Recently there have been a profusion of books that are fictionalized accounts of what kind of life a Wizard or Witch lives. From Harry Potter, to Lord of the Rings, to books by Mercedes Lackey and others. There are other books that are supposed to tell you what it’s “really” like to be a Wizard or Witch, or any spell caster for that matter.
Shows like Charmed, Practical Magic and Buffy or The Craft show teens and young adults who are spell casters and magickal folk and purport to portray what their normal life is like. But like any fictional account, these portrayals are what the writers want a magickal life to be like. Reality is very different.
Without living the life of a wizard, witch or other creature of magic, how can the author portray reality instead of fantasy? And then there are those who are only telling you about what a “real” magick user goes through to get your money. Yes, authors can lie, or they misrepresent facts to glamorize something that is about as interesting as putting on your shoes.
Did you ever wonder why Hollywood doesn’t make a movie about a REAL wizard’s or witch’s life? It’s mainly because it’s boring. To prove it, I’ll take you through my most exciting day.
I get up somewhere around 6:30 AM, after having had a good time with my wife the night before. Hopefully I have gotten a good night’s sleep since I have sleep apnea and effectively strangle myself all night. I get dressed, do my personal grooming, and head out for work.
In the car, I make sure that others can see me, and that I don’t hit anyone simply by paying attention. So I drive into my work, where I start the day.
I do a consecration of myself with some anointing oil, put out my worry beads on my desk. Because I am currently studying the Ogham as part of my Druidic studies, I pull on rune out of a bag of them, while asking that I be shown what I need to know for the day. I look in two books and one handout for varying interpretations, and I strike an average of them. I put it all away and start working.
I proceed to run all over the building fixing computers. When I’m tired or frustrated, I go outside and exercise by walking around the building. If I’m mad at someone, I tell them so and try to work it out. I think, I read, I research. I finally go home.
At home I will probably work on a review, I will spend time with my daughter listening to her practice her flute, I’ll talk to my wife, I’ll answer email from various groups I’m on, I may even work on an article for the Journal. I then go to bed with my wife, spend a couple hours in private with her talking about various things, and I’ll meditate for 20 minutes to an hour before I go to sleep.
I’ll do the same thing the next day.
Holidays, I’ll spend at home with my family. We may talk about the significance of the holiday and what it means. I may spend some time cooking or watching programs I’m interested in on TV. Perhaps there will be a movie we will watch. We may pull out the Sailor Moon DVD we just recently bought and watch an episode or two. I’ll pester my daughter about her homework. We will play Game Boy on the various PCs.
I’ll be in discussions with various people on the Internet about various aspects of religion, life, the universe, 42, books, idiots in Wicca, administrative stuff for the ODU (my druidic order) and so on.
Please notice a few things in my typical day; I’m not wandering around in my ritual robes all the time, I’m not casting spells simply because I can, I am not doing huge rituals every night. But I am living a magickal life.
My car has shields on it that make it visible to other drivers and to make sure that I see what I need to see. It also keeps the ghosts out of the car and keeps me from being distracted. My car has a soul now, and his name is Gailyn. He sometimes (almost) drives himself. I have several friends on the Astral Plane who watch me and look out for my interests. They protect me and alert me to potential problems before they get out of hand. My worry beads are hematite, which sucks away my negativity and grounds it. I have shields on my home and myself and around my cubicle, for various reasons. When I walk, I talk to the Gods, and I talk to my Guides. I meditate in Nature as I walk.
All these acts are magick that I do all the time, but which are not acts that require me to do rituals or ceremonies. I don’t have to get everything out and do a whole ritual to do a sigil to prevent a problem person at work from coming around me and bothering. The tools I use to repair the computers in my job are enchanted to help me do the best job I can. Not because I did a ritual to make them that way, but because I use them all the time while *knowing* that they will help me.
See, real witches and wizards don’t always run around putting out candles to do a spell. Real magick users generally simply do their magick without the props. Yes, tools are important when you are first learning the trade, learning how to focus your energy and your willpower, but once you have that lesson learned, the tools really become a crutch. Most often they are a crutch you can do without.
The lesson here is that most experienced magick users don’t need to have a special room behind their shop or in their home where they do magick, or a cleared patch of ground that they do all their rituals in, or an attic where their Book of Shadows is stored in. Or, to be more precise, they may have that room, but it’s not necessary for them to be able to use their magick.
Some wizards and witches are in their sacred space all the time. What does this mean? It means that from the time they get up in the morning to the time they get up the next morning, they are in a sacred space. Their mind is their sacred space and they are always in it. It is a mindset that denotes something as being sacred rather than salt water and incense. All the ritual does is make one aware of a sacred space and denote the boundaries of the area. It is solely and simply the mental state they are in that says that this space is outside of time or outside of space. But if one is in that mindset all the time, then everything and everyone a wizard or witch interacts with is then sacred.
The Highway they drive down is sacred; the car that they are sitting in is sacred. The kitchen they stand in while preparing breakfast is sacred, the food they prepare is sacred, the knife they use to chop the onions and green peppers for the omelet is sacred as well as the ingredients. The child they help is sacred as well as their skinned knee. The squirrel that eats their crops in the garden is sacred as well as the herbs it is eating. The mosquito that sucks their blood one warm night is sacred.
