In May this year I went on a solo road trip leaving home and all that anchors me into the responsibility side of life behind. I decided to experiment, as I had been feeling cooped up and stuck for some time, like so many during the last year.
I find after a time of still-standing not only I need to move physically, I also need to explore and rediscover myself psychologically and spiritually, otherwise I begin to feel weighed down by life. I need a change and a challenge.
The trip turned out to be very insightful, for which I am very grateful, as it fulfilled my desire for diving deeper into understanding some of the things I had been going through internally for many yearly cycles now. It was important for me to see if this time I could attempt to break those cycles again and unleash myself from being stuck in a place that became emptied of a sense of personal freedom and joy.
One of the main things I found out was that I liked being ‘by myself’, but not ‘with myself’. Two different things. It exposed a side to self-exploration that sometimes can become toxic and overbearing. I suspected this might have been the case for many years and consciously moved away from inner work during certain points and when it started to impact on everything negatively. Yes, that can happen. Too much of one thing at the wrong time can have the opposite effect to what one might be wanting to do. It got me thinking in terms of long-term healing and short-term solution/action-based types of personal therapy, as my point of reference. Is a long-term exploration good for us, or is it better undertaken in manageable/digestible chunks? I suspect the later is true, for me anyway.
So, I wanted to define for myself the difference between being ‘by yourself’ and being ‘with yourself’? Those two differ, and here is my definition and understanding of each.
Being ‘by yourself’ means being solitary, in solitude. It is not being lonely, isolated, or abandoned. I really enjoy being by myself; being quiet and alone in a way that nothing and no one can interfere or interrupt my chosen flow and I am in control of what happens in each moment. It is being removed from burdens and responsibilities of day-to-day life. This type of solitude is intentional and conscious. To me it is something I can not be without. It is the ultimate manifestation of my personal freedom, which I value above all.
Being ‘with yourself’ means being aware of your internal processes and for me that is not necessarily good all the time especially when I choose to be by myself. One can be deeply unconscious and one is chosen. When that happens a conflict can arise. Being ‘with yourself’ can involve thoughts going round and round and you are able to hear them, engage with, act upon, or become overwhelmed. It can be feeling more, as there is no external noise or distractions that require your attention. Overall, it means you are more present with yourself and everything that you carry within you. This is something that I find difficult, as my mind becomes very loud and my thoughts can take me places I do not want to go especially when I am being consciously and wanting to be ‘by myself’. My purpose of choosing to be by myself is, in fact, the opposite. I do it to quieten everything to a soft pace or at the very least gain clarity. Having said that this only relates to my ‘head’, my thinking. I would never aim to quieten my feelings and instincts. Those, to me, are the essence of being and mechanisms that keep me in touch with myself in a positive, useful way, not disruptive and overwhelming. Those ‘feeling’ functions of myself are my creativity, my soothing tools and something that makes me flourish be it bringing ideas into being or directing me towards where I need to go. I tell you intuition in the mountains, I called it ‘follow your nose and gut’, is a very useful tool. Something I experimented with, as I use intuition in all areas of my life.
What I realised again is that the way for me not to be with myself in a negative way I need to do something. There is a time and a place for ‘being with myself’, I found, and it really does depend on what I do with my time ‘being by myself’ whether ‘being with myself’ would impact me negatively.
In this case my trip was planned and intentional and hiking is an activity that always works for the benefit of my mind. For that to work I do need a plan, a route, in this case, a goal, a destination, some focus that benefits my physical, mental, and spiritual selves. It has to be something physical, something that will use your body. When I walk, I am aware of just walking, taking in the scenery and being aware of my feet making progress reflected in the distance I have done around me and on the map route. There is something reassuring about putting one foot in front of the other and the metaphor for getting through something really comes alive in this activity. If thoughts come in on a hike, they are easier to discern, i.e. not getting tangled up, they are less threatening or deep somehow. I find they clarify and disperse quicker and answers come more naturally.
