Hello everyone, and happy New Year. This is the last episode of 2022, and the next time we speak, it’ll be 2023. I know that we did the New Year’s episode last week, and that’s because I always like to do holiday and sabbat episodes in advance of the actual day because in the event that there’s a ritual or a spell that we talk about that you might want to try, it just gives folks a little extra time to plan for it.
And speaking of planning, I do have a lot of plans for this new year, I’ve got goals, I’ve got ideas. And that’s all very exciting and I am very much looking forward to getting on with the business of manifesting those plans into reality. But I am not quite ready to close the book on this year. Not just yet.
There are a lot of things that I’m grateful for and a lot of things that I manifested this time last year. Last new year’s eve, there was no website. Last new year’s eve, there was no book. I have gotten to know so many witches as a result of this podcast, and I’ve been able to connect and to expand and this year hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been exactly what I needed it to be. I’ve learned a lot of lessons and I’ve grown, and even when it hurt, it was a gift.
If you’re planning any kind of New Year ritual this year, we are in an excellent moon phase for it. The waxing moon in Aries on New Year’s Eve followed by Taurus on New Year’s day is an auspicious phase for manifestation supported by fiery action and intense discipline to see those intentions through to their fulfillment.
So good luck to us all, and speaking of luck, New Year’s day is a good day for making a tribute to the deity Fortuna, goddess of luck, fortune and fate. It certainly can’t hurt to get on Lady Luck’s good side right before the beginning of a new year and right at the precipice of a year’s worth of hopes, dreams and aspirations.
And now, before we begin our discussion about liminal spaces, which is the topic of the day, I’d like to read a message, this question was submitted on the website:
Love love love your podcast! I’m so glad to have found it. Questions about divination I hope you have time to answer: I’m fairly new to divination and was drawn to try a pendulum. (Not so new to energy work or manifesting). There have been sessions with my pendulum that have been absolutely incredible and yet sometimes it’s almost as if the batteries ran out and it either gives almost no answers, or starts answering with different movements than normal. I almost always cleanse it with incense smoke before I begin until it “tells” me it’s cleansed, and then calibrate it to my energy (holding it over my palm), but sometimes it just seems to stubbornly not want to “talk” with me. What’s possibly going on here and what are things I can try in these moments? Thank you!
Well, I love working with a pendulum! And I know exactly what this witch is talking about. Sometimes, the juice just isn’t there. Pendulum work is such a mental discipline because that’s where the connection comes from. Your own mind and energy are the source, and sometimes it comes easier than others. But it’s like working out any other muscle, it gets stronger over time.
And cleansing is excellent and important, but sometimes it helps to charge it too, the moon is a great source, and so is the sun. You can also store it with a bit of selenite when you’re not using it to help it stay cleansed and charged. The pendulum has a mind of its own though, so if it doesn’t feel like talking, it just won’t. It’s okay, that relationship gets stronger the more you use it. Just keep at it, and don’t get frustrated when it doesn’t come so easily.
And this can be the case with any method of divination, such as tarot cards, scrying, tea leaves; sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, there’s not really anything you’re going to be able to do in that moment to change it. Walk away, take a day off, and try it again later. It’s a mental game as much as a metaphysical one, and if you’re in a funk or a slump, you’re just gonna have to try again some other time. It’s not failure and it doesn’t mean that you’re a crappy witch.
And now, let’s talk about liminal spaces. This topic was suggested by a witch called Jay, and she’s a dear friend, and it’s the perfect thing to talk about at this time of year. We are all in the midst of a liminal space right now. The week between Christmas and the New Year is kind of a no-man’s land. We’re all doing the bare minimum at work, schools are closed, the holidays are over, the year is coming to a close, the new year is still a few days away, and we are all basically in a holding pattern.
We’re just sort of spinning our wheels until the world gets moving again. The word liminal has become kind of a buzzword in recent years, and it essentially refers to being at or in the midst of a boundary or a threshold. We’re not really here anymore, but we’re not really there yet either.
Liminal spaces are found frequently in legends, lore, and stories. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, platform 9 ¾ , Alice’s looking glass, the red pill and the blue pill in The Matrix, all of these have elements of liminality that feature very heavily in the transformation of their main characters. These fictional characters had to move through these liminal transitions and emerge on the other side, totally changed. Totally transformed. There was no other way.
The liminal space itself functioned as a literary device; it was symbolic of the transition that the main character was making. And this is where fiction meets reality; we all undergo these transformative changes at different times and in different circumstances. We experience these transformations throughout our lives as we age, as we grow older.
