Rachel Lang, astrology, magic activism, feminism

When the world around you is teeming with oppressive power structures, disconnection and fear, what can you do to make a real difference? As history has shown us, it can be achieved through magical practice.

Rachel Lang is a highly sought-after astrologer, author and scholar of magic. Her Instagram is filled with astrological insights and ritual ideas, and promotions for her new book, "Modern Day Magic: 8 Simple Rules to Realize Your Power and Shape Your Life," published in September. I recently interviewed her to get a better understanding of what "magical activism" really is.First off, let's define magic by stating what it is not.

As Lang put it: "Magic is not witchcraft, or a religion. It's our innate spiritual power, heartfelt passion and creative potential that brings us into a wondrous relationship with all life. Think of that little sparkle you feel when you're like, 'oh my God, I'm in the right place at the right time. I just had deja vu'. We all have that experience. And so we all have magic coursing through us."

When you put it that way, many of us practice magic under a different name. Call it "law of attraction" or "using the force," we all have our little ways of trying to enact change in tangible ways. Whether it's as mainstream as meditation, or as "woo-woo" as drawing a tarot card or spritzing some rose water.



Rather than a religion, magic is "a more body-centric experience that creates a shift in an awakening within ourselves and then compels us into having more compassion, more empathy," she said. "And we start seeing ourselves as a part of the whole, not just as these isolated people out there doing our own thing. And, you know, and I think that that's the gift of magic. … We connect with the planet and we connect with one another in a real way."

Combine that with activism, and you have activating your own innate personal power in an effort to create lasting, positive social change; connecting with something greater than yourself, to affect the greater good.


Take for instance the suffragettes, who incorporated seance rituals of spiritualism to fight for women's rights in the 1800s. Matilda Joslyn Gage, suffrage leader and writer of "Woman, Church and State," even claimed herself as a "witch."

Or in the '60s, when the Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (aka W.I.T.C.H.) paraded down the streets of New York with brooms and pointy pants, chanting hexes on Wall Street bankers and campaigning against the sexism of beauty pageants and the Playboy Club. A day later, the stock market reportedly fell 13 points. As if by magic.

WITCH: Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell www.youtube.com

Fast forward to the year following Trump's presidential inauguration, when protestors dressed as witches carried signs reading "Witches Against White Supremacy," "Hex White Supremacy" and "Good Night Alt-Right". There was even a "Spell to Bind Trump and All Those Who Abet Him" posted online. And in 2020, people were coming together to create sigils—magical symbols or drawings—to protect democracy during the Biden and Harris presidential inauguration.


Magic Activism "The Living Democracy Sigil" created in a magic workshop.Patheos.com

"It only makes sense that it rises in popularity in major times of needing to take personal ownership of our expression," said Lang.

Hexes and broomsticks aside, the disenfranchised continue to turn to magic because it's inherently about standing up against what is wrong in our world. As Lang put it, "We are a country that needs healing. We have a history of racism, of sexism, of violence and of spiritual abuse. If we are truly going to change as a society, we need to distance ourselves from that religious rhetoric. And one of the ways we can do that is by reclaiming our magic and reclaiming the word. When we do that, we distance ourselves from the colonial past."

Lang suggested that one way to do this is through community.

"When we gather in groups, we can generate so much more energy together than we can alone. We rally around a shared intention of being a part of something. We get energized. And that's really powerful. I think in many ways, it's going back to indigenous practices," she said.

If the thought of joining a coven sounds a little too intense for you, it might help to know that mysticism has found its way into the digital space. Take a quick glimpse at #witchtok and you'll see there's no shortage of people looking to add a bit of mystical power into their lives. It might not be exactly as our ancestors did, but it's a step in that direction. And as we have seen in the past, when individuals form a group to combine their passions with purpose, big things can happen.

Or, you can start by reclaiming your own magic, aka personal power. That is more than enough to start changing the world. How to start? It might be simpler than you think…

Lang ended our interview by saying, "When we bring spiritual presence to the everyday activities of our lives, like cooking dinner, taking a shower or cleaning our rooms. When we find sacredness in the mundane aspects of life, then we open ourselves to all kinds of possibilities for feeling connected to the world that we live in, to spiritual forces beyond our understanding and to one another. It becomes a way of life and suddenly you feel more passion, you feel more alive and centered. And so you start tapping into that deep well of feelings you might have suppressed. That's the realm where magic lives. I'm a big advocate for everyday rituals to make life feel more magical."

If you're looking for a deeper dive on this topic, or for ideas on how to make your everyday world more magical, I highly suggest reading Lang's book. It might be the only invocation you need to start making a difference.

Hands Globe Earth - Free image on Pixabay



Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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