When we embark on our path as witches we make a choice to change our lives and follow a little voice that calls to us each from some place that is familiar but unseen. It whispers to us on the cool breeze, it rings in our ears in moments of perfect clarity, and it beckons us to become something bigger than ourselves, something more ancient, and more powerful. When we meet a kindred soul we bond by sharing our most intimate thoughts about what it is that makes us so different, so aware of the unseen, and perhaps even more important, capable of reaching out and touching it. To some this thing is all in our heads, a product of an overactive imagination that needs discipline, and isn't something to be openly discussed with outsiders. But to some witches like myself, this preternatural instinct is seen as an important facet of what we call the Witch Power.
The Witch Power isn't just that thing that makes you the odd ball, though. When looked at through the lens of parapsychology and its subfields, one could draw a strong comparison between the Witch Power and the psychic ability known as psychokinesis or telekinesis. Telekinesis is described as the ability to affect an environment without physically touching it, examples often invoked being the performing of psychic healing and surgery, the moving of objects, and the production of noise and light phenomenon. In the craft we do these same things but by tapping into the hidden energies around us to propel our work. To me there is little that separates the two and the discovery of this some years ago altered the way I approached witchcraft entirely. Instead of seeing it as something that we get from our traditions or our gods, I started looking at it like any other psychic gift and then set out to coax it from its dormancy. Eventually that deeply personal work would fuel the writing behind my book, The Witch's Book of Power, and bring me to sharing these seven secret ways your can feed your Witch Power.
- You've Got the Power, So Act Like It!
We all know confidence reigns supreme in magic as one of the pillars to any successful practice. It isn't, however, enough to just believe you are capable of magic; you have to see yourself as a magical person and then interact with the world as so. The late occultist and leader of the Cult of Sabbati, Andrew Chumbly, refers to the term Somnisience as a state of being so lost in your connection to the magical world around you and your propensity to interact with it that it becomes your reality. The poet Rumi refers to this state as ecstasy, a moment of absolute harmony and rapture with the universe where you are both its partner and instrument. Whatever we call the state of mind produced when we surrender to the ideologies of not just living a magical life but being key players in how that life unfolds before us, it is imperative to successful magic. At some stage in the game as witches we have to stop trying to continually convince ourselves that our magic works and simply accept the fact that it does. We then have the added burden of making choices and decisions that are informed by that world-view.
- Feed the Fire, Not the Fear
Believe it or not, you're wasting an extreme amount of mental energy on things that just don't matter, most of which haunt you as ghosts of the future and the past—fears that keep you held hostage to parts of that other reality. Fear is normal; it is perfectly human, but it isn't something to avoid. In matters of the Witch Power, fear is a powerful tool that can be worked with to tip the scales back in your favor and fuel the fires within. The trick is in being aware of all the ways fear sneaks into our lives and having a game plan on how to handle it when it does creep its ugly head around the corner. As witches, we can't afford to succumb to our fears, we have to face them head on so that we can both take back the power they has been stolen from us, as well as to take the power that comes from confronting them.
There is no use approaching our fears empty-handed, so it is always imperative to think of every forward movement before actually taking it. Think of what it is actually going to take to deal with it once and for all, what magic you can be doing to help with that, and how you are going to keep yourself going through those dark and stormy nights. For me this comes with a lot of list making, introspection, and reciting this quote from Frank Herbert's Dune: "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
- Challenge Your Witch Muscles!
Ok, so that may be a strange way of putting it, but the Witch Power is like any other muscle: the more you exercise the more developed it will become. It isn't enough to do a spell here or there to keep your Witch Power fit; you are going to need to take on challenges that will whip it into shape. Here's the trick, though: you have to take on magical challenges that will yield obstacles and rewards in an equal manner. It is one thing to feel challenged and push through it with the aim of success and another thing all together when you just aren't feeling called to develop in the ways the challenge is requiring you to. You can't study something and be miserable while doing it, but you also can't just give up because it is too hard. Develop a magical fitness routine that will take the guesswork out of the process and put you back in the beginner's chair. For me this looks like a consistent daily magical practice that incorporates the primal, ego-based, and divine aspects of myself and usually involves cleansing work, meditation, work with spirits, and ongoing spell-work for those bigger challenges.
