These are challenging and unusual times we are living in. The fireworks and celebrations of New Year, only just over three months ago, are a memory of a time when the future seemed malleable. Resolutions, goals and plans were all made with a certainty that they could all happen. They were all possible. The future was there for our taking.
And then coronavirus came along and normal life was interrupted. Stopped. Perhaps for ever.
The things we took for granted, such as the freedom to weave the threads of our future into a chosen tapestry, were no longer there and were replaced with the response to a pandemic. Panic buying. Social distancing. Lockdown. Death.
It’s easy to become apathetic over the uncertainty of the future. Coronavirus has brought a humbling realisation that humans are not in control, not ever really. The predictable patterns that we follow can suddenly disappear, leaving us with without a roadmap to travel through future times.
We are all, to a certain extent, at the hands of the Fates.
And that is why witchcraft on lockdown becomes more important than ever.
It’s okay to grieve for normalcy and for the plans that will no longer survive into 2020. It’s okay to be afraid for yourself and your loved ones. But it’s also okay, when those feelings have settled as much as they can, to conjure for a new, different normal. The future is a chaotic sea of possibility with unpredictable tides but we can cast our nets to haul up treasures from the dark depths.
Modern witchcraft has become a trend and something beautiful to display on social media. But if you peel back the layers, you’ll find practices that stem from need. In society, there have always been folk magicians and white witches providing services for people who turn away from the conventional and towards the esoteric. When the future seems so chaotic and daily life is thrown into disarray then people look for answers and solutions in hidden places. They need healing, they need reassurance, they need to stack the odds in their favour. They need the services of the witch.
And while others turn towards practices once scorned and scoffed, practitioners should not forget the importance of conjuring for oneself during this time. Throw runes or lay down cards to guide your direction forward. Cast for new opportunities to present themselves. Cleanse and protect yourself with vigour. Use magick to create the new normal you wish to see while we traverse through these uncharted times. Tap into the chaos to find new pathways and places, and be open to manifestation in strange, unpredictable ways.
This challenging time can also give us greater compassion and understanding for each other. We are facing a situation that we have never had to deal with before. We have a pandemic that has taken our freedom, many people’s health and our complacency that food (and toilet roll) will always be available. We are getting a taste of what life has been like, from time to time, for our ancestors.
Those accusations made in the early modern period witch trails don’t seem so strange now. That bewitched cow is our modern equivalent of empty shelves in shops. Putting the eye on someone could now be seen as spreading the virus. Humans have a natural propensity to cast blame on each other, especially in troubling times (the witch trails attest to this). We just need to remember that it comes from fear and that we always have a choice to be kind (and do magick).