Back to Basics: Are You Forgetting Something?
It is amazing how often we forget things we learned as a child. Proper manners “Yes Sir. No Sir.” To make our beds daily and do our homework. As adults, we have more responsibility and more chances to be slack in said responsibility. We often find ourselves not eating a healthy breakfast and staying up until all hours. Then we pay for it the next day (or later that day with a sick stomach).
Our mothers told you to brush twice daily, eat your veggies, and remember to say thank you. When was the last time you said thank you and really meant it? Heck, when was the last time you purposefully ate veggies? I’m talking to all of you out there, like me, who procrastinate and put want ahead of need. However, I’d like to focus on a part of your life your mother may not have included, but is just as important.
It has to do with the basics of magical workings.
What was the first thing you learned while doing energy work? Hopefully it was to ground your energies. Grounding is the act of basically connecting your energies to the Earth, generally in a root-like manner, to keep one’s energies from spiking and also to tap into a source of energies. It is alternately brimming forth energy and also a cord for any excess energy to safely be distributed into the Earth. Just think ‘root.’
Yes, I’m sure you ‘automatically’ ground and get on with things, but when was the last time you reveled in the act of tapping into the Earth? Grounding is much more sacred and important to do offhand. People like very much to hurry through life, why not savor the moment when your energy merges with something larger?
A few months ago I was reminded of the importance of grounding. I was asked to do something for a friend and readily offered my aid. I didn’t feel anything at first, only sleepiness. Then, bam! The headache happened. It’s like an energy hangover. Other people’s backlash can be different and it can simply be prevented. In fact, following this first suggestion can prevent much more.
1: Be aware of yourself.
If you are tired before you start the crafting, perhaps it is not the right time to do a circle. Need before want, remember? I know spells and workings are fun. I also know that people like to show off their talents. So, before you do anything crafty, take a moment and look over the situation.
Is anyone goading you into something? If someone were calling you out, what purpose would performing the spell be? Would your deity/ies like what you were doing? Would this potential moment embarrass you later on? Then there’s the situation where no one is goading you, and the one who initiated the showing off is just you.
All spells should have a purpose. What would showing off do but show that you are insecure and flamboyant? Often when we do spellcraft on the spur of the moment, we forget things. I don’t know, perhaps grounding for one. Also, we forget to be aware of our surroundings (the spiritual side and the more physical side alike).
If you pull out tools in the middle of school or at a busy restaurant, the teachers and other customers might get a little suspicious. I know we like attention, but is this the attention you really want? To be called to the Vice Principal’s office and asked about chanting in the middle of the courtyard during lunch?
Witchcraft is a mystery art, ‘showing off’ makes you part of the jokes that more experienced Witches chuckle at. Please, I know that there’s more to you than showing off. In fact, you probably don’t even know you’re doing it until it’s all over.
Discretion is the better part of valor and keeps outside people from interfering. Besides, is that the sort of energy you want associated with whatever craft you are planning? Which leads me to the next suggestion.
2. Does it feel right?
Often we find ourselves just looking for a spell to do. Ok, not everyone does this, but many people go through a stage where they “Just gotta do something!” Being still, being calm, simply being isn’t enough. They have to do something. So, they go crazy looking through spell books in the local Barnes and Noble or divine at anything that moves.
You ignore the feeling your guides touch on you ever so gently in lieu of more. More what, power? Attention? Basically, more fuel to feed your pride. In the end this can cause burn out or worse yet, a chaotic mind that forgets to do suggestion 1, to be aware of yourself.
I’ve had moments like that. It wasn’t enlightening. It was just busywork. Why make more work for you to do when you can minimize your energy expenditure by keeping your craftwork nice and neat? Try to reduce the number of spells you do and increase purposeful grounding. I’m sure you’ll notice a difference in how you think, feel, and act.
When your mind kicks up a lot of chaotic energy, it’s like a muddy pool of water. Once the waters still and the dirt settles, you can see more clearly. Also, you can trust yourself more readily. Which leads me to 3.
3. Trust Thyself.
This is the biggie. People are going to tell you you’re wrong, misguided, or just stupid for anything and everything. They might just disagree with you concerning a tarot reading you are giving them (other Practitioners will do this more than you would think). They might say that you are casting a circle wrong because you do it differently from them or think that you are a flake when in fact you are earnest in your ways.
It’s interesting to note that some of the harshest criticism I’ve seen comes from inside the Pagan and Witchcraft community. It can cause rock hard cliques, withdrawal of those who can be great teachers and worse yet, hesitation to reach out for others who could be great circle members.
In order to trust others, you must trust yourself. In order to know what feels right, you must trust yourself. In order to ground properly, you must trust yourself that you are in fact grounding properly. If you have done any successful working, you must have had trust in yourself to some point. Having complete trust in yourself is difficult when many in society call you wrong or when your best friend says you are doing things incorrectly (which just feels like another way of saying wrong). If it works for you, it works for you.
Trusting thyself is what brings everything together. Trust is being aware of yourself and knowing what you are doing is right. So, doing suggestions 1 and 2 will lead to true self-trust. If you already have self-trust, it never hurts to take a moment and reflect. Refine your baser skills of grounding, meditation, and remembering to draw in energy like you used to when all of this was new and shimmering with possibilities.
Learn to listen to your gut, because often it knows if something is a bad idea before your brain does.
4. You Are a Sponge.
Don’t forget to look at whom you practice with. Are they good to you? Would they help you move out of your house if you asked? More importantly, would they offer to help you move out if you didn’t ask? These are the kinds of people you want to be around. People who want to help you and not harm you.
Many go on the notion of perfect love and perfect trust, is this perfect love and perfect trust? Or is it just playing games? Find people that you can really learn from, and look to people who don’t boast or cover themselves in “Look at me” vibes (or perhaps clothing for that matter).
The most inconspicuous person might hold a treasure of knowledge and friendship if you trust your instincts to say, “Blessed be.” to them. Just make sure you’re not saying hi to them because they’re quiet.
Trust your instincts and your common sense; you have them for a reason. Remember, you are a sponge. You share energies with other people, and you start picking up those attributes. Haven’t you noticed that you start sounding like people you’re around often? It’s called mirroring. You copy what you see most around you to fit in.
American society says a T-shirt jeans or shorts are the norm in the warmer months. Wearing a civil war reenactment outfit would stick out like a sore thumb. Mirroring what you see others do is how you stay socially viable, and not an outcast.
It’s the same when you are with your circle or coven. If someone’s morals differ in a way that you would see as unacceptable, the more you are around them (and their energies), the less harmful their acts seem. Then you are no longer the person you were.
Are you the person you wanted to be?
Look at people like aspects of an art piece. Will your final work be magnificent and beautiful? Or will it make you feel full of dread when you look on it? Friends and circle members should not make you feel trepidation.
Try to follow the previous three suggestions, and the right people will start to come out of the woodwork.
I suppose some of these suggestions aren’t in the books we read when we first started out. Trusting yourself is something that comes in time. Being aware is simple enough, but often overlooked.
Asking yourself if something feels right can be relative. It can only be answered by the Practitioner doing the craft. Sometimes we forget about the need and do a want, just because we felt like it.
Sometimes we get smacked upside the head by backlash of some sort. We’re always in such a hurry. But, one thing that we can choose is our friends. Just because someone looks interesting doesn’t mean that they are trustworthy.
Never settle for less than the best. You are worth it. So, remember that next time you take a few seconds extra in that pre-spellcraft grounding.