- Make a Big Goal and Then Set Smaller Ones to Help You Get There
What is your end-game? Why did you become a witch? The only way to ever fulfill that promise is to set the goal and make it happen; you are not benefiting from "waiting until tomorrow." I work a lot with people on this one, so I have a little system worked out to help keep all this on point. If you are at A and your goal is to get to Z, you are going to have to move ahead twenty-four spaces before you land at your intended destination. Each step in between A and Z should be mapped out and treated as a milestone. When you arrive at the end of each of these smaller goals, take a moment to run a diagnostic on your plan and make any adjustments you might need in order to get to the end game and celebrate each of them as victories. Listen: there isn't a lot of cheerleading in witchcraft, especially if you are self-taught or had a negative experience with a teacher, so you have to keep it in your consciousness that you will likely lose steam if you feel defeated. Positively reinforce your work by taking the time to appreciate the process and your part in it. Remember why you are doing it and then carve a path of least resistance in every way possible to help you fully realize your potential.
- Make Your Word Mean Something
Part of living in this crazy magical world is that our thoughts, words, and actions all have the ability to create much greater impacts than we might otherwise forecast for ourselves. When we make agreements or say that we are going to do something and then don't, or we find an easy way out, we are essentially reinforcing the notion that our word has no weight, even to us. If our word doesn't carry any weight, then how can we expect it to command the natural forces? Every thing you say, think, and do is a magical gesture that guides the flow of not only your energy but the energy of others, so always be in command and always be impeccable with your word. Have follow-through and integrity in all that you do both magically and mundane because to the witch the two worlds are one in the same.
- Get Out of the Rut
One of the joys of adulthood is the inevitable rut and then the spiritual plateau that follows. One minute all is well and you are feeling at the top of your game, and the next minute everything falls into disarray. You've come to the end of a road and don't really know what's next, and maybe you lose that spark of inspiration you used to feel. All of these things lead to periods of time where instead of growing and feeling powerful we experience apathy and a total loss of inertia. These moments are what I refer to as "spiritual plateaus." We have to be mindful not to allow ourselves to reside in these periods of time for too long, as the more prolonged our stay, the more difficult it is to leave.
This can be really challenging for some, but you have to think of your life-force like a fountain. If the pump is working, the water is fresh and clean and maybe even capable of sustaining life, but if the pump were broken and the fountain stopped working then the water would grow stagnant and likely be full of germs and other stuff that isn't good for you. The best way to get out of a rut is to agitate the water and get some oxygen back into the pond so it can support a healthy ecosystem. We do that by fixing the pump, or getting a new one.
Analogies aside, when you get into a rut and lose that passion and the power you once felt for your craft, your Witch Power goes dormant. Coax it out of hiding by introducing it to something new and exciting and adding that to a familiar practice. Slowly add a bit of chaos to an old structure and allow it to help you build the path ahead by incorporating the new with the reliable and familiar.
- Be a Mad Scientist
Witches are like snowflakes: no two of us are the same and no two of us possess the same gifts and abilities. I am not of the belief that magic can be done by everyone; I subscribe more to the notion that those of us who have the Witch Power are a rare breed, and that not everyone has what it takes. I also believe that there are a lot more of us out there than we know. We owe it to ourselves to explore who and what we are as fully as possible and the best way to do that is by experimentation.
Be the engineer of your magic and get your hands dirty, try new things, and revamp your older ideologies. Produce a hypothesis and then experiment and collect information that will either prove or disprove your theories. When we approach the craft like a mad scientist we allow ourselves to push the limits of what we would otherwise allow to become our boundaries. In doing this, we are opening ourselves up to new and different types of psychic energy and stimuli that are quintessential to feeding your Witch Power.
The Witch Power isn't something that we just discovered; it has been with humanity since the dawn of our species, and so we don't have to look too far in order to find it. With a little dedication and an open and honest mind you can start to retrain and refocus this power so that it is always working in your favor and always bringing you to the end of your desire.