I Am Magic



This isn’t what I planned to read tonight. I had written something else. Then the Universe reminded me that I am magic. There’s no denying it. And yet, I have denied it. For years. Owning my magic was not the done thing. Not acceptable. Not ladylike. Fuck it. Call me a witch. See if I care. It’s a label I wear proudly. Proudly, like my bloody red heart on my sleeve and my iridescently black wings, sharp and to the point.

Our magic is such a powerful thing that historically, any woman who let her talents shine through was at the very least, persecuted, discredited, and vilified. If that didn’t stop her, she was executed.

I’m embracing it. Ramping up the power. Unfounded fear that I let too much leak out. It’s still there. Why waste it? I used to think my hair was my best feature; it’s not. It’s my magic. As I write about my mother, her mother, and my great aunts. I see magic lighting up the double helix of our DNA. We all had it, were all taught to deny it in different ways.

In 1995 when I showed up in Scotland my magic switched on full force. I was the most me I could be. I believe that’s why the pull I feel to return there is so strong in me. A woman I worked with at the Isle of Mull Hotel, her blue eyes piercing mine, said you know things. I nodded. Oh, aye. Her brother later told me I had the brightest aura he had ever seen. I stood taller. Owned it. No hiding my light there.

The world happens and we let our light dim. We don’t have the energy to shine. This morning, while at our magical Poplar Grove School, I drew a card from a deck of Grace Cards by Cheryl Richardson. It said Shine. You are a gift to the world. Boom! We all are gifts in our own ways. We can all Shine with a capital S. The world needs us to Shine.

Later, I read an article by Appalachian writer Anna Wess posted by the magically ethereal Allison Distler, titled The Last of the Granny Witches. And I thought, I’ll be damned, not going to be the last witch on earth. We are not a dying breed.

This world needs all of the magic it can conjure up. I’m going to start acknowledging what my gut knows, use my unique gifts to the best of my ability. Realize that I know these things not just to know them, but to do something with what I know. I will put magic into everything I do. If I make a difference in my own life, I will surely make a difference in the lives of others. Put on my oxygen mask first.

The practices we enjoy at Women Writing for (a) Change have taught me to be a better listener. To others. Now I begin to listen to myself. Say yes to myself. Dust off my magic wand, polish it up, and make it shine; shine bright, clear, and proud.

I’m going to squeeze the last drop of juice out of every day. Wring it dry so that my veins will sop their zinging for the night and I can sleep. Sleep with a Mona Lisa smile on my face, happy in the knowledge that I get to do it all over again tomorrow. And no one can stop me.

Rebekah Riebsomer Spivey


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