Fighting Shadows

I make a little home in a shack in my best friend’s yard. It’s a cosy space with a big bed, leafy plants, my workspace and my comfy yellow armchair. We are home here with the incense burning and Alba playing on the rug. The beach is just down the road. Alba catches the school bus with the kids in the mornings and I spend the days working.

It’s hard to focus on my work. There is an underlying feeling that things aren’t right. That someone is missing. I suppose that happens when you lose someone who was always there. I call Bee too much. We talk for hours every day and I try to act like I’m feeling a lot more settled than I am. That I never really needed him. That life is better now.

There are moments where it is better. I go grocery shopping and dance in the aisles without caring. I find myself talking to strangers. I take Alba out on dates. I smile as I walk to my favourite cafe to work, backpack on and listening to podcasts.

But nights are never better. Nights are horrible. My anxiety swings quickly from nothing to everything. Breathing is hard and sometimes I have to scream into pillows and shake my body because otherwise I might explode.

I’m grateful my anxiety waits for Alba to fall asleep before setting in. I’m grateful she has the kids to distract her and that Bee calls her every day. We miss him. I always forget how painful it is to miss someone until I do. I miss the littlest things. The way he always brought me tea and the illustrations in his journals and the drum patterns he’d absentmindedly tap on my leg.

For the anniversary of my brother’s death I throw a Deathday Party. I decorate the house with balloons and bunting and invite my family who drive three hours to make it. I naïvely hope that if I make it a celebration it won’t hurt. But night rolls around, as it does, like a black heavy blanket to suffocate me. And the hurt comes.

I leave the party to curl into a ball in my bed. My cousins cuddle me, these girls I used to mother when I was a teenager are bigger than me now. From in-between them both I call Bee in tears. He always helped me carry this grief. From the very moment Zake died. He was lousy sometimes at knowing the right things to say, but he always loved me hard through the worst waves. It all makes it even harder. Like I’ve lost the two men I love most.

I’m afraid I’ll forget Zake. I am afraid this guilt will never lift. I’m afraid it’s true that he’s gone. Maybe that sounds crazy but there is a part of me that even still refuses to believe I will never hug him again.

I don’t really sleep, instead I relive memories. Even the most beautiful are darkened by the night. I remember all the times I let him down. How cruel I was to him when we were kids. The calls I ignored because I didn’t have the patience for his philosophical rambles.

Dear god what I’d give to answer one of those calls now. He knew I loved him and I know he loved me but I wish more than anything that he never left. I am crying writing these words, remembering too vividly his gorgeously crooked smile and the way his eyes lit up when he saw me. It was me and him. Now it’s just me.

Mornings are a treasure buried in the night. I know that if I can just hold out until the sun rises it will all be okay. There’s Alba with her singsong voice, waking me up. There’s uniforms to be dressed in, breakfast to be made, lunch to be packed. The chatter of the kids in the backseat, the conversations and laughter with Georgia. The potential of blank hours waiting to be filled with meaningful work and daily errands.

One night I download a dating app. I don’t want to date anyone seriously. Not for a long time. But I want to be distracted and romance has always served as an easy distraction for me.

There’s something exciting about peeling back people’s layers and knowing their hearts. It’s hard to admit but it’s good to feel wanted too, especially after being left. You’re not supposed to need love, you’re supposed to be enough on your own. I’ve gotten better at being alone, but I’ve always needed a lot of love. It’s just another flaw that is difficult to admit.

I meet just one boy. We climb a tree together and sit high in the branches with birds all around us. We talk about our childhood and when he kisses me it’s both strange and sweet.

Later I feel terribly guilty and I call Bee about it. He pretends to not be jealous and says it’s really great that I’m moving on. I’m secretly and selfishly happy that he is jealous even though it was never my intention. The truth is I still want him to love me, of course I do.

I’m at a festival, Alba is fast asleep beside me in the tent and I’m whispering to Bee on the phone. I can tell he is nervous. That there’s something important he’s trying to say. It makes me nervous too.

Bee tells me he made a big mistake in leaving us, that he’s tried to fill every day since getting home because of his regret. He explains his headspace when we broke up, his depression and being so far from everyone he knew, feeling like it was the only choice. The way he stubbornly clung to his decision every time he doubted it. The way he romanticised going back to his friends and his freedom but how empty it feels without us.

I want to say duh, because I’d seen it all unfolding in my head before he even left but he said it all so earnestly. He says that he doesn’t expect me to forgive him but he wants to be a better lover and parent. To commit totally and weather all the storms together.

