Weekly Reading-Five of Wands Reversed, June 6-12, 2022: Stop worrying about whether or not you will be victorious in your endeavors. You cannot come out on top all of the time. Your insecurities are keeping you from moving forward. Don’t let your fear stop you. Work hard, do your best, and all will be well. But remember, sometimes not getting what you desire can lead to something even better. So forge ahead and trust in the Universe to guide you.
Not long ago I had a new student ask me if witchcraft and magick were “safe”. My first impulse was to launch into a long diatribe regarding intent, precautions, yada yada. Instead, I giggled, or maybe more accurately cackled, (not entirely certain if it was out loud or in my head). After I’d composed myself, I sat her down, took her hand, and proceeded to explain that there is no such thing as “safe” witchcraft. Ever.
Merely by using the words witchcraft, witch and magick, you’ve launched yourself completely out of any and all “safe” zones. These words are loaded with mystery, superstition and fear. Hell, just giving yourself the moniker “witch” is dangerous enough. But telling someone you are a witch or studying the Craft? Danger, danger, Will Robinson! Be prepared to answer questions, defend yourself, or beat feet out of a sticky, and perhaps volatile, situation.
As for the practice itself – safe has never been a word I’ve used for it. Face it. We didn’t start practicing Witchcraft to be safe. It called to us, grabbed us and held on. That in itself was a scary prospect, answering a call into the unknown, into the mysteries that are the Craft. Do you recall your first ritual? Your first spell? Can you still feel the apprehension, the suspense, the fear and the anticipation? I recall the chills that ran down my spine, the sweat on my brow and the utter joy to finally connect with the magick, the whole, everything. Cue the goosebumps. No, safe has never been a part of the Craft and it never will be.
Magick Isn’t “Safe”
Then there is the magick itself. Magick isn’t safe. It is messy, explosive, emotional, powerful, and many times, freaking scary. To be a witch is to push and break boundaries – not at all a safe prospect. We work with the dead, the Gods, and the “Others” of this dimension and the next, and the next. By its very nature, magick is dangerous. So many things can go wrong if our hearts, mind, and intentions are not in sync. Even when everything is aligned and our spells manifest exactly the way we desired them to, there is always a cost. Magick costs us personal energy, time and often, a piece of ourselves. Nothing is free so we must always cast wisely.
Should we be scared of doing magick? No, but we do need to give it the respect and caution it deserves. Magick is not for the faint of heart, the dabbler, the skeptic, the weak of mind and spirit. Well-trained practitioners understand this and treat magick and its energies with reverence, and act in consideration for all of its actions. They are mindful in their castings, always heeding the laws of magick and that of their guides and chosen deities. In contrast, those that do the most harm, who are the most dangerous, are those that treat magick as a “thing”. They treat it as a toy, a plaything, abusing its energy without understanding it. When there is no consideration of possible harm, no cognizance of where magick comes from, how to channel it, then magickal backlash and chaos can, and does, occur.
Witches and Wiccans and Wizards, Oh My
Another seemingly harmless yet inherently dangerous part of our craft is what the “muggles”, the “regulars”, think of it all. Others may perceive our Craft, our magick, our work, even ourselves, as frightening, creepy, otherworldly, and “evil”. A lack of understanding about what we do can lead to threats, animosity and, at times, violence. Our neighbors hear us chanting in the back yard, talking to plants and animals, and drumming in the Full Moon. They see our pentacles, brooms, and protection sigils and become alarmed. Out of fear they label us “weirdos”,# scary” and “delusional”. Perhaps they hang an extra crucifix or two around their property, cross themselves when they see us or just shake their heads as if we were wayward children. If we are lucky, that’s as far as it goes. It’s when they decide to “cleanse” or “protect” the neighborhood that things get scary and dicey.
Opening dialogues with the neighbors can ease some of this tension, but don’t count on it. I’m lucky that one of my neighbors is cool with it, may not fully understand, but remains open to what I may share with her. The others? They are more of the “cross themselves” variety. But it’s all good. Just keep doing what you’re doing, bang that drum, stir that cauldron, and cackle maniacally any chance you get. A tiny bit of fear will keep them from asking you to their next boring Tupperware party.
