Secrets to Casting Spells

The most magical and practical piece of advice I’ve ever received is this…

Ask for what you want.

Because only you know what that is. Because your desires serve an evolutionary purpose. Because no one else can read your mind. Because the world cannot give you what you are not ready to receive.

While “asking for what you want” may sound simple (maybe it even sounds a little cliche), it can be a seriously difficult task. Why? Because – I don’t know – maybe you’re confused about what it is you actually want! If this is the case, then the advice to just ask for it can feel utterly overwhelming, leaving you riddled with anxiety. And I’m there… I am so there right now.

As I write this, I feel pulled in a million directions and unsure of what my next move will be, mostly because I’m not sure what I WANT my next move to be. The thought of asking for what I want seems almost impossible because I can think of tons of things that I want… eventually, but I have no idea which one I want right now. It feels as if my head is spinning and my body is swimming in an endless pool of potential. There is no direct path, there is no right or wrong turn. There is just me and a million different ways to continue my journey.

Asking for what you want can also feel extremely vulnerable. We may even feel shameful or guilty to ask for something, because ultimately we are admitting that we are lacking something, and there is something (maybe material) that fulfill or satisfy this void. Many of us, especially women, are taught to be small, to not take up too much space, to not ask for too much, and to be grateful for what we have. In this conditioning, it only makes sense that asking for what we want is super scary. It takes a rebellious kind of courage, and it requires us to stand in our power fully.

In order to avoid asking for what I want, sometimes I wallow in these shadowy feelings of doubt and insecurity, and I give into bad habits. I might project these dark feelings outward, closing myself off from people. Sometimes, I am swallowed up by the should’s and the should not’s, and I become trapped within the confines of my current conditioning. Other times, I feed off of the stagnant energy by making as many changes in my environment as possible, i.e. obsessively cleaning my house and busying myself with multiple small tasks.

But the other day, I stopped.

Instead of rushing around, telling myself the story of helplessness and imperfection, I went to my art closet and pulled out some materials. I poured myself cranberry juice, lit a candle and some incense, sat down with my beads, and played. I gave myself a small sheet of paper in which to write a statement, and I attempted to let the words spill out from my heart.

Just a little color, a little love, a little poem.

All to myself. All for myself. No one else.

I found my heart in deep gratitude. I found my mind in a state of wonder. I found my body held by this thing that I had created.

Casting spells is not a foreign thing. We are all casting spells at every moment of the day. Whether we are slumped down in misery, asking the world to leave us alone, or whether we are cursing at another person in traffic, wishing resentment and frustration upon ourselves and others – we are always asking for what we want.

If we want to cast a spell that is beautiful, poetic, and full of complexities and delightful outcomes, then maybe the secret is to make something beautiful, and poetic, and full of wondrous, unexpected details.

Maybe the secret is to just make something! Anything!

I bet you have more art materials than you expect. I bet you have an uncanny ability to rhyme and string a beautiful collection of words together. I bet you have a beautiful vision that you cannot even see yet, but you have everything you need to bring it to the surface. So, use your hands, or your mind, or your mouth, or your feet. Put your body into motion and let it create what it wants to create. Reach within your heart, and you shall find what you seek.

Use your senses, and cast your spell.

There ain’t no secret that is beyond your reach.


by Maria Borghoff