Connecting To Your Craft When Life Gets To Be To Much..
This is a trying time of year for many of us as parents, as partners and as grown children. The holidays bring feelings of mixed emotions both good and bad as our expectations and vision never seem to mesh with the reality of our experience. In my own life raising 4 children who are now mostly grown I know the sadness and disappointments that come as they have grown and are carving out their own paths as adults and oftentimes it doesn't include me. I struggle with letting them go and how it affects my perfect picture I have painted in my mind of what our Christmas celebrations of the past looked like and the reality of what it's becoming. We spend our entire existence as parents creating the perfect holiday for them and enjoy every moment of it with the assumption it will last forever and having to come to terms with the changes that will ultimately will take place as they begin to grow and branch out without us can be overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder if it is changing as a direct reflection of my parenting and I’ve gotten lost in the shuffle? Is it changing because we have grown apart as a family? Is it changing because they prefer their friends? Or God forbid, do they prefer their significant other's family better? Then I reel it back in and remember that when I was that age I was trying to find my way and it never occured to me that my family could be feeling this way too. I think that it's just a natural progression as growing and maturing adults and that we can be a bit selfish but not in a nefarious way but more in a way that we just don't think about the effect we have on the family that raised us. This is not a negative mark on my parent card this is not a reflection on the home I created for them. This is just a season that must come about as parents. Now I'm not saying my children are neglectful during the holidays at all but what I have found is if I can let go and allow them the room to venture out and give them my blessing to run themselves ragged then I know they will always find their way back home. I believe everything in life is about perspective and Witchcraft has taught me that.
As witches we use our talents to find balance and peace. We perform magic as a way of self care and witchcraft can be an overall way of being for us. However for many of us at times we pull out our candles and crystals and herbs because we are looking for a specific result because we are at our wits end at times and feel defeated due to the strains and stresses of daily life and as hard as we try to remain grateful and practice this frame of mind we can and do feel run down and burnt out, the need for WANT takes over, afterall we are human, and in unfortunate times such as these we can feel at times like “what is the point.” And before you know it..Our magic has slipped away and we question who we are as witches.
The question then becomes...How do we reignite the passion that has led us most of our lives.
Lets start with redefining your craft…
If you are only using magic as a tool for your own means, when you want nothing specific then your magic becomes meaningless. For instance if a spell fails you can become frustrated with your practice, instead what you should be doing is thinking of this as a moment or an opportunity to learn from it.
Instead of using magic as a weapon or a means to an end I think of it more as an extension of myself and that it exists with me even when I'm not using it.
I also think of magic as something that stays with me like a good friend through good times and bad, now imagine if I only called upon it when I wanted something!
So expanding on this idea of magic being a faithful companion one that never leaves rather than just a tool I pull out. There are ways to strengthen that bond even when I'm not “practicing” spells. There are ways to feel witchy just for the sheer joy of it.
It seems like the obvious answer is to just start practicing again when you start feeling that disconnect. However when you have lost your faith even for just a moment or it becomes a chore and you start spiraling down the ever familiar cycle of self doubt. It's time you do something that involves Witchcraft but not spell work! GO SHOPPING!!!
For me personally I hit the books and look for anything witchcraft related and pour over it until it feeds my soul. For others it could be crystals or a new tarot deck. Go online to your favorite witchy venders or hit up your favorite metaphysical shop. Immerse yourself in every practice and in all the different ways to practice. Buy a new candle or incense, clean up your altar space and light everything and sit in the space you have created for yourself. Exploring different things available to witches can give you the inspiration you need to recharge your craft.
*Expand Your Mind...
Maybe you are stuck in a rut because the way you are using witchcraft doesn't fit your personal style. Are you doing what everyone else is doing and you are under the impression that witchcraft is a one size fits all practice. It's an easy assumption since we are bombarded with what witches should be and what we should do by social media and Hollywood standards. Or maybe it's as simple as you have just grown tired and stagnant in your craft.
Reading about witchcraft for me in every single form be it books, blogs or forums helps me to submerge myself in a community that holds no bounds or no judgment. So in reading take in information about correspondences and make lists for future reference. Look into topics you never had time to before but have always been interested in. Earlier I spoke about perspective and if you can look at this in a different light maybe you can see that this down time is a sign that you need to try new things in your practice.
