Remaining Magickal in the Midst of Chaos, by Melanie Marquis
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
As a mother who also happens to be a witch, it's not always easy to live up to my own standards. I want to shine with peace, love, and contentment, to feel my best and be in the moment each and every minute of each and every day—and at that, I sometimes fail miserably. It's hard to not drown in the chaos that builds from accumulated stresses big and small. It's hard to not feel overwhelmed when faced with a million tasks, responsibilities, and expectations that don't exactly call to our highest potentials or truest desires. I have so many inspired and inspiring ideas I'd like to carry out, an abundant flow of intentions, goals, and wishes much grander and more compelling than the ever-beckoning sink full of dirty dishes that seems to perpetually refill itself. But how can a person make magick when feeling so mediocre?
This is a problem faced not only by mothers, but by any and all of us magickal creatures. We know we're bigger than the everyday stresses, we know we can do so much more in the world—and yet we hold ourselves back and let the mediocrity and stagnation of meeting everyday pressures and obligations allow us to put off being who we truly are. We tell ourselves that "one day" we will do great things, that "one day" we will make the most magnificent, miraculous magick. Well, why can't that "one day" be right now? It can.
Through years of practice, deep thought, self-reflection, and trial and error, I eventually discovered some of the secrets to keeping your highest, most magickal self activated and in full effect no matter what chaos current circumstances may bring. My co-author Emily A. Francis and I wrote Witchy Mama to help mothers and mothers-to-be embrace their personal power and magickal potential to the fullest, and in this article, I'm going to share with you some additional secrets that anyone can use to do the same.
Magick to Move you Beyond
First things first. When you're feeling incredibly stressed, overwhelmed, dragged down, or helpless, the primary thing to do is to get yourself into a healthier and more enjoyable emotional space, as soon as possible. The interesting thing about magick is that it can create more energy than it requires, the output of power and affect being often greater than the input of effort. Some magick can indeed be draining to the spellcaster, but there are certain types of magick that require little to no individual effort or energy expenditure. The trick to utilizing magick in this way is to be open and empty, simply creating a space for the magickal energy that always exists around us to embrace us and flow through us, to fill us with power, potential, and brightness.
Try this technique the next time you are feeling especially overwhelmed or downtrodden. Stand comfortably with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, your arms held loosely out from your sides a little bit. Your palms should be held open with your fingers loose and facing forward, as if to receive energy from the wider universe. Think about the world on a molecular or atomic level, a mass of swirling particles and energetic vibrations interwoven and engaged in an everlasting dance of uncompromising rhythm. Get out of your head and imagine simply space, the space around you as well as the space within you. Invite an energy of your choice to fill this space. You might invite an energy of pure love, an energy of joy, an energy of strength or of compassion. You might invite the healing energies of Mother Nature to fill you to the brim with comfort and nourishment. You might think of the magickal power that exists within all things and invite this energy to work through you in the present moment. You might call on a specific deity or other entity to come into the temporarily empty vessel of body and soul that is you. All you have to do is create that space within you by temporarily setting aside the personality, choose who or what you will allow to invite to work through you, then just step back and allow it to happen. Sit with this new energy for a moment, then return to your day letting the feeling linger as long as it will. Even a few seconds spent with creative, positive, magickal energies flowing through you will help you feel rejuvenated, inspired, and energized. If you'd like to take greater advantage of the magick of this process, envision an important goal or intention as the magickal energy is coursing throughout your body. Visualize a symbol of this desire and imagine the new energy you've welcomed into your body flooding over the image, charging and empowering your goal to help bring the success you want. Return to your day knowing that you're doing so with an extra boost of magick on your side.
Being true to who you are begins with knowing who you are, and being the best you can be begins with deciding who you want to be. Both motherhood and magickal practice spring forth empathy, making us more aware of the needs, motivations, and emotions of those around us. Sometimes we're so sensitive to the feelings of others that we forget to even consider our own feelings. We become focused on serving something that is outside of ourselves, whether it is our own children, our larger magickal communities, or the whole wide world. As a human being, you are just as deserving of happiness and goodness as every other human being. Your needs and desires do matter, just as everyone else matters, so make the time to reflect and dream so that you'll discover what truly inspires and motivates you. Don't neglect basic self-care. Strive to live a healthy lifestyle, and nourish your body with adequate food, sleep, exercise, and enjoyment. It's not selfish to take good care of yourself and honor yourself. In fact, it's selfish not to. If you're not at all paying attention to who you really are and who you truly want to become, you'll stay stuck in a half-life, mired in the mediocre muck of a pre-programmed lifestyle born from outside opinion, circumstance, and expectation. I call it "being your own mama"—caring for yourself and nourishing yourself in a way that honors your own desires and satisfies your own needs. If you don't know what you need or want, make a point of discovering it. Seek out adventure. Take a few minutes each day to just sit outside and think. Cast a spell to help you get in touch with your innermost, highest self. Do things you enjoy doing; be creative and active. You are an awesome person destined for greatness, and it only takes a little time truly enjoying your own company to discover it.
Most people are caring, compassionate beings. We want good things not only for ourselves, but also for one another. Let that loving, supportive nature within you motivate you to achieve your very best. When other people are counting on us, we find we have amazing powers of resilience, tenacity, courage, and ambition. We might find it difficult to truly, fully believe in ourselves, but when we find others believing in us, we at least have to try to live up to those expectations as best as we can. This natural motivation to serve those around us is often focused on and limited to our own immediate families and circles of friends, but there is a whole world out there with which we can connect. Whoever you are, you have something special and beneficial to offer not only to your closest allies, but also to the earth itself, a set of steps in the dance of life that only you were born to perform. We all feel weak and not good enough sometimes, and you can count on the fact that however bad you're feeling, there is always someone, somewhere, feeling worse. Decide who or what in the world you most want to help, then step it up and realize you are strong enough, brave enough, and good enough to do just that. If you're truly passionate about something, there is not a fear or a doubt or a challenge in the world that can stop you. Expand and extend your compassionate nature and desire to serve others beyond its current reaches so that more of humanity may benefit from the good person that is you.
Self-Discipline for Smooth Sailing
Nothing changes the fact that there is always work to be done and obstacles to face in life. There will always be stresses, and there will always be stuff that hurts. But there is also nothing that changes the fact that in spite of all that, the world is a wonderful, magickal place, and you are a wonderful, magickal person. The ocean teems with death just as it teems with life, and its power never wanes as it rolls right along simply being the ocean. You too are a powerful force of nature, and just because that powerful force of nature has to go to work or do the laundry or deal with negativity sometimes doesn't mean that you ever stop being something more. There are choices in life and it's up to you to sail your own boat, for you are the land, the sky, and the sea.
For more ideas to help you embrace the magick of your everyday life as a mother or mother-to-be, check out Witchy Mama by Melanie Marquis and Emily A. Francis.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2016. All rights reserved.