Giving Is Magick: Conjuring the Spirit of Plenty
The season of giving and receiving gifts is in full swing. As the days darken, the nights twinkle with light. Candles and and glowing ornaments adorn houses. Jewish families dress their windows with menorahs. Strings of lights in all colors create sparkling corridors in city streets. For some, this is a joyous time filled with fond memories, guilt-free pie and mountains of gifts. Other people find the very sound of “Jingle Bells” to be triggering. This year is especially hard because of Covid. Budgets are already threadbare. Traveling poses the often insurmountable challenge of the pandemic. Family gatherings can become droplet-filled group hugs and/or impassioned fights.
Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are the three modern holidays that celebrate the return of the Sun on or near the darkest day of the year. During these celebrations, families light candles and/or turn on strings of lights wrapped around trees. They often sit down to a feast. Gifts have become part of these traditions especially in recent times and in some cases, particularly for kids. For some, tearing open wrapped presents is the whole point of the season.
This is the time of the year a kid might anticipate getting that bike, iPad, pair of designer jeans. Maybe the small box contains a new phone. Some look forward to stacks of books, gift cards, and other “extras.” The size and scope of this boon ties directly into socioeconomic factors. Sometimes, this leads to disappointment. At other times to the fleeting happiness associated with getting something new. In terms of exchanging gifts, this year looks a little bleak for adults and kids alike.
Festivals of Light in Darkness
Witches and pagans often celebrate the Winter Solstice at the same time as these mainstream holidays are exuding their light. Some witches honor the “darkest night” in the form of the holiday Yule. At its core, Yule marks the passing of the baton from the waning part of the year, during which days get shorter, to the waxing part of the year, during which the Sun returns to full glory. Other witches celebrate St. Lucia’s day, a Viking festival of lights meant to bring hope to the darkness. All of these holidays commemorate the darkest night of the year and the subsequent return of the sun.
The lights may seem dimmer in the darkness of this year, but that just means we need more kinds of light. No matter what holiday you celebrate culturally, religiously or spiritually, you can brightness by injecting magick into both how and what you give. Even if you can’t be with family and friends during the holidays, you can enrich yourself by giving to them in other ways. Some of these “gifts” cost nothing but your time.
The Perfect Gift Giving
One of the most magickal things to me, no matter what time of year, comes in giving the perfect gift. Finding or making exactly the right thing for someone I love makes me happy. I love holding something in my hand and imagining the intended recipient’s smile. That said, some of my top-tier gifts are things I’ve made, such as jewelry. There’s extra magick in this because as I assemble whatever I’m making, I connect the recipient’s energy. I do this as part of “magickal giving.” The resulting gift will then harmonize with the person I am giving it to. Sometimes, though, I find that rattlesnake bone bracelet in the store or just the right book to personally inscribe for the recipient.
Buying From Your Circle
The perfect gift can also involve another important connection: source. As a globe, we have already turned Jeff Bezos into an oligarch! Instead of trolling for the cheapest source on Amazon, think about the people you know, follow on Instagram or are friends with on Facebook. Does any of them make something awesome? Support a small business owner or crafter during the pandemic instead of funneling more money to Amazon. This is a gift in itself. Since many of us live in some version of lockdown, we may have some extra time to spend shopping with intention from sources we may otherwise not even consider.
Buying for Social Good
Small retailers and crafters certainly do not have to exist within your personal circles for this gift-buying magick to work. Communities of color and Native populations have been hit hard by Covid. Money itself can be a magickal tool, especially when used to buy from these groups repeatedly and widely. Channel your spending money into communities compromised by Covid. This will bolster whatever sigil and candle magick you may already be doing. Intentional shopping can be one of devotion to deity, humanity or the concept of economic justice itself. You may not be able to purchase the quantity you are used to, but this practice can help transform your relationship with things, money and prosperity.
A Gift Doesn’t Have to be a Thing You Buy
The Pandemic has stretched many of us so thin that there is no money left to buy gifts. Witches have a real advantage here. We can give of our magick, charging items for protection, prosperity, love and more. These charmed objects can be items we already own. The stronger the connection we have to it, the stronger the magick. This could be a time of slimming down. This is magickal regifting, something that can be potent prosperity magick in itself.
We can also turn what we have into something completely new by crafting herbal blends, tinctures and oils out of the botanicals we have grown, collected or wildcrafted. We can reuse all those jars and spritzers. Another option is to cook some magick into baked goods or meals that can be delivered or sent to friends and family in quarantine or strict lockdown. Magickal fruitcakes are far more delicious than the standard fare.
Giving friends and loved ones gift certificates for healing, spellwork or readings represents another way to give of our own magick for those of us who are scraping the bottom of the piggy bank. I enjoy making fancy cards or designing digital versions to send to loved ones who are open to that sort of thing! In these uncertain times, a reading or some spellwork may really hit the spot. A reading or a spell done via video chat is a good way to spend some quality time with someone who has become isolated due to the pandemic.
Your Presence Is Present Enough
Sometimes giving is even simpler than gift certificates and fruitcakes. We all know people who are alone this year. Make sure they know they are not. Call or video-chat friends who are alone or in quarantine. Make them laugh and make the time you spend chatting about them – their hopes, fears and everything in between. It is amazing what a friendly voice can do for someone who sits there listening to their own thoughts all day or spends most days zoning out to Netflix.
Send those you love the gift of your light, magick and voice. One way I like to connect is to burn specially dressed candles for friends and family members. This is a great idea for those who need healing and protection. Record this ritual on video and state your intention for the person getting it. Tell them all of the things you love about them and send it to them personally, perhaps with a phone call.
Giving is Magick
Every act of magickal giving creates ripples of abundance that spread far and wide and even come back to your own shores. This type of magick, when repeated and done widely, defies the restrictive “scarcity mindset” regarding resources in which our economy exists, and reshapes it in the “spirit of plenty.” That’s real magick! It is important to note that to make your giving magickal, you must add intention and energy to the process. Sit with the gift and feel your intention fill it. Let the intention be loose and wide-reaching, and include the nourishing spirit of plenty that benefits us all.
Magickal giving does not have to be limited to the holiday season. Doing it year round adds to power to the spirit of plenty you are cultivating. For the recipient, a random present on an unexpected day may outshine one received during the holiday season amid the shuffle. Spreading the cost out over the whole year also has the effect of spreading abundance through the joy of giving and receiving.