Magic As Self-Care

One of magic’s main focuses is healing—healing of
the self, healing of the earth, healing of humanity and
nature. In this sense, magic and self-care go hand in
hand. Self-care is a way to maintain your health, heal
your spirit, and maintain or optimize your emotional,
mental, and physical health. Magic helps with self-empowerment and exerting control over your life,
encouraging a focus on yourself as the best person you
can be. These are all things that resonate well with the
general goal of self-care.

The practice of magic seeks to establish or balance
connection between an individual and the
environment. If a spiritual aspect is added, then
magic also seeks to balance or maintain the
connection between the individual and the Divine.

Incremental Self-Care
There’s a tendency for people to say, “Oh, just
exercise; your depression will vanish” or “Take up yoga
and you’ll be a much better person spiritually!”
That’s not how self-care works. Self-care is a
complicated interwoven combination of hundreds of
small acts and an attitude shift. Using just one of the
rituals, spells, or practices in this book is not going to
solve your problems. But each will make you feel a
little better and hopefully help you see that you are
worthy of self-care and deserve to take the time and
attention you need. Even though it may not make your
fatigue vanish completely, taking care of yourself is
still a valuable thing. Cleaning up a room won’t
eliminate your anxiety, but it will make the atmosphere
healthier and more comfortable to be in, and that’s
important.

Fighting the Stereotypes of Self-Care
The media pushes self-care “solutions” in the form of
spa days and retail therapy. It’s frustrating, because
these solutions assume that you are of a certain class
with certain options available to you. They assume that
you have disposable income; they assume that you
actively desire these things and deny yourself for some
reason; and they assume that you have the time to
engage in these activities, even as a treat.
These media suggestions also assume that engaging
in these kinds of activities will fill a gap in your life,
implying that you are somehow not normal if engaging
in one doesn’t fill the void in your heart. Take courage!
The media view of self-care does not have to align with
your sense of self-care…and, in fact, it’s probably
healthier if it doesn’t.

Self-Care Guilt
Another stereotype of self-care is of someone lazily
lounging on a sofa eating chocolate and ignoring
chores. This stereotype is harmful in that it suggests
taking a few minutes to yourself between tasks is
letting an unspecified “everyone” down in some way. It
implies that if you’re not wholly immersed in handling
things, you are failing somehow. This is one of the most
harmful stereotypes associated with self-care, because
you are being told that you aren’t taking things
seriously enough if you aren’t always working for the
benefit of someone other than yourself. It tells you that
if you take a moment or two for yourself, you should
feel guilty.