Many artists create themselves.
We are born middle class, or broke. We don’t choose our nationality, our gender or our race. Even though I’m sure many folks I know would consider me New Age, I don’t believe we choose our parents in some pre-birth akashic social contract.
We get dropped into life from the mysterious Beyond. Our karma was created by our ancestors, we don’t get a choice in it. When we arrive here on planet earth, our only recourse, as Joan Didion might confirm, is to play it as it lays.
When we’re children, we don’t get to choose if people perceive us as sickly weirdoes. The social mathematics that goes into calculating the value of our race or gender is beyond our control. But as we grow, we can become artists. And artists are magicians. Artists are witches.
And witches can change their reality.
Consider Audre Lorde.
A powerful witch, the poet Audre Lorde was born to austere immigrant parents; she was female, black, and grew up to become a lesbian. In other words, Lorde was born into a body that many people might argue came with some serious disadvantages (compared to the white, middle class, Protestant male her culture lauded at the time).
In her book The Black Unicorn, Lorde writes:
“… I do not dwell
within my birth nor my divinities
who am ageless and half-grown
and still seeking
witches in Dahomey
wear me inside their coiled cloths
as our mother did
I have been woman
for a long time
beware my smile
I am treacherous with old magic
and the noon’s new fury
with all your wide futures
and not white.”
As she said herself in one of her most famous speeches, “Those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are Black, who are older — know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”
Taking your differences and making them a strength is an act of magic.
Magic is any ceremonial act of the imagination used to transform reality according to our will. Rather than being a tool of the master, magic is the tool of the witch.
And the magic happens in our spells. For many of us, just as in Audre Lorde’s poem, writing is the form our spells take.
Through our writing, we can transform ourselves into the people that we want to become. By transforming the way we see the world, as Lorde did, we transform the world itself.
So often, we focus on the things that we don’t like. We focus on the ways we feel trapped. What’s more challenging, but ultimately far more rewarding than that, is to stake a claim and calling into being the reality that you DO want to see take root.
With our writing magic, we find the chinks in the armor of the oppressor, we find the space we need to grow our new world.
You can create your reality with your words, with your artwork. Your creations are your spells.
This Saturday afternoon from 3-5pm, writer Francesca Lia Block and I will be holding a workshop on Writing As Magic. In this workshop you will use your writing as a spell to transform your reality. Create of yourself the person that you wish would come save you. Do it in beauty. Do it in love. Find your power and use it.
Writing Is Magic Workshop Details
When: May 13, 2017, 3-5pm
Where: Private home in Culver City, RSVP for more details
How Much: $50
In love and magic,