With my medications stabilizing and my symptoms finally diminishing after years of resurgence, I feel like I am starting a new phase in life. Me, new and medicated and responsible. Me, competent and functional. Living my life and fulfilling my dreams. As these changes wash over me and I feel the peices of my life pull themselves back together, I feel compelled to do certain things.

One of these is to start a new Book of Shadows.

A what?

A Book of Shadows is a magical book for Wiccans (and sometimes other neo-pagan practitioners) where knowledge and experiences are collected. Some practitioners include only lived experiences in a journal style, others have more of a spellbook/grimoire approach that acts more as a reference book. I like to keep both. The one that I am going to be starting anew is the reference book, more of a grimoire. As I planned out my pages today I was very excited to choose what went where. It is a very large project, filled with research topics, lots of editing and planning, and even more editing and planning. But after I’d started all this and took a break, I wondered – how does this relate to my mental illness/mental health? Symbolically, what does this mean to me, as a mentally ill Wiccan?

Symbolically, poetically, I am starting a new page on life. Even better, I’m starting a whole new book. I think for many Wiccans a new Book of Shadows is a fresh start on a spiritual journey. After all, you have to do plenty of research to fill a book with spiritual knowledge! The fact that I have the energy and desire to do this is of course due in part to the many lovely Book of Shadow tours on Youtube, but also due to my medication.

Thanks to my medication I can now undertake such large-scale projects and hope to actually finish them. Before, this would have been a disorganized mess. Now I have the patience to listen to videos and advice. I can research and understand what I read and ingest the information. My cognitive skills are better than ever and with them comes the ability to logically injest the information and put it all together cohesibely. I can expect myself to have the patience to decorate the pages as I’ve always wanted. With all my brain working together my art skills are more 3-D. With my depression going better, colours make more sense and will definetely be a possibility!

I feel like the medications were a catalyst, and now life is beginning a new and beautiful stage. I like to think that all this pulled together will not only make a beautiful book, but also a beautiful future. I hope that if I have the ability to do this, then I will finally have the skills and level of functioning to do my other projects. I have high hopes for both. It feels right to plan out these new pages, letting the old fall away in order to replace it with the new. For once I not only have the desire, but I feel that I also have the ability.

Once again I feel the urge to reach out against the voices that say that medication stagnates one’s spirituality and will keep you from ‘being yourself’. If anything, these medications (properly dosed and prescribed by an understanding doctor) have propulsed me on to a better stage in my life. They’ve given me the ability to do what I dream of, to fulfill the tasks that the gods lay out before me. So yes, medication can help!

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