Could you have empathy for someone who has caused you harm? This is the dilamma Avril is faced with in this chapter of the Enchanted Snare.
The Enchanted Snare is magickal story with an instructional method that can help you become acquainted with the Major Tarot cards and be more witchlike.
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Marley dressed in black dress and pentacle leaned against the counter. Avril watched her add to a bottle of port, saffron, then crushed white rosebud petals and bay leaves. “What are you preparing? Avril asked.
Marley ignored her. She turned and walked to the back-door, opened it, then placed the potion outside in the cold. “It is a brew to repair hurt feelings,” she said quietly when she re-entered. “The rose petals are to bring the Faerie Queen’s blessing to a friendship and the pot herb, bay, for purification and wish magic.” Marley pulled a chair out at the rustic table and sat. “I plan to decant the brew, once chilled, into a carafe to be shared with Corena. I hope she likes it.” She paused. “I admit that I’m uptight about the trouble Lilith has caused Corena over the past year.”
Avril was surprised to discover Marley was heartily sorry, still she shook her head in bafflement. “Lilith is driven by an irresistible sense of mischief,” Avril snapped.
Marley shuffled a bit, as if uncomfortable. “I feel remorse and hope that by reaching out to Corena as a friend, that the gift will be a bridge between us. I have no hidden motive to harm. My only motivation is to repair the trust,” she said mournfully.
Avril pulled out a chair. She sat down at the rustic kitchen table and folded her hands on the table’s natural wood scratches and marks of age. “It would be easier for you to accept Lilith for who she is and be freed from her influence,” Avril vented. “I’m sure there are pressures being her companion. To me it is unrealistic to expect Lilith to be a good friend to anyone.”
“I don’t want to sit here and throw stones at Lilith’s character,” she said irritated. “She’s my friend unconditionally. She’s been through one thing, then another, in her short lifetime.”
Avril settled back into the chair and crossed her arms across her chest in defiance. “It takes a special kind of serenity to tolerate Lilith as a best friend,” she said annoyed.
“Yes—and no. Yes, she can do some things that can be viewed as mischievous, but I accept Lilith for what you see as imperfections,” Marley declared. “I made a commitment to our friendship and the challenges command me to be a better person.”
Slowly, Avril sighed.
“I have no desire to wound Lilith’s character with words,” Marley said stubbornly. “Don’t judge so harshly.”
Avril was frustrated with Marley for not giving in and asked, “Why would you say she is the way she is?”
“The reason Lilith is the way she is, because she doesn’t feel like she belongs,” she answered.
Avril looked stunned. “Hey…we have never gone out to hurt Lilith intentionally,” she said.
“You gossip about her,” she accused her.
“Yes, we talk about her behind her back. If she wasn’t so mean we might find something pleasant to say about her,” she claimed.
Marley was even more direct. “Yep, it’s all her,” she said, rolling her eyes. “You and your sister-friends have a bond. Say what you like, but your tight group have never made her feel like she belongs.”
“Because she doesn’t,” she said, speaking loudly.
“Lilith mistrusts because of her personal experiences. By now,” she said. “You should know that each obstacle she brings offers an opportunity for balance and re-balance. Lilith has not come into our lives to harm us. Because of Lilith we have a chance to face our own insecurities and anxieties. Lilith offers us a chance to be a good person for the sake of being a good person.”
Avril listened, unswayed. “Don’t make excuses for Lilith, she said angrily. “Her actions speak volumes. Given to her slyness, she never falls short of expectations. She’ll betray one’s trust.”
“Friendship is supposed to endure challenges and withstand betrayal! The experiences are to teach the easiest way not to pass judgment is to find a good reason not to judge,” she said annoyed by the conversation.
“Stop making excuses for her,” Avril said without hesitating for a second. “Being mean is a choice. Lilith isn’t just on the wrong path, but nastiness in its purest form.”
Marley’s commitment to Lilith was strong. “She’s my friend,” she said sternly.
“It doesn’t matter if she is your friend. It’s irrelevant. It’s who she isn’t – a good witch – accept it.”
Marley was upset about the conversation. She stood and slammed her fist down hard on the kitchen table’s surface. “You should walk a mile in her shoes, and then you’d understand,” Marley shouted back at her.
Avril startled nearly jumped out of her skin.
“You think you know, well, you know nothing! Here at the Mysticism School we are all witches,” Marley explained. “Unfortunately, outside the walls not everyone accepts our beliefs. People perhaps to amuse themselves are hostile to her. The line has been rigidly drawn. If you start up with her, you already know she will seek revenge. She will react with an eye for an eye,” she said very protective of Lilith.
“Don’t give me that,” Avril snapped at her.
“In her defense you should know from a witchling she has experienced hate and intimidation. She has received harsh treatment from her pears. All because she follows the heritage of her parents, her bloodline is ridiculed. She’s been spit on, slandered and physically attacked for being a witch. I’ve witnessed it for myself.” It brought tears to Marley’s eyes when she said it.
Avril looked at her in shock. What Marley said took her aback for moment. “Sounds like outright cruelty. I never realized,” she said simply.
