30 Days of Magic – Day 30: Keeping the Way Open

Today is the last day of my 30 days challenge. It’s been fun, but challenging to say the least. More importantly, it’s helped remind me of the quote from Donald Tyson, that also happens to be the tagline for my blog: “Magic is seldom spectacular because it seldom needs to be.”

It would be easy for me to let this experiment end as quickly as it started since I no longer need daily inspiration or motivation to practice magic. So, today I cast a spell to keep the sense of magic and wonder I’ve cultivated over the past 30 days going forward.
I cast my circle and lit a small purple candle at the foot of my Ganesh statue. I chanted his mantra until I felt the energy build to its apex. I threw open my arms and said:
“Opener of ways, bless my magic.
Let my path to magic be clear.
Let me be reminded of the magic and opportunity in my life each day.”
I visualized the circle exploding into a million tiny sparkles of light and spiraling out into the Universe to do my work.

 

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30 Days of Magic – Day 20: The Perfect Man

Unlike my other gay male friends, the majority of my close friends are straight guys. I have found that these guys are the kindest and most accepting people I have ever met. I got to spend some time with these friends recently, and one of them asked why I wasn’t dating. I gave my standard reply of not having enough time for dating. Another, helpful friend at the table asked: “If you have time to make take a last minute trip with us, you certainly have time to go on a date or two.” I looked around the table for some help and noticed that the other guys were all nodding in agreement.

The topic quickly changed, but I spent a lot of time thinking about it. Time wasn’t my constraint. I usually work Monday through Friday and during the week I’m off by four. If I have to work on a Saturday, I’m out by two. I’m done with school, so I don’t have to deal with that anymore, and every other responsibility takes less than three hours a day to complete. Time is not the issue.

After thinking about it, I realized the issue is that all of the needs that a partner would meet are already met by the people in my life, except for sex, but that’s for another post. I thought about the friends I hang out with and saw that each of them fulfilled a need that the typical boyfriend would fulfill.
For today’s magic, I turned my attention to calling the perfect partner to me at the perfect time. I used the best parts of my friends as the model for my perfect man, kind of like Dr. Frankenstein without the creepy surgery.

I laid out a small bad made of red velvet; the kind you can get at any metaphysical shop. I lit a pink candle and cast a quick circle. As I said the following, I visualized one of my friends, moved a token through the flame of the red candle and dropped it in the bag:

“A poker chip, so that he may have his attitude towards money; that it’s a priority, but never THE priority.
A page from the encyclopedia, so he may have his wealth of knowledge.
A match, so he may have your passion.
A beard comb, so that he may have your good looks.
A feather, so that he may have your gentle nature.
A set of dice, so that he may have your playfulness.
A ring, so that he may have your fidelity and commitment to your family.”

I pulled the drawstring on the bag tight.
“As I speak this final rhyme,

May the perfect man come to me at the perfect time.
For the best of all, but most for me,
As I will, so shall it be.”

I bound the magic to the bag with a kiss and opened my circle. I placed the bag in my underwear drawer to keep it out of sight to let the magic manifest.

30 Days of Magic – Day 18: Magical Meal Prep

I used to travel internationally for work. I looked at it as an adventure and challenged myself only to do things I couldn’t do at home. As part of this challenge, I only ate at local restaurants and avoided all national chains. This helped me develop a love for good food.

When I stopped traveling for work, I made it a point to go out to a restaurant with a little ethnic flair each month. While this was lucky for my love of food, it was really bad for my wallet. At one point, I was ordering in lunch every day at work and on average spending $30 a day. So, I decided that had to stop. For the past few months, I have made it a priority to pack lunch every day. Today, while deciding what to cook for lunch for the week I decided to use the moment to do a little magic.

One of my favorite things about cooking food that I first experienced while traveling abroad is that when I eat it, it takes me back to the moment I originally had it. So, I thought about the energy I wanted to invite into my life. My first trip to the Dominican Republic immediately came to mind.

By the time I left for the D.R., I felt a little under the weather. I was usually a little apprehensive before a trip, especially when I was traveling by myself, so I just chalked it up to that. Once I had arrived, I quickly realized that I was legitimately sick. Here I was, far from home, with no command of the local language, and here I was sicker than I have been in a long time.

I struggled for a few days before I finally went to the hospital. I was seen by a doctor who spoke a little English. Her English mixed with my little bit of Spanish was good enough to get a few prescriptions and a recommendation for some soup and rest.

I got back to my hotel feeling very proud of my badassery. I mean, no one would have blamed me for suffering in my room the entire time or even booking my trip back home. Instead, I decided to get a crash-course in Dominican health care. Still high on my pride, I flipped through the room service menu and decided on Sancocho, a Dominican stew. When it arrived, I ate it slowly, and it made me feel better. In fact, that’s what I ate each night until I felt better.

