The Life Changing Technique That Your Magic Is Missing
Witches often focus on the practicalities of the craft when they’re first learning. It’s all about the tools, learning different types of spells, and all of the real world details. Some attention is given to things like how to do energy work, meditate, or hold intentions but often these things only become a focus after a witch has had a chance to get pretty familiar with the more practical aspects of the craft. Somewhere way, WAY down on this list of focuses is an aspect of the craft that, more often than not, I see completely ignored. This part of the craft is so far down on most peoples list of priorities that I’m pretty sure a fair number of witches have never even heard of it! And that’s really a shame because this one little aspect of the craft can take your magical abilities to a level you’ve never imagined.
What is this fantastic mystery technique? It's called psychodrama.
What Is Psychodrama?
If you’re scratching your head wondering what the hell psychodrama is, don’t worry, you’re not alone! This practice used to be commonly taught, especially in ceremonial magic circles but over time the importance of psychodrama seems to have faded into the background and now many folk magicians and witches have never even heard of it.
To put it plainly, psychodrama is a practice of stepping into a role in order to perform. It’s often utilized by actors to improve the realism of their performances. Psychodrama is achieved through the use of setting, costuming, and design to adjust the mental state of the performer.
When it comes to witchcraft, this concept can completely change how you look at your practice. It’s essentially a very dramatized way to “fake it ‘till you make it”. Especially for newer witches, though us more experienced witches certainly aren’t immune, doubt is frequent and can be an absolute killer for your magic. When your energy is torn between holding your intention and wondering if you’re even capable of pulling this spell off, it can have a huge impact on the effect of your magic. Psychodrama is a way to circumvent all of that self-doubt and tap straight into your magical potential.
I essentially want you to think of this as make believe. Suspend doubt temporarily, and pretend that you’re the badass, powerful, magic-wielding witch that you want to be. Use any and every tool in your arsenal to convince yourself that this game of pretend is real and then, only when you’re really deep into that headspace, do you perform your spell.
This may seem like a lot of work to go through for every spell but it can improve the effectiveness of your spells dramatically. Not to mention, it’s really fun! You get to go full witch, pull out all the stops, dress up, get out all of the decorations and music and incense and be the absolute witchiest version of yourself imaginable.
How To Use Psychodrama In Your Own Practice
Utilizing psychodrama is going to be a little bit different for every witch. Not only do we all have different availabilities as far as time, space, resources, and privacy but not every form of psychodrama is going to work well for you. Figuring out what really does it for you can take some experimentation but when you figure out exactly how to drop yourself into your witchiest headspace, it’s well worth the effort. Not sure where to start? Here are 7 ways to start your personal experimentation with psychodrama in your craft.
1. Get into character
Dressing up can have a huge effect on how you feel and act in your spellwork. Think about the witch that you would love to be, your ideal witchy aesthetic. Would you have robes? A flower crown? Face paint? Body paint? Maybe you’d cast skyclad in nothing more than jewelry. Maybe you’d have an antler headdress or a carved staff. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination go a little crazy here, as long as it’s possible in the real world you should definitely add it into your ideal witchy self-image.
Now, I want you to start collecting the things you need to make that mental image a reality! If you can’t make it all happen right away, that’s ok. This isn’t about achieving your ideal, this is about making yourself feel as badass as that imaginary witch that you just dreamed up. And don’t underestimate how far a bolt of fabric and a little crafty know how can take you, there are tons of amazing DIY tutorials on Pinterest and Google for everything from robes to masks to horned headdresses and so much more.
When it’s time for you to do some witchcraft, don your new costume and feel how completely, unstoppably witchy you are. Ignore any thoughts telling you that you’re not a total badass, remember, this is all a big game of pretend right now. It doesn’t matter how unrealistic it might feel to you, put those thoughts aside and make-believe!
2. Set the stage
Now that you’ve gotten yourself dressed up, it’s time to turn your attention to your surroundings. Take a look at the area where you normally do your magic, this space is now your stage. It doesn’t matter how large or small your setting is, indoors or outdoors, when you do magic this setting needs to look like a powerful witch is using that space.
Go back to your imaginary ideal witch that we dreamed up before. Get that image firmly back in your head and when you’re ready, take a look at the area around this witch. What does it look like? Is it dimly lit or bright? Is the space filled with plants and ivy crawling the walls? Are there jars of herbs, spices, and other strange magical ingredients? Are there any colors that stand out to you? Is it inside or outside? What does the altar look like? What kind of tools are around?
