Self Care and Magick

Self-care is a buzzword these days. But like media
representations of magic, representations of self-care
can be confusing. What exactly constitutes self-care? Is
getting a mani-pedi or a new handbag actually selfcare, and if not, what is? Simply put, self-care is any
activity that you do deliberately to take care of your
mental, emotional, or physical health.
Magic dovetails perfectly with the concept of selfcare because magic is about listening to what’s inside
you and the messages the Divine and nature have for
you. Being in the moment in this way opens you up to
an intimate world of information that is supportive of
your well-being. Magic and self-care make excellent
partners on the road to leading a balanced, fulfilling
life.
This chapter will explore not only what self-care is
and some of the damaging self-care stereotypes, it will
also give you some background on the magical
techniques that you will use and explore in the later
chapters of this book.
The Goals of Self-Care
The goals of self-care are simple:
♦ Healthy mind
♦ Healthy body
♦ Healthy spirit
The point of self-care isn’t just about giving yourself
a break. It’s about becoming skilled at identifying your
needs by listening to your mind, body, and spirit. And
not just long-term needs, but also immediate needs,
the needs you have at this very moment.
How hard can it be to listen to yourself? Particularly
difficult, apparently, because a staggering percentage
of the population has difficulty sleeping, anxiety issues,
depression, and an ongoing feeling of failure.
Taking care of yourself is more than inputting food
and making sure you have a roof over your head. It
means treating yourself with the kindness you extend
to everyone around you. It means supporting yourself
the way you support people who are dear to you.
Women in particular struggle with this self-care
issue, although it’s not a woman-exclusive problem.
Women are socialized to care for the people around
them by denying or minimizing their own needs. This
leads to an erasure of self-worth and a constant
putting-off of rejuvenation or addressing the woman’s
own needs for support and nurturing. This in turn can
lead to anger and resentment.
Self-care means considering yourself a worthwhile
person and presenting yourself as valuable, capable,
and deserving. In other words, self-care seeks to
redress an imbalance that develops when you don’t
take proper care of yourself, whether by inattention or
by choice.
Self-care also doesn’t have to involve big, splashy
undertakings. In fact, self-care works better if you do it
in regular small doses, because it helps keep you from
reaching a level where you are in desperate need of
something big to make an impact on how you feel. This
sort of incremental self-care is also beneficial because
small gestures don’t take a lot of time, so there is less
of a sense of stealing time from other responsibilities
or other people. It can help avoid the sense of
selfishness that sometimes accompanies self-care
activities.
Often selfishness is at the root of self-care
stereotypes. Magical work is excellently poised to
fight this feeling, because it generally works on an
unseen, inner level where others cannot judge.