I am a social witch who enjoys sharing time with friends and I am blessed to live near a number of magical people. But a fellow traditional witch coming to stay the weekend is extra special and we always fill our schedules with magical pursuits. What follows is an abridged diary of a day in the life of a witch seeking spiritual gnosis.
9:00 am: I woke up and began tidying my room. Organizing my witchcraft supplies and natural curios is how I sought inspiration for our mini-spiritual retreat. Usually something pops out at me and I know it’s ready to contribute to a spell or ritual. I microwaved a cup of coffee left in the pot and contacted a few friends to see if they wanted to meet my visitor, the Fairy Doctor.
Noon: I picked up the Fairy Doctor at the train station and we were both famished, so we went for burgers, every area has their signature burger place, mine is Burgerville which is known for its local seasonal produce like the Walla Walla onion rings and raspberry lemonade. She liked it okay, but no doubt she had her own favorite burger joint from her hometown.
3:00 pm: The Trash Magic Witch met us at a sanctuary to Mary and God in Nature. The Grotto is a very special place in Portland where the land has this peaceful and profound presence. Most locals only know it for the Christmas light show, but it has several casts of Michelangelo’s Pieta and lots of amazing art. We gathered flower petals, pine cones and garbage from the ground, and bought some saints medallions for later spiritual use. We discussed the different ways we sensed spirits in the garden. Some spirit workers hear them, others see them and even some smell them. We were pleased we took a new path where shrines were being erected to a variety of saints from different countries that have strong diaspora communities in Portland. At the rose garden we thought of Janet and Tamlin and we looked for double headed roses that began their fairy love affair.
6:00 pm: The three of us enjoyed dinner at a nearby Irish Pub and we discussed blog essays we had all read recently and reflected on issues on gender performance and witchcraft. Because so many traditional witches are LGBT, we often converse about these topics and what is going on in the community and our magical work in that regard. When we receive divine inspiration for magic and ritual that addresses our needs it often serves the community as well through sharing online. We then said “until we meet again,” to our friend the Trash Magic Witch.
8:00 pm: Back at home, the Fairy Doctor and I put together all the components for some charms to draw our wishes to us. We used small boxes to hold the charms, drew symbols on small pieces of paper, stones and flowers with properties aligned to our goals, and a bit of our own hair to make sure the magic knew who the spell was in service to. We charged the boxes and sealed them with wax. Once the goals of the charms are completed we will burn the boxes.
10:00 pm: We gather the tools and materials we will need for our midnight ritual. There is a perfect spot in my backyard with a stone hearth to build our working altar on. We adorn the mantelpiece with a scarf, deer antlers, oil lamp, candles, incense, various tools and offerings.
Midnight: After a couple practice runs, I call to the spirits of major landscape features around us, to the North the volcano Mt. Saint Helen’s, to the west is the vast Pacific Ocean, to the south is the Clackamas river, and to the east is the Gorge and the high desert, the stars above, the underworld below, and we in the center at the altar. The Fairy Doctor leads us in a communion with the land, ancestors and tradition and a statement of freedom and gnosis. We bring the candles, chalice, and incense smoke down to the ground and sit down. Then she taught me a trance technique that involves staring at each other (or in a mirror if you are solitary) to open up our spirit sight. I found the trance method made me see things differently and the shadows came alive.
1:00 am: The candles are blown out, the offerings left out and the rest put away. We applied some mugwort ointment because it encourages lucid dreaming. As I lay down to bed I hoped to fly to the stars in my dreams and I did.
The next morning I was off to my coven meeting to do devotional meditations and the Fairy Doctor was on the train back to Seattle. We arranged to meet up again in Olympia for the Many Gods West conference, August 5-7, 2016. I am presenting on Gnostic a Polytheism and Animism Sunday. I hope to also see some of you all there.