Fat and Not Afraid

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Magical Monday: Practical Paganism

February 27, 2012

Practical Magic is one of my most favorite films ever, even before I became a witch myself. The way that magic is portrayed as ordinary, a way to smooth the road of everyday life, and the bond between sisters, struck me deeply. I rewatch it at least once a year, my favorite scene being one that could easily play out between me and MY sister, where Gilly (Nicole Kidman) mouths to Sally (Sandra Bullock) "What is WRONG with you?!" and Sally mouths back "I DON'T KNOW!!" gets me every time. We've probably done that, behind our parents backs, at least once.

(Look for it right around the :43 mark)

Besides small magics to cleanse and bless the house and protect friends and families who are travelling, I don't regularly practise any kind of magic. The closest I come is regular Wheel of the Year observances and ritual with a local group, and previously with, well, I still don't know how to describe what it was to me, other than deeply important. In any case, I'm not a Pagan witch who regularly does what the mainstream media would consider magic. I can read tea leaves, coffee grinds and tarot cards (big thanks to my aforementioned sister for buying me my first deck), and have my level 1 in Reiki, but when I do these things and those mentioned before, there are no outward signs that any magic is happening. There are no bursts of sound, no flares of candlelight, no glowing pentacles etched by my athame into the floor. Magic is, for me,  prayer with some serious personal power behind it, and some tools to help push things along.

A big part of my faith is respect for our natural world, our four footed, feathered and scaled cousins, our aunties and uncles the trees and plants, our grandmothers and grandfathers that are the rocky bones of the earth itself. My Paganism is heavily influenced by the teachings of the Ojibwe Mide leader Edward Benton Benai from my time at Algoma U, and the activist, feminist Reclaiming tradition in San Fransico.  I'm rarely moved to do any kind of personal working for me, for my life or needs, but I'm often moved to ask for Whatever is listening to help those who cannot help themselves; children, women who are in danger and/or oppressed, and my silent natural extended family. On a more practical note, faith has helped me to find peace with my body, it's size, it's limits and question those limits, to marvel at what it can do and accept what it can't.

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