Lately, I’ve been a little meh. Not sick, just not motivated, especially when it comes to working. I needed something to help me rediscover the badassery I felt while I was traveling. With that being said, I went to the grocery and bought all the ingredients to make Sancocho.

As it simmered on the stove, I stirred it clockwise. Silently, I invoked the memory of my Dominican experience and asked that the food bring me back to the headspace I was when I first had it. After spooning it into individual serving dishes, I sealed the lid with a kiss. I can’t wait to eat my magical soup tomorrow.

Active Empathy

When the topic of empaths comes up in witchy circles, the conversation often revolves around the impact of being open to the energy of others and the importance of shielding. While this information is important to know, what’s missing is the active aspect of empathy.

In my experience, empathy is a two-way street. I compare it to wi-fi. When a device connects to wi-fi, it can access the internet. At the same time, the wi-fi network obtains identifying information from the device to determine if the device has the necessary permission to access the network. Sometimes, when someone comes into contact with an empath, they may subconsciously open themselves up, sensing that the empath will be able to help them.

I’ve been on vacation for the past week. Since I wasn’t following the normal schedule, I didn’t stick to my daily practice as often as I usually do. Since my daily practice includes shielding, I unknowingly attracted interactions I wasn’t expecting or was prepared for.

During one of these interactions, I was at my local bar having drinks with friends. We’re regulars there, so we know most of the people. Michael, another regular, approached me. Usually, Michael is your typical frat boy. He drinks way too much, makes inappropriate comments, but usually means no harm. In fact, other than the perfunctory “hellos” when we walk in the bar, we rarely interact with Michael. This night, he walked over and asked if he could talk to me. I then spent the next 30 minutes listening to him explain that someone in his life was hospitalized with a poor prognosis. He explained that he felt guilty that he had not spent time with his friend and may not get the chance to say goodbye. I let him vent and withheld any advice. After he was finished, he went back to his friends.

Michael and I have never had a conversation of this magnitude before. I attribute this conversation to be the result of my empathetic ability synching up with his needs in the moment. Luckily, I was at a point in the evening that I was willing and able to participate in the conversation. I shudder to think of how many other times in my life I’d neglected my daily practice and then lost my patience with someone who needed me in the moment.

I hope this experience will serve as a lesson to me to continue my daily practice regardless of what else is happening in my life. Failing that, I hope that the experience will help me to remain grounded, calm, and helpful for those who seek me out as a sounding board.

Bless and Release

I’m sitting at the table sipping my cocktail as a quiet observer. The other six men at the table are absorbed in their cell phones, as they pick their favorite athletes. My friend is hosting the annual draft for his fantasy football league and asked me to come hang out. Despite the lack of conversation, I’m enjoying myself. It surprises me to see how eerily similar fantasy football is to Dungeons and Dragons. This realization makes me giggle to myself.

During a break from the draft, I joined my friend outside for a quick smoke.

“Oh, I’ll be late for board game night on Wednesday,” he said.

“I work until six, so that works out perfectly” I agreed.

“Yeah, I ran into Jon at work today, and he said he wanted to catch up. I’m going to have a few drinks with him before I come out” my friend continued.

This revelation caused time to stop for a minute. Allow me to interrupt this story to share some of the back story.

For almost a decade, I’ve had two constant friends in my life; Jon and Kelly.  I met each of them at work, but met them at different times. I met Jon through a mutual friend. He and I were both well read, had a penchant for craft beer, and were insanely sarcastic. We were instant friends.

I met Kelly a few years later. She and I shared the same tastes in music and literature and had a knack for closing down a bar. She and I were inseparable.

A few years ago, I had a stream of bad luck. The team I was on at work was dismantled, and I found myself without a job. I found a new one almost immediately. Then, a year later, that position was eliminated due to a merger. To compound this stress, I was dealing with the pressures of pursuing my Master’s degree, dealing with several severe illnesses in my family, and ended up just feeling lost.

While in a terrible bout of depression, I turned to my friends. Most of my friends were supportive. Jon and Kelly were not. Jon, who has trouble making friends on his own, tried relentlessly to push me out of my friend group. Kelly began to create needless drama and tried to pull me into the eye of her storm. While trying to deal with their issues while trying to keep balance in my own life, I began to see that their presence was unhealthy for me.

Things came to a head one night when Jon and Kelly accompanied me to the bar for a few cocktails. I left early, while they planned to close down the bar.

When I next talked to Kelly, several days later, she explained that she spent the night with Jon. Although she didn’t accuse Jon outright, she made it clear that she felt she was too drunk to have offered consent. I confronted Jon immediately, and in his version of the story, Kelly initiated everything.

I found myself in the middle of their turmoil and couldn’t fully align myself with either of them. In my experience with Jon, I had witnessed him being aggressive with women he was attracted to, but I never saw him cross the line with any of them. At the same time, I had witnessed Kelly use the excuse “I was too drunk” to distance herself from poor decisions, but have never experienced her fabricating something as heinous as her current accusations.

