It’s three in the morning and I rise with anticipation, and a yawn. I shuffle my sleepy butt to the front room, grabbing my tools along the way. I set up my altar, checking the clock for just the right moment, the correct planetary hour, to begin my spell. I raise my hands to begin my work and catch a glimpse of someone in the hallway mirror. What is that hideous creature staring back at me? Curious, I squint, taking a moment to adjust my rheumy eyes, then realize it is indeed, me. The picture is not pretty. Me, sitting at the altar with my glorious bed-head, carefully sculpted by drool and an uncomfortable pillow, looking for all intents and purposes like I visited Medusa’s stylist. I’m taken aback by the sleep encrusted eyes and the scowl of caffeine depravation. There is a reason why people are frightened of witches. It’s the bed-head and broomsticks.
Twenty some odd years ago when I first began practicing my Craft, it was possible to find me at 2 or 3 (or earlier) at my altar/craft (as in sewing) room, or in the family room working spells and doing ritual. It was joyous to be up and working when all else were asleep. The world was quiet, the energy of the night wrapping about me like a warm, comfortable sweater, alone but for the Gods I may be evoking. I would do my work, go back to bed for an hour or so and then get the kids up for school and myself ready and off to work.
Now, at 56, I still get that call to rise, to work magick during the “witching hour”. But reality is a cruel bitch. It reminds me that I have to be up at 5 to get ready for work, that my energy levels are not what they once were. Sleep, it seems, is the siren that calls to me now. Am I any less of a witch? Is the fact that I am often in bed by 9 and rarely rise to meet the call of the “between” time of midnight a detriment to my Craft? Nope. it just changes how I work a bit.
As a student of witchcraft, quantum physics, and the theories of non-lineal time, I can tell you that “time” is definitely relative. Yes, I love working with the moon phases, the planetary hours and seasons. I do, however, realize that time, being non-lineal, that is not in a straight line, means that any time can be the “right” time to do magick. My head could be expertly coiffed or straight out bed-head but the timing could still be spot on. It kind of makes my life a bit easier, knowing that time is on my side (yes, I hear the eyes rolling).
Maiden, Mother, Crone, we all can work our magick at the time that best suits are lifestyles and energy levels. We can be a morning person, night owl, or any place in between. Whether we work with what time we can, stick scrupulously to the planetary hours or just freaking wing it, our magick is our own. We need to do what feels right, what works with our lives, souls, and traditions. This is our Craft, not any one else’s. We need to stop feeling guilty if we miss the exact moment of the Full Moon or fall asleep before our New Moon spell work. We are witches, but we are also human.
So the next time you awaken at midnight eager to get to your spell work or are setting up your altar at 2 in the afternoon, remember that it’s all good. Intention, focus and will are what truly make the magick. The bed-head is just a perk.