I used to be the witch who collected experiences. I collected this class and that chant and that ritual working and those whispers from the godds. I bundled them all up and made a pretty place for them in my heart and on my altar.
But it was never enough. I would gather and collect and continue to fill my time and space with things, things, things.
In a moment of clarity, I realized none of it made sense. I had all of these great experiences and magickal moments, but things still felt unsettled. Things still felt like they had no meaning.
So, I got quiet. I stopped trying to take in and, instead, I listened to the way the moments rattled in my chest. Perhaps they were trying to get out. Perhaps they needed a nap. Perhaps they needed a home.
I've talked about integration with folks, mainly as a thing-you-do-after-a-deep-spiritual-experience. It's important, I said. I just didn't know how to do it.
(And to be clear, I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing.)
But here's what I think I know.
Integration is the practice of knowing what you know. Of not looking out for answers, but digging them up from within. It's the moment where you know what to do instead of having to ponder it and ache for an answer.
I compare integration to the way we know the wind blows because the leaves swirl on the ground or the trees bend.
Integration is the home we make for our magick. And to make a home, we need to be gentle, kind, and patient.
My integration looks like:
Space: I make space between spiritual practices and my teaching. I give the lessons and learnings time to breathe. I let them have a moment to settle into my bones and my heart without attachment to what that looks like.
Practice: I use the practices I have learned. I try them on and try them out. I adjust them to see if X works better than Y. I practice them just as I learned them, and then I see what happens when I move them into my work day or into the space before sleep. I use them when I've been taught to use them and when they feel like the right fit.
Reflection: I contemplate the way the practices feel in my body. Do they fit? Do they impact the way I am in the world? How do they show up? When do they hide?
Trust: I believe that my magick has something to say and something to show me. I stop trying to explain it or convince myself it should look like _______ or feel like ______. I trust the godds. I trust myself.
I write. A lot. I write about what is coming up for me, even if it doesn't make any sense and even when things change from minute to minute. I track the process, I track the magick to see what footprints it has left.
I realize that integration is the embodiment of what I know. What I deeply know.
Integration is an act of gratitude when magick lives through me.
When I am what I have learned, not separate.
When it comes to me like a habit, I realize how far I have come.
When it feels like home.
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