Being a Witch – Anxiety & Manifestation

Happy Thursday witches! I’ve finally sat down and worked through all my thoughts on this subject. If you follow Magickal Mavens on instagram, you may have seen my post about this Taurus New Moon helping me climb out of this dark cloud I’ve been under the last few months. While it’s likely I’ve just been dealing with some unexpected seasonal depression, it kicked my anxiety into high gear.
While I haven’t been diagnosed with any formal anxiety disorder, it’s something I’ve been dealing with since I was a pre-teen. I was always in a constant state of “what if”, preferring to lock myself away from people and read than interact with my peers. However anxious I was though, I always trusted my intuition about people and situations.
I will always remember the day I didn’t listen to her. Her voice whispered to me as I made plans. She caught herself in my mother’s voice as she asked me when I would be home. She raised the hair on the back of my neck and arms. She frantically dug a pit in my stomach so deep it felt as if it had no bottom. She begged and pleaded with me to run. And yet, I did not move. And in that split second of indecision, choosing to ignore her, she silenced her voice.
It has been a struggle ever since to convince her to speak louder than a soft whisper. I broke our bond and she could no longer trust herself to keep me safe if I was unwilling to heed her words.
This constant state of questioning myself and the intentions of those around me is exhausting. Some days are better than others, but up to the Taurus new moon, my anxiety has been at an all time high.
Walking this path requires us to embrace ourselves fully and to trust Her without question.
In order to truly manifest you must feel and trust what you want and need to deeply within your body that your energy is clearly channeled. There must be no doubt in your mind in what you want. Anxiety makes that feeling, a total bitch to get too. Intuition hides in Anxiety’s shadow, afraid to push her aside. Afraid to bring you back to that roaring fire inside you that always lit your path.
I have been slowly attempting to reconnect with Intuition. It is something I work on little by little every day. Relearning to trust myself and Her takes effort every day. It’s acknowledging the wavelength you find yourself on, encouraging and responding to those moments the moment they appear. It’s showing yourself grace and care on your bad days, and trusting that they will be over by morning.
I wanted to share with you a few of the things I have been implementing into my lifestyle that have helped me manage my anxiety and foster trust in myself. Learning to trust myself impacts every part of my life, and in particular my magick.
Being a Witch - Anxiety and Manifestation

1. Silence, Solitude & Space

2. Decisions Decisions Decisions

3. Prioritizing & Planning

4. Purging your internal dialogue

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Silence, Solitude, & Space –

This can be a difficult one, but for me it is usually the most important. It is imperative that for your own mental health and wellness that you find a few moments every day to care for yourself. How can you continue to care for those around you when you have literally nothing else to give? Caring for yourself is caring for your loved ones. You don’t do anyone any good by running yourself ragged.
Now, for those of you that are parents – I know this is practically an impossibility some days. So I challenge you to plan at least one day a MONTH to get some real peace and quiet. Trade off with your partner so that you can each have your moment to rest and reset. Your spirit will thank you.

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

For me, this was largely about what do I waste energy worrying about each day. I’ve worked to pair down my closet, my skin care, my makeup routine, even meal prepping. Anything I can think of that I can work to have a solid foundation in. If I can do it half-asleep, or on auto pilot and I look put together and well fed, I am a fan of. The less time and energy I put into these things, the more I can put towards the things I am passionate about.

Prioritizing & Planning

Keeping a rough daily/weekly schedule has helped my anxiety so much. Now, this is largely a control thing but it has helped me ensure I meet all of my “musts” each week. Working out, meal planning, content for MM, everything important to me. Anything outside of those musts is required to fit around those, and if it doesn’t – I say no. My bullet journal is becoming my greatest asset.

Purging your internal dialogue

You must have a space to dump your thoughts, unfiltered and unashamed of them. It is something I am still working on, but it has helped me so much in relearning to trust my initial thoughts and feelings regarding something. Whether this be in therapy, a journal, whatever makes sense for you – be sure to do it. First thing in the morning with your coffee, just after the kids have gone to bed and all is quiet.
These are still a work in progress for me. I’m sure they will never be perfect as we all grow, but they are the few things I am committing myself too. I may let my emotions fuel my magick, but I won’t let them control me.
I hope you found these helpful. If you implement any of these into your life I would love to hear how.

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Discovering – Hoodoo & Voodoo

Hoodoo and voodoo are often used interchangeably thanks to modern media.  Both have a rich history and heavy cultural influence in Haiti and in the southern U.S., primarily Louisiana.
Both have their roots in West Africa, but there is a distinct line between the two.  Hoodoo is a spiritual and magickal system.  Voodoo (Vodou or Vodoun) is a religion.
Discovering Hoodoo and Voodoo

Hoodoo:

Most practitioners of hoodoo are actually of Protestant faith. After the forced conversion of slaves into the United States, many held onto their spiritual practices but utilized the Christian Bible and Psalms as part of their workings.
The practice has evolved to include Jewish, German, Santeria, and other religions as practitioners migrated further north after the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. It is much like witchcraft in that its practices can be layered within almost any religious or spiritual faith.
It encompasses many tools and practices – divination, spell-casting, and specific traditions that have been passed down from person to person. Because of its ability to be utilized with varying paths, its practices can vary from person to person.

