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Spoonies have started making waves in social media. Maybe you recently found out that there are spoonie witches too, and are curious what they are. Or maybe you are suffering from a chronic illness just like them, so you wonder what if you are a spoonie witch too.
Spoonie witches are a self-identified group within witchcraft. It’s composed of witches with low energy, either due to chronic conditions or differing abilities. They adjust their practices to the demands of their condition to create adaptive, inclusive, and less taxing magical practices.
Read on to find out more about this self-declared group within witchcraft.
What Is a Spoonie Witch?
The Urban Dictionary refers to a “spoonie” as someone living with a long-term illness, especially a physical one. Many people with chronic mental illness have identified with this term too, which originated from Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory.
She explains this in her blog, But You Don’t Look Sick, where she describes what it’s like to live with chronic illness so healthy people can understand. What healthy don’t realize is that chronically sick people have excruciating difficulty just going through normal activities of daily living that regular folks take for granted, like getting out of bed or taking a shower.
Miserandino uses a spoon as a unit of measurement to quantify energy. Chronically ill and physically/mentally challenged people have a limited supply of energy, so if they can view energy in a tangible form, they can manage their reserves better and preserve what they currently have.
One spoon stands for one unit of energy for accomplishing a single daily activity, like getting dressed or taking a shower. A sick person with a limited number of spoons has to ration their energy. They must plan their day stringently—and in advance—so they don’t run out of spoons.
Taking from this definition, a spoonie witch is one with a chronic illness who practices witchcraft in consideration of his or her health issues. As a result, spoonie witches use their magic and other skills to deal with their malady and help others like them.
Note that the term “spoonie witch” is non-gender-specific.
Also, identifying as a “spoonie” is a choice. Not all chronically sick or differently-abled people do. Tasha, a semi-secular spoonie witch, addressed those apprehensive about joining the spoonie witch community (since outsiders often associate witchcraft with “the black arts”) when she said: “Witchcraft does not always have to be a religion. It does not always have to be a spiritual journey. Sometimes it’s just a practice.”
What Is Spoonie Witchcraft?
Amino, a blog on witchcraft with the aim of making witchcraft knowledge more accessible to the masses, explains it thus:
Spoonie witchcraft is a practice connected with the spoon theory—a metaphor for the use of energy in dealing with chronic illness, disability, or mental disorders. This theory uses spoons as representations of mental or physical energy used to function in daily life. Disability or illness impacts the way spoons are used up.
If a sick person runs out of spoons, he has to rest until his spoons are restored. A used spoon can only be replaced if he rests. But resting doesn’t necessarily guarantee a person more spoons. Many disabled people have a continuously low supply of energy, especially if they have sleep disorders or mental health issues.
Taking from this theory, spoonie witchcraft is the practice of witchcraft, giving special consideration or accommodation to one’s disability or illness.
It involves changing established methods (or creating new ones) to make witchcraft more workable. It also involves integrating witchcraft into one’s self-care routine.
The Spoon Theory Influence
The spoon theory is an analogy to express how chronically ill people with limited, low, or sporadic energy levels feel.
It has since spread among those with long-standing medical conditions, disabilities, and mental health issues. Their shared experiences, plus the feeling of division and misunderstanding between themselves and healthy people, have spawned numerous communities that revolve around this theory.
Their interactions have resulted in a movement with various branches, all offering support specific to participants’ circumstances. There are plentiful sources about this movement in social media.
The ubiquity of spoon theory has allowed even timid individuals to come out to participate and share their experiences.
What Draws the Chronically Ill to Witchcraft and Magic?
The leader of Amino has realized the answer after meeting other spoonie witches. Magic gives them power; a means to somehow be in control of themselves and their environment.
It provides some solace even when their illnesses or disabilities leave them feeling helpless, out of control, or lost within their world.
Magic offers them a way back to being an active member of their communities, feeling engaged once again.
This re-emergence enables them to transform themselves and make changes in their (and others’) lives.
How Do You Know if You’re a Spoonie Witch?
Magic comes in many forms, and each spoonie witch has a unique brand. Whether they take minutes or hours to do rituals or add intent to their spells, spoonie witches all maintain their practice of magic rituals.
What makes them different from other witches is that they practice witchcraft with their health considerations in mind.
If you are mentally or physically ill or are differently-abled and follow the above activities, you may be a spoonie witch. If you have a knack for finding unique ways to solve problems, have a highly developed sense of discernment or instinct, or have an affinity for using herbs and other plant-based remedies, you have the capacity to be one, if you aren’t already.
