I don’t do much of the kind of magic that involves spells. What I do is often quieter, more understated, and more about deploying myself as the force for change even when things look impossible, or insane, or are too big an ask. I am, in essence, the kind of pixie that turns up in the night to spin your straw into gold, but with none of the weird shit about stealing babies.
Yes, I will write you a thousand words in the next couple of hours because someone dropped out and your magazine is supposed to go to print today. Yes, I’ll show up unpaid over a month and paint all your fences because you’re demoralised and the space in which you do your awesome work is adding to that. Yes, I’ll do your press release because your work is beautiful and you deserve a bigger audience. Yes, I’ll show up the day before your event, clean all your floors and accept that I’m too much of a house elf to be invited on the night.
I don’t have much glamour magic. I do not have the kind of captivating presence that leads to other people wanting to sit at my feet. There’s a lot of that around in the Pagan community, but without elves to come in and respond to that, the glamour alone doesn’t get a great deal done. But without the glamour magic and the inspiration of amazing people, there wouldn’t be the same motivation to elf.
I’m a fairly selective sort of elf these days. It’s not enough that a person seem shiny and alluring – it has to be about the work or the need. I’d walk barefoot over hot coals for Molly Scott Cato if she asked me to (Green EU candidate, inspirational economist.) She’s not an overtly glamorous person, but I believe in her work and her vision, and I would do anything that I could turn my hand to, if it would serve.
If someone needs me, I’ll show up. All it takes is being able to ask, and if it’s possible, I’ll do it. I’ll throw everything I have, body and mind, heart and soul into getting the job done, if I believe in the person I’m doing that for, if they need me, if I am asked. I will push mind and body to breaking point and beyond, because I have a great deal of will power, and where there is love, there is the magic to pull the impossible out of the ether.
If that’s welcome, wanted, valued… the response feeds the magic, enabling me to go further, to draw more out of myself. If it makes a difference. If someone is able to say “this helps,” I can get rabbits out of hats. Having my elf-magic taken for granted makes it much harder, and having it not really valued can reduce me to an unviable, whimpering heap. Of course there are, now and then, people who notice how hard I will work and what I’m prepared to do, and take an approach of being ungrateful and demanding to see if they can get that bit more out of me. I will give everything I have, for love of the people, the project, the cause. I can’t give you more than that, and I do not hold anything back, so the people who undertake never to be satisfied, can leave me really messed up. I’m learning to move away from that and to focus on spaces where I get to feel good enough, valued and useful – it seems like the better way to go as I can’t do everything.
Today I am so sore from what I’ve done this week, that it hurts my hands and arms to type. I’m going to be typing all day. To serve. To do what is needed. To see if I can pull off a little magic this time, and make things a little better for a few people. I remember being told as a child that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are magic words. They are. They ease pain, soothe exhaustion, and make elf-magic possible.