How I Practise Magic In My Daily Life

I was raised in a Pagan family. Every year we celebrated Samhain as well as Halloween, with candlelight and midnight dancing, tequila on the kitchen table for the adults, no bedtime for the kids. I learned the relationships between colours, planets, stones, elements, emotions. I learned how to feel at home in the forest, and I learned how to let go. I was taught that animals are friends, not food, and I still believe that now. I became a person who wants to make everything around her more beautiful. Someone who is kind, I hope. Magic was such a huge part of my upbringing, a way of living; so much less about ritual than simply a way of interacting with the world. As a result, people often misunderstand what I mean when I talk about magic. To me, magic is in the way certain people always know just what you need, or in the way they can bring any dying creature back to life. Science is magical, and magic is not unscientific. Magic is just pure creation. It is influence and control over ourselves, not over others. It is cherishing the earth; something most of us have forgotten how to do.



I do many things to bring more magic into my life. I grow plants in my home. Having living things around me, growing and flourishing and being born over and over again helps me stay in tune with the seasons and with the needs of other life forms. It reminds me of the cyclical nature of life, and of my eventual insignificance, and simultaneous preciousness.

I draw a tarot card when I get up in the morning, or sometimes I pluck a book off my shelves, close my eyes and point to a sentence at random. Whether you believe in the Tarot or not, doing this will bring things from your subconscious into your conscious mind, allowing them to be processed and worked through. 

I make a ritual bath. By this I don't mean just throwing in a bath bomb or two, but of course you can do that! What I tend to do is think of what I want to achieve (do I want to feel sexual, calm, safe, to get a good night's sleep?) and then work synesthetically around that. I use colours, scents, flowers, products, and temperatures that work together to change my physiological and mental state. 

I try to stay in tune with the phases of the moon, with Pagan festivals, and on a wider scale, the seasons of the year. You can do this with an app, an almanac, or even a good daily diary. Eventually it becomes a habit. I've always been a moon-worshipper by nature and I look to her instinctively on nights when I feel happy and alive, to give thanks. I'm also guilty of screaming "THERE'S BLOOD ON THE MOON" at the slightest wisp of red.

I enjoy reading my horoscope, but not every witch does. I personally don't think you have to believe in astrology for it to bring you inspiration. A good astrologer speaks like a philosopher, and can trigger realisations without faith. For an in-depth monthly forecast, I go to Susan Miller, and for weekly poetic insight I check out Madame Clairvoyant. Refinery29 and Teen Vogue also do cool horoscopes.

I write down my dreams, and use them in my writing and in my art. During stressful periods of my life, I suffer with sleep paralysis, which causes intense lucid dreams and hallucinations. I try to view them as a creative gift, rather than a curse, and just a part of my own personal magic. I draw, write down, or even come up with a photograph to record what I saw in my dreams.

I chat to other witches. If you don't know any who live near you, why not set up a WhatsApp group or online Coven? Having that support and understanding is invaluable and can help you learn so much, just by asking questions and sharing your experiences with other witchy people. Try filling your Twitter feed with magic too; I recommend Audrey Kitching, Anastasjia Louise, and The Hoodwitch for starters.

Dancing, lastly, is one of the most vital ways I stay in touch with my power and with myself as a woman. Whether I'm doing it on stage, in private, at home, on a dance-floor or in a field, through dancing I can work myself into a trance-like state where I feel most free and uninhibited. That's where the magic happens. 

Why We Should All Be Using More Lube



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There are loads of shitty ideas out there about how sex (and vaginas, especially) ought to be, and frankly I'm sick of it. In my honest opinion, everybody should be using lube as a sex enhancement simply because it makes sex feel better for everyone, as well as helping minimize any chances of injury. You're not broken if you need lube. Whether you own a foreskin or a vagina, make "the wetter the better" your personal sex mantra. Forget whatever you may have heard from magazines or clueless partners about how your sex organs are supposed to work, and start doing what feels good. Lube can make it easier to get aroused, to stay aroused, and even to orgasm. Read on if you want to get the most out of your lubricant.

Lube Is Not A Shortcut: Lube isn't designed as a replacement for being properly turned-on. This misconception convinces some people that it is fine to rush ahead with sex as long as everything is wet, or makes them think that if they get wet on their own they have no need for it, neither of which is true. The reason we need lubricant is because our bodies can only produce so much even if we are completely gagging for it; foreplay is still required so that vaginal/anal muscles are relaxed. If you're finding sex is painful even if you're slathering on lots of lube, it might just be because you're skipping all the completely essential preparation. If you want to have prolonged, strenuous, rough or adventurous sex then you absolutely should be using a lubricant and enjoying lots of foreplay to make it as pleasurable as it can be for all parties. And just so we're all clear, SPIT IS NOT LUBE. Spit is fun, safe and fine to use during sex, but it is not lubricant. It is not the same consistency as natural moisture, and will only get you so far. If you spit all over a vagina it is only going to wash away and water-down any juices that are being produced. Enough already.

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You Can Find A Lube For Every Occasion: The more tailored to you it is, the better sex will feel. Having the right thing to hand makes all the difference. For example, if you enjoy rough sex, anal, or want to play with large toys, then a thick lube like Generous Gel is what you're after. If you like a realistic feel that you'll hardly know is there, go for Stay Silky Serum. For a super thin, spit-like texture you would get from oral, try Little Light Liquid. All Smile Makers lubes are vegan-friendly, as well as body-safe, water-based, and condom-compatible. They only contain a handful of ingredients (the fewer the better) and come in dressing-table worthy, minimalist, and sensual packaging. No garish fonts or gaudy colours here. This range is all unscented and unflavoured, but I can definitely see an opportunity for Smile Makers to add a couple of subtly-garnished products to their offerings. I could totally imagine sweet and understated tastes like rose, vanilla, candy floss, or green apple working really well with their brand. The thing I like most about them is that they never feel sticky, like other lubricants can, and are pretty much undetectable once applied. They have never irritated my skin or stained my sheets, either. For all these reasons, they are my go-to no matter what kind of sex is on the cards. If you give them a go, send me a tweet or let me know in the comments, and if you just want to chat about lube I'm totally here for that too.