Hi! We're Arianna and Katie and we like casting spells and giving advice. So we're combining those interests here, in Witches' Counsel, where you can send us any problems, hang-ups, fears, etc., and we will do everything in our ~power~ to help. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm a 13-year-old girl and recently I've been struggling with my gender preferences. I've recently begun to identify as bisexual, but my parents think that's too young to know (I've asked them about my 'friend' [me] who thinks she's bi). I know I can't change how they feel, but I want them to accept me for who I am. I've tried to put LGBT issues and stuff into our regular conversations, but nothing seems to get through to them… I still really want to come out to them. I'm just really confused. Please help!!!
Too Young To Know?
Dear (Not) Too Young,
If 13 is not too young to feel attracted to other people in general — and we don't think it is — then 13 is not too young for a girl to feel attracted to other girls. (Or for a boy to feel attracted to other boys, and so on.) We personally had crushes when we were like, six and seven years old. 13 is young, but it's definitely not too young to trust that your feelings are legitimate.
Because you mention struggling with this, we also want to acknowledge that many people feel their sexuality is fluid, or changing, and you may find yourself attracted to all kinds of people over the course of your life. That's perfectly normal. You might stay attracted to both girls and boys, or you might eventually decide you're mostly interested in one or the other. All of these outcomes are normal, too. You are the only person who can decide what feels true and right to you. But you also don't have to really decide anything at all — now or ever. You can keep living, and meeting people, and finding out who you like when you like them. That said, labels are important and useful to many of us, and we think it's great and cool if you want to identify as bisexual. It's always brave to try to put our feelings into words.
It's sometimes harder for parents (and people in general) to know how they feel about hypothetical situations, and for that reason, it's unclear how your parents will feel if you come out to them. We know it's scary, and we can't know how they'll respond. The only way to find out is to tell them. We do think it's almost always true that these kinds of things go better than expected. (You might want to check out PFLAG, which offers resources to LGBTQ people and their families.) But if you don't feel ready to come out, or don't feel like it's safe for you to come out, you absolutely do not need to. Whether you do or don't doesn't make your feelings any less valid.
The important thing to know, regardless of whether you come out now, or later, or never, and regardless of how your parents (or anyone else) responds, is that your feelings are worthy, and you are worthy, no matter who it is that you're attracted to.
Now, here's a little spell for an extra boost of courage, adapted from this site. Light a candle and say it to yourself over the flame.
Summon courage from within,
I call on all my strength and love,
Send me power from above.
For an extra boost, find an acorn and charm it with the following (taken from Everyday Magic), and carry it around with you when you need a reminder that you are brave:
Little seed with cap so fine,
Grant you strength and make it mine.
Make me as sturdy as your tree.
As I will, so mote it be!
Just remember that you have already done so much — by naming what you feel in your heart, by writing to us, and by being yourself. Keep being you, whoever that might be.
I just moved to a brand new city for a brand new career. I don't know many people here yet, and I'm not good at what I do yet, so I'm having a lot of trouble letting go of my nostalgia for my old, comfortable life (even though I think I'll be happier here in the long run). What I'm looking for is help finding the courage to open my heart and embrace my new life with my whole self, instead of looking over my shoulder and longing for what I used to have. I wouldn't say no to a prosperity and/or friendship spell along the way, but I don't want to be greedy.
Love and magic,
Dear Starting Over,
First off: congratulations on the new gig! You're writing for help in the courage department, but clearly you've already got a bit of it. We can't think of too many things that require more bravery than moving somewhere new, or changing careers, and you've done both. Which is incredibly impressive and exciting! So pat yourself on the back for that.
But you're feeling drawn to the life you left behind, and you're looking for the conviction to commit to this new one. It sounds like you really loved where you were before here, and the people you had near you. It makes sense that you're having a hard time leaving it completely in the past. The thing is, though, nostalgia isn't necessarily something you want or need to be rid of. We often feel like we have to live in these extremes — you're either fully committing to this new life, or you're being held back by your old one — when, in reality, it's a lot messier than that. Your old friends will come visit you in your new home; your old memories will shape your new ones; the past will bleed into the present. When you remove the pressure of "letting go," and accept the fact that you will think of (and miss!) what you left but that this won't diminish the value of your new experience, you might find it's easier than you think to wholly embrace this new life.
Of course, there is courage in that, too — opening yourself up to feeling all of this excitement, trepidation, joy, and longing at the same time. So we're giving you a little boost for that. This is a general spell for courage from Everyday Magic, so it will ideally help with this emotional struggle, but also with meeting new people, and making your way in this new job. Here's what we did:
We wrote your fear (the inability to embrace your new life with your whole self) on a small strip of paper, placed it in a fireproof dish, and then sprinkled a homemade incense (dragon's blood — we used a blended oil from Enchantments — ginger, nutmeg, and black pepper) over it. We then burned the paper, and as it burned, spoke the following:
Kali, Destroyer, Fearsome One,
Help [your name] now to overcome
This fear that has a hold on her
And drown it in Your Bloody Sea.
Consume this demon known as Fright,
Protect her with Your awesome might.
Lend Your strength and help her face
Whatever comes into her space.
Aid her now, oh Ancient One.
As she will, so be it done.
Then we flushed the ashes down the toilet.
Something you can also do on your own is pick up a small hematite stone (which is said to have calming properties, and to boost self-confidence) and carry it with you whenever you're venturing out on your own. Or pick out some nice hematite jewelry, if that's more your style! Black goes with everything.
Got a problem for the Witches?
Send your questions and concerns to email@example.com.