Year and a Day Journal #34: April 26, 2016

I’m currently job-hunting.  I know that my job in this foreign country is only going to be relevant a little longer, and once June is up, so is my job stability.  Thankfully, they love me over here, so they’ve basically said that I could come back whenever I wanted, but I’ve got a lot of stuff to do in the States and I can’t bail on those responsibilities to go on prancing around in a foreign country, sniffing the foreign flowers and learning a foreign language.

*Sigh*  Such is life.

It’s times when I am job-hunting that I truly begin to think about my abilities and talents.  I see qualifications for certain jobs and I can’t help but think, “Dang.  Why can’t I do that?”  Sometimes it’s not so cut and dry; for example, I can’t just will into existence five years of experience in a certain field (although sometimes employers seem to be under the impression that us unemployed folks can indeed perform such miracles).  But I sometimes think, Why don’t I know how to use that program?  Why can’t I work better with children?  Why didn’t I get ESL certified?

The nice thing about working on a resume, however, is that I do get to actually think about the skills that I do have.  For example (I’m thinking to myself at this very moment), I am an excellent typist.  I can do 120 wpm if I’m really booking it, and I rarely have mistakes.  I also possess some pretty stellar spelling and grammar, which probably stems from a childhood of reading and writing for hours on end, plus this year I’m spending teaching English as a foreign language.  Nothing makes you understand a concept quite like pretending you know everything about it.

So, for this journal entry, I’m working with a prompt that’s kind of an extension of yesterday’s prompt: How do your talents and skills play into your Craft?  How have they influenced your path?

Yesterday, of course, I talked about music, so if you’re interested in that topic, you can just keep scrolling down.  But today I’ll try to touch on some other skills that I have.  If it sounds like I’m getting a big head, just remember that I’m job-hunting and I have to be able to pitch myself like a pro.  Also it’s my blog, so….

  1. Writing.  It seems like the sensible skill to start with, seeing as this whole blog wouldn’t exist if I didn’t sincerely enjoy writing.  Writing is really at the core of my Craft, because I usually focus my thoughts on spirituality through writing, as you can all see here.  In addition to this blog, I keep a hand-written journal.  It’s not exactly a Book of Shadows, per se, but an actual journal that I’ve kept for awhile.  It has regular, everyday entries in it, but as my life has gotten progressively Witchier, so have the journal entries.  Recently, I’ve taken to bringing my journal with me into my ritual space.  I’ll light the candles and then contemplate my ritual.  I’ll write down my thoughts in my journal, along with my intention for the ritual, and any incantations or things I do in the process.  Then I’ll actually do the ritual, and make some post-ritual notes.  It’s turned out to be a great focusing project.  I’m sure that this idea will eventually turn into a BoS at some point, but right now it’s just a way of focusing my thoughts.  Writing is really at the center of my Craft; more than that, however, it has entirely shaped my path.  For example, if I hadn’t become completely obsessed with fantasy stories, I never would have thought twice about wanting to be a witch, and then I probably would never have thought twice about wanting to be a Witch.  Reading has always had a great draw for me, and more than that, emulating the kinds of fantastic things that I read, in my own writing.  I’ve always wanted to be the next J.K. Rowling (as ridiculous as that sounds these days, because nobody can compare to Queen Jo), and somehow, despite the fact that I’ve started literally hundreds of different stories, I always come back to fantasy.  Nothing gets me as excited as the idea of magic, and I suppose that eventually turned into a fascination with magick.
  2. Dance.  Now, I’m not exactly a phenomenal dancer.  I danced basically from the beginning of my schooling until I graduated from high school, and then picked up less formal dance in college (such as Zumba), and I consider it to be something that I’m not too awful at.  But the great thing about dance is that it entirely engages your body in something that is utterly unique to you.  Nobody dances in exactly the same way, nobody reacts the exact same way to music, and giving dance as an offering to the Universe is a beautiful and visual experience.  So far I haven’t used dance much in ritual because I don’t have a lot of space, but recognizing dance as something that could be a part of ritual has opened me up the idea that, really, physical movement of any kind can be something sacred to myself and to the Universe.  Walking down the street, feeling my heartbeat in my chest–these things are spiritual experiences.
  3. Art.  My artistic ability is kind of like my dance ability–it’s always been something I’ve done for fun, though I don’t think I would get any critical acclaim for it.  That being said, making art for spiritual purposes or for ritual is, like anything else, not something that is going to be judged by others.  I think there is something highly sacred in creating, and whether that is an arts n’ crafts style project or a classically-done painting doesn’t really matter.  It can be really helpful to get out the paintbrushes and glue when it comes to making your tools or decorations for your altar or for different sabbats.  After all, many of us are Witches on a budget, and while it’s great to support your local metaphysical bookshop or local artist, sometimes it’s just better to make your own representation of the Goddess for your altar, rather than drop $50 on something you saw on Etsy (though there’s nothing wrong with doing that, either, if you have the money).  Sometimes, making your own things is the best way to forge a real connection between you and an item or decoration.
  4. Being a good friend.  This one is not exactly a skill, though I think it can be challenging for some.  I wanted to put this idea in here because I recently did some off-the-cuff spellwork that really revolved around one of my good friends.  Last weekend, Oriole (whose code name we’ve seen before on this blog) and I were out walking in the main part of town, running some errands.  She tripped pretty badly earlier on in the day, almost hurting herself.  While we were out walking, she tripped again, quite hard, and less than thirty seconds later, she tripped a third time.  Of course, because she didn’t get hurt, it was pretty funny, and we were of course laughing our butts off.  But in reality, I was getting a bit concerned.  It wasn’t like Oriole to be particularly clumsy, and she already faces quite a few health problems that could definitely be aggravated if she took a tumble.  So, while we were in a shop waiting to be helped by the shop assistant, I grounded myself and set an intention to keep her safe and healthy.  I know that it seems like a strange spell, but I just filled the nearest thing to her–her backpack–with positive energy, and hoped it would keep her safe.  Of course, I don’t know for sure if it was just a coincidence, but she didn’t trip or stumble any more for the rest of the day, even though we got a bit tipsy at a restaurant.  I know there is some controversy over casting spells on your friends who are unaware that you practice Witchcraft, or could be against the idea of having a spell cast on them, but I do know Oriole pretty well and she is someone who would kind of shrug and say, “Alright then, cool.”

Well, it’s gotten pretty late and I’m pretty exhausted, so I’m going to wrap this up.  Perhaps if I think of more ideas later, I’ll add them.

I hope that you all get the opportunities to use your own special skills in your Craft.  Feel free to share any experiences you’ve had in the comments.

Blessed be!







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