When we’re moving through our adolescence, again as we become young adults, and yet again as we become middle-aged, and then if we’re lucky, as we move through our croning. All of these changes of life occur in liminal spaces of time. When we’re 11, 12, 13 years old, we’re moving out of our childhood phase.
A lot of our childlike beliefs are challenged. We learn that Santa and the Easter bunny aren’t real, suddenly our parents and the adults around us begin to expect a lot more of us. We desperately want to be treated like we’re not kids anymore, but we don’t necessarily feel any older.
When we’re 20-24 or so, we are moving through young adulthood, maybe moving out of our parent’s house, going to college, getting a job, finding love. We don’t really know what we’re doing, we still feel like teenagers, but we want to be treated like adults, even though we are kind of afraid to be adults. You know, we have that stark, cold knowledge that if we screw up in any kind of significant way, if we choose the wrong partner, or fail that midterm, or get too rowdy at the bar and start a fight that gets out of hand, that mistake could define the rest of our lives.
As we move through middle-age, we find that our priorities are very different to what they used to be. We start to worry a lot more about the future, maybe we have kids of our own now, maybe we’re taking care of our parents. We’ve got to make the house payment, we’ve got to schedule that mammogram, we’ve got to buy life insurance. But the truth of the matter is that we don’t really feel like we’ve got it any more figured out now than we did in our 20s, but now we’re the grown-ups.
And in each of these transitions, we find ourselves in liminal spaces. And in other life moments, you know, even small less significant events like being between jobs, to the more monumental, defining moments like the birth or death of a loved one, we will be in a liminal time in our lives. We’re not quite where we used to be anymore, but we’re not quite where we’re going to end up yet, either.
And in these spaces, there is significant magick. Nothing is set in stone yet, and so anything is possible. And we can channel the magick of liminal spaces by recognizing where to find it, and understanding how to use it.
One way that’s relatively easy is to use the space between being asleep and being awake. I’ve mentioned a book before called The Silva Mind Control Method by Jose Silva. It’s an easy read and I recommend it to everyone. It’s a method that was developed by Jose Silva to help people in all kinds of ways. Maybe they want to break bad habits, develop ESP, learn to astral travel, or whatever the case may be, and it’s all done in the liminal space between sleep and wakefulness.
It’s called the theta state of consciousness and if you’re not interested in reading the book, you can find about a hundred guided meditations for taking yourself to theta state and about a thousand online guides for learning to put yourself in theta state.
In the Astral Travel episode we talked at length about the method for doing this, so I won’t belabor it here, but this is very much liminal magick. Also, I kept calling it Alpha state in that episode because that’s what happens when I rely only on my memory and don’t follow my notes, but rest assured that I meant to say theta state.
This is the state of consciousness where the mind can really expand. Areas of consciousness such as creativity, intuition, premonition, and manifestation are able to stretch their limits in theta state, and so being able to go into this level of consciousness at will is a powerful tool. It takes a lot of practice and you’re going to fall asleep over and over again trying to get there, but it is absolutely worth the effort.
But there’s other kinds of magick we can do in liminal spaces. Not just in the metaphorical liminal spaces, but in the literal doorways, entrances, thresholds, train stations, airports, hotels, crossroads, and highways that we find out in the world. We can go to these places to perform liminal magick. Liminal magick is magick that we can do to support ourselves when we are in any kind of a transition, or when we want to transcend to the next level.
So, if we’re trying to advance our careers or to move into a new field, if we’re thinking of pursuing a new hobby or learning a new skill, if we’re furthering our education, if we’re looking to start a new relationship or to move an existing relationship to a new phase. If we are trying to release old patterns of behavior or to establish new, healthier patterns, if we are experiencing changes in our health, all of these issues can be supported by performing our magick in liminal spaces.
But what does that does that mean for us? Well it means that we can incorporate these existing, physical liminal spaces into the execution of our spellwork. As an example, a few years back, I had to do a banishing. There was a person who needed to go. Away. And I got all my elements together for a banishing spell, I had this individual’s personal concern, if memory serves, I used their hair. And I had my black salt, I had banishing oil, I had cayenne, stinging nettle, nightshade, belladonna. So I put together my spell, I worked it during the waning moon, and then I buried it at a crossroads.
This may not have been strictly necessary to get a decent result, but it also imbued that work with the movement and the restlessness of a crossroads. I wanted this person to make moves and get the hell out of my life and guess what? They peaced out in a permanent way. They didn’t die; it’s not that kind of permanence. But they’re out of my life for good, and I was able to use liminal magick to expand the results that I got.