I thought many might relate to this hiking/thinking pattern scenario and seeking relief in nature, as well as, looking at healing from your own perspective and what works for you as an individual. These days I am into analysing less and being more. One of the way to bring that into being is for me to write blogs again rather than processing things using my journal, which has become one of those suffocating tools that can really take me places I never intended to go. Something to do with concise nature and being in the present/external rather than internal, which links back again to a long-term/short-term way of healing.
I hope you found this interesting and might relate to some of the things I discuss.
My book Intuitive Magic Practice discusses the subject of intuition in life in general and in a spiritual practice, if you wish to delve further into it.
Intuitive Magic Practice review
There’s so many books out there on ‘how’ to explore your own magic. What made this one stand out to me was the word ‘Intuitive’ – which is pretty much how I’ve worked for many years now!
Natalia speaks honestly and clearly about how to ‘reclaim your voice’. From discovering how your intuition feels, to allowing yourself to be guided by it, she uses anecdotes and advice from her own experience – not telling the reader what to do, but encouraging them in what they may have already been doing! People speak of ‘returning’ to Paganism, and this absolutely reinforces practices that you may have played with as a child – listening to birdsong, carrying a favourite stone, being aware of the turning of the seasons and moon phases.
So much modern-day learning is intellectual that it can be hard to let yourself go and simply trust yourself and your…
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You are the master of your own spiritual path. It is a joyous process to begin gathering things together into a magical practice that comes from inside of you.
I believe that your inner voice and your emotions are the two best navigating systems that you can use to guide you through life situations. My mission statement has been Remember Who You Are. I have been living my life completely intuitively in every area for many years and it has been something that anchors me in my experiences and self-knowledge. Connecting to your intuitive and working with it creatively and authentically is a magical experience.
If you are on a spiritual path and, perhaps, finding it challenging to pinpoint what your path is, I suggest you remain open, patient and take it as a life-long commitment to finding your own way while connecting to parts or aspects of whatever spiritual paths you become aware of while searching, researching and experimenting. Invite information and experience in and allow your intuition to transmit it to you and direct you towards what makes your soul sing.
Whatever practice surfaces for you, remember that things most likely will evolve over time, as your energy and life experience change and as you get more confident in using yourself as the main tool for your practice. Intuition will be you best guiding tool while you are searching and especially as you are starting out. You are not lost; you are collecting parts of yourself that might have been hidden. You are resurrecting your own experience of spirit the way it had always been within you.
Would you like to live your life in a magical, unique, and meaningful way?
Would you like to reclaim your voice that has been silenced?
Do you feel you have a lot of choices and directions when it comes to magical practice, but not everything resonates?
Would you like to create your own way of doing magic and feel empowered by it?
Do you love and connect with nature and feel guided by the Elements?
Intuitive Magic Practice, part of the Pagan Portals series, by Natalia Clarke makes me want to breathe a long, deep sigh of relief. Things have been a bit hectic in my world recently, and I’ve felt the disconnection that stems from being out of touch with my inner voice. Reading this book has shifted me back into my more natural, receptive state of being in the most delightful way.
Clarke has combined her experience as a transpersonal psychotherapist with wisdom as a spiritual guide to offer readers insight on how to create an intuitive magic practice. Throughout the book, her gentle, calming tone invites a sense of fluidity, harmony, and personal energetic resonance to emerge.
In no way is this book one in which the author holds the knowledge, prompting a hierarchy between author and reader. Rather, Clarke develops a relationship with the reader that’s guided by feelings of goodwill and trust. Much of the imparted content to the reader stems from her own personal experience, and she writes this book as though she might be telling a friend about her experiences with magic and developing intuition in her own life. I enjoyed her anecdotes and the lens it provided me into seeing how she developed her own spiritual perspective.
I really liked reading about the importance of nature in Clarke’s spirituality and connection to her intuition. There is so much beauty in the natural world, along with lessons of tending, growing, and slowing down to enjoy the moment. Since her writing does not stem from any one belief system or practice, I noticed how nature seemed to be the greatest influence that gave shape to Clarke’s experiences.
However, there’s so much that Intuitive Magic Practice covers. Each chapter highlights a method of connecting to one’s intuition and offers ways to become receptive to the guidance of one’s inner knowing. Receptivity is key here, as Clarke’s writing calls the reader to settle in, move at their own pace, and gently open to the promptings that want to be acknowledged.
