Magic in the Mundane: 5 Easy Ways to Make Every Day Magical, by Emma Kathryn
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
Making every day magical sounds a little cliched, doesn't it? But like all cliches, there's a tiny nugget of truth at the centre, like the grit at the centre of a pearl. And who doesn't want to live a life filled with magic? Indeed, magic goes hand in hand with living.
The trouble with wanting to live a little more magically is knowing where to begin. How can we make our lives more magical? What can we do to centre our witchcraft practices within our real, everyday lives? To live an authentically magical life?
It's a good idea to spend some time exploring the things standing between you and your ideal magical life, and as you'll no doubt discover, there isn't one single answer, but rather issues can get caught up in one another and tangled until we just don't know where to begin unravelling them.
One of the biggest factors that can have an effect on our daily magical practice is time, or more precisely, the lack of it. The truth is that we all lead increasingly busy lives. How many of us have to juggle work, family, childcare, chores, and quality time with those you love—and that's all before even thinking about eating and sleeping. We all have different constraints and pressures on our time that all too often mean we end up putting off our daily practice. We tell ourselves that we'll do this ritual or that journey tomorrow or the next day. The next full moon. The next sabbat. And before you realise it, you have missed so much!
But time is not the only factor. What if you are not out yet out of the broom closet, as the saying goes? It can be difficult then to have daily practice simply due to the fact you are limited in the practical sense, even more so if you share your living space with other people. The list of reasons as to why we might put off developing a personal daily practice is long and varied, but it is also valid. It's important that we consider these issues so that we can begin to look for solutions and apply them. It's no wonder it can sometimes seem impossible to forge a consistent and regular witchcraft practice!
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many of us, myself included, to really look at and reflect on the lives we lead. For me, this culminated in my latest book, Witch Life: A Practical Guide to Making Every Day Magical. Witch Life was written during the first lock down in 2020, just after the time that I realised my witchcraft practice had really become a source of strength and inspiration for me. I noticed it was, quite often, the really small things that were making the most difference and that were actually enabling me to develop and strengthen my daily practice.
Beginning to live a little more magically is easier than you might think, and here I'll share my top five tips on how to bring a little more magic into your life. The steps are small and practical, and you can pick, choose, and adapt these hints and tips to suit your own practice and lifestyle.
- Build a Connection with the Land Where You Live
This is so much easier than it sounds! Building a connection with the land and thus nature is a great way of adding a little magic to your everyday life, and everyone can do it. You don't need any special equipment and it costs nothing apart from time and willingness.As an animist, I see the natural world as being imbued with spirit, and this is something that feeds into my witchcraft practice and also into my daily life. Building a connection with land can be as simple as going for a walk every day or at least standing outside for a few minutes at the same time each day, but doing so with the aim of fully immersing yourself in the experience. Give yourself completely to it. Notice the plants and trees, the birds, insects, and other creatures you encounter. Notice the feel of the place, where the sun shines and the shade falls.
And, the more you get used to the simple act of making time and giving yourself the space to make that initial connection, taking it further is easier. Look after the land around you, tidy it up, pick up litter, become a steward of that place and your witchcraft practice will be the better for it!
- Grow Plants
Now I must confess, I am something of a plant hoarder, and so you should believe me when I say anyone can grow and look after plants—it's true!There's a plant for even the most prolific plant killers out there, and once you get the basics of plant care right, you'll be hooked.
In terms of witchcraft, plants have so many uses and growing and looking after your own plants means that they will be more potent when it comes to using them in your magic. And again, as an animist, working with plants and building that relationship with them will ultimately benefit your magic.
There are some things you will need to consider. Firstly, what will you grow? Perhaps you like the idea of growing herbs. They are a great way of making the most of your space as most herbs can be grown inside on a warm and sunny windowsill. The bonus is that you can use them in your cooking and in your witchcraft.
