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The Magic in Our History

by Carmela Cattuti

Our history is probably the most important time line that we can explore. In fact, I would argue, it is imperative that we examine the past grounded in the present through a different lens. Some call unearthing the past "shadow work," but I would frame it as excavating the magic in our history. The transformative power of changing our perception of the past places us in a position of power so we can create our present from a place of certainty and joy. When we shift our perceptions of the past our present begins to change.

In order to do this, we have to develop detachment so when we excavate our past, we are able to look at it objectively. It takes practice to observe our past without getting caught up in old feelings and emotions. If we see our past as a great play that can be edited according to our insights, then we can create a new timeline that is a reflection of who we truly are. When we mine our past with discernment and detachment the process of our journey is exposed, and the magic of our history is revealed. When we do this the past becomes the present transformed; the present becomes ground zero and we appreciate every experience we had. The past then influences the present in a profound way, and we begin to make choices that mirror our true nature.

This was obvious after I finished my third novel. The development of my three novels is a prime example of this concept. I started with the focus on natural disaster and immigration timeline from Sicily to America. We follow the protagonist, Angela on her timeline and see how she adjusts to her new life and how her past influences her present through the choices she makes. As we move into the second book in the trilogy, Angela begins to integrate her experiences and reach out beyond the Italian American community to create a successful dressmaking business. We see her sharing her past with her family and her clients who rely on her to create garments that project a certain sentiment. Angela begins to create a vocabulary of self-expression through her dresses that attracts women from many social circles and nationalities.

Angela illustrates that we are not victims of our history, and we can turn our losses and traumas into power so that they serve our growth. Once we are able to do this, we have tremendous effect on other people. In the third novel, The Significance of New Ideas, this is illustrated in her relationship with her niece Marie. Angela is older and begins to groom Marie for a future that will include the unseen world, a space Angela had occupied as a child, but because of cultural conditioning and the constraints of the Catholic Church, she had not shared.

At the end of the third novel Marie begins to integrate what she learned from Angela into her life in New York City. Angela had been through massive change in her immigration and assimilation process. She demonstrated this development through daily action. We see Marie using her experiences in the same way as Angela to create the life she desires. Marie explores the unseen world as she deals with everyday life on this planet and realizes that walking between the worlds is what enriches life and that one without the other is living in scarcity. Regardless of religious and societal pressures of the early 20th century, Angela integrated her belief and practice of connecting with the unseen world while living her earthly life. This approach to life lifted the spirit of those she influenced and demonstrated that there is more to life than the physical.


Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a writer for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. She is a writer, painter, and yoga instructor in Boston. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature at Boston College, she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing class at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great-aunt’s story. Between the Cracks and The Ascent have gone through many incarnations and will become a trilogy. The Ascent is the second in the series. The third novel, The Benevolence of New Ideas, will be published October, 2021. To connect with Carmela email her at or visit her web site at Her books can be found on amazon. Between the Cracks is now on audible.


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