The world is a spell, an enchantment, an amazement, an arabesque of such stunning rhythm and a plot so intriguing that we are drawn by its web into a state of involvement where we forget that it is a game. – Alan Watts
I’ll be honest, I was hoping the content of this essay would be different, that the spellbreaking I’m writing about would be the broken enchantment of Donald Trump. Poof, in a puff of orange gas, gone, many glad to see him as a distant, strange memory. But, as we’ve learned, his spell has more power than we’d thought.
How does a spell begin? I know this from working magic. You must hold an image of your desire in your mind. Then you use words, incantations, that you repeat over and over again. The more you imagine this image, and the more you repeat the incantations, the more your emotions respond and the stronger the spell becomes. This is the essence of spell-working.
There are personal spells, like the spell of romantic love… and collective ones that make a direct leap from the imagination of one person into many, as propaganda. Hitler was good at this. So is Trump, a Trickster figure who, perhaps by sheer luck, spoke just the right words and images to en-trance a majority of our country into believing that he is the answer to their unrest and dissatisfaction. Match an image with the right words, add emotion, repeat, and you have a spell.
Lynn Bell gave an excellent talk at ISAR on spellbreaking, the inspiration for this essay. We each fall under different enchantments in life, which she suggested we explore by planet. The spell of love is Venus. Perhaps the spell of loyalty belongs to Saturn or Moon, misplaced idealism to Jupiter/Neptune, power to Pluto, etc. Each spell has its own compulsive quality, and it’s subsequent dis-enchantment… falling out of love, falling from power, disillusionment over a job, person or place that formerly enticed us. There are toxic spells. Lynn told the story of a young woman whose mother told her she was unwanted from birth — a very toxic spell.
Via Lynn, Carolyn Myss has said, “I don’t think people realize how easily influenced they are, and the worst aspect of it is that, for the most part, the people who cast spells in our lives hardly qualify for holding that kind of power over us. Give that a serious thought for a moment. Breaking a spell takes a great deal of conscious effort, especially if the source of that spell is a person with whom you have a complex relationship. By complex, I mean that the relationship can be loving, competitive, aggressive, or approval-based — or the person could be deceased.”
So how does a spell break– and when? In magick, to break a negative spell you must understand all the components of it, see the situation clearly, and know that you are not a victim, that you have your own power. You strengthen yourself spiritually and mentally, via meditation and affirmation. You remove yourself from any situation that reinforces the spell (ironically, traveling over a body of water, to another country, is a powerful spellbreaker). And finally, there’s the act of ritual, of taking symbolic action. If this sounds similar to a strategy you’d take in a counselor’s office, psychology and magick have big overlaps.
Through client work, Lynn has linked the progressed balsamic Moon phase, and hard transits of Saturn, to times in our lives when old patterns can finally end. I’m a counseling astrologer, so I can only look at the US as though it were my client. In the US Sibly chart, transiting Saturn is taking its sobering first house journey, while shadowy Pluto opposes our Cancer Sun. We’re having an identity crisis. Who are we? So if this were the chart of your child, or your self, would you abandon them/you during a time of crisis, name call, or figure it out? I experienced both of these transits over the past six years; the temptation of my lower nature was strong and compelling. It was hard to love myself through it, to not get pulled under by fear and negativity, but it can be done. We can grow through this. This spellbreaking will take time.
Full Moons are spellbreaking times. Every month we have an opportunity to break hypnotic patterns. We’ve reached the apex of the lunar cycle whereby we gain the fullest illumination, or awareness, of a situation before the Moon starts her process of letting go into the dark hemicycle. At these monthly Moons, we stand in the fullness of life, yet apart from it, can more objectively see what’s come to pass, and what’s ready to be let go.
There’s a lot to let go of at this Full Moon. Grief, shock, anger and fear, for a start. Yet Taurus Full Moon is a gorgeous affirmation of our personal values, and the beauty of this natural world. The Sun still rises each day, and the Moon, too. On my daily walk with my pup, Magnus, we watch hummingbirds drinking from flowers. No election result changes that. The landscape of our future may be uncertain, but when isn’t it? The real questions are, will this era lower the degree of love we have in our hearts, or raise it? Who will we be? What is the best possible response we can have? It’s time to love stronger, harder. To put our values into action. As we’ve learned, love without power is no match for fear with power.
We can break any negative enchantment with our willingness to see our own true power in this situation. Let’s rise, daily, just as the Sun and Moon do, to our better natures (and imagine that for Donald Trump, too, because we need that from him). And let’s acknowledge we are always weaving spells with our words, images, and emotions, and choose only positive, empowering spells in our lives, knowing that the images and words we give our emotions to, and the frequency we repeat them, verbally and in the privacy of our own mind, will create our reality. And so it is.