In “Ask a Witch,” Gabriela Herstik answers your questions about channeling ancient wisdom in the modern age. From spellcraft to finding your path, explore what it means to be a millennial witch.
Question: As a person who has a hard time creating routines, I feel like it's impossible to consistently dedicate myself to witch things. So I tend to think of myself as a "lazy witch." How do I get past that?
Answer: I like to think of witchcraft as a filter through which you see your life; one that’s cosmic and beautiful and shows you the connection between yourself and everything else in the universe. The whole point of being a witch is to live in that filtered world and to manifest that power in everything you do.
The first step to doing this? Stop being so hard on yourself! You don’t have to cast a spell every day to be a witch, that’s not what it’s about. Give yourself permission to ebb and flow with your practice; sometimes you’ll be making lots of magick, sometimes you won’t.
One way to make each day a little bit more magickal is to set it up that way. For me, that means pulling a tarot card every morning, before I do my makeup. Sometimes I’ll take a photo of my card and set it as my phone background if I want to be reminded of its energy. I ask my guides what I need to know for the day and really take the time to shuffle and pick my card. I’ll burn incense as I get ready, sage-ing my room if I have time and feel like I need it.
I also make sure I know where the sun and the moon are each day. You can do this using apps like TimePassages or Luna Solaria. You can also incorporate specific fashion choices into your magick by pairing your intention (how you want to feel) with what you wear, even centering it around the moon phase and what sign the moon is in. So, say, the moon is in Aquarius and you’re going out on the town, you can wear that one chrome dress you have that makes you feel like an intergalactic mermaid.
I meditate most mornings as well, BUT it’s a new habit and a big deal for me. I’m always going at 100 miles a minute, and I was very intimated to start meditating. I use Insight Timer, which is an app for guided and timed meditation, and I started slowly. First six minutes, then eight minutes, then 10. The key, once again, is being patient. As well as knowing what works for you. Maybe you like to meditate at night? That’s totally chill. It's just the mere act of having a set time to decompress that's super helpful.
When I’m in the bathroom at work, I take time to breathe and ground my feet into the earth. I’ll talk to my guides, or Venus, or Ganesh, and ask them for help or just, you know, vent and see what I feel. I also do this at my desk, closing my eyes and taking some time to really focus on my core, grounding into the earth. Don’t be embarrassed to use these times to really focus on your center, feeling that energetic cord extending from the base of your spine into the root of the earth. Talk to your guides or your ancestors or the universe. It’s fun, I promise. You can also utilize breathing techniques, as well, during your day without anyone noticing.
When you’re outside, take time to be outside. Notice how warm the sun is when it kisses your skin. Maybe there’s a breeze, or it finally smells like summer. I love talking to the trees near my apartment, putting my hand on their trunks and asking them how they are, or just giving them love. Physically connecting to the earth is also an emotional practice. Make yourself available to the signs, and give yourself time to be present in nature. Taking a five-minute walk outside without your phone and listening to the messages that come through is a super powerful way to connect with your inner magick.
The whole point of witchcraft is being a witch, and that means living with your magick and integrating it into your life. Water is sacred, and connecting to the element when you’re doing something as mundane as washing your hands or taking a shower can make your day a lot more meaningful. Buy houseplants to connect with the earth, buy a birdfeeder and talk to the birds, and cook with different herbs and spices because of their correspondences. Carrying around different crystals, or wearing them, is another easy way to bring your magick with you.
You can also create an altar in your bedroom, so you see it every day. Clean and clear it once a week, rearranging depending on what you’re manifesting or the season. Make this an energetic home for yourself, so each morning you wake and see how beautiful YOUR magick is. Being grateful for your life and thanking the universe whenever you’re reminded of her magick is also an easy way to create even more magick!
Creating a routine that feels good is the key. Even if that means writing a prayer to your ancestors and saying it every morning and lighting a candle with it, and nothing else. Don’t be afraid to get crafty with your craft. You can also incorporate a routine into your night, saying a prayer before you sleep and leaving an offering on your altar. If you think you’re going to forget your daily practice, set a reoccurring alarm on your phone. Or have a friend join in and text each other reminders. No matter what you do, enjoy it! All that matters is that you’re the best witch you can be.