It’s the human condition. We all want to be the best at what we do, whether that’s work, or hobbies, or family, or just being the best cook in the family (I’m not). This idea of having to ‘do’ things properly – i.e., you can’t be a real painter unless you’ve taken classes, or you can’t be a singer because you don’t get paid to sing – is damaging. It’s damaging to creativity, it’s damaging to self-worth, and it’s damaging to the very core of what spirituality and passion, and loving what we do.
I’ve been beating myself up for the last few days because I’ve been ill. I’ve been in bed, unable to work or write or do much at all except complain. But despite literally writing about this sh*t, I still wasn’t able to acknowledge the fact that I was ignoring my own advice. Being a Witch isn’t a job, and it’s not a hobby – it’s just who I am. So it doesn’t matter that I haven’t taken the stuff off of the Samhain ancestor altar to bury it in the woods; it’s pissing down rain out there and I have a dodgy chest right now. It would be stupid to do that. It doesn’t mean that the earth is going to crack open and I’m going to get swallowed whole. It doesn’t mean I’ll be haunted forevermore by dodgy spirits because I haven’t taken the apples to the woods yet.
This idea that we have to be the best is problematic. Being spiritual and taking part in rituals and practising Magic/k should be rewarding and enjoyable, not stressful.
There’s been a bit going around lately in the form of memes and graphics on Instagram decrying the idea that you have to be perfect or spend loads of money to be a ‘good’ Witch. So f*ck being good, everybody. Let’s just be us.
Don’t break the bank to buy supplies
This is one of the things I love about the online Witch community. Even though we love pretty things and it’s nice to have nice things, we all understand that it’s not always possible to splash out on top-end products for our practice. White candles (tea-lights, everyone) work for any spell. You don’t have to have special colours for special things. I bought 20 white votives at my local B&M store for £3. That’ll do me for a while. Rosemary can be switched in for any herb, and you know what? I usually buy my sage DRIED and in a bottle from the supermarket. So there.
When I went to my local Witchy shop, of course I was dazzled and excited – I was also on a budget. I went in looking for a knife or a dagger for my altar, but I came out with something better. The owner of the shop gave me a piece of oak to use as a wand. Because she chose it and gifted it to me, it felt more special, and I didn’t have to fork out £20 for a knife. Please note that I still dropped coin that day – just not more than I could afford.
Intent is the key
One of the Facebook groups I’m in always hits this home, and I love that about it. Whenever you are practising Magic, it is your intention that counts. More than which crystals you have or which herbs, or a knife versus a wand. You can make Magic with a pen and paper. You can make Magic with a birthday candle. You don’t need 10 ingredients to make a spell jar. Yeah, it’s nice to have those things sometimes. But please, please remember that it’s you that is the secret ingredient here. You’re the Witch/Magic.
If you don’t ‘practise’ every day, you’re still a Witch
If you take a few days ‘off’, you’re still you. And just because you’re not writing in a leatherbound Grimoire with a quill and ink and casting spells doesn’t mean you’re not working Magic. Meditating is Magic. Setting an intention for the day is Magic. Performing a kind deed is Magic. You are the Magic, Boss Witch, and don’t ever forget it.
We’re always learning
I have never claimed to be a fully knowledgeable Witch. There are approximately a bajillion* Witches out there who know quadruple and more than what I know. That’s the beauty of Witchcraft, and it’s the beauty of the community. We learn from each other, we’re always learning, and we never stop learning and sharing. That’s how we get better, stronger and more powerful. Right now, I’m re-learning Tarot. I used to be pretty nifty, but that was over 15 years ago, and I can’t remember the textbook meanings for each card. So each time I do a reading, I have my book with me, and I write down the spreads so I can learn from each one. And slowly but surely, I will.
Anyway, I’m back, I’m getting back into the swing of things, and you know what? I am far from a perfect Witch. And no such thing exists.