I want to scream yes, to dance around the tent, to tell everyone in the world. How many times did I stop myself from begging him if we could be together again? But I don’t scream yes. I quietly thank him for being so brave. I tell him we miss and love him as much as he does us. I say I don’t know. To give me time. And he says of course.

The tree climbing boy is here at the festival too and I like him, he’s calm and sweet. I feel like I can let my guard down with him. I know he wants to cuddle me and kiss me but I just can’t. I don’t want to hurt him but I also want to be honest. We lay on the grass and I tell him about Bee and my heart and the whole conversation is painful. He asks, “So do you think you’ll get back together?” And I just shake my head and say, “I’m just not sure.” It’s like I’m forever hurting people. But he understands.

I put Alba to bed early so she gets enough sleep. It means that once the music begins I am already in bed beside her. On the last night I lay awake for hours aching to dance, longing to be out there. I could ask Georgia to listen for her but she already has her kids to worry about. I don’t have anyone else I feel safe asking. I cry in my tent. When you are a parent you are constantly making sacrifices and sometimes they all just add up.

One night my anxiety is so terrible I call Bee and admit I’m not coping. The next morning he books tickets for Alba and I to Perth. He doesn’t tell me because they are expensive and he knows I wouldn’t have let him. I’m upset with him at first. He tells me he’s wants to help me and there isn’t much he can do from the other side of the country. I have a lot of friends in Perth and maybe I need a break.

It works. My nightly anxiety turns into anticipation. My days have this sense of waiting, that I’m just going through the motions of life until I board that plane. His texts give me butterflies. It’s like the time I was touring across America and he was road tripping across the country and we’d obsessively text and text and text. I write pros and cons lists. I ask everyone what they think, my mother could have cried of joy. And yet I’m not sure. Not yet.

I always knew I’d be happy spending my life with Bee; this goofy man who never once raised his voice toward me, who has all the time in the world for the people he loves, who lives to create. I just don’t want to get back together because it’s easy or because we miss each other.

I spent all this time convincing myself breaking up was the right thing. I created this story to move on. I focused on all the ways we didn’t work and the better man who would cross my path and all the reasons I needed to be alone right now. Now I’m unravelling all the threads, trying to uncover the right answer. But the truth is there is no right answer, there is only my answer.

I see a doctor about my anxiety. She asks if I’ve had traumatic experiences and I don’t know where to begin. I talk about my stepfather, my uncles and an ex boyfriend. The sexual, emotional and physical abuse that started in my childhood and continued into adulthood. I talk about my brother’s suicide, the call I never made and how alone I feel without him. I notice I’m clenching my fists so tightly my nails are leaving marks on my palms.

She said she was surprised I was coping with parenting and working. Surprised that I’d never seeked help. I guess I always thought it wasn’t a big deal, that I could manage it. Just having a stranger acknowledge that it is a lot is reassuring. It makes me feel less crazy for being overwhelmed by life.

She asks me what anxiety feels like and I say it’s like I’m being crushed from every direction. I can’t breathe properly and my mind is dark and loud and scary. I have compulsive thoughts about horrible things like losing Alba and even when I’m not thinking my body is tight with fear. She takes my blood and books me counselling.

‘Last night I stood beneath the sky as it stretched its arms wide above me. The moon was growing full. Stars were hand poked between moonlit clouds patterned like a cheetah’s spots on dark velvet. It caught my breath. It was magnificent and it was just there above me. Painted across everything so perfectly and so unassuming. There was no man in a suit charging me to gaze up at this giant masterpiece, no lines to wait in to see it, no crowds staring up in awe alongside me. Just me in the backyard on the wet grass with my neck craned for so long it began to hurt, willing myself to believe in the immensity of the universe. Not just believe in it but feel it, in my bones.

Today I sat in a cafe writing in my journal. My writing scrawled across the page in a secret hope my fears and flaws might hide behind the messy marks, illegible to anyone but me. But I stopped the pen and I paused the mess of my thoughts, letting them still. I wrote carefully, the ink dancing as I wrote the paragraph above about the sky. I forgot how beautiful my handwriting could be and how much loveliness there was in that very simple act. I felt the sun pierce through my jeans and the weight of my body here on the earth. I knew that the magic of everything wasn’t waiting for me somewhere in the future, it was here and it was simple. ’

My head is clear. I feel a quiet sort of happiness. I exfoliate my skin until it feels like silk and I dye my hair purple. I do yoga every day. I meet deadlines and miss deadlines and post prints all around the world. I watch the sea and I listen to the rain on the roof of the shack at night. I cuddle Alba close to my body on the coldest nights. I write and write. I count down days.