I am solitary however it's important to find other witches you can trust and share similar beliefs, so that you can talk about your experiences and trade spells and just run things by each other especially when moments like this happen. and in times like this they become invaluable.
It's okay to start over and learn about altars and make one that suits you better than the new you! Take lots of notes never stop reading and you never know you might find a branch of witchcraft that has been whispering to you the entire time but you just couldn't hear it before.
*Create A Book Of Shadows….
As Witches there's nothing we love more than a good note book, for me its a yellow legal pad to jot down random thoughts (which I have a lot of and constantly) we use them for spells that were successful and for those that were not so much...maybe you saw an image in a dream and you want to draw it or maybe you got a specific message that resonates with you from that dream and you want to get it on paper before it leaves you. A misconception about a BOS/Grimoire is that it has to be this elaborate book that you pass down from generation to generation with the most sacred of secret spells. But truly they are what you are called to create, it can be a collection of thoughts recipes drawings dreams dried herbs whatever you want. This gives you an outlet to be creative without practicing. Take pictures of past altars or even collect pictures you find inspiring of others witches altars online. Go for long walks in nature someplace that you find calming and collect precious tokens to take back to your book. All of the reading and research you did during your quiet time can now go into your book and can be used for reference later. Maybe the spells you love or ones that gave you great success can be logged in there too. If you are starting to study divination this is a great place also to place all the knowledge you are learning. And maybe this will spark the flame once again.
*Create A Morning Ritual….
For me this is probably the single most important thing I can do for myself every day. It sets my tone for the day and helps me to ground myself in the power of the Goddess and in turn puts me in my own power even when I'm truly lacking in that area. The ability to sit in the silence of the morning before the world wakes is where I feel the most at peace. For some it can be after the day is done but for me I'm a morning person and I love the beauty of what the day can bring. Even the ritual of making my morning coffee can offer a chance to set my intentions into motion. Stirring my morning coffee not only helps with the things I want to manifest for the day but it also gives me the energy to face the day, so I guess it could be called my magic potion! When the weather is warmer, mornings offer me a chance to step foot into the beauty of nature that is still waking up. I can recharge my energy and find a moment to listen to the silence of the dawn that some mornings speaks so loudly to me that I have no choice but to listen. Some things are hard to hear clearly when the chaos of the day is over. This is when the full power of my witchcraft is at its peak and I know that when I am having a difficult time connecting to my craft all I need to do is wake up early and the rest will take care of itself.
This can be the hardest thing to do. If you have put the wand down and have let your practice fall to the wayside it doesn't mean you are any less of a witch. It actually means you have been pulled in too many different directions and life can get in the way. Fundamentally we love the craft even if it's in the furthest corners of our mind and other things have gotten in the way that need our attention. The journey through witchcraft has its highs and lows and can go dormant when you least expect it, especially in our most trying of times.
One of those times came not too long ago for me, when my Grandmother passed away. We had a long and tumultuous relationship with many volatile encounters. So when she passed trying to reflect on good times were so few and far between that it was hard for me to connect to the grown woman and witch I had become. I like to think of myself as compassionate and understanding and wise all of the things my Grandmother was not. However the witch in me was struggling to take those parts of myself and rise above my feelings of anger and well, more anger with zero sadness that she was no longer alive. The advice and the council I had given so many was now something I could not even come close to comprehending for myself. So in those dark moments instead of my practice being a comfort, it became something I suppressed, I was lost. Eventually I found my way home, the calling can be so strong that it feels like the only safe place to entrust the darkest, most self doubting parts of myself. It was only then that I realized the greatest achievement any witch can do for herself is shadow work and that is exactly what I was doing. You see witchcraft never truly leaves us, it's there for us when life is falling apart, it's there for us when it isn't, but most importantly it's there for all of the little moments in between. We just have to remember that it is always waiting for us to come back home with no judgement, no resentment for turning away, just the ability be kind to ourselves in the process.
Many Blessings Jillian ❤