Hello and welcome back. Come join me, Megan, ‘round the cauldron and sit for a spell as we talk about witchcraft, polytheism, and the intersection of magic and mundane. Today’s podcast topic was one that was recommended to me in my Discord server – so shout out to Blue and Ban for giving me this particular topic idea – and I’m going to be talking about low spoons witchcraft or witchcraft for spoonies.
First, thank you to all of my Cauldron Collectors, my members that have chosen to join me and support all of the creations that I have here with ‘Round the Cauldron, including the channel, the podcast, the blog, the shop – all of all of the fun things. So thank you! If you’d like to check out my membership, you can do that at roundthecauldron.com/join-me. The link for that is in the description and the show notes.
So first off, let’s discuss what spoon theory is first because that’s going to be important for you, if you don’t know what spoon theory is, in order to kind of understand the perspective I’m coming to this from. So spoon theory was created by someone named Christine…Christine – I forgot Christine’s last name but I will leave a link in the description and the show notes to where you can find all of this information. But Christine created the spoon theory sort of by accident, and spoon theory is a method of explaining chronic illness to otherwise healthy people. It involves spoons but it’s a…okay, let me see if I can explain it to you from my perspective.
I don’t have a physical disability. So spoon theory was created for originally because Christine has lupus, and she came up with spoon theory to explain to her friend who had asked her what it’s like to have lupus. And what happened was they were at lunch or dinner – they were having a meal together at a restaurant – and her friend asked her this question. And so what she did is she grabbed a bunch of spoons and handed all of her spoons to her friend and said okay here, here’s your spoons, and now you have lupus. And each spoon is sort of like the energy or the task that you have to do.
Your generally healthy person is going to have a large supply of spoons. In this instance, most healthy people wake up thinking or knowing that they have unlimited possibilities and they can get the things that they’ve done…get the things done that they need to do without really having to think about the rest of the day, right? But that’s not the case for people with chronic illness or mental illness or any other disability that…I was going somewhere with that.
That’s not the case for people that have to worry about the things that they do during the day and how they’re going to impact the rest of the day. So for example for me, on the day of recording this I have a fairly decent amount of spoons at my disposal. I used a couple of them to do my makeup and my hair – it took more than I wanted to because of reasons – and so now I’m going to have less spoons for the rest of my day to get my things done.
Every single task requires spoons. Brushing your teeth, brushing your hair, cooking dinner…some tasks will require a different amount of spoons. So if i’m gonna have a meal and i’m running low on spoons – say I have four spoons, right? Making a sandwich takes one spoon but cooking an entire meal takes three, and in the rest of the day I still have other things to do that require spoons. I’m gonna choose to make the sandwich because it’s less energy. It’s less that I have to worry about for the rest of the day before my mind and body decide to crash.
I don’t feel like I did that explanation justice. Some people love the spoon theory. Some people hate the spoon theory. It’s just going to depend. You can think about it as just a metaphor – I think metaphor’s the right word – for explaining energy expenditure for people that have a disability or mental illness that they need to worry about throughout the rest of their day.
So yes, that is spoon theory. So what does that have to do with witchcraft? And we’re going to extend this a little bit into polytheism and paganism and deity work. It has a lot to do with it, honestly, because in my own personal life, I tend to be a very busy person, especially now I have more people living in my home and I’m responsible for more things. So on some days I have no spoons for my practice. I might have one spoon to light a candle that sits on my altar in front of my Brigid’s Cross.
On other days where I don’t have as much to worry about I will have more spoons, but I mean, sitting here and thinking about it is difficult for me because I realize how much I do, how much I have to do during the day, and how negatively I feel that impacts my practice, and the guilt that I feel. But honestly, that’s in my notes and we’ll talk about that in a little bit.
But spoon theory as it pertains to witchcraft and polytheism and paganism is important for those of us that have to worry about our spoons because some days we’re going to need to do parts of our practice. Maybe our deities that we work with are requiring something of us and we’re going to have to ration our spoons, or borrow spoons from the next day, or make some difficult choices about the things that we’re doing throughout the day so that we can get the witchcraft and the spells and the rituals done that need to be done. But I don’t want to limit this particular episode to just people with chronic illness and mental illness because this can apply to people who are just generally very busy, myself included.
