Whether you consider yourself a minimalist witch or a spell tool junkie, mindfulness is the foundation of modern witchcraft.
Yet this often-neglected aspect of the Craft rarely gets the focus it deserves.
So what is mindfulness? How do we use it and make the most of it in our practice?
What is mindfulness?
At its core, mindfulness is an awareness and deep acceptance of the present.
Believe it or not, we spend about 99% of our time thinking about the past or the future.
Sometimes, we mull over the recent past. (The awkward conversation you just had with the cute barista at Starbucks 5 minutes ago).
Sometimes, we reminisce over things that occurred decades ago. (Recalling your first day of school when you see an old classmate on social media).
Or, we worry about the future. Again, this can be things coming up soon. (Your presentation tomorrow at work.) Or the distant future. (How will I ever save enough for retirement with all these student loans?!)
But rarely, very rarely, does our mind stay focused on the present. Even more rarely are we able to accept the present moment.
How to use mindfulness in spell craft.
Modern witchcraft bases itself in one simple concept: Your thoughts matter.
For better or worse, whatever you spend time thinking about ultimately ends up in your life.
This is sometimes called the Law of Attraction.
You experience this whether you practice magic or not.
You probably know (or have known) someone who constantly walks around with a storm cloud over their head. They never seems to escape conflict. They’re constantly bogged down with petty lawsuits, disputes with co-workers or a never-ending stream of failed friendships and romance.
The opposite is also true.
Ever notice that people with positive attitudes tend to draw other positive people and experiences? They seem to “have all the luck” and are able to navigate even life’s most difficult problems with ease and grace.
Of course, we all deal with problems outside our control. It’s important to note that owning your life experience is not that same thing as victim-blaming, or feeling ashamed when bad things happen to you.
The goal is not so much to control what happens to you as to control your thoughts about what happens.
When you do, you notice quite strangely that this seems to impact what happens to you in the long run.
This is the heart of modern magic.
Cultivating mindfulness your practice.
Now that you understand the basic concept of mindfulness and its use in witchcraft, let’s take a look at some concrete ways to incorporate it.
The whole idea comes down to controlling your thoughts and staying present.
So, the following suggestions aim to hone your concentration and enhance your effectiveness in the Craft.
Try beginning your day with a witchy morning ritual.
Prioritize mindfulness from the start by establishing a morning routine that sets your intentions for the day.
Simple things, like consciously enjoying the sunrise, or focusing on the taste, smell and joy of your morning cup of coffee bring the mind into focus and instill a sense of peace.
Tarot One-Card Draw
Reading the tarot requires intense focus and concentration.
But rather than using this classic divination tool as a means to see into the future or understand the past, try focusing on the what the card tells you about the present.
As in right now.
No need to pull a complex spread, which encourages a wandering eye (and a wandering mind!).
Start with the one-card draw.
Stay focused on the visual details of the card. Look for lines, shapes and symbols that correspond to your present.
Casting a circle is an especially mindful act.
While there are many creative ways to cast a circle, the classic method involves visualizing a ring of energy around you before spell casting.
Take your time with this process.
Because it forces you to focus on the present moment, circle visualization is fundamentally an exercise in mindfulness.
Get fancy. Choose an image, close your eyes and bring it to life with details.
Image a circle of light, a ring fire, or even a circular crack in the floor with mist pouring out of it.. Hold that image in your mind for the whole ritual.
Meditation is a key component of a mindfulness practice.
On the next full moon, find a quiet space outside in nature where you can see the full moon.
Whenever an intrusive thought disrupts your focus, image sending that thought through your Crown Chakra and towards the moon.
Exchange that thought for positive energy and focus by imagining the light of the moon is pouring into your Crown Chakra and filling your mind with light and clarity.
If you identify as a kitchen witch, incorporate the practice of mindful eating as a key component of your Craft.
In addition to more powerful magic in the kitchen, mindful eating comes with all kinds of benefits, including more enjoyment of your food, a more relaxed attitude at the dinner table and easier digestion.
This technique works especially well for weight loss spells.
Become more mindful of relationship with the earth by establishing a solid practice of natural living.
Making the effort to reduce waste, think mindfully about your consumption and reduce your impact on the environment is deeply rewarding.
In a nature-based spiritual format, our energy exchange with the earth forms the foundation of an interconnected code of ethics.