Judgmental Little Witch
Obviously, based on its title, this article is about judgment. Not the judgment of others. Rather, that sneaky self judgment. You know the kind, it tells you all sorts of lies like, this won’t work or you’re just mundane. I think a lot of new witches experience this; and it is very likely seasoned witches do as well.
Last summer I decided to go hardcore witch. I bought an amulet that called to me and did a moon drawing ritual. When I started, I thought I knew which gods and goddesses I was working with. I did the ritual but at the last moment I felt compelled to include Hekate. And that… that is when magick began to work for me.
After that ritual, It took about two more months before Hekate made it clear that she wanted to work with me. I’ll dive much deeper into the details of my calling at a later point in time. Right now, that’s not what this post is about. Suffice it to say, she literally came at me from all the right places and then kept banging on the figurative door until I answered. I accepted her call and then started learning.
I’m becoming transfixed with nature and my part in it which I believe just signifies I’m finally waking up
As I began learning I came across amazing resources like Magical Recipes Online and Wiccan Spells. I don’t consider myself a Wiccan and I haven’t really used any recipes but these were the first two websites that opened the gates to my newly-returned-to path. I found a few Facebook group pages as well like, Candle Magick and Spells and Witches of South Carolina
Since my sister Donna also practices witchcraft, I tend to use her as a sounding board. I had told her about my moon drawing ritual and about how Hekate sorta snuck herself in. A few months later, I was doing my morning coffee and reading when I received a text from Donna that just said “Hekate.” I called her right away and she told me about a dream her youngest daughter had about snakes, some of Hekate’s most reliable companions in myth and artp.
It was summer at the time and I work in construction so there is lots of outside work. For the next week I kept coming across snakes both living and dead. The synchronicities were too plentiful to ignore. It was at this moment that I got serious about my practice and devotion to Hekate.
I discovered the blog Keeping Her Keys on Patheos. In case you don’t know because you live under a rock like Patrick the Starfish, the blog is authored by Cyndi Brannen. In my not-so-expert opinion Cyndi is a pretty big deal she is also the author of Keeping Her Keys: Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft, The First Key [Moon Books, 2018] and the founder of The Witches’ Realm Facebook group.
The Witches’ Realm has been the biggest witchy blessing in my life so far. Inside the Realm, I found people just like me, people who are new-ish to the path of the wise. Additionally there are lots of people who have been witching for longer than I’ve been alive. I spend a lot of time scrolling through the page and, it always seems that I come across articles that have been posted in perfect synchronicity with what I need to read/know at that time. The Witches’ Realm has also provided me with an amazing friend and mentor but I’ll get to that a bit further down so just keep reading.
I’m picking me apart again
Things were moving along well on my journey but I was stumbling too. I had spells that failed — spells that should have brought me higher paying jobs or a lottery windfall. I was beating myself up over not being a good witch. But mostly, I was struggling with trying to figure out how to do pretty much anything magick related.
That’s why I’m writing this article and all of the articles that will follow. Hopefully someone somewhere will be able to identify, to understand. Hopefully this article will resonate with someone and help them along their way.
In July, Cyndi posted an article about Toxic Witches. Cyndi describes a Toxic Witch as “typically wounded individuals who are seeking healing. Even if they don’t know it”. I read the article and then did what I do best. I started judging myself. I read way into the “Pseudo Witch” description. It was the second Toxic Witch on the list but listed as #12; so clearly not as toxic as #1 right?
Cyndi describes a Pseudo Witch as a person who “just wants to get to the partwhere they manifest a million bucks” I worried that because I do prosperity magick I must, in fact, be a Toxic Witch. Cyndi also says, “All they want is the magic(k). They don’t want to learn the techniques and practices.” Obviously I paid no attention to the latter part of the quote as I went into freak out mode!
Never mind the fact that I’m basically a newbie since I had only just started practicing seriously. And never mind the fact that I am continually trying to learn as much as I can in order to be the best witch I can be. No, of course none of that occurred to me. The judge in my head did all it could to help me believe that I was the worst case situation.
Then, I pulled a Jay-z and got, that, dirt off my shoulders. (Even though I’m great at judging myself I’m also great at moving forward).
As fall moved in. Cyndi started offering an online course on Modern Witchcraft. The class was excellent. It was full of information that was helpful and eye opening. In the class we did exercises on unleashing our inner witch, boundaries (identifying both our strengths and weaknesses), and plant spirits; where we learned about Hekate’s garden. Some of the work for the class required participants to kinda meditate. I learned a lot about myself because of the class, especially that I suck at meditation.
That damn judge in my head started doing what judges do best, judging. My lack of meditation skills presented me with evidence of my failure at witching and ultimately became a roadblock. I couldn’t get the head judge to shut the fuck up. I failed to turn in assignments that required meditation because, according to Judgy-McJudgerson, I could not meditate and therefore could not complete the assignments. I became Trent Reznor, on a Downward Spiral, singing to a Piggy about how “nothing’s turning out the way I planned”, because my magick was suffering.
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
I needed some help. I didn’t know what to do or how to pull myself out of the funk that I was experiencing. In the mundane world when I have these type of issues I tend to have close friends I can turn to. None of these friends are witches though so I was at a loss, so I thought.
I had made friends with Nikki Zang Roszko, editor of The Way of Witch, when I first joined The Witches’ Realm. She quickly became a mentor for me. When I finally did, what I should have done sooner, it was Nikki who listened to me the way I needed to be heard. She helped me see that I was, in fact, not a Toxic Witch. Then I was given the best advice I have ever personally received as a witch.
