Mental Health as MAGICK?

In this past, I’ve written about the powerful, transformative power of Magick. My favorite definition of Magick is defined by author Aleister Crowley as, “Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the Will.” I’m aware that Mr. Crowley is not the pillar of mental health by today’s standards, however, I respect him as a fellow author and practitioner.

I’ve written articles about folk Magick such as Hoodoo or the Slavic zagovory. I’ve studied various forms of higher Magick, such as the works of the Golden Dawn and dear Mr. Crowley’s own brand of Thelema. All of them are valid and dynamic forces which can help us in times of desperate need. Magick can certainly take many forms, however, what if we are ignoring a facet of Magick due to the cultural taboos of modern society? What if mental health is a form of Magick?

I’m not a baby witch, nor am I one of the Pagan community’s honored elders. I’m middle-aged and grew up with authors such as Silver Raven Wolf. When I was a teenager, I immersed myself in Silver’s book called, Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation. One of the major points of that book was when you performed Magick, for whatever reason, you should do it in a clear mental state because that effected the outcome of the working.

Depression, anxiety, anger, or frustration were all dangerous components when working Magick and could likely slap us in the face if we weren’t careful while we were chanting out our spells during a full moon. Reacting to a bad situation and casting a hex can have dire consequences if we don’t think it through. We can not only hurt an innocent person in the process, we can also take away from the character of ourselves.

So if these mental states can adversely affect us during Magick, why not the opposite? Is it possible the act of recovery, transformation, Jungian shadow work, or journaling could be powerful forms of Magick which could transform the Pagan community on a much larger scale?

From my experiences at Deeply Rooted Church and as a priestess in the community, I would have to agree with my analysis. My reasoning comes from first-hand observations of potent energetic changes in folks when they are sharing their hardships with each other. A bond forms between these individuals which assists them in making decisions they could not make alone. It also comes from witnessing solitary Pagans who reach out to folks during times of crisis, listen to advice or get an intuitive reading from an individual gifted in communication, and watch what they do with that information.

Some people who are genuinely seeking and who are ready to make an influential change in their lives accomplish so much more when they incorporate Magick along with therapy, prescribed medications, and form social ties with like-minded individuals. When I say speak about folks who are genuinely ready, these individuals are ready to do the intensive physical work associated with mental health regimes. Just like any other form of Magick, if we want the outcome to be successful, we can’t just wave our hands and do a spell – we also must incorporate the mundane aspect of the working such as filling out applications, doing research, or finding others who can guide us when we’re lost. These treatments can take many forms, however, the outcome is dependent on the will of the individual seeking to remedy the ills of their mental health.

So from my perspective in the community, this will to change is a form of Magick. Mental health therapies such as Cognitive Based Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), journaling, Jungian Shadow work, prescribed medication, the practice of radical acceptance, mantras (positive affirmations or quotes), and many others which have a dramatic effect on mental illness are a form of Magick used to combat illness. They all are dependent on the will of the individual seeking them and that will (Magick) determines the success of the recovery – essentially the outcome of the working or spell the individual is seeking.

This is why I think this practice of mental wellness has such a profound effect on our community. As Pagans, we can’t simply brush mental illness in our community under the rug. Ignored, it will never go away and only cause us more problems going forward. We should consider facing it together in our own way, without shame or cultural taboos. We should consider how we look at each other, consider practicing compassion for those struggling and seeking, and help where we can in a safe manner. Sometimes that’s in the form of being clergy (or a member of the leadership) and giving advice. Sometimes that’s untrained individuals speaking clearly and directly to those who were not given social cues. It can also be lay folk voicing their concerns to leaders within the community about individuals who may be at risk. We should protect ourselves, and we may also acknowledge the struggle of others who are actively seeking our help.

What do you think? Am I seeing this clearly? Is this the kind of world you want for Paganism and yourself? What kind of solutions do you think we could incorporate in this thought-process? Please let me know, I’m curious to know what you think! Thank you for reading. – Shining Quill the Unicorn.

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Disclaimer:

If you’re struggling with depression, thoughts of suicide, or isolation – always seek out a professional. Do not use the materials on this website to replace or delay treatment from a trained medical professional. This website is intended to be used in addition to therapy or other treatments.

The ideas & exercises explained here are meant to be discussed with your therapist. They may have different or better recommendations regarding your treatment. Please always follow their advice over any material you find on this page. You’re worth more than you realize – please don’t go at this alone! 

2 Comments

  1. The first of the pillars of witchcraft is to know – and in my opinion begins with knowing self. Yes, definitely shadow work is and self development falls into the realm of magick. While witchcraft is not a substitute for necessary medical treatment, it can certainly support good mental health. In turn, maintaining the best achievable mental health supports our successful magickal workings. The caveat is to avoid the pitfalls of spiritual bypassing and toxic positivity. In other words, we can’t use magick or positive affirmations/mantras to make bi-polar disorder (as just one example) disappear, but we certainly can use our magick to support healthy practices that make living with bi polar disorder better.

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