See, even now sitting here talking about this, my spoons are just slowly fading away and I find myself dissociating and trying to make the words work because it’s difficult for me. It’s hard when I want things to work and I want my brain to function at the capacity that I feel like it should, but it’s not going to and I have to be okay with that. So we’re going to continue moving forward.
I have a small list of things that you can do when you’re low on spoons and you still want to practice and you still want to be involved with your witchcraft or your deity work. So I’m going to run through them really quick and then talk about a few other things. You know what, let’s talk about some reasons that someone might run low on spoons. If someone has a physical disability – maybe they have chronic fatigue syndrome, maybe they have lupus, maybe somebody has cancer or any other physical ailment that’s going to affect how they operate and move through their day, every single decision that is made has to be thoroughly thought out. And even from my perspective, every single decision that I make has to be thoroughly thought out because my depression and my anxiety – and at this point currently possibly undiagnosed ADHD and autism – make things very difficult for me and I can only keep so much in my brain at a time. And sometimes I will just talk and not remember what I was talking about, which is fine. But I, for example, get very overwhelmed with the amount of things that I have to do during the day. Sometimes…I’ll use yesterday as an example. I didn’t do a lot of work yesterday. If you didn’t know, I’m self-employed. I’m a community manager and content specialist and freelancer for a few different things, but I had an appointment at 8:30 in the morning.
Waking up that morning, I knew very specifically the exact things that I needed to get done tomorrow, the things that I absolutely had to do, and just thinking about these things take some spoons. Planning these things out, the driving, how long is it going to take me to get there? How long is it going to take me to get back? How long am I going to sit in the waiting room waiting for my appointment? How long is the appointment going to take? Is the baby going to be okay? Not my baby. I babysit my baby nephew. You know, is he going to be okay during the appointment? Is he going to get hungry? Is he going to be happy or sick, or you know, whatever?
And going through all of these steps immediately when I wake up to make sure that I have enough time? I was completely wiped out yesterday by the time I got home and I still had another appointment to go to at one o’clock, which also took 30 minutes to get there, 45 minutes there, 30 minutes back…and it’s just like a sequence of events that my brain just gets completely overwhelmed with and by the end of the day i’m just completely wiped out. Let alone the fact that I didn’t even do my prayers or light a candle or do anything like that because I was just done. I just couldn’t do it.
So the mental capacity that I have for some of the things that I do, I have to take advantage of the time when I have it and the spoons that sometimes they’re just…they’re just gone and I just can’t. So there’s very low energy things that can be done. So let’s talk about them.
One of the things that I find myself able to do on a low spoons day is meditation and visualization exercises. And this is twofold because I can lay in my bed or sit in a chair and do a meditation and a visualization exercise, and I’m working my witchy muscles, so to speak. But I’m also allowing my body to rest. Depending on the meditation I’m also allowing my mind to rest. I am practicing mindfulness and focus and concentration, all things which are very difficult for me, at the same time so that i’m not losing all of my spoons at once. And doing the meditation and the visualization is actually good practice for me to focus on the things that I need to focus on to help me throughout the rest of my day. So if you find yourself low on spoons and all you want to do is lay in bed, that’s okay. Like lay in bed, close your eyes, take some deep breaths, practice grounding and centering yourself. Practice mindfulness and doing body scan exercises. Practice your visualization skills if you can visualize. See what sort of fantastical world you can create in your mind and try to make it as detailed as possible.
Those skills, while you’re not actively casting a spell or doing a ritual, those skills are important in my opinion to a witchcraft practice. Being able to visualize in detail the things that you want, the things that you’re trying to get when you’re casting a spell, being able to slow down and focus and ground yourself and center your own energy are also important skills to have. So if you can practice that while you’re resting then that’s perfect.
