My tale is a modern taste, a sampling of old-world magic. It wasn’t a story in a movie or taken from an exotic novel but one that I never imagined in a million years, that I would be telling. Even though I come from Gypsy blood, sometimes I have let me guard down and this is where this story begins. As a professional dancer, I knew better than to drop my guard but then, dancing for large crowds comes at a price especially when misunderstandings amongst dance friends takes a turn for the worst. (Before I go further, I want to interject here, that I was as healthy as a horse before this incident occurred.) I lived in Texas at the time and loved that there were so many restaurants to dance at, in so many different locations. I was one of the lucky dancers because I performed four nights a week. As an entertainer, it doesn’t get much better than that. If you aren’t dancing, you are dreaming of dancing. We become the symbol of the eternal circle of dance.
On this infamous evening, I was preparing for my show and thinking more about my music, my veil work and my drum solo, which is normal for dancers in my genre. I had just started performing at this Persian restaurant and really loved the atmosphere. I found everybody friendly and when I would go out and perform, the audience would clap, dance along with me and express their enthusiasm with a zaghareet (a high pitched sound made with their tongues.) On this particular night, I was a bit anxious but then, I was usually nervous before I went on stage so I just thought it was nerves. There was a larger than normal crowd because of the Persian New Year celebrations happening around town. This meant everyone was in a partying mood ready for the dancing to begin. The announcer called my name and cheers and yelling could be heard from the crowd. The evening, which started with me twirling onto stage, amongst smiles, clapping and dancing, ended with me slowly seeing double, sweating profusely as if I had a high fever, fatigued beyond belief so much so that I had to end my show early, run to the bathroom because I had something strange coming out of my nose. (Read the next paragraph at your own discretion. It’s kind of explicit.) I was bent over the wash basin with a substance coming out of my nose that resembled mucus but was much thicker and it was coming out of my nose like a running faucet. At first, I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance because I was so weak, almost passing out but after 15 minutes, the mucus in my nose started to subside and I just lay down on the bathroom floor. The manager knocked on the door, worried about me but I couldn’t answer. After about 10 minutes, I got up off the floor, opened the door and the look on the manager’s face was one of shock. He said, ”You look terrible! Go home!” Something strange had come over my body and from that moment on; I became a very sick woman.
I felt as if something was inside me, eating me from the inside out. To be more specific, it was as if, I had some parasite in me that was feasting on my insides. My skin turned yellow in color within a few days and the slightest touch upon my skin was pure agony. My dreams were dark and dismal. This was so unusual for me because I was a vivid dreamer and could remember my dreams in detail. A particular dream repeated itself, with me being stuck in an old house, not knowing which direction to go, only to find that each door I ran to and tried to open, was locked. My boyfriend at the time wanted to take me to the hospital but I knew instinctively that something else was amiss. My intuition was on high alert and I knew that if I didn’t get the kind of help that I truly felt I needed, that I had only a few weeks to live. I asked my boyfriend to call my mentor, Vee who was an African Priestess in Albuquerque, NM. As soon as he got a hold of her, she stated that she was coming out immediately, the next day. The next day, he picked her up at the airport and brought her to our guest bedroom where I was sleeping because I couldn’t handle even the slightest touch or movement from anyone. Vee looked at me and started to chant as she lighted incense and sage. My room was filled with the mist and smoke swirling around each other and it was the first time I could literally breathe a sigh of relief. Vee made a horrible concoction made from different tea leaves that she brought with her. She insisted that I drink the stinky stuff, so
I immediately declined but when Vee put her hands on her hips; I knew she was going to get it down my throat one way or another so I held my breath, and drank it down, gagging a little here and there. What happened next, shocked me! She then pointed a finger at me and started to reprimand me for not protecting myself. I lay in bed feeling half dead and she was berating me for over an hour. I knew she was right but I also knew that this was something that was way beyond me. I had no clue what happened and even more confusing was why someone would want to do this to me. Vee showed me how to keep myself safe and we went over prayers, incantations, and meditations. She saw that my insides looked like a web and that something had torn it apart. More tea was in store for me along with spirit baths and sacred oils being rubbed all over me. She stayed a little over a week but before she left, she told me something unbelievable that I would have to do. Vee said it was evident that a Dark Witch had cursed me and that I would have to go and find out who she was and confront her! My eyes popped out of my head and my mouth dropped to the floor as I emphatically said, “No!” Vee got in my face, pointed her long finger at me and made it clear that I had no choice. She said she couldn’t guarantee that this Dark Witch wouldn’t try this again. She said, I was lucky this time but what happens if there is a next time? I knew that the one place to begin was back at the restaurant. I begrudgingly agreed with her, but I was scared out of my mind. Vee, knew I was scared so she made me a wonderful smelling fragrance of special oils, adding a secret and unique oil from her former mentor to keep me safe. I was to wear the oils whenever I danced and especially when I confronted the Dark Witch. Within two weeks, I was back, ready to dance again, a little wiser and wearier for the wear. But I have to tell you, I had no idea how I was supposed to find this Dark Witch.