Tips From a Spoonie Witch
When clinical disorders or disabilities interfere with their practice, proactive spoonie witches find alternatives to traditional methods if the ones they previously used have become taxing or difficult to carry out.
They seek substitutes to visualization, energy work, meditation, and astral skills, if those modalities no longer work for them.
They remind themselves that each ingredient for a spell is merely a conduit for energy. So they can source alternatives to inaccessible or inconvenient methods.
The owner of the Tea Berry Magic blog, a real-life spoonie witch, offers these tips on how to practice witchcraft despite one’s illness:
- Instead of maintaining a physical library of heavy books inconvenient to hold, lift, or shelve, use a digital library—download ebooks into your computer or mobile device. Convert your physical collection into PDFs or ePubs.
- Instead of maintaining a physical altar, keep a paper, digital, or portable version. Some apps act as alternatives to candles and lighters. They save you money, especially if you need to restock regularly. Just keep a few physical candles for each season—no need to hoard lots. If you maintain positive energy around your space, you don’t need a physical proof of your abilities.
- Instead of maintaining a physical garden, nurture digital plants. Check out the Viridi app. Another option is switching to low-energy plants, such as cacti or air plants. Or keep plant figurines (ceramic, porcelain, silver, pewter, crystal) or plant art.
- Instead of maintaining a handwritten grimoire (a book of invocations and magic spells), use a digital alternative. Record your voice, use a speech-to-text app, or type. Typing is a low-impact activity compared to writing.
- Use shortcuts. Don’t waste spoons trying to accomplish difficult or impossible stuff. Modify practices when possible. Set aside those beyond your limitations. Don’t compete with other witches by proving you can do the same things. Practice in a manner you deem fit.
- Don’t meditate sitting cross-legged if this gives you discomfort. You don’t have to take on this stereotype meditation pose. Lie down instead, remain sitting up in a chair, or if you have back pain, you can even stand if that’s what’s most comfortable for you.
- Use tarot apps if you don’t have the energy to take out the entire deck.
- If you can’t lift your arms or have difficulty maintaining prolonged positions, don’t cast with a wand. Visualize and look in the direction you want to cast.
- Use sigils (inscribed or painted symbols with magical powers) as energy-preserving alternatives to complex spells. Sigils are simple to do. Their supplies are chargeable and accessible. Always have a notepad and pen (or mobile digital device) handy to create sigils whenever you need them.
- Whatever you can do standing, do it lying down or sitting with visualization instead. Perform your energy work, rituals, or spells in the position you’re most comfortable with, like leaning, sitting, or lying down on your bed. Then draw a circle around that bed.
- Do kitchen-based witchcraft sitting down. Cook with a hot plate instead of a stove or conventional oven.
Spoonie witchcraft revolves around using your creativity and resourcefulness to practice witchcraft joyfully while managing illness. This means acknowledging your limitations, not competing with others, and finding peace with the ways in which you are comfortable practicing magick.
Don’t view your situation as a drawback– think of it as an alternate viewpoint that can be an advantage.
Your workarounds to traditional methods will enable you to practice your craft with the same intentions, but in a manner that works for you.
And remember, you don’t have to be a spoonie witch to employ their methods. Use the information from this article to manage temporary mental and physical health dilemmas in your unique way.
- Urban Dictionary: Spoonie
- Amino: Spoonie Witchcraft—An Introduction
- Amino: Who Are Spoonie Witches?
- Wikipedia: Spoon Theory
- But You Don’t Look Sick: The Spoon Theory written by Christine Miserandino
- Heather Witch: A spoonie witch is…
- Tumblr: Spoonie Witches
- Counting My Spoons: What Is a Spoonie?
- Tea Berry Magic: Spoonie Witch Tips
- Jess Dodson’s Collection: Spoon Theory
- Healthline: I’m a “Spoonie.” Here’s What I Wish More People Knew About Chronic Illness
- Mental Floss: 10 Ways to Identify a Witch
- History: History of Witches
- Moody Moons: Quiz—What Kind of Witch Are You?
- Exemplore: Are You a Witch? Signs and Characteristics That Reveal Your True Self
- Spoonie Witches: Spoonie Witches—An Intro
- 24 Photos That Show What Being a Spoonie Really Looks Like
- Twitter: Spoonie_Witch
- Spoonie Witches: Which Witch Are You?