Nikki suggested a self dedication-ritual. She even offered to help me write it. We talked a lot about what my current #witchgoals were and eventually a plan began to form.
I knew pretty quickly that goal #1 involved getting back to writing. I’ve always felt a magick in my writing. I believe that our innate talents are the best way to honor source energy and our connection with the divine.
My second goal was easy as well but would prove to be the biggest challenge. Meditation. I decided to make the intention to actively work on meditation everyday. I knew/know that if I try and try and try again, eventually I’ll get it right. You’ll find a shit-ton of information on this in my next post so keep coming back.
The last goal I set for myself was something I was already doing. I figured it was best to include something that involved my devotion to Hekate and, at the end of the day it just makes sense. I would dedicate myself to giving thanks everyday to Hekate using her epithets. I always use epithets when dealing with Hekate. I feel like it’s the best way to hone in and focus the intention I am trying to manifest. The best resource I have found is a thorough list of The Many Epithets Of Hekate by Mat Auryn the author of For Pucks Sake. I refer to this list often and as it turns out the more often I use it the more epithets I retain for future use.
Since this ritual is mine and very specific to me, I won’t give out the hows and whats of the workings. What I will do is try my best to explain the principles that I learned in order to write the ritual.
And following our will and wind, we may just go where no one’s been
So, okay, I have my goals figured out but what’s next? Nikki taught me how to infuse an oil with herbs. We talked at length about different herbs and how they can be used. I’m being very honest when I say I really don’t know anything about herbs but I want to learn. I held on to everything I learned from Nikki but I still have a whole lot to learn. Maybe that will come up again later. Who knows?
For now here is what you need to know. Find herbs that correspond to what you’re working on/with. For me, I was working with Hekate. I found three herbs from Hekate’s Garden and used those for the oil. For my oil I used myrrh, bay leaves, and mugwort.
For selecting my herbs, I needed a good deal of coaching from my friend, mentor, and editor. I knew I wanted to use bay leaves because I have a strong connection to them. I carry one with my money to attract prosperity. I burn them instead of sage for cleansing while I invoke epithets of Hekate. Also, my mom is Italian and she used to use them in all her Italian cooking when I was a kid. I learned from Nikki that bay leaves were a good representation of Hekate, in her heavenly realm.
I can’t tell you why, but mugwort just calls to me. I have this intuition that I am meant to work with it a lot. Specifically, I feel drawn to smoking it in herbal mixes. I haven’t gotten very far in learning about herbs yet but when I do, I feel like this one is going to be one I work with a lot. Nikki taught me that Mugwort represents Hekate in the earthly realm so it felt very right to use this in my oil.
According to Nikki, myrrh represents Hekate in her underworld realm. Again I can’t say why Myrrh stood out to me, but I assume it is from my Catholic upbringing. Maybe it’s a little about the little baby Jesus, who got it as a gift. You know, something sounds familiar so it stands out. This is more of a mundane explanation for using myrrh but I think it turned out well so I’m not complaining.
To infuse an oil you can do a cold infusion or a hot one. I don’t have a crockpot so I took the cold infusion route.
I got olive oil from the Dollar Tree, ‘cause I’m a thrifty little witch, and I poured the tiny little bottle into a mason jar. I then, poured in my three herbs; it was about a 1:1 ratio. I kept the jar in a cabinet under my bed because it shouldn’t be left in the light. Then I spent the next 7 days shaking it up at night before bed, while speaking the epithets for Hekate that I would use for my ritual.
While I was at the Dollar Tree I bought a tapered white candle. I had a wine bottle lying around so I put the candle in the bottle top and dressed the whole thing with my oil on the night after Hekate’s Deipnon, the night of the lunar month known as the Dark Moon, this is the night before the new moon. You don’t need to do the whole bottle-candle thing but, you do want a white candle for sure. You’ll definitely want to dress it with your oil.
I wrote my intentions out as if they were things that were already happening. For example, my intention is: “I am a writer and I write 100 words a day.” It’s all about the wording. Positive connotation and affirmative speech is the key to successful manifestations.
The next step was timing. I enjoy timing my workings around the moon. I learned about Manifesting with the Moon on a blog by Jennifer Racioppi. As it turns out the moon is the best little magick tool in the box. New moons are great for bringing things to you. Waxing crescents are ideal for anchoring those new intentions. The full moon is good for magickal nourishment, so I always recharge my amulet for the three nights of the full moon. As the waning crescent comes into the night sky, it’s a good time to think about what is working and what isn’t. This is the best time to send things in your life away and begin to prepare for the new moon soon to come.
Since the new moon is the best time for bringing things into your life, it was the night I started my ritual. The ritual lasted for 7 nights. Each night I opened my circle did the ritual and then close the circle. Eventually I will have a really great process for how I chose to open and close my circles. When that comes to fruition I’m totally going to write about it. I’m going off of intuition for the time being and it feels like it works.
For now when I close my circles I do so by giving thanks. I face the cardinal directions and choose three epithets of Hekate to give my thanks to. Each epithet means something to me based on my intentions. So when I gave them thanks it was that last confirmation that says, “Hey, we’re in this together and I believe that you believe in me.” When I say thank you before I see the fruits of my labor I am basically confirming that I know it already exists. I came out of the ritual without a feeling of doubt but rather a knowing that it was successful
The next step is, in my opinion, the most important. After the ritual you can’t just sit around and hope something happens. You’ll have to put in the work to help the magick do its job. We’ll cover that in my next submission, Ya Better Work Witch. Until then I hope y’all continue to experience The Power Of Practice.
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