Truth is a funny thing. For one, it’s negotiable. Something can be both true and false, or exist in a grey area. Depending on what lens you’re looking through — emotionally, socially, environmentally, etc — the truth changes from one person to the next. We can even distort the truth to ourselves. In some cases, this is self-preservation. We can repress things that we subconsciously know will hurt us. We can delude ourselves and rationalize, all in the name of protecting the ego. Sometimes, social customs and traditions are so ingrained in our psyches, we don’t even realize our “flaws” are not that at all. Instead of ignoring these flaws, we wrap ourselves up in them and give them leeway over our choices and happiness. I’m ugly. My opinions are stupid. No one could ever love me. These negative thoughts, whether at the forefront of our minds or hidden behind a protective mental shield, can damage us. They transform over time. I’m not likable. I’m not smart. I’m not worth loving. When not properly addressed, they can make us act out in unfathomable ways.
Opinions, especially opinions you have about yourself, don’t change overnight. Examination of the negative aspects of our personalities and negative thinking is a very hard job, but you owe it to yourself to put the work in and try. For one, if you cannot recognize disordered thinking, working spells becomes nearly impossible. Thinking positively, in my opinion, is essential to working successfully with magic. Not only does it help focus your intention, but it helps you know what you really want. Your spells will not work unless you are committed fully to what you’re working toward and how could you really know what you wanted if all these negative, unhelpful, untrue thoughts are cluttering up the works? This is also true in life.
On a personal level, you cannot change something about yourself if you never understand and accept it. No one is perfect. Every human on this earth has personality traits they aren’t proud of and growing — not only as a witch, but as a person — comes from looking honestly at yourself, understanding, and finally accepting what you see… “flaws” and all.
You will need:
In your sanctuary, close your eyes and place your hands on Center 5. You can feel your pulse here, but do not press hard. Focus on the rhythm of your heart rate and make sure you are taking deep, steady breaths.
Imagine yourself walking into a field, filled with your favorite kind of flower. It’s overcast today and a cool breeze blows against your face that smells like rain, but the earth is still dry for now.
As you walk to the middle of the field, you notice a mirror in an intricate wooden frame. You move closer and see a child’s reflection in the mirror — but not just any child. The child is only five or six years old and when you’re standing just in front of the mirror, you can see this reflection is of yourself, only much younger. Though it is overcast on your side of the mirror, the field in the reflection is bright and child’s hair catches the sunlight, making it glow.
The young you smiles and waves excitedly, happy to see you. You smile in return and begin to remember things about yourself that you’d forgotten, like the way you used to wear your hair or a favorite outfit. You compliment the child and receive another smile in thanks. You sit down in front of the mirror, as does your reflection, and you reach out your hands at the same time. Though the mirror should be cool to the touch, it’s pleasantly warm.
As you look into your own young face, you begin to talk and the child listens carefully. Because a child of only six hasn’t learned how to judge yet, there is no need to be ashamed or hesitant. Together, you examine the parts of your personality you try to hide. Jealousy, greed, hate, anger… all the things that make a person “bad.” Hold examples up to the child and explain why certain things make you feel bad. Why do you feel the way you do? How long have you felt these things? Was there a catalyst? What’s the root of the feeling? Try and find it. Talk about the things you find shameful about yourself and ask yourself why you think of certain things as shameful. Were you perhaps taught to think of yourself this way? By whom? Why?
As you talk, the child nods and gives you words of encouragement. Your younger self is trying very hard to help, so don’t make it harder by being negative or bending the truth. Here, you can admit anything and you can accept anything.
After you have spoken, it’s your younger self’s turn. Anything you didn’t mention, the child does. But it’s not criticism and shouldn’t be taken as such, because the child is here to help. As the child speaks, you notice that the skies in your field begin to clear and the sun slowly begins to shine down. The flowers are brightly colored in the sunshine, your skin is warmed, and you can see more clearly. The child smiles, and again reaches a hand to the mirror. As your hands connect on the warm glass, the child ages before your eyes and you stare into your own reflection. But you don’t look like you do in regular mirrors. All the flaws you fixate on in your day to day life are gone, and you can see yourself purely, as you really are. What do you look like without disordered thinking? Remember to be honest with yourself and remember that you don’t have to see certain things or ignore others. There is no right or wrong way to exist — you must only see clearly.
Open your eyes and remove your hands from your throat. Repeat this ritual whenever you feel yourself losing touch. This ritual will also be useful when spells go awry or don’t “click” for you. By understanding yourself better, your motives, and your desires, you will be better able to focus your intention and get the results you want from your spellwork.