I have on here, on my list of notes, to read an interesting book. And this is going to depend on the book that you read and how many spoons you have because I can find a book interesting and I could be reading a book for educational purposes, to learn something, but if I’m having a low spoons day anything that I read is not going to stick. So I may reread a book that I found interesting at one point and see if it sparked something in me. Or I might just read a fantasy novel just because that’s what I can handle at that point in time. But re-reading a book and maybe going back to the basics or back to something that you find absolutely fascinating can still be part of your practice, can still be part of your daily witchy whatever you want to call it or your weekly whatever.
And it’s taken me a while to get out of the thought process that practicing witchcraft and being a pagan means actively doing something, you know? Casting the spell and making the offerings and doing all of that stuff, but reading a book and exercising your mind muscles is just as important. So taking the time to sit and read a book, even if it’s one you’ve already read before, can be vital to keeping those witchy muscles active. So read a book, enjoy it.
And then if you come to a point where you need to cast a spell but you’re running low on spoons, there are a lot of smaller things that you can do and these are things that I personally find easier to do when I’m running low on my own energy. These are going to be like sigils, depending. Sometimes it takes a lot of energy for me to make a sigil and sometimes I will just use a pentacle as a sigil and say okay like…this particular spell is for being calm or helping to calm my nerves. And here is a pentacle and I’m going to focus on it and I’m going to carry it with me. And this particular pentacle is for calm energy. That’s okay!
If I don’t have the energy to create a whole new sigil it’s fine because I can charge the pentacle with whatever it is that i’m trying to do, right? But don’t forget that sigils can be any kind of symbol that you have. It can just be a bunch of lines drawn on a paper or a letter or a word where you write every letter like over the top of the other letter…did I explain that well enough? I don’t know, but sigils are a great low energy magic that you can do.
If you do any sort of crafting – for example, I crochet – you can weave spells into your crafts, paintings, drawings, writing, stories, knitting. Literally any sort of artistic endeavor can be a spell and you can sort of do two things at once, if that makes sense. Another thing that I find really easy to do when I’m running low on energy is to create a spell jar. And for me, the reason is because spell jars are generally powered by an energy source that’s not mine. The herbs, the oils, the crystals if I use crystals, candles – those sorts of spells are powered by energy that belongs to something else. Something else is making that spell work besides my own energy. And I think that’s a really important skill to learn, especially for a spoonie witch because sometimes we don’t have the energy.
So I had an idea the other day about creating sort of like a witchcraft battery, right? And this was inspired by a comment that was left on the Spells8 forum, and I was like well, I can create a witchcraft battery, right? So take like a…I don’t know, like a quartz crystal, and anytime I have extra energy or any time I want to add energy to it from an outside source, just add it to the crystal and like load it up like a battery. Charge it, right? And then when I need energy for a spell that I don’t particularly have I use my crystal battery and use the energy from the crystal to charge the spell and cast the spell. And so I’m gonna experiment with that a little bit more because I think that’s an interesting idea and it could save me so many spoons when I need to cast a spell and I’m low on spoons.
But learning how to use the energy from outside sources can be an important and vital aspect of your practice if you are a spoonie witch and you find yourself running low on energy quite often. And this outside energy can come from crystals, it could come from candles, it can come from the earth or the moon or the spirits around you. You can ask your deities for help if you work with deities. Sometimes that’s what we have to do and we have to draw from an outside source to cast a spell if we don’t have the energy that we need to get the spell done.
And I want to say too that something that I’m working on is doing work, doing spell work for my particular mental health concerns when I have the spoons. So creating a candle that is made specifically for focus and concentration, for example, when I have the energy to do it. And then when I need the extra help all I have to do is light the candle because the spell work is already…the spell is already put together. I just haven’t cast it yet and all it takes to cast it is to light the candle, take a couple breaths, maybe say a chant, and then the spell is cast and I didn’t expend any extra energy because the energy was already stored in the candle. So sometimes we have to plan things out, right? And we have to take the steps ahead of time so that in the moment we have everything we need and we don’t have to lose spoons in order to get things done.
