like, I can ask my Mum?) It had envelopes in the book where you could extract the letters, cards, and postcards (and witch flyers!) For some reason I really liked Post Men. I even remember in Third Grade when someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them I wanted to be a Postman! I think he was the only person I really understood as having a job that looked enjoyable! The bike! The big coloured satchel of well traveled envelopes! What could be better!????

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The pavement sounds, the people by my window, the sirens wail, the puddles and drill bits hammering asphalt and workers eating McDonalds in truck-cabs. It all reminds me of the big bad city. The tooting horns that stream past here, also remind me of New York. I miss Netflix, I miss hole in the wall restaurants, I miss good restaurants, I miss unpretentious waiters, unpretentious restaurants. I miss vegan pizza, I miss the 24 hour diner on the corner of Second and 11th, Veselka, full of characters and European scents, and chefs who whistled while they worked at 7am, because we had nowhere else to go, and your cafe was the warmest, the most authentic.


I miss fire-escapes, my sister smoking cigarettes and her friend commenting that we should paint-ball the brick wall adjacent to the kitchen window seat. I miss the wine drinking, camel smoking, happy-angry sister, the insanity, the kookiness, the black-to-toe, ipod, hat & bag outfits; the readiness to walk arm in arm with her city; go on adventures. The adventuress. That is what she is.

This apartment I am in now is what a pinch of salt would be to the meal that will be New York City soon. I have fallen into it, chosen it, subliminally – well, it worked out, because I think the universe, God, or croissants, are preparing me for New York again. I think I fall in love with it more each time. Gemma mentioned once that NYC is like a boyfriend you just can’t seem to break up with. You leave it for a while, but always go back. This apartment – it has a rooftop with a view towards Sydney that is just like one of the last I remember. The trash situation reminds me of home. Can I say home? Is New York my home? I think it is, and I think it always has been. Even before Gem moved there, I was hounding it. It hounded me. It haunted and hounded and harried me – heck, I even dressed up as The Statue of Liberty for a ‘T’ themed party.

“What are you? Are you The Statue of Liberty? Isn’t the theme T, Sophie?”… “Excuse me, it’s THE Statue of Liberty, isn’t it!? You don’t say Statue of Liberty now do you?” That taught them. Linguistically incapable half-baked poached clam of an adolescent. (I don’t remember who, but whoever you were, I had a more linguistically inclined brain than you did, didn’t I. I am not sorry, dear fool.)

One thing I miss the most, because there is no other place I have found that rivals it, is FAO Schwartz on the south end of Central Park. Is there not another place manned by doormen dressed as Toy Soldiers? Is there not another place that is populated by 12 foot stuffed Safari animals? Any kind of plush toy you could imagine (Baboons? Racoons? Unicorns?)

(On a side note, this is the kind of TV I wish I watched when I was a kid – brought to you by the lovely Lily Black whose books you will be reading in the future)

FAO Schwartz is my happy place, or the closest I can get to it.** Iceskating slippers! Flying saucers, planes, pigs! Whatever you want! Any kind of candy, any kind of chocolate bar! You want a sundae? There’s one that costs a hundred dollars, it is that good. The bar is made of marble. Not that kind of marble, silly! Marbles! Under glass! Billions of colourful marbles, which glow while you spoon your banana split with cherries and rocky road, into your sugar hungry mouth, bound to carry those simple carbohydrate molecules into your blood stream thence fuelling the mad rush that will force you around the store, up escalators to the (now sadly absent, but it’s still there in my mind) gigantic keyboard and the jiggly dancing duet men who play it.

**There’s a reason why when you Google Fao Schwartz, it is listed as “Extraordinary Toys, Gifts and Collectibles…”

Turn around and you’ll find Hogwarts uniforms! Harry Potters wand! Eyeglasses, Quidditch goggles! Ravenclaw scarves, wizard hats, oh wait! Is that Frodo’s ring I see glinting from across the aisle? Why yes, yes it is. There’s that cryptich that held the scroll from the Da Vinci code. There’s a baby nursery. What? Babies! There’s a billion smiles, happy kids, the friction of money and laughter and discovery around every corner.

Sophie and James at Bowery Bar, by Amy Finlayson.

My favourite – the dollshouses. Manned by the man who might be everybody’s Grandfather, the archetypal old kind gentleman, the dollshouse section is magical. What is more inspiring than tiny pieces of homes, fashioned after all our grown up dreams, yet made attainable? All the houses lined up on shelves, to wander amongst as if one was wandering an estate, wondering which dream to breath into.

