The Unwell Witch

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: ,

Every living thing is subject to illness.  And whether it be from overexertion, lax care of our system, or simply exposure to more germs than we can fend off, witches get sick too.

I have traditionally looked at illness as a good time to take a break.  I would rest as much as possible, eat what was simple and soothing, and try not to do anything that required effort.  But that was way back before I was a parent, a witch, or a business owner.  Needless to say, things are different now.

Now I resist even admitting that I'm sick.  To admit it is to realize the need to deal with it, to fix it, to recuperate from it.  I need at least three solid days of symptoms so obvious that they cannot be ignored in order to face the truth.  But even after that, I might only permit myself to slow down if I'm in a particularly bad mood or if I can count on my husband to deal with the major items on the to-do list.  Otherwise, it's business as usual.  I won't usually even submit to medicines, be they from the store or from my mortar and pestle. And why?  Cause I'm sick, dammit!  I've got no time for that!  Yeah, I doesn't make a lot of sense to me either.

But one thing I won't set aside at this time (unless ill to near-death) is magic.  All contradictions and stubbornness aside, this is an oft-debated issue that I find very simple.  When we're sick, we know we have energy for some things and not others.  We're not so depleted that we can't, for instance, muster the strength to walk upstairs to the bathroom or reach down to change our socks, even if we find something like grocery shopping too draining to face.  Just as the most exhausted parent is yet awake enough to run to the aid of their child if they roll out of bed, we all have what it takes, at all times, and in all states of being, to do what's necessary.


Physical energy is no different than magical energy--sometimes it's up, sometimes down--but never gone or totally inaccessible.  Our abilities, during illness, don't suddenly dry up or go horribly astray to the point that they cannot be trusted.  If it is something important, the energy you need will be present.  Essentially these two forces are the same.  A fit, healthy person has more power at their disposal.  That's why taking good care of one's physical form is a facet of much of magical training.  But an unwell person can still focus their energy when it's needed--you work with what's available to you, no matter your circumstances. It's not fair to say that we should only ever cast when things are going our way.  Not only would that be impossible, it also defeats the very purpose of casting spells in the first place.

While I do believe in following the rhythms set for us by nature and our physical selves, I don't wish to be a slave to it.  Life never stops.  The present is an ever-changing space and we're always being presented with something new.  My family, friends, or customers need me?  I'm there.  Their situation is not going to stop for my fever any more than it's going to stop for my age (which is another tricky asset/liability issue).   This very moment may be the only right time to change course on their problem.  And maybe by pushing through the physical symptoms a caster can bring about a form of enlightenment.  Every now and then we need to remind ourselves of our strength.  We will always have the power to be where we need to be and do what needs done.  It is our will and our will be done.

The next time you find yourself down with a sickness, try some magic.  It doesn't have to be for healing, but definitely something you feel strongly about.  See yourself drop away all the physical stuff and dig into something deeper.  I'm not asking you to sacrifice sanity if you're in massive amounts of pain, have a temperature of 105, or are scheduled for surgery in 20 minutes.  But for anything less, give it a go.  See where it takes you.  The napping, sniffling, and hot ramen can wait a little bit longer. Your magic needs you now.


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About Me

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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. 

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