I don’t want to write a primer on Witchcraft. I don’t want to have to write about whether I believe in the supernatural or ghosts or Bach flower remedies. I don’t. I want to write about spells and power. I want to write about the feelings I have when I am alone in the night walking along a river. When I am singing quietly, so the people in the houses don’t hear me, when I am saying out loud all the things that people should be saying to rivers. Witchcraft is about memory and language, and using these things in ways that subvert the status quo. Witchcraft is recognising the things that we are not supposed to notice.
Witchcraft is acknowledging that I am not that different from the wind, that there is not a clear line separating the breath in my body from the breath in a thundercloud. Witchcraft is setting up a ritual to remind me of that solid, scientific fact when I can’t feel it in myself. Sometimes we have to spell it out. As I write there is rain falling outside. It falls. It nourishes. It is laughing in the gutter. I see myself.
Witchcraft is allowing myself to not just be ‘myself’, is accepting what the Buddhists and Existentialists have been saying forever, letting my boundaries dissolve so thoroughly that there isn’t a thing to be bound anymore. It’s taking that conceptual freedom and running with it. I am not a man. I am a tree. I am a swear word. I am a wine drunk divinity crowned with starlight. I’m a poem.
Witchcraft is not just feeling though. Witchcraft is me setting an alarm so I wake up early and remember my dreams. It’s adorning myself with symbols in a secret language. It’s not just the imaginative leap of becoming other, it’s the physical things I do to anchor my imagination’s reach into this body, this time. Witchcraft is the steady transformation of my life into a marker. I am trying to find a path. I am trying to be a path. I am looking to become ‘a visible sign of an invisible grace’.
In the mornings I wake up and I light a candle for the gods I believe I am. I pray.
River of honey,
sweet first light, bird song at morning,
I am making a home for you.
Be with me.
With my hands I am
clearing the path before your procession.
I am laying down my hours before you
To mark a road.