Use Your Magic

It’s been a minute. I’ve been sorting through some pesky life questions and am still uncertain as to where this blog is going. That’s OK for now.

Years ago, someone hit me squarely between the eyes with a few simple words — words that were echoed not long ago by someone else, who could not have known about the first.

I was dealing with some very ugly things the first time around, and was feeling beaten, defeated. (That’s been, thankfully, a rare feeling for me — not that I stumble less in life than anyone else, but I didn’t earn the nickname “infernal optimist” for nothing.)

Sometimes when things have been not-great for a long time, we lose sight of not only what’s still good in our lives, but of what’s so special about us, that indomitable flare of will and the unique gifts we possess that equip us to deal with whatever we must.

I was discussing things with the first person long ago, and he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Use your magic. It’s there. It always was. Use it.” While I tried to muster a response, he just turned and walked away. Conversation over.

Recently, about something completely different, I heard those words again. As before, they came at me like a sudden train.

“Use your magic.”

Magic. My magic.

For many Pagans, “magic” has a fairly literal meaning. They may practice ritual magics for various purposes, such as healing and divination. Other folks, particularly those of the Abrahamic faiths, may bristle at the word, even though their own rituals and practices often look similar. The question of what magic is or isn’t could take up a never-ending post all on its own. For now, I really like what True Blood said about it early on in their series:

“You think that it’s not magic that keeps you alive? Just ’cause you understand the mechanics of how something works, doesn’t make it any less of a miracle…which is just another word for magic. We’re all kept alive by magic.” (True Blood, “Mine,” HBO, 21 September 2008, directed by John Dahl)

Magic is everywhere, and most definitely within us. But we lose sight of that, of our own power and agency — our individual magic — when life stomps on our hopes and plans or throws so many wrenches into the works that it doesn’t look like anything could ever work out right again. The external world is quick to make us feel not only that we couldn’t possibly have magic, but that we wouldn’t even deserve it or be capable of using it if we did. We’re not good at tuning that crap out sometimes. We even do it to ourselves!

I am coming to a crossroads in my life. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and I have been feeling powerless.

No more. This is me picking my dusty and bruised hide up yet again. This is me opening to the magic that is woven through my breath, body, mind, and soul.

Here’s to my magic, and to the many magics of the great wide world.

I have magic, and I’m going to use it.