#8 Creating a Structure for Your Magic Practice

Dear Wizard,

I’ve been meaning to write you. But, I keep putting it off. Which is ironic, I suppose. Since that is part of my problem. I am a writer who can’t seem to write anything. Well, I mean, I can write things. Or I could write things. When I was in college, I could write things. On deadline. A paper a week.

Easily enough.

But— I’m sure you’ve heard this before— I never started my paper until the night before it was due. I fueled my words by using what felt like my superpowers of procrastination.
And now that I have recently graduated from college…

It’s like I’ve dried up. I can’t seem to pry a word from my mind. What can I do? I’ve tried self-imposed deadlines. However, I don’t seem to be able to manipulate those the way that I could school deadlines. So, I find myself doing nothing but watching TV and browsing the web. Maybe looking for shitty dead end jobs when I could be using this time more wisely.

Procrastination Percy (he/ him)

Dear Percy,
The delights of the Universe are vast. And sometimes that creates fear within. Fear that we all to drive us. As a wizard, it is important to not allow the fear of the unknown drive you. I think you have several problems in the missive you have sent me.

Firstly: you have left your educational institution. Secondly: You are putting pressure on yourself to perform. Thirdly: You are afraid. The farther away you are from your last cast spell the more the fear builds inside of you. This allows the fear to control you.

I will address these each in their own turn. I listed them in order, but they are of equal importance, because in learning the mysteries of the Universe balance in one’s own being is of utmost importance. Upsets in the balance of self create blocks when one tries to access the wonders of the Universe.

So, I will address these issues in the order that I have listed them, but I want you to know that I have not necessarily listed these issues in the order of importance. As they all hold weight, and it is by resolving each of these issues that will restore balance that will allow you to return to your magical practice.

With that noted, I will turned to your graduation from school. This is a big change in your life, Percy. You are out in the wide world. There is no one telling you how to manage your magic anymore. No one setting expectations on what spells to learn. Or how to perform them. Even though you used the structure that school provided to procrastinate and create stress in your life, you found the pre-formed structure of school useful to you.

Now that you are on your own, you find yourself struggling to find structure. I think that perhaps deadlines worked for you in school because you had other people’s expectations riding on them. Whose expectation is your self-imposed deadline riding on? No one, but yourself, and you are allowing yourself to slide. This could perhaps be fixed by several approaches. I will suggest a few and if none of them seem to jibe with your personality then feel free to explore new structures of your own devising.

If you wish to continue with deadlines: you could join a group with a shared deadline, you could ask a friend to set a deadline and hold you to it, or you could perchance look at a magical journal and set a goal to publish in that journal. I know that the Newts Eyes & Crystal Balls are looking for articles. Their current deadline is April 15, 2020. That may be too soon for you, but there are other journals and magazines out there for wizards. By making your goal tied to a submission deadline then you have outside pressure on the deadline, which could potentially help you to keep your deadline.

Other ways to create structures without deadlines:
Create daily, weekly, or monthly goals. For example, I document my dreams in my grimoire as part of my inner journey through this Universe. Another wizard I know, documents their daily meditations in their grimoire. It could be a documentation goal. Or perhaps a movement goal. Or something else, but these goals help to create a structure around your day. This will help you to stay in balance within yourself.

Next, I want to discuss with you the pressure to perform I read in your letter. The Universe is out there and expansive. It is waiting for us. It is patient. It doesn’t need us to rush to it. However, I sense your hesitation. I hear the question on your lips: what if something goes wrong? I want to ask you to re-frame the way you approach your magical practice. Because right now you are coming at it from a place of fear.
Perhaps the question you could ask yourself is: what is something right? What if I find something unexpectedly wonderful?

Finally, as you re-frame your magical practice, and start to unravel the fear you to let go of the fear. The fear seems to be controlling you at the moment. That is leading you to inaction. And inaction breeds inaction, which then breeds fear. Thus, I implore you, once you have re-framed your magical practice in your mind to do something with your practice.

It doesn’t have to be casting an elaborate spell or ritual. It could be as simple as recharging your wand. Or practicing setting a protective circle. You could light a candle and send the Universe a quick invocation. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

If you can manage to do these three things, I do believe that you will stop your procrastination and dig into the wonders that the Universe has to offer. I wish you luck and offer you courage.

Sincerely,
A Wizard