Being a happy Witch may seem like a contradiction for many who buy into a brooding stereotype, but I have no qualms about it. It’s taken me a long time to get here with a lot of hard work. It’s all about breaking cycles.
In a previous life (technically still this one, but different chapter), I would travel to various parts of the world for work, by myself. Those travels would frequently create a difficult conundrum, a symptom of the relationship I was in. While I was away, I had to check in with the person I was married to, every night or he would freak out. If I said I was having a good time, then it meant I didn’t love him enough. If I said I wasn’t having a good time, I was told I should be.
It created a virtual anxiety ourobouros, as I traveled A LOT – and I was the primary breadwinner as well. So I couldn’t stop traveling to end the cycle. The same anxiety applied to our finances and pretty much everything else: it was like being a zombie hamster on the wheel of life.
What does this have to do with witchcraft and happiness? A lot actually. Over the last week while on tour, I got to thinking about what worked so easily now, and how it all came to be. I thought it may be useful for others as well.
I’ve been reading Tarot cards now for over 21 years (my divination self is old enough to drink – and it should!) and a system I learned early on from one my mentors is how to consider numbers in correlation to the suits. It’s helpful across any deck, and then you can apply more information from the cards themselves. In this system, 5 represents cycles, and more specifically, self-defeating habits we need to break ourselves free from in order to move on to 6. It can be emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual things we do to ourselves, or allow to keep happening.
I spent 15 years in that situation – being worn down emotionally, mentally, spiritually – and starting to see the physical effects as I moved into the 4th “5”. That’s when I choose to break the cycle. It was probably the scariest thing I have ever done, and the biggest risk, but I’m still here. Interestingly enough, if we look to the Major Arcana – 15 is often the Devil card. When we draw this card, we’re often letting our own fears and devices hold us hostage, and that we’re suppressing our better instincts. With 16, the Tower, just over the horizon, something’s got to break, but the Star (17) reminds us of the future. Also, if we go back to the Hierophant (#5 in the Major Arcana), there’s an undercurrent of learning lessons and figuring out when to break from them.
But really, witchcraft. If we look at magick as the focusing of intent in accordance with will to bring about change in ourselves and environment, then our mentality is essential to breaking cycles and creating change. I’m not going to espouse “positive thinking” – but I do believe if we fixate on something, we can attract it to us – for better or for worse. I don’t believe in the “threefold law of return” but I certainly have seen the “multiplicity of attraction” in action. If you expect the thing or see the thing everywhere, it probably will manifest. Especially if you’re already good at visualizing.
1) Acknowledge the cycle. If you’re seeing the same pattern – in your job, your relationship, health, etc – it’s time to step back and look at the larger circle.
2) Hold up a mirror. It’s easy to blame everyone else for your stuck-in-cycleness, but you’re the common factor here. What is it about you that needs to change?
3) Manifest a new mentality. This is the hardest part. If you can identify what you’ve been negatively attracting to yourself, then it’s time to focus on the other end – both logically and metaphysically. This is not a one night, one spell kind of deal. This is a daily application of antidote that rarely tastes good to begin with.
4) Bind the can’ts, uproot the weeds. Remember, you’re often your biggest obstacle to change. What are you saying “no” to? Or constantly saying “yes” to that traps you in the cycle? If there’s a habit that you keep engaging, time to bind that aspect of yourself until it’s ready to change. Or if you keep seeding your life with people who are invasive like weeds, time to get out the weed whacker.
5) Go Widdershins Witch. You need to consciously make a choice to shift the tide, to go into a new direction. There may be risk, but how much are you already losing in the cycle as it is? It’s sunk cost, let it go.
6) Raise It. Put energy into the new direction, full force. As much as you believed in the currents that stuck you in the cycle, you need to invest as much energy in the shift. Witchcraft isn’t for the timid anyway, so you shouldn’t be half-assing anything if you want real change.
I’m not saying my life is perfect and that all of my problems have been solved – or that it happened overnight. Or that shitty things will stop happening to you (or me). That’s not the nature of this life. But I AM a lot happier since breaking those major cycles I was caught in – and it’s much easier to change the current as I see fit. When crappy stuff does happen, I’m able to adapt and overcome it faster. It’s the difference of being on an inflatable donut on a lazy river at a boardwalk attraction, and being the captain of my own boat on whatever body of water I choose to sail on. I’m a better artist, witch, dancer, partner, and general human being because of it. And I’m far more open to new opportunities to take me to new places because of it.