Magic in the Moment

I suppose that I should preface this by saying that this is all based on my own personal craft and what has worked for me. I’m not trying to judge the entirety of magic and witchcraft here even though I’m painting in broad strokes here.

I’ve never been a fan of timing in magic. What I mean is planing out a spell to cast it during a certain moon phase, planetary event, Wheel Holiday (I don’t follow the Wheel in the usual sense anyway so), or even season. There are a few reasons for this, some more magical than others.

The first reason is energy and not even in the magical sense. (Though I suppose you could tie it in) I need to feel right for a spell. There are days when I’m up for a spell and days that I’m not. So if I am researching a spell and feeling excited for it, why shouldn’t I just cast it or work with it then? There’s no guarantee that I would feel up to it or have the same spark for it when the universe’s timing was “optimal.” Plus as we all know, something always comes up. I find magical timing to be more inconvenient than it is helpful on the most mundane level.

The other reason, which is more magic based, is “Why should I care?”. My magic is down and dirty and pretty grounded at its most basic level. I like to know exactly what’s going into my spell work and prefer to have all my ingredients right in front of me, good to go. I write a spell so that everything I need is covered by the ingredient list and by myself. I don’t write with the intention of drawing energy or influence from a planetary body or the like. Also, considering how I put the energy of my components into my spell, it would be weird to do the same with something so far away. I don’t pay attention to timing related things anyway, so I’m not expecting it to influence my magic. As far Wheel Holidays are concerned, I don’t connect with the seasonal ones that much. That’s mostly because where I live doesn’t match with what holiday is telling me is going on. I also don’t have a connection to many of the traditions the holidays are based on. (I really should just make a post about my feelings on the “traditional” Wheel of the Year)

I think it may also be because timing related things lean more towards the ceremonial side of magic. While I think that ceremonial magic is really cool and I will gladly learn about it and think it has a lot a value to it, it’s not my craft. I treat witchcraft as more folk magic and using what’s around you. It’s down and dirty and earthy in the sense of being tied to the Earth. So that really cuts out planetary stuff aside from the moon. As for holidays, I’m not one for big altar set ups, especially if it’s for a holiday I don’t have a connection to in the first place. Of course I have a few exceptions to this but I should again just make a post about holidays on their own.

So that’s a bit of a ramble as to why you won’t ever really see me talking about timing in magic in terms of events. I’m probably not going to be the witch penciling in magic a few days, or weeks out. If you are that witch, more power to you. It just isn’t for me.

Being an Interfaith Hard Polytheist (Part 1 of ?)

Part 1: Finding Interfaith and Becoming a Hard Polytheist

Interfaith: Involving people of different religious faiths, and encouraging dialogue and religious literacy (personal definition)

Hard Polytheist: Someone who believes that all deities exist as their own separate entities (personal definition)

I have been a lot of different religions in my twenty years of life. I was born and raised Catholic, identified as atheist, then spiritual and possibly Buddhist (although I didn’t know anything about it except Lisa Simpson was one and she was cool), then Neo-Wiccan, then pagan, and now Hard Polytheist (who still says pagan around the interfaith table because it’s easier). So from all of that you can probably tell that I had quite a lot of very different ideologies and worldviews in my head over the years. For most of that time, until about two years ago, I was on the hunt for the Truth. (Yes Truth with a capital T, the one, the big answer to it all, the “who actually figured it out”.) Needless to say I didn’t find it.

However that search taught me a few things. The first is that there are a lot of people like I was, looking for the Truth with a big T. The second is that there are possibly even more people that think that they have found the Truth with a big T. The third thing I learned, which I didn’t realize until later, was that there were also people that didn’t think that there was the Truth with a big T, but that instead there were truths, with one no better than the other.

I was first introduced to the concept of interfaith when I got to college. I entered college as a Religious Studies major (yes my parents were delighted and my dad didn’t even know until this year). At my college, it’s the secular study of religion and we are taught to look at each religious group with two mindsets at the same time, that the religion is true and that the religion is false. It is belief and doubt rolled into one. Now that concept already caught my attention. It was something that I had never really considered before. (Note that at this time I was a rather fluffy pagan even though I wasn’t a teen Neo-Wiccan anymore) I had also put myself in a position to study religions that bothered me, mainly the Abrahamic religions. I also joined my campus’s interfaith RSO, which had the sweetest people and even a few pagans in it.

So these two environments taught me a few things. The first is that people could actually have a conversation about religion, different religions at that, without someone getting disowned and thrown out of the family. The second was that there were people willing to listen to other people’s world views and work with them in a productive manner. The third was that religion was a beautiful and complex thing that no one could ever completely understand.

It was eye opening. I was standing on the edge of an abyss. It was filled to the brim but bottomless and constantly going farther and farther as new information was added each and every day. It was at that point that I understood something. I would never be able to fully understand all religions. I would never be able to find the Truth with the big T. I would never be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a religion was completely true or completely false. Instead I decided to take the pluralist approach.

I had seen enough as both a spirit worker and a person that has gone through a lot of religions to know that my gods weren’t the only ones out there. For me the most natural route to accommodate my interfaith worldview and my own pagan faith was to be a polytheist, specifically a hard polytheist. The gods all existed as there own separate entities and people followed and found their own truth in them. No one had the whole truth or the answer, but everyone had something. That is what did, and still does, make the most sense to me.

I am an Interfaith Hard Polytheist. There is too much out there for me not to be. I cannot claim to have the one Truth, nor I can I believe that anyone else has it. I have found comfort and peace with my own gods and I know that others have found the same elsewhere. I believe that what they experience is just as intense and moving as what I experience. I will not call it the same though, because it is in our differences that there is beauty and more truths than we can count. One Truth just wouldn’t be enough.