Voodoo [Vodou/Voudon]:

In her 1996 publication, Dr. Leslie Desmangles, a Haitian professor at Hartford Trinity College wrote this regarding the practice of voudon:

It refers to “a whole assortment of cultural elements: personal creeds and practices, including an elaborate system of folk medical practices; a system of ethics transmitted across generations [including] proverbs, stories, songs, and folklore… voudon is more than belief; it is a way of life.”

She specifically references the Haitian voudon path, but it is also applicable to Louisiana vodou. The paths originate from West Africa, with modern day Benin considered its most likely origin. However it’s evolution stems from the inhumane slave trade practiced from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Upon arrival in Haiti, slaves were forced to convert to Christianity by law.  While many converted as a means of survival, they held onto their culture’s practices and beliefs.  These were their connection back to their culture and ancestors in a time when they faced unimaginable suffering.
Through generations of conversion to Christianity, families passed down beliefs and practices that melded the two closer together. Iwas, spirits, were identified with their Catholic counterparts.
Haitian voudon still maintains that Bondye, “The Good God” is the creator god.  Iwas function as guides to direct the needs of day to day life.  Both are respected and considered sacred, but ritual and ceremonies call to the associated Iwa for their assistance.  Louisiana vodou has taken on slightly more Catholic influence, with its creator god being the Christian God. Saints are called for assistance within sacred ritual more often than the traditional Iwa.
It should be noted that voudon gave hope to the slaves suffering in Haiti.  It was through voudon that they found the inspiration and strength to rise and revolt against the French colonists that sought to keep them enslaved.  It is through this uprising that voudon was brought to the Americas when the French fled. Voudon has remained a powerful influence in Haiti as the people reclaim their communities. They still struggle to overcome the damage created by the slave trade and racist perspectives held against them.
Vodou in Louisiana would not be as influential for quite some time, until the rise of voodoo queens, most noteably Marie Laveau. Voodoo queens held much political influence in their neighborhoods. Politicians, lawyers, businessmen and other influential men often sought the guidance of these women in their decision making. The rise in power of these women was remarkable as they lived in communities that upheld oppressive practices and a strong separation of freedom between the white and black population. Even today, Marie Laveau is considered the Voodoo Queen of the south.
Being that I am from the south, I honestly thought that I would have been taught or… been at least a little more knowledgeable on this subject.  Yet, I know that my extended family has likely never had a legitimate interaction with someone that practices these paths.  It baffles me that we can be so closed off to a practice that could be happening literally right next door. There is so much misunderstanding perpetuated by the media in regards to Voodoo, Hoodoo, and Santeria.  It breeds a culture of fear regarding anything “other.”
I believe it is our duty as we seek education to calm this fear.  To take the opportunity to educate those around us, even if they have no interest in witchcraft or spiritual paths.  It is only in this way that we can begin to destigmatize these paths and create closer bonds within our communities.
Check out the full recommended reading list here
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Defining Practice & Craftwork

There are numerous paths in which you can focus your practice. It all depends on what speaks to you and makes you feel most connected to your power. Of course, you are not required to identify with any one in particular.  Labeling things is a human reaction to making sense of a world that we still don’t understand. Which explains why we check boxes our entire lives even if we don’t really fit within them just right.
Defining Practice and Craftwork

Below are the most common paths I’ve come across:

Solitary – a witch who practices alone.  This one often annoys me when I see it.  So many of us practice alone and it tells you about as much about a person’s path as just saying “I’m a witch.”
Green or Earth Magick – often utilizes herbalism and nature-based practices.  They have also been known to incorporate fae or nature spirits into their work.
Ceremonial/High magick – practices are highly ritualistic and formalized, often pulled from historical grimoires that have been discovered.
Hedge witchcraft – refers to “crossing the hedge” or “crossing the veil”.  Hedge witches work closely with spirits and often utilize herbs to alter their state of conscious to assist with crossings.
Left-hand path – traditionally associated with black magick, but this term is often rejected by those within pagan circles.  There is nothing inherently evil or bad about this path, it simply utilizes different energy and workings to achieve the intended goal. Many who work this path are seeking spiritual freedom and often employ workings seen as “taboo”, ie sex magick or Santanic imagery.
White magick – left-hand path’s counterpart, this path focuses specifically on a moral code and belief in some form of judgement.  That may be karma, the Threefold Law, or some other retribution for certain actions taken within one’s life.
Eclectic witch – Also a vague label, haha, but also once that I tend to use as I have no idea what I’m doing other than pulling inspiration from various books and resources that have resonated with me.  Which is exactly what this is referencing.
Kitchen witch – also referred to as a cottage witch, this practice infuses magick into everyday, mundane tasks. Meals are made with intention and are often focused on fostering love, protection, and healing for others. Cleaning is also a part of spiritual cleansing and building protection for the home.
Hereditary witch – Practices, traditions and familial folklore ae carried on through the generations.
Elemental witch – practice and ritual is fueled by the strength of the elements.  These witches are also connected to their many forms

