A journey through the hands of a maker of magical items, discovering not only the secrets of Sacred art, but also the history and preservation of disappearing forms of Artisan work.
Living The Path: Sacred Acts Everyone Can Perform
One of the questions I get asked more often from our customers is “I want to have a Spiritual Path – how do I start?” - well, the answer couldn't be simpler: Living It Every Single Day. Entwining your everyday life with a set of regular devotional practises will gradually increase and empower your energy, connect you with the energies and entities around you, ground you, and build the Personal Power you will need to have efficient results on more demanding practises like Spell Work.
There is something I would like to explain before we go on with the practises – while I am practising my path every single moment of the day, I do not live surrounded by Pagans and I do not speak of my path unless someone asks me. While clearly I am not in the broom closet, I am a very private person, and the Canary Islands is a place where 99% of the population are Roman Catholics – not extremely devoted Catholics, but certainly people who still cringe at the word Witch. The social stigma of what I do has caused rejection, misunderstandings, prejudice, ridicule and fear in my life.
I use all of these practises in my daily life, and I don't consider them to be below the more obvious magical practises like Spirit Work - actually, one of the heaviest prejudices most beginners have is that there is a difference between Life and Path. There isn't – you life and your path should be one and the same. Even if I never performed another spell in my entire life, just by keeping these simple practises I would still be a Witch, and I will still be connected to Spirit just the same.
Let me give you a very clear example of this - the woman whom is today my best friend and sister is a Witch, and has been my apprentice for eight years; a very informal apprentice I have to say, because our personal relationship has always been way more important than our magical one. When I met her, she asked me repeatedly to teach her Magic (and for that, she meant spells) and I always said NO. Of course, this frustrated her very much, but since as I said our personal relationship was absolutely wonderful, eventually she accepted it and stopped asking for it.
How can you say that she was your apprentice, then? - you may ask. Well, because what I tried to teach her was to be more compassionate, more aware, more open, more receptive, less judging, less negative, more responsible, more self-sufficient. Because, in my opinion, THAT is what makes a Witch. Her personal choices about making spells (or not), or about which pantheon to worship (if any), are not my business and do not matter at all to me. What mattered to me was that the wonderful, empowered, magical woman I saw in her could bloom completely and leave self-inflicted pain, bitterness and negativity behind.
And, what happened was that, almost without noticing it, and without teaching her more than a few simple spells for specific situations, and certainly not more complex spells than the ones you can find at my blog, she actually became a Witch. She started connecting with her environment deeply and fully; she showed compassion and balance when no-one around her had it; she faced her demons and conquered them; she became one with Spirit. She has found her own way to her own magic, her own voice, her own unique path – HER OWN. And now, no-one can take that away from her.
There was another reason to write this article - all the practises presented in it can be performed by Pagans who are in the broom closet. You can have a constant and active practise even in the more hostile of environments, because none of the ones you will read after this introduction requires you to be chanting spells or wearing cloaks - not that there is anything wrong with chanting spells or wearing cloaks, but not everyone has the understanding of family and/or friends, and many Pagans, specially those with children, have to leave their faith aside in order to keep the peace at home.
Making Tea – Have you ever seen a Japanese Tea Ceremony? If not, I strongly recommend you google it or look for it on YouTube. Heating water and adding tea or herbs to it is something that can be done every day, among every kind of people, even at the workplace; and no-one has to know that you have Blessed the Water, or that you are honouring your ally plant Spirits as you brew it. If you serve it to others, cast a silent Blessing over the tea before serving it.
Bathing/Swimming – either in your own bathtub, or at the sea/river/lake, submerging yourself in water is an extremely powerful magical act. Before entering the water, thank the Water Spirits; when you are in it, visualize how it cleanses you and fills you with energy; as you leave it, thank the Water Spirits for taking your negative energy and cleansing you.
Using The Symbolism Of Numbers And Colours – wearing the colours of your patron Deity/Spirit, choosing a specific number of elements to adorn your work table, or painting your room, can also be very powerful allies, specially to keep your energy aligned with a particular Spirit.
Leaving Hidden Offerings – the whole world is your altar, and you don't need to have one at home (unless you want to, of course). My husband, for example, always carries a small purse filled with pennies on his backpack, and leaves them at crossroads here and there as he does his daily errands; I collect the candies that the local cafeteria gives with every tea, and when I have a handful I take them to an abandoned cemetery for the people buried there. Even feeding the birds at your local park can be an offering to Bird Spirits/Deities.
Meditation And Prayer – you can meditate and/or pray absolutely everywhere – on your way to work, as you walk the dog, while you wait for your children in the car, when you take a break from work/study – and no-one has to know you're doing it.
Connecting With A Place Of Power – even in the most urban environment, there must be a place that you feel attracted to, where you feel a special, empowering energy. USE it regularly as a way to refocus, ground and recharge your energies, as often as you can/want.
Eating And Shopping Consciously – you are what you eat, and your energy and power depend on that more than you can imagine. Even with the most limited budget (and I know that well, because that is my own budget) you can still make choices, and do your best to improve that choices gradually. Eating locally, seasonally and frugally is not nearly as expensive as they make you think, and your body and mind will change to levels you have never experienced.
Work With Your Hands – spinning, knitting, making jewelry, painting, collage, journalling, woodworking, carpentry, and even less (allegedly) glamorous works like home repairs are a more powerful tool for a Witch than you could think. The creative process, applied to any skill, will not only release many emotions, but it can also be efficiently used to map your insecurities, fears, and of course your strengths. Use your hands as the wonderful tools they are for manifestation work by creating beauty and usefulness.
Plant Stuff – at your home or outdoors (as in guerrilla gardening, for example), gardening is a tremendously empowering experience at all levels. My advice is to start with easy to grow herbs like Basil (or your local equivalent) and get seedlings from your farmer's market instead of growing herbs from seed, which is much more difficult. Plant Spirits teach us, transform us, heal us and protect us.
Move Yourself – walk, dance, sing, have sex, run, play sports. Your Spirit and its energy depend on the amount of healthy exercise you make more than you could think. Just as with eating in a more conscious way, any kind of exercise you do, no matter your age or physical state, will empower you and connect your energy with Spirit. This is not about weight loss goals, or about killing yourself – quite the opposite; this is about loving and honouring your body to increase its ability to become a receptor and transmitter of Healing.
GIVE – whether it is just listening to someone in distress and giving advice, or volunteering at your chosen charity, the sacrifice of your time and energy is a tremendously powerful magical tool; as you compassion is put into action, you will be performing a spell of self-Blessing, attracting beneficial energy and entities your way.
This Article was originally published in my newsletter, which you can subsbribe here.
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