I was in a roomful of mostly Druids (like you do?), when the realization hit me: holy crap – magic is a really large part of my life. Like fully-integrated, live, breathe, drink, eat thing. I’m covered in it as much as I’m covered in cat hair. (We have four cats now. I poured myself a hot cup of tea in a new mug today, and there was already a cat hair in the water immediately after pouring.)
That probably doesn’t surprise a lot of people – I write, talk, and do Witchcraft as a living in many different ways. But I still felt surprised. So I had to ponder and unpack that for a bit. My thoughts led to me to suspect a lot of practitioners are in the same boat.
Modern society doesn’t make a lot of room for real magic. Even if our parents crafted a very creative and fluid environment (I think mine did) – that’s not where the mysteries got stifled. Peer pressure, fear of being rejected or punished, lack of support – all of these things do it. The popular culture likes to relegate magic to fantasy, and only good for children. Because of this push, we often fight ourselves – our very real experiences of the world.
But if there’s one thing we shouldn’t grow out of, it is our belief of magic. Children see the world so clearly – visually, mentally, and emotionally. But as we get older, we are told we need to leave that behind. To see the world in concrete, hard-lined terms. But the world is actually organic, multi-layered, soft, shifting, luminous, covert, and full of liminality.
Let me ask you this: how many times have you wondered: “Was that thing that occurred a coincidence? Or did I make that happen? Did I know the thing, was it intuition, or just a lucky guess? Sure that was weird stuff going down, but maybe I just imagined it…” And so forth? I bet you have thought these things quite a few times over the years, and maybe still occasionally do.
Even if you start to accept that you really do have a metaphysical impact on yourself and the world around you, there’s still a lot of society-built mental barriers to overcome. As I have written in some of my books and probably multiple times here, I really don’t like the word magic (or magick, or any other variation). I feel the word is weighed down with centuries of baggage, and just really falls short of describing what I feel is meant by the word. But as I have also said, I’ll use it until I or someone else comes up with a better word that we can collectively agree upon. But that definitely means I’m holding the word at arm’s length, even if I embrace the concept.
Then there’s spells. My concept of spellcraft goes beyond the traditional recipe kind of workings…and I get frustrated with most common associations. One night at
Whiskey Witch Camp, my fellow Witchfolk were trading stories about love spells that went awry in their younger days. They were great stories, but I didn’t have one to share. Not that I could remember, probably because I did so few physical-evidence spells back then, and none for love. I didn’t feel like I had to – I often thought a thing and there it was – and that would get caught up in the same line of internal questioning I mentioned two paragraphs ago.
With all of that, it’s easy to get caught up into feeling that to be working magic, you have to be doing spells, rituals, and maybe making beautiful Instagram posts of your altar nonstop. And there’s NOTHING wrong with any of those things, but being of magic isn’t something you can see on the surface or on the Internet. It can’t be quantified so easily in physical terms. Living magic is like navigating the ocean – breathing in the salt air, feeling the water move around you, seeing the teeming life and death weaving patterns above and below you. You see how your body changes the shape of the water, the imprints your feet make, the taste of it all on your lips while the waves kisses your skin.
Being covered in magic means listening within and without – to yourself and the world. It means you trust your intuition, observe and respect the world and others. It affects how you see the world, how you eat, rest, and play. You accept and acknowledge your own power, living your words. (Sometimes for better or for worse…because living magic doesn’t mean you’re perfect!). We need to fall back in love with the world around us, seeing beyond the concrete barriers and tunnel vision to its true beauty.
I believe that once you’ve come to accept and understand this feeling of magic, it can never really go away. We may push it down, try to stuff it in a box, but there’s no way to contain it. It stays with you, determined, relentless, and invading all aspects of your life.
Just like cat hair.