Pruning our Magickal Deadwood

Winter is the time to begin pruning our magickal deadwood. Join me in identifying, then clearing out, that which no longer serves.

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Here in sunny California the leaves have finally fallen off our fruit trees. Now is the time to give them a good, hard pruning. Loppers and pole pruners come out of storage and we begin to shape and trim the trees. This is necessary to promote healthy trees, increase the amount of fruit production and bring about a greater harvest. The same could apply to our Craft. We need to promote growth and health in our magickal lives. Winter is the optimal time to begin pruning our magickal deadwood.

Identifying our Magickal Deadwood

The most difficult thing about pruning our magickal deadwood is identifying what it is. For me, magickal deadwood is the tools, books and craft objects that don’t work, or have never worked, for me. Do I really need three small cauldrons, two of which I never seem to use? How about that book I purchased about faery magick that never really resonated with me. Should I hang onto it? The fifteen globe candle holders that I bought for a Solstice gathering 10 years ago that have been gathering dust – gone. Giving these items a good “pruning” makes room in your magickal space and your life for those things that truly work for you. If it doesn’t make you happy, no longer works for you, or you haven’t used it in years, it goes. Give it away, dispose of it or recreate it into something new and useful.


For me, magickal deadwood is the tools, books and craft objects that don’t work, or have never worked for me.

Terry Lynn Pellegrini – Pruning our Magickal Deadwood

Pruning the Deadwood

Pruning of your magickal deadwood should also include ideas, philosophies and beliefs that fail to resonate with you or no longer serve your highest good. Have you changed your mind about certain ideas you had thought were truths? Do old thought patterns keep you from moving forward in your life and your Craft? Are you causing yourself mental or physical harm by continuing with an outdated and/or refuted philosophy? If so, begin pruning your magickal deadwood.

For an example, ten years ago you believed that the earth was flat. This belief and all the material you had gathered to corroborate that belief now doesn’t fit. You’ve grown past this and you now understand the world to be round. Time to clear it out, prune it from your magickal tree. Give it away, burn it, get rid of anything to do with the “old” you, the old ideal. We all change and branch off onto other things. Allow yourself to grow in a new direction, to bear the fruits of what matters to you now.

Clearing our Personal Deadwood

Tree being pruned
Pruning our magickal deadwood is similar to pruning a fruit tree.

The clearing of our personal deadwood is much more difficult. I define “personal deadwood” as those people, groups, and associations that have become problematic, toxic, and sometimes, downright abusive. You may find out that your best friend of many years has been lying about you behind your back. Perhaps the coven, grove or circle you belong to no longer believes or conducts themselves in the same manner you do. A romantic relationship may have turned toxic or abusive. All of these relationships need to be pruned, and pruned back hard. Leave, now. Get help, call the authorities, see a counselor, but get out. As difficult as it may be, cutting these types of relationships will allow you to grow and flourish like never before.

So, prune away. Pruning our magickal deadwood takes skill, a sharp pair of clippers and the willingness to make the hard choices. Rid yourself of all of your magickal deadwood. Start the new year with room to stretch and grow,allowing the fruits of knowledge and joy to blossom and ripen.

Blessed Be!

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