Working Witch: Balancing Work, Life, and a Spiritual Practice

A few days ago, one of my coworkers asked me to make a clickable PDF.  I agreed to take the task (even though I had no idea how to do that), looked up how to accomplish my goal, and turned her document into a clickable PDF.  The whole process took about a half an hour. When I returned the document back to my coworker, she responded to me by saying, “Oh my god I think you are a wizard.”

Not going to lie. I chuckled.

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This is not the only time that coworkers of mine have used Pagan and Witchcraft terminology to describe my job performance.  My boss often likes to say that I “work my magic.”  But the funny thing is, I am not out as a Pagan to the vast majority of my coworkers.  I find this fascinating that despite the fact that only a handful of my coworkers know about my spiritual life, they are using Pagan, Wicca, and Witchcraft terminology to describe my job performance.  The first couple of times it happened, that completely blew my mind.

And then I took a beat and thought about it.  Consider the triskele, the symbol at the beginning of this blog post.  One interpretation of this symbol is that it represents the interconnectivity of all things and all the aspects of the self.  Everything comes together and meets in the middle.  With that logic in mind, it is quite natural that aspects of my Pagan life come into my professional life. And vis versa.

When it comes to balancing work life, personal life, and spiritual life, I think the best way to get a handle on putting all parts of life in balance is to accept that all aspects of the self work together to create a whole life.  In essence if you could use the word life to describe an activity that you do or something that you value, it is part of a larger system that comprises your world.  If the image of the triskele doesn’t work for you, think of your life as a puzzle.  Your work life, your Pagan life, your home life, your gym life, your bowling league life, and your TV watching life all make up aspects of your Life.

Once you realize that each part of your life works with all the other parts of your life, it actually gives you a ton of freedom to work out how much of your time you want to devote to each part of your life.  If your life is your job, then spending 60 hours per week at your place of employment is totally natural. If you want to spend more time in ritual, take a look at where you are spending your time now, be honest about how you are wasting time or overcommitting yourself, and shift your priorities accordingly.  It is important to remember that your life is a direct result of how you spend your time and the choices you make.  The most important thing you can do while reflecting on work-life balance is to make sure you are working from a place of self knowledge and from a place of authenticity.  Yes, there are some commitments that will take more of your time than you might like for reasons you can not control.  But unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances, you can tinker with the vast majority of your time.

Now when it comes to Pagan-specific balance, finding space for your needs is so, so important.  I know there are some cultural and structural barriers that can prevent a full immersion into a Pagan spiritual practice.  Despite growing universal cultural competence around witchcraft and freedom of religion in the workplace legislation in a lot of states, it is not always possible for Pagans and witches to take off for holidays and moon rituals.  Consider being a little flexible.  Can you designate your personal days for Samhain and Beltane?  If other religious holidays close your shop or office or are popular days for your coworkers to take time off, can you talk to your boss and work remotely during Christmas and Easter but take off Yule and Litha?  Can you swap time off with a coworker? If you absolutely cannot talk to your manager or your human resources department about your Pagan life for whatever reason, can you keep a cushion of sick days available and just call in sick on Mabon?  When it comes to moon rituals, it can be tough to come home from work, put food on the table, spend time with your family, and then perform a ritual.  Upside: the Full Moon is three days long. You have three days to get your act together.  So, plan to perform your ritual on the first day, then give yourself some slack if you need to push it back a day or two.  When it comes to daily practices, I strongly recommend setting alarms on your phone or putting notes around your home to hold yourself accountable to your spiritual practice.  The last thing I want to stress is to prioritize what you find to be the most important to you.  If you find moon rituals or meditation to be optional, then don’t stress if you miss one or seven rituals or sessions.  Concentrate your energies on what fills you up, not what you think will make you a “good Pagan.”

If you are interested in quick tips and tricks on bringing in you Pagan practice to work, two years ago I wrote a blog post called Witch Tips: Wicca at Work.  Please feel free to check it out!

© Ariadne Woods

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