Inspiration comes from the oddest of places sometimes. Then again, the universe speaks in mysterious ways. You just have to be able to listen.
There was a less than stellar piece of writing posted on the internet concerning Witchcraft (such a rare occurrence right? Ha!) masquerading as a book review and naturally folks have lots of opinions and feels about it. There’s some thought-provoking responses from my fellow Patheos Pagan bloggers – such as:
– By Athame & Stang: “I Spent a Week Becoming A Witch: A Saga of Arrogant Bitterness”
– Aine Llewellyn’s “Are We Too Judgmental?”
as well as an editorial from Manny at The Wild Hunt
(I’m not going to link to the original piece at the Independent, so if you want to find it, give some traffic to the community folks above first)
Heck, I have at least a dozen snarky quirps about it myself. But instead of talking about the content quality, mental state, or motives of the writer, I want to talk about one sentence that stuck out at me. Ms. Radford wrote: “No matter how many spells we cast to ask the universe for help, the universe isn’t listening.”
The first part I’ll get to in a minute, but it’s that second part that stood out to me: “the universe isn’t listening.” My brain instantly fired back, “Maybe that’s because it’s not the universe’s job to listen – it’s ours.” Really. As I’ve talked about in the Secrets of the Uncommon Witch, Witches listen. And “when we speak, we don’t do it to hear ourselves talk. We don’t waste breath. Rather we speak to guide and instruct, to make a difference when it is within our power to do so. We know our words hold power.” But we must be able to listen first.Listen, Listen Quickly*...
Having a conversation with the universe is part of my daily existence as a Witch. But I don’t think that’s some secret power – it’s part of a path that seeks to immerse and see myself as part of the universe, instead of separate from it. We are part of the divine – the divine is not separate from us. We are all interwoven threads, and we are constantly weaving patterns. Everything is connected. We find the ability to know the patterns and change them with our will through observing and listening, not asking someone else to do the work for us.
Which gets us to magic and in particular spells. Spellcraft, to me, is not petitioning the universe, gods, spirits, etc for change. It’s not someone else’s job to create change in our lives and our wold – it’s ours. We initiate the change – and we might seek some help from our friends, but ultimately the responsibility is ours. It’s up to us to do the work, so who are we asking anyway but ourselves?
Not that speaking isn’t important, or knowing how and when to ask for help from anyone is out of the question. Pulling in more threads when the time is right can be very powerful. But if we endlessly jabber on without listening, what power can our words have when we do choose to use them?
If you listen to the universe, you’ll know the answer to that.
How Will I Know*...
You might be wondering, how do I know the universe is speaking to me? Is it going to use a speaker or billboards? Will it interrupt your regular programming to bring you a special news announcement? Sometimes yes, especially if you missed the first 20 texts and 4 voicemails. But if you’ve been a Witch more than week, you know that it prefers to speak in whispers, nudges, and occasionally through random blog posts. Learning to listen is an ever-evolving process that you’ll refine over your whole life. Wisdom comes in silence and seeing.
But I will warn you – the universe does occasionally speak in dad jokes, easter eggs, and other surprising formats. Still worth a listen though!