Getting Your Prac. Back on Track

Author: Quill ofQuillsOccultSupply / Labels: , ,

Magic users are studious, driven people.  We are workers in the practical and spiritual realms, healers of injustice, openers of the doors of opportunity, visionaries of a more fortunate reality.  We respect knowledge above all else and seek it in every corner of our lives, in every new acquaintance, and between the covers of every book.  Teachers are our estimation of the highest mortal beings for they can strengthen our already formidable energy-shaping powers into something almost God-like.  To be a practitioner is to hold a unique position as a creator of destiny.

But sometimes, well, it just sucks.

Sometimes you're not really feeling it or you can't get that argument with your boss off your
mind.  Sometimes you're exhausted from a long day and making it longer sounds like a terrible idea.  So you go to be early, you let this ritual slide, you take a pass on this issue for which you had originally demanded immediate action.  Life gets in the way and the juggling gets hard, so you drop the easiest ball.  Before long, you can't remember the last spell you cast.  You still wear crystals, you still talk shop with the folks online, but your practice has completely died.  I know a lot of people with this problem.  The worst of it?  There's all kinds of ways to make it sound like it's not a problem at all!  

When this started to happen to me, though, I didn't want to shrug it off.  To me, anything that used to bring me my greatest pleasure and no longer manages to do so should be treated as an emergency.  I refuse to think that it is any witch's destiny to slide down into obscurity and irrelevance.  

Of course, for me, things were a bit different than just "life getting in the way."  Most of my issue is that , these days, I do indeed deal with magic every day, just not for myself.  There's a lot more witchcraft work than play at the moment and it can really slow a person down.  The last personal spell I did wasn't even for me and that was about two weeks ago.  Things have changed a lot since I began and, at times, magic just isn't magical.  As the darkly metaphysical singer Wendy Rule said in Slow Down:

Faith is beyond all reason/
It's not like I can find it when I want to/
Or will it away/

As I said, though--there is no reason to accept this as an eventuality to which we all must come. Rather, we must stop ourselves, assess the problem, uncover its source, clear out all the bad stuff, and start fresh.  So far, I've talked about stopping to notice that something is amiss.  So, just what is it?

Time Breeds Familiarity

Experienced practitioners are prone to this kind of burnout; the gloss of excitement is wearing off and what's left is coarse and dull.  It may seem impossible that anything which deals in mystery could ever grow old--and about 5 years ago I would have wholeheartedly agreed--but now I see that witchcraft can become a career like any other, and therefore become tiring.  The longer you have been practicing, the more likely that the routine of it will get to you.

I've spent so long collecting every needful thing for magic that now that I feel I have nearly
everything I could want for my practice, there's not much left to make me continue to search.  I have a healthy collection of spellbooks, over 200 kinds of herbs, a great number of components, stones, bones, and tools of all sorts.  I always stop at the Metaphysical section of every bookstore, just in case there is something I haven't seen yet.  Lately it's all books I have already read and are on my shelf at home or those in which I have no interest. Spellbooks are my obsession but it would seem that printing new ones has somewhat fallen out of fashion in the past few years.  What is left to bring a thrill?

More Talent, Less Trouble

This is an odd thing to call a problem, but from a spellcaster's view it can be devastating.  When you start out, you're full of issues.  You have a ton of things that need fixed and changed, brought up and put down, and it would be great if it could all happen right now!

So you fix the broken things one at a time. Situations change and new issues crop up; your ability increases with experience and you jump those hurtles as well.  But now it's been many years and the hurtles have gotten smaller. Or perhaps you just jump that much higher. Either way, there seems to be less to get passionate about.  Maybe it's a phase; wait it out, keep your magic in reserve for something big. You're not foolish enough to invite hardships, but if you don't find something to focus on soon, all that talent will start to fade away.