“Now you do! So how about helping with the healing. Can you put your differences aside? If properly treated, maybe, just maybe Lilith wouldn’t have unwitch-like habits. I know it’s a lot to ask, but it might make things better. It might do your heart some good.” Marley said it, but she had little faith that she would treat Lilith any different.
Avril mulled that over.
The noise level rose as the Victorian mansion became overrun by witchlings, witches and mentors.
“Merry we meet,” the kitchen wise woman Hilda said, when she walked in the room. “Your meeting won’t be held upstairs, today, we will be doing some Yuletide baking,” she said with her nose in a book.
Avril turned her head. She saw Hailey appear in the doorway. Hailey was thrilled to see Avril. She hurried over to her. “Merry meet,” she said smiling.
“Merry meet,” she said miserably.
Hailey looked like she was in shock. “Why would you greet me like that?”
“Never mind,” she answered harshly.
“Want to talk about it?”
Avril hesitated for a few seconds. “I’ll tell you later,” she said.
By the time Hanna, Shanna, Cortney and Corena came in the kitchen, Hilda had decided upon two recipes. “Nothing will add so much to the delights of our Sabbat of the Craft Yule as Crescent Cakes and Charm Pudding,” she announced. “Avril, Hailey, Corena and Cortney you work together to create the Crescent Cakes, and Shanna, Hanna, and Marley, you make the Charm Pudding.” The Kitchen witch Hilda clapped her hands together three times, “Now then, wash your hands, and aprons on, there’s much to do, let’s get started!”
At the kitchen door Lilith stepped into view with a noticeable lack of enthusiasm. Marley gestured toward her, and Lilith walked over to the counter and stood there.
Cortney measured the recommended amount of flour. She dumped it in the mixing bowl.
“Now then,” Hailey said, taking command. “Combine the sliced almonds, flour, sugar and extract and I will thoroughly mix the ingredients together.” With her hands, she worked in the butter and egg yolks until well-blended. “For the best results, the dough needs to chill.”
“I’ll do it,” Corena said.
“Once chilled we need to pinch off pieces of dough about the size of walnuts and shape into crescents, and then place on grease sheets. The Crescent Cakes need to bake for twenty minutes,” Hailey added.
“Okay,” Corena responded, picking up the dough.
When Avril returned to the table with more sliced almonds in her hands, her apron came untied by itself and fell off her. Cortney picked the apron from the floor. “Looks like your sweetheart is thinking about you,” she said, tying the ties around Avril’s waist.
“Pardon…” she asked.
“It is believed by many to be an omen if your apron comes untied of itself, and falls off while working in the kitchen someone is having romantic thoughts about you,” she explained.
Avril giggled as she caught sight of Marley pour the fresh cream into the mixing bowl.
“No, no, that’s too much,” Hanna said, stopping her. She took the pitcher of cream from Marley’s grip. “There is more than enough in the pudding.”
As Marley took up the wooden spoon and began to stir, the pudding splattered on the counter. Shanna reached for a dishcloth, to wipe up the mess.
Avril glanced over to the counter where a bored-looking Lilith stood. Her stomach knotted. Marley’s voice was continually in her head. She tried to clear the thoughts away. She had given Lilith a chance. A lot of chances, since they were witchlings. She knew with Lilith’s nasty disposition; she would do anything to get her own way. It was easier for Avril to put Lilith in a box, now it was more complicated. She couldn’t forget what she knew.
“Yes, we’ve got charms in every pudding made,” she answered.
Shanna picked up a thimble charm, then turned it in her fingers. “In some we added a sterling silver thimble for prosperity, others a sterling silver horse shoe for luck throughout the coming year and in the last batch the five-pointed star, the pentacle,” she said.
“It’s the faith we have in charms that is the true power behind the charms,” the kitchen witch Hilda explained, looking at her.
A little while later, the air in the kitchen smelt sweet from the crescent cakes baking. The maidens waited a short while longer, then the Kitchen witch Hilda said, “Okay, they should be done. At that point Hailey walked over to the fireplace and removed the cakes from the heat. “Desert is served,” she said as she brought the crescent cakes to the table.
As the crescent cakes cooled, Corena looked over them, eager to savor the treat. Suddenly, she popped the treat in her mouth and chewed.
Hailey looked over at her and asked, “What do you think?”
“We nailed it,” she said proudly.
Avril turned with a crescent cake in her hand. “They're excellent,” she said.
“Okay, leave some for Yule,” the kitchen witch Hilda teased. “It’s time to tidy up.”
Marley handed Lilith a mixing bowl that needed to be washed, and Lilith handed it right back. Cortney realized then, that Lilith wasn’t enthusiastic about cleaning. “And of course, she is going to stand there popping crescent cakes in her mouth,” she snickered.
Corena still held a lot of animosity against Lilith. “Forget her,” she said irritated.
Avril thinking back to what Marley said, managed a stiff smile. She knew everyone has some-sort of cruelness in them. It was impossible for her to trust Lilith who has done nothing but cause harm. It bothered her because now she knew why.
The maidens washed the dishes, cleaned the table, wiped the counter, swept and mopped the wood floor. Finding little interest in the task, Lilith turned and walked out the door.
Until then, a smile & a giggle!