I'm a witch; it's one of the many terms I use to describe my religious and spiritual nature. For me being a witch is inextricably connected to being a practitioner of magick and communing with spirits both great and small. I also identify as Pagan, a Polytheist, a Wiccan, a magician, and a whole list of other terms that is longer than is needed for the purpose of this blog. I'd like to talk about the reality of magick and of nonphysical beings. Rather than engage in debate about the terms, the tenets, or the tribulations of the various communities that are wrestling with these topics, I will speak from my direct experience of them. I've had many spiritual and overtly supernatural experiences. I have selected a few of them, that from my perspective, are all the proof that I need for myself. These vignettes are brief but I hope that they contain enough detail for you to understand why I considered them a confirmation of my sense of the universe.
Belief is a powerful tool in magic, and in spirituality in general. Belief is a funnel for attention and intention. Whether you believe in something because you genuinely believe in it or believe in it for the sake of something you are trying to achieve, belief has a purpose in magical work. I find the following passage to be illustrative of the importance of belief in magical work:
Be it noted that we do not have to believe or disbelieve in the actuality of such inner agencies per se. what we must believe in is the possibility they exist in their own state of being, yet are capable of interaction with ours by unspecified means or degrees...We need not believe in 'spirit' unless we want to, but we positively must believe in our capability of living and behaving as if the energies available to such entities might be employed on our behalf. From Exorcizing the Tree of Evil by William G. Gray
Into every life a little rain must fall, but I’d really rather not have it fall on the inside of my house.
After months of abnormally dry weather, the Pacific Northwest finally got some much needed rain to soothe our parched soil and lay the terrible wildfires to rest. While I am tremendously glad the rains have finally returned and the weather has cooled off, I am less happy that my house has decided it no longer remembers that water should stay on the outside of it. Oh yes, the other day I came home to an unwelcome drip on the inside of my office window. For some people this type of situation is an excuses to get out the old home improvement tools and get to work. I am not that type of a person; sadly, neither is my husband. We are not “handy.” We can configure a router or draft a contract, but sadly we are totally lost when it comes to home repair.
In my perfect world some kindly elves or a wandering contractor would hear my distress and immediately materialize out of the ether to fix my house free of charge. Sadly, that’s just not the way things work. It’s going to be a little while before we can get someone out here to look at the leak. *sigh* In the meantime I figured I’d give my house a little extra energetic love with a fortification spell and, being me, I gave it a pop culture twist.
Pop Culture House Fortification Spell
Light a gold or green candle and say the following:
I work this night to protect and fortify my house. I call upon the might and fortitude one hundred television carpenters and contractors. I call upon the energy and enthusiasm of home improvement networks: Home and Garden and DIY channels. I call upon the expertise and expert execution of Bob Villa and Norm Abrams. Be with me this night. Let your energy flow through my house stopping leaks, arresting decay, holding things together. Let my house hold fast until I can get your physical brethren to come and conduct repairs. My house will weather the storm. The wind will huff and will puff but won’t blow my house down. My house will see the rains come and go undamaged. This old house will stand tall and proud. So be it.
I assume you want to be happy! I assume you want to live the best life you can possibly live. Then, why do you feel guilty about using Magick to manifest this?
It’s okay, you are not alone. Using Magick to gain wealth, prosperity, abundance, and happiness in one’s life is an area where many new and experienced Magicians struggle to justify. How dare you ask the universe for happiness and the means to live a good life!
STOP! Stop, making yourself feel guilty for using Magick to your advantage.
A lot of people have been asking me how I got into pop culture magick of late. It’s a difficult question to answer because it’s always been a part of my magickal practice. When I was a little girl I remember imagining Rainbow Brite protecting me from thunderstorms and nightmares. When I was a teenager I would “talk” to Hamlet and Horatio when I felt misunderstood and needed guidance. So even before I knew what real magick was, I was doing bits and pieces of pop culture magick. I suppose the first time I intentionally did pop culture magick, though I didn’t call it that at the time, was when I first started working with the elements.
For my use of pop culture magick to really make sense you’ll need a little context. I grew up in a household where hiking and enjoying nature were valued side by side with science and engineering. I remember meandering through woodland trails in the North Cascades while talking to my Dad about NASA, Star Trek, and fairy tales interchangeably. My love of mountains and general geekery were born and nurtured at the same time and in largely the same way, so they’ve always been intertwined in my mind. For me, there’s never really been a separation between the magicks of nature and the realities of the mundane world.
When I was a kid, I loved picking up the bright red seeds that littered the ground each fall. I was used to seeds being various shades of brown or black, and the riot of color that marked each passage into winter was always thrilling. I never really knew what to do with them; I'd usually carry them around for a bit and then discard them. But they were fascinating.
When most people think of the Southern Magnolia, they think of its huge white blossoms, which are currently in bloom. They think of the South, not Los Angeles. But we have them everywhere here, and to me they feel just as integral to Southern California as palm trees or pines.
This is one of my favorite times of year. Spring is in full swing here in Texas, finals are over and I've finished grading the mounds of papers and exams, and I have a little respite before my next round of classes start for summer school. I celebrated this past weekend by taking a trip home to South Dakota to see my youngest niece graduate from high school. As always when I return home, I am struck by the way that the Sacred is close enough to touch there -- in the wildlife that approaches almost without fear, in the early morning quiet and birdsong, in the plants and animals I can identify almost by instinct. While I firmly believe that Goddess is everywhere, in a busy city She can be a bit harder to find sometimes. Trips home nourish my soul and help me remember how to see Her everywhere.
I'm clearly destined to spend more time remembering how to see the Sacred in my everyday, as Maia has come to be my guide for the week. This Greek Goddess is one of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades, and is also the mother of Hermes. She encourages us to see the magick in our everyday worlds and to use it to help us bloom.