Let’s face it, Charmers, the critical component to success or failure in your goals is your ability to do shit you don’t want to do. I can promise you that your goals are crammed chock full of glistening gems that you would rather claw your own eyes out than address. If you liked addressing these things, your goals wouldn’t be goals, they would be called Items I Am Already Doing No Problem-o.
What have I been putting off? I’m proud to say that, in all honesty, there’s not much left. I’ve dealt with my fear of returning to the underworld. I’ve started working on practical magics. I’ve even dealt with most of the meatspace relationship issues that I’ve been (uncharacteristically) letting fester. As I sit here and thing about things, that really only leaves one: putting out my shingle as a professional ritual specialist.
Long-time readers will recall that I’ve talked about this a few times. I feel strongly called to serve the community in several ways, and feel that I have particular talents in other areas as well.
1) Rites of Passage. This is the strongest calling by far. Too many people lack access to solid groups and traditions to help mark their transitions. Dedications, initiations, whatever. I have already performed my first wedding.
2) Protection Spells and House Cleaning. I have relatively little experience with most forms of practical magic, but when it comes to shielding and protection I am not afraid to say that I am a badass. I performed my first ghost-banishing about a decade ago. I have helped mediate between some friends of mine and the genus loci of their ancestral land. When the clueless amateur drug-dealers who lived in the apartment below Aradia and I got into fight where someone drew steel, the bullet went harmlessly into their floor instead of up into our apartment, us, or our cats (you may be tempted to call that a failure of our wards, but no amount of magic could completely shelter the building from their level of stupidity).
3) Divination and Consultation. Tarot, astrology, natal genius/demon work. I’ve still got a lot to learn about the latter two, of course, and I’ve only done public readings a few times. But it’s valuable work and it can be immensely rewarding.
4) Spells, Charms, and Enchantments. People have needs. I’m a magician. Whether it’s designing and/or participating in rites for fellow practitioners, or doing it all for the “mundane” … I can help. This, however, is where we really start to drift away from the calling into the “that would be fun!” Designing and aiding in magical rituals for less or otherwise experienced practitioners falls into the same category as the rites of passage, but the rest … well, there’s a little bit of greed and ambition there, too.
5) Teas, Potions, and Homebrew. Because they’re fun, and because when I really go at it, I’m pretty damn good… even if most of my close personal friends are actually even better. Fortunately, back in Sunrise Indiana, I won’t be competing with them.
6) Mask Making. I make sacred masks. I need to make more of them. I can’t keep them all in the first place, and the use of magical masks is a practice I wish to encourage in neo-Pagan witchcraft—that means gifting and selling them.
That’s a long list of services for a beginner. And how does one build a clientele? How does one make sure one’s clientele doesn’t reach a point where it conflicts with other obligations—chiefly school, in my case, but also friends and family? And how does one advertise when one wishes, out of concern for one’s academic professionalism, to keep a certain distance of plausible deniability between ones public identity and a blog such as this?