Often I will have a friend or two who is very talented in Witchcraft vent about their problems and complain. It is often then that I will have to remind them that they’re witches, “You know you’re a witch, right?” Often we get stuck in a reactionary state of mind and forget to apply magick when it’s the most important. Adam Sartwell, co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft is attributed to a quote asking “Are you thinking like a witch?” This has become a personal mantra of mine along with “less bitching and more witching.” It can be easy to forget, which is why this mantra is so important to me. The other night after a few drinks with my friend Elizabeth Autumnalis. As I was walking her to her car I was venting about some of my current problems. She stopped me and asked, “You know you’re a witch, right? What are you doing about it?” I am blessed to have such great friends as mirrors.
For those who do not know magick as a reality, they will scoff at the idea stating, “You can’t wave a magick wand and fix everything.” This is completely true, but also an understanding amongst occultists as well. Magick isn’t about waving a wand or saying a few barbarous words to instantly fix something. Magick takes discipline and will power. Magick isn’t just about changing our lives or the external world, it’s about changing us as well on the inside. When we touch magick, it touches us. It’s impossible for it to not begin changing you in one way or another. Crowley writes that “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will.” Fortune is quoted as saying that, “Magick is the art of causing changes in consciousness in conformity with the Will.” I believe these are two halves of one truth.
The witch sees a door where others see a wall. We learn how to apply magick and recognize its ability to alter our outer reality. We learn how to embrace our sovereignty and to respond where others react. This isn’t a serenity prayer, stating “to accept the things I cannot change.” Quite the opposite, actually. It is a reminder that we always have the free will to change things, even if it’s our response. I had a yoga teacher once that told us that part of the reason we learn to relax in asanas that feel uncomfortable is that it’s practice for learning inner calmness when life is chaotic. I believe a similar line of thinking when it comes to “practicing” witchcraft and applying it to one’s life.
This is also not to say that one is responsible for what happens to them. This is not New Age victim-blaming. Sometimes life just happens. Sometimes the universe will throw shitty things at us, regardless of what we do or if we deserve it. Whether it has anything to do with karma or similar concepts is pointless. It’s what we do when life throws these things at us that is important. The witch is forged in the flames that destroy others. The witch finds the blessing in the curse. It is through adversarial forces that we are strengthened, gain wisdom, and find balance. Every circumstance is a crossroads to which we must respond. Sovereignty isn’t about having full dominion over the events of our lives. It’s about having dominion over ourselves, stewardship of our area of influence, and our ability to change things on a physical level, a mental level, and emotional level and a magickal level to be once again in alignment with our Higher Will when things are not.