It’s confession time.
My life has a lot less witchcraft in it than you’d think.
Often, I have to negotiate space for my Craft, and sometimes I just don’t feel particularly motivated. I get frustrated. I neglect my coven responsibilities. I find I’d rather think about non-Craft things. I feel unsatisfied. I feel exhausted when I get home after work, and just want to watch Netflix and drink wine. Sometimes, I don’t even realize I feel this way. Have you ever let days or weeks go by and then suddenly you realize that you’ve been avoiding something unconsciously? Or you’ve stopped doing something important, and you can’t really pinpoint a reason right away?
This sort of thing happens to me in my Craft periodically.
Granted, as a writer, part of my professional life revolves around witchcraft. I’m all over the Internet, writing blogs and making videos that are designed to help other people in their own practices, inspire an exchange of ideas, and build relationships beyond my own community. It sure does look like my life is all about witchcraft. And my writing does inform my own witchcraft. I’ve written before about how I think lots of activities could be witchcraft, depending on the intention behind them, but I don’t feel like that’s what I’m doing lately. I’m a Pagan writer, a high priestess, and a witch, but those things don’t overlap perfectly. I can focus on one of those things, and it’s easy to let the other two languish. The worst part is that I don’t even realize that’s what’s happening sometimes.
Writing a blog for Patheos every week doesn’t mean I’m doing more witchcraft or advancing in my personal practice. Being silent doesn’t mean I’m not.Spending lots of time developing my personal practice doesn’t mean I’m not also screwing up as a coven leader.
Being prolific on social media doesn’t mean I’m more religious or more dedicated or more qualified than anyone else. The only thing it means for sure is that I’m on a computer more.
And sometimes, I just have to shift my focus to other things. Work really does get in the way. Or maybe there’s an approaching deadline I have to be anxious about. Or maybe I just don’t feel well.
Other times, I’m an asshole. Or I’m ignorant about something. Or I’m selfish. Or I’m lazy.
I’ve never stopped just being human in all of this.
But I don’t, in fact, live in the witchcraft fantasyland that I sometimes appear to occupy on the Internet.
That doesn’t mean that I’m not devoted to my tradition or to my gods. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love my covenmates. That doesn’t mean I’m not learning.
But it’s too easy to make life sound perfect on the Internet, and I think that creates unrealistic expectations for readers and viewers (and even my own initiates, sometimes).
I’m also not unhappy that my life isn’t a witchcraft fastasyland. Sometimes I think we talk as though the rest of our lives are something to escape or pare down, and I don’t feel that way. I love my non-Pagan friends. I don’t need to be in witch space all the time. I don’t want to be a priestess every moment of my life. I’m a witch, but that’s not all I am. And that’s okay.