I am a Witch. I study in the Reclaiming Tradition and also with Sage Goode. Locally, I am a member of Dragon’s Cauldron. I have never hidden that I’m a Witch, but I don’t normally go out of my way to declare it either. For many “Witch” is a loaded term and I am someone who tends to avoid confrontation. So while I never deny I am a Witch, I soft pedal, saying things like “I’m a practicing pagan,” or making oblique references like: “In magic we . . . .”
However, as my mind has begun to spin out what this project will explore in the coming year, it’s become increasingly clear that full articulation demands I write openly about magical methodologies. And I am not one to shy from necessity. Beside, if I am ever to step more securely into the shoes of Havel’s green grocer, I am going to have to start posting some personal truth signs. Today that means sharing a Witchy approach I am employing in this here attempt to harvest liberty.
For me, living as a Witch is about stepping into my power as a creative being. It’s about agreeing to play with the building blocks of the Universe. As such, I find no disparity between my work as a Witch, my work as an artist and my work as a farmer. All three engage the dynamic flow of energy between the unseen and the seen. All three concern themselves with the bending and shaping of resources in the service of a focused intention. All three demand an observation of and alignment with the developmental cycles of Nature.
Whether I’m speaking as a Witch, artist or farmer, my job is to draw forth the forms I desire from the realm of all possibility; to manifest the seen from the unseen. I’ve written previously on this from the perspectives of art and farming in a post titled Virtuality. In magic, we call this concept the Priestess Point.
I imagine this as an infinity symbol, a lemniscate curve that on one side flows through the realm of spirit and on the other side flows through the realm of matter. The Priestess Point is at the center of the ∞, that x formed by the crossing of the loops. Standing there, I have an arm and a leg in each realm. Standing there I can be a conduit for the eruption of particular forces into form. Much of my training as a Witch centers on increasing familiarity with the world of the unseen and on learning how to best connect with the Universe’s natural processes of manifestation.
Regardless of the medium in which I’m working — my life, the written word, a dirt field — I always begin by setting my intention. And intention herself flows from desire. My love, my passion, my need, becomes the first mechanism for shaping the cosmic soup.
I often visualize setting my intention as the drawing of a bow and releasing of an arrow. I stand still, quiet and alert to the present moment, both feet firm to the ground. As I raise my bow I am summoning the energies of my desire. As I draw the string taut, I am intensifying, concentrating and amplifying those energies. The bow’s string vibrates with their stored force. I take my aim and let the arrow fly.
As in archery, I know that the arrow does not head straight to the bull’s eye. My fingers on the string will subtly send the arrow left or right depending on my lead hand. The arrow will then overcompensate in the opposite direction and it will continue oscillating back and forth in a slight wobble throughout its path. I know too that external factors can impact. Wind, air density, and random obstacles exert their influence.
Being a Witch means practicing the art of setting intention over and over and over and over. It means learning what bow works for me, what hand to lead with, what vibratory intensity will lend the best acceleration. And it means trusting that the arrow will contain the essence of my desire, no matter where on the target it lands. In magic as in art, I have learned to trust that the forms I create contain the intensity of my initial desire, no matter how awkward or inadequate they may seem.
As I have learned to work with the natural principles of creation as they exist at the Priestess Point, so too do I align myself with the natural principles of development as they exist in the world of forms. As a Witch I understand that the process of creation mirrors the yearly unfolding of the seasons.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we begin the yearly cycle, called The Wheel of the Year, not in January, but now, with the final harvest. This Witch’s New Year, Samhain, known also in the secular world as Halloween, celebrates life as an eternal cycle and recognizes that without death there can be no rebirth. It acknowledges that birth, that manifestation, starts not in the bright sunlight of the world of matter, but rather in the dark, starlit and mysterious world of spirit. At Samhain I am doing what the plants are doing. I am summoning my desires and shaping my intentions into seeds that will erupt into forms as the days lengthen and the light amplifies.
So there you go my friend who set me the challenge of writing on how I’m harvesting liberty. There’s my cleaned out and presentable for company broom closet response.
I harvest liberty by doing magic:
1. Desiring liberty.
2. Intending liberty.
3. Tending liberty.
And yes, I get it, my arrow is wobbling and mixed metaphors are threatening to down her mid-flight. Thank Goddess I get to shoot more than once.