Navigating Perilous Political Upheavals with Magick

Politics and Magick are inherently intertwined.  Politics is at its base about pacts that humans make to live in society with one another.  At its best politics is the compromises we make to have a peaceful, productive co -existence.  At it’s worst, it can lead to balances which swing into the extremes resulting in repression, oppression, even slavery and death.  Magick is the tool we have used since time immemorial to swing the balance from the extremes.  Ancient shaman and witchdoctors helped the first tribes and villages navigate the thorny beginnings of tribal and village politics, later sorcerers, magicians, witches, and others would find their ways to work with the collective energies to manifest changes.  Some of the most profound examples come from Vodun, Santaria and the Various Appalachian and Hoodoo traditions, where slavery and oppression found a way to express and push for change through magick.

We are facing a time in the United States where that pendulum is swinging once again to the extreme.  A minority regime through careful planning, is seizing control of state and federal institutions.  In this way, they are passing or repealing freedoms which lead to greater repression, oppression, impoverishment and in a growing number of instances physical harm and death.   What is more, they warn us, that more is on the way.   With an energized base, this minority has radicalized a segment of the population which calls for the deaths of their political opponents and anyone they view as “different”.   It is a confusing and scary time for many of us. As a woman with the repeal of Roe v Wade, I feel like a second-class citizen, with no rights even over my own body.   If I have no rights of sovereignty, then it erodes all my rights.  Indeed, it does for all of us.

How do we respond in times like this?   I have seen many witches work in many ways to affect change, some on small scales and others on larger ones.  More than a few times I have seen mass hexes placed on key political figures, some of our groups have focused on healing and unification.  With the election of our former President Trump, I did a working to reveal the man behind the curtain, let his deeds come to light.  I will be the first to admit then I never thought there would be those who would simply refuse to look or close their eyes to remain in their illusions.   The universe has an interesting way of teaching us lessons in our work.

So, I have developed a small list of things we can do to work towards navigating these times magickally.  Some can be done alone and others with a group.   Note larger changes really require more energy and are better geared towards larger group works.

How to navigate these times magickally

  • Shielding.  
    •  The amount of negative energy both from oppression and fear is staggering right now.  Shielding will help negate this energy and keep you in a better more productive mind set.  It will make it easier to traverse the mundane aspects of your life, and keep you focused for the magickal.
    • Invisibility Shields.  Given the direction laws and mandates are taking in the US now, being unseen at times is highly desirable.  Working an invisibility shield, while it does not make you totally invisible, it keeps you from attracting notice.   You have run into people who naturally have these before, usually victims of trauma, they are the ones who remark, “did you not see me there”, or “I have been here this whole time”.  Make this work for you as well.

(As a note I usually layer shields and keep them up all the time.)

  • Personal protection work.
    • House Cleansings
    • Home Wards
    • Protective Plants/ Herbs
    • Witches Bottles/ Balls
    • Enchanted Jewelry/ Satchels/ Stones
    • Familiars/ Protection Servitors
    • Ancestors
    • Gods as protectors

(All the above can be potent protection to keep the unwanted away or protect you from their influence.  Build up your protection toolbox, do not be afraid to expand these skills set.  There are hundreds of different ways to do protection work, start working on new methods as well as old tried and true ones.)

(Note also, when working with Ancestors, tap into the strength of those ancestors who have gone through what are you going through, and of those who have fought for the freedoms we have enjoyed.)