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Goodbyes

We leave this place soon. I’m ready to say goodbye but I still find it hard to acknowledge I’m leaving. It’s not the house, it’s the hopes and dreams that pull at me.

I remember the day we arrived and I lay in our new bedroom on a bare mattress, staring at the blank walls with a bursting heart. We were all exhausted and sick but this was it. All those months in Perth falling deeply in love and longing for this. A home to call ours. The furniture we curated so carefully, the smell of home, the baths we shared, the memories buried in the walls of every room, our forest.

We made so many plans in the beginning. Sitting around the bonfire talking about chickens and sprawling gardens and weekly games nights with our friends. What if I’d known that in one year the boy sitting beside me would be returning to Perth and I’d be staying back. I’d never have believed it. Things were too wonderful. Our beautiful house and our hopes, all our hopes.

But as I stare at the walls now, bare once more; it’s okay. I understand it. This insect I caught in my glass jar was never mine to keep. No one is really ours to keep. I listened to a podcast about the way we project things onto those we love to make them perfect for us. We paint people with our own desires and hopes. But the paint has been peeling off for a while now and although beneath Bee is just as wonderful as I ever knew he was, he isn’t perfect. Because the truth is there is no such thing.

Sometimes this house feels like a graveyard of dreams that I can’t wait to escape. At other times whatever comes next feels so frightening that I want to pause time and sink into safety.

Alba is my constant. She is so magnificently gorgeous to me that sometimes I ask her to stay still just so I can take in her face. Her little freckles, her almond shaped bright blue eyes, the crescent dimples when she smiles. She is so tiny and delicate, like a fairy. She knows every single button to push to drive me crazy but my god she is made of honey. “Did you know,” she’ll say often, “That you are the best mama in the whole world?”

She is my only little one and I feel so protective of her. So swayed by her emotions. But I know I can’t give her everything. She tells me I’m mean sometimes and I tell her I’m her mama. Growing up all of the boundaries were blurred so I stand by mine like an empathetic warrior.

I’m packing when I find an old suitcase filled with baby things. Teeny tiny booties and onesies and slings and wooden toys. Tucked away safe for my next child. Such a distant concept now. I donate most of them, more out of my desire to not own too many things. But I do wonder if I will ever have another.

I take Alba to the school disco. The music is so loud, I feel old. Kids are walking around drinking cans of soft drink and when Alba notices she pulls me down and whispers to me in horror, “Why are those kids drinking that?” I explain that all parents have different rules for their children. Later she tells me she thought it was beer and I burst out laughing.

I feel pretty uncomfortable here. I don’t have many friends at school yet and with Bee leaving soon I feel like I’ve failed somehow. I’m already one of the youngest parents at school and now the boy who was always with me will be gone and I will be fulfilling some terrible stereotype. Maybe no one cares but I don’t know. I walk around a bit aimlessly then I think, fuck it.

I take Alba’s hand and ask her to dance. We hit the dance floor and dance like we’re at home. I’m in my orange velvet flares and she’s in a white lace dress and we’re both grinning. More parents come dancing too and I feel like maybe everything is okay. I just need to get out of my head more.

A cyclone sweeps through and we lose power and reception for four days. After the first day of disconnection I feel the wind hit my skin as I stand outside. Like I’m feeling it for the first time in months. “I feel like I’m living in the world again,” I tell Bee. “This is why I hike,” He says.

Trees lay across the road like sleeping giants and the lake laps at our street. We bathe in the sea, light tea candles around the house, read books on the balcony and watch birds in our garden. The power comes back on and I find it hard to use social media again. My phone lays mostly untouched.

Alba falls sick and she’s a little baby again in my arms. It lasts one night but hits Bee much worse. For 4 days I take care of him in-between packing up our house. His skin burns and I hold cold cloths to his forehead. I run him baths and make him icy lemonade and keep him distracted. “What are you going to do when I’m not around?”

Under the teasing I kind of mean it. I know he doesn’t need me, but I wonder how it’s going to be for him to leave. To go from our loving little family to being alone.

We leave the house for the last time and road trip to Byron Bay, the three of us sleeping in one bed at my friend’s beach house. We watch Twin Peaks obsessively, venturing out in search of treats and swinging Alba between us as we walk. Everything is almost cruelly normal. Like we’re living in some happy family montage right before it all breaks apart.

