Magick in the Mundane: Hail & Welcome

by Erica Sittler

My newest grandchild arrived today. Just a few days early, but a smooth and safe passage for both him and his mama.

Until the nurses noticed he wasn’t quite breathing right. No lusty cries. Not quite getting the hang of transitioning from an aquatic creature to one who inhales air to survive.

I was on a series of planes making my way from Florida to Colorado, catching connections and doing my best to travel over two thousand miles in as short a timespan as possible. It was between flights that I learned simultaneously that he had been born and there was a problem that required him to not be held in his parents arms or at his mother’s breast. I reached out to my priestess as a numbing feeling of bereftness crept over me like a damp chill. Surely this day of joy was not going to turn into a day of abandoned sorrow? I was about to go on a flight and potentially lose contact with everyone for over three hours. So, I reached out to my spiritual advisor and my classmates and another member of my larger circle and acknowledged the need for help outside my own strength.

Earthside. Suddenly, I understood in this flux of natal breathing that the soul of my grandchild was making a choice. A choice of whether to be fully born and join us as incarnate creatures here on Earth or whether to withdraw. And there at the cusp between worlds was that soul’s absolute right to choose. And after that choice was made, the veil would close, the memories fade, and if he chose to stay here, it would be a long, long time before such a choice was offered to him again.

In the din of a plane boarding: the chaos of takeoff and the unknown, I held space for that little one to honor his right to choose. Those who I had reached out to were sending gifts to him as well. Gifts in the form of love, light, energy, and healing. They too acknowledged space for him to literally breathe… or not. I could not do more than put myself in a sphere with him and in silence respect the wavering I could sense coming from him and assure him that I honored whatever choice he decided was his path.

How many times do we offer that grace to others? To ourselves? To push out all the noise and simply honor one’s right to make a decision and not condemn one choice and celebrate another. To truly free someone from expectations? To uphold sovereignty as sacred?

The religious worldview I grew up in was very violent on nearly all levels. A kind of “shake the heavens” to get your way, because our way is always best, right? To force one’s will on others or situations. To blast. Sunder. Yes, I understand lightning strikes, volcanoes erupt, and tsunamis engulf. How often though is the default to approach most matters with a hammer and tongs versus the willingness to sit in a sphere that truly honors sovereignty? And I know, this conversation can go sideways really quickly. Please understand that is not my point. I am not stating that evil goes unchecked. That using our magick to influence outcomes is wrong and shouldn’t be done. Or that sometimes, perhaps, a person really should spend some time in a freezer spell jar.

We live in a modern world that is too trigger-happy. Too eager to throw blame, bullets, and force as a way to dominate and control. All lasting change starts within. I didn’t want my newborn grandson to die, yet.

Yet. Yet somehow, unseen, I was able to connect with this soul and understand that for whatever reason there was a hesitation. A pause. And instead of trying to force him to stay, I wanted to rather give him space. To allow death if that was the choice. Death and Life were both there in that space as well. There was a holy quiet in that place and I understood more fully the words we say in ritual. Both the “Hail and Welcome” as well as the phrase, “Stay if you will, go if you must: Hail and Farewell.”

My grandson decided to stay. He is not even a day old and has already shared deep wisdom. May we too remember to bid each other, “Hail.”

Hold space.
Bear witness.

Erica Sittler is a Witch practicing her craft in Mississippi where she is a local, active member of the Temple of Witchcraft. Her magick is in the mundane and in bringing honor and attention to those small things that build a sustainable and adventurous life. She is a Temple Mystery School student under the instruction of High Priestess Sellena Dear.

Temple of Witchcraft