Riddikulus: Slaying inner demons with the magic of humor

Okay, first things first. I may have hinted at or even mentioned it before but my childhood was messy. I suffered from physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse at the hand of a family member. I’m not going into details because the reality is they’re not important. They’re not necessary for the point I’m trying to make. Suffice it to say that my family put the fun in dysfunctional.

Dark Carnival Strength

I have often made light and joked about these experiences in an effort to make them less important. I refuse to be defined by them and when I was growing up it was much too easy to be labeled “the girls who was raped” or “the girl from that white trash family”. As it was my family was a bit notorious because my parents were very young (Mom was 16 and Dad had just turned 17) when I was born. As a result many of the neighborhood busybodies watched me for years waiting for the demon horns they just knew existed to sprout from my forehead. Rather than becoming a statistic I married a man I love and not because I was pregnant. I managed to complete two master degrees in different majors and for many years was a successful career woman. I showed them! ;D

Norse Tarot 3 of Cups

One day while joking about some of my family dysfunction with some newly acquired friends, one of them suggested that it wasn’t healthy to joke about the pain I experienced. At the time I felt shamed and embarrassed, as though I wasn’t handling it correctly. Now my response would be a more colorful variation of “Screw you”. Joking was the healthy way for me to handle it – then and now. I recently realized that J.K. Rowling even offered a spell for just this type of situation in the Harry Potter series – Riddikulus!

Baubo Siren of Earth Dark Goddess Tarot

By joking about the abuse and demons that tormented my childhood I was making light of them; making them ridiculous and less dangerous. Sometimes when you can’t face and defeat the monsters attacking you then the only option is to make fun of them and drain off their power. Laughter is powerful magic. In fact in ancient Ireland the mockery of a bard was seen as damaging and harmful, especially if one is a king who has been mocked. It could reveal your unworthiness to the world.  Laughing at what scares us can help release some of the paralysis that chains us in place. It can help us get moving again; to find our way to a better, safer place. Thank all the gods for laughter!  It can help cleanse the most tormented soul.

I find it interesting when I’ve come across folks in life who seem to have no sense of humor. They see themselves as sober, “God-fearing”, practical folks. In reality I think they are the sickest among us. They have no ability to access the magical healing power of laughter. In the movie Dogma, Salma Hayek, playing a Muse, states that Catholics don’t celebrate their faith they mourn it.  It’s an interesting point. People who seem to have no sense of humor about their faith suck all the joy out of it. Who wouldn’t want to have joy and laughter in their spiritual celebrations.  Some of the most powerful rituals in which I’ve ever participated had moments of silliness, laughter and a touch of chaos.


So from personal experience let me offer this one piece of advice – no matter how dark and desperate things may seem, find a way to laugh. If you can’t find a way to joke about your own experiences then at least find a comedian or movie that makes you laugh and watch it. Laugh until you cry; until you are purged of those poisons and toxins that are building up in your system. Believe me, I can take life much too seriously but I was blessed to find a man who taught me how to laugh at myself. He gifted me with the healing magic of laughter and for that I will always be grateful.

I have a well-known propensity for laughing hysterically at farts and/or fart-jokes.  In fact my mother purchased me a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “You’re never to old to laugh at fart jokes”.  For a long time I felt guilty about this habit – as though it revealed a tacky, low-class side to my personality.  Now I embrace it because I realize that if I can laugh at one of nature’s smelliest, most embarrassing and humiliating moments, then I can laugh at anything life throws my way. My wish for anyone reading this is that you are learn to laugh at farts; that you are able to laugh at whatever craziness life throw your way.  That you learn to tap into the powerful magic of laughter for yourself.

What do I need to focus on today? Queen of Cups R (Legacy of the Divine and Crone)


This is the third time this card has appeared for me this month – once upright and twice reversed.  Obviously she has a message that I need to hear.  Looking at the image on Ciro’s Legacy of the Divine I see the image of the lovely Natashia, a lady I’ve had the pleasure at meeting at several past Readers Studios.  Knowing the story behind this card, it speaks to me of joy, love and healing; washing away the past so that the future can be full of happiness and laughter not pain and anger.

Ellen Lorenzi-Prince calls her Grandmother of Cups Godmother.  Another concept with interesting connotations to me.  My godmother is my mother’s aunt.  I’m very fond of her and we chat on the phone occasionally but our relationship has never been very close.  She had seven sons to raise and once my grandmother (her sister) passed away, our contact with that side of the family became minimal.  I always knew my godmother loved me, but we just didn’t get the chance to connect very often.  When we are together, my godmother is warm, funny and loving.

What I find these two cards have in common is a sense of joy, happiness and love.  They both offer a sense of knowing that life isn’t always fun and games but managing to keep a smile anyway.  She represents knowing the darkest sides of human nature but being able to focus on the light.  She speaks of washing clean those festering wounds that we carry within ourselves so that we can heal and become whole again.  It’s about being able to love and embrace the people in our lives and the world, even when they’re not especially lovable.

This is  a sorely atrophied part of my nature.  It’s something I’m working on but before I could love most of the world, I had to learn to love and embrace myself.  It’s been a slow process but I’m getting there.  I think the Queen of Cups is reminding me that every so often it’s okay to focus on myself a bit.  She’s also reminding me that I might find it beneficial to reconnect with some of these loving, laughing women in my life.  I can probably learn a thing or two from them.