When I was growing up, I used to love watching “Charmed”. I’ve re-watched it since, and as an adult, it’s a bit trite, but at 11- it was a foray into a world I had only dreamt about.
Unfortunately, I’m not one of those witches who can claim I was a witch before I was born- with powers passed down from generation to generation from the beginning of time (you know the ones I’m talking about)- but even at a young age something stirred in me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I’d sit in the car, on long road trips, gazing out of the window and using my mind to move cars from one lane to another (even now, I have a gift of manipulating traffic that I credit to those many house practicing in the car). I had an unexplained sense of knowing when I was being lied to, or whether or not a person was decent. I experienced déjà vu so often that I began to wonder if there was something wrong with me.
I didn’t realize it until I got much older, but I was practicing magick. Sure, it’s not like in the show- I can’t freeze time and I don’t shoot fireballs from my fingertips, but it’s the manipulation of energies all the same. I have names for a lot of those experiences now, like manifestation, empath, and precognition, but ignorance of the term doesn’t mean ignorance of the subject and I believe we all possess the ability to be witches no matter what our lineage says.
However, I often wonder where I’d be in my craft and as a person if I’d had a mentor all those years ago. Having been raised in an agnostic Christian-dominated household, I was left feeling more than a little confused and dampened with a whole host of issues I’d need to work past to become the witch I am today. I’ve always wished I’d had a witch somewhere in my blood line that would have somehow foreseen my coming and left me this ancient artifact of knowledge like the Charmed Sisters’ Book of Shadows. So far, it hasn’t happened- but like my Hogwarts letter, I’m still waiting patiently.
Unlike the girl of my youth, I realize as an adult that I have the power even without a book. Though I practice openly, and allow my son to take part in my magicks, I don’t force my beliefs on him- religion is a very personal thing, and you can’t mass market it, in my opinion- but, what if one day he decides that burning sage with Momma means more to him than just some fun? What if he decides that he’s confused and doesn’t know what he believes- and needs a guide, not to convince him or convert him, but to show him where to look to find his own way? What if one day I’m gone and he just wants a glimpse into my mind because he misses me?
I’ve always wanted to create a Book of Shadows. Unlike a Grimoire, which is a collection of spells, a Book of Shadows is a book of knowledge. For me, it’s a growing manifestation of everything I believe and why I believe it. I used to have a novel of one on my computer, but a spilled glass of milk wiped a hard drive containing three years of writing and I haven’t begun another one since.
Until now. Purposefully cultivating magick means I no longer wait until things fall into place to do the things I’ve always wanted to do, it means planting the seeds now and making them happen. I’ve had this giant art book sitting on a shelf for years, empty and waiting, ever since I saw Ember HoneyRaven’s video on how she turned hers into a Book of Shadows. Why keep it if I don’t ever plan to make my mark in it?
So, today, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve begun my Book of Shadows! My little moment, just me, some incense, and my craft supplies, making art on a page with the intention of sharing what I believe with posterity. Even if no one sees it, I’ll know that I accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do, and that’s all that I want for anyone in their lives.
I have many pages to fill, but to know I’ve put ink to paper- I no longer fear imperfection and untidiness. It can be a giant mess of chaotic thoughts, because one day, someone might open it and say “damn, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for”.
And, then, they’ll go outside and find that an owl has dropped off their Hogwarts letter, and all will be right with the world.
Until tomorrow, my friends…