Pagan Blog Prompts: Illness:

How do you deal with illness?

Does being sick hinder your magic work?

Do you employ magic to make yourself healthy again?

What about others? Do you work magic to heal other people?

So I’m working off this one. I suppose this one struck me, because it’s thanks to an illness that I really re-looked at myself the last year and a half.

See, my grandma got sick suddenly at the beginning of October 2010. I was away at college and I got a call from my mom, telling me my grandma had fallen on her property, went to the hospital, and they said she had pneumonia after doing chest x-rays because of her cough. No big deal, she had medication for it, and she’d be doing well again in just a few weeks. I can’t remember really the next sequence of events totally clearly, I never will either, I know that. I think it was three days later that I got another call; my grandma was in the hospital.

She was in a coma, and the whole family found out that she had lung cancer. She had to have known, at least from the pneumonia, but I think she’d known for a long time and hadn’t told us so no one would worry about her. So three days after finding out my grandma had cancer, my dad, aunt and uncle agreed that she would have never wanted to be hooked up in a hospital wasting away. I didn’t go and see her. I love my grandma dearly; I always have and always will. But she would not have wanted me or my sibling, her only grandchildren, to see her like that. She would have wanted us to remember her alive and happy, spending time with family either on the lake, in town, at school music functions for my sibling and I…doing things that were fun. So I couldn’t bring myself to go and see her.

I quit practicing completely at that point; I was too shocked and upset. I stopped researching; looking into anything…I just gave up. I barely managed to pass my classes that semester, even being at the point of almost having to repeat a class for my major though I managed to barely scrape a good enough grade to avoid that likelihood; I just couldn’t care or focus at that point. But I realized a few months afterwards that just giving up on everything was not what my grandma would have wanted. I took the time off that I needed, and then began researching again. I started with the Irish and Scottish mythologies, my grandma always wanted to go to Ireland. But I branched out and I’ve come to terms with it. Not gotten over it, that can never happen.

When someone close to me is really sick I don’t do well at all magically or spiritually. It puts my whole mind and self out of order, completely shakes me. I don’t do magic to heal people, I don’t do it for myself. I know that illness cannot be helped at times by anything humans have access to now, not even magic and belief. I also just have not seen the point in working magic on other people; it isn’t really in my practice right now. Perhaps down the line I might try to ease someone close to me from pain or discomfort, but right now I can’t do it, and I wouldn’t.

As for myself, I don’t take medication unless I am sick enough to have to go to a doctor and they say that I’m required to. I just have never been big on medicine, pills, liquids…none of it. I’m also very rarely sick. I get the occasional seasonal cold, I’ve had a few flu-bugs over the years, but I’m remarkably healthy, which is a shock considering my medical conditions, but that’s a complete other story. If I’m actually sick, I just don’t have the concentration or willpower to do any workings or magic. If I don’t have the will or intent I won’t do it, because that’s a waste of my time and the time of those I’m working with. I know that trying to work without being focused and steady is a mistake, so I don’t do any work when I’m sick unless I must. Since I’m so very rarely sick I don’t bother to heal myself. The occasional cold or flu is no harm to me; it’s actually a benefit in some respects, since it means my immune system is working wonders. If I were constantly sick, I might try to heal myself, but I don’t know for sure.

I’d never thought too much on illness before seeing the prompt here. But I suppose, once I actually thought through it, illness pretty much socked me into admitting things about my beliefs that I hadn’t really consciously admitted to. It was really because of my grandma that I realized that I need to do what was best for me, to do what I wanted to…and to be myself. So the fact is, much as I’d never seen it, illness had a major impact on my beliefs and life.