|Llewellyn's 2019 Daily Planetary Guide
ITEM # 9780738746074
|Yoga for the Creative Soul
ITEM # 9780738752181
|The Pure Heart of Yoga
ITEM # 9780738714875
If you're like me, the current political climate has made you more active than ever. I've been to protest marches, I've stood on street corners with hand-printed signs, and I have called so many members of Congress their offices probably know me by my voice. As a Pagan and an activist, I've barely had a moment to catch my breath between scandals, crises, and outrages.
Being an activist is not easy, but when authoritarians and racists and homophobes hold the highest offices in my country, I can't spend my free time watching cat videos. When I see my government dismantling critical environmental regulations and denying climate change, as an earth-based spiritual practitioner, I have no choice but to come to the defense of my planet.
And all of that takes its toll—physically, mentally, and emotionally. I've seen activists burn out over the years, or get depressed, give up, and sink into despair. But as magical people, we have unique practices and resources to draw upon to keep us fueled and empowered in our pursuit of a better world. Here are some of my favorites, and all are covered more in depth in Magic for the Resistance: Rituals and Spells for Change.
1. Cleansing and Purification
I'm also a big fan of suffumigation (a fancy word for smudging). Sage is wonderful and rightfully popular for clearing negative energy, but try burning copal or frankincense (preferably on charcoal) and using your hands to "wash" yourself with the smoke. It can create an instant transition from the mundane to sacred space, wiping away toxic energy and tension with the rising smoke.
2. Nature Bathing
3. Bring Nature Indoors
4. Descreening and Unplugging
So, take some time away from your phone, your laptop, and your television. Invite friends over for socializing or a board game night. Go out for dinner with your partner and keep your phones off and out of sight. Try to become aware of why you pick up your phone—is it boredom? Anxiety? Habit? If so, resist the urge and instead focus on the world around you. See what you're missing? Conversations of strangers, flowers, clouds, and birds all might be trying to tell you something. You can't "be here now" when you're scrolling through Facebook posts or Instagram photos, so seek to lengthen the times when you're watching the world instead of pixels.
5. Go for a Walk
Unless you have a disability, it's a form of exercise that is available to everyone, and doesn't require a membership or equipment beyond a good pair of shoes. But even more importantly, walking gets you out into your community and introduces the magic of chance encounters and joys of exploration. It takes you out of your comfort zone and puts opens you to omens and synchronicities you would have missed if you stayed indoors. The future opens in front of you, wide and full of infinite possibilities. And it's conducive to thinking and working out problems.
As Nietzche said, "All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." So, stop worrying about missing the gym and go for a walk!
6. Treat Your Body
7. Cultivate Joy
If you're part of a magical activist group, plan parties and social gatherings to recharge you and keep your connections strong.
Find the things that bring you joy and add them to your calendar, and honor those commitments. Balance the time you spend helping make the world a better place by making your world a better place.
8. Stay Connected to Your Magic
Connect with your goddesses and gods through daily devotions, prayers, meditations, and rituals, and ask them to help you in your practical social and political work. There's a lot of hard work to be done, so as polytheists and Pagans we should bring our entire team to the fight.
Magic and Activism Require Balance
Michael M. Hughes (Baltimore, MD) is an author, speaker, magical thinker, and activist. He is the creator of the internationally viral "Spell to Bind Donald Trump and All Those Who Abet Him," the largest magical working in ...