Calling forth magic: a fox talisman, a Christian cross, some orange flowers and a couple of flat, polished crystals rest on a turquoise surface

Your Business Doesn't Need Your Authenticity

Why Your Business Doesn't Need Your Authenticity: Eight Ways to Inject Magic Instead

Marketing experts love to speak about 'authenticity’, as do folks in the networks and structures set up to support women starting out in business. But your business doesn't need your authenticity.

Unfortunately, the advice is handed down from mentors who have already done a great deal of personal transformation work. An essential ingredient is held back.

With the result that people attempt to implement the advice to 'be authentic' from a baseline of fear and shame.

Not that there is anything wrong with those emotions - I am well acquainted with them. But it leads to a misunderstanding. The communication is not as clear as it needs to be. An Olympic swimmer can tell you about the nuance of a stroke, but unless you have the foundations you won't be able to implement their advice.

Your business does not need you to be authentic about your shame or fear.

Instead, your business needs you to shed your shame, fear and not-enough-ness, and be audaciously authentic about the you beneath.

Eight magical ways to excavate the unique power and beauty of you:

1. Adopt the mantle of witch, magician, sorcerer, enchantress, minister, initiate or other such magical moniker, even if it feels awkward at first: this gives tacit approval from the universe to behave exactly as you wish.

Your answer to anyone, real or imagined, who questions you about ‘who gave permission,’ or ‘what are you doing?,’ or ‘who do you think you are?’ is a shrug and the phrase: I am a witch.

2. Perform a ritual (the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram is remarkably effective) to dismiss the energies holding you back.

3. Create a semi-fictional alter ego, one who embodies the wildest dreams of what you might dare to think, do and say. If you’re stuck, become someone who isn't. Step into an alternate personality, just like when you performed in the High School production of Guys & Dolls.

Everything you dread being negatively judged for, your alter ego embraces and wears unashamedly. In fact, it is the very secret to their success. Give them a name, a backstory, a personality, an appearance. Invite them to take the reins when it is time to be visible in service to your business (also see below).

4. Write and perform a ritual and invite your alter ego to possess you (highly recommended).

5. Initiate a relationship with a celestial deity, engage their support with your enterprise, dedicate your business to them and see (4) above.

6. Many mentors refer to 'birthing' a business or a service. My personal experience of childbirth was not ecstatic, and I found the early years of parenthood a peculiarly potent mixture of stressful and boring.

Stop imagining your business as a needy, helpless being that you have ‘birthed’, perhaps misguidedly. You are not eternally saddled with monitoring its health and fretting over its very survival.

Instead, practice sovereignty of thought and view your business as a wise and ancient spirit. Remind yourself that you are the Chosen One with whom they have contracted to manifest in the earthly realm.

7. Decide that everyone loves and approves of you and furthermore, the more ‘you' you can be, the more love and approval come your way. The things that make you odd are the exact things that make you adorable.

The more shameless you can be in loving what you love, thinking what you think, and looking how you look, the more magnetic you become. Because everyone understands what an exceptional feat of acceptance it is.

8. Grow exceptionally comfortable with feeling sad, frightened, afraid and vulnerable. Also frustrated and helpless.

The extent of what we are able to receive is governed by our capacity to tolerate sensation - both the exquisitely painful and the unbearably blissful. Like a pendulum, it's impossible to swing further to one side and not the other.

If you can’t tolerate failing, you won’t tolerate success. If you can’t risk ridicule, you won’t receive adulation.

When you become the director of a masterful, creative performer (also you), you make the stuck, painful loop of hiding, optional.

And the dramatic friction you create by avoiding the thing you say you want, is re-directed into electricity in your business.

I hope these practices will help you as much they've helped me.

With love,

Anna
x


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 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.