Magical Girl: witchcraft and ancestral magic

August 3, 2018

witchcraft, magic, altarThere is something important I’ve been keeping from you. Well, not keeping really but more “not formally disclosing”. And the longer I have gone not saying this, the stranger it feels. Like some clandestine shameful secret, some sordid affair. A skeleton in my closet that has never come out. What is this strange and shocking thing, Laila? The truth is, I am a magical being. You could say I am a witch, or a sorceress, or a Magi. Seeker or fortune teller or divinator might also be appropriate. Or dayan, or loogaroo, or a seeker of ma’arifa. But whatever term you use, and whatever way you see it, I am creating, holding, and using something unseen and forceful and sacred. Something magical.

HOLD UP WHAT?! You don’t believe all this shit, do you? You’re so rational and academic, Laila! Isn’t this a bit farfetched? These are the kinds of things people occasionally say to me when I come out of hiding. Well, okay. You might feel that way. But I know better; I know there is more to life than what can be physically seen and proven and quantified. I have seen hidden elements at work again and again, felt outside influences impact my life, seen the future come to pass before I could comprehend the reality. My dreams lead me to facts, and the more I study, the more I understand. Earlier this year I opened up reads to the public and it has helped me reach a new level in my practise.

One of the main reasons I haven’t spoken about this aspect of my life on here before – and, whilst we’re being honest, it’s rather a large aspect – is partly because it is such a HUGE topic for me to branch onto. Over the years I’ve written drafts up and thought, no, I either need to go all in and share a broad overview, or say nothing.  The other reason I haven’t shared much is because I’m still working out how these things intersect – and, it’s dangerous. I am a person of faith, but both Christianity and Islam state that witchcraft is bad. So how can I be both of faith and of magic? I don’t know. That’s one of the parts I’m working out. How will my family disown me? I don’t know. I’m still working out the terminology I prefer, as well. “Witch” has always felt a bit off, for me, even though it’s accurate. But my ancestors would have had other names for witchcraft, and maybe I prefer those.

witchcraft, magic, altar

I want to tell you a little bit as to how I got here, but I’ll save that for another post. What I do want to talk about are the facets of magic that I practise and those I don’t. My brand of magic does not involve a pointy hat and a smoking cauldron. You will not find me atop a broomstick or hexing children. What you will find is me recording my dreams, using certain spices to cure certain problems when I cook, or advising friends on what crystals to meditate with. You are more likely to find me swapping my plants around for realignment, reading a situation with cards, or charting the month ahead according to the moon.

Most of the things I practise are very separate; there are many cartomancers who laugh at astrology, many Ayurveda healers who would scorn a crystal healer. Western society as a whole, puts a lot more stock in people who read the bible than it does in people who read cards. But my religion and my magical practise feel interlinked to me, always have done. And though they may seem very separate and disparate, all these things I’ve mentioned (and more) fall under one big bracket of magical learning in my life. As I get older, I’m starting to learn more about other schools of thought and knowledge. And how all of these things are linked, and real, and magic.

For me it is an ancient thing; something all humans have been trying to understand, including my humans. I think of my great-grandmother who read Lenormand cards, whose snake shaped candleholders I use today. They sat atop my actual snake; Princess Maggie, my familiar. My other great-grandmother was an Ayurvedic healer; commanding Mother Nature and working with plants to cure ailments and tend to wounds. I think of the Woozeer line; our surname derived from the famed, wise astrologers in a North African court. Royalty. How on earth did we survive all these many tortured centuries if not using our intuition and taken guidance from the world around us? And I look back at this long line of magic, and it seems obvious that all of this knowledge and intuition would end up somewhere. And so, here I am. No, it doesn’t seem that farfetched at all.

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