Or maybe you have more space and wish to grow a witches' garden, perhaps with plants you will use to make incense and lotions, or maybe you'll grow plants to honour a particular deity with which you work. The great thing about growing, caring, and using plants is that there is so much choice, there will be something just right for you!
- Making Your Own Magical Tools
Now that we're on a roll, why stop at just growing and using your own plants—why not make your own magical tools as well?Here's the thing: we all know that tools aren't necessary for magic and witchcraft to happen. Yet they can make things easier, particularly at first when we might need more help directing our will and intent. And besides, sometimes, we just want things, especially when those tools are so beautifully made by witchy artists and craftspeople.
Making your own tools means that the time, effort, and concentration taken to do so will rub off on them, making them more powerful and potent when you use them. You can also make things to suit your own aesthetic tastes.
Collecting natural items when out on walks is a great way of combining building connections to land and nature with making your own tools. Different woods have different properties when it comes to crafting wands, stangs, and staffs. Feathers from different birds will have different meanings and uses. Interesting stones and other items make good altar displays.
And if crafting is just not your thing, then why not become a bargain hunting treasure hunter? Check out flea markets, second hand shops, antique shops, and fairs for great individual items that you can use in your witchcraft—crystal glasses make good chalices, a silver knife for an athame—you get the idea.
Shopping second-hand is great for the environment and again feeds back into building a connection with the land and nature by living more ethically and reducing the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill.
- Take Your Morning Drink Outside
There's something about sitting in the garden wrapped in a warm blanket or snuggled in a thick jumper or gown, with the cold air on your face and a steaming mug of your morning elixir clasped in your hands.I awake early most mornings and do just this, and you'd be surprised at just how magical this time is. The blackbirds' morning song is melodic and clear, piercing the quiet, still air. If it's the right season and I'm up real early, I'll catch the hedgehog as it returns from its nightly jaunt, heading back to its home deep within the ivy or perhaps the logpile to sleep for the day.
The point is, by making space, you get into the habit of spending time outside quietly, simply being, just as the blackbird is simply being. You come to realise just how connected we are to everything around us, that we are a part of nature and not apart from it.
This realisation is truly magical indeed, and while at first it might seem like a little effort is required, particularly on cold mornings, you'll soon be reaping the benefits of making the time to simply be within nature, just as we were meant to.
- Follow the Moon, Salute the Sun
Sun and moon worship, or even just working with the energies at different points in the cycles of these celestial bodies, has always had a strong link with witchcraft. There is no doubt that the moon is pure magic and inextricably linked to witchcraft. There are many moon deities from cultures all over the world, again hinting at the magic of the moon. Moon rituals are great fun indeed, poignant and powerful, but they do require time and planning. If you don't have time, or you don't feel confident enough to hold your own ritual, or even if you forget it's the full moon, it doesn't matter! None of that will stop you from using the phases of the moon to add magic to your everyday life.A good place to start is to make an effort to spend a little time outside every night. Notice the phase of the moon and mark it on a calendar. Spend a few minutes soaking up the lunar energies even on those nights where the moon is lost behind the clouds.
Full moon meditations are a good way of not only marking the full moon each month, but also of getting into the habit of setting aside time each month for a specific purpose.
Just as the moon is full of magic, so, too, is the sun, and just as we can work with the moon to bring a little more magic into our mundane lives, so, too, can we work with the sun. Sun salutations are a good way of building habit and also a good method of harnessing the power of the sun at different times in its passage across the sky.
For a sunrise salutation, as close to sunrise as possible, engage in a visualisation activity where you visualise the sun rising across a landscape that inspires wonder and beauty within you. Feel the energy of the sunrise filling you with that energy of a new day, of possibility and new beginnings and opportunities. Do the same for noon and for sunset, again as close to those actual occurrences as possible to anchor the practice in the real, mundane world.
And there you have it—my top five tips on how to make every day a little more magical. We are, after all, witches, and we do indeed live that witch life!
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2022. All rights reserved.