Magick is not Therapy

Magick is not Therapy April 26, 2022

I love magick.

The magick I’ve done has allowed me to grow as a person, as a Witch, and as a being who is in relationships with others.

I have engaged with my shadows. I have interacted with godds.

I have made better decisions. I have created better patterns.

It has not made me effortlessly grounded and calm.

(Nothing will. It’s something I have to be very, very conscious of. It’s an ongoing practice of presence.)

I come to magick to learn more about myself. About the world. About the liminal.

But I also go to therapy.

Free image via Pixabay

Holding the Mind Too

I also love therapy. (Well, maybe not love, but appreciate and need.)

Magick is not the same.

While it’s true that many witches and magick makers are therapists (at least in my circles), the rituals we do are not a replacement for therapy. Even if it sometimes has to be.

(Insert a rant about how mental health services should be available to all, affordable, if not free, for all. There should be plenty of resources because being a human is HARD. Being in relationships can be tricky and shifty. Families are often problematic.)

Maybe I’m overthinking a pandemic (what?), but I have been wondering about what happens when I get together with others in magickal spaces again. What will it feel like? What will I want? What will I expect?

Whether as a teacher or facilitator or mentor or ‘just’ me, what about projections onto the magick or the ritualists?

What about projections that this camp/class/gathering will make everything better?

I wonder about this. I’ve seen it happen outside of the pandemic. In those delightful before times.

Whether intentional or not. Whether with self-awareness or not, I’ve watched folks become upset that a ritual or class didn’t hold them in the way they needed most.

I’ve totally done this. Many times.

I have had pangs of ‘why is this not fixed or better’ at the end of a class or camp. But those are places of exploration, the work is later.

Maybe with a journal. Or a therapist. Or within secure relationships.

Maybe time and perspective. Maybe you just grow a life around the questions instead of trying to answer them.

Maybe you find ways to settle and heal in your heart, so you don’t drip-drop past pain into present interactions.

The Conclusion?

I don’t have a conclusion. I have an incomplete thought that I’m sharing as I’m hopeful someone else has a thought I haven’t had yet. Or maybe other folks reading this want to know similar things.

I don’t think it’s about avoiding ritual. It is about being aware. No ritual is risk-free and no ritual is the right fit for everyone.

(They never have been.)

There is a balance, I think, between the responsibility of the ritual planners and the attendees.

As someone planning a ritual, I hope I have considered what I can imagine.

As someone attending a ritual, I know I am responsible for taking care of myself too.

Here’s my invitation:

Be gentle with yourself and others.

Allow yourself to be held inside and outside of the circle.

Find someone to ground with after magick.

Journal or draw or sing or scream or dance.

Recognize when you might need additional support. (SAMHSA is a free resource that can help get connected to resources. Or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you’re in that place.)

Also, if you’re reading this and you have thought about this, let me know. I think this is a long-reaching conversation to have.



About Irisanya Moon
I’m a Witch. I’m a writer. I’m a priestess, teacher, feminist, and initiate in the Reclaiming tradition, as well as deathcare worker. I serve the godds, my community, and the Earth. I’ve called myself a Witch for more than 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 godds. (I've also written some books. You can get them at my website.) You can read more about the author here.
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