Some topics covered in the book are dreamwork, journaling, breathing exercises, creating sacred space, creative imagination, moon cycles, and more. Clarke also shares spells, information on candle magic, and guidance on how to select ritual tools. Through it all, she emphasizes that there is no one size fits all model for one’s magical practice; there is also no need to force something when the energy is not there.
“This way there is a natural flow, no force, no attachment to an outcome, no artificial influences of any kind and it always works. One might say I flow with intuitive energy if and when it comes in. If I am not called or specific energies are not present, I do not do anything.”1
Clarke also includes information on the Triple Goddess aspects, working with the elements, and tips for intuitively crafting one’s own magical practice such as writing spells, casting a circle, and creating rituals. Again though, this all arises from a place of moving with the flow, rather than planning, specifying, and dictating how the process should look. She even contrasts intuitive magic to ritual magic to help readers get a better sense of this method in relation to others.
My favourite chapter of Intuitive Magical Practice was “Intuition, Divine Feminine and Sacred Self-care.” While this book has valuable information for all readers, Clarke does note in the introduction it is more geared towards a female audience. All I can say is this chapter was all I needed to be reminded of and more right now.
As I move through a phase of transition, stemming from immense burn-out in my last job that lead me to severely disconnect from my own internal guidance, I desperately needed the reminder that listening to my intuition, caring for my body, and moving in alignment with the energy is a practice of sacred self-care.
“What do I mean by sacred self care? This links in with self-awareness, which can grow through listening to yourself with complete trust and seeing powerful results in your way of being with yourself and the world. It means giving yourself what your inner voice asks of you or points you towards; giving yourself what you need in the moment by listening to your intuition; treating yourself with compassion, love and respect, as you would any divine energy.”2
It’s interesting too how Clarke reminded me of the importance of moving according to where the energy is and how things are flowing. To be honest, this book has been sitting on my shelf for about two weeks now, and I had procrastinated delving into my new book. I tried to read it a week ago, but after a few pages it was sidetracked. Then, suddenly, this morning, all my energy was focused on reading this book and sinking in to receive it’s message. I am so glad that I trusted the timing of my feelings and didn’t read it in a mindset that wasn’t ready to embrace all the wisdom in this book.
For the past few months, I’ve forgotten that it’s okay to live according to your intuition and trust the timing of when things unfold, but reading Clarke’s words reassured me that it’s okay to move in rhythm that feels right for you. It was particularly inspiring to read how she doesn’t do spell-work unless she feels called. Living a magical lifestyle doesn’t have to be doing spells with each moon cycle, or constantly keeping up with a specific practice “just because you’re supposed to.” It can be just as powerful when your practice is fluid and guided by intuition. This is such a deeply refreshing approach to magic.
I’ll admit I moved quite quickly through the book, soaking it all in as I sat outside in the sunshine, feeling the fresh air gently flow around me. However, this is also a book that can be savoured and referred back to over time. While I did finish it quickly, I now am ready to go back through it and practice some of the exercises, which Clarke offers plenty of through the book.
There is one method of connecting to intuition Clarke writes about that I had never heard of before, which I am particularly excited to try out: intuitive drawing. This approach can help to facilitate a dialogue with the subconscious and allow feelings, sensations, and thoughts to arise from deep within. Sometimes I feel like I get trapped in my words, and I am eager to see what comes out when I choose drawing as a form of communication with my inner guidance.
All in all, Clarke’s gentle and uplifting approach to an intuitive magic practice is something of great value to those who are seeking a more natural approach to working with energy. I highly recommend Intuitive Magic Practice to those who are seeking to tune back into their inner voice in a way that feels authentic and true to who they are. This book is a wonderful reminder that there is no right or wrong way, and that healing comes from remembering the sacred connection to our inner guidance. As you read Clarke’s wisdom, I’m sure you’ll feel right at home within yourself, comforted by the words that it’s okay to embrace your intuition and let your energy flow in a way that feels harmonious.