Category: Empowerment - The Witches Table
Of the many books and techniques I have read over the years one of the themes which recurs is Affirmation.  The idea of making a positive statement to change how you feel or think about something.  Bear with me...this does get magickal.

I have found when I have used this technique (in various forms) that the one problem is that it never seems to last.  I am sure that on a sub-conscious level it makes a difference but even if I do 20 mins of yoga and pledge to maintain that sense of calm, serenity throughout the day it doesn't usually stay.  All manner of things can disrupt that moment of grace and drive it away; perhaps I run late for work, get a deadline unexpectedly brought forward, encounter some sexism, realise I have library fines.  Good things can disrupt those intentions as well; I'll get lost in a book, enjoy an amazing dinner with a friend or watch a favourite TV series. Suddenly the intention is gone from my mind.

What I need is a way of calling that Affirmation, or intention or sense of serenity back to my conscious mind once something mundane, or delightful or stressful has ejected it. One of the current goals in my personal practice is develop a better joined up thinking about magic and the rest of my life.  To be able to bring a spirit of magickal mindfulness to work and everywhere else.  Being able to recall and re-invoke magickal affirmations discreetly, consistently and effectively would be great.  Enter triggers (the good sort this time, not the bad).  When I make my Affirmation, set my magickal intent or complete my yoga I can have a symbol, a token or talisman to excite my senses which I can come back to throughout the day to remind me of that moment.  Simple yet effective.

If I am at home, I'll light a particular incense.  Sometimes I'll forget about the incense but when I do remember it again (perhaps after re-entering a room after fetching a drink) then at the moment I notice the incense again, I will deliberately call to mind that earlier practice and reinforce it.  The moment of noticing is the trigger to remind you to replay the Affirmation or magickal moment. So the item or token must be something which I will notice again and again at little moments throughout the day. That way I spend the day re-affirming my intention again and again.  I have found this is very effective for both doing background magickal practices, sending absent healing or re-affirming statements and concepts I am trying to abide by.

Some ideas for such discreet tokens of remembrance:

1. Jewelry, that you do not normally wear daily, so you "notice" it when you see it. I particularly like anything that jingles and jangles as tinkling silvery noises playing on my awareness is a very magical way to remind yourself of anything.
2. Clothing or a particular colour which is unusual to you.  I am using red a lot at the moment for manifesting things. You can't fail to notice bright red, sunshine yellow, lime green or magenta.  These are colours made to stand out!
3. A bunch of flowers, are discreet on a desk at work, yet the smell will remind you as will the sight of them.  They are unusual on your desk, unusual enough to remind you why they are there, but not odd!
4. Perfume/essential oils/incense -we do get used to smells after a while and cannot smell them anymore.  But it takes a while for this to happen and before that occurs it is quite hard to tune out smells.
5. Candles (probably not appropriate for work or if you are on the move) are fantastic as not only is your eye drawn back again and again to the light, but also to the slight movement generated by the flame itself. Equally anything that catches the light will work nicely, as a sudden flash or flicker attracts your attention.
6. Photographs or Pictures placed somewhere obvious.  This is my least favourite way of using this practice as I find it all to easy to tune out background clutter after a while. But you may find your eye being constantly drawn back to an amazing picture.

I would shy away from alarms, since I always find them so jarring to my mind and sense of wellbeing; and the idea above is not to be forced into remembering, but gently led there as if by accident.  I have no wish to blend the sense of annoyance and interruption an alarm generates with the magickal manifestation I am attempting - but someone else may find that very effective.

The key though, is not to over-use the particular trigger you pick. If it is over-used it will become a part of the background and no longer prompt you to notice it. It is the sudden moment of noticing which reminds you to redo the working so that must be maintained and kept fresh.

So today I set about my work project in the same sacred spirit of reverence and joy that I put into the Antara Project.  I set up a beautiful working space in my sunny garden, I lit incense to feed my creative juices, I lit a candle, I drank in the atmosphere and connected deeply to the universe and...then I worked on my work project.

The wasn't too bad.  That sounds like faint praise and I really don't mean it to be.  I didn't experience the same depth of joy I feel when working on the Antara Project (and I didn't really expect to - the work project is still a bit dull compared to that).  But the work itself was so much easier,  the ideas seemed to flow better and I didn't resent the time anywhere near as much as I thought I would (and as I have in the past). I am still looking forward to getting the work project done and submitted but I am less stressed, more at one with the universe and feel I have done a much better job today. 

The lesson - I'll stop treating work as a total chore and less deserving of my spirit than other things.  Because when I give it the spiritual treatment, I get a lot more out of it.
I think very few Witches get to enjoy a true integration of all parts of their lives in one joined up tapestry.  Most of us compartmentalise our lives a little bit because there are lots of people in our lives who are probably not very supportive or understanding of the witchy stuff.

I am definitely in that camp.  I have a day job in a successful but very traditional career.  I knew from a young age I wanted that career and so even though I was a pagan before I was a lawyer I had already began to separate out bits of my life, because being a lawyer is hard enough without being labeled a crank.  Fast forward to today and we have a case in point. So I have a spiritual life and a mundane life and they are not integrated at all.  Not one little bit.

I had two projects to work on today.  One is a work project which is a bit dull and I am committed to for the next 18 months.  One is a creative project for my Antara life which I am committed to but is lots of fun and doesn't really have a end date (lets call that the Antara Project - since it is closely connected to spreading my Antara wings). 

For the work project I stuffed myself in my attic study, powered through it, resented the fact it took longer than I'd hoped, felt worried that the middle section wasn't very good and then realised I'll probably have to spend a few more hours working on it tomorrow (which I wasn't expecting) and got really stressed, frustrated and annoyed.

Then I did a bit of work on my Antara Project. Before I started I set up a table and umbrella in my sunny garden, centered myself spiritually, lit powerful incense, lit a candle and with joyous abandon wrote 1500 words like there was no tomorrow.

When I write it down so starkly the difference is clear. I am honouring and in control of one of the projects and it isn't the work stuff. I think if I approached my work projects with the reverence and acknowledgement of spirit I harness when I engage with my creative projects then life might be a little be easier for me.  That is tomorrow's goal - I'll let you know how it goes.