Now, more than ever, self-care is essential.
When we think of self-care we still think of massages, yoga classes, and margaritas after work, but the true meaning self-care is in its name: it is the care-taking of the self—spiritually, emotionally, and somatically, in whatever way you need. Maybe right now self-care looks like calling your doctor, or having an uncomfortable conversation with your partner, or breathing. The point is to prioritize your health, in all realms of life, because, of course, it is not our bodies alone that make us susceptible to illness. Unwellness can present in many forms, and enter through many portals.
This is why I believe that right now magic is a wonderful mode of self-care. Magic does not mean hocus-pocus, hexing, weird chanting. Magic means participation in the unknown, drawing on inner power, cooperation with the divine and nature. Magic is a means by which we surrender, allow our hearts to become fully receptive, and put ourselves in a more proper relationship to the cyclical, beautiful, wild experience of living. Magic cultivates oneness, while infusing our hearts with a deep groundedness, an earthiness that tethers us to our reality and also raises us above it. Magic allows us to work with the world with intention, while staying simple, staying open.
Here’s a little list of ways you can cultivate more support for yourself through magic in these chaotic times. I hope you find some peace through these suggestions. Sending everyone healing and light!
1. Create a ritual.
This has been my personal practice during this time stuck at home, and it’s been deeply rewarding. A ritual is something you do daily, weekly, monthly, that becomes routine, and can drop you into the same sacredness every time. A couple of my personal long-time rituals have been attending a monthly women’s circle, and drawing cards along with the changing moon. But in these last weeks, I’ve developed a daily ritual that I’ve committed to that prioritizes inner wellness. Every morning I light a candle, pull a card, and say a prayer for the healing of the world. If I have time, I’ll also sit for meditation and read a poem. Adapting a ritual like this into your routine will allow you space to process, to find presence. It will bring you back into the world, and force you to tap into your depth.
2. Make sacred space.
If you don’t have one already, an altar is a precious space to have in a moment like this. It’s your own place of spiritual renewal, sacred curation. It is a receptacle for items that inspire you, images that ground you, crystals to heal you, as well as intentions and prayers and raw truths. But in addition to this sort of space, I think having a physical space is more necessary than ever. Make sacred space by setting aside time for a bit of yoga, a walk, meditation. Allow a window in your day for you to be present with your body as well as your heart and mind. Find a moment that you can dedicate entirely to your wellness of soma and soul.
Spellcrafting is working with nature to perform a ritual with a specific intention. It is not saying magic words, or waving wands. You are spellcrafting when you light incense to draw out a certain mood. You are spellcrafting when you brew a tea designed for your particular needs. A common and easy form of spellcrafting is candlework. Say a prayer, and then light a candle to encourage its manifestation, or carve a word of intention into the wax (such as hope, health, breathe) and then let it burn to nothing. You can also work with offerings, such as leaving found rocks and leaves on your altar to connect to nature even while indoors, or put out a little glass of wine for the gods as the ancient liked to do. These sorts of practices can be very grounding, and orient you to the here and now. They force you to cultivate the important intentions we need to stay well.
4. Use your cards.
Drawing a daily card is such an easy and powerful practice, I can’t recommend it enough right now. Whether you prefer tarot or oracle cards, draw from whatever feels right in the moment. Now may not be the time to force learning or consistency or long, deep readings. Now is the time for help when we need it, a quick burst of focus, a moment of sharpened heartfulness. In addition to drawing a daily card, I recommend you use pull cards throughout the day, whenever you hit a wall of confusion or frustration or sorrow. Support yourself by letting your cards support you. It’s their job after all.
5. Invoke your protectors.
This is the time to speak to your ancestors, your angels, your spirit guides, and your gods. This is the time to ask them to support you, heal you, guide you to inner spaces of calm and purpose. If you haven’t worked with spiritual allies before (which you likely have, if you’ve ever said a prayer), I recommend presenting an offering and then requesting their aid. Personally, I like to light a candle or make my own body the offering by placing my hands over my heart or third eye. I like speak to the Goddess, the Great Mother, and I ask her to lead me deeper into compassion, and show me how to be a vessel for that same compassion in the world. Whatever your own needs or desires, ask them now, and put your whole heart in it.
6. Seek help when needed.
Self-care also means knowing when to reach out to those who are trained to care for you. Although you can’t go to class or see a practitioner right now, more and more virtual options are becoming available. Look into reiki healing, astrological deepening, or tarot processing. If you can’t afford it right now, try offering a trade of service, such as a tarot reading for some yoga guidance. I’m definitely taking part in this effort myself. And a note that currently I’m offering sliding scale pricing, so if you need a space for clarity, healing, realignment, deepening, or reassurance, just reach out. I’d love to offer you what support and care I can. Love to you, my friends.