21st Century Witchcraft: Magic in the Everyday

To understand my perspective and my background, see the earlier piece (part 1): 21st Century Witchcraft: Why I’m no longer “Christian”

My definition of witchcraft is neither the practices of spells nor the following of Wicca, though both of those may qualify as witches.

My definition of magic isn’t based on hocus pocus or ritual, though both of those may qualify.

In my view, and what I wish to discuss here, there are many practices in everyday life that, again in my view, equate to everyday magic.My views may run counter to your views. please remember, the universe has space for all of us.

Respect, first and foremost.

  • Prayer. The basic concept of prayer has a person preparing a sincere conversation with God. Thinking that our words with influence a higher power or change the outcome of events certainly feels like magic to me.
  • Aromatherapy, essential oils, herbal medicine. Witchcraft may be seen as finding the best use for items in the natural world and understanding how these items influence our mind, body, health and behavior.
  • Good luck charms. Lucky penny? Only take a test with certain color pens? Not only is this about superstition but it’s also a case of using an object to focus and strengthen our own will.
  • Candles. If you choice your candles or scented wax products based on color or smell, I consider that trying to change the atmosphere of your home with subtle magic.
  • Traditional foods. Eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day? Certain desserts on certain occasions? Our food habits and what we chose to eat alters our frame of mind. Those mental states can certainly impact us. And in other cases, the ingredients and preparation procedures gives us singular focus.
  • Pets. The animals we bring into our homes may bring an intense bond. Some may be so attuned to us, they may provide protection, strength and reassurance. In other cases, the animal may bring beauty or joy just in its presence.

Coming soon:

Witchcraft in the 21st Century (part 3): Books and personal space

21st Century Witchcraft: Why I’m no longer “Christian”

I proposed a topic of discussion with my daughter the other day, the manifestation of witchcraft in contemporary culture.

“Witchcraft” is all around us.

Now I’m not old enough to say anything about the 1960s, but it seems that’s when American spirituality tried to break from religion in the form of rote brainwashing.

Now, don’t read me wrong.

I merely mean that traditionally, religion begins in the family and people typically follow the same spiritual tenets their parents did.

That’s how the system works and how religion and patriarchy go hand-in-hand. But that’s not my point for today nor a conversation I’m willing to have with the internet-at-large. At least not today or anytime soon.

My mother drove me to a local United Methodist Church on Sundays. Even though religion was not a core of my home life, that experience of attending a church shaped my mind.

And for a long time I was strongly Christian.

Attending a liberal arts college (Moravian College), exposed me to other religions for the first time. Maybe I was ignorant and/or blind, but my small town, rural upbringing did not expose me to anything beyond Christian. This was pre-9/11 so concepts like Jewish and Muslim were foreign to me.

And then I had to take my three religion courses for my requirements. I took Old Testament, Religions of China and Japan and maybe something else I can’t recall right now.

Studying the Old Testament’s origins shook my faith in new ways. Yet, my experiences reassured me that the universe has an order and inherent creative power.

Around this time, one of my mother’s friends gave me a Ryder-Waite tarot deck and I really fell in love with Taoism.

So now, I’m a college student dabbling in other religions convinced I’m going to hell for divination.

Present day me might be going to hell for a lot of reasons. Tarot is merely one. But I don’t believe in hell. I can’t believe a god that loves us enough to sacrifice for us would condemn us to hell. I can’t believe a God that promotes forgiveness would condemn us.

I’m no longer “Christian.” My lack of faith in Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. I just believe that Christianity is a system of bribery and reward. Institutionalized Christianity focuses too much on a Biblically-mandated moral code that prescribes what we need to do to receive eternal life in Heaven.

I want to do what’s right because I’m a good person, not because of repercussion or reward.

That’s not to say I feel Christians, church or religion is bad.

A genuine faith community is a powerful source of support and good, for individuals, families and neighborhoods.

I have met and interacted with deeply beautiful Christians who improve the lives of others through their generosity and faith. I have worshipped with many faith groups that move me to tears.

I believe in my own spiritual concepts and my own higher power. Those are personal to me and they impact how I live my life.

In my next post:

21st Century Witchcraft: Magic in the everyday

When the highlight of your day is a trip to the Grocery Outlet

I worked a long day today. Voluntarily got to the office at 7:30 to prepare for my 8:30 development committee meeting, followed by some grant writing, lunch at home with the teenager who had an early dismissal, then an afternoon meeting and an evening mixer at another local nonprofit.

The mixer typically goes until 7 p.m. I asked the teenager if she wanted to go get milk and more salmon salad at the grocery outlet. When we bought the salmon salad last week, it was $1.99. But the “Best Buy” date was today so it was 47 cents! The teenager bought one for lunch tomorrow and I suggested tossing one in the freezer. For 47 cents, if it doesn’t free well who cares.

They had a nice selection of essential oils for $5 a vial. I almost bought tea tree oil, but instead opted for this $12 gift set.

My little treat.

We also got various yogurts and smoothie/yogurt drinks. A snack mix of dried mango, banana chips, peanuts and spicy almonds. Very yummy. Baby bel cheese wound in a pinwheel. Organic coffee in yogurt. And some weird matcha “quark” thing that I fear is Farmer’s cheese. And a caramel apple pie yogurt.

And a layered chili lollipop with gum inside. Not even sure what the heck that is.

I spent $15 on the aromatherapy set and garbage bags and $24 on yogurt, milk, fruit, salmon salad and broccoli.

I love stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying weird stuff at the Grocery Outlet.

And did I mention this particular Grocery Outlet supports our food pantry? They do.