So in all of this… I mean, it’s honestly – it’s really hard for me to keep my thoughts straight. It’s really difficult for me to focus and concentrate even though I have my notes in front of me and I know exactly what I want to talk about. It’s like there’s a disconnect between my brain and the words that come out of my mouth and honestly, it’s really, really hard for me to deal with sometimes. And I feel like my work suffers, my podcast suffers, my videos suffer, my paid work suffers because there’s just so much going on for me right now. And you know, things have to get done and I constantly personally feel like I’m borrowing spoons every day. I’m borrowing spoons from tomorrow to record the video or I’m borrowing spoons from tomorrow to cook dinner later because I have work to do.
And the level of guilt that I feel sometimes because my practice, my worship, my prayers get put on the back burner because of life is just astronomical sometimes. And I feel like this episode needs more real talk, not necessarily ideas for how to be a spoonie witch, more relatability from one spoonie witch to another. And I know I’ve talked about being a witch with mental illness before. I did a whole Q&A episode on it like an hour long and so many people were like I finally feel seen. I feel understood. I feel related to, and I feel like that’s kind of what this episode needs, too. Like yes, I put makeup on and I did my hair and I’m wearing a cute little hat that I made for this particular video but I am currently taking advantage of time that I didn’t know that I was going to have today to record this.
And the…not necessarily lack of structure to my day – actually, you know what? Lack of structure to my day is a big issue for me but at this point, I don’t have a choice. Sometimes the not knowing and the borrowing spoons from the next day has to happen, but when you’re a magical person and when you are a pagan and a polytheist and you work with beings that are bigger than you – it’s hard for me to sit here and say like yeah, I haven’t said my prayers in a week because i’ve been so busy. But busy isn’t really the right word…like yes, i’m busy. Yes, I have a lot of things that I have to do on a regular basis. I manage a household. I work for myself. I’m a freelancer. I’m a teacher because I homeschool. I’m a caretaker because I babysit my nephews. You know, but I can’t let myself feel bad for taking care of the mundane stuff first because that’s what has to come first.
I mean, I think about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and while my religious beliefs and my spiritual beliefs are really important to me, I have to make sure that I’m physically taken care of first, you know? I have to make sure that I’m mentally taken care of first. And sometimes my witchcraft has to be put on pause. Sometimes I don’t cast a spell for weeks or months even because I just can’t. I have some workings that are continuous but it’s…I’m able to do those because I’ve already set up that process and the maintenance on those spells isn’t a lot. It doesn’t require a lot, and you know, I can light the candle. I can say the chant, and that doesn’t take too much out of me if it takes anything at all.
But doing more stuff sometimes has to stop. Sometimes if I feel called by Brigid and I need to do something for her or she asks something of me, sometimes I have to say I can’t do that right now. I can’t, and since I don’t have any sort of formal dedication to her, I’m not her priestess, I am not oath bound to her in any sort of way – which honestly is probably a good thing at this point – you know, I can say no. And honestly you can say no at any point in time. I feel…I am of the opinion that the gods are much bigger than us and they’re not going to look at me struggling just to get my daily stuff done and be like oh, well you’re not doing this thing that you said you were going to do on a daily basis and you didn’t say your prayers today even though you are like having a panic attack and you’re completely overwhelmed and you’re overstimulated and everything. I’m upset with you and you’re going to be in deity trouble.
Like I don’t feel like that’s the case, but I still feel guilty. And I don’t know if it’s because of, you know, like being friends with other creators and seeing other creators online and how much that they seem capable of. Like I know social media isn’t real life and we put our best feet forward when we’re on social media but it doesn’t help feeling guilty. It doesn’t, and I’m sorry, I don’t have very much advice on that front because it’s something that I still deal with when I feel bad or I have to lay in bed and just crochet. And do my best to de-escalate myself and not be over-stimulated and overwhelmed by everything that’s going on. I can look over at my altar space and see like it’s dirty, it’s dusty. It hasn’t been touched in a while. I should get up and do something about that. Oh wait, I can’t because every single thing that I touch right now drives me up the wall and all of the noise I just can’t deal with.
