Invocation Preparation

astrology, Events, Mundane Magic

I am finding myself thinking about preparedness more than usual. With the sun and half of the planets above in Capricorn right now (the sign of structure, long-term planning, responsibility and preparation) it feels like a worthy theme to explore.

In a world that is rapidly shifting shape: as a magician, what are my strategies to prepare for whatever comes next?

In the short-term, my magic is based on the moment: I notice what’s happening in my body without judgement so that I can feed it with what is actually needed (Do I need an extra hour of rest? A vegetable-centered meal? A treat that pleases my senses?) I reflect back on my actions from where I am now to make sure that I am living in line with my Truth (Am I taking care of my emotional needs? Do I need to make amends with someone? Have I been working too hard?) I choose to make authentic decisions that serve as reflections of my values (chatting with stranger to cultivate a friendly neighborhood, regularly showing up on time to maintain the trust of my employer, allowing my friend to vent without trying to manage their situation.) The only true power we have is in the moment, which is where the most potent magic is available to us.

Long-term strategies are more difficult. Our social, political and environmental landscapes are changing form: my five-year goals may not be options within the next six months, cause and effect seem less predictable, the practical planning that I was taught and have become used to might not be enough… I am a witch and my power is real but attempting to tailor the outcome of the future to my liking as one human being is not only unreasonable, but unmanageable. However, techniques are available to those who choose to utilize them.

There is invigorating magic that can be done to help prepare us for What’s Coming.

Astrologers are like meteorologists of the Higher Skies. For the same reasons that we might check a weather app before choosing an outfit or making plans for a picnic, astrology allows us to forecast how the interaction of the planets Above might impact our conversations, creativity, mood (or weather) of our day, week, month or year.

I use the sacred science of astrology as a mapping system. Each year on my birthday I treat myself to a transit reading with Tere Parsley Starnes, which helps me identify how the movements of the stars in the coming year might impact me personally based on my birth chart. An act of divination, counseling and numerical calculations of geometry, this reading reveals: when the best dates to start a new health-centered routine will occur, time periods that support radical self-expression, opportunities to heal old wounds, events that strive to inspire courage within us and so much more.

After the reading, I use the information discussed to influence my doings each month: observing each movement that was recorded then figuring out the best way to physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually approach it. These considerations (grounded by my short-term preparation magic of self care) help me to march my Capricorn hooves up the mountain toward my goals while remaining true to my Self and my needs. Even if the exact location of that goal changes or the parameters of the goal shifts, I know that I did my best to achieve it and have faith that it’s evolution is in unison with the pulse of our galaxy’s heartbeat.

Forecasts show me how I can make the most of the energy that Our Universe is providing for me to grow. It also serves as a reminder to release the temptation for me to try and dominate the happenings of my life or assert control over The Mysteries of being alive.

Many astrologers can help create customized calendars for their clients and translate the symbols into an arc of energy for the year. Good astrologers use these same skills to show their clients how they might make the most of the energy that’s on the way. Great astrologers empower their clients to explore what these transits might mean for them before they occur and inspire them to conjure the magic that works best for their lifestyle, while still surfing those same waves of energy.

I will be co-hosting a forecast webinar for 2020 with Tere Parsley Starnes this Sunday, January 5th from 5:00pm – 7:00pm EST. While this event will not serve as a custom made guide of how this year’s astro-weather will impact each attendee, it will serve as a general guide to the significant planetary movements in 2020, what those movements might mean for us and ideas for magic that support our individual and collective endeavors.

If this approach and evening appeals to you, make sure to register to save your spot!

We are being challenged to change as an initiation into the next era of life on this planet: how will you answer that call this year?

The Art of Reclaiming

Events, Mundane Magic

It has been my experience that most (if not all) people have opinions about Valentines Day. To some, it’s a frantic search for a date and a gift: the pressure to perform when expectations are high. To others, it’s a spotlight on their loneliness or a ploy of Capitalist society to suckle the bank accounts of romantic souls. Whether reservations are made or heads are low, this day carries a charge.

Witches Know that energy is a real thing and use it for channeling purposes to produce desired results: the more potent the charge, the more dynamic the results. There are countless sources of energy, but a common one is holidays and it’s safe to say that there will be many people participating in various types of “ritual” today.

Reclaiming witches recognize and honor the power of names/sacred days/life on this planet that is often taken for granted. This is the reason we call ourselves “witches”: there is a charge to this word that ranges from “scary, old, green hag” to “wise woman with plant-knowledge” to “the devil who will rid your body of an unwanted child” to “a person that will do the forbidden.” We reclaim the word “witch” for it contains a rich legacy of Wisdom and doing what Must Be Done. In calling that word ours, we give back to it with our thoughts and actions: knowing that both are enriched by the energetic current also known as “meaning.”

I believe that we have the right to reclaim words from toxic roots, so long as we have true knowledge of the source, integrity supporting our intention of its use and full awareness of the communities that have been impacted by said word (and whether or not it’s ours to claim.) I also believe that Valentines Day is an opportunity to practice the Art of Reclaiming: from consumerism, from gas-lighting and guilt-trips, from sexual violence as well as from hopelessness.

This tradition began during the Roman Empire when marriage was banned by Emperor Claudius II because he believed it made soldiers reluctant to leave for battle. A priest known as Saint Valentine married couples in secret and was later put to death for violating this law, though the lore reveals that he valued empathy and connection more than domination and obedience… An act, some might say, of True Love.

