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We live on a planet held together by invisible forces, Circling a giant ball of fire that gives us life, And beside a moon that controls the sea ... But you don't believe in magic?
You probably wouldn't be reading this book if you didn't feel the call of your Inner Witch. That's the part of you that KNOWS magic is real. There are unseen forces at work inside of us and all around us. Magical thinking is what we need to get beyond what the world has tried to tell us. True Magic is everywhere. It's the Inner Witch inside of us yearning to get out. Unleashing your Inner Witch using the practices in this book will set you on the path of creating your magical life and living your boldest truth. Are you ready? I believe you are.
Finding True Magic
How do you find it? This book will activate the True Magic that is already inside of you. It's there, longing to be unleashed. Set yourself free! Your Inner Witch is all about the hustle. Witches do. Witches go. Witches learn. Witches fight for what they believe in. The activities in this book will get you busy unleashing your Inner Witch. Exercises focus on skills development while the practice activities are about applying these techniques. The journaling prompts are there to guide you with processing what you're learning. Write as much or as little as you need to complete any exercise, journal prompt, etc. Feel free to use point form, charts, tables, bulleted lists, or long paragraphs – whatever works for you. Your Inner Witch has much to do and no time for nonsense.
I carefully selected the various techniques, practices, products and correspondences that are used. I provide substitutions for the botanicals and stones in each chapter in case you don't have access to the ones recommended. True Magic is all about using what's available to activate the immense power of your Inner Witch, so feel free to follow your intuition when it comes to crafting spells and developing your own rituals beyond what I specifically suggest. This book gives you the tools to activate your Inner Witch and all you need to know to practice True Magic. Maybe I'm simply reminding her. I suspect that's the case.
Seven is Magic
We have seven ways in which we relate to ourselves, the world and the mysteries. These categories overlap with each other in many ways. Seven is True Magic.
Seven as a magic number is found across magical traditions and mystical paths. True Magic combines the best of diverse esoteric, mystical, occult and spiritual perspectives to help you unleash your Inner Witch into SEVEN STEPS OF POWER. The seven energetic centers are explored using the chakra framework.
The seven Hermetic principles are incorporated as are concepts from Theosophy. From our contemporary time, the concepts of Reiki find their place in our affirmations work. There are elements from ancient mystical traditions, particularly Ancient Greece. All these things combine to make True Magic.
The seven-rayed star is a symbol of enlightenment and metaphysical concepts found in many different paths. It's our symbol for True Magic. In Ancient Greece, this star was linked to the "seven wandering stars" which we now refer to as planets. In each of the steps, a different planetary energy is explored. You'll also work with the points of the star as they correspond to different herbs, stones and other correspondences. In addition, the seven rays represent the amalgamation of the four directions and the three dominions.
True Magic: Seven Steps for Unleashing Your Inner Witch
One of my favorite books is Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. I love how she outlines that creativity is magic. Inspiration = creativity = magic = truth. This is what True Magic is all about. Going beyond what Big Magic said by giving you the ability to unleash your Inner Witch through the practices and techniques in the following pages. Creativity is connection to all that's within you and all that's without. We unleash our Inner Witch by exploring the Seven Principles of True Magic.
I love a Witch's Ladder. This is really what this book, a ladder of seven steps leading to unleashing your truth and creating an amazing life. Here's a bit about each one of the steps ahead:
We've got to start at the beginning. That Inner Witch of yours knows what you need to finally let go of all that useless baggage you're carrying around. Trust me, I know how this feels. I dragged around way more than I could carry for decades. I finally just sat it all down. Let me tell you, it took a lot to let it go. You'll get rid of all the toxicity from past hurts and trauma using rituals and other forms of magic in the first chapter. Feel. Deal. Heal. Be real. Be true. Be you. That's the beginning of True Magic.
Some of the things we need to heal are way in the past (thankfully), but others are very much in the present. Troubled relationships undergo cleansing, your witches' word get strengthened and you learn all about everyday and magical boundaries in the second chapter. You'll be casting a circle. That's the home of True Magic.
Sovereignty is such a buzz word these days. Deservedly so. Being independent of what others think and do is what True Magic is. We get into the magic of sigils and magical oils and explore the seven ancient principles of magic in this chapter. Your Inner Witch is smiling already.
We witch use spells to get what we desire. It's that simple. Now that your inner witch is activated, it's time to start creating the life you know you deserve. First step? Exploring the concept of growth from our witches' mind to casting The Spell of the Seven Fires.
It's time to go beyond everyday life into the mystical worlds. In this chapter, you'll use techniques to travel to the liminal realm with your spirit animals. Words of power are revealed to you. The only way to access these forces is by being open to them. True Magic is openness. You'll learn how.
