It’s almost Election Day in the USA, and one thing I know about witches and magical practitioners in general is that they are passionate, involved in their local community if not the world, and caring. I include myself in this grouping, and from all my friends in this world, we are galvanized for action. Do they automatically go hand-in-hand, politics and magical practice? I would love to say yes, but each person is different and marches to the beat of their own drum. Some don’t believe in magic, some are disheartened, some lose their way in magical practice.
Here then, is my idea, and not a new one: Voting is ritual. Think of all the elements in your ritual, and apply them to your voting situation. The best part is, that this ritual is not limited to just voting It carries over into action, whether you are driving the elderly to the poll, sending messages or working a phone bank.
One of the many things I love about magical practitioners is how engaged they are. They are part of their world, take active interest, and they want things to happen. Some of the best people I know I have met in marches and protests. Yet these are part and parcel of regular life, you may think. No, not necessarily. I think those who are deeply spiritual and practice magic imbue their activism with magic. Here are a few ways this can happen, a few examples are below.
Imbuing magic into your activism: I never go to a protest or march without protection oil. I place it on my third eye, at the back of my neck, all my pulse points and on my chest, near my heart. This way I am protected coming and going, as I like to say. This protects me from all the negative energy that can happen if counter protesters show up, or there is some undercurrent of anger in the crowd. This helps me mentally, and the physical act of doing so makes me feel like armor is strapped on. Before I go into any crowd, I offer up words of gratitude and protection for the groups of people. So far, so good!
Mundane tasks can be ritual: I helped a friend write endless postcards for a candidate. Each one got a few special words said over them, and a symbol I traced as I signed each one. Will it help change their mind? I’m all for free will, but I do believe the extra dollop of magical intent was passed on to the recipient. Apply this concept to anything else you may do, whether it be calling people to urge them to vote, envisioning protection around your elderly friends that you take to the polls, or even saying a quick few words over emails you send. What matters is the intent: the Universe and deities hear what you say clearly, so make sure you are very clear in your intent.Promoting what you love, instead of bashing what you hate: This was the most profound of lessons I learned. So much energy can be wasted, pushing against an immovable force. How different is the energy from a pro-peace rally to an anti-war one? Even the words themselves conveys the energy. Also, model what you love. If you engage in endless circular arguments, it does no good. Model the kind of world you want to be in (accepting, progressive, whatever it may be), then more people might be more swayed to follow your example.
Voting as ritual: Voting is a privilege, and is not always guaranteed. If you are fond of history, think of how many places you know where voting is not even allowed. Freedom is a big part of magic, so can you imagine not having the freedom to cast your vote? Many are disillusioned, feel like it won’t make a difference, but it can. One vote can change the outcome. Think of the famous headline for Harry Truman when he won, but the newspapers predicted and printed that his opponent won. Keep that mantra in mind, and even say it to yourself as your vote. Prepare for voting as you do any ritual. Don your gear, your protective jewelry, your oils. Light a candle and meditate before you head out to the polls. Call in your deities for guidance if needed. Move in the four directions, thinking about all the elements and how they are part of this world we need to protect from those who want to do it harm. Then, with purpose, go vote. Trace a sigil on your ballot, offer words of protection and guidance as you wait in line to vote.
Then go do it: VOTE. Know that your activism doesn’t end or even begin with voting. Make sure your friends vote. Post encouragement on your social media. When Election Day is over, your magic doesn’t end. The work continues. May your voting experience be magical, and if you participated in early voting, go grab your sticker, and send out encouragement that others participate in this vital act. So mote it be!