On our last full night together every ounce of love comes to the surface. We talk through our relationship from the very first moments to the last. Speaking in between kisses that feel like beginning kisses, where every nerve is awake and my body is a live wire. All our wild adventures from beginning to end.

When it’s all laid out like a story before us we don’t feel sad or nostalgic, we feel immense gratitude. Gratitude so big it’s everything. We thank each other for all of it. For changing each others lives forever.

We love and love until 4am and then we’re tangled up in bed. Bee is already asleep when I feel the anxiety come on, hard and fast and ugly. When the fears show up I imagine I am throwing a blanket over them, putting them out like fires. But they come back bigger and scarier until I’m powerless against them. My body is tense and my mind is a war zone. I feel Bee’s chest rise and fall against my chest and I desperately want to wake him but I know I have to fight these battles by myself now. The sun is shining by the time my mind finally lets me sleep.

The next night we fall asleep beside each other for the last time. At 3am Bee nudges me awake to say goodbye. I don’t want to cry. I want it to be like nothing. But it isn’t, it is a storm of “I love you’s” and tight hugs and heart-wrenching tears. I don’t go back to sleep. I cry for hours and even though Alba is fast asleep beside me I feel so alone in the world.

I fall asleep in the middle of the next day. I dream I am in a garden, our garden. Before me is a tall tree heavy with orange leaves and flowers. The world is bathed in a soft warm haze, like a dream sequence in an old film. It’s so beautiful I have to show Bee. But Bee is nowhere and suddenly I’m not in a garden, I’m in a bed. I can’t open my eyes and I can’t speak. I call for Bee frantically in my mind, urging my mouth to open and finally I whisper his name.

“It’s okay,” he soothes, sliding beside me so I can feel his warm body against mine. “I’m here.” For a moment I am safe and everything is okay. Then something is taking him away and I still can’t see or speak. I feel it happening beside me, the struggle and my rising fear as I fail to move. I know somehow that he is gone and he isn’t coming back. It wakes me and I’m crying.

But he isn’t gone forever. I call him and he is right there on the other side. He can’t hold me but he tells me loves me and he misses me and he’s still here.

I’ve wished sometimes for a normal break up, for the anger and the arguments and our ties cut clean. But I’d lose all of this love. I’d lose a friend who knows what I mean by the tone of my voice, who knows the right things to say when I’m overcome with parent guilt. I’d lose one of my best friends.

Somewhere In-between

I am lost in my life. There is a feeling that my toes just skim the surface of my reality. I’m in some kind of limbo. Here in the last weeks in our forest home, the last weeks with my love, the last weeks before some great wide expanse of unknown. I wish I had some certainty, a home we could call our own instead of a handful of maybes. I should be used to it by now, but this time Alba has school and our belongings don’t just fit into a few suitcases anymore.

I remember when my grief came in waves so close together I could barely catch my breath. They’re much further apart now, but when they come every wall I’ve built against the pain is torn down instantly. The injustice of it all makes me want to kick and scream like a child, I lost my only brother and now I mourn every single day of the future I will never have with him.

Heartbreak comes in waves too. Mostly I live in a cocoon of softness, my little family is still my little family. Then I look down at my hand in Bee’s hand and I realise the time is coming where his body won’t feel like an extension of my own any more. Where I won’t nap to the sound of Alba and Bee playing. Where I will have to face all my challenges alone again. I pray he will stay around, but how can I know? He would be forever on the road if he could and I don’t blame him.

He says things that hurt me sometimes. He says this life is too quiet for him, but this is my life. I know it’s quiet. The school drop offs and grocery runs and tidying up and bedtime routines. But it is its own little adventure in itself, the very adventure I always ached for when I was travelling across the world.

And yet I know he’ll miss it. He helps in Alba’s classroom for fun, he always needs to be there for bedtime stories even when it’s the same book 5 nights in a row and he is almost always by my side.

On nights I cannot sleep I pad through our dark house to Bee’s bedroom. His phone glows in the dark, a podcast left playing as he’s fallen asleep. I nuzzle my head into his neck and I tell him I love him and he tells me he loves me. Sometimes the memories of the beginning fill my mind, all that hope and overwhelming love. I instantly push them out just as I do with memories of my brother.

Mostly he is my best friend and I am his and that is just fine.