A wise witch once said “Don’t deny the gift just because you don’t like the package it came in.” There is an allegory present in Valentines Day, and humans have been feeding energy into it for centuries. While there is use in creating new words and philosophies to represent something important, why not use something that is already available? Does Valentines Day (or a pre-planned, widely known occasion to dedicated to expressing Love) deserve to remain hijacked by consumer culture or a bitter attitude?

So today, I challenge the willing: tap into the currents of love in whatever way feels right to you. Maybe it’s choosing to cook a nice meal for a beloved. Maybe it’s being clear with an employer about what you need as an act of self-care. Maybe it’s scheduling time to have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Maybe it’s something that isn’t listed here, but feels right for this day. Regardless of what it is (as long as there is consent if another person is involved!) I hope everyone chooses to have a wonderful Valentines Day. I know that’s my intention.

Becoming Unbound

Mundane Magic

Last night I had a vivid dream that I was laying in my childhood bed. The lights were dim and the room felt quiet, but there was a bustling around me. People I knew were interacting as they normally would. The atmosphere was not threatening. The bed I occupied turned into a warm bath and my body was completely submerged. I felt comfort. But then the moment came for me to rise up and out of the water and I began to wail. It was a loud siren of a howl that was filled with such despair and mourning. I kept screaming and moaning with tear-soaked cheeks…. it continued until I awoke.

This dream is the best description of what life feels like to me right now, minus the sobs and shrieks. I find myself coiled within my Self, repeating old feedback loops that don’t really *seem* to be relevant or useful anymore.

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

I feel bound up and immobile. The joy that life still kindly offers me does not have the same impact. Sometimes eating overwhelms me and all I want to do is sleep the day away. Panic attacks have begun to pop up at random times. People around me (even those that I wouldn’t consider close friends) notice that I am “not myself” and ask what is wrong, which leads to shame for not being able to hold up my wall with a smile. On top of everything, my mind scolds me for taking the wonderful life I have created for granted: “there’s nothing actually wrong,” it taunts. “You need to get it together.”

As a rational person, I understand that these sorts of things happen to most human beings. As a witch, I recognize that I have many tools at my disposal. I can do a tarot reading to see what’s actually going on energetically. I can do Kala to heal the parts of my Self that are in distress. I can use the skills that I have learned to willfully change my circumstances (MAGIC!)

The energy to do these things exists within me, but it’s caught up in the battle of just trying to stay above the surface. So while I do have options, I am not able to shift my situation into anything “useful.”

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

In the past, this would be the point where I curl into a ball and hide out under my duvet until I feel the storm pass or numb myself to a point where life feels tolerable. This time however, I managed to do one of the most radical, magical acts of self care to date:

I asked for help.

I asked a close friend to listen to me when I was in a lot of pain. It was this conversation that helped me to realize that it’s time to go back to therapy. I asked another good friend to refer me to a trusted therapist, which (two weeks in) has felt like exactly the right choice. We have a plan in place to work through what’s going on and her insight is a gift that I could not have given myself at this time.

It can be easy to let the Ego to get in the way when we have already learned so much from life and done a tremendous amount of personal Work. There was a point not too long ago that I would have perceived the act of asking someone outside of myself to help me with my emotional state as weakness. The Self-hater within me would aggressively ask: Can I really call myself an experienced witch if I am unable to take on the intense difficulties of life on my own? How can I be of service to the world if I can’t even handle my own shit?

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

A powerful witch is a channel for Universal energy, not a permanent storehouse. I still think back to my intention for 2016: “I surrender to the flow” and realize that I can surrender to the Universe, while also refusing to let what is happening steamroll my spirit into submission. I can choose to notice my experience, decide whether or not I want to feel it at it’s full potency and do my best to direct the energy where it needs to go. I can also thank the Gods for the resources I have around me that help me when they are able and willing to do so.

We don’t get to escape being a human through witchcraft, but we can use our heightened awareness to do our best to live a life we can enjoy. What if one way to do begin doing just that is to release the expectation that we have to do everything all on our own?

Taking Care

Mundane Magic

It’s about that time for a post. My life continues on and the magic of the mundane weaves it’s way through my experience. Things are happening. There are shifts. I witness my experience and have many things that I could share with my community of witches…

But here’s the thing: I honestly just don’t feel up to it.

I’m a multi-tasker with a to-do list fetish. The feeling of accomplishment feeds me and I enjoy hard work. I’m a Capricorn; I really do. However, this month has been a tough one for me and the thing that makes it feel worse is that it isn’t stemming from anything specific. I just don’t feel engaged with the things that I usually enjoy doing.

This happens to me sometimes. It might have something to do with the energy that declared itself through my monthly reading:

 

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IMAGE: VasalisaTheWitch

 

Probably not the energy that I would have chosen for this time of year. Alas, it is here. I’m being pierced by those swords in my mind… they pin me down from my own vitality. And so it is.

Believe it or not though, there is mundane magic that can be shared to the world from this place of pain and despair that strikes from absolutely nowhere. Perhaps even one of the most potent messages of magic that I have shared thus far:

If you feel like shit, take care of yourself.

Self-care varies from person to person. For me right now, it is sleeping “more than I need to.” It is allowing some of my tasks to slide off to the side for a while without guilt. It’s making the choice to honor what I’m feeling and adjusting my life accordingly.

There is a saying in my community: you are your own greatest magical tool. If that is the case, then it makes sense that “it” (the Self) needs to be tended to when it isn’t working as desired. How do you care for your Self?