  • Controlling yourself.
    • Turn your fear into peace and calm resolution.  Work with meditation and your personal protectors to take the fear into a place of peace and focus. Allow it to help you be objective in high stress situations, to see clearly, think rationally and act appropriately for the situation.  Uncontrolled fear, anxiety and anger can cause you to act in ways that are not in your own best interests.  Such as rioting.  Remember they are looking for reasons to continue to restrict your freedoms.
    • Allowing space for your feelings.  Anger is a very potent emotion and channeled correctly it can put a lot of power into a working.  However, understand it is not unchecked anger.   Give yourself permission to feel any emotion and allow it to pass through or hold it in reserve for a working.  The important part is that it is directed from a calm focused point.
  • Protection of a group of people or identified grouping.  This would be a working for example for a smaller group of friends or coven, or an identified group such as the Trans population. These types of workings can be done solo but are more effective with a group.  More power, more effect.  However, something to remember, the simpler you keep your working and the tighter to the true base need, the more effective it will be.  Start smaller, work to larger.  Rather then blanketing all women in the USA with protection from anti-abortion legislation (we all need it though), perhaps focus on the women of your town or region, who are perhaps particularly vulnerable to draconian trigger laws.  Workings could include protection for their safety, the means to pursue reproductive healthcare outside of the area, or something to influence local politicians to “look the other way”.
  • Influence.  “These are not the driods you’re looking for.”   
    • Glamoury.  We often think of this in regard to how one appears, and yes, we can use it to change or distract from appearance.  This can also be a persona you carefully cultivate to be placed on and used when it is most needed.
    • Fascination/ Bewitchment. It is a tool that should be in anyone’s arsenal.   If it means the difference between your safety and not, you will need to make that judgement call.  It is an offensive working (as opposed to defensive) because you will affect another’s will.   Just make sure you can cancel the spell as well as set it.
    • Distraction. Simply what it says, drawing someone’s attention from one place to another.
    • Rhetoric.  A form of speaking in which you can speak truth without revealing secrets.  (For example:  Inquisitor:  Have you seen John Proctor?  Answer: I can not say that I have). Rhetoric is also a form of creating reality with words, we use it in creating our spell work, but we can also use our words to weave magick as we speak.
    • Influencing belief on a larger scale these would be group workings to change views on a given subjection.   Again, this is an offense working.  However, pulling back the curtain to reveal truth would be an example.  Just make sure they see it.  You may need to do a few workings to accomplish this.  It is much easier to do this on a small scale focus on individuals or small group, then say a much larger group.  
  • Hexes and Curses.  I will admit, I am not a fan of this type of working, not for any karmic issues, but that they are generally a band aid.   If one were hexing the former President (which has been done), what we would miss is that he is the “paid entertainer” placed there to keep us distracted, while those working behind the scenes moved the chess pieces into place.   Those structures supporting him are a deeply entrenched root system.  Yes, they have occultists of their own.  We have all hear the adage about “striking the root”.  Bear that in mind when developing workings.
  • Unification/ Healing/ Tolerance.  These are wonderful group workings.  Still remember to start focus on a smaller scale and work your way up.  The larger the group the more you can affect.  Always include yourselves in the equation.  Let us be tolerant, loving, let us be open to unification as well.   It is very easy to get caught in the “I am right” frame of mind.
  • Wyvern Circle.   The last famous wyvern circle was done by the witches, wizards, and sorcerers of the Britain on the eave of Hitlers invasion.  An invasion which never came to pass.    A Wyvern circle is an enormous circle of magicakal practitioners, in the middle of the circle is a smaller circle of very powerful practitioners.  The outer circle generates the energy, and the inner circle focuses it to its effect.  Wyverns can be used for other purposes but are best when it is a serious working in which everyone is in total accord.
  • Act in accord with your work.  We can work magickally to create change, but do not forget about acting in accord with it mundanely.  Get involved in your local political groups, that represent your views.  Help with organizations that are supporting and assisting those in most need.  Galvanize your political base to work together and vote.   Do not fall into despair or the old “why should I do anything I can’t create change”.  When you do that, you have done exactly what they want! 

Open yourself to all the possibilities when it comes to working magickally.  This is just a small list, but it is meant to get you thinking and your creative juices flowing.  So lets pull ourselves up,  lets go of sadness, despair, fear and channel that energy into creating the reality we want.

As I speak, so I create!

So be it!

Navigating Perilous Political Upheavals with Magick

What’s the Password; Beyond Perfect Love and Perfect Trust

 

Many times I have stood awaiting entrance to a circle either in a private esbats and sabbat observances or even at a large festival gathering.  As I stood watching others ahead of me I pondered the playing out of the beginnings of the ritual before my eyes.  Many rites would include an individual smudging or a challenge by the circle guardian.  Invariably all asking the same question of each participant. “How do you enter the circle?” our password spills forth, “In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust”.

 

Even if we do not ascribe to Wiccan theology, we have heard this ubiquitous password over and over, and most likely used it ourselves. My question to you; Do we really understand what we are saying, when we repeat these words?

