3 Unconventional Witchcraft Tools To Enhance Your Practice

3 Unconventional Witchcraft Tools To Enhance Your Practice September 4, 2018

There’s a good chance that if you are a practicing pagan, witch, druid, polytheist, heathen, or any number of other descriptions for your spiritual and occult traditions, you’ve got tools. I mean really, who doesn’t love wielding a giant sword or burning stuff in a cauldron. I’ve got chalices and knives and stones and books and crystals and bags filled with herbs and even a whole cabinet dedicated to storing of said magical goodies. And, lest it go without being mentioned, I love my magical tools. I use my magical tools. Magical tools, as evidenced by their cleverly descriptive name, help me do the magical things I do.

And yet…There are tools I use that I didn’t make or find or buy from a shop that have proven themselves very effective over the years. I might even say, with just a touch of pagan heresy, more effective than all the other tools put together.

The Tools Of Humour – Or “Yes, I’ll Fuck you an Alpaca sweater!”

In a very broad sense, pagan-type folk take ourselves very seriously. And that’s perfectly okay most of the time. Pagans are often on the forefront of social changes and on the fringes of society and, as the saying goes “there be dragons”. Maybe we have an inferiority complex because we’re a “minor religious group” and rarely see Wiccan listed on official government forms. I don’t know what it is, but we’re often very serious. Lighten up pagan folk.

Humour is a wonderful thing. Humour relieves stress. Humour proves that for all of our ceremonial robes and social justice campaigns and much needed activism, we’re still human and poop jokes just never, ever get old. Self care is critically important for our mental health and two hours of watching Eddie Izzard is just what the doctor ordered. So break out your humour tools and yuck it up when ever you can.

About the Alpacas, because I know you’re curious. I sat up one night with a group of dear friends. We were drinking tea (a code name for whiskey and ginger beer) and hot chocolate (code for hot chocolate and whiskey). Magic was being discussed, issues of the day were being debated, goldfish crackers were being consumed by the handful and we were laughing. Laughing a lot. Laughing at each other, with each other, about our various magical communities, how we’d totally fucked up presentations or forgotten which direction North was, and just what’s the deal with Gerald Gardner’s hair anyway? And then, right behind us, two very amorous alpacas began, ahem, making the sweet love. I’m no expert on camelidae mating techniques but it seemed a pretty ho hum affair. Also, I promised I’d use the phrase “I’ll fuck you and alpaca sweater” in a blog post and we fell out of our chairs, snorted alcohol through our noses, and gasped for breath. Okay, maybe you needed to be there but it was fucking hilarious.

What does this have to do with magick? Well, this group of folk is rarely in the same place at the same time, outside of the internet. But here’s what I know to be true. We make each other laugh. We let our guards down and make silly jokes. We also care about each other deeply and have formed something like a “traveling coven” with various iterations of the personnel, and I’d trust every one of those folk to have my back if my back ever needed having. In some of the places I find myself, I’m called upon to be a priestesses, or counselor, folk share profound and heart wrenching stories with me, and I have to hold it all even when I want to run and hide and can’t hear anymore. Being able to let some of the hard stuff go is critical as is being around trusted friends who also carry what I carry. Humour is a pressure valve and a healing balm. Humour reminds me I’m human. Humour pierces the carefully curated social media personalities and allows me to be me, poop jokes and all. And being oneself is a radical magical act indeed.

The Tools Of Sacred Snark – Or I gotta say this to someone or my head will explode!

Closely related to humour is Sacred Snark. I have one or two friends that could teach PhD level courses on how to use the tools of Sacred Snark. So sharp is their wit that if you’re not careful they’ll bleed you out before you know you’ve been cut. Which, as it happens, is an interesting turn of phrase, because snarks older cousin, sarcasm literally comes to us from the Latin “to tear the flesh” . Being snarky can be mean and overly sarcastic and totally out of place when used poorly. And being snarky can be a high art form too because snark is often a great tool for cutting through bullshit!

Where does snark fit in your magical tool kit? Anywhere you or the folk you practice magic and need a reality check. C’mon, be real for a moment. Aren’t there situations where a well placed snarky comment pops the balloon of a blowhard, running their mouth for far too long at a ritual planning meeting? Have you ever been frustrated with your magical group and just have to say something about the situation before your head explodes? That’s where snark comes in. And, believe it or not, snark actually promotes creative problem solving because snarky and sarcastic comments often reveal a truth between two differing points of view that are generally understood by everyone but rarely spoken aloud.

The Tools Of Gossip – Or I told you they were a jerk!

There’s a big difference between gossiping about someone and talking absolute shite about someone. In this case, I’m defining gossip as sharing information that reveals something, typically of a personal nature, about a person’s character. Now before the comments section fills up with “gossip is harmful and has no place in community”, I’d submit that gossip does have it’s place and the good folks at Stanford University tend to agree with me. And yes, unchecked gossip can be hurtful and unfruitful, but that falls more into the category of rumour mongering.

Since the dawn of time, people have whispered over their meals that “Mike always fills his plate with the best meats, even though he only brings one measly bottle of beer to the potluck, and it’s cheap beer at that!” What’s revealed here is that Mike doesn’t share well and that might be a behaviour that Mike exhibits in other parts of his life too. If you know Mike doesn’t share his toys or his food equitably, what else might he be withholding?

I’ve been on the receiving end of gossip too, meaning, I’m the one being gossiped about. It’s not the greatest feeling in the world, but when it finally gets to me, I have the chance to reflect on how I’m being perceived and if there’s any validity to the gossip. If there is, I can change how I act or made amends. If the gossip is spurious and unfounded and I can find out where it came from or how the rumours got started, then I can speak up, call folks in or call folks out. I also know who’s got my back and who has put a target on my back. That’s helpful knowledge to have.

Magically speaking, gossip can be terrific protection magic too. Every Pagan festival or multi-day event you’ve ever attended has a well-oiled gossip machine that lets folk know who the jerk is, who has shitty boundaries, who doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, and who is an absolute delight in the bedroom!

There’s power when a small group of people share information. I’ve seen whole communities change for the better because someone shared a story with someone else, who corroborated what they’d heard and passed that info on to another person that had now heard the same story from seven other people, and finally decided to act.

So there you have it folks. Put the athame down and crack a snarky joke. It might just do you good!

 

 

 

 

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