Others I’ve seen in passing:

Chaos magick – 
Chaos magick is… weird? So of course I dove on in to try to make sense of it.  Learn more about it here, because a little blurb just won’t do it justice.
Alchemy
At its core, alchemy is the practice of adding value to an unrefined material. It is the basis of most scientific discoveries in chemistry and medicine. For example, practices such as ore refining, development of inks and dyes, and glass working were discovered through alchemic processes of attempting to transform their base components. Today, many at home herbal medicines are created through alchemical practices, which when properly layered with witchcraft can produce a powerful remedy.
Theoretical physics is a great example of the metaphysical implications of alchemy.  It seeks to solve a problem with formula, even if completely untestable due to current technology.
Appalachian or Granny magick – 
Often considered as part of hereditary magick, Granny magick is an old practiced traced back to the original settlers of the Appalachian mountains. These settlers were primarily Scottish and Irish immigrants who crossed over in the 1700’s.  They brought with them their cultural practices and were eventually blended with some traditions from surrounding Cherokee tribes. You can read more about the history and practices of this path here.
Tantric/Sex magick
Often controversial, sex magick is often viewed as part of the left-hand path.  However, as the modern feminist/witchcraft community grows, so does our claim back to the power of our sexuality and how we wield it. Interestingly, in traditional Wiccan practices, sex during ritual was very common.

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What path do you feel most drawn to?  Or are you called into another direction entirely!?  Is there a craft type you would love to add to your practice?  Tell me below in the comment section!
Check out the full recommended reading list here
 

Discovering Path & Practice

Humans like to categorize things. We like to check off boxes, fit things together in our attempt to make sense of the world. We break things down in an attempt to provide context in every aspect of our lives.  Ambiguity is not our friend. Ambiguity causes chaos.
Even our craft and spirituality have been broken down to help ease this ‘box-checking’ obsession of ours.
Discovering Path & Practice
Why can’t we just be?  Younger generations are tired of ticking boxes that no longer serve a clear purpose. We may be data-driven, but we’ve grown tired of those data points being this or that. One or Two. Male or Female. Blue or Red
A lot of assumptions are made because of this habit.
So, this month I’m going to try to tackle some spiritual and religious paths and craftwork types. You can find literally a million and one books on Wicca. So, I won’t waste my time, haha. If you want to know more about Wicca, I highly suggest you pick up Raymond Buckland’s big blue book.  It has everything you need to begin pursuing a Wiccan practice.
There a few very important things I want to say before you dive in.

  1. I am not part of any of the following cultures that I researched, nor do I practice any of the religious paths mentioned.  I have tried my hardest to represent them in a respectful, supportive way but there is always the chance the my own bias or misunderstanding of these cultures has snuck in.  If you do see something and feel it needs my attention, please do not hesitate to let me know.
  2. Closed cultures & closed practices. There is a lot of discussion happening concerning racism and cultural appropriation – spiritual practices are not exempt from these conversations. It is imperative that as practitioners seeking information and education that we recognize our privilege in studying these practices. Many paths reflect the suffering and pain of the people that they developed from.  Being expressly invited to practice a closed faith is one thing, taking it on simply because it calls to you is another.

So what are we going to be breaking down?  Let’s start with some of the most common we see within the United States – Hoodoo, Voodoo and Santeria.  I am on the hunt to expand this, but this seemed a fitting place to begin.
Spiritual and Religious Paths
Hoodoo and Voodoo
Santeria
Defining Practice and Craftwork
 
There is only one type of craftwork I’ve come across that seems to throw all caution to the wind and focus more on just “doing”, rather than fitting into a specific box. Chaos magick is intriguing.
Chaos Magick

Recommended Reading
 
 

Why I Don't Hide My Spirituality

There is a lot of empowerment to be found in spiritual spaces. Learning to love yourself, claim your space, your power, build beautiful lasting relationships focused on lifting you through your darkest moments.
But there is still fear.
Working to better yourself creates an openness in you. Your emotions are heightened, your desire for connection and understanding.  For the people that do not or cannot understand that, it can create a strong and heartbreaking divide.
It can feel like a target.
There is still darkness in our “religiously-free” culture.  Anyone on any path could and SHOULD recognize that.
MMusing - Why I don't hide
I had a family member, someone I had generally looked up to as a kind person, flat out disown me and tell me I was a horrible person for not following a Christian path.  If I had been standing in front of them… well I’m not quite sure the reaction I would have garnered.
I’ll take the potential melt-downs, confrontation, and future disowning if it means I am staying true to where my spirit is called.
If I chose to hide my spirituality, I wouldn’t be speaking my truth. I would be doing myself and others a disservice by assuming they either do not care or would not understand.
Our souls all resonate differently. As long as we are all working on being compassionate, caring, and empathetic to others, why should we be so concerned about what it is called or where we practice?  We are all trying to better ourselves and our understanding of the world around us.
Spirituality and religion should always be a personal choice.  Otherwise, our spirits slowly starve and never find fulfillment.
I hope your path is one filled with love, support and comfort, no matter what it may be.  I hope that your spirit sings when you live in harmony with those pure intentions.
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