A Strong Foundation Leads to a Strong Practice.

I think I started actively practicing magic almost immediately after I learned about it. I’m not saying that without some guidance I went out and started Harry Potter-ing my way around town. I waited for a bit, at least. A lot of that stemmed from extreme uncertainty and the pithy warnings about love spells, spells that counteract free will, etc. I didn’t know what all I was doing when I first heard about magic, witchcraft, paganism, and Wicca. So, I dithered and remained curious until I met someone who was a practicing witch, The Sister.

She had been initiated into all of this wonderful hullabaloo by the EM. When I met her, I don’t know how long she had been doing this kind of thing. (Still don’t.) You could tell that she really liked her lifestyle and the religious choices she had made. She made learning about it all very fun and exciting, but unfortunately, I honestly believe that she wasn’t ready to teach anyone anything. I don’t blame The Sister in this because it wasn’t her fault. She was basing almost all of this teaching on the EM’s advice, which was that it was her turn to take someone under her wing and teach them “the ways of the force,” so to speak.

The EM, in my opinion, was completely fucking wrong.

The Sister’s teaching was extremely eclectic, and that included in aspects of magic. She taught me how to cast a circle and she talked to me about grounding and centering. However, there wasn’t a lot of time spent on any of those things. None of that–grounding, centering, energy work, breathing–was really covered to my satisfaction. Again, I don’t blame The Sister. She didn’t know what she was doing and it seemed that almost from the very beginning the EM overshadowed all of it.

And when I could finally get into a group setting, we were separated by hundreds to thousands of miles. So, the teaching never really happened. I only had a vague idea about all of those basics. When I could finally ask for help, when we were all together, I didn’t want to ask the EM for help. I didn’t particularly want to do magic anymore. And a lot of that had to do with the EM and how she failed me, as well as The Sister.

I’ve mentioned, a few times, that I think I need to get back into magic. A lot of this stemmed from my sudden find of hedge craft, although not all of it is just because of Wiki-clicking through the Internet about various pagan subjects. I’ve known for a while that magic needed to be re-practiced. However, I think the big turning point was when a conversation on TC popped up about magic. I was thrown for a loop by things that I didn’t know and these were things that were insinuated to be basic necessities in the practice of witch craft and spell craft.

I began to feel incredibly inadequate in that arena. I still feel inadequate, actually. I know how to write a spell in fifteen minutes or less (and in iambic pentameter, no less). However, knowing that does me no good if I don’t know how to do the basics to spell craft. I had once likened spells as a form of pagan prayer line to anyone who is listening and that’s kind of true. However, I was never fully made aware that in the act of casting a spell, a part of me had to go with it, energy wise.

So, I started reading about things from Seeking, a website created by Jenett on the forum. She seems remarkably aware of all of this magic stuff. While I was clicking through her website, I ended up on an article about energy work and how to sense such things. And I felt like such a complete moron that I had to E-mail her and ask her more questions about the article because there were large aspects that I didn’t understand.

I feel inadequate and I’m trying not to.

I want to practice magic again, but I have to learn the basics first.

When you’re in school, they tell you that you have to learn the basics before you can move on to the more complicated items. I distinctly remember hearing this little adage quite often when I was in math class. “In order for you to know division, you must know how to add and subtract.” I understand the concept that these teaching aids embody. And I even agree that you can’t just jump into Calculus without having a background in long division and multiplication. However, I really am not the kind of person who is good at learning that way. I always get extremely impatient and want to move on RIGHT NOW because I “already know all that stuff.”

The sin here is impatience.

And I’ve got a lot of it.

I have to start taking this stuff seriously. I have to start getting into the thick of things again and go for the guts. I have to get back to the basics, which as I type this, I realize that I’ve been having to type that out a lot lately. It seems like everything I want to do or where I need to go is saying, “Go back to the beginning. You’re unfinished. You need to re-learn these things or learn things you never learned.” I wonder whose particular lesson that is… Never mind. It’s not the point. It’s not important to this.

The important point is that I am incomplete, especially when it comes to the magical aspect of my spiritual path. And if I really want to practice magic again, then I’m going to have to take a do-over. Of course, in this, I might actually have to practice this stuff now and again. Here’s to hoping that my chaotic life allows for such things.

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4 thoughts on “A Strong Foundation Leads to a Strong Practice.

  1. I had been practicing for a few years by the time you met me, but I had been lax for a while. So yeah, I probably wasn’t in the best best position to do anything but bare basics. You also have to understand that people do things like cast circles, center, ground and the whole nine yards differently. What I did was much different that the EM, and much different from what a lot of other people do/have done, in the past/present/future. I took what made me feel comfortable and tailored my circle castings stuffins to that. You have to find your own comfortableness and go from there. That is your version of the basics.

    And to be honest, when EM tried to teach me circle castings and everything, I didn’t like the way that she did it, and I changed it as soon as I could. It was an ever evolving practice of mine, it flowed, and shifted, and fine tuned to what I needed or where I was headwise in the moment. And that is all you need to do. Tailor your own castings to be what YOU want/need them to be. Intuition baby!

    (Or you know, not. That’s a good idea too. :) )

    • I know that things had changed from what you were shown. I think you actually had told me that back then, as a matter of fact. And if you remember, I ended up changing how I cast circle almost immediately after you taught me your way. I found the words you used difficult and I stumbled over them frequently. However, I stumbled over the ones I changed them, too, as well, so… I guess I never found the footing I wanted.

  2. Wow. When I read your title of this post, I thought, “I just started writing a post of this very same topic!” I have been thinking a lot lately about how one finds the right practices to plug into their foundation, and how the foundation has to come first.

    I am also really interested in witchcraft and have been poking around Jenett’s site myself. Maybe we can find some way to work together? You also might want to consider joining the TWS SIG. The elements path is one way to slowly work through magical basics.

    • I actually want to join the SIG, but I have no means of getting my hands on that book. It’s on my top priority for my wishlist on Amazon. Unfortunately, the library inter-loan system is still new and the nearest copy is at a college 45 minutes away. Makes me sad.

      Once I get power back, we can look into working together, somehow.

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