This is a common issue which comes up a lot and it seems to stem from the misconception that if a witch isn’t spending all her time 24/7 immersed elbow deep in her cauldron she somehow isn’t doing witchcraft properly. I think it’s a shame that some witches feel such guilt about the time they spend actively practising the craft but I also think there is an element of not really understanding how witchcraft can be fused with the mundane world.
Very few witches have either the inclination or the personal circumstances to dedicate themselves to being a witch and nothing but a witch. We all have lives to lead and depending on the nature of those lives and what is going on at any one time different things will naturally take turns to take precedence. A witch with a full time job or children, a witch who is married or a witch who (like myself) owns a lot of animals will find her attention is pulled in a lot of different directions. To push the demands of everyday life to one side with the determination to “be more witchy” would be silly.
Witches, like everybody else, do not live in a vacumn. We have to interrelate with the real world and if sometimes that means we are not able to spend hours in ritual or dedicate full evenings to circle work then so be it. However, as any witch will tell you, witchcraft is not something you switch on and off. A witch doesn’t stop practising because her time is limited, she adapts the way she practises to suit the time she has. She doesn’t say – I’ll be a witch again next week when I’ve got more time! When time permits she may favour elaborate ritual but when time is tight she will adjust her crafting to suit the time she does have.
I’ll give you a personal example – when I’ve got the time I like to set the scene with candles and incense, meditate before casting, get myself into the right headspace by clearing out the worries from my mind - that sort of thing. This isn’t necessary to effective casting but it is my preferred default position when time isn’t a premium. When I’m busy with work (and husband and pets and novels…) my casting might simply become a drop of oil spilled here, a symbol drawn there, a stir in the dinner with some words of intent... It will be quick, reactive and spontaneous and none the less effective for the lack of ceremony. Little everyday actions support the blending of my mundane and magical lives and enable me to keep my focus as a witch even when I’m occupied in other areas.
The fact that witchcraft doesn’t have to be something you specifically set time aside to “do” seems to be hard for new practitioners to get their heads around. Being a witch isn’t a huge time commitment that you have to struggle to fit into your already overflowing diary. Being a witch is a state of mind that is with you at all times, regardless of what you need to do in the mundane world. In point of fact some witches never indulge in ritual and never set time aside for anything elaborate. The more confident you become in your abilities the less you need the security of the tools, the props and the formality of circle/ritual and the more adept you become at doing magic on the fly. You learn the art of gently manipulating the world as you go.
Also if you think about it, a lot of crafting is borne from necessity. I don’t cast spells just for the sake of it, I cast when I need to. If I’m on track with what I expect from my life I can go days or weeks without needing to cast. I’d go so far as to say an experienced witch who has her life in order probably casts less frequently than somebody starting on the journey of making the changes. So don’t worry – there’s no set hours you need to practise each week to justify your craft in your own mind. Just keep an eye out for the chances and the opportunities to bring your craft into your life and you’ll find you strike a balance that works the best for you.
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