Many authors, Priests and Priestess, will tell you that Perfect Love refers to unconditional love.  Many pagans would agree it is generally their assessment of that statement as well.  Is that something we really do?  Do you walk into a circle of strangers,  a delineated sacred space of any variety,  with unconditional love for everyone there?  I can tell you,  I don’t.  Unconditional love means just that,  to love freely without any condition whatsoever. While there is some innate truth that the ability to love without condition, we are finite, flawed beings in our present incarnation.  We are here to work through our lessons, via the flaws which exist, and to work to creating the perfection within ourselves that we seek.  Our existence is the testing and proving grounds for our divine spirits.

 

All of our love has conditions.  We ask that you do not hurt us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  We ask, hopefully, you help us grow and develop in the direction we choose.  We ask you are true to your words with us, and you allow a foundation to be built for trust.   We might not realize this consciously, but this is the criteria for every person we meet- and yes, even flesh and blood, even children. Does that mean you can not love them, if they don’t meet all of our criteria?  No it doesn’t.  When you look to parents of children whom have committed horrific crimes, you find that in spite of the crime, there is love.   However is it complete and perfect?  Is it wholly without condition, no matter how destructive their behavior is to you?  Can you walk into a sacred space with this intention and remain true to it?  Only you can truly answer for yourself.   Personally, while I “might” be able to have unconditional love for my child, extending that without reservation to all comers is something a bit different.  We are all a bit pragmatic, are we not?

So where does the word “perfect” really come from?  As children we are taught that perfect or perfection as a concept is something unattainable. The highest, most correct or beautiful state.

Perfect as defined by Miriam Webster is “to be perfectly without fault or defect; flawless; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept; expert, proficient; pure or total.”

There are some big scary words there, when we look at doing something in perfect love and trust. Flawless comes to mind first.  Thinking on perfection and periods of perfection in our lives, do they exist? A point at which everything falls into place and fits, resulting in a STATE of perfection!  Perfection comes in bursts, more like an “AH HA!” moment, the epiphany. It is transient and in its transience it motivates us to work towards achieving that state again and again.  So by its very nature perfection, propagates itself by motivation, through desire.

So yes perfection is attainable and by its nature, it seeks to attain itself.  So when we apply this concept to Love what are we really saying?  Let me step back for a moment to my roots in philosophy.  Erich Fromm, a psychologist and social philosopher, in his 1956 book, The Art  of Loving, observes that real love “is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone, regardless of the level of maturity reached by him.  All his attempts for love are bound to fail, unless he tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one’s neighbor, with true humility, courage, faith and discipline. In a culture in which these qualities are rare, the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement. Or – anyone can ask himself how many truly loving persons he has known.” Fromm goes on to state that the “active character of true love involves four basic elements; care, responsibility, respect and knowledge.”  This is exceedingly interesting from a pagan perspective!  Fromm’s basic elements correlates to our own elements; care (water), responsibility (earth), respect (fire), knowledge (air).  For any whom have worked to balance their total personality from an elemental point of view, you will know each of this varies markedly from person to person, based on the people involved and the circumstance within their lives at any given time.   Working towards developing the total personality with true humility (earth), courage (fire), faith (water) and discipline (air), is no small working, but rather a lifetime of effort. Seen this way we find love is hard work, however it is the most rewarding type of work.  What is perhaps even more powerful with this type of creative work, toward true or Perfect Love, is it resonates from us, touching all others around us.  You need never say a word.  It moves energetically through you.

Fromm also addresses self love.  To love one’s self, applies the same elements; caring about oneself, taking responsibility, respecting and knowing oneself.  For example, be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.  Know when and where to push yourself emotionally and when perhaps it is time to heal so that you may work your boundaries and limits even further.  To every truly have the capacity to love another, first one needs to be able to love one’s self in this way.

