Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Dilemma of an Urban Witch



Upon waking up around 9AM, I usually go to the altar dedicated to the House Spirits and offer a quick prayer. Not being able to do the complete Ritus such as wearing a white toga, or doing libations and food offering, I just usually light an incense and whisper a prayer of thanks to the Lares. After my day job, which usually ends around 12 MN, I would face the altar in my room for a daily devotional to the Gods and the ancestors and this would be my usual routine everyday excluding the eight Sabbats.

In the centuries past, our ancestors are still not bound to an 8-5 office job (for some of us- night shift) and are free to practice their Craft all day, every day. Our ancestors breathe magick and treat the Craft as part of their daily routine. They are cut-wives, midwives, herbalists, fortune tellers, journeymen and priests or priestesses. They have been doing this all the time that there are no distinction between their normal daily tasks and their magickal workings. They put magick in all they do- from planting their crops, to harvesting them and even preparing their food.

In modern times, witches are too occupied with their day jobs that it can be challenging to create rituals following the correct time correspondences. It can also be very challenging to gather ingredients to a potion or a satchel. It’s also very difficult to look for places of power in the heart of the city let alone a silent place to conduct your rituals, especially if your house is located in front of a busy highway.

Compared to our ancestors, we modern witches would find it challenging to observe the movement of the seasons. Aside from the light pollution blocking our view of the night skies, some of us living in the metro has all these skyrise buildings blocking the view of the stars. We have lost our close connection with nature with all of the concrete and metal surrounding us. That’s why we witches often times leave the cities to go on a vacation, where we can run barefooted or just hug a healthy trees.

Some of us require a lot of effort to switch from our “mundane daily mindset” to our “ritual magick mode”. Some of us do this by listening to chants (played of course on an iPod or those sleek Samsung Phones) and meditating, holding a crystal, or anointing ourselves with oils and burning incenses (from the health and home area of Gaisano Mall). I switch to my magick mode when I smell (sometimes if my nostrils are clear) Lavender Oil, or reciting a mantra. While our ancestors can easily cast a spell in front of the hearth, we urban witches do a lot of “rituals” first to achieve this state of mind.

Probably, the one thing that I can appreciate as an urban witch is the fact that we became very resourceful. We still can cast spells using grocery items (McCormick Dried Basil anyone?), we dance around a bonfire burning inside a clay cauldron in the middle of a room at a beach resort, we can still map the moon phase using those useful Windows and Android Apps. We also learn to find the things we lack by substituting them with something, especially if the spell require something that we cannot find here in the Philippines. On this age, magick and technology has become partners in achieving a desired goal, ever heard of a USB of Shadows?

As the traditional approach to Magick change with the modern times, the essence of the Craft did not. Whether you are a modern witch or Pagan from the 16th century, the basic foundation of how magick works remain the same. It is as Cordelia mentioned in American Horror Story- Coven said- Intention!

photo from the internet

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