I don’t know how I’d manage all my big feelings without my routines. The yoga, the running, the journalling and the meditation. Without these releases my days would be lost to my emotions.

Now that Alba is at school I can work hard. I often write thousands of words in a day. I am running my Patreon, my blog, creating a course and writing a book all simultaneously. It’s the one place in my world where everything feels perfect.

School is pretty wonderful too. Alba’s best friend brings her little treasures and homemade books full of illustrations of ponies and unicorns. Alba is besotted with a boy called Angus who I am sure is trouble and her teacher is so sweet she reminds me of Miss Honey from Matilda.

Laura is directing a film in Sydney and hires me to take stills. For a weekend I’m that girl again, the one with a camera around her neck and the ability to instantly connect to strangers. Being on a set is both slow and exciting. I shoot in tiny pockets of time and wear my heart on my sleeve. The crew becomes a family.

One night I get gelato with Philippe, the lead actor from the film. We’re walking through Newtown and it begins to rain so we throw our arms out to catch the raindrops. The sky is bright purple and pink. We’re both cradling broken hearts but for a few hours we forget.

The freedom and the excitement of the big city reminds me of so many times before. It is a contrast to my settled life at home. But while my father gave up on our family to chase his dreams, and my mother gave up her dreams to take care of our family, I am determined to do both. For me and for Alba.

We’re in the car when Bee tells me he’s going to Perth when the lease ends. So far I thought he’d stay around, at least for a while. It hits me like a tidal wave of betrayal. In the pain of the moment the most bitter words form on my tongue, “you’re unbelievably selfish.”

It’s probably the meanest thing I’ve ever said to him. I am being abandoned again and I am defensive. I feel like everything means nothing at all. Like I failed.

I go running, my body is so tight it feels like someone is wringing all the joy from me. It’s hard to breathe. I make myself let go, let myself expand back into me again. Then I can see the stories. Bee doesn’t care about us, I will always be abandoned and love will never be enough.

Most importantly I can see they are just stories. That this is my challenge. It’s like the universe has taken a look at me and said, I think you need another lesson in letting go. Granted, I obviously do. My ego gets so caught up in it all.

So I hug him and I apologise and then I break down again about feeling abandoned and rejected. Face all blotchy and wet and snotty. For a long time things felt so easy that when people asked if it was hard living with Bee I’d mostly shrug and say, “Surprisingly not.” But him leaving felt so far away then, now it’s right around the corner and I’m not sure I’m ready.

My fears are so incessant at night that I cannot find the quiet to sleep. I talk to Georgia one morning. She tells me I can stay with her and that Alba can catch the bus to school with the kids until I can drive and find a home. She’s rescued me so many times she’s like my knight in shining armour. She says, “I know it’s hard and painful but you don’t need him Nirrimi.”

When I talk to my friend Alex about my fears around leaving she says, “Yeah, it’s scary but isn’t it also really exciting?” Slowly I feel that she is right. It is exciting. Who knows what life has in store for me now? Whatever is coming, I am strong and brave enough to handle it. Deep down I can feel that this is all for the very best and I am ready.

Then I’m back in that cocoon, things feel easy and I forget that they are ever hard. I know these cycles of strength and weakness will keep on going. Probably until the day I die. And that’s alright because I know it will all be okay, even at my weakest.

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My Kind Of Magic

When I was a child magic was dragons and mermaids and giants. It was a genuine belief that my letter to Hogwarts could arrive any day or I’d accidentally find out I had superpowers.

I spent so many nights imagining my own worlds into existence. Worlds where I was heroic and special. Where there were no abusive stepfathers or bullies, just monsters I fought and won.

Magical things seemed to happen around me. One rainy afternoon I told my sister I could make the rain stop so she asked me to prove it. I closed my eyes and asked the sky very kindly to stop raining and it stopped abruptly. It made me cry.

I saw many things that didn’t exist, heard voices in my head and had dreams that came true. I made potions and cast spells and I felt like the universe really listened to me. I kept praying long after I ditched Christianity.

Reality set in as I grew. It’s not so cool to believe in Narnia when you’re a teenager. Instead I believed in tangible things; like coincidences, boy bands and kissing. I was a self proclaimed skeptic who still had a soft spot for old gruesome fairytales. If something couldn’t be explained, I didn’t believe in it. Ghosts, yeah right. Chakras, weird. Magic, no way.

But the more I experienced the world the more I saw that magic was real. Magic was the patterns in an insect’s fragile wings, the taste of summer mangoes, the feeling of new love. Magic was a world full of wonderful creatures, many of them even more exotic than mythical creatures.

