by Joy KMT

    Magic is intimacy with the universe. It is what happens in the moment where you decide to let the tips of your toes leave the bottom of the shallow water and move into the unknown.

    For all of us, but particularly for marginalized people, the consistent act of unbinding is the key to liberation, both individually and collectively.

    The first step to accessing your magic, to letting yourself leave the shallow and unbind yourself is getting off the self improvement mill.

    I like ritual as much as the next person, and tools are great to access your magic, but all magic stems from your intimacy with yourself and by extension the universe.

    If you want to sing better, take singing lessons, if you want to access other planes of reality, practice your sex magic, but if you ever really want to be yourself, get off the self-improvement mill. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

    I’m tryna tell you inside your soul is the wildest  and wickedest miracle of creation waiting for you to remember. The function of oppression and trauma is to erase the memory of the miracle of who you are.

    We have been caught up in a very strange understanding that there is something other than who we are that we are destined to be. This reality is consistently reinforced by violence. We keep trying to get back to a garden we exiled ourselves from. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

    Be a holy roller for yourself. Be your own best lover. Learn the curves of your shadows and the bite of your teeth and the song in your soul. Unbind yourself.

    How can you be a better you if you’ve never met who you are with compassion and love? Not on some fluffy shit that’s perpetuated all over the place where folks cover up all of their self-loathing with a few memes of white girls dressed in fake indian headdresses and a rumi quote, or obscure their self-hatred under the guise of self-empowerment and politics. 

    I’m talking about opening the closet where you have stuffed the worst shit about who you are in and truly looking at it and loving yourself anyway in every fucking moment.

    I’m talking about lancing the wounds of all of the heartbreak you have endured festering under the surface and allowing the light of god to touch those places that you have hidden even from yourself. I’m talking about the worst shit that ever fucking happened to you and still daring to dream and hope and be and fucking thrive because of who you are and not in spite of it.

    I’m talking about feeling all of the hopelessness, the inadequacy, the fear, the unreadiness and fucking leaping into who you be anyway- not in a naive, eyes shut and lights off type of way, but in a full on, naked and eyes open ready to make love to the beast of you type of way. With your head and your heart and your hands and your work. 

    I’m talking about some fucking warrior ass boss ass shit.

    Loving yourself is a fierce and devotional practice.

    This world is tied up in the knots and lies of scarcity. Tied up in spasms of underservedness, of despair, of self-righteousness, of holding and hoarding the path to divine. Of not having enough,  of not doing enough, of not knowing enough, of never ever being enough. Of needing people to die more than we need people to live.

    This is a hexing that requires the liberation of each person on this earth- including you. This requires a radical commitment to unbinding your magic and loving yourself into reality. It requires a deep and everlasting intimacy with yourself and your universe.

    Underneath the lies of needing to be a better person, there you are. there you are bringing the light of god to the world. there you are making magic just by existing. there you are remembering yourself. there you are undoing knots of oppression and patterns of abuse and generational trauma. there you are bursting forth with the precious gift of you to the world. there you are.

    You don’t have to go it alone. If you ready to transmute some shit, hit me up. But this ain’t no feel good walk in the park panacea shit. This is the realest work you will ever do.

    I don’t do self-help. I am no life coach. I am not light and fluff. But if you need to radically transform the way you see yourself and the world, if you want to know how to save your own life, I’m the one. You can e-mail me at

    *quotes in italics from Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese

    About the Author:

    joykmt1Joy KMT is self-taught queer, black, femme, hood, poet, mother & lover. She works from the possibility of the personal to be collectively transformational. Her work often blends the magical with the reality of living at the crossroads of multiplicities. She is the producer of Her Voice: The Stories, Tales and Myths of Women of Color which premiered in the Sunstar Music Festival and Testify: A Black Womanhood Series. Her poetry has appeared in Check The Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Emcees and Poets, Amistad: Howard’s Literary Journal, Black Girl Dangerous, Blood Lotus, an Online Literary Journal, Backbone Poetry Journal, The Feminist Wire, Pluck! the Affrilachian Journal of Arts and Culture, Fledgling Rag, Near Kin: Words and Art inspired by Octavia Butler, and is forthcoming in Sugared Water. If you’re interested in working with her, you can email her at

    featured image: book cover for Wild Seed by Octavia Butler, art by Wayne Barlowe – source



    • 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 (7)

    • vedina

      Refreshing, raw and to the point! I LOVED this article. This is the kind of realness that will take us to the next level. Joy kmt, thank you. Xx

    • Nicole Francesca

      YES! FUCK YES!

      You’re outstanding, Joy. Thanks for this.


    • Asta

      Thank You!

    • Dana

      This is a wake-up call. I’m going to print this out and post it as a reminder.

    • Ravenna

      “Underneath the lies of needing to be a better person, there you are”

      This. Everyday.

      Thank you.

    • Sherry The Mystical Goddess

      Wonderful, thank you! :)

    • Shantala

      Heart broken open…

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