Another aspect of liminal spaces that I think bears mention is that the Fae are frequently found in liminal spaces, especially wilderness spaces and abandoned properties, so that’s something to A) keep in mind when you’re performing work in these places because you might run up against these entities, so make sure you’re respectful of their space, and B) a great place to find some fae if that’s what you’re into. I actually have a story and I can’t remember if I’ve told it before, but one night, several years ago, my oldest and I were walking the dogs together. It was like 9pm on a warm night, and we took our boys out to this really big field near our house and let them run around.
This was a routine of ours, we did this several nights a week. We would walk them out to this field nearby, walk around the entire perimeter of the field, which is several dozen acres, and then leash them back up and walk back home. And there’s a feeling out in that field that’s hard to put into words. It’s very open and very flat, immediately to the west of the field is an aqueduct that’s running with water all year round, and on the other side of that is an almond orchard. And this field is zoned for commercial use, but it hasn’t been developed yet. So as far as being a liminal space, I mean, it hits every mark. It’s waiting to be turned into a shitty stripmall, but we’ve been there seven years and they still haven’t broken ground.
So it’s got coyotes, ground squirrels, garter snakes, field mice, there are hawks and owls that nest nearby, there are a lot of wildflowers that grow in the spring, it’s got flowing water and all of that sort of wildness, but it’s on the verge of becoming something entirely other. And I tell you, there are fae there.
So my daughter and I and our dogs are headed home one evening after a nice long walk, and we’re engrossed in a conversation, and we leave this field and the next thing we know, we are about three city blocks down the road. Somehow, and it felt like it happened in an instant, we completely overshot the street we should have turned on, the street that would have taken us home, and ended up about another quarter mile further down the road in the wrong direction, and we had lost about twenty minutes.
One minute, we were walking, we were talking, we had the dogs on the leash, and suddenly we stopped and looked around and we were nowhere near where we needed to be, where we should have been. Honestly, it was like waking up from sleepwalking or something. It was a very eerie feeling. We still talk about it sometimes. Neither of us has a goddamn clue what happened, but I believe with all my heart that we were diverted. I think that this field is a liminal space that’s jealously guarded by some fae and I think that for whatever reason, we weren’t wanted there that night.
But it’s a good place for working magick. My kids have done spells there, it’s a great place for divination, or for using a Ouija board, for talking to spirits. Because it exists outside of boundaries. It isn’t a natural meadow, but it isn’t a developed property, either. It’s not any one thing, and so it’s able to be many things. That’s the essence of a liminal space, and that’s why it’s so conducive to magick. It allows for possibility, for magnification. It does not have limits and so it does not impose limits.
So if you’re struggling with stagnance in your practice, if you feel like the work you do at your altar or in your home isn’t quite meeting your expectations, spend some time looking for a liminal space to perform that work, or at least to release that work. If you can’t burn a spell at a crossroads or in a train station, maybe you can at least burn it at home and release the ashes in a liminal space.
I usually try to encourage people to do magick where they are and to keep things simple and I stand by that. I think we tend to overcomplicate this work and become intimidated and frustrated, but I’m telling you, this is an easy way to get more mileage from the work that you’re already doing. If you’re not satisfied with your results, get a little creative, break out of any rut you may be in, by finding someplace that isn’t encumbered by boundaries.
Be respectful of these places, leave a small offering, but use them to help your work. The energy of liminal spaces is so unrestricted, and that energy is going to permeate your work.
And that is the last episode of the year. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming back every week. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write to me; it’s been an absolute honor to work with so many of you to find the right spellwork or magickal solutions. Thank you to everyone who bought my book or posted a review. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported this podcast. I consider you my coven, and we are a powerful force of nature.
So have a safe and happy New Year’s eve, and I’ll see you next year. My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.
One thought on “Liminal Magick”
I loved this episode (well, I haven’t heard an episode I didn’t love yet.) I am so grateful the algorithm popped your podcast up for me. I wish I had found this from the start, but it’s also like finding a great book and learning that it’s part of a series. Thank you for sharing your experience with the world. I love the adjective of middle-age too. I am 51and youth is great, but also overblown. Middle age is something to relish, not denigrate or fear. I mean, yeah, some stuff is weirder than you ever thought it would be, but all in all, it has been one of life’s more pleasant surprises. I also want to thank you for posting transcripts! I listen to podcasts while commuting and sometimes I miss stuff. I wish more podcasters were as thoughtful with transcripts.