So you’re not less of a witch, you’re not less of a pagan, if you have to take a break or you know put your witchcraft practice on a hiatus. It’s not something that needs to be a permanent fixture in your life at all times, if that makes sense. Your practice can ebb and flow the same way that your life does. And when you’re doing good and you’re having good days and you’re feeling great then yeah, you’re gonna have more time and you’re gonna have more energy for your practice. But on those days or during those times of wintering, it’s okay. It’s okay to just not. And anybody that makes you feel like you’re less of a witch or less of a pagan because you need to take a break for your own well-being? Don’t listen to them. Don’t listen to them. You have to take care of yourself first before taking care of anything else and you can’t pour from an empty cup. And I know that sounds so cliche but several years ago when I was seeing a particular therapist, she made me realize exactly how much I was doing by using an analogy of a well. I am a well. I am capable of being full. I am capable of being mentally empty or drained. Empty doesn’t sound right. And every single thing that I do takes a bucket of water out of my well.
If I don’t find ways to replenish my well by either resting, participating in some self-care, or asking for help, or even eliminating some of the things that come out of my well, I’m going to end up with an empty well and you can’t do anything with an empty well. So do what you gotta do. Take care of yourself. Don’t let anybody make you feel like you’re less of a witch for being a spoonie if you’re a spoonie. Find the little things that make you happy in your practice. If you still, you know, want to have something daily, carry around a crystal with you if crystals are your thing. Carry around a tarot card in your wallet. Practice drawing sigils. Read a book. Meditate and visualize. Cast little spells, maybe some little spells that are just meant to make your rest better.
One thing that I like to do when I’m having to take a break and rest is to sit in my space, close my eyes, and do a little bit of meditation but also some energy work with a crystal and, you know, visualize the area around me being a specific color. So pink if I need to love myself a little bit more, or blue if I need to be a little more calm, or purple if I need to help myself sleep. And I think those are some really easy, simple, manageable for me things that I can do. You can craft some spell oils way ahead of time before you’re ever going to need them to rub on different parts of your body that you’re feeling pain in. That’s magic. You’re still a witch.
In the description and in the show notes I’m going to leave some links to some resources I found for low spoons witchcraft. I’m gonna leave the information for spoon theory. I’m gonna leave any other resources that I can find in the description and in the show notes, but before we end the episode today we are going to do like normal and we’re going to pull a card. And again, I’m pulling from my Spirits and Shadows Oracle Deck. So we’re going to give it some shuffles. Sorry, that might have been a little loud, a little close to the microphone.
Okay, and give it one more shuffle and we’re gonna see what we need to focus on for the month of what, september? Yeah, month of september. Shuffle three times. I pulled The Maestro, and the Maestro is all about finding your teachers or being your own teacher. So in September, try to focus on something that you need to learn or maybe something that you need to relearn. And talking about spoon theory and taking care of yourself, even outside of your witchcraft, maybe you need to learn the things that replenish your own well. Maybe you need to be your own teacher. Maybe you need to reach out for help and find a support system if you don’t have one, because they can be your teacher. They can teach you how to rest. So take it from The Maestro. Be inquisitive, be curious, and be well. And I will talk to you next time.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode or watching if you’re here on youtube. Don’t forget to check out the links in the description for all of the resources. If you are a spoonie witch or spoonie magical practitioner or spoonie pagan, let me know in the comments of the YouTube video or reach out to me on social media. You can send me an email if you want and we can be spoonie’s together.
Don’t forget that I have a Discord community if you would like to join that and speak with some like-minded individuals. Or you can become a Cauldron Collector and join my membership to get exclusive first access to most of the things that I create here plus a community forum and a book club and free divination readings whenever I feel like doing them. And until next time, I’ll see you later.
Today’s podcast topic was one that was recommended to me in my Discord server — so shout out to Blue and Ban for giving me this particular topic idea. I’m going to be talking about low spoons witchcraft or witchcraft for spoonies!
Watch the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2BFtTklhUKw
What is Spoon Theory? https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
Witchcraft and Mental Health Q&A: https://youtu.be/pPYp-Lc1ih4
Low Spoons Witchcraft Tumblr: https://lowspoonswitchcraft.tumblr.com/
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Intro/Outro Music Credit Midsummer Sky Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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