Write every detail you can think of down and then see how many of those details you can recreate in your own magical space. Again, it doesn’t need to be perfect and if you can’t achieve every single part of that image right now, that’s ok. Just work with what you have at the moment. Going forward, try to focus your altar decorations, tool buying, and design elements on that image that you’ve cultivated.
3. Use music
Music is such a powerful way to change the mood and feeling of a space. Picking the right music can change you from your normal everyday self to seductive sorceress or witchy warrior in an instant. Don’t feel like you have to stay within the bounds of conventionally witchy music either! While Celtic music or chanting may work for some people, they won’t work for everyone. I personally like Hozier, Kaleo, Chon, and sometimes even rap music for my rituals. Take a look at the music you already know and love. What makes you feel powerful? What makes you feel in general? Is there a kind of music that you think fits the aesthetic that you’ve been crafting?
Play around with music choices, what works for you one day may not vibe so well the next. If you’re an especially music affected witch, you might create a playlist or two (or eight!) for different moods.
4. Use scent
Scent can be another big mood modifier. If you’re the kind of person who stocks up on pumpkin spice candles so you can get that autumn feel year round then this is for you. There are tons of ways to use scent in your craft, from scented candles to essential oil diffusers, to incense, and more. If you’ve already got favorite scents that make you feel witchy then go with those but you may want to experiment a bit and find something that you can use just for your witchcraft. For me, sandalwood incense, candles that smell like evergreen forests, and anything that reminds me of dusty old leather books immediately puts me in a witchy mood. If you must, go to the nearest store that sells scented candles and stick your nose in every candle that sounds remotely appealing. Even if you don’t love candles, knowing how various smells make you feel can help a lot when choosing oils or incense.
Note: Be careful with scents around animals! Essential oils and smoke can be incredibly dangerous for pets and it’s vital that you check to make sure that you’re not filling the air with toxins before you start using these products around your critters. Small animals are particularly susceptible but even larg pets like dogs can have very adverse reactions when exposed to the wrong essential oils!
5. Candles ad nauseam
Does this one even need explaining? Candles are witchy as hell, period. I stock up on pillar candles and tealights whenever I can and when it’s time to work magic I turn down the lights and light as many candles as I can reasonably get away with. If you can’t do fire in your space, electric candles make a great substitute! I have a set of electric candles and I use them for rituals all the time. There is zero shame in getting your witchy vibe from an electric source.
6. Summon your inner witch
If you really want to go all out, you can start your spell casting by summoning your inner witch. That badass ideal witch aesthetic that we dreamed up earlier? Yeah, we’re going to summon them to make sure that this aspect of ourselves shows up at full strength.
Begin by getting everything set up, dress up, set your stage, play some music, and get your incense going. When you’re ready, sit down in front of your altar and set one lit white candle in front of you. Pause to focus on the flame for a moment. Take a deep breath and call to mind the mental image of this ideal version of your witchy self. Visualize this witch standing in front of you, as real as you are. Call this witch to join forces with you by saying:
“As I am,
So are you.
As one we cast,
And our magic flows twofold.”
Now imagine this other witch stepping forward and melding into you. You feel their power wash over you, their confidence with magic, their expertise, and their knowledge of the mystical. Feel this new self settle into your skin. When you open your eyes you are neither yourself nor this other witch, you are both.
After your spell is cast and you’re ready to close all ritual work, thank this alternate self and allow them to step out and away from you. It can be helpful after this kind of spellwork to ground and cleanse yourself. It’s also important to make sure that you do this kind of summoning inside a protected space! Cast a circle and cleanse yourself before starting this kind of summoning, you do not want an imposter butting in on this process and trying to take you for a ride.
7. Go with what feels right
Above all, do what makes you feel like a powerful witch. This isn’t about matching someone else’s aesthetic or meeting the expectations of the people around you. This is about how YOU feel when you do these actions. You’re seeking to create an atmosphere that helps draw out your innate power and move past the doubts that can so often cloud our minds. If that's rainbow body paint and electronic music for you then own that shit and stock up on body paint! This may be an elaborate game of pretend but this kind of magical work can bypass the conscious mind and all of the chatter that lives there and pull magic from the deepest parts of the subconscious.
The results of this work can be astounding but if you’re new to working magic at this level, it can be exhausting. Make sure to ground afterward and take care of yourself. Eating food, kicking back, and relaxing after this sort of magic can go a long way toward preventing spell fatigue. Have fun playing around and pretending! The imagination is an invaluable tool in the craft and it’s time we all started making better use of it with psychodrama.