If I could sum up the philosophy that supports my relationship with my partner, Chris, in one word, it would be ‘intention.’ I talk about intention a lot in magick. Although technique, correspondences and timing do matter, without a strong intention most magickal work will be less productive than desired. Witches know that, of course, but what we often forget is that the same principles that govern a good spell govern many other areas of life. Intention, technique, correspondences and timing matter in relationships as well.
Chris and I have been together for 5 and half years and we are getting married in April. One of the questions I field frequently involves some of the magickal support protocols we follow to stay in right relationship with each other. That sounds terribly dull, right? Protocols for a relationship? YES. PROTOCOLS. Here’s the thing – whether you designed them or not, your relationships follow patterns. Cycles repeat. The same actions occur on a regular basis. You already have protocols you’re following. The question is whether you chose them and whether or not they’re working.
Every relationship is different based on the people in it. Chris and I are both pretty quirky and have some shadows we wrestle with. The system we’ve developed for ourselves is based on some very hard lessons we both learned from previous marriages. What works for us may not work for everyone, but enough people have asked for, and use, parts of our system that I thought it would be good to put it all into one place.
When Chris and I got together, we designed a ritual to shape the kind of relationship we wished to have. We sat down together and we each wrote out two columns of concepts: what we wished to release from our previous relationships and what we wished to cultivate in this one. Each item went onto its own little piece of paper.
For our ritual, we purchased a beautiful hand thrown pottery vase and a small three ring binder. We set up our circle with those items and a candle, cauldron, pen and some incense. We cast sacred space and then each read through and talked about what we were releasing. The little piece of paper for each releasing item was then burned. At the end of that portion of the ritual, we purified ourselves with incense to help wash away those energies. Then, for the second part of the ritual, we each read through and talked about the intentions, energies and ideas we wished to cultivate in our relationship. The intentions were also written down in a small binder we call our Book of Life. A Book of Shadows is a witch’s record of spells, rituals and magickal ephemerae. Our Book of Life is our record of our journey as a couple – our dreams and intentions, the adventures we want to take as well as the ones we’ve gone on and our commitments to each other.
The vase holding our intentions sits on a shelf right by our front door. Every day, we are reminded of the dreams we share and the world we wish to create when we walk past it.
Dark Moon Check-Ins
One of the most useful tools we’ve developed for relationship support is a Dark Moon Check-In. On the dark moon, we sit down and talk about how our relationship is going. It’s specifically designed to be calm, non-charged space where we can really hear each other. The goal of the check-in is problem solving. So, if one of us has had an issue come up – a point of frustration, an obstacle or a hurt – we talk about that issue and how to work to resolve it. The check-in isn’t just a litany of complaints – it’s a problem-solving session. For example, our calendar tends to be overburdened. Over the past few years, we’ve had a few sessions where we scaled down upcoming activities because one of us was feeling burnt out on our obligations. Another example involves how we manage communication styles. Verbal communication is tricky and varies a lot from person to person. We’ve had a few Dark Moon Check-Ins where we’ve learned new ways to ask for help or express our feelings in a way that will ‘register’ with each other. If we’re setting up for band practice and Chris says ‘the mics still need to be set up,’ that isn’t completely clear as a request for help to me. So, I am learning to recognize that his situational statements are sometimes questions. Chris is learning to rephrase requests for help more directly, i.e. ‘Could you please help me set up the mics?’ We meet in the middle.
The second part of our Dark Moon Check In is an intention setting and affirmation for the next lunar month. We think about how the past month has gone and what we want to work on for the coming month. Then, we turn that intention into an affirmation – one affirmation for each of us. I’m a big fan of affirmations. The language we repeat as part of our inner monologue is incredibly powerful. Our affirmations all get recorded in the Book of Life. Some past examples of affirmations include:
“I value what is. I am breathing and letting go of what does not serve me.”
“I feel my connection to the Divine and my place in the Tapestry.”
“I am focused on the path ahead. I step forward with calmness, strength and clarity.”
“I am cultivating balance between the different worlds I walk in.”
Our monthly affirmations are then written on a white board in our bedroom. I also sometimes make mine the background on my phone or write it on a sticky note and stick it to my desk. We each incorporate our affirmation for that month into our daily practices.
One thing that we consider very important is the power of choice. Every day, we choose each other as our partner. For us, that means that when we get up in the morning, we exchange a piece of jewelry, place a blessing, and choose each other. I place a necklace around his neck and he puts a ring on my finger (yes, even before we got engaged – we used a regular ring that I wore every day). We then stand with our hands on each other’s shoulders, foreheads touching. In that moment I pray that he may be guarded, guided and returned safely to my side. His blessing for me is similar. We then fully embrace and kiss, mentally and emotionally choosing each other in that moment.
Blessing each other every day and choosing each other every day helps remind us that we are conscious participants in the creation of this relationship. It reminds us that no matter what else is going on, we love and honor the person we have chosen to build a life with. It starts the day with love and connection. It’s a simple practice but a deeply profound one and I believe it has greatly supported us over the last five and a half years.
A friend who adapted this practice exchanges a blessing with their partner before they even get out of bed in the morning. There are a lot of different ways to include a blessing in the flow of the day.
So, how do you bring magick and intention into your close relationships? Do you have a protocol or practice you follow that has been unusually helpful? Hit me up in the comments.
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