Halloween Magic

The urge to tell a story rises…

Years ago, when I was starting to explore the Pagan path in earnest, I remember finding a spell that I wanted to perform. I can’t remember what it was, but suspect it was to help me learn more as I stepped forward. To actually Do Some Magic.

I headed into the nearest town with a witchy shop; then found most of the items I needed in cheap homewares stores. I remember lemon candles, which have always had particular associations since (and have become oddly hard to find).

Some herbs, coloured cloth. I also can’t remember where I found the spell list, but know it must have been a book, because the internet wasn’t that big at the time.

(I once looked up ‘witch’ on eBay around the and found five items. Yup.)

I came home on the bus, watching the world pass by. I remember that clearly: from the parks to the busy Saturday streets. The quiet house with only me in it. Setting things up, sitting quietly.

Again, I don’t quite remember much more. I rather wish I’d kept a journal from that time, but it wasn’t entirely clear to me what I should put in one. Was it a diary or a recipe book?

The feeling of what Should was strong. Right ways and wrong ways of doing things. Some of what I was told is laughable when I recall it, but at the time there was no frame of reference.

This year, so much time later, I sit this Saturday morning, again in a quiet house. My husband is sleeping, as are the dogs. I have a cat keeping guard on my lap. And I just listen, feeling what’s in the air.

It’s not about the Stuff any more. I’m at a point in life where I Should be in a good job, earning decent money – but I’m not and I don’t. But that’s not by everyday standards. Normal People standards.

The journey I’m taking with my kind therapist as guide is lifting many stones to see what’s beneath. The veneer of Normalcy is one I’ve always been confused by, as far back as I can remember. The only way I could approach my spirituality back at the start was with rules.

Now… it’s not that I care less. If anything, I care more, a good deal more. It’s that I’ve learned to prioritise, to care about what’s important to me.

Because back then, and until relatively recently, the Shoulds, the priorities… were mostly those of others. It’s been in my mind how much my generation was drilled into how to behave – which has left us confused now as to why we haven’t spoken up before about society’s wrongness. What happened? We learned to be passive. Perhaps.

I progressed by sticking to the path of Should Do. Until I couldn’t any more, until the wrongness was too loud. Until the spirits that had always been there wouldn’t let me settle or stay quiet.

Even now, it’s difficult. Normalcy seems so attractive. Just hunker down, do the 9-5 and get paid, all that stuff. But I can’t (physically and mentally).

So I need to set out on a similar-but-different journey again this Halloween season. Wave farewell to what’s now passed and is no longer needed (or wanted). That innocuous bus journey back in the day was one step of many to finding my truth, what I Should Do for Me.

And the crippling illness that came about from Should-ing for others can be managed as I dig up my determination again and continue to step forward.

I take each moment as gently as I can. Is this right for Me? Yes – move forward. No – let it fall aside.

It feels like Spring-cleaning but in an Autumn way. Let the beautiful leaves fall to the floor, and new life grow beneath them.

The voice of Normal Should tries to squeak loudly, of how I’m getting older, not doing enough, blah blah blah… but I’d rather now listen to those I love, to the deeper voices, who guide and cheer me on. Because my voice has value too.

And I try my best to never tell anyone how they Should.

Beautiful dawn image shared with kind permission from Lisa Butler-Hart ❤️
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6 Comments »

  1. bish said

    Should: one of my least favourite words, particularly when appended to You.

  2. Should is such a dangerous word and it’s so, so hard to ignore those voices that whisper it in your mind.
    Keep being you. Much love sent ❤

  3. Lesley said

    Ahhh Cat this was so helpful, I am also in transition. Frought with rules and you have made mistakes don’t do it again. So need to just flow and dont give a fuck. Veering towards this course at present. This inner voice is so powerful.. time will tell…..many blessings for your honesty xxx

  4. Karen Cooper said

    Reading this has helped me so much.. I know ‘I should’ be out there earning money, being ‘useful’.. I struggle out there in the world but I try to do my bit as far as I’m able.. I feel so guilty at times.. but I am me..
    good luck on your path and kind thoughts

  5. Lovely writing, Kat, for me it was trying to find work which was honouring. I always struggled with the ethics of livlihood. Even in the Civil Service I knew that my work was ultimately closing hospitals. In teaching I knew my work was setting my students up for a useless expensive degree. Anything else was just about making money for someone else often for things no one really needs. I also tremble at my ‘should’ inner voices. Helen W-D

  6. Martin Dyer said

    Bloody hell cat it’s like you read my mind

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