The Sender is Sent

Marshall McLuhan was a Canadian media scholar, to put it crudely. His work revolved around media, and he is famous for noting “the sender is sent.”

I read this and felt a powerful connection to the ethics of my magical practice.

McLuhan was referring to the “mundane” idea of communication.It refers to the presence of the sender in all communications. When you call someone on a cell phone, you are no longer just in your own space. An extension of yourself is sent to the receiving end.

I doubt he’d say it applies to such “woo woo” ideas as magical practice. Yet this was the first context into which I put this quote.

When performing magic, we are sending our Fetch into the Otherworld to do our bidding. We are putting our intention into the world, and on any level this is a powerful act that has the potential to change the world. The ability to use media to put a message into the world, independent of your physical presence. The same is no less true for our magical messages.

We cannot divorce intention from consequence.

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The Full Moon Mabon

Last night I met with my coven for the Harvest Full Moon and a slightly late celebration of Mabon (or what busy people call “Lunar Mabon”). We met on the banks of a pond in a local green way, with the sun setting over the western mountains. We journeyed into our place of equilibrium and feasted on corn salad and small green apples.

(Photos posted with permission of the talented photographer, Sherri Seward.)The Harvest Moon - photo by Sherri Seward

My coven is a place to relax and center in the presence of the Divine. Meeting in such a gentle and beautiful setting resets me. I can feel frazzled, disorganized, out of shape, ditzy, angry, or dumb, but when I walk away at the end of an evening, I have one feeling that matters: centered.

Equilibrium is not easy. My life has four major roles that I am constantly balancing: work, wife, student, and mother. “Wife” is often the most neglected of all, as the others demand constant attention. “Student” oddly provides the most guilt because I am paying big bucks to finish my schooling and it takes time directly away from my role of “mother”. “Work” is the easiest to manage – I show up, do my job, and go home. It’s a set schedule, so I don’t worry that while I am at work I should be doing schoolwork, spending time with my daughter, and so on.

Of course “Mother” is the most fulfilling, but also the most frustrating.

There are roles that don’t even get a mention for days or even weeks. “Witch” is often set aside for other concerns. Some days I can barely breathe with intention. I couldn’t tell you the last time I sat in meditation or aligned my souls.

Equilibrium is not an either/or balancing act, like a teeter totter orĀ  a literal scale on which we measure our worth. It’s a balance of all of our parts, splayed out in a pentacle (or more!). My challenge is to find a way to integrate all of my parts, and then the Center will open, the Heart of the Witch.