   

 ”Love is an active power in man, a power which breaks through the walls which separate man from fellow man, which unites him with others, love makes him overcome the sense of isolation and separateness, yet permits him to be himself, to retain integrity.” Fromm

So this is all fine philosophy, and it sounds like a great deal of work, but what does this have to do with stepping into a circle with Perfect Love?  One of Fromm’s points is that modern humans are alienated from each other and from nature, I will go on to conjecture, from the Gods.   We as humans today tend to seek refuge from our aloneness in romantic love and marriage.  We are disappointed and frustrated when it does not fill the need we have.  In truth romantic love could never totally fill it.  Our aloneness spans more than one type of love, it encompasses ALL love.  From the point of view of a Priestess, when we enter circle, most of us will go through the motions of Perfect Love, it is truly something for which we long, that drive for unification, with others, nature, the elements, The Gods; to have our sense of aloneness drop away and feel the magick and power of union.  Perfect Love is the active power of love!  It is each one of us stepping into sacred space with care, respect, responsibility and knowledge of our circle mates, the elements, the Gods and most importantly with ourselves!

So we have developed an understanding of Perfect Love, what about Perfect Trust?  Mirram-Webster defines trust as an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength and truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed, as well as responsible charge or office, and care or custody.  Any of this sound familiar yet?

For myself, I would have thought Perfect Trust would have been the easier of the two concepts to work through.  I am a relatively well balanced Libra, with very few relationship emotional scars, and a fairly decent childhood.  I do have a degree of trust for everything and everyone with whom I come into contact.  For the most part, throughout my life I would have answered trust, although earned to some extent, was easy for me.  I learned otherwise.  Part of that alienation we refer to comes from our inability to truly open ourselves up to love and trust, and this is generally derived from the trust portion. We allow connection to a point, yet there is always that part of ourselves, we hold separate and closed to the rest of the world.  Perhaps it was because; at an early age the world (our environment) damaged it in some way, through neglect, abuse, ignorance, or its own self absorption.  Perhaps because we hold within it our most treasured dreams, hopes, ambitions, those things we are loathe to open to that same world, for fear they would be damaged.  So our block truly appears.  It is fear.  It is fear of being open and hopeful, fear of loss, disappointment, destruction.  Fear paralyzes us, and strips away the assured reliance.

Where does Perfect Trust come from, how do we obtain it?  Perfect trust “blossoms” from love.  Through our active power of love, the ability to trust springs forth.  In fact it is not just an ability to trust, but a longing within.

 

Whom do we trust when we are working towards Perfect Trust.  Like love, trust requires foremost we trust ourselves.   That sounds easy, right?  Not really we usually have quite the track record of mistakes with ourselves. In fact we usually have let ourselves down, more than any other person or entity in our existence.  Equally we are harder on our own mistakes than on anyone or anything else.   Where fear is our block, many times that fear is a result of our own mistakes, as much as anything else.  So if fear is our block to opening ourselves to trust, how do we find our way past?  Working through fears individually is always positive, difficult and rewarding, most often necessary for your growth.  The key is Forgiveness. Who we need most to forgive is ourselves.

 

Forgiveness frees you from your fears.  It clears blockages to love and opens the ability of trust to return or blossom forth.  While it is important work to forgive others their ‘trespasses” and it enables us to move forward.  The movement forward is then to forgive ourselves.  Perhaps our personal forgiveness maybe for getting involved with someone, or a group, it could be for the individual mistakes we made in a relations with others, our own inability to stay true to our thoughts, words or deeds, no matter the reason.  Whatever the reason it must be dealt with and let go.

 

“In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” It is funny how six simple words actually speak volumes of our ability to free ourselves and connect with the universe around us. How they attempt to describe a type of loving, openness and resonance which can and should exude from each of us.

 

We are able to step confidently into our circles and sacred space, knowing  our ability to love frees us to unite with nature, our circle mates, the elements, the Gods and most importantly ourselves.  Through our power to love and unite we are assured through strength and truth that we act for our highest good.  We are assured we work in harmony with nature and The Gods, and those individuals that are contained within our sacred space are working towards the same perfection, and if not, that our resonance inspires them to do so.  Because of our care, responsibility, knowledge and respect, we have the foundation upon which to lay our trust as we come together to work in the most intimate way, to touch each other with power and magick, to join and become one.

So the next time you stand outside awaiting to enter sacred space, and you are asked for your “password”  remember all of this and know as you actively work toward both Perfect Love and Trust,  you are able to truly step into space with them and they are not just empty words.

 

How do you enter the circle?

 

 

 
References:

Fromm, Erich, The Art of Loving, circa 1956

Miriam Webster Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Sutphen, Dick; Lighting the Light Within May 1997, Valley of the Sun Pub. Co