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 primal

    more visual

    more motherly

    more into herbs

    more undercover

    more covered in sigils

    less bookish

    less writerly

    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.



    image: Sarah Eisenlohr, found on Lone Wolf


    • Dr. Carolyn Elliott is the founder of WITCH magazine & is known for her uncanny and uncomfortable ability to trick really smart, high-achieving magical people into doing the things that they actually want to do. She’s the teacher of life-altering online courses, including INFLUENCE, FORCE OF NATURE, MONEY, and EARTH. Carolyn is the author of the cult-favorite creativity book, Awaken Your GeniusAwaken Your Genius: A Seven-Step Guide to Uncovering Your Creativity and Manifesting Your Dreams... ... and the upcoming Existential Kink: A handbook of life-altering magic. She runs a multi-6-figure online business specializing in helping people achieve dramatic positive change in their lives through shadow integration practices and applied occult philosophy.

    • Show Comments (2)

    • Justine

      Powerful words of an evolved Capricorn!!

    • Chanel

      If we all were the same, how boring we would be. Everyone has their own gift or gift’s, self-doubt is that little voice in our head that was ingrained into us as we were growing up. As I was coming into my own, I had a little southern baptist preacher, stomping back and forth in my head telling me how wrong it all was. Occasionally I question myself, but it’s usually when I have put other things before my practice or allowed the world, work and people to aggravate me to the point I feel I no longer have control. As I make my way into Crone stage I now make more time for myself and my “witchy” needs and I always go to nature to heal.

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