Excerpt from New Moon Magic
Categories: Ecology & Sustainability Excerpt New Release
Excerpt from New Moon Magic: 13 Anti-Capitalist Tools for Resistance and Re-Enchantment
New Moon in Virgo: Ritual and Ceremony. This circle is led by Amy with expansions by Risa.
Spells. They are all through this book. Words are spells, songs are spells, baking is spellwork. But what of the spells that don’t come to natural, manifested, material conclusions like poems or loaves of bread? What of the spells that have no tangible product? These spells that value process over products are the rituals and ceremonies that inhabit and enchant our lives. We can cast our spells and we can be our spells. As author Veronica Varlow proclaims, “your life is the greatest spell you will ever cast.”
Regardless of whether those who choose to demean us Witches want to accept it or not, almost every aspect of all our lives is a ritual—a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order to achieve a certain result. Science calls this methodology; psychologists and philosophers are concerned with the study of habits. For Witches, rituals and ceremonies are a means of enchantment, bringing magic to the mundane, a means to short-circuit control.
We go to the gym after work with the expectation or hope that the set of actions we perform there will lead to a long and healthy life. We do this knowing that we have no real control of what will be. We are at the mercy of our genetics, at the mercy of chaos. And we beg for mercy by enacting steps, on repeat, to appease the hungry force of fate. Through this viewfinder, a monthly contribution to a savings account is a prosperity ritual. A skincare regime is a conjuration—herbs, oils, and tinctures transforming your bathroom faucet into a spigot pouring waters from the imagined fountain of youth. We are constantly navigating and negotiating the path between mind and body, cause and effect, the material and the divine.
We go about our lives repeating actions, so it seems to me that perhaps the first step in reclaiming our magic, our agency, our autonomy, our souls, the first step to enchanting our world, is to elevate these tasks, reframe them as ceremonial, transform them from tedious to extraordi-nary. Relinquish the mundane.
“When simple things are consecrated, by prayer and magical intention,” suggests author Rae Beth, “they are imbued with the power of ritual and become spells.”
In Advanced Magick for Beginners, Alan Chapman underscores the simplicity of acts of magic:
- Decide what you want to occur.
- Ensure that what you want to occur has a means of manifestation.
- Choose an experience.
- Decide that the experience means the same thing as what you want to occur.
- Perform the act/undergo the experience.
In a world in which the weight of capitalism and climate change feels crushing, rituals give us an opportunity to focus, momentarily, on what we can control. When the lives we inhabit feel like airplanes flying through turbulence, we snatch back some self-governance by sanctifying any moment we can. We take back control of both journey and destination, we weather the storm.