I love FAO because it is the place where all dreams are made real. Where the intangible fabric of all our collective imaginations, is made tangible, physical; and their beauty is honoured, too. I have a toy lion cub, a soft toy I bought from FAO one snowy afternoon with my (great) friend Troy, and he is made with the kind of attention that was lavished only on toys made before machines came to be. His eyes have eyelashes, I will leave it at that. We named him James, and took him home on the subway; me dressed in Gemma’s rabbit fur poncho that was exactly the same colour as James’ coat. That was the day we saw the man who balances his cat on his cap. That was the day the Pumpkin Ravioli Eating Lion Cub was born.

As for New York, it’s seasons are as harsh as the beatings of the rhythm of my heart. There are sacrifices to be made, in work, in love, in relationship. There are certain immovable truths; certain immovable factors that one must dance with. Like a ballroom of a castle filled with unpacked boxes, or unchipped pillars. Just large blocks of stone that may or may not need to be there to hold the ceiling up. I must hold my waltzing balls around these obstacles. I carry on with the dance parties, the ball room is still firmly planned to be soon full of pink balloons, a la The Witches of Eastwick scene below (complete with Spanish Nicholson.) The sister Ward is firmly knowing of this fact, this scene, this dream. I have the hat, already, I have the make-believe animals, the room-service cart that carries us all on its wheels.

What I have now is unfolding time, the freedom to move with what is, with what I know I need and want to be. I know what is – what is here and now and what cannot be altered. There is work to be done, but work to be done with love. There is love to be had, but love to be had without work. There are sacrifices to be made, but not sacrifice without loss. There are French works of culinary art to be enjoyed, but not gluten filled, calorie-infused pastries of guilt. You will be pleasantly happy to know that today I walked past my Croissanterie or whatnot, and wandering in, was met by the sight, immediately in my eye-line, of Coconut Macaroons.

(Fascinatingly Beautiful) Hands by Richard Corman.

The shop-girl was serving two men, who I know for sure were crushing on her badly – but who wouldn’t – she was so bubbly, like champagne, effervescent, bright… She finished with them and I smiled at her and asked how much the Macaroons were, she said “Hi! A dollar fifty!” I said cool, and she added, incredibly, “Wow! You’re so beautiful!  Are you a model?” And I said, why, yes. Yes I am. She asked where I was from, and I said, Perth. She said Wow. I told her I didn’t have cash on me, so I would be back, and her bubblyness waved me off with giggles, and I walked out of the previously highly conflictable Croissanterie, knowing that Coconut Macaroons are in fact, gluten free (I have a slight intolerance to gluten, hence croissant conflict) and that they are also made of three of my favourite things; Coconut, Egg White, and Sugar. Joy! Glory! Success! A French Culinary Artwork that I may indulge in! Sugar rush! For only one piece of gold and one piece of silver! Absolute victory!!!!

I had a giant grin leaving that store, so giant that I’m sure the couple with their arms around each other, who I nearly bumped into, still have it etched in their memory. What was she so happy about? It’s just a croissant? No, it is not just a croissant, it is Coconut Macaroons, FAO Schwartz, Resistance to Push Against (More on this soon, in next post – I’m on fire with the flame of thought. But all in good stead) and therefore goals to be won.

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“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” – Charles Bukowski

The following is a statement from Mark Rothko, about the hurricane you step into if you decide to dedicate yourself to the creative life. It is painful, it is excruciating, it is ecstasy. (Believe at your own will)


1. To us art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take the risks.

2. This world of imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.

3. It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way not his way. (hmm)

4. We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.

5. It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing.

We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.

(Statement, June 7, 1943. Mark Rothko, Adolf Gottlieb, Barnett Newman)

Perhaps this is why I am visited by words like ‘Necromancer’ in my wakeful sleep. I know that I am pummelled day and night by some creature that haunts me. I must have picked it up somewhere in Arizona, or between the East and West of Australia, that black hut desert and sky, so much space, so much air, it’s almost suffocating. I must have picked it up there. This world is so full of spirits. I never even knew what Necromancer meant, until the following day when I discovered, to my surprise:

Necromancy is a form of divination in which the practitioner seeks to summon “operative spirits” or “spirits of divination”, for multiple reasons, from spiritual protection to wisdom. The word necromancy derives from the Greek (nekrós), “dead”, and (manteía), “divination”.

However, since the Renaissance, necromancy has come to be associated more broadly with black magic and demon-summoning in general, sometimes losing its earlier, more specialized meaning.

In modern time necromancy is used as a more general term to describe the art (or manipulation) of death, and generally implies a magical connotation.”

Maybe I am a witch, after all. Who likes witches? Who likes magic? I am a young witch. I must be careful where I place my powers.

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