Today, January 20, 2017 at 12:05pm EST, Donald Trump became president of the United States. I'm feeling angry, sad, and impotent that this tragedy and all the events that led up to it has happened. So, instead of just sitting here and feeling my chest constrict and my heart hurt, I've decided to write. I'm currently visiting my mother in Florida, which is Trumpland, and the nearest protest is almost two hours away in St Petersburg. I don't know if I'll be able to make it down there to join others in raising their voice against racism, misogyny, homophobia, intolerance, bigotry, and hate (the list could go on)- for now, my act of resistance is writing.
In the midst of grief and uncertainty the question that has been haunting my sleep at night is "What can I do as a magical practitioner, what can I do as a witch"? The answer that comes up for me is practice Radical Magic. To me, practicing radical magic means living an unapologetic lifestyle where Love is at the center, where Love creates worlds, and where Love moves mountains and oceans. I'm not talking about Love in the light and romantic sense, I'm talking about Love as Source, Love as life-force that permeates all-things. As a witch it's imperative that we are able to "see" Love, its ebb and flow through form and the formless so that we can shape and direct its course.
I've always loved Starhawk's definition of magic as "the art of changing consciousness at will" because this idea denotes intentionality. For those of you that don't know Starhawk, she is a witch, activist, and one of the foremothers of the women's spirituality or Goddess movement. Another definition of magic I heard recently that I'm quickly falling in love with comes from Bayo Akomolafe, who is an academic, poet, and activist- "magic is the dissolution of distance." I love this definition because it seems to stress the importance of relationships and relationality. I firmly believe that the in-between places, the places where merging happens, where thoughts and bodies come together, is where magic occurs. Magic is seeing the threads of Love in all things, and then shifting consciousness at will by making distances disappear. This is what the witch does!
Now, the question becomes, what distances do I want to make dissolve? In these times where there are so many unknowns what do I want to draw near? What do I want to engage, to participate with, to become, if only for a moment to know it more intimately, so that I can understand its perspective and see through its eyes and heart? Deep intimacy such as this creates empathy and dissolves fear because we become the "other" and the "other" becomes us. The known touches the unknown and intermingling occurs, leaving both different from when they were "separate" (or at least when there was the illusion of separateness).
I feel like I've gone off on a side road with all these thoughts, but it comes down to this- activism and action for me in the coming times will be to practice Radical Magic and deep intimacy with the world in a new way. I want to make distances disappear between me and others that have a difference of opinion, between me and people that are differently gendered and able bodied than me, between me and those that are a different skin color, between me and those that practice a different religion or belief, between me and those creatures that are winged and furred, between me and the stone people, between me and the green world, between me and the ancestors, between me and the spirits. Every being has a story. I promise to humble myself and listen. Listening and coming to stillness is the first step before action. Even though I am uncertain what concrete actions I can take to change a world that is full of fear and hate, I do know for certain that I can listen and open to the story and song of all beings so that I may be more aware of the way that I walk in the world and through the multiverse, and so that I may be more compassionate and understanding towards all the inhabitants I meet on my journey.