Everything and everyone becomes sacred when one stays in sacred space all the time, and you can then see the Gods in everything. “Namaste” takes on a whole new meaning when everything is sacred, it then takes on it’s true meaning. In a sacred space mindset, I can look at the attractive female form of someone walking down the runway at a fashion show, and I can see the Maiden in her. I can see the young girl who is excited by that which is new, I can see the sacred virgin in her and I can honor that. I can see the Mother who is providing for her needs and perhaps others, helping and taking care of that which is put in her care. I can see the Crone in her eyes, that old lady who has seen much and has gained wisdom from it all. I can see the Warrior who protects those aspects and those whom She has sworn to protect ready to attack.
I can look at my co-worker who is driving me crazy and I can see the God staring back at me. I know that he is doing his best to provide for those he has sworn to take care of, and that he is also doing his best to deal with situations beyond his control. I can see the God’s wisdom as he berates me for something that is not my fault, and I can see the fear of failure in his eyes. I can see it and I can honor that and I can then have compassion for that person, despite the fact that I feel he’s being monstrously unfair to my situation and me.
“Namaste” means “The Divine in me sees and honors the Divine in you.” This is what happens when one lives in Sacred Space. Add to that if the entire world is Sacred, then how arrogant is it that we can set aside one part of it as “more sacred” than the rest? That’s like being a little bit pregnant. If something is sacred, it is sacred. It’s not more sacred because a religious leader wandered around and moved a candle through the air.
As part of this, magickal acts occur all the time. It becomes a magickal act for a bird to fly. It becomes magickal for me to pick up a pencil and write something down for someone else to read. It becomes a magickal act for my daughter to play her flute. It becomes magickal for me to kiss my wife. It becomes a magickal act for my bowels to move while I’m in the bathroom, and it becomes magickal for me to take a shower.
No act then is mundane, and there is no mundane world around me anymore. In “the Charge of the Goddess” She talks about all acts of love are worship of Her. It should probably read, “All acts are in worship of Me”.
Another part of living in Sacred Space, normal solutions to problems take on equal weight to magickal solutions, and they are indistinguishable from each other. It is just as sacred, just as magickal; just as effective for me to confront a problem I’m having at work by having a discussion with my boss as it is for me to cast a binding spell on a troublemaker. Doing my best to be the best person I am capable of being becomes just as magickal and sacred as casting a spell to bring me what I want.
In fact, simply because all is magickal and all is sacred, every breath I breathe is a spell. Each thought becomes a spell that I cast and each flash of anger becomes a curse. This ultimately means that I have to be very careful of what I think, what I do, what I say, since I am invoking forces that I may not wish to invoke, and setting in motion forces I may not be able to stop.
I may use the ritual and the spell processes to help focus and clarify my desires. I may also use them as a way to augment the other actions I have taken to get what I want. If I am looking for a job, in addition to the sacred spell of sending out résumé’s, the sacred spell of looking in the help-wanted portion of the paper, the sacred spell of going to people and having interviews, I may also cast a sacred spell to throw the chances in my favor of coming across the perfect job for me. Spells then becomes something as one part of many, instead of the only thing one must do as many media outlets will try to tell you.
I have also seen people trying to tell me that my morals as far as my magick is concerned are different than my morals in my day-to-day life. I see books telling me that it’s all right for me to do a ritual and light candles to make the head cheerleader ugly, but it’s not all right for me to go up and cut her face open with a knife. Those same books say that it’s acceptable for me to use magick to force someone to sell a house I want, but that I can’t stalk them and throw tear-gas into their house to force them out.
If everything is sacred, if every action is a spell, if magick is all around, then my morals are my morals. There is no division between magickal morals, mundane morals, holy morals, religious morals or any other kind. If it is wrong for me to hurt someone, then it is wrong for me to do so through magick. If it’s sacred, then my hurting them through my actions or spells is a slap in the Gods’ faces collectively. If there is no difference between what I do in the Circle, in ritual and what I do on the road, then letting my temper get the best of me becomes a spell of harm, and I am violating my morals as a person and a magickian.
Finally, when one understands that for the mystic, the person who travels this pathway to the divine, if magick is permeating every aspect of their life, things just seem to go easier for them. If thoughts are the same as a spell, then dreams become a means of casting spells to bring what they are dreaming about to them.
This is the path that many travel. This is what Wiccans strive for, it is what the Buddhist Monk is trying to attain, what the Catholic Priest and Nun reach for on a daily basis. It is the communion with the Divine, living with the magick and the sacred every second of every minute of every day. It is a permanent state of ecstasy where one is always talking to the Gods and They are always talking back. It is what many claim they wish, but it is very hard to achieve, and, it is very hard to maintain. It is uncompromising knowledge of self and of your actions. It is always understanding that all your actions can and DO affect others in significant ways, and that their actions can and do affect you. It removes all excuses and nullifies “I didn’t know”. It is something that anyone can attain if they work for it.
This is the TRUE life of a wizard or witch. It is not what is shown in Charmed, Practical Magic, The Craft, The Blair Witch Project, Mad Mad House, or any of the myriad books that tell you what it really is to be a wizard. But these shows and books can’t tell you this since it can’t be shown. It would be hard to show a mystic who searches through probabilities before making a decision, who also thinks about who will be affected and what could happen by doing something, and how best to handle this. It’s hard to show the epiphany that comes from seeing an anthill and understanding suddenly that they are some of the most prepared creatures on the face of the Earth. That’s not as flashy as having expensive vases flying through the air or lighting a candle by blowing on it.
But that is what it truly is.