I’ve been practicing witchcraft in some form or fashion for close to 20 years. Like many of you, I started as a teenager reading about Wicca and doing tarot card readings for friends. As the years have gone by, my spiritual focus and my craft itself has changed dramatically. I remember when I first began practicing I felt that I needed more supplies, more ingredients and all of the witchy aesthetic things. Spiritual growth is a funny thing. I have since collected a plethora of witchcraft paraphernalia, yet I realize after obtaining it that what really matters is the way I live the path I walk. A witch is a witch when they say they are, and a powerful witch lives their truth. About 5 years ago, I devoted myself to the Goddess Hekate, and have been a devout follower ever since. While reading “Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Modern Hekatean Witchcraft ” by Cyndi Brannen, I became enamored with a concept she touches on called, “living a magical life.” I began to think, what exactly does it mean to “live a magical life”? What does that mean to me? How I interpret it is to live and practice my craft according to my core values, implementing my craft in all areas of my life, and continually striving to learn more and be a better version of myself.
One way we can live a magical life is to treat our bodies well. Remaining conscious of the things we put into our body as far as nourishment goes can have a direct effect on our craft. Spell crafting at its core is manipulating energy. Witches change the energy around a situation to alter the outcome. When the energy sources that we put into our own bodies are lacking the proper nutrients we need, our energy level is compromised. Being that we are our own strongest tool and the true conduit for wielding magic, our energy needs to be top-drawer. One way we can integrate witchcraft into our nourishment consumption is by using kitchen witchery to create magical dishes for our families and ourselves to eat. There are many ways to go about utilizing kitchen witchery, and not all methods are practical for every practicing witch.
For example, I am blessed to have purchased a home a couple of years ago with a large yard. The space allows me to grow herbs and vegetables that I can use in my kitchen crafting. This wasn’t always the case for me, as I know it is not the case for everyone. Many find themselves extremely limited on space with either a small balcony (or sometimes not even that) available to them. If this is the case for you, and a small container garden is out of the question, fret not! You can also buy your herbs and vegetables from trustworthy sources and add your intent into them as you cook with them. There are some great kitchen witchery books out there with a myriad of recipes to try. Have fun with it! Another way to treat your body well is to allow yourself to rest and to also exercise on a regular basis if your health allows you to. Making sure we have ample sleep before or after a ritual has a major impact on the success of our magic.
Another less literal way for us to live a magical life is to “witch” responsibly. What I mean by that is that we must hold ourselves accountable and responsible for the information we share and the magic we create. If we are feeling slighted or betrayed and want to do a baneful or hexing spell on someone, we should always check our motives. What is our part in the conflict? Is the hexing a justified working, meaning well-deserved? Or is it that our ego is bruised, we feel offended, and causing harm is our immediate response? If you truly feel justified in moving forward, then by all means, do what thou wilt. However, we would all do well to remember that a simple return to sender spell can send these kinds of spells right back down the line to us. Our target may not be a witch, but they may have a sister or a friend or even hire someone who is! Protect yourself accordingly.
As witches we are natural healers, our need to help others is instinctual. Many of us will find ourselves evolving into the role of the teacher. It is the natural progression. However, we need to be responsible with what information we are giving out, and to whom. For instance, I have been asked in the past about doing tutorials on Instagram about summoning demons. The person who asked was genuine in her request. However, I had to decline and tell her that is something I would never do. Here is my why: posting such advanced spell crafting on a public forum where you have no control over who receives the information is incredibly dangerous and irresponsible. Working with demons is an advanced level of sorcery and one that less experienced witches should refrain from attempting, until they have studied and been trained sufficiently. If I were to publish something like this on an IGTV video, I would be arming any number of people (minors included) with information that could cause themselves and others great harm. Not only could this have spiritual repercussions, but it is unethical and could even have legal consequences.
We also need to protect ourselves with boundaries. When you step into that mentor/teacher figure, you begin to have students pour in from all walks of life. This is a beautiful experience but needs to be moderated. Always use protection workings and divination to discern the intentions of others, especially if your intuition is tugging at you. We need to be sure we are not allowing our life-source to be depleted, especially if we are empathic. Maintaining healthy boundaries with those we choose to guide is paramount. We must be sure that we are helping to enable them to do the work for themselves, not doing the work for them. Which leads me to the next one, doing the work!
When I say do the work, I mean to practice the art of seeking and to participate in your own spiritual growth. Over the years, I have read countless books and taken several online courses or workbook courses from elders in magical systems I have wanted to learn about. I still take courses to this very day. At any given time, I may be reading four or five books, bouncing between lessons and chapters and using them in concert with each other. I always suggest any witch who reaches out to me for guidance to begin to do their own research. No one person can give you all the answers. It is also inconsiderate and impolite to ask that of someone who has dedicated years of their life to learning the Craft. Over the course of this journey one thing is for sure, we will grow, we will evolve and so will our beliefs. There is no cookie cutter witchcraft that works for and appeals to everyone. There are as many paths as there are witches, so it is imperative to continue to push yourself to seek and grow. Another way I like to “do the work” is to undergo intense shadow work. Through pain and uncomfortable confrontations about our true nature, comes some of our greatest opportunities for growth. I have found a new level of self-awareness through my shadow working process. Being aware of the behaviors is the first step; the next step is to actively work to change them. This is another area where checking my motives comes in handy.
A daily spiritual practice can also aid in living a magical life. If possible, meditate once a day. That may not be practical for everyone, but it is important to take time to let your mind be still and invite your spirit guides and deities in consistently. It can help strengthen communication with them. Additionally, speak to them, commune with them, pray to them. Do not fall into the nasty habit of only reaching out to your deities, ancestors and spirit guides when you need or want something or are evoking them for a ritual. Not only is this disrespectful, it is a surefire way to cut that relationship off at the knees. Instead, speak to them daily, a spiritual check-in, if you will. You will find that the more you communicate with the spirits and deities you are working with, understanding and deciphering their messages will come easier to you, allowing you to build a deep and meaningful relationship.
Thank you so much for reading my interpretation of living a magical life! I hope I have inspired you to use some of these techniques in your own life. Please drop any questions or comments below as I would love to hear your feedback! Be blessed, my witchy boos!
About the Author: Josie Hellebore is the creator and curator of Hill Country Bruja. Josie has been practicing her craft since she was a teenager and works with Hekate, Lilith, and Baphomet. In addition to writing about her experiences in magic, Josie also makes witchy wares, occult goods, and dark arts and crafts.