This, I believe, is why so many accomplished practitioners go into teaching or writing later in their careers; you must keep your tools sharpened even when there's nothing to fix.  When I began, I was full of curiosity.  Later, I was full of problems.  During both periods, I cast spells like mad, deeply immersed in my beliefs and my craft.  What a wonderful time that was, always busy, always seeing the good I did in my own life!  My work now is centered around others (my shop, reading tarot and making spell kits professionally, this blog, my manuscripts) and I truly adore it.  It's my main interaction with the magical community now and it keeps me in touch with what people want and need, and with a constant assessment of what I can provide to them.  It's the most rewarding job I've ever undertaken.

But that doesn't mean I don't miss casting spells for myself.  It's almost a silly thought but sometimes being satisfied just isn't satisfying.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin

Anyone who has reached the point where they can branch out from their own little world and move into the greater community can understand this.  There's so many tasks that need done, so many open positions for magic folks--we can do anything and be anything.  
Grab your bags and get to it!  And I certainly did.  I've held nearly every position I came in contact with, taking up the gauntlet without a moment's hesitation.  Naturally enough, I didn't feel that it was necessary to pick only one, so most of the titles I've held still apply today: tarot reader, professional spellcaster, mentor, advice columnist, website designer, artist, teacher, coven leader, shop owner, poet, writer.  I sometimes wonder if anyone can be effective at all of these simultaneously.  I know I can't!

Getting overwhelmed and underinspired by any of these can only lead to a fall.  But before you find yourself drained and ready to quit everything in favor of something easier, get out your last life raft--a paper and pen.  With effective planning, you can regain all you have lost (and so can I).

How to Get Back on the Road

Now that you know what the problem is and have thoroughly rooted out its causes, it's time to make some plans.  Begin by thinking about your past.  What inspires you?  What has always held that special charge that lights you up inside?  Write that down!  Keep it close; find new ways to chase that dream, to explore that avenue.

Now think about what you've been putting off.  Sometimes it seems easier to ignore an entire facet of our lives rather than do the hard work that awaits us there.  If your BoS is a disaster, you're not likely to want to do any magic that would only lengthen the list of work you need to put into it.  Perhaps you have a long to-do list for spells that need cast or a situation that is failing faster than you can help.  Maybe you're lacking essential ingredients as well as the means to buy them.  Whatever your situation, recognize it and set down some ideas for ways to remedy it.  Break down big issues into smaller tasks.  Put in some effort every day toward fixing it; make small changes often and you will see results.

Next you must make plans for your immediate future.  Get an almanac and use it as your magical day-planner: mark in it weekly magical plans and upcoming timed spells.  Keep it near and refer to it often.  Once you get on track, you can opt to create a theme for each month such as focusing on a certain topic (like lucid dreaming) or increasing your knowledge of one style of spellcasting (like knot spells).  When you're not casting during that month, use some of your free time to learn in a pleasurable way, such as watching video tutorials, attending workshops, talking with friends, reading articles, and searching for books on the topic.

Keep your goal within reach by making your daily goals achievable.  Don't get discouraged if this repatterning takes some time.  It's all part of becoming the person you choose to be, and that's a big part of magic already!

Create Long-Term Goals You Love

Just whom do you wish to be?  This may sound like a foolish notion in the same vein as asking a toddler what he wants to be when he grows up, but it is quite serious.  You must know a goal in order to achieve it.  Think honestly abut the kind of practitioner you are called to become.  What untapped talents dd you have that you could use to enrich your practice now or in the future?  What resources are available that you have not yet utilized?

Give yourself a general timeline in which to accomplish goals.  Perhaps you would like to
become skilled in tarot before the year's end.  That's definitely possible, especially if you can link it up with longer goals such as a strong desire to go into counselling, become ordained, work the festival circuit, or start your own business. Your deadline shouldn't be a race to the finish line but rather a reminder to always be in the process of becoming.

Begin Today

Don't wait a moment longer; today is the only time there is to make a change.  Write your magical to-do list, always keep a plan, and stick to the schedule.  When you make yourself present for your practice, the inspiration will come quick on its heels.  It has to be given due placement in your life; make it an important element--and not a last-minute inclusion--and you will see it flourish.  When you've got it you'll notice yourself able to make use of every moon, get the most work done, never pass up the perfect timing, grow as a spellcaster, and realize your goals.  

You are a creator of destiny.  Get out there and create!

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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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