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Let’s Talk Witchcraft

I was born the year that the wildly-popular TV show “Bewitched” (inspired by the films I Married a Witch and Bell, Book and Candle) appeared on the television scene – and currently is being rebooted as a new show. “I Dream of Jeannie” hit the scene next, a year after Bewitched premiered. So I was a very young child when I would watch these shows, which my own mother loved – in fact, an entire generation of housewives fantasized about being able to wiggle their nose or blink and have the house clean! – but my earliest memories do not have me admiring the lead characters. Even at my very young age, I remember thinking that ENDORA (Samantha’s mother) was simply wonderful! I loved her powerful command of the room, her fashion sense, her ability to take charge of the situation. In comparison, Samantha and Jeannie seemed so horribly weak with their “I can’t use my powers my husband/my master won’t approve …” oh, yuck! And here is a fun fact: Even though Endora barely tolerated Darrin on the show, off-camera Agnes Moorehead (who played Endora) was closer to York (Darrin) than any other cast member. It turns out that Moorehead was a very religious Fundamentalist, and she admired York’s New Age-type spirituality!

But this begs the question: Why DON’T we use our powers, Witches?

Salem’s own official “Witch Queen” Laurie Cabot wrote a wonderful book “The Witch In Every Woman” that I highly recommend to every young or new student of the Craft (and I will be delving into THAT topic in next month’s newsletter). This book explores the inherent majick (as Laurie spells it) which is part of every woman’s birthright. And so often, when I’ve sat with someone in a Reading or just in deep conversation – and never more intensely so than in the past three years – I learn of that individuals’ Sixth Sense, or ability to foretell the future through prophetic dreams, or a sense of foreboding which is “never wrong” … and yet, these gifts are viewed as a sort of flash in the pan or lightning strikes of clarity which cannot be controlled or duplicated at Will.

Why do you suppose that is?

Short answer: Gifts must be honed. A person can be an absolute musical prodigy (say) but without practice and study, that gift will remain at an elemental level. Magick (spelled most often with a “g” to differentiate between energetic change and sleight of hand aka magic) is defined as “The science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will” and Aleister Crowly further clarified that “Any act, if in accordance with the Will, is an act of Magick.” (Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice).

This bears repeating: ANY Act of Will is an Act of Magick.

The New Age movement, from which I have distanced myself due to its proliferation of “fluff” pulled out of thin air and packaged as spiritual wisdom, still DOES produce some useful guidelines, especially for those breaking away from a traditional (conventional) religion and needing some time and benign space to re-group before embarking on a new path of study. “Living with Intention” is a great example. Or as I often find myself asking “What the hell are you DOING?” (not far removed from another favorite of mine, “What the hell are you TALKING about?”).

I think the only thing more perplexing to me than someone who emphatically states “I can’t do magick” is the person who comes into the shop HORRIFIED that after lighting a black candle, reciting an incantation, burning a photograph of someone they are deeply angry with … that something really bad actually happened TO THAT PERSON. To which I say “What the hell did you THINK was going to happen?” only to hear a stuttered “I didn’t think it would work”. Funny, but when you recited back to me the exact formula you carefully followed to the letter of the book you got it from … seems like ya did. And now it seems apparent that you are not so much feeling guilty as you are suddenly worried about backlash, otherwise known as Karma. Kinda put the cart before the horse there, hmm?

I was eighteen when I started working at a Fortune 500 Company as a temp. When I walked in the first day, I saw a beautiful desk front and center in front of the elevator and told myself that one day soon I would be sitting in that spot. As it was, I was a receptionist in a cubicle and took overflow sales calls. But I quickly went from temp to full time. And from receptionist to the Call Center, then helped out in Engineering and Sales/Marketing. I took secretarial classes (which the company paid for) and less than a year after starting, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing lost his secretary (she literally left the company crying, she couldn’t stand him anymore). Then began a Murphy Brown-esque carnival of secretarial temps, sometimes 2 or 3 in a single day. Probably 25 temps sat at that desk (yes, THAT desk) until one day the Director of Human Resources in a state of desperation suggested sending ME in since they knew I had a good work ethic and had taken those classes they paid for, you see? And really they took it as a joke, thinking I’d last maybe a day. I mean, I was still a teenager. Ha Ha. Good one, right?

But I had a secret – I can hear people’s thoughts. Not everyone’s … but some people think louder than others, and the VP’s were LOUD. So imagine his surprise when I started bringing him phone numbers, addresses, letters he was THINKING about – even before he asked? And when he seemed perplexed, I just said, “Oh, I figured you needed this …” and his ego was such he just figured yeah, why wouldn’t she figure that. I stayed for almost a year. Turned out the joke was on me because they never upgraded my pay and so I was doing more than twice the work of my predecessor at less than half the pay. Three years after I quit, that same VP located me and requested a meeting. He wanted me to come back and told me they hired two full-time and one part-time person who STILL couldn’t do the job I did. Nice to hear, however they weren’t prepared to meet my current salary much less exceed it – but it is always nice to be wanted, or at least validated.

But here is my point – when I walked into my boss’s office with those phone numbers or addresses or letters (or whatever) I never doubted for one second that I had heard what I heard. I had faith in my ability to read this man’s mind. It never occurred to me to NOT use that skill to the fullest of my own benefit. And when I tell you I intended to sit at that front desk – I mean, I SAW myself sitting at that desk. Never a doubt. Because I DO use my magick, fearlessly! Now it’s been a while since I was a teenager, and I have certainly progressed from basic manifestation and reading thoughts to a more advanced skillset, but my confidence and enthusiasm have never wavered. Not for a second.

Far too often, individuals come into the shop wanting to “cast a spell” without having opened a single book to study any sort of metaphysical principle or magickal theory. Please know there is NO eye blinking or nose twitching (fun as that may be) in true magick. And a “spell” can be as simple as watching your child get on the bus as they prepare to depart for school, taking a deep breath while you are seeing that child safe and secure in your mind’s eye – and holding that focus in your mind’s eye as you blow the air from your lungs WITH INTENTION toward your child. And you really can’t hedge your bets – you can’t set an intention MY CHILD IS SAFE and then run around asking “is my child safe?” although you sure can find out what the school’s safety plans are and how emergencies are handled. That’s just common sense. And one of my favorite mantras is: Think Logically. Live Magickally.

Laura Lenhard