It’s not like they advertise what they do and I knew they hid in plain sight just out of reach in the shadows. But as luck would have it, I didn’t have to look too far. Sometimes, when people do things they don’t feel good about, they tend to try to get it off their chest. As chance would have it, a dance friend, one that I considered a very good friend, confided in me, telling me that she had a Persian Witch put a curse on someone… I know I had that deer caught in the headlights look on my face for a few moments. I then gained my composer and asked her, why on earth would she do that to someone? She said she was told by a tarot card reader, (whom she didn’t know well) that a dark-haired woman was very jealous of her and was trying to destroy her dance career. The funny thing was, more than half the dancers in our area had dark hair. So I asked her if she had a better description of this woman who had it in for her? She said, no. I just looked at her for a few minutes, my mind racing a mile a minute in bewilderment and then I asked her, who this Persian Witch was. She said she hung out at the new restaurant we were dancing at and I asked her to point her out to me the next time she saw her. So without my dance friend knowing it, she was going to lead me right to this Persian Witch and with this knowledge, a feeling of dread washed over me like a tidal wave. As far as my dance friend’s confession goes, after that, I couldn’t help but be very cautious around her but in the back of my mind, I always wondered why she thought it was me, the tarot card reader was talking about. That hurt the most.
The following weekend, we were both scheduled to dance and I knew I had to gather up all the courage I could muster up and prepare to confront this Persian Witch. I was a nervous wreck all week leading up to the weekend and when Friday finally came around, all I knew was that I didn’t want to get out of bed. I stayed under the covers until late morning but finally decided to do my meditations and focus on a positive outcome, not the one I feared. Adrenaline does some interesting things to people, especially when they are scared. In regards to me, I flap my invisible wings like a hummingbird and I end up looking like I’m on steroids for dancers. By the time I drove up to the restaurant, I was exhausted, hyperventilating and I thought my heart was going to pop out of my chest. I was shaky when I got out of the car and I felt like I was walking on noodles instead of legs. Once I was inside and in the back dressing room, my dance friend came up to me and said, “She’s here.”
As fate would have it, I was scheduled to go on first which in the long run was for the best. I quickly got dressed in my dance costume, found my dance friend and asked her to point the Persian Witch out to me. When she did, my fears were confirmed. As if she was sitting within her own court, people were gathered all around her like she was royalty. She was very exotic looking, almost 6 feet tall with a Sophia Loren look to her. She looked like she had a cape on and with all the gold she was wearing, she looked like a Persian Queen. She looked over at us and had a very surprised look on her face. She didn’t expect to see me there or to see my friend and me together. My friend waved at her and so did I. After my show, I changed clothes, put on an extra dose of the special oil, Vee made for me and I ventured out to meet this Persian Witch, face to face. I walked towards her table and she waved for me to come and sit down. It was strange because, in one way, I felt honored to be sitting at her table and yet in another way I knew that she was dangerous and tried to hurt me. “You look well.” She said.
“I was really sick a few weeks ago but I was lucky to have some help in getting better,” I said. She looked surprised and asked me who helped me. I said matter of factly, “My mentor, an African Priestess.” It was interesting how she reacted because she looked me over from head to toe for a really long time without saying a word. The silence was very uncomfortable, so much so that I was just about ready to get up and leave when she said, “I think I was mistaken.” If that was an apology, I will never know but one thing I do know for sure, that evening I confronted the Persian Witch and lived to tell the tale. I didn’t get in her face. It wasn’t about that, it was about me saying, “I’m here and I’m healed.”
After that, on the weekends to follow, she always invited me to sit at her table and without hesitation, I joined her. But the strange thing was, my dance friend never joined us. I asked her to come to sit with us, but she always declined. In the end, the Persian Witch and I had a mutual understanding for each other.
Interestingly enough, weeks later, she told me, “If you ever need my help, just ask.” I told her likewise.“I have learned over the years, that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes the fear; knowing what must be done, does away with fear.” Rosa Parks