How to Witch When the World is Burning

How to Witch When the World is Burning November 16, 2018

The world burned last year too. Fire around me. Near me. Close enough. Too close.

And my body froze. I sat on the floor of my house, with everything I loved in the trunk of my car. Aphrodite statues. My initiation gifts. My djembe. Photos. An ancestor altar that a beloved of mine gave me. So many things.

Always ready to leave.

I covered the windows and fireplace and doorways with thick blankets, hoping to stop the smoke from the growing fires.

The blanket at the base of the front door got darker every day with ash that crept in between the frame and the door’s edge.

I froze. I slept on the couch (when I slept at all). I went to friends’ houses to get some relief. But I always had to come back, to check on the house.

To make sure it was still there.

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Lost (and Found) Magick

I know that my magick is never gone. But it was quiet, too quiet over the labored breathing in my lungs and the fight-or-flight of my heart. I didn’t want to burn anything or light a candle.

I just wanted to stay still enough to react quickly. If I needed to.

Last year, I wrote about it.

But before we left the house the first time (or possibly the last time – that is a feeling I won’t soon forget), I cast a circle around the house, I sprinkled blessing powders and protection sigils around the perimeter, around the trees, around the doors. I asked for the house to be protected. I placed half-filled jars of water around the doorways outside to entice the rain. (Only half-full so there would be plenty of room for more, but in containers so it wouldn’t be too much.)

And when the winds picked up again later in the week, I chanted:

Wind be still
Wind be still
Wind be still
Calm, calm, calm

I chanted it all night, into my dreams, and into the strange sleep that comes when your adrenaline is trying to take over.

I tried to move my body slowly during that day and night to invite the calm. I ate grounding foods, I cuddled, and I tried not to watch every update or jump when the text message updates beeped.

Wind be still,
Wind be still, 
Wind be still,
Calm, calm, calm

I don’t know if it helped. I don’t know how many others did similar magick to help soothe the weather. But the winds stayed calmer. And I started to breathe easier.

Something kicked in. Like muscle memory. The act of lessons learned and taken into the places that do without pondering. Integration.

Like a witch who knows their power. And trusts it. And believes in it.

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The Fires will Return

I am aware that this is not the last time I will smell smoke in the air or wear a mask every time I go outside.

And I am aware that CONSTANT VIGILANCE is much more a part of my consciousness than it has been before since the fires have come and come again.

And I know that it will rain. And that the cycle of the earth also means the rains will end. Too quickly for California. The fire will return.

So I prepare now.

  • Masks
  • Extra water
  • Extra supplies
  • A trunk that’s ready to be filled with precious things
  • Grounding stones
  • Escape routes
  • A promise to clear away the brush around the house

And I also find an item that always comes with me. An item that I carry every day to every place.

I whisper to it the things I need to remember, the things I need to know. How I will know what to do. How I will stay grounded. How I am strong and prepared.

I will blow onto and into the item that feeling of presence and groundedness. And when I pick up that item again, I will feel it. I will hold the weight of the anchored feelings and reminders.

I will carry it.

And my heart will carry a spell for the healing of the earth, for the restoring of balance, and the blessings of right-sized rain.

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