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    Witches' Counsel: How Do I Stop Feeling Jealous?

    A recurring ~magical~ advice column.

    Will Varner / BuzzFeed

    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


    Dear Witches,

    I'm graduating high school next month and I have no idea what to do with my life after graduation. I chose a major and everything but college is too expensive and I'm going through some tough times at the moment. Also I procrastinated doing my SATs and IELTS exams so now I have to deal with that before applying to colleges. I'm so lost and confused I don't know what to do. Please help!

    Distressed in Dubai

    Dear Distressed,

    There is perhaps nothing more disorienting than finally reaching the end of a task you've been working toward for many months or years, walking across the proverbial finish line, and seeing only an infinite, open horizon out in front of you. It should be exciting, and it is, but it's also very scary. Most creatures feel better when they're following a well-marked path.

    The bad news is that existentialism is inevitable; the good news is that everyone, at some point or another, is just as uncertain as you. We felt like you do now after we graduated high school, and again after graduating college, too. And then it got better. Both of us took a while to figure out what we wanted to do — at 24 the plan was one thing, and then at 25, it became something else altogether. At 18? Neither of us had any idea.

    Before we get to the magic, there are two things we want you to do: First, do what you need to do to prepare for those exams. This is the easier area to address, so why not take it off the list first? Sign up, buy (or borrow) a test prep book, and get to work. Even if you don't have college figured out quite yet, you want to be ready.

    Second, grant yourself permission to not know everything. You might know you don't know everything, but have you accepted it? There are so many different directions your life will go in, and you can't figure them all out now. You simply cannot! Even WE can't tell you. What you can do is to focus on the immediate: taking the tests, looking up college courses to see what interests you, maybe getting a job that will give you time (and money) while you decide.

    Now then, a little spell: We wanted to give you a nice, hearty injection of passion — a mental clarity that will allow you to pinpoint what it is you might really care about. Red is the color of passion, so we carved your name into a red candle, and inscribed it with a few symbols: the Wiccan symbol for blessings; the Uruz rune for strength, understanding, and luck; the Inguz, for transformation and strength; and the Sowilo, for life purpose, goals, and guidance. We burned your candle on a Sunday, the day of solar works (success, honor), and used healing incense (for your tough times) alongside it.

    As we lit the candle, we chanted the following spell, adapted from Everyday Magic:

    Fire, I call upon your heat
    To aid [your name] in this magical feat.
    Bring her what she asks of Thee.
    As she will, so mote it be!

    Then, allowing the flame to burn for a few moments, we chanted the following three times:

    Let passion flow in [your name], around and about,
    Let its tides fill her fully, within and throughout.
    Grant new zest and vigor for what comes her way.
    And grant that she eagerly seize each new day.

    Feel free to repeat this spell whenever you want a little extra burst of passion and clarity. All you need is a red candle. Just remember, you WILL find a way forward. Give yourself time to see the light.

    Goddess bless,

    The Witches


    Dear Witches,

    In the last year or so, I've started to feel increasingly jealous and competitive with one of my best friends. I'm not sure exactly where it stems from, but we've always had a sisterly relationship, with me feeling envy over her relationships (both romantic and social) and her being jealous of my success furthering my career. I'd love if we could get back to the place where we support each other's successes in all walks of life. Send me your wisdom, Witches.

    Judgy of My Jealousy

    Dear Judgy,

    Surely, since you are a young woman who has achieved professional success, you've happened upon some discussion of "having it all." You know what we're talking about — the apparently endlessly interesting debate about whether or not it's possible for a woman to achieve everything she's supposed to (CEO with trilingual kids, a loving spouse, a thriving social life, and time to keep that body TIGHT). It's absurd, and unrealistic. We all only have so much time and emotional bandwidth. But that doesn't mean a lingering, insidious belief in this myth doesn't creep up on us from time to time.

    Sometimes this belief manifests as slowly growing resentment among female friends. This makes sense, since ingrained in the "Can she really have it all?" myth is the idea that women are competing against each other for this mysterious "all." Like it's a limited resource, and success is a zero-sum game. It isn't! When your friend chooses to prioritize relationships (for the time being!), her doing so doesn't sacrifice the validity of your decision to focus on your career. One doesn't discredit the other. It's easy to understand this in the abstract, but it's kind of a different animal when you see the other side — the life you think you're giving up on — played out so close to you.

    Here's a thought exercise: When you feel this jealousy creeping up on you, take a moment to really live in it. Look honestly at what you find yourself envying in your friend's life and open yourself up to the possibility of an alternative universe, in which you've gained her "wins" but lost yours. Of course, this isn't about turning a good thing in your friend's life into a bad one; it's about understanding why it can be good for her and not for you. At least not yet! We've found that these things tend to balance out. Maybe you're in a work-heavy period of your life, but in a year or so you'll have a shift.

    Still, maybe the friendship could use a little boost. That's where the magic comes in. Here's what we did to help strengthen your bond.

    We bought three skeins of embroidery floss: one white, one in your favorite color, and one in your friend's favorite color, each at least four feet in length. We cut three strands of each color, about 36–40 inches (you'll have extra, that's OK) long, and then knotted them together at the top, leaving a four-inch tail. We then braided the three colors together (each color lumped together as one "strand") while chanting a spell, also from Everyday Magic:

    (Your name), (friend's name), and Maiden One,
    I bind you now in joy and fun.

    We braided until it was roughly bracelet-length, knotted the bottom, and gave it to you, and helpfully you are still wearing it today. (For anyone playing along at home, you can also make the bracelet and then tie on your friend's wrist.)

    In the meantime, dedicate a notebook to keeping track of all of your little, daily victories. When you find yourself questioning if the decisions you've made have been worthwhile, revisit it. And celebrate your friend's as well! It can sometimes be a matter of faking it until you make it, or maybe even acknowledging that you're so happy for her and also, ugh, a little jealous, haha, but you love her so much. It's OK to admit; none of us is perfect.

    Goddess bless,

    The Witches

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