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Illustration of a black cat taking a nap with a brown dog. from: PWCD - self preservation

Spiritual

Written by: Nedelina Petkova

Interest in the magical realm has been substantial in the formation of almost every culture in the world. Occult knowledge served as an alternative way of healing, resolving problems, and influencing different situations. While men fought their battles with swords and shields, the women took on a different path associated with the esoteric and supernatural.

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Nowadays, a significant amount of the population is still intrigued by witchcraft and spirituality. However, perceptions of its various principles have adapted to an informed and modern society. The witchcraft of everyday life, is now exposed to a more liberal view. In the past, any spiritual practice outside of the traditional religion was considered a sin or a crime.

The dark history of the Salem witch trials is very impactful to the concept of women’s empowerment. Today in the 21st century, the female figure has evolved into one more equal to the male’s, and the act of performing witchcraft and spellwork is far less consequential. The witch persists in pop culture as an image of a strong independent woman with powerful skills; and Wicca / Witchcraft are both topics open to discussion.

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Audre Lorde (as cited in “Spellwork …”)

A great example of such popular spiritual literature is “Spellwork for Self-Care…” published by Potter Gift. The book combines the practice of witchcraft along with prescriptions for Self-Care, and presented in 40 rituals. Right away in the introduction, the authors present a compelling case for this method of self-validation and feminine empowerment through the use of magic.

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The essential elements of ancient craft are preserved yet modernized for daily life, while the 40 spells are thoroughly described and easy-to-follow. Another advantage is that no rare ingredients for complicated concoctions are required – just some simple witchy tools – candles, incense, essential oils, beginner crystals. Meditation and grounding are at the center of much of the practice and are recommended daily, which is part of the self-help designed to achieve deeper psychological awareness. Protection exercises are described in a magical context, and observable in the “Set Psychic Boundaries” spell, for example, which says, “Use this spell to create a light but powerful barrier.” Still, all that’s needed for this type of protection is the reader and a peaceful, quiet place.

Love Magic…

Love magic has stimulated the most curiosity in the craft over the years and is definitely the most popular; so naturally, such a section exists in the book. However, the Potter Gift “Love spells” differ from the typical fare in that the goal of the rituals is to increase the practitioner’s confidence. The incantations detach entirely from the traditional will-bending love magic and focuses on self-love.

“Spellwork For Self-Care…” is a well-written guide to self that will lead to inner peace, confidence, and mindfulness. Malicious intentions and curses are not part of the ideology and beliefs. And the main principle of witchcraft fully applies to this book – in that the spells would work if the right intention is invested in them.

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Epilogue

Like many young women, I often tend to care more about what others think and less about my well-being. I felt the need to address this insecurity and devote attention to myself. The “Release Approval Addiction” exercise was helpful to me in realizing “My approval belongs to me alone!” – and that the best self-care starts within.

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