So the other day I was scrolling through my twitter feed while bored at work, and came across a tweet that shook me. Not for the way it was worded or that it was out of line, more so becuase it was honest truth. It spoke to me about something that has been bothering me so much about the magical community, especially with the rise of the internet and modern technology. What has been bothering me is the simply lack of desire to explore and expand our craft, and looking to others for answers that we should be discovering on our own.
Mr. Lyte is correct, magic is messy. Magic is about growth and learning, and also about fun. We often talk about how personal the craft is to individuals, yet never discuss the ultimate downside of asking others. How can your craft be personal to you if your entire craft is the collected knowledge of others? How can you take pride in your magic and work when none of it is your own? I am not talking about being inspired by posts, or asking for help if you have hit a wall. I am talking about the entitlement of asking very basic questions and having others answer them because the new witch is too lazy to figure it out themselves.
The other big problem with it is that, how do you know what worked for Stacy will work just as well for Bob? Over the years as I have been studying and walking my path, I have discovered a lot of things that work for me and only me. For example, I never learn or study the book with Tarot, instead I simply look at the cards and take the meaning from that. To me, the book is fine I guess, however it was written by someone who is not me, someone who doesn’t have the same life experiences, and someone who the same associations won’t work with.
In my personal opinion, a lot of magic in more modern times feels a bit watered down. It feels like it we are only using a small part of something much larger, something much more vast. I feel this is due to the widespread information out there causeing people to stop experimenting with what works best for them, and focusing more and more on following what the books say to do. If I want to make a love spell, I tend to add a bit of black salt. Everyone I know screams at me that it is a bad idea, yet for some reason, it works for me, and that makes the spell more powerful. I learned this after years of trial and error with various items, spells, rituals, etc. When you don’t take the time to learn what works best for you and feels right to you, how can you ever work magic that feels right? That would be like purchasing a random bottle of wine instead of that 1978 Merlot you are craving. Sure, the random bottle will taste decent and do what wine does best, but that bottle of Merlot will taste better, help satiate your thirst better, and will stifle the craving inside yourself.
Magic was never meant to be easy. It was never meant to be clean and sterile. Magic changes the world, in every living sense of it, and it also changes you. Magic is about taking the world by the horns and finding out where your place is in it. It is about changing yourself into the best person you can be for you, and no one else. It is about throwing randoms herbs into pots to see what works for that kitchen spell you are doing, it is about using different crystals with your meditations, it is about forgetting everything you thought you knew and realizing there is an amazing world out there, and by not learning about it yourself, you are getting a second hand education.
As a witch, you have a responsibility to yourself to practice your craft the best way you know how. How can you do that when you don’t learn yourself how these things work? How can you feel confident in your craft and yourself if you are always looking for validation from others instead of learning the confidence to try something yourself? No one likes when things dont entirely go according to plan, however the best memories you can make are the ones where the surprises of life jump out at you and hit you in the face, not when you are so buried in reading a book that you forgot to actually try what you are reading.
This is not something that will change over night, indeed I don’t think this will ever change. There will always be people looking for validation, people looking for a shortcut, and people who do this for the wrong reasons. This is not for them. Instead, this is for all of those people out there who have the courage to walk your own path, the courage to practice and play, the courage to expirement and hope for the best. Remember that above anything else, magic is a part of you, so why not get to know it the way it is meant to be known? Individually, and from the heart.
I would also like to send a person thank you to Mr. Lyte for sending this tweet and giving me the inspiration to write this post.