A confession that’s a bit painful to say:
Even though I run this magazine, I’ve kept over two decade’s worth of magical diaries, I’ve led large-scale public rituals, I’ve undergone intense initiations both formal and spontaneous, I teach courses on magic, I coach high-achieving magical people, I conduct an ongoing practice of meditation, divination, astrological research, offerings, dreamwork, spellwork…
… I regularly experience synchronous periods of High Strangeness of the kind that would knock Aleister Crowley’s smelly old socks off …
… still, from time-to-time a voice in my mind still tells me I’m “not really a witch.”
According to this voice, I’m just a boring jerk who fakes witchery for the internet.
The voice’s argument goes something like this:
“If you were really a witch you’d be
more into herbs
more covered in sigils
more into doing spellwork for others
more into conjuring spirits
more into entheogens
less into Buddhism
less into Jesus
more into channeling
less into business
less into social media
more into physical healing
more into performing
In other words, the voice has some rather bullying demands and would mostly prefer me to …. not be me.
And not be a Capricorn sun with a North Node in Gemini in the Second House. ;)
I mention this because I notice it’s a recurring theme in my interactions with clients and course participants: most everyone, including myself and some of the most obviously witchy people alive right now, can come up with reasons that they’re “not really a witch” and “not really that magical” and any occult work that they do “isn’t all that important or worth valuing with cash.”
When I believe this voice, it’s painful. It’s sad. It feels diminishing and deflating. It makes me want to get under my covers and watch Netflix compulsively while playing Tetris and taking occasional breaks to cry on the phone to my mother.
I’m taking a rest from my compulsive Netflix viewing today to remind all of us of one ever-important idea: our witchery does not consist in meeting anyone else’s ideas or images of witchhood.
Instead, our power consists in breaking the rule against being wholly, joyously ourselves.
Because when I’m listening to my heart and not to that mean voice, it’s very clear to me that a witch’s real power comes not from any specific aesthetic or mode of practice but from her own relationship with the taboo.
Namely, the taboo of fully approving of herself and all her most ecstatic enjoyment, including the enjoyment of stuff she “shouldn’t” enjoy.
To wildly love oneself and one’s life (including the very painful moments of it, a state of being called amor fati, the love of one’s fate) is the most taboo attitude in our culture and has been for over a thousand years.
It’s taboo because if you happen to get to the point where you say “fuck it” and really do it – not just give lip service to it as a nice ideal – you end up plucking out all the barbed bloody hooks of “not really a _____ (witch / leader / entrepreneur / artist / healer / diviner)” and “not good enough” that society does its damnedest to keep sunk into us.
And once you take out those barbed and bloody hooks, you’re a dangerous free agent, in touch with a power of enjoyment so intimidating that violent assholes have spent millennia trying to deny and suppress it.
So today I want to invite you to set aside whatever diminishing voice might play in your head about the quality and value of your witchery, and drop down instead into the effervescent, fluttery truth in you’re heart: you’re a witch.
And I’m so grateful that you’re here in this world being your weird, witchy, very particular self.
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