Is Your Witchcraft A Crutch?

    by Carisa Holmes

    Do you panic if you accidentally leave the house without your favorite protective crystal?

    Do you think you need the perfect spell during the perfect moon phase to make positive changes in your life?

    Well, it may be that you are using your witchcraft as a crutch rather than a practice of empowerment.

    The “tools of the trade” of witchcraft are as widely varied as the witches that use them, and they can help facilitate the realization of our potential.

    However, we were never meant to give away our power to them.

    What Is Your Relationship to Tools?

    When we are first learning something or recovering from a bad fall, training wheels and crutches are helpful. However, when we use witchcraft or any tool or practice as a spiritual crutch for too long, we risk handing over our power to something outside of us.

    We can begin to believe that a crystal has more ability to fix our fucked up relationship than would owning our shit and speaking our truth.

    We cling to the hope that smudging our office can protect us from parasitic co-workers when what we need are better boundaries.

    We can get caught up worshipping plants, planets – and people – as if they are bigger and badder than we are.

    Believing that all the power is in the tool or the ritual is like telling your Higher Self that you don’t trust its connection to Source.

    It’s akin to believing your own light is inadequate, and that you need a bunch of other stuff around it to amplify its potency.

    And, it’s totally brushing aside the need to do your shadow work before you can work any kind of efficacious magic.

    Because, no, it was not the missing red candle that thwarted your spell, it was you, love.

    Many of us have come here to walk the poison path, to transmute tremendous darkness into dazzling light.

    With this path comes great responsibility, and making crystals or other tools responsible for your life results pulls you off the path of empowerment and into the vapid ‘burbs of Helpless Victimville.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love my crystals.

    I chew frankincense resin and burn copal. I wake up some mornings with an itch for ritual that must be scratched.

    I invoke deities and light up homemade incense before going into my studio to write and record music.

    But, I continually check myself and my relationship with my witchery, and I invite you to explore yours as well.

    Rather than act like a weak and basic witch, clutching your black tourmaline crystal as protection and pretending that you are not safe in this world without it, why not choose to integrate the power of that crystal into your inner toolbox?

    Instead of constantly concocting plant medicines to ease pain, anxiety or discomfort, why not ask the plants to help you sit with your shit, find the root and learn to love it, so that you can be truly free?

    Allies, not Saviors

    For me, spiritual tools like crystals are for teamwork and integration, not dependency. They are allies that symbolize things like protection and clarity, and allow me to focus more clearly on my intentions.

    When I make an altar, I know it’s a ritual that holds power, but not all power. I continually remind myself that I am, that I am.

    Witchcraft can help us become adept at intentionally wielding our power, living more authentically, and facing the darkest parts of ourselves with compassion and acceptance.

    And ultimately, I believe that the trappings and beliefs of witchcraft, like all good dogma, lead us to the eventual realization that we don’t need dogma.

    We are power incarnate, and we’re destined to live that truth.

    So I ask you; if witchcraft is about standing in our own power, what need have we for so many crutches?



    If this essay resonates with you, please join our WITCH email list by using the forms on this website so we can stay in touch.


    About the Author:

    Carisa Holmes is a singer/songwriter/producer, artist, novelist and Creativity Coach in the magical midwest. She believes artists are powerful magicians and loves nothing more than to sing, dance, and facilitate the birth of creative power in this world. Find her on Facebook and on her website at


    all images via Pixabay




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