Magick is a wondrous thing! We live and breathe magick every single day -in all that people do, feel, think and say. I’ve written a little about connecting to the magick in the mundane in my article: “With the Flick of my Finger.” The difference is that a witch knows it, she/he feels the rise and fall of it in her bones and takes action accordingly. I look for exercises, meditations and activities that are focused on concentration, imagination, feeling, and movement and mindfulness. I see these practices as beyond religious. Yes, a religious label might be attached or incorporated but the exercises themselves can be practiced without religious connotation. Practices which integrate with daily life are very helpful in helping me to develop the integrity of the magick that I practice. That being said, for example, you might use art to practice magic, perhaps you are a cook -this too can become a magick act; possibilities are -quite limitless.
Beginning the study of magick can be quite overwhelming. The mind starts to buzz with all the different kinds of magic: candle, knot, sigil etc. Then we get into designations like Folk magic, ceremonial (High) magick, religious and not religious…..some with traditional connections some more eclectic…some more appropriated than others….Oh, so quickly it fills the brain! So where is it most important to begin? Since much of magick deals in our ability to imagine, feel and connect, the most important place to begin is with the mind. What does that mean? I always like to begin simply. For example, you might choose set goals: I will watch my thoughts today and then write about all of the things that I noticed. I like to combine these works with an element approach. Below, I’ve listed helpful exercises and in parenthesis, I’ve noted which element I associate with that particular work. Ideally, it is better to work these in a lunar cycle (doing each for one whole month.) You might further ritualize these exercises by choosing to observe at a particular time but too much structure tends to impede me -personally speaking of course. The intention is to simply be “aware.”
Try these things:
- Watch your thoughts for a few days (sometimes a month is a lot to commit to starting out!) and record what kinds of imaginings, inner speak etc. that you notice. It is important not to judge them, just write them down. (Air)
- Set your intention to observe your own emotions for a week. (Water) Be aware of their rise and fall, how it feels to engage with others and the flow of your daily feelings. Be aware of what uplifted you and what felt draining. Again, try not to polarize the feelings as good/bad etc. Just observe and record them.
- Here the focus in on the action, movement, what you are doing. As you are focusing on your actions, it is likely that awareness of thought and feeling will come in. Acknowledge it when it does and return your focus to the action itself. I found this one very challenging! (Fire)
- Choose to be aware of your body; the way it feels, where it aches, what makes your body feel good. When you eat, take your time. You might simply choose to mindfully eat a meal for a whole week. Think about where the food came from, how it came to sit before you, what work went into it and what it means for the food to nourish your body. (Earth)
So why awareness and observation? What is the point? In observing ourselves, we become aware of our desires, strengths, weaknesses, creative spark, -what direction we really want to move in. As the season turns to Yule (in the northern hemisphere), the time to go within, these exercises can be quite helpful in helping us emerge into the “new light” of the coming year. For those in the southern hemisphere, you might consider these exercises a focus of reconnecting to your inner power and improving your connection to self for a slightly altered purpose: What have a learned about myself that enables me to help others in my community? In that case, you might instead use the exercises slightly different and be aware of how those energies relate and flow to those around you.
Regular practices with exercises that utilize being mindful and that work your imagination, focus, -even curiosity will help you to recognize your own power, develop it, to know which thing to learn next. Each person will be proficient in a different area -or perhaps several, go with those revealed talents whatever they might be!