As witches we often use spells to manifest the changes we want to make. Too often these spells focus on a desired outcome rather than on conjuring the necessary skills required to bring about change. A vital part of effective witchcraft is focusing on personal development that will lead us to the goal. Simply doing a spell without doing the work to prepare for the outcome just doesn’t cut it. We need to step back from wishful spell casting. Witchcraft is a lot of work. If you want to manifest changes in 2018, you’ve got to examine all the requirements. You’ve got to get ready.
Holiday Road Trip
We’re packing for our New Year’s trip back to my hometown. While I’m nagging the boys about everything they need to bring, I’m contemplating what I want to conjure up in 2018.
In between saying things like “There’s a lot of snow! Bring your heavy boots!” I’ve been thinking about my new year’s resolutions. It occurred to me that reaching a goal is like going on a trip. If we just jump in the truck and take off for New Brunswick, we would make it there. We wouldn’t actually be prepared for what would happen once we get there. The winter boots will keep us from getting frostbite, falling, or ruining our Vans. We need to be ready.
Avoiding Wishful Witchcraft
It’s like that with using witchcraft to manifest things – I might be able to conjure up the thing I desire, but if I haven’t prepared for that outcome, then even if it does happen, it’ll probably be a disaster. Either the wrong thing will show up or I won’t be able to maintain the goal. Wishful witchcraft often leads to big messes and broken hearts.
Unprepared Witchcraft is a Waste of Time
The best example of unprepared witchery I can think of is about romantic relationships. When doing a love spell, there’s often an emphasis on the details about the desired partner or the nature of the relationship. Manifesting the skills necessary to pick a good partner and be a good partner are rarely part of the spell in my personal experience.
Another example is my approach to spending time with my family. I’ve written before about how different I am than most of my extended family. We have little in common, yet I miss them. I only see them one or twice a year so I want the time I do spend with them to be quality time. There’s no room for arguments over religion, my appearance or my suspicious lifestyle. We all know they think I’m a lunatic devil worshiper. There’s no point in discussing it. It’s also a waste of my energy to want them to take an interest in things that interest me. So, how do I survive spending time with these people?
Conjuring Up Change
If I use my witchery to cast a spell about my family situation, I have tried manifest a change in their attitude and behavior towards me. Of course that didn’t work. A few years ago I decided to try to conjure up my desired outcome when it came to spending time with them. What I wanted was a peaceful experience where I actually enjoyed being in their company. Realizing that I couldn’t change them, it became clear that I had to change me. Because my witchcraft is part of any change I do, I worked on a spell to bring about the happy family time I had envisioned. Then I had to ask myself if I had the necessary skills to create such a scenario.
Lacking firm boundaries and taking everything too personally, as well as weak communication skills when it came to them were my big obstacles to manifesting my goal. I had to turn my attention away from simply conjuring up an outcome and towards manifesting what I needed to accomplish the goal. Just like needing winter boots, I need to pack boundaries, effective communication skills, and shield myself from their hostilities. Now if the boys didn’t have warm boots, I’d get them some. Same thing was necessary for the skills I lacked. I set out to get them.
Part of getting ready for the trip is to spend a few minutes conjuring a safe and happy experience. I’m taking time to ensure that my boundaries are sound. I’m getting my mind prepared for the journey. I very much desire having a good time.
Do I Really Want This?This leads to the most important point about getting ready for change: we have to really want to do it. Change is an incredible amount of work and requires a serious amount of motivation. If you’re thinking about making a change, but you’re lackluster about it (like my vaguely feeling like I should lose 20 pounds), then success will be difficult. Moreover, the desire for change has to come from within. In addition for lasting change to occur, it needs to be driven by your true self rather than your shadow. This is the first consideration when contemplating change: do I really want to do the necessary work?
I don’t really want to do the work of losing 2o pounds. Unlike my desire to have a better relationship with my extended family, my heart’s just not into it. I could do a spell to lose the weight, but it would make more sense to try to conjure up motivation. Except that in my experience, that is almost impossible to do. It’s the motivation that drives me to develop a plan for change. I extend that desire into my witchery. But if I’m not clear about exactly what I need to do to bring about the outcome, then I’m wasting my time. Sometimes, I need to do a spell to clarify what I need to do to achieve the goal, rather than focusing on conjuring the goal itself.
Am I Ready to Get What I Want?
The question moves away from “how do I get what I want?” to “Am I ready to get what I want?” If the answer is “no,” (often “hell no”), then my efforts in all areas of my life, including my witchery need to go towards getting ready. Are their skills I need to develop? Are there people I need to help me? What resources do I need?
I can use witchcraft to help me find the answers to these questions, rather than using it to manifest poorly thought-out wishes.
Conjuring My New Year’s Resolution
As for my own resolutions for 2018, I’m focused on writing. There are lots of bits to achieving my goals about publishing books on Modern Hekatean Witchcraft. I need to ensure that we stick to our tight budget so I don’t have to go back to my academic career. Producing high quality content for my blog is another part of the process. Of course, I have to actually write the books. There are some transferable skills from my former career, but there’s also lots to learn. I want this transition to full-time teaching and writing about Hekate and witchcraft to be a lasting change. I’m taking the time to consider each step along the way. Part of this process is using magick to facilitate accomplishing these parts rather than wishful spells about making my dream come true. This witch is ready.
I’m prepared for my road trip, too. My boots are packed, my skills are honed, and it’s time to hit the road.
Here’s a few tips for conjuring up change:
- Figure out exactly what it is that you hope to achieve. Be very specific. Spend time visualizing all the details.
- Determine if the outcome is something you truly want. Ask yourself if this is your shadow self talking or if you’re doing this for someone else.
- Connect with your intuition, guides, deities (whatever you call them) and seek their guidance before doing anything. They can bring clarity to a situation.
- Take an inventory of what’s required to achieve the goal. Do this before you cast any spells. This includes skills and resources. Be honest with yourself.
- Cast spells that are about what you need to accomplish in order to be ready to achieve the major outcome. Avoid wishful witchcraft.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. Change is a lot of work.
- If you fail, try again. Learn from the mess.
Follow your Heart
One final thought – change is a lot easier when you are pursuing your passion. It can take a lot of time and effort to get in a position to be able to do this. Sacrifices may need to be made – not animal ones necessarily, more like learning to live on a tight budget. If it’s your heart’s desire, the work will be a labor of love. Don’t be afraid to go for it. The potential rewards are worth the risks. Before you start on your way, ask yourself, “Am I ready?” Then get to work in all areas of your life, especially your witchcraft.