The Building of a Mountain

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

There are many great works we do in the course of a lifetime—education, marriage, parenting, career building, etc.—and many that are just as important even if their time-frame is somewhat smaller.  As a bit of a writer, I feel the same way in beginning a new manuscript that I did at the beginning of any one of the big enterprises of my life.  It’s no wonder so many authors speak of “giving birth” to a book.

So that’s the big projects and the small ones.  But there’s an even greater work that is always at stake, always in process, and yet it can be overlooked as stagnant or inevitable—our very lives.  When something bad comes along, it’s easy to think that it has ruined everything and that all plans for the future have been dashed.  But you don’t abandon a baby incorrectly positioned for birth, you don’t scrap sixth grade because of a harsh teacher, and you won’t turn your back on what could be just because of what is.

That is the essence of magic.  A witch is always looking at what could be, never at what is (unless it is pleasing, at which point s/he should smile and nod approvingly).  There is no work that can be completed without many steps, some of which may, at first, appear to be going in the wrong direction.  It’s not failure to take a step or two extra.  So long as the goal is always clearly sighted, you will never become lost. 

As an example, right now I’m working on a very challenging project.  Sure, it’s not something of immense importance (outside of my home), but doing well means a great deal to me, and that’s the best reason I have ever had to do my very best.  My husband and I are traveling to Salem again this year for the Witches Ball and again I’m making our costumes from scratch.  That’s not the hard part.  The real work comes in where I see how it is possible to make these costumes, but not necessarily whether I have the skills needed for the job.  Yes, I know just how it would be done…if I were watching it on a documentary of costume-making full of time-elapse photography, cut-aways, and a warehouse workspace with teams of experts.  They, and some suitably peppy music to speed things along, would show a smooth, flawless process from start to finish.  But that’s not the reality.  Instead you’ve got me, sitting cross-legged on our living room floor, making wearable sculpture from chicken-wire.  My fingers are bloody, my knees are sore, I’ve got a stomachache from far too much coffee, and I still have hours to go until I can get the kids off to school and take myself to bed.  My next step—plaster wrap.  Having never broken a bone (thank goodness), I had no idea how unwieldy this cast stuff was.  Luckily I covered every available surface with newspaper because soon after starting I had every available surface covered in plaster dust and splatters of plaster water.  Not quite as glamorous as my documentary. 

In short, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.  But I keep doing it because I only have to get this one step right in order for the whole thing to work out.  My great big wire/plaster/papier-mâché conglomeration sits on the living room coffee table now like an odd faceless gargoyle.  As I work, I see my one current step; when it’s done, I stand back and see what it will become.  At every turn, I’m doing something I’ve never done before, working with materials wholly unfamiliar to me, and flying by the seat of my pants.  But I can’t think about that now.  There’s work to be done and it won’t happen unless I get in there and do it—one step at a time. 

Our lives run in a similar way.  Each step is the most important one, and that’s the one that needs the most help we can give it.  Ever since I began as a witch 15 years ago, I’ve called upon magic not as a last resort, but as a first.  I use it to direct my future, set the steps to take, and smooth out the wrinkles along the way.  I know that this is vastly different from much of the current thought in the magical community, but it has kept me always in sight of my goals and because of that has served me well. 

It keeps me going to see the finished product even if it’s currently just as a drawing on paper.  I know it will work out, no matter what it takes, because I have willed it. We create with our wills and our imagination.  This is magical thinking—you make it come to life with the same power you hold inside you to dream, to wish, to believe in something more than tangible reality.  Have your goal firmly set in your mind the whole time and it will slowly take that shape.  Your magic can work to direct the steps you take in meeting that goal at the end.  And meet it you will.
I’m sure this costume will be a bit different from my idea of it—just as one’s vision of marriage or childbirth can easily differ from the reality—but that will not mean it’s imperfect, only that a static image will never be as wonderfully alive and unpredictable as the real thing.  Maybe it will be better than I planned.  Maybe not so grand.  But in either case, it will be everything I could give it.  That is what we owe to ourselves to give in our lives—everything we’ve got.  And that’s not something we give away.  It’s what we carry with us, mold into our personal histories, and use to create the mountain upon which we can someday stand and see distant horizons.


Post a Comment

About Me

My photo

My name is Quill and I've been practicing witchcraft for the past 17 years. 10 of those years I've been reading tarot and teaching.  I own a shop on Etsy called Quill's Occult Supply (check it out at full of handmade ritual and decorative items, spell components, and wild picked herbs.

I love to work with my hands.  Magic is a tool to shape our lives, and I'm using magic to shape tools to shape magic.  Cosmic! 

I use a lot of my favorite things in my shop: herbs, candles, wood, fabric, paint, clay.  And I get to carve, burn, grind, mold, think, dream ... I'm in the perfect business!

I've written 3 manuscripts for publication (2 non-fiction and 1 fiction) and am an avid NaNo-er!  I and my husband run a local coven called Orbis Prosapia, and our children are growing up surrounded by magic, mythology, fairy tales, Earth worship, art, open discussion, music, and humor. 

In addition to working on Ex Penna about my experiences as a professional witch, I also write for Scenes from the Circle about being a coven leader. 

Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive