I’ve been listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and just doing a lot of thinking about magic. I wrote some entries last year about how I felt not just ineffective in my magical practice but downright broken – like I had no more magic in me and that I was fooling myself in the first place to have thought I did. I’ve been slowly coming out of that thanks to the material created by many other people (and by talking to my friends and peers about the whole mess). Along the way I’ve noticed that some people talk about being a “(blank) witch” – a light witch, a water witch, a stone witch, a plant witch, etc. etc. I definitely understand what they’re saying but this way of describing oneself and ones magic is not a familiar thing to me. When I was discovering witchcraft as a teen in the mid-late 90s, I don’t think I saw a lot of really specific self-identifiers like this. Oh sure we talked a lot about which of the four magical elements we were most aligned to and whether or not we were a textbook example of our astrological sign. Maybe I just ran with the wrong crowd for that sort of thing, I don’t know.
Although it’d be easy to scoff and say that it’s silly to pigeonhole oneself and one’s magic into one or two simple categories, I think that this particular development is a helpful way of articulating what approaches to magic one is likely to get results with. Like, this is is a way of expressing how a witch actually goes about getting the changes they want to see. When I was younger there was kind of an unspoken rule that a witch had to be good at all approaches to magic and had to be able to get their desired results regardless of tools, time, circumstance, etc. and while I think that flexibility with regards to practice is healthy and helpful, demanding that people be good at all things, all of the time is a little ridiculous. Of course people are naturally going to thrive in some contexts and not in others. So this got me to thinking: what approach to magic am I actually good at?
And I have no idea.
Sure, I can candle my way through a protection spell or mix up a bunch of herbs n spices to curtail gossip and I can say an effective prayer for prosperity…but what kind of witch is this? A kitchen witch? That doesn’t seem to fit the description or my approach to magic.
I suppose I work a lot with energy – but who doesn’t, on some level?
I do approach the creation of magical circumstances a lot through art and creativity and even through music sometimes – so maybe I’m an artistic witch? I made this little bag to the right and thought a lot about the mermaids I know and the merfolk I may someday meet. I thought a lot about the treasures of the earth and what mermaids might consider valuable that landmaids might not. I guess that’s sort of magic even though I didn’t really have a distinctive intention embedded in the process aside from the desire to make the finished item beautiful.
What about the kinds of spells I have a knack for or that I have good success with? I know what my job title in the Big Black Building is (which I won’t mention here). I’m also reasonably good with general protection and I’ve been able to kick the ass of any energetic nasty that got in my way. That said, I’m as prone to a decent whammy as most of us.
I’ve always been pretty darn good at divination and fortune telling. Maybe I’m a divination witch? I haven’t tried casting spells as such with cartomancy items but I’ve thought about it. I can “read” energy fairly well – assuming that I’m willing to trust what I’m receiving which I don’t always. I’ve read professionally since I was 18 – nearly twenty years – and I’ve studied cards since I was 11 or 12. I’m decent at this kind of magic if for no other reason than I’ve been working with it for so damn long.
Then of course there’s all the spirit work skills which I’m not sure really count in this situation.
I dunno – have any of you ever thought about what kind of witch you are, or even if you like to call yourself a “(blank) witch”? How did you find your approach to magic?