Do you truly value your work?
This weekend I gave a lecture at 2nd Star Festival in Florence, OR. Originally the idea was to give my "Visual Alchemy" lecture, which looks at the history and intersection of art and magick - but at the festival itself, there wasn't much description for attendees to read besides the time and "Tempest, artist/dancer", so I decided to go off the rails a bit, and hope no one complained that I wasn't dancing as I lectured.
2nd Star is a neat fledgling festival that is a cross-section of steampunk, fairies, pirates, mermaids, and other sorts of myth/creative folk - a little of everything fantasy. Just before I took the stage, the previous lecturer Josh Kinsey was answering a question about the title/use of the word maker. I think that seeded the field a bit for the direction I went.
I started off with my basic introduction of defining art and magick, showing some slides of various kinds of art from early civilizations. Then I talked about art that is temporary - such as sand paintings, and art that is long-lived (temples, henges, etc), yet they are linked by intent and both equally important. And then I talked (ranted) about the value of art in today's society.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of today's society does not recognize the importance and inherent value of art. Art is more than something that matches your couch and looks nice, or is tucked away in a museum. It's essential for human expression and well-being. It defines and advances civilizations, building cultures. It bridges the gap between different people and finds a common soul. It connects us and teaches us.
When you, as a maker/creator/artisan/artist/master of the ephemeral exist in a society that doesn't understand the value of art, you're most likely going to have a hard time valuing your work. When the artist doesn't value their work, then the society doesn't see value in the work or the worker for that matter. It's a vicious ouroboros.
So in my rant--err--lecture, I challenged the folks present to reconsider art as something that is integral to their lives, and especially to the creators present - to re-evaluate how they see their work. If you value your own work, then others in turn will start to see the value in it. It should be priced with respect to the quality of the work, the materials, the amount of time, and true market value - versus what you think others (especially yourself, your friends, etc) may pay for it. Nor does it matter if it's what you do for a living or as a hobby on the side, the effort and the result is the same.
Just the simple act of believing and acting on the sense of value of your work causes a shift - in yourself, as well as those who interact with your work. If you define magick as the art of changing consciousness in accordance with will - then valuing your work is also a form of magick. You see value in your work, your work will be empowered, and others will respond to that shift in value, and see it for themselves.
Success in the arts is never overnight. It doesn't come through one perfect connection, but rather years of hard work and dedication. However, that sparkle of success rarely comes without belief in one's work, and a dedication to value. Go forth and do some magick.
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
Do you truly value your work?
A mystic needn't be an academic to be a scholar. Why is this idea important? Some people create a magical, fulfilling life based in a non-academically-shaped worldview. We also might want to teach from such an orientation. Our cosmology can be as carefully constructed and extensively developed as any scientific understanding, but many would crush our power by insisting there is only one intelligent way to see, to learn, to study....
It's been a while, but I'm back again, lovely readers! I'm currently hard at work on my second book (amongst other projects, as you'll see below), but I will certainly continue to post here as and when I can. Comments and topic requests always welcome.
At this time of year, it's easy to understand why our ancestors (both actual and spiritual), those wise women and cunning men, were considered remote, unusual, untouchable, even fearsome.
As Autumn moves into Winter here in the UK, we feel our natural, animal pull to dig in, hibernate, take time within the darkness to assess the previous year and anticipate the time to come - but I doubt any busy society has ever really allowed that to happen, except when they have no choice. Stoke up the fire, head to the pub or communal house, light and laughter against the outside world.
(Photo - 'Autumn in the New Forest', from Glastonbury Goddess Temple)
Honey pots are used traditionally in Hoodoo to bring money to you and also to potentially sweeten someone towards you (such as an ex you’re trying to win back, your boss, a new love interest, the judge in a court case). I find honey pots to be an inexpensive “slow and steady” way to keep generating income.
I started to say you don’t need a strong background in Hoodoo to use a honey jar, but like all magical practices that depends on what you’re going to do with it. If you want to use it to draw money, that’s pretty basic and can be done by just about anyone. If you’re starting to get into sweetening specific people toward you (i.e. using it as an influencing tool) and potentially bending them to your will. . .Well, you better know what you’re doing, champ, because I’m sure as hell not going to help you out of a mess (and honey,that kind of work is called a messfor a reason). I am not at all opposed to using a honey jar for that purpose, but you need to really be able to assess your magical prowess accurately so that you know if you can really handle any kind of fallout that may come from your working (again, like with any other working) should it go wrong (and in some cases, should it go right!).
How to Make a Honey Jar to Attract Income
A small hinged-lidded glass jar
Honey (you can use other sweetners, dare I say even sweetners like Equal or Splenda but I always use honey, preferably local)
A pinch of Irish Moss (steady flow of money)
A pinch of Chamomile (to hold onto your money)
A pinch of Cinnamon (to attract money quickly, it’s a “heating” herb)
Small green taper candles
Money drawing oil
A small piece of paper bag
Matches (or a gas stove)
1. Write out your petition on your piece of paper bag. Write what you’re trying to draw to you (a new job, a raise, job security, a second income stream, paid artistic gigs, etc.) but make sure your pen doesn’t leave the page. Neatness doesn’t count here, continuity does. Fold it up tightly towards you (to bring the money towards you).
2. Put the petition paper in the jar. Put the herbs in the jar. Pour honey over the herbs and paper until your jar is full. Seal the jar.
3. Pray over your jar. Psalms are typically recommended, if that’s your bag rock out. If not figure out what is. (I usually pray/enchant/put my will into it and end it with “Please do this in the name of God Herself.”)
4. Etch into your candle your intent. It can be words, symbols, runes, again, whatever’s your bag. Dress your candle by putting a little bit of oil on it and rub the oil into the candle *towards* you.
5. If fire scares you, make sure your sink is cleared for this part. Put the honey jar into your cauldron or sink and light the candle. Melt a few drops onto the lid of your jar. Stick the candle onto the melted wax on top of your jar. I find it best to let it burn out in one go which is why I recommend small candles.
7. If you’re on the ball, repeat steps 3-5 weekly. If you’re a slag like myself, monthly has sufficed so far.
Witchcraft gets romanticized a whole lot. Just look at my picture of the Charmed sisters. They're off solving problems in mid drift tops living in a huge house, learning about love and sisterhood. My first reaction is much like yours, it can be summed up as sigh. But. If it wasn't for Charmed, my mother and I would be locked in the same stalemate we had been locked in since I was 22. Charmed made modern Witchcraft accessible to my mom and made her less afraid of whatever I was doing.
Romantic witchcraft isn't reserved for non-Pagans though. In Paganism, being able to be a career Witch/Occult Shop Owner/Pagan Writer/Special Shaman Who Talks to Ponies/Whatever has become the dreamy eyed ideal. And why shouldn't it be? There's enough of us now to actually support career minded people who want to support themselves off their Craft. I know a few people who I'm incredibly jealous of who are doing that very thing. It's not exactly a new concept, communities generally supported an occultist who lived on the fringe of society/in the weird house at the end of the block for ages....