By Coleman Drew
How paying closer attention to the light can help us infuse a sense of play back into our lives.
Color Me Rainbow
I’ve been a ‘friend of Dorothy’ since I was in utero and always had an affinity for rainbows. I believed my troubles wouldn't be able to follow me if I could only just get over that archway of color and find myself in Oz. Many times over I’ve proudly worn a rainbow as a badge of honor – remembering and celebrating all those LGBTQIA individuals who’ve blazed the trail before us. More recently, though, rainbows have become a daily reminder to bend the light according to my needs.
This past holiday season, while working through my seasonal depression, I found myself daydreaming about ways to make sunlight more meaningful. As a city witch, I find it paramount to continuously cultivate a connection with nature and sometimes that means bringing the natural world into my home – be it with plants, crystals or other elemental treasures. To combat those dark and dreary mornings, I felt the need to honor the power of the Sun.
I’ll hang some prisms in my windows, I thought. Let’s take a page out of Pollyanna’s playbook and use rainbows as a symbol to keep my own ‘glad game’ going. Mind you, this was during the winter, before we would come to understand the extent of our current affairs with the pandemic. In this time of isolation and uncertainty, I am relying more than ever on these simple, yet powerful reminders to help keep me sane and optimistic. (By the way, for all you homebound folks out there needing a fluffy distraction, Pollyanna is now available on Disney+).
A Witch worth their weight in salt does their magickal homework, and for all of us, each practice is unique. While I was letting my inner Hermione Granger run wild with research, I discovered the word prism comes from the late Latin and Ancient Greek word prisma, meaning a ‘thing sawn’. A prism is a glass or other transparent object with at least two surfaces and a specific angle between them – the degree of which determines the way the light’s path bends. Because each color travels at different speeds, when white light passes through a prism, it bends and separates into a spectrum of colors.
A perfect example of a prism in action is Pink Floyd’s 1973 album cover for Dark Side of the Moon. A beam of white light can be seen streaming in from the left, hitting a triangular prism center, and bending into a rainbow of color out the other side.
Soon after wishing for prisms, I rediscovered three in my room! Once again I’m reminded that the power of a clearly defined intention will help us pay closer attention – especially if you let your dreams refocus your eyes on what is right in front of you.
One morning in between wake and writer’s block, a glimmer reflected from my bulletin board caught my eye. I looked up to find a heart-shaped prism from my childhood hanging, seemingly at attention, among the other treasures of days long passed. What a silly place for something meant to catch the light, I thought.
I’d soon find two more prisms in my room, one heart-shaped and another an orb – both lightless and hidden. Gods, what else in my room isn’t living up to its fullest potential? My internal monologue continued as my eyes found my own face in the mirror across from me: No time for a self-crucifixion today Capricorn, we’ve got some f-ing rainbows to hang up!
Boredom will either act as the key to unlocking magickal, creative play (helping us entertain ourselves and discover the world around us) or boredom will shine a mirror on areas that need to be addressed. These are not mutually exclusive, but that's another story, another spell.
I looped the first prism heart around my curtain rod and the effect was immediate. Rainbows were bouncing around my room! I giggled and quickly hung up the others on the adjacent window. I turned to admire my newly revitalized space. The heart-shaped prism cast large streaks of color all around my room, while the orb created smaller, more concentrated rainbows. The effect was utterly enchanting and filled me with glee - which is key to unlocking a sense of play.
Here are some tips on how to create the same magickal effect at home...
Each day, when the sun’s presence activates the rainbows, I am reminded to check-in with myself. Where do I need to bend the light to more colorfully express myself? A quest that began with a way to hold on to the light during times of darkness led me to understand that sometimes, it’s about redirecting the light you already have within.
For more stories on how to practice magick during hard times, click here for Veronica's story on manifesting self-love.