For those of you who read my blog at least occasionally, you probably know that my real name isn’t Chloe. I keep Chloe as a pseudonym, as my Witchy name, because I have a real life outside of the Internet that isn’t quite ready to be out of the bloom closet yet. This blog is my real personality here, and I write my real thoughts, but there is also a real girl out there in the world who is me, who is working and living and trying to avoid major bumps in the road.
The reason I’m reminding you all of this is because the real me suffers from migraine headaches, and I just had one yesterday. They are entirely unpredictable. I have no idea what triggers them, and they have no pattern. I didn’t even have the first recognizable-as-a-migraine episode until I was seventeen. During my freshman year of college, I had to run out of class and throw up, then go and sleep it off. I had auras about 15-20 minutes before the pain started, just long enough to gather my books up from the library and head home or email my professors that I wouldn’t be in class. If I could take two Excedrins before the brunt of the pain settled in, I could sleep through the nausea and wake up about four hours later feeling like I had slept through being brutally hammered in the skull repeatedly. I had them as often as three times a month, until they abruptly stopped in February.
I had one more that I remember on move-in day of my junior year of college, and possibly another at some other time, but this is the first one I can recall having in quite a long while. Of course, it’s disconcerting, because if I have no clear pattern, I can’t tell what the triggers are. It’s also difficult to cancel out of things at such short notice. I was able to call in sick from work yesterday, but I had an individual student I couldn’t cancel. I threw up (from the pain–a side effect of the migraine) about four minutes before she arrived, and throughout the hour-long lesson I excused myself two more times to go discreetly vomit. I should win an Oscar because she had no idea that I was ill.
Anyway, the reason I’m talking about this on my Witchy blog is because it’s things like this that make me curious about the practical effects of magick. It actually set me to looking for magickal remedies for migraines, a few of which I found, but of course there is the underlying question, What does magick actually do?
I know, as well as any other person studying Witchcraft, that magick does not fix all problems. It cannot make something do an action that is outside of its nature. I can’t turn a tea kettle into a flower pot or anything like that (unless I get really crafty with Pinterest). And likewise, magick is no replacement for medical advice or treatment. If you break your leg, you can’t magick it back. You can use magick to help you cope or to possibly heal faster, but that’s about it.
What about with unseen problems, like migraines? Things that don’t seem to have any rhyme or reason, but they just happen? What about depression, or the resulting apathy? What about cancer? We can say that we have preventative magick, but what does it do in times of real health crisis? I mean, just the night before I had my migraine, I did a spell to improve my health (by helping motivate me to eat right and exercise). I burned candles with dill and rosemary, I burned petitions, and I made sure to repeatedly qualify that the spell shouldn’t harm anyone. Yet, the next morning, I get my first migraine in years. What gives? It even sent me to the Internet to see if there was such a thing as a magickal hangover. Maybe I didn’t ground enough and used too much of my own energy?
And yet, part of me was thinking, This is silly. When you were a “Christian,” you never assumed it was God that was giving you migraines, or that He would take them away. When you were an atheist, you didn’t look into outside causes. And that is entirely true. Now that I want to tap into the magickal energy of the Universe, it seems that I should be able to defeat this in some way. Now that I’ve put my first real hope into something in a long time, shouldn’t it–you know–not let me down? Isn’t there some herbal blend I can take, or some meditation exercise I can try to do (while lying under the covers wishing I were unconscious)?
Or is magick, is Witchcraft, just one more call out into the void in our hopeless search for some power and control in this messed-up place? Could there ever be such a thing as practical magick?
I know these are all very dramatic thoughts for a novice Witch to ask, but I always have questions for my own life philosophies, and Witchcraft doesn’t get let off the hook in any way. That being said, I’m very happy to take any bits of wisdom, because these are real questions I would like to have answered (or at least have soothed in some way). Comments are welcome below, and I’ll approve them as soon as I can.
Thank you for reading.