I had intended to post this sooner, but I’ve had Tiny Niece staying over, and she takes up plenty of my time, so. Hence, I am only getting around to this now. I wanted to do a sort of summary post of how I think the month went, and what I felt I learnt from it. I sort of covered some of this when I posted the spells I used, but I also felt like this needed its own ending, a way to bring this month of magic to a close before I send off all the links to get verified etc.
It’s interesting that I ended up spending time contemplating elements and elemental magic, since the next iteration of our SoK work with Hekate will involve elemental magic. So I feel like this might’ve been one of those necessary things for me to go through in order to do the work that’s to come. But more on the elements later, because that is a post and a half waiting to go.
But I do think the whole ‘ground is strong against fire’ realisation helped me come to grips with it. Fire magic has always been a bit of a tentative thing for me, because of the whole ‘setting things on fire’ risk, but I’ve changed my opinion on that. Not that you can’t set anything on fire, because you can. But it’s not as scary now. If you’re sensible, and you’re not burning near where things can catch fire, you’re okay. Paper burns quickly, anyway, so it’s not like it’ll sit there and burn for four hours.
The internal changes are a lot more subtle, I think. They’re there, I can feel them, but it’s intangible. The most obvious sign of it that I’ve noticed is that I’m chatting to people online more than I used to. This may not seem wildly different, or sound like anything substantial, but it is to me because I’ve noticed it. I’m getting better at picking the places where I actually want to engage with people online, and knowing where I’m wasting my efforts. Knowing better who my people are, for lack of a better term.
I feel like I have a better sense of who I am, and what I want to do. Where I need to be in terms of community and interests and the sort of energy that keeps me going. And, as well, the sort of people I have no time for. The online spaces that support me, and the online spaces that are just emotional drains that don’t actually do me any good at all and that I would be better off without.
I feel like I’m in a better position now to craft my environment into one that I love, and that I find energising and inspiring, because I have a better sense of what that should look and feel like. And I don’t have any qualms about cutting out what doesn’t work anymore. Or, at least, fewer qualms about it than I used to have.
My room actually feels lighter, too, and I have begun to more consistently think of it as a temple room I sleep in, which helps me not just keep it holy in my mind as sacred space, but also more carefully think about what I’m bringing into it, and whether it’s supportive of that space. That, and just because I got rid of 30 bags of stuff, doesn’t mean I need to start filling that void. I actually don’t want to fill it. I want this space to breathe, to have the room to expand, and to hold everything without feeling crushed. The energy needs to circulate, not get trapped in piles of junk I’ve been hanging onto for years. So that awareness has also come from this magical process, too, and it’s shifted my relationship to the stuff I hang on to. It’s not quite the ‘does it bring joy?’ approach applied to everything, but I’m taking inspiration from that, at any rate, in terms of the stuff I do have.
Another break with the past I hadn’t counted on having to deal with is LiveJournal. I’ve had an account there since 2001, and my main account since 2004. I haven’t used it for many years, since 2012, but I still kept that account going, even amidst all the drama and changing hands and new management and other bullshit. But I deleted my account last night, and the only other community I still had there. All because they suddenly introduced a new Terms of Service – officially only available in Russian! – and locked everyone out of their accounts until they agreed to it. The unofficial – and legally nonbinding – English translation they provided tl;dr’d that the site was now operating under Russian law, so. At which point, I decided it wasn’t worth hanging around, and cut my final ties with LJland.
I’d already imported all of my LJ stuff – personal journals and communities – to Dreamwidth when I shifted there years ago, so I wasn’t losing anything by doing this. If anything, I’ve freed myself from a site that was so hard to use I could not update a journal with the post entry UI on the website, because it was completely broken on every system I tried it on. It was a site I had stopped using with any sort of frequency a long time ago. I only used it to read a few journals. But that’s not enough to keep me there anymore. It’s a bit sad to lose that much of my life, but I don’t need it in my life anymore, not with how the site is now.
It seems to be a year of cutting ties, of getting rid of the driftwood that doesn’t add anything more to my life. And I’m okay with that. I think this sort of work is important to do regularly, I just haven’t been very good at the ‘doing it regularly’ part. I’ve looked more closely at my stuff this past month than I have in a long time. I know I keep talking about the decluttering, but to me, it’s the external show of the internal work. So much of our stuff defines who we are, and what we care about. Getting rid of stuff that is no longer ‘us’ is part of how we move on. And I spent a lot of my time sorting out what stuff reflected who I am and want to be, and what was better left to the past, and to memory. It’s been a more intense, and more thorough cleansing than I’ve done in a long time, perhaps ever.
I did think I was throwing myself in the deep end when I looked at this challenge for the first time. Self-transformation is hard work to do in ordinary circumstances. I’m not very experienced when it comes to magic, and so many of the participants I saw were looking at doing quite complicated things. I wasn’t sure I was up for it. But I didn’t let it intimidate me, and once I decided to just keep it simple, if I was going to have to do it every day for a month, I felt better. And I did it.
I’m actually glad the burning only lasted three weeks. This sort of magick needs time to do the healing work afterwards. The bushfire can rage, but the new seeds can’t germinate while the fire’s still going. They need the ashes in order to flourish. So I am glad for the week I had to cleanse and cense and let the energy settle and dissipate. To take time to evaluate for myself what worked, and what didn’t, and how it’s affecting me. All in all, it’s valuable work, and I’m glad I did it. And I’m looking forward to the next challenge, whatever that turns out to be.