I have been reading about the New Moon coming up on January 30th. They call it the “Black Moon.” It is the second New Moon in the month of January. It is an omen of change and during this moon, hidden truths are brought to the surface. It is in the midst of this “Black Moon” that I will be moving into another phase of my life. I am leaving behind my work at the animal clinic and moving back into corporate work.
Am I sad in this transition? Maybe I should be. Am I? No, not at all. This is a time of celebration for me. It is time to move past a time of oppression and stagnancy into a time of joy and forward movement. This change has been a long time in coming. I have done ritual after ritual devoted to this change…..friends have dedicated ritual after ritual to the same purpose. It has not been an easy road, but finally I am able to see the manifestation of months and months of magick and hard work.
Work? Yes, work. Any real witch will tell you that magick takes work….and dedication….and purpose. Most folks are used to seeing what is represented on television as far as the Craft goes. While I love the fantasy that most of those shows represent….the Samantha Stevens, the Endoras, the Charmed Ones, and the newer Witches of East End….we all know that instant gratification is a rarity in the Craft.
I remember the first “spell” I ever cast….*note I used cast here and not ‘the first spell I ever worked.’ Being a new witchling, I stood in front of my altar and waved my hands like a fool and uttered something that I thought was magickal and waited to see the puff of smoke and the explosion of glitter….or even the little ‘tinkle, tinkle’ sound I heard on “Bewitched” whenever a spell was cast. Nothing. I was devastated. Of course, I had not studied under anyone or with anyone…I knew nothing about the elements, directions, herbs, intention….not one thing. I only knew what I had seen on television. All I could hear in my head was the sounds of large tongues blowing raspberries.
Now some folks would have probably given up after casting with no sparks, bells or whistles. Not me. I was determined to find out why it didn’t work. I began to devour books on the Craft. Some of the first ones I got my hands on were Scott Cunningham’s books. I was transported to a world of magick I had no idea existed. Then one day, when I was browsing in the ‘occult’ section at a local bookstore, I was invited to a local coven to take part in their program for initiates. I enjoyed much of the teachings and the natural setting. I settled in there for a time and then realized that the path they were on wasn’t the path calling to me.
That was the one thing that I enjoyed so much about the Craft. There was no one path for everyone. There were so many directions one could pursue. No matter which path I was interested in, I found that it still entailed work. There were still so many things to learn….how to send energy without depleting your own energy stores…how to charge crystals, candles, etc…how to pour yourself into the workings of the magick and how to ground yourself before, during and after so that you didn’t become one big ole quivery jello witch.
The biggest things that I personally had to learn was how to listen to and utilize and trust my intuition and how to purpose my own intent. I compare it to a baby learning how to talk. It surfaced on its own….at first it was clumsy and broken and hard to understand, but the more I practiced; the more I worked….it flowed better…it became second nature. I still work and practice on a daily basis….there is no room for laziness.
As I continued to grow in the Craft, there were other adventures that were opened to me. I had always heard other witches refer to spirit animals. I thought that it was a wonderful thought….having the spirits of animals at your beck and call. Again, I got every book I could find on the subject and read and re-read. I talked to my grandma about the Native approach to spirit animals…then I began the work….the constant vigil of observation, the energy work. I will never forget the day the first manifestation came. I was lying in the dirt…my mind lost in thought about my spirit animal. I closed my eyes and focused my energy. It was in that moment that I heard that lovely, melodic scream of the crow. I looked up and there she perched on an old fence post. In that same week, wolf came to me in my dreams….again, after a time of focus and intent. The work had been worth the end result.
This morning, I went to the woods. This morning, there was no little blue chihuahua to be seen…he was allowed to sleep in. This morning, no calico kitten showed up. In my backpack were the usual tools…my skulls, candles, incense, matches. This morning, more offerings were carried than normal. This morning was a morning of gratitude. The directions were called upon….the elements invited…Mama Crow and Wolf took their places. Candles were lit, incense was burned. Notes of gratitude and adoration were written on flying paper to all involved in the magick that was manifested. The notes were carefully twisted and set on fire. I watched as they flew into the air and disintegrated into the breeze….the wind carrying the magick forth. I cracked an egg onto the ground for the animal spirits to devour. I poured milk, honey and wine into the earth in gratitude to elementals and any other spirits involved. For the lady herself, a small bouquet of dried flowers….grain and corn rounded out the offerings for the Horned One.
Was the work finished? Only for this phase of the magick….it continues every day. I have found through my studies and experiences that magick is a living being. It is constantly moving and changing…just as we should be. So it is because of magick that a 47 year old witch is now embarking on a brand new adventure. I can’t wait to see what happens next!