Once upon a time, 27 years ago, I was an English teacher in a small city in Czechoslovakia.

I was young, I drank good European beer and smoked cigarettes in the local cafes, and I was leading quite a “sophisticated” life, in my own opinion.

But the old, dare I say ancient, European culture still pulsed beneath that glossy, newly democratized surface. The power of trees, of nature, of rivers, and of magic had been brewing there long before beer was served in shiny glasses to visiting Americans who thought it was “quaint.”

There’s deep power there.

But I didn’t know about that.

I thought the fairy tales of Old Europe were scary – did you ever read the original ones, the kind I found in a battered green book in my grandmother’s basement? Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They were grim, all right.

There was a girl who wanted red shoes so badly, she stole them and danced on Sunday (a big no-no). Then she couldn’t stop dancing until her feet fell off and she died!! EEEK! Not very Disney, eh?

So, back in Slovakia, and I’m 21, chatting on a soft couch in a cafe with my local co-teacher friend. Suddenly, through the big plate glass window, I see an old woman, dressed all in black. Black shoes, thick black stockings (in summertime), a black dress with a black sweater, and, to complete the look, a black scarf over her grey head.

Is she just standing there, waiting for the bus? No, she’s looking at me. She’s staring at me. Not at my friend, just at me.

I meet her eyes. I’m both afraid and curious.

Then, she suddenly sticks up her hand and curves her finger in the shape of a hook. She thrusts the hook at me and glares.

hook

The hook looked like this, but imagine it much, much scarier.

If there had been a soundtrack to this scene, there would have been a crash of thunder, and then complete silence.

I turn to my friend to ask what it means. My friend shifts uncomfortably on the sofa. She speaks in a low voice, so I can hardly hear:

Friend: It’s a curse.

Me: For real? A curse? What kind of a curse?

Friend: Um. It means “the hook.”

Me: I saw the hook, her finger was in the shape of a hook. And?

Friend: [really not wanting to say this out loud]: It means you will die by the hook.

Me: Oh. Right. [still not understanding, but letting it go for the moment]

There was no internet available to me 27 years ago, but I managed to do some research, and apparently “dying by the hook” means that an actual, metal hook would be thrust through the mid-section of a prisoner, in order to execute him. Ewww! So a form of crucifixion. No wonder my friend didn’t want to tell me!

Woman with Shawl by Vincent Van Gogh

* * *

Fast-forward 23 years to 2014, and I’m living in Johannesburg. So far, I haven’t been literally crucified, thank goodness, but every so often, I wonder about the strange curse.

One day, I wake up with a massive hangover. I had shared four (or five?) bottles of champagne with friends, and I felt like a zombie. I couldn’t even remember parts of the night, but at least I had made it home in one piece.

Suddenly, the image of the old woman’s hook came into my mind. I started trembling in my bed.

The hook.

To be hooked on something, to be addicted.

I got it. I was going to die by the hook, unless I did something.

That day, with shaking fingers, I dialed the number of a local 12-step program for people with addictions. Hesitant and frightened and ashamed, I attended a meeting. When I had to introduce myself to the group, I burst into tears. But I kept going back, and it helped.

It helped to see that other people are also dying on their own hooks. And then finding ways to get off them, to lead normal, whole, healthy, happy lives.

Do you have a hook?

Maybe it won’t take a witch to show you. Maybe it will take an angel. Or maybe, hopefully, you’ll figure it out all by yourself.

But getting off the hook was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and almost four years later, I can tell you that it just keeps getting better.

Are you worried about your own hook(s)? Do you need help identifying them?

If you’d like a session with your guides and angels, email me and get booked in.

Your angels know the quickest, easiest ways to move you forward to a life of surrender, serenity, and divinely-guided power.

Take care, and remember, fairy tales can come true. Sometimes for the good.