To say that I’ve been learning about magic and Witchcraft for ten years sounds silly, at least compared to other people. There are those who grew up in families where these practices were common, and others who have been practicing for much longer than a decade. However, since I was 13 years old I have been reading, searching, reading, practicing, and reading a little more. Something that I have done very often, especially when I do not have all the tools I would like, is to use the music that I listen to as a means to do magic.
At 13 it was impossible to tell my parents that I wanted candles in odd shapes and colors, herbs, or stones, much less an athame. I was already the weird child in the family because of the dark things I liked, being gothic and addicted to reading. Adding Paganism and Witchcraft to the mix wouldn’t have been a good idea, at least not at the time.
When a person has gifts, however, there always comes a time when they must use them. I have said this to many friends and I have always seen that this is fulfilled. Many times something has happened to someone I know, and they have come to me for help because they do not know what to do. I try to the do the best I can, but I remind them that they can do these things too – it’s not something exclusive to me.
At one point, I had a constant need to defend myself, to defend my family, my friends, and others, and it was frustrating to constantly read that for a protection spell I would need a bit of one thing and a little more of another thing, and I had none of them on hand. What is the budget for an insecure 13 year old? I couldn’t raid the condiments in the house either, because questions would come later, and there was no sensible way to explain why my room smelled of cinnamon, for example. “It’s just that it helps me to sleep and I like how it looks on the floor,” I could have said. “But don’t touch it for 24 hours.” I would have ended up at the psychiatrist.
One day, when I was 15 or 16 years old, I learned that my father had cancer. It was the second time he was going to have surgery, and this time everything was more delicate than the first. I felt like I didn’t have enough time. Sometimes I would sneakily buy candles and light them as soon as I was left alone, but something told me that that being alone would not be enough. Today I know that one can do wonders with such a small flame, but at that time I started to think about what I could do to help him without attracting so much attention.
The only thing I could think of was to listen to music, visualize my magic, and send that wish out into the universe. It sounded simple and practical, and it had the advantage that I could always wear headphones. At the time I didn’t like any of the folk or New Age music that everyone seemed to use. I was listening to Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson – and I still do – and I told myself that would have to be enough. Didn’t everything on the internet say that intention was paramount? I was going to put it to the test.
One of the advantages of having Asperger Syndrome is that I can understand things differently and draw my own conclusions. I did not understand English that well at the time, which allowed me to focus only on the music and the rhythm until I read the lyrics on the internet. I decided to try a single by Kesha that I loved and that I associated with freedom, because I wanted to free my father from his illness so that he would be healthy again. I used a single from Skillet to call the hero or heroes that inhabited me; wasn’t Scott Cunningham saying that the gods live outside and within us?
I barely closed my eyes before the images came to my head. I saw my father in front of me; the two of us were in a forest, and rays of white light came out of my hand. I have always been creative and of volatile imagination – it’s one of the reasons why I write – so I would let any fantasy scenario come to life in my mind: animals appeared, trees swayed, stars rained down, mist of any color came out, and more. Anything could happen, as long as I was sure that my father at least received their energies.
Although I ended up with both a racing pulse and a racing breath, I repeated this two, three, four, five times, even more if I felt the need. It was about my father’s life, and if I had to destroy my ears – well it would be worth it.
He would fall apart over time; his condition worsened, and my mother wasted herself tending him to an impossible degree, and I could only watch and press my lips together. As soon as I left the house, I would put my headphones on, turn the volume up to maximum, close my eyes, and yell for help in my mind.
The first person I hugged in the new year of 2013 was my father. Soon after I received the message that my father would not make it to June of that year. I lived with my headphones on, listening to music relentlessly and visualizing more intensely than before. The magic gave me chills: my breath stopped, my head hurt, I wanted to cry, and my muscles were tense, among other things, for all the emotions I felt. But still, I just hit the replay button.
My sanior, as I called him, passed away on October 9, 2013, but in early summer he had to leave our house to go to our family’s residence. My mom could no longer take care of him alone, and she needed someone to give her a hand. There were her six siblings and the rest of her family, my grandmother, and several neighbors and acquaintances who were always willing to do whatever was necessary, not to mention a countryman doctor, a close friend of the family, who came every day to give him his treatment. I was 18 years old when he passed.
I felt so worthless, so disappointed in myself, that I didn’t feel like doing anything when it came to Witchcraft. What kind of Witch could I be if I hadn’t been able to help my father? I told myself that if I couldn’t do something so important, even after trying every day to do my best, then what was the point of continuing to learn and practice? I reproached myself many times, so many times, that my father himself sent me a message through my mother that same month.
Almost ten years later, the wound is closed, but the tears still come out when I remember those months. Still, now I just need to remember a song that I like to start working. I have used this method to clean my house and heal my mother, my brother, and even my dog; I have defended myself, sent therapies over long distances, done divination sessions; I’ve healed myself endless times, when I was about to collapse, and always with good results.
I understand that my father was not destined to live another day, that we all have a limit. Although the bittersweet taste remains (though it lessens with time, truth be told), the guilt does not.