Magic was liquid that turned your hair purple, pills that made you sleep, devices that let you freeze single moments in time, birdlike machines that could take you up into the clouds and down into different worlds. Magic was here, we just understood it so well that it lost its mystery.

That was my conclusion. Magic was subjective, like love.

Then one day in the midst of great heartache I reached a breaking point. In desperation I cast a spell the way I did when I was a child. I burned a note that begged for my heart to be healed.

As I held that burning note a powerful feeling flooded through me. I’ve felt it before; in the flow of writing, of photography, of parenting. It’s a feeling of purpose.

Somehow I knew it would take three days and so for three days all the weight was lifted. I trusted even though it made no rational sense to trust. On the third day I expected a call from the boy I was in love with, confessing he’d made a mistake. But as the third day began to come to an uneventful close the heartbreak swept me up again. How could I have let my guard down and believed in something so unbelievable? How could I have been such a child?

Late that very same night I met Bee, who went on to heal even more than my heart. He healed deep scars I wore from past relationships and he taught me a life changing lesson: Love doesn’t have to be painful to be real.

As soon as it happened my skeptical mind kicked in to remind me of coincidences and rational explanations but for the first time I didn’t listen. Even if it could all be explained away scientifically, I didn’t care. I wanted to exist in a world with ritual and mystery. And to be completely honest, it felt pretty damn magical.

I’ve only ever experienced life the way it is now. With sky scrapers, Netflix, commercialised holidays, grocery stores and 9-5’s. Switching from device to device in a endless hunt for distraction and instant gratification. But for the vast majority of our existence, life has been much different for us.

Ritual was an integral part of our ancestor’s lives. We were connected to the sacred and to the Earth in ways we can no longer understand. But it’s still there inside us. We’re hardwired to respond to ritual. The first time I cast that spell I wondered if that impulsive feeling came from my ancestry. Like a switch had been turned on.

I remember being the weird kid at school. The 9 year old who shaved her head to eschew feminine stereotypes, genuinely believed she was a mermaid in a past life and invented her own mythologies. Then I lost my magic, I hid it all inside myself so I could fit in. Now I’m slowly finding it again.

I think of spells as a little helping hand. You still have to do the work to make your life better, but once you put it out there you might find you get some extra help. As someone with anxiety issues, it is life-changing to have a ritual where I can let go of my worries and leave them in the hands of the world.

My spell is made up. Every ritual in history has been made up by a human just like you, so feel free to make up your own and believe in it just as much.

I usually do mine on full moons. Here is how I do mine.

A Spell

Need:

A small piece of paper

A candle

A bowl of water

Optional: an offering

  1. Spend time focusing on something that is really pressing you right now. Most of my spells focus on things I’m worried about. Finding a new home, coping with my anxiety, being able to feed my family. Sometimes they are for people I love when I know they need it. Some months I have nothing to ask for.

Note: Understand that you can’t know exactly what is best for you or others. We can’t see the whole picture. Something that feels like the end of the world might be the best thing that’s ever happened. Someone who seems perfect might be completely wrong for you.

  1. Write your wish down on a piece of paper. It can be just a few words or you can fill the page. I use positive, open wording and express my trust in whatever happens. I fold it carefully; it’s sacred.
  2. I will sometimes add a little offering. When I was casting a spell for my trip to Europe I found an old airline ticket. Sometimes I find flowers or tear out symbolic journal pages. When I burn my spell, I burn these too (often tucked in my folded spell). You might want to collect other things that feel magic to you just to keep around. I have this wand of quartz that was used in my brother’s funeral ceremony that is special to me.
  3. I often wear this black floaty poncho that feels witchy, but you can wear anything. Bring your spell, your bowl of water, your lit candle and anything else and sit somewhere outside where you’re not going to be self conscious about anyone seeing you. I like being in sight of the moon.
  4. Read through your note slowly, imagine the good that is coming and feel what that feels like. If any bad thoughts drift into your mind just gently push them away and think positively again. Once you’re really clear on what you’re asking for, burn your spell.
  5. Watch it burn and focus intently on your request. Fill yourself up with trust and excitement. It’ll probably feel a bit awkward if you’ve never done anything like it before, but let go of the weirdness and just be present. When the flames grow too close to your fingertips, drop your spell into the bowl of water. I sit for a while in the glow that follows and trust that everything will work out.

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