It’s All In My Head
I am done with my Jerk Brain. For forty years I allowed it to sit in my mind, eating away at my self-esteem, mental health and happiness. This past April, I turned forty-one and decided that I didn’t want to play host to that parasite any longer. It’s a decision borne of annoyance and desperation, but also of weariness. The idea that I’ll be eighty-years-old and still dealing with a voice that tells me I am fat and ugly and stupid and a waste of space is exhausting.
Evicting Jerk Brain isn’t the goal. I’ve tried in years past to mitigate the harm it has done. I’ve turned down the volume on its voice. I’ve redirected its energies. I’ve engaged in endless efforts to soften its vitriol. All of these measures have been taken under a belief that Jerk Brain serves a purpose. For as long as it has been with me I have treated it as my very own Jiminy Cricket—albeit an insect whose guidance owes more to a school of unwarranted cruelty rather than kind correction.
None of my previous attempts have mitigated Jerk Brain’s nastiness for long. Always, it would convince me that ignoring all the harsh criticism was proof that I was a bad person. Jerk Brain, it would insist, is just trying to help me become a better person and here I am, being an ungrateful, petulant child in the face of that help. And I would capitulate, allowing a voice that most assuredly wants me to die have room again in my life.
Breaking that cycle of abuse has to start with the acceptance of one solid fact: Jerk Brain does not have my best interests at heart. It’s an easy enough realization, harder still to embrace and use as a platform for change. I am required to reject outright any of Jerk Brain’s comments. More than that: I have to murder the fucker.
So I set out to come up with a plan for killing off my most intimate enemy. I need more than self-help psychology and affirmations. I was going to call in some spiritual help in ending the putrescent Clarence once and for all. It was time to take my relationship with Hekate to another level.
Hexing My Jerk Brain
I’ve been working with Hekate for about a year now. I wanted to move beyond my pagan relation to the world and into practicing witchcraft. My practice and study have been focused on my sewing, and the book I am writing about sewing and magick. I’ve consecrated my sewing machines, imbued my pins and needles with magical intent, and wove ritual into items I’ve made. Beyond that, and the regular smudging of my home, I haven’t cast spells. And yet, here I was, drawing up a plan to cover a year of regular hexing my Jerk Brain, as well as spells to build up myself, to become the person I wanted to be.
It is an ambitious undertaking for someone with little experience under her (imaginary) belt. But that is my Jerk Brain, talking, and I’m not interested in listening. I am a woman desperate to free her life of a poisonous toad. What else do desperate women do, if not acts that look impossible from the outside?
Hexing is a touchy subject in pagan circles. More than one person has brought up the “rule of three” when I started outlining my plan. Honestly that rule has never figured into my belief. It’s a concept that doesn’t make sense to me and I’ve never seen it in action in my life or worldview. I’ve found that my feelings on magick, hexing and its usefulness are in line with Seo Helrune’s in their blog post “A Witch That Cannot Hex Cannot Heal” (parts 1 and 2). I won’t expand here what has been so eloquently put there. Click on the links if you want to read more. Even if I abided by the rule, if ever there was an entity that deserved hexing, it would be Jerk Brain. It is a matter of magickal self-defense at this point.
After some research and meditation I wrote out the plan, titled “A Year and a Day” (because “How to Kill a Jerk Brain in About Thirteen Months” seemed a little wordy). For the next year I will perform a hex on my Jerk Brain at the dark of the moon. On the full moon there will be a more constructive ritual/spell because I need to focus on building up as well.
I cast my first hex last night. It was a rather low-key affair. I don’t call the quarters or invoke lords or ladies. I don’t speak in rhyme, or out loud, even. As an introvert pagan my spellwork happens primarily in my mind. The focus of the spell was identifying Jerk Brain as my enemy, aided by a drawing of a blocky, snarling monster surrounded by swirls of black. This image was burned with rue (for exorcism), flower of the hour (to heighten the speed of the spell) and a dried snapdragon husk (for its resemblance to a skull and thus the death of Jerk Brain).
The only altar image present was the Death card from my Herbal Tarot deck to amplify the change I am attempting. Later I might add a Hekate image, to reinforce her presence. The altar is a family affair, constantly shifting with items added or removed by any member of the household, not to mention the occasional visit by the cats who find it a perfect place to perch while looking out the window. Because of this, I can’t really have an elaborate set up.
The whole ritual took an hour, from the start of assembling the herbs for the incense, to the end when I snuffed out the candles, made some tea and headed to bed. This will be key to maintaining the spellwork over so many months. Anything that requires hours of preparation or participation won’t work with my schedule.
I have twelve more months to build on what I started last night. I go into this knowing that what I have set out to do will take time. Jerk Brain won’t be gotten rid of overnight. It will reanimate and lurch back into my mind to harry me once again. That’s the reason for the year long ritual. With each month I will build on the spell, increasing its potency and deadliness. Every time I say “You are not welcome here” and burn Jerk Brain’s image it will be easier to tell it to fuck off between spells. Every time I call on Hekate to help me overcome my sadistic inquisitor, I will feel stronger.
Therapy is useful. Medication helps immensely. And where those two fall short, I have witchcraft in my arsenal.