The Urge to Buy
My path as a shamanic witch has led me through a lot of pagan, magickal and occult territory over the years, from books to tv shows and movies, to my own experiences. There is nothing quite like being down in the dumps and then finding that thing that gives you the spark to be or do better that gets you excited all over again. This week, it's been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time in YEARS.
I was a big Buffy fan when the show was running in the 90's and early 2000's, but I never watched the whole series start to finish, religiously. I decided to give it a shot, and I'm nearly through the first season already. Not only have I found it inspiring, but my kids are falling in love with it too, especially my pre-teen step-daughter. She thinks Buffy is pretty cool. My 5 year old son is both intrigued and scared by the show, so he watches sporadic bits, and my 1 year old just likes the theme song to dance to. But I've found it incredibly inspiring for getting me back into magick!
I'm a witch, yes, but I'm not a very frequent practitioner. I know that this topic is pretty polarized in our community - some people are of the persuasion where they only do magick when they've exhausted all other resources, where as some people like to practice frequently because they feel that without doing it on a regular basis they will not have the power or skills to accomplish what they want when the time comes for it. I personally fall somewhere in the middle - I need to feel the call to do a spell in order to actually do anything, but I'm not against using magick WITH some real-life effort, instead of waiting until I've done everything else. I haven't done a spell in a long time though, and watching Buffy has made me want to do some good old fashioned magick with a "K."
It's so easy though, watching that show, or Charmed, or any of the other witchy films, to want to find the cool looking old books, with the leather covers and beautifully illuminated pages, or to have a whole library that looks just Sunnydale High School (I mean really, I would want to go to that school just for the library!) at my fingertips, to peruse and pick from any time I want. Watching that show has me surfing Amazon with an itchy trigger finger, ready to pounce on anything with a promising title or description.
But hold up. Wait just a few minutes... what will buying that book get me, exactly? Does it hold the key to unlimited cosmic power? Will I become magickal just by osmosis, because let's face it, with my current to-read list, I probably won't get around to reading that book for awhile. Do I want it just because it looks cool on my bookshelf and it will impress the other pagans who visit my house (which is maybe once or twice a year at best)? Or because that "someday" it'll be there when I need it?
Buying up all the books will not make me, or you, or anyone else more magickal. Reading is great and wonderful, but it's the doing, the practicing of The Craft that really makes it special. I've got a couple of books with spells in them, and I do find them inspiring, and a great jumping off point when I'm itching to work some magick, but 9 times out of 10 I end up modifying it heavily, or just making my own anyways, with what I have. Having books galore at my disposal is a lovely dream to have, but let's face it, it's just not practical. Your power, my power, all of our powers, they are inside of us, waiting to be honed. So the next time you feel that itch for a book, and you're hanging some hope on it that this book will "be the one," I urge you to put the laptop down, and go outside, sit in nature, meditate, and remember what the Craft is really all about.
It's your devotion to the All. It's the connection with Great Spirit, however you see it. It's about tapping into the forces around you, and using what you have at your disposal to do that magickal thing that you do. Never forget it's not the books on the shelf, or the crystals on your altar, or the robes that you wear that make the witch. It's the energy inside of you, and your belief in yourself that does.
Many blessings, Jess. xx