That Inner Witch of yours knows that you've been selling yourself short. Now that you're standing in your true witch power, you'll realize that the false self, or the shadow, has been holding you back and keeping your Inner Witch prisoner. The shadow healed, you are ready to manifest your prosperous magical life.
One of my personal mantras is "we are not meant to be perfect, we are meant to be whole." Thanks to the wise Jane Fonda for that perfect morsel. In the last chapter, we get into the meaning of unity through more mystical adventures and beyond. True Magic travels to the heights of The Starry Road. At the end of this chapter you can perform a powerful initiation ritual to fully activate your Inner Witch. True Magic.
The steps in this book are designed to get you busy doing magic. The basic concepts and techniques are discussed at the beginning of each chapter, and then it's onto the practice side of magic. True Magic is about working with natural energies and supernatural forces to effect real change in our lives. Although True Magic doesn't explicitly include deities and other entities, feel free to incorporate the ones that you work with. Think of these steps as a framework for understanding and practice rather than rules and regulations.
What is Witchcraft?
Before we get into talking about your Inner Witch, I want to go over what witchcraft is.
Witchcraft is so many things. A way of life. An outlook. An aesthetic. A practice. Some people call it their religion, though I don't. It's perfectly fine if you do. This book isn't about that, though. This witchcraft is about letting your Inner Witch, really your True Self, out. We do this through tried and true methods of witchery. Here are some of the key characteristics of this type of witchcraft.
#1: Witchcraft is Transformation
Witchcraft bends what's available to its purposes. I use what's on hand in my spells, rituals and other workings. Throughout this book, you'll find all sorts of workings – the activities of magic – that use different ingredients and objects to transform them into something greater that will in turn help you unleash your Inner Witch.
True Magic requires transforming things to suit our purposes. Witchcraft is about transforming things - botanicals, stones, objects and energies are examples - to help us obtain a desired outcome. Witches do not merely collect cool things, we transform them into something that suits our needs. Oils, tonics, potions, sigils, talismans, charms, and spells.
Witchcraft is about personal transformation. Yes, I seek to transform the ingredients in a spell for my purposes, but what I am really doing is changing myself. I use all the tools available from personal development strategies to found objects to help create my magical life.
Transforming ourselves and the things we use requires a great deal of will: So speak I and it is so. Without that willpower, we can't transform much of anything.
#2: Witchcraft is Adaptation
True Magic adapts to the requirements of a situation or desired outcome. Your Inner Witch knows when to lean into something and when to let it change her. It used to be that witches were marginalized except when their skills became necessary. Not so much these days. Another thing that was true once upon a time was that only women were witches. Men were something else (sorcerers, magicians, warlocks, cunning folk) that was usually far more acceptable. Witchcraft changes with societal norms. Or do we change them? Beats me. One thing that is clear is that this is the Season of the Witch. Writ large and in your life. The time has come to unleash your Inner Witch.
Because witchcraft is so adaptable, there is no need for expensive ingredients or elaborate rituals. While these things can be lovely, witches do what they can with what they have to create what they want. This is why this book is chock full of techniques and practices that are True Magic.
My personal witchery is a mélange of historical and contemporary practices and traditions. I often turn to Old Time Witchcraft for inspiration. My training covers a variety of areas from herbalism to shamanism. I adapt - or apply - what I learn into crafting my version of witchcraft. So many of you do the same. Learning techniques and practices is all well and good, but what's the point if they can't be used to solve our problems? My motto is "better living through witchcraft." That happens through adaptation. Being able to adapt ingredients and ourselves requires the ability to apply our knowledge. Witchcraft requires both information and wisdom. It is a living practice of knowledge accumulation.
#3: Witchcraft is Active
We practice witchcraft. For me, this includes (but is definitely not limited to): burning things, growing things, making things and finding things. Beyond this, witchcraft has other active characteristics: observation, contemplation, exploration, creation and destruction. This is how I find True Magic and I am blessed to be sharing it with you.
Witchcraft isn't something that's done once in a while. It's a way of being in the world. Daily practice in a myriad of forms including meditation, study, witch-crafting (making magical things) and everything that strengthens our witch power is a necessity. I think we all do a lot more of what can be classified as witchcraft than we realize. Witchcraft is all about the doing. However it is you do it, whether in a few stolen moments during your busy day or in wide open spaces.
#4: Witchcraft is Messy
My witchery gets under my nails. It's the pocket full of rocks and plants I always seem to have. My witchery includes blood, bone and botanicals. None of which are particularly clean. There is so much magic in getting dirty and sweaty. That's True Magic. Part of the messiness of witchcraft is that is it intensely emotional. We experience ecstasy and agony through our rituals and practices. Often, we turn to spells in order to alleviate emotional distress. Finally, witchcraft requires emotional courage that is often messy and sometimes risky.
