Dear New Witches: It Will All Make Sense Later
Today's post is brought to you by Siobhan Johnson from www.siobhanjohnson.com. I hope her advice and insight about life an witchcraft brings you both comfort and understanding.
The best thing about a long witchcraft practice is that you will look back in a few years and notice how it all makes sense in hindsight.
Dear beginners: you will bounce around a lot, make progress in one area of your life and lose progress in another. You will have so many weird happenings in a week that you’re crying and wishing the rollercoaster would stop, and months of boredom where wandering into a graveyard at midnight with a Ouija board looks tempting.
This is all okay, and it will make sense later.
The thing about witchcraft as a practice is that it requires you to do deep inner work in order to affect change in the outside world, and it requires you to do deep work in the outer world to effect change in your inner world.
As above, so below. As within, so without. These seem like platitudes or truisms for your first few years, and you’ll probably get really pissy with these ideas too. The thing is, there’s a difference between knowing something is true, and understanding it.
My journey into witchcraft started the same way as many others. My life was shit, and I had run out of mundane things to do about it. I’d been given a deep Wound at some point in my early years as well. My memory of my childhood and adolescence is foggy at best, and it is hard for me to pinpoint whether my mental illness was the Wound, or whether the bullying and sexual assault was the Wound, and the mental illness it caused merely side effects.
Who knows. And at this point, who cares. The point is, any magic worker worth their salt has some kind of tragic backstory. It’s the Wounded Healer archetype. Your Wound might not be something that happened to you - it could be the loss of a family member before their time, too. But near death experiences, rapes, parental abuse - the story is the same throughout history and across cultures. Some cultures even do dangerous rituals that deliberately place you in danger so that you can gain these magical skills in order to pick their Shamans.
Yet others recognise these things as they occur, and hustle the (usually) child off to learn how it’s done. Even in other cultures that don’t do this (like the West), you look at any magical person from any religion who truly did something worthwhile or amazing for bad or for good, and something in their life will have wounded them deeply.
I mention this because I see a lot of people worried that their magic will leave them because they've been hurt, or that they must heal any kind of hurt before possibly beginning down a magical path.
The exact opposite is true.
It will make sense later.
What does this mean for magic? It means that your magic comes from the deepest, wildest, rawest part of you that most of us refuse to see. It takes a wound to shock us awake from the sleep that most of society finds itself in.
It’s like that old frogs in boiling water thing. It you put a frog in boiling water, it jumps out. If you put a frog in water and slowly heat it, it dies. Slowly. But it never tries to escape.
Congratulations! You’ve been been dumped in the boiling water of life and the shock of it has allowed your eyes to clear and see the world for the frankly, frightening place that it is.
It hurts to be awake. The light is too bright, and it helpfully shines on all the things we want to ignore. But you can’t ever go back to sleep. Not fully. You can tuck yourself up in bed but there’ll always be something lurking around, this knowledge that you’ve seen into the Universe and that there is something more than this. You won’t ever be fully comfortable with the life you knew before. It’s like losing a bit of weight so that you’re clothes no longer fit right, but they fit just enough that you keep wearing them, ignoring how uncomfortable you are because that dress is just so cute, damnit.
You can try and live your life knowing that magic is real and take comfort it the Universe, but resting assured that the true magic, the one that changes everything, the one you’re afraid of, that happens to other people.
But the truth is that you are now Other People.
Whether your wound was not your fault, or whether you fooled around with cards and crystals and candles until Something spoke to you, you’re here now. You’ve arrived. And you can close your eyes, but you can never go back to sleep.
So what now?
I’ve accepted that magic will happen to me, and I accept that I have magic, so what do I do with it?
Start with your base needs first. We are animals, after all, and cannot begin spiritual ascension when we are cold and hungry and scared.
Spiritual fasting is spiritual because of the sacrifice involved. There is no sacrifice in poverty, only suffering.
I made this mistake when I first started. I did rituals to help those involved in major humanitarian crises, when some days I could barely get out of bed to go to school. I started blogging and teaching because I thought that I was doing fine, that I had so much, when others had so little.
If you’re reading this, your lot is probably a lot better than everyone else on the planet. However, the fact that you are reading this tells me there’s some, maybe many, base needs in you that aren’t being met.
Witchcraft is a trick of the fallen. It is used all over the world by poor people, by slaves, by the sick and the scared, by whores and wives and women with no other options.
And now in 2018 some people makes other feel bad for using witchcraft for personal gain. Personal gain is, quite literally, the purpose of witchcraft.
Magic as a whole has many effects and purposes from the base to highest spirituality. Witchcraft as a practice is raw and animal. It blends neatly into things like ceremonial magic which tend to have higher purposes, but demanding Spirits do your bidding with the aid of a bunch of burning herbs is a low thing to do.
And it is glorious.
Over the years, I’ve found the best spells are simple, with concrete evidence that they have worked. But, you must follow along the path created by the spell with an eye on yourself. Most spells will tear you apart inside and remake you into the person that receives the events that you desire. Fail to do this and the whole thing comes screeching to a halt.
You can’t ask for something from the Universe and refuse it at the same time. No is always stronger than Yes.
It will all make sense later.
You will never understood just how much power you have, because you spend it all on yourself. One part of you keeps you stuck and would pull you under, but the other part of you fights it back halfway. So you just stay stuck in the middle - nothing really gets better, but you always seem to avoid the worst.
The realization that I was the architect of most of my problems, and most of my successes was the most heartbreaking thing that I’ve ever experienced. If you ever heard the term ego death before, please take it literally. It hurts.
Being remade from the outside in and the inside out is a whirlwind, but as the dust begins to settle and the money and the love and sex and the power rolls in, then you know it is all worth it.
The only thing standing in your way is the person that you think you are.
So kill them.
It will all make sense later.
Siobhan Johnson is a traditional witch, from Greater Manchester, UK. She's all about taking traditional methods and modernising them, without losing what made them special in the first place. Her witchcraft is all about getting physical, practical results to build the life that you want. If you like what you see here and want to stay in touch with Siobhan make sure you head over to her website and sign up to receive five free spells, sent daily straight to your inbox.
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