A delicate red poppy flower, gently held in Anna's fingers. It is almost translucent, backlit by the evening sun, and shockingly bright red against the muted green field and trees in the background.

Denying your Magic

Ways to tell if you’re denying your absolute magic (I just wanted to hold that colour in my hand):
☾ You fear the future and the unknown
☾ You believe yourself to be powerless
☾ You mistrust and ignore your intuition
☾ You don’t have time to do things you want to do
It’s eminently understandable, sweet ones. We all do it, one way or another. We’re taught that we ‘can’t pour from an empty cup’ as if we can only fill our cup once it’s empty, and only for the purposes of pouring again. This is what patriarchy has taught us, and, in my experience at least, it became particularly weighty with motherhood.
We have been taught to fear what people will think of us, the names we may be called, if we reclaim our power. If we say ‘no’. If we treat ourselves with deep, radical love.
Disowning and outgrowing these beliefs is hard work, but power and pleasure is fresh air so sweet you will gulp it down in great laughing lungfuls, wondering what took you so long.
If your own sweet fulfilment isn’t motivation enough just yet, do it to show the womxn you love that it’s possible. To show your children that they don’t have to accept what is handed to them.
You may, like me, have spent years ignoring and denying your intuition. You may have so successfully repressed it, you don’t even know what you are listening for any more. In which case, maybe you are more familiar with the ideas of “interests and imagination”. When something catches your eye, follow it (like Alice following the White Rabbit) and see where it leads. This is the journey, my loves. This is the journey.

The Helter Skelter traditional fairground slide on Herne Bay pier in Kent, UK. The sun is shining on the ride but there is a brooding, stormy sky behind it.

Helter Skelter

To begin practicing magic, you will need:

- a vivid imagination (even if slightly atrophied from under-use)
- the ability to concentrate for short periods of time
- a willingness to make mistakes and laugh about it.

Now I see it written down, it strikes me that it’s similar to the list of requirements for starting up in business.

It can help to throw open your wardrobe and mine it for the clothes, shoes, accessories that have the best stories attached - but only if that is fun and easy for you. It’s just to tickle up the imagination. A devastatingly glamorous headdress will serve the same purpose.

Pick a spell or ritual. There are many interesting titles around 025.431 in the Dewey Decimal System at your local library, or wherever else you may turn for information.

Avoid money magic to begin. It works, but can provoke watching and waiting (leading to more watching and waiting).

You don’t need any special equipment. Use what you have. Don’t wait until you’ve purchased the blue candle or six quartz crystals.

Magic is a practice, so best to make a start, then refine. And it *loves* a workaround - a shared language, you see.

You must keep a record of your experiments - note everything from the date to the intention, your mood, the day of your cycle, the astrological weather, your tarot card of the day.

Study yourself: for now you are a magician.

“We do not need to know how magic works, only that it does. We prove this by doing the work, recording the results, and sharing our information with other magicians.” - Grant Morrison

A wooden gate is set into a tall hedge. In front of it, partially blocking the path, is a four foot high self seeded Mugwort plant.

Mugwort in my Way

For several weeks I’ve been infusing oil with, drinking, and even occasionally smoking mugwort, a sacred herb used to assist divination, sleep and lucid dreaming, and is used for smudging for protection and purification just like sage. My dreamscapes have been so wild and blissful I can’t help but want more and more, and also to be able to bring them back into awakeness with me.

And just yesterday I noticed that the very large plant, which has been almost in my way and which I pass multiple times per week (as I go through ’the gate in the hedge’ one of my most favourite portals) is - I am fairly sure - Mugwort.

I think maybe it’s saying I need more ;)

A tiny painted clay figurine of a fox - curled up and relaxed but with eyes alert - on top of a cluster of pyrite crystals. Incense smoke and a lit candle in the background.

Trickster Energy

Like you, I struggle with perfectionism and procrastination. Like you, I’m no stranger to imposter syndrome.

But I have good news, the antidote:

Trickster Energy.

The concept entered my awareness in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic (brilliant on the creative process, I recommend you read it).

Then a mentor described shedding any notion of ‘good girl’, and rather than falling back on the hackneyed ‘bad girl’ alternative, instead chose to identify as a benevolent trickster. Enchanting!