After several weeks of trying to navigate the tension between these two, I realized the beauty of this situation. This wasn’t my problem. This was a blatant sign from the Universe that I needed to release these two people from my life.

I sat down in front my altar and lit a single black candle. I asked the Goddess to bless my work. Sitting in meditation, I visualized my heart chakra spinning big and green. Attached to this chakra were two silver threads connecting me to Jon and Kelly. I sent good wishes to each of them. I prayed that they would be protected, find balance, and have the best life they could ask for. Then, carefully, I cut the cords and released them from my life. As I extinguished the candle, I felt a calm come over me. I never heard from Jon again. As for Kelly, she has sent me a few texts but then fizzled out. My magick had worked on the situation, but as I would find out at the bar during the fantasy draft, had changed me.

“Do you think it’s weird for me to hang out with Jon?” my friend asked. I paused before responding. Then I gave the most honest answer I could have offered.

“I don’t think about Jon at all” I started. “Jon isn’t a bad person; he’s just not a person I want in my life. If he’s reaching out to you, he probably needs a friend. So, I hope you two have a good time, and I will see you afterward.

My friend tilted his head in confusion and headed back inside. I was confused too. A year ago, I would have been pissed if any of my friends would have associated with Kelly or Jon. Now, it didn’t bother me at all. Once I released the negativity and chose not allow it impact my life, I released its hold over me, and that’s real magick.

 

Turn Me On

I stir my cocktail with my straw to mix the vodka and Red Bull a bit more than the bartender did. “Well the Feri creation story says that the Goddess was alone, but complete within Herself. She was floating through space when she noticed her reflection in the curve of the Universe. She fell instantly in love with Herself, made love to Herself, and Her orgasm created everything in the Universe[1]I said before taking a sip of my drink. My friend blinked hard.

“Isn’t that a little, narcissistic? I mean, She was turned on by Her reflection” he asked. I paused and shook my head,

“No, not at all. It wasn’t just Her beauty that she fell in love with. It was Her power. Her potential” I explained. As soon as the words left my lips, something clicked inside my head. It was like a mystery being revealed to me.

“Did I lose you?” my friend asked? He stared at me and slowly sipped his beer.

“Dude, I think I made a breakthrough” I blurted out excitedly.

“The Star Goddess was able to create everything we know because She loved Herself, trusted in Her potential, and gave Herself the permission to create reality. That’s the recipe for real, transformation magick!”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” he asked, this time lighting a cigarette. I sighed, but decided to continue.

“My magick works, but it doesn’t always feel organic. I think this is what I am missing. Before I work magick, I must honor myself and honor the power of potential that lives within every choice that I make, magickally or mundanely. I literally need to look at my actions, work under the guidance of my own divine authority, and be turned on by my own capabilities. That’s the path of true magick”

“Did you want another drink?” he asks, still not following. He got up before I could say anything, but that was fine with me. I leaned back in my chair and enjoyed the afterglow of my spiritual insight.

 

 

[1] This creation story was taken from The Spiral Dance by Starhawk.

No Frills Magick – Finding Lost Items

In my last post, I spoke about the practical, no-frills way I approach magick. This week presented me with the opportunity to “practice what I preach.” My friend Jamie has an amazing job that affords her the opportunity to work remotely. She has taken full advantage of this by spending the last several months travelling to the Czech Republic and South Africa. Jamie was home for three months, but left to continue her adventures on Sunday.  Sadly, Jamie posted that her luggage, pretty much everything she owns in the world, was lost during her flight to Prague. Nothing a little magick can’t handle.

I asked Jamie to describe something that was in her suitcase and she mentioned her travel altar, a small box carved with the image of Nuit on the front. She posted a picture of it in our study group when we were discussing altar creation. I studied the picture until I could visualize the box easily.

I sat at my altar, lit a single black candle, and asked the Goddess to guide me on my journey. I visualized the box in my hands. I felt the smoothness of the wood, the rough edges of the etching, and the power of her ritual items pulsating through the wood like a heartbeat. Once I knew I had the visualization “solid,” I looked around me and saw that I was standing in an airport in a small office just a few feet away from a row of luggage carousels.

I allowed the visualization of the airport to fade away, but kept my mental grip on the box firm. I then visualized my friend Jamie. I saw her standing before me. The relief of getting her belongings back washing over here. I handed her the box and allowed the vision of her and the box to fade from my mind.

I brought my awareness back to my room. I grounded the excess energy into a piece of hematite, thanked the Goddess for her help, and extinguished the candle.

Yesterday, Jamie posted that her suitcase was found and would be delivered to her. Sure, it’s extremely plausible that this would have happened without magickal intervention, but I’d like to think I helped clear the path for it to happen.