Hi everyone! My name is Tammy and I’m an Eclectic Pagan High Priestess here in San Diego, CA. I’m also a Tarot Reader, Licensed Minister, and the Proprietor of Broomsticks Designs, a small home business and Etsy store.
I recently joined the Sabbath Social family where I’ll be sharing my tips and knowledge for honoring the Full Moons & Sabbats on a monthly blog.
I’ll also be available to answer your questions monthly on the live channel. And I’ll be adding my answers to big questions from these sessions on the blog as well. There’s no judgement here, so please don’t hesitate to send me your path related questions (or any question).
We only have about half an hour, so if we run out of time or I don’t know the answer, I’ll do my best to find it and get back to you next month!
Tonight we’ll be kicking off with a pretty major question that many witches are afraid to ask:
Do you ever get “Witch Burnout?”
How does one recover and/or stay active in their practice?
How does one recover and/or stay active in their practice?
In a word? YES!
ANY person who does a ritualistic thing over and over for a given length of time-- be it what you choose to cook each week, the order of steps taken to perform your job, or how you practice your spiritual or religious path—gets burned out on the routine from time to time (whether they admit it or not).
But in this case, burnout can be a sign of needing to take a break, needing to change up how you connect with your Higher Power(s) (and/or who you connect to), or to accept that what you’ve been practicing no longer serves you and your greater good.
The most important thing to do when you realize this is happening is to own it and not beat yourself up about it. Being burned out doesn’t make you any less dedicated to your path. Nor does it make you a “bad witch.” Even if you decide to stop practicing all together.
Feeling burnout makes you human. And it encourages you to take the time needed to reflect upon your growth, needs, and motivations for doing what you do.
People have different words for it, but in general there are 4 stages of motivation that one must experience in order to want to consistently carry out anything—including practicing their craft/path.
I call them: Sway, Capability, Practicality, and Association.
Are you honoring what you do, the way you do, because you feel obligated to? Because you see a given date on the calendar, have been taught that “it’s tradition,” or because you think that, “All of the other good and true practitioners will be doing it. So if I want to be a “real witch,” then I have to as well.”
Or, do you honor what you do, the way you do, because of a personal need/call and desire to? It can be helpful to reflect upon what sways you to practice what and how you do from time to time—especially when you feel burned out.
Our intent, thoughts, words, and tools are powerful things. But they have little magick, without faith.
When burnout sets in, do you still feel as confident in yourself as a witch? One has to believe in themselves, in their Higher Powers, and in their ability to craft and connect.
Sometimes taking a break for a month or more is good for you. Those who watch over you won’t love you or protect you any less for honoring yourself and your needs first and foremost. They want you to be happy, strong, and confident!
You will know if or when the time is right to return, and what or how you need to pick back up or move forward.
Practicality is the sister of Sway. It’s your sense of value in practicing what and how you do. So when you are feeling burned out, other questions to ask yourself might be:
“Do I still need this?”
“Do I still have a sense of purpose and reward as a result of practicing this way?”
“What is the value of honing my craft this way?”
You know, there’s never anything wrong with considering other traditions. Sometimes all one needs to beat burnout is to shake their routine up a bit.
When evaluating the practicality of your practice, you may want to take into account all the ways you have grown since you began. (Or since the last time you felt burnout.)
If what you’re practicing no longer aligns with the witch you are, burnout can be a sign of evolution and a nudge to seek new truths and tools.
Speaking of potential evolution, when burnout sets in, it’s common to ask ourselves, “What’s my motivation?” But a better question to ask might be, “What’s my association?”
Or more directly: in your opinion, how are you relating to your image and ideas of how a “proper witch,” “real witch,” or “truly dedicated” practice of the craft (your craft) should look like, act like, or feel?
Want an even deeper question? Ask yourself if this image/idea truly your belief, or one that was given to you by family/elders, teachers, the media--or some false assumption or expectation you somehow developed?
If your deepest desire and focus has been more on acting like an ideal of what is the “perfect witch” than it has been on the actual act of being a witch—well no wonder you’re feeling fried!
Repeat after me: There’s no one way to witch.
And what you believed to be ideal when you first began may or may not change as you do over time.
So please honor your growth over expectations!
In the meantime, as you work through the feeling of burnout and the reasons why, if you don’t want to completely step back or stop your practices, then I suggest the K.I.S.S. method (keep it simple, spell-caster).
Remember, intention is everything and YOU are your most magickal tool. So if you don’t feel like holding a whole ritual, how about just lighting a candle? (White always works if you don’t have the colors of a given Sabbat or Moon.)
Don’t want to write anything? Thoughts are just as powerful! And your Higher Powers can still hear you. (That’s why we’re encouraged to keep our thoughts in “good order.”)
Don’t want to go all out with the seasonal decorations? Just put out one or two of your favorite things, or just make one of your favorite related foods. Or just dress in colors associated with the given sabbat or moon purpose.
Is that still too much? Then maybe just wear your favorite talisman, or carry your favorite stone(s).
Do a little, do a lot—or do nothing.
The point is, to do whatever is right for you. (With harm to none.)
Burnout like all growth and discovery, is a process. It happens for a reason. So don’t try to rush it, or you’ll be more likely to rebound back to it.
Ok, I know that was a long answer, but big questions call for big answers!
I hope my tips help you, but as always, remember to do only what works for you.
Thanks for watching, and I wish you many blessings!
And happy birthday to all the Leos and my fellow Virgos out there!
It’s always an honor to be of service, so please send me your burning questions and come back next month for more answers and Tam’s Tips!
(Hint/Teaser: I’ll be focusing on the pros & cons of Mercury Retrogrades and new questions that come up on the Live)