I had been feeling the weight of doubt and the internal critic, so when a friend described a fox figurine leaping, thrown by invisible hands from a shelf… AT THE SAME TIME as I watched a plump red fox, glistening with health, trot across the country lane ahead of me… I knew I needed to call in some of that insouciant, sharp-eyed, foxy trickster energy.

Do I unreservedly believe I deserve success? Fuck no! But I also know that plenty of people who are successful don’t ‘deserve’ it either, so let’s grab it anyway because we are just that kind of rascal.

Am I qualified? Maybe, kind of. At *least* as qualified as Kanye running for President.

Is my work amazing? I am often convinced it is at least 85% crap but nevertheless there are beautiful and intelligent folks prepared to pay me for it who *insist* it is good and makes a difference to their lives. How did that happen?! Who knows! And who cares!? I am so good at gaming the system, I don’t even have to harm anyone to get what I want!

Trickster energy is brilliant, fast, and drunk on power.

And if we get found out (spoiler: we won’t), we run away laughing behind our hands and keep working our magic anyway. The world doesn’t need any more good girls. There are far too many more fun things to be.

This babe fox sitting on a tiny pile of pyrite, relaxed and curled up but eyes bright, won’t miss a thing. Love her.

The Birthday Card

My sister gave me this card. It's the perfect card for me, because I *pined* for a pony in my childhood and now as a grown-ass woman I still kind of pine for one, but in another much more real sense I've realised the dream, because me and my daughter to go a friends' stables and shovel shit in return for a lot of pony face time and rides, and while we're there we both pretend it's our own place and the horses are ours.

And it's hilarious because if you look really really close, the name written on the card in illustration, is "Ann."

And it's also hilarious because it gave me the idea that things can be other things. So while I was shovelling the shit I realised that I could completely designate anything I earn from my new business, as 'pony fund'.

Which really is a lot more motivating than imagining it just draining into the bottomless depths of mortgage payments, utilities etc.

Then I got home and realised that I haven't even updated my affirmation to include my new business. Girl come *on*.

So what's funny is, maybe my sister did give me a pony.

A deck of tarot cards on a wood surface. The upturned card is number 1: The Fool

The Fool

If miracles are one of the best things we can imagine… and if they are unpredictable, life-changing, divinely-orchestrated events… how can I experience more of them?

That’s how it began. About a year ago, a spark woke up in me. An interest (though I didn’t know it at the time) in magic.

It continued, that spark, to lead me down different and connected paths until today. It’s fun. I’m not an expert, but I’m reading and enjoying it so immensely. And it’s actually a miracle in itself because all the time I was complaining that “I have no intuition” or “I don’t trust my intuition”, it was tugging me gently along a path which is really *only* about intuition.

You see, I didn’t realise that interest and imagination _is_ my intuition. It’s the rabbit holes I fall down, like Alice.

Learning about astrology and tarot, dieties and ritual, doesn’t sound, to the me I am most familiar with, like something I would do.

Yet here we are. Alive, powerful, sovreign. Hunting for miracles and finding them, sometimes. Feeling like the dreamer of the dream instead of a victim of circumstance.

I didn’t know where to start talking about this, so I asked my tarot deck and the answer, of course, was The Fool. Start at the beginning.

A small altar for planetary magic with the sun. A yellow candle, a tarot card (The Sun), a bowl of fruit and seeds, some crystals, an offering of rum, and a golden crocheted mandala

Altar to the Sun

I’ve been feeling impotent in what I can do to effectively, practically, support Black Lives Matters and add my outrage to the groundswell of change. I don’t have an audience, so amplifying black voices in my stories feels - futile. I continue to pull up family and friends when casual racism is dropped - and expect and hope to be pulled up myself too when I fail.

What I could do is get up to greet the sunrise, as electrifying as a first date. And make an altar to the sun and ask for guidance. For strong leaders. For the incineration of the old systems that hold black people in oppression. To illuminate the path of the righteous.

I asked for it to burn away the fears of those so determinedly clinging past prejudices. To strengthen and protect those taking power. To give energy for the ongoing fight. To bring health to societal systems.