For the past year I’ve been taking part in a series of magical activism workshops, hosted by the American Witch Starhawk. The workshops have a ritual style framework and consist of part talk, part exercises. These exercises include chanting, grounding, visualisations, spell casting, divination, martial art, even baking bread! The workshops are delivered via zoom. You can watch them live or, if that’s not possible for some reason, a recording of the workshop will be delivered to you by email within 36 hours. I always watch them as recordings due to the fact that the live sessions are held at 5:30 pm PST, which is the middle of the night for me!
I find the workshops very therapeutic. Starhawk might be best known as a new age radical but she’s also a wise old woman. I often derive wisdom from the workshops which I can use in my personal life as well as my activism one. Obviously, Starhawk being American, the political events mentioned are often American ones but the basic concepts discussed could easily be applied to events going on in other areas of the world.
As well as the video workshops there is also an online community for those taking part. Therefore I’m able to connect with other witches for the first time to discuss ritual reflections amongst other things, and share resources.
A second series of Starhawk’s magical activism is now starting. The last series originally consisted of seven episodes but, due to COVID19 forcing Starhawk to cancel many of her other events, it ended up as ten! The 2021 series will consist of eleven episodes. All the episodes in the coming series will have closed captioning and ASL interpreters.
The ethics of using magic in activism
I know some people are suspicious of using magic in activism – is it fair, is it safe, is it just ? My personal political philosophy is that good politics is the simple art of persuading the opposing side that what you want is what they want. To refer to the quote from Dion Fortune, in other words, to create a change of consciousness in your opponents! With this philosophy in mind, good politics is an act of magic!
The joy of democracy
I appreciate that politics is something that makes many people feel nauseous right now and understandably so. However I have to tell you that I don’t believe there’s such a thing as being ‘non-political’ or ‘beyond politics’. Politics is a part of our everyday lives whether that’s how much you get paid (and taxed), how you travel or even what you eat for breakfast! The joy of living in a democracy should be in our ability to take responsibility for it and have a say in how our lives are run.
A free live session, Protective magic for democracy, will take place on the 19th of January 5:30 pm PST with the first official session of the series, Visioning the future, on January 21st. Tickets are sold on a pay as you feel basis and will go towards the running of the series and other Starhawk projects. Visit Eventbrite for more information and to buy tickets. I might see you there!