#5: Witchcraft is Risky
There's part of me that welcomes the current acceptance of witchcraft, but a deeper part cries out in protest. Witchcraft has always been on the margins of society, at the edge of the wild. Here in this liminal space, there was great freedom because the threat of confinement was always nearby. Our witch ancestors were of the wild in their connections to animals and plants, and the necessity of making the most of what they had on hand. I think that the wild and free witchcraft of days gone by is not nostalgic, but absolutely necessary.
Witchcraft requires risk. It always has and always should. If what you're doing is completely safe, then it's not witchcraft. By risk I mean you are pushing yourself beyond your previous abilities, you are learning and stepping out of your comfort zone. You are passionate about life and witchery. Not that you drink aconite or bang on drums in your apartment building. Risk is not stupidity. I've designed the steps in this book – tested out by my students over the years – to help you take "two steps to the left." I've heard countless testimonials that these practices help to unleash the Inner Witch.
#6: Witchcraft is Power
Sovereignty is having a zeitgeist moment in witchcraft today. Everyone is talking about personal power. What's really going on is our rebel cry to claim all that we are and are capable of. Lean into this. You are far more powerful than you've ever dreamed. That's witchcraft speaking. The one thing I know for sure is that witchcraft makes us powerful. We have options available to us that others don't. The power is inherently risky, especially for women (at least traditionally). By unleashing your Inner Witch you are standing in your witch power. This is a mighty act of reclamation. Drawing all your power back to you. True Magic.
All this power is completely pointless and very dangerous if it is not filtered through self-discipline. One of the few things I know for sure is that effective witchcraft is only possible with constant self-control. The risk must be balanced with the discipline. The passion finds equilibrium through integrity. Silence is part of this power. I keep silent about what I keep silent about. There are many activities ahead that will help you increase your personal discipline. True Magic requires the balance of control and freedom.
#7: Witchcraft is Personal
Some people will tell you witches must be deeply connected to the natural world. Others will say you need to have a degree (or several) to earn the title of "witch." Then there are those who define the strength of their witchcraft based on the size of their essential oil collection. Witchcraft is whatever you believe it to be. This is where you'll find your personal True Magic. I've spent years honing the content of True Magic, but I want you to adapt the practices how you feel led. The seven steps are core constructs that every witch needs to understand. How you apply them is entirely up to you. It's a balance of learning and intuition. That's True Magic.
Your Inner Witch
A group of women are dancing naked under the blue moon. The night is warm. Energy is buzzing from the heady mixture of the ocean, wine, the moon and the residual magic from their ritual. They run into the sea. Individually they are about as different as a group of people can possibly be. Collectively, they are the same. Free spirits. Healers. Believers. Witches. Since you're here with me now, you know that you have an Inner Witch longing for this sweet freedom. This is the truth of who you are. It's your True Magic.
"We are the flow, we are the ebb. We are the weavers, we are the web."
As healers, witches also hold the power of destruction in their hands. I was taught that a witch cannot heal if they cannot hex. The two are opposite applications of the same energy. And that's all there is - energy. No debates over white, black or grey. There's a problem to be fixed. Witchcraft can help.
The Power of a Witch's Mind
True Magic is about unleashing your Inner Witch. The power source for this is our Witch's Mind. It's about magic that is as old as time. Practiced on the shore, in homes and in secret places. Old time witchcraft knew that the most powerful magical tool is the practitioners own mind. That our curiosity, observations and experiences are what makes us powerful witches.
The Wildness of Witchcraft
Unleashing your Inner Witch doesn't stop at mind work. Nope. That wouldn't be witchcraft at all. You need to get out and do magic. When we take risks and go out into the wild we get a taste of freedom that is often lacking in our modern lives. I'm not advocating for cliff jumping (though it is a blast), but for facing our fears and taking what I call "two safe steps to the left." This can be as simple as writing your own spell if that's slightly beyond your comfort level. Revealing your true self to someone you trust is another taste of wildness because you're tapping into your own "naturalness." Or you can get out in nature to forage for spell ingredients (always wear gloves and be responsible). Speaking of gloves, wild witchery for me includes daily work with various botanicals. Because I like to ignore rules, I burned my thumb dead-heading my aconite this morning. Sometimes, I push it a bit too far. BUT, 99.9% of the time my wild ways work out exceptionally well. My advice, besides gloves: do your research, ask for tips, mash it all together and then get into the wild. You have loads of opportunities do get out in the wild during the steps ahead.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "True Magic"
Copyright © 2018 Cyndi Brannen.
Excerpted by permission of John Hunt Publishing Ltd..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
True Magic, 1,
Your Inner Witch, 10,
The Principles True Magic, 16,
Practicing True Magic, 33,
Unleashing Your Inner Witch, 38,
True Magic Initiation, 206,
Living True Magic, 212,
Preparing and Using Tarot Cards, 214,