“Safe” is a Four-Letter Word
Is Witchcraft Safe? No. Is it scary? Yep. But it is worth every shiver, every goosebump, every daunting and disquieting moment. “Safe” is a four-letter word, an expletive, one to be uttered only in company of the “regulars”. Leave the magickless, the “muggles” and the uninspired to the likes of “safe”. Remember, we ARE the magick and we will not hesitate to cast, stir, and conjure, safe or not. Because it is who we are. It is our life, our blood, bones, and being. We will not be quieted. We will not be stopped and we will not be frightened back into a “normal” life. Safe is for the uninspired, the non-magickal, the muggle. Practice your magick with prudence coupled with fearlessness, knowledge mingled with power, and strength joined with daring. Together, we are the Witches, the Wiccans, the Wizards, Sorcerers, and Magicians, the future, the magick and the danger.
Scrolling through my Instagram page I see another post showcasing someone’s spell work. It’s a beautiful shot of an altar with all the trappings of another spell in progress. As I look closer at the picture, I feel it, a sharp sting to my subconscious. Hard as I may try, I can’t fight the feeling, the feeling of a little bit of witch envy.
Yep. I said it. Witch envy is alive and well in this psyche. It shouldn’t be, but it’s there, lurking in the shadows. But why is it there? What is this crazy witch envy that sneaks up on me from time to time?
Witch envy is what rears its ugly head when I feel that another practitioner is being more productive than I am. They seem to be doing more spells, have fancier altars, or appear more “witchy” than I am feeling at that moment. Yes, it seems ridiculous to feel this way and it is showcasing some of my worst insecurities. But there it is, popping up at the strangest moments.
Is there a valid reason for this feeling? Yes. No. Not really. It’s not as if I’m envious of their success or their work. Matter of fact it is just the opposite. I am very proud of all that they are doing and the fact that they are confident enough to share their workings with others. So why the twinge?
Why the Witch Envy?
I’ve been asking myself that question all day, hence the blog post. Having been practicing for more than 20 years I no longer find the need to do spells for each and every little thing (not to question the validity of anyone else doing such). Currently, I am at the point in my life that I do spells and rituals for what I call “the big stuff.” Sabbats, holy days for my Goddess, and for things I greatly desire. I live the magick each and every day, creating and manifesting through deed and thought. So why do these postings bring out the green-eyed monster?
Insecurity is the root cause. Am I doing enough with my Craft? Do I practice enough? Could I be doing more? Yes, I teach, I blog and write about witchcraft each and every day. I create and share spells, rituals and my “magickal moments.” Yet I still often feel insecure, like I am forgetting something important. When I see these posts it highlights that feeling of insecurity, of not doing enough.
Weird, right? I am a successful, powerful woman and witch yet I still feel insecure. Does anyone else feel the same way? Sure they do. Is it okay to have these feelings, this envy and longing? Yes it is. But it’s what we do when we feel that witch envy that makes us the witch, the practitioner, we want to be. If we come from a place of love and introspection then we can begin to understand why these feelings of envy are manifesting. We then have the opportunity of growing from the experience.
Growing from our Witch Envy
How can we grow from our feelings of witch envy? I can’t speak for everyone but for me it’s breaking down why I felt envious and then putting a plan into action to alleviate the feeling. In this particular case, I’m writing this blog as an exploration of the feelings. You, however, may take a different tact.
Perhaps this feeling is telling you that something is missing from your Craft. If so, make plans to find the missing pieces and start putting them into place. Doing something physical and tangible often replaces the feelings of envy with determination or accomplishment. Going to your favorite magickal store or website for a new item to update and enhance your altar will chase that envy away quickly. Creating a new ritual or spell can move you our of envy and into action.
Envy is not a negative emotion if it brings about positive change and progress. Instead, envy can be our helpmate, our good friend that kicks us in the ass and tells us to do something with ourselves. A little bit of witch envy may be just the ticket to kick starting a new chapter in our Craft.
So, the next time you feel a twinge, or start seeing green, remember to use that feeling to your advantage. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish with a little bit of witch envy.