I got back from teaching magick last weekend.
I am always honored to hold a container for curiosity and exploration. And to find some places where I could take a closer look — other parts where I know I need to shift away from old patterns and stories.
Healing happens in community.
When I started teaching over a decade ago, I prepared so much for each class. I practiced what I would say, how I would say it, and what I would do if certain things came up.
I would ‘deliver’ a class and ensure it was everything I hoped it would be. And I would be completely exhausted and spent. I would do nothing but sleep and eat for days afterward.
I would have headaches and stomachaches and feel wrecked for weeks. (And I would often have to be back at work, so…that was challenging.)
Preparation is great. Teaching and facilitating are great. But it’s not just about the outline or the goals, or the curriculum.
I must take care of what happens after and how I will refill my cup.
Here’s what I think I’ve learned.
A Sustainable Magick
Maybe it’s age or time or something else, but I’ve learned I don’t facilitate and teach the way I used to. My old ways were modeled after my own learning, the model of doing as many exercises as possible during a weekend, then going home and spending time figuring out what the heck happened.
I learned a lot. I grew a lot. But I also started to equate ‘hard’ magick with ‘good’ magick. As someone with a story of ‘oh if it sucks, it’s worth doing because I will grow,’ this was a hard pattern to break.
I had to learn how to go slower, leave space for integration, and offer myself the story of something different. I wanted to learn with ease. Sure, there will still be discomfort, but it could be gentler. Really.
Slow the F Down
I start my work by focusing on a class that allows space to process and integrate. This means there aren’t a million exercises and lessons. This means we go slow and see what arises. Sometimes this requires a shift in direction, and sometimes, it means we finish a little early.
It doesn’t have to be HARD all the time.
I take breaks. We make time to eat. We make time to not talk about all of our feelings and questions. We laugh. We sit outside. We rest in silence. We go to the co-op for snacks.
Slow down. It is not a race to a destination. Magick is a journey of discovery. And, I hope, there is always more to uncover and explore.
If there is no endpoint, then why the rush?
Preparing for the Return from Magick
But this is not about breaking down my teaching methods (however, if you want to hear this, let me know). What I want to share is the process of how I integrate and settle back into what happens next and after.
Space – I normally try to leave a little space after teaching to settle back into my body, release the outline in my head, and transition back to who I have become. Even if this is a few extra hours at the airport, that works for me. Just me and me.
Eat – I need to eat a lot after magick. And it what I eat changes from time to time. Sometimes, it’s all about protein. Sometimes, I need salt. And sometimes, chocolate is the key to coming back to myself. I also drink a lot of water.
Cleanse – As soon as I can, I take a shower. I need this to come back into my body and to remove any lingering spiritual detritus that I may have picked up along the way. (And if you’re in this world, it’s everywhere.) When I’ve been gone for a few days, I will take all my clothes and immediately wash them. Again, I like to remove what is lingering and start fresh. Ideally, I will have cleaned my space ahead of time so I return to something clean too, but it doesn’t always happen.
Cats – This is very important, snuggle cats (or any animal, I guess) when returning from magick. They ground. They love. And they will listen to you for hours. My cats think I am the best Witch ever. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I also feed them.
The Point of all of This
The thing I want you to know is that magick is a moment, sure, but it’s also a moment within the context of your life. Taking care of yourself before and after is key to returning feeling restored and present.
And it is not a perfect process. This week, for example, I scheduled a bunch of things for when I got home, which was not the right call. They were great things, but I would do things differently the last time.
I wanted to linger in the magick a little longer. Rest a little more. Journal instead of going to meetings for a few more days. But I did. And they were great.
But I’m always learning.