The Magick of Celebrating Losses, Missteps, and Endings

The Magick of Celebrating Losses, Missteps, and Endings December 22, 2019

It’s the end of a decade and what magick have you done?

That’s the message that keeps getting pounded into our minds and email boxes.



In all of these questions lies another question: how have you contributed to the world? How have you done something to justify your existence?

It’s no wonder this new year has felt more overwhelming than celebratory for some/many.

As I was driving to the beach to celebrate the sun’s return, I also want to give gratitude to the places of darkness and despair. I want to celebrate the magick of unfinished To Do lists, broken relationships, and untidy spellwork.

The Courage of Things Left Undone and Unfinished

Within the space of myself is a Past Self, a Now Self, and a Future Self. All of these pieces of me have different information and are often given different jobs. As a Witch (and maybe just as me as I am), the whole idea of time as a linear movement doesn’t quite resonate.

And yet. The things of my past can not be undone. The joys of my future can not be assured.

As I was driving to the Pacific Ocean for an early morning Solstice spell, I found myself thinking about resolutions and becoming the best me I could in 2020. But as I did this, I realized I was skipping over an important part: celebration for all of the things that didn’t go well. Magick that didn’t work. Gratitude for the conversations that were sticky and icky. Compassion for the ways that I showed up with all I could and things still didn’t work out.

Perhaps I should call this gratitude. Or perhaps I call it recognition. Yes, that happened. Yes, that didn’t happen the way I wanted it to happen. But Past Self did the best she could with the information she had. She did the best she could.

And even with the missteps of the past, this does not mean Future Self shoulders the ‘burden’ of fixing things. Future Self does not need a To Do list or to be reminded that Now Self is wiser and probably better able to finish up magick that was not completed in 2019 (or 2018 or 2017 or 2016…).

Take a breath Selves. You are courageous in this moment. You can be bold and resolute and unflinchingly Now.

It is fine to let things go. It is fine to leave them be. It is permissible and possibly freeing to walk away from an issue you can’t solve right now. In fact, from my experience, most things will work themselves out when you let them go for a while. Not always, but most of the time.

The Witch Steps into Knowing vs. Fixing

I don’t want to wander into spiritual bypassing. I don’t want to say that mistakes were learnings (though they may have been) or that everything is perfect when you stop looking back at your past (I can tell you from personal experience, nope).

Instead, I invite you to sit in the discomfort of knowing you did what you could and it still didn’t work. Without judging. Without making excuses. Without making up a resolution that somehow makes it feel better. Sort of. Or hopeful, sort of.

Instead, widen the discomfort you allow yourself to feel. Sit with it. Ask it what it needs and what it knows. And then listen.

Not every bad thing is a thing to be solved. Not every misstep is a time to try something new.

Sometimes, you just need to sit with yourself. With all of the pain and the anger and the other feelings that arise. Let them have a space in the experience.

Without fixing.

Ask your Beloved Dead and ancestors to witness you in this acknowledgement of what has been.

And you will likely notice a shift. An unburdening. A realization that even when you can’t fix it, it will feel better. Even if you can’t solve a problem, it will stop feeling so tough.

Maybe it takes one visit into the discomfort. Maybe you’ll need multiple trips.

Maybe this will become a daily practice.

Perhaps your Now Self just needs a soak in a bath, a walk in the woods, or some other quiet time to just accept that losses (or presumed losses) are magick too.

You don’t need fixing.

Forget resolutions and any perfect offerings.
Ring the bells of cracks and confusion. Let them be heard, if only by your own heart.
That’s how the light gets in.
About Irisanya Moon
I’m a Witch. I’m a writer. I’m a priestess, teacher, drummer, feminist, and initiate in the Reclaiming tradition. I serve the gods, my community, and the Earth. I’ve called myself a Witch for nearly 20 years, and my life has been infused with magick. I am interested in shifting stories – the ones we tell ourselves and the ones that are told about us. I’m continuously inspired to engage as the storyteller and the story, the words and the spaces between. I am a devotee of Aphrodite, Hecate, the Norns, and Iris. I seek to find love and to inspire love by reminding us we are not alone, while also meeting myself at the crossroads, holding the threads of life, and bringing down messages from the gods. I am a Witch. You can read more about the author here.

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