As children, when we think of those with magickal power we tend to think that magick is something that is done on the spot with a thought, a gesture, a word, or a gaze. Later on, as we enter into the path of magickal training we learn that magick isn't done this way—or is it?
What if I told you that magick could be performed on the spot with your thoughts alone? Sure, perhaps it's not as grandiose as levitating something, transforming someone into a frog, or manifesting objects out of thin air, but it is indeed possible to perform magick instantaneously with nothing but your mind. We know that magick isn't as dramatic as Hollywood or fairytales may portray, but rather operates on a subtle, multi-dimensional level. But that doesn't mean that magick cannot be done on the spot with quick and efficient results.
I once had a friend who said they were drawn to witchcraft but that they couldn't afford it. While that may sound funny to some, this notion is a very common misconception when one starts on the path to witchcraft. I remember how overwhelmed I was when I started out, thinking that all of these tools, candles, and materials were required to be able to perform magick. The first thing we need to realize is that when working with external objects we're giving them power by uniting them with our inner worlds. As above, so below. As within, so without."
It starts with developing your psychic abilities. Yes, you might be able to successfully cast a spell using your intention and objects without any perception of energy or connection—but imagine how much better your results can be if you did! In fact, in every tradition that I've ever studied focuses on psychic development before moving on to magick that incorporates tools and items. That's because the development of your inner power and the ability to perceive and manipulate energy is the most crucial step in becoming a powerful spellcaster.
How would you perform magick if you were stranded at sea or lost in a desert? While those scenarios may seem a bit far-fetched, the thought exercise of those questions serve a purpose. Witchcraft is a practice that often utilizes a lot of tools, objects, and ingredients, whether those are directly from nature or objects that we place on our altars—but they aren't necessary. Especially for those of us who have an animistic view of reality believing that everything is imbued with its individual spirit and energy— it's difficult to reach out, connect with, and communicate with that spirit if you don't have a strong foundation of psychism developed.
Witchcraft can be one of the most visually stunning acts of spirituality—there is a definite aesthetic appeal to the objects and tools. Because of this, it can be easy to fall into the trap of magickal materialism, where you end up acquiring so many tools, objects, and ingredients that you rarely use and to which you don't feel a deep connection. You have no idea how many wands I went through early on because I felt that I needed one to perform magick. It wasn't until I found one to which I truly connected that my use of the wand in my personal magickal practice really took off. This is where strengthening your psychic muscles enhances your practice.
Whether you craft your tools yourself or purchase a tool from another, you want to make sure that you truly feel a connection to that tool before you begin accumulating. Without having the proper understanding and ability to work with energy and properly empower them, or the capability to work with the inherent energy in them, they don't amount to much more than aesthetic props. Keep in mind, the greatest tools you will ever have are your mind and your willpower.
Down with the Gatekeeping
When we buy into the concept that we have to have all of the physical bells and whistles to practice magick, we're falling prey to material and financially-based gatekeeping. Gatekeeping used in the modern sense is defined best by Urban Dictionary, which defines it as, "When someone takes it upon themselves to decide who does or does not have access or rights to a community or identity."
Witchcraft tends to draw and attract those who are marginalized or feel like outsiders. It's been my observation that those who try to gatekeep witchcraft tend to be folks who have felt a lot of exclusion themselves in life; thus, when feeling something is theirs, they inflict on others what has been inflicted on them. ?This is one of many reasons why introspection, reflection, shadow work, and healing are crucial aspects of personal growth as witches—but more importantly as human beings.?
I have a vision of people developing their magickal capability, awakening to their psychic perception, and having an enchanted world view grounded in spiritual awareness. In this vision, I dream of people uniting to take the steering wheel of the world's course and navigating us towards a better future for ourselves, our descendants, the earth, and its inhabitants. I truly desire for people to find peace, empathy, compassion, healing, empowerment, and personal sovereignty in their lives. I deeply believe that the path of the witch, when earnestly followed is an ideal way for this to happen.
That doesn't mean that I believe that people shouldn’t be vetted before they are admitted into a circle, coven, community, or tradition. Vetting is an important process that ensures safety for everyone and that there's some form of mutual understanding of conduct and that everyone is on the same page about goals and intentions of working together. I also don't believe that that initiatory secrets within specific traditions (especially when they are oath-bound to hold them as secrets) should be given freely to everyone. However, I do believe that the true Mysteries of Witchcraft have a way of reaching people, in and out of traditions. As one of my most esteemed teachers used to ask of us, "Who initiated the first witch?"—a question that in itself holds the key to one of those Great Mysteries.
I don't believe any sincere seeker should be turned away from the path of witchcraft because of who they inherently are or what their circumstances may be. Witchcraft should be accessible to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, age, sex, gender, or cultural background. No one should feel that they cannot perform magick because of their financial circumstances that may limit their ability to purchase materials, ingredients, and tools.
Witchcraft should also be accessible to those with physical disabilities and limited mobility. How would you perform magick if you were completely paralyzed? There are many witches and seekers who are differently-abled, or have mobility issues—including those who discover the Craft later in life. How do you cast a circle if you can't walk a full circle? How could you work magick if you were unable to move a single part of your body? How would you work with spirits? When the practice is based within the mind, all of this is possible. No one should be discouraged from performing magick because of physical ability.
It is for these reasons that I believe we need a magick that is for all that can be done from nothing. It is my hope that Psychic Witch: A Metaphysical Guide to Meditation, Magick, and Manifestation helps to empower more people to find that magick within themselves.