As you work on your 2019 resolutions, you may want to include some ways to Witch better in the new year. Some of these are about making yourself an even better Witch, Magickally. Some of these include how to be a better Witch in your community. Both are important, and all are easy to do. Happy (secular) New Year!
1.) Study the Magickal properties of five plants native or abundant in your region.
Pagans spend a lot of money and resources ordering herbs online. While this may have its purpose once in a while, shipping takes a toll on the environment. While being mindful that some native plants are endangered and shouldn’t be harvested, you likely have a bunch of Magickal herbs, flowers, or other plants in your park or yard that are fine to collect. I’ve had a great time exploring the protective energies of blackberry brambles and the cleansing properties of lemon balm, both of which are plentiful in my overgrown yard. Check for possible protected status before harvesting plants and don’t ingest anything unless a certified herbalist gives you the green light!
2.) Shake up your reading and follow list.
Take a long look at the Pagan authors you’re reading and Witches you’re following on social media. Are they mostly white? Cis-gendered? Heterosexual? Make a commitment to make sure at least half of the Witches you read and follow are people of color and/or queer and/or gender non-conforming. If you don’t know where to begin, Crystal Blanton wrote a column that about several influential Pagans of color. Yvonne Aburrow’s list is a few years old now, but still has great resources if you’re looking for queer or trans Witches and authors. Also, if you tend to buy more mass-market Pagan books, pick up a few self or independently published books. If you only shop for the latter, try a mass-market one this year.
3.) Pick one thing that breaks your heart and commit to using Magick to address it.
Deforestation? Children dying at the border? Poverty? Homelessness? Use your votes, write letters, volunteer–don’t skip the ground work, but include Magick, too. Well-intentioned Witches might cast spells that say “Shine light into shadow” or “Bring peace to the world,” but Magick is most effective when it is direct. Consider creating a sigil or even a whole altar to one cause that breaks your heart and feed it throughout the year.
4.) Support your local Metaphysical bookstore
Small bookstores may be on the rise, but let’s not take that for granted! Pagan and Metaphysical bookstores have long been the backbone of the Magickal community. A quick click-to-order on Amazon may be tempting, but nothing compares to the smell of a good bookstore or the conversation you’ll have with the workers or other customers while you shop.
5.) Attend at least three rituals or events led by other Pagans
If you are in a closed group or have a regular open Circle you attend, it’s easy to get into a rut. Try attending three new events. Supporting others is good for the community and ultimately, can be helpful for our practices, too. It might teach us something new to add to our own work…or even reminds us of what to avoid.
6.) Learn something from a child and something from an Elder
Do you have a Magickal child or know someone who does? Ask them to teach you a spell. It might be informative–it’s sure to be cute. Be sure to also sit down with an elder this year and ask them to teach you a few things, too. We Pagans are awfully quick to disregard our Elders, and may not have them for long. A quick conversation will mean a lot to them, and to you. You’ll definitely learn something.
7.) Check in with your Spirits and/or Deities every day
You don’t have to do much. Most of us work hard, long days and don’t have much energy for hours of chanting at a carefully tended altar. Recently I wrote a blog on Witching When Tired. Sometimes, all you need to do is take 30 second and tell your Spirits or Deities that you’re there and you’re listening.
8.) Honor the Ancestors
Same thing. You don’t have to do much. Commit to creating even a little space in your life every day to let them know you continue to honor them.
9.) Honor, love, and respect yourself
The Witch’s most powerful tool is their own self. Drink water. Eat. Sleep. Say no when you’ve had enough. Say yes when you haven’t. Make the commitment to honor yourself as your most valuable Witchcraft tool.