For those who are just beginning on the path of spellwork, ritual and craft, there can be a sort of honeymoon phase. We might get a new supply to our library, invest in beautiful tools to enact our practice, or we might have the blessing of like minds to gush with over our excitement for a newfound path. This can often feel like great gusts of wind causing big waves of "wow" in our hearts. Wow, we've found something that feels so right! Wow, this is going to change everything. Wow, I'm becoming something I've always wanted to be! Those waves are wonderful and should be honored. After all, excitement is part of the magic. But equally important is the follow-up. Making a promise to yourself to grow into your own magic is no small gesture. It is learning to be more than a fairweather friend to your own life, and showing up for the sun and rain alike.
We could call this so-named honeymoon phase the State of Intention. This bright and bushy state is one of absolute hope, curiosity, interest, and ambition. It's the part of the journey that has us looking ahead to an outcome that is thrilling, but only imagined. We daydream about the witch we are to be, the rituals and routines, and ultimately the gorgeousness of it all. It can be a hard lesson to suddenly realize that there is work to do. Some of it can be tedious. Some of it is incredible vulnerable. And some of it was not at all what we had in mind.
We usually don't actively decide to toss in the towel on our practice. We might put it down momentarily, with every intention of picking it back up in just a minute. Sometimes we do, and sometimes we don't. It could take days, weeks, or years if we ever do pick it back up at all. This change could be caused by a moment of doubt, a passing fear, or a bad experience. Whatever the reason may be, it's important to note before we begin our journey into spellwork that everything we do in life comes with ups and downs. Everything. Keeping this awareness makes us accept the possibility and eventual outcome of the hard days and foggy moments. How we decide to respond is usually informed by our individual paths and lives, but always entirely up to us. This is, in reality, great news - but can sometimes feel even more daunting. Sometimes it seems like it would be so much easier if someone would just tell us how to respond, or what the rules of engagement are. But alas, we are left with freedom of mind and choice; a true blessing once we get to know it and become aquatinted with our inner wisdom and boundaries. Something we might call the State of Process.
The State of Process is a longer-term span of time which succeeds, or sometimes braids with the State of Intention throughout a given lifetime. It is intention come to life though action, and the application of and response to new information. It is the act of rather than the expectation of. This is a state requiring will power, patience, routine, inquiry and self-checking. We engage with it while enacting ritual, by committing to our routines, and by exploring the edges of our pleasure as well as our discomfort.
These two states are forever linked. They are the equal and opposite, infinite companions, coexisting as necessary aspects of personal magic coming into bloom. So much of spellwork is done through the willingness to dream and imagine. These are invitations of new possibility brought towards reality. To envision is to be a witness and conjurer alike. It is part of the State of Intention, which feeds into the State of Process, when we offer the gift of action.
BEGINNING SPELLWORK PRACTICE: SOLITARY COMMITMENT
As you begin a new journey into magic and spellwork, decide upon one singular aspect to commit to for a month. This could be the sun, the moon, a planet, an element, or a deity. Let's use the element of water as an example.
Every morning, visit with this element. Splash water on your face, mindfully drink water, or simply close your eyes and visit with the water in your own body. When you do this, speak aloud a conversation or think quietly. Ask it questions, and tell it about yourself. This can be returned to at any time of the day, and can be as lengthy or brief as you feel.
In the evening, engage with another formal visitation. You could do this with a shower or bath, tea, a water filled bowl, or with rain. No matter the source, this twice daily practice should be committed to every day for at least an entire month. As you do this, ensure that your practice is respectfully done. Be polite as you would be with any budding relationship.
As the days pass, use a journal to document your findings and insights. Perhaps use a specific prompt everyday such as "What did water teach me today?" At the end of the month, go back and read your early entries. See how much has changed, in what ways you have grown, and how this might inform your journey as it continues.