A Witch on the Spectrum

I’m not entirely sure if this post is about making your witchcraft autistic

or making your autism witchy

Probably a little bit of both.

This post is for the neurodiverse witches, the spooky autistics, those on the spectrum in any manner who also pursue spiritual or witchy activities. If you’re not on the spectrum, but some of these things apply to you, that’s great! I encourage you to make use of these tips if you find them helpful, but remember to give space for autistic and otherwise neurodiverse people to explore how their neurotypes affect their craft and practice.

On to the meat!

Make Your Stims Magical

  • Incorporate Energy into Hand Flaps
    Many spiritual and magical traditions include blessing or crossing gestures. You can position the hands or fingers in these ways, or you can impart your flaps with energy and intent all your own. Each movement can add energy to a wish or spell, adding up to a lot of collected force through the day!
  • Add Chants and Charms to Verbal Stims
    Memorizing prayers, charms, or mantras can give you accessible verbal stims to use in many situations. Using echolalia to add charms to spells or enchant things on the fly is also a possibility. Even if the words or sounds are ‘made up,’ they can have meaning based on your intent, mood, or will.
  • Use Amulets and Charms in Tactile Stimming
    Rabbit’s feet, fabric pouches, smooth worry-stones, coins, and enchanted jewelry are all wonderful opportunities to sneak magic (or stims) into your daily life. Even a non-magical stim toy can be enchanted to have a certain effect when played with. Many magical tools are designed to be used in this manner anyway, especially coins, stones, crystals, amulets, and glamored jewelry.
  • Doodle Your Intent
    If you stim by doodling and drawing or enjoy creating regular shapes and patterns, drawing sigils, wards, mandalas, or other magical symbols can help focus your mind, and the unique energy of stimming can be a great way to charge your magical doodles, sigils, or signs.

Enchant Your Safe Space

  • Ward Your Bubble
    I know I’m not the only little neuroweird nerd who has a cuddle corner tucked somewhere quiet. Make it special by adding magical protection, isolating spells, and any other charms and wards to keep people, noises, lights, and icky things out, as well as creating feelings of comfort and safety within.
  • Decorate With Charm
    Banners, flags, signs, plaques, and icons can add a safe and familiar touch to a hidey hole, while also boosting the warding and comforting effects of other spells. String lights, tapestry, night lights, charmed blankets, and even those little glow-in-the-dark sticky stars are perfect for both ambiance and magical goodness.
  • Take Your Safe Space With You
    Snip a corner off of your favorite blankie. Make one of the decorative crystals into a necklace. Take a baby bubble of warding with you when you leave your cozy corner. Let the safe space be a charging station for your spiritual and mental batteries, but have a portable battery pack that comes with you when you leave.

Tailor Your Magic

  • Meditation or Visualization
    It might seem obvious to some, but the emphasis that both pagan and mainstream culture puts on empty-mind meditation often leads practitioners to forget about the varied types of meditation that would be better for many people. While empty-mind meditation can be good for some, there are other options that aren’t always discussed. If you have trouble with visualizing images, try meditation that uses numbers, chants, or physical movement. If you have a vivid imagination, try visualizing or journey-work instead of rigid meditation that focuses on only one thing, or no things. Stimming can be incorporated into repetitive motion meditation. The list goes on. Just because empty-mind is the most well-known meditation technique, that doesn’t mean you should try to force yourself into it if it doesn’t work for you.
  • Play to Your Strengths
    Similar to the above — incorporate your special interests into your work, and keep your learning style in mind when creating spells. I personally love identifying plants and understanding the science of their components. Herbalism is an obvious choice for me, and I use it not only for literal medical purposes, but for analogous magical purposes. If you are a math genius, look into numberology, sigil making, and other structured magical paths. If you love art, make your paintings into spells, decorate everything you can get your hands on. This is good advice for any magic worker, but even more pertinent for those on the spectrum. We often have un-balanced/very specialized skill sets or interests, as well as issues with rigid thinking. This can result in a very square peg that thinks the only possible hole is round. Remember that magic and witchcraft come in infinitely varied forms, and creating your own techniques is valid and useful.
  • Divination via Association
    Some folks use Tarot, some use runes or symbols. If you’re a person who experiences synesthesia, or who assigns meaning to certain objects or images, these can be incorporated into a divination system quite effectively.

There are probably many more tips and tricks out there, and I’d love to hear from you if you have some! Neurodiversity is often a neglected topic in the pagan or witchy community, but if your path isn’t tailored to fit your needs then it can be very frustrating and isolating. Autistic witches are out there, and we’ve got some pretty neat stories to tell.