Medicine and Magick: The Chronically Sick Witch


Marta Bevacqua

Image: Marta Bevacqua

“Miraculously recover or die. That’s the extent of our cultural bandwidth for chronic illness.”

S. Kelly Harrell

An UPDATE  on my story.

I want to talk about a topic that is extremely personal and close to my heart; it was after reading an article similar to this the other day that I realized I had something to say on the matter, too. I allowed myself to collect my thoughts over the last two days, making sure I am clear in what I want to say and how I want to make my point.

I have a feeling that this blog will resonate with many, and give new hope to people who otherwise have lost it. I will link you to the article that inspired me at the bottom.

This piece is about Chronic Illness and how it does or does not affect one’s Magick; I am bringing this topic up and discussing it because I am plagued by Chronic health issues.

Let me first define Chronic Illness or Disease: “A chronic disease is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear”.

Some examples of Chronic Illness include but are not limited to: “The leading chronic diseases in developed countries include (in alphabetical order) arthritis, cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and stroke, cancer such as breast and colon cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and seizures, obesity, and oral health problems. Each of these conditions plague older adults in the US (and other developed nations)”. Note: Age has nothing to do with it, in my opinion.

Some other Chronic Illnesses that I am referring to are auto immune diseases such as Lupus, Hashimoto’s Disease, Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Syndrome; let’s not forget diseases like Depression, Bipolar Disorder, even Asthma.

These conditions affect millions of people, primarily in developed countries, and there are so many theories as to why.

I like to read threads of comments, I find that it gives me a good idea of where the world has shifted as a collective. I know that “it’s just Social Media” but it’s a good indicator of the state of our planet; watching the Trending topics will allow you to see a pattern that is used when mainstream media wishes to distract us from something bigger, from something actually worth reporting, which seems to be more and more common these days.

Anyways, on a particular thread I saw a comment that has played over and over in my head since and it read:

“If you are truly spiritually aware and spiritually awakened then you do not need to be on medications, you will also not need any substances to assist you. When your mind and Spirit are truly in tune, your body will be in perfect balance”.

I personally believe the opposite; I think the more spiritually aware we become, the higher in consciousness we go, the more our bodies and minds begin to feel the symptoms. I think that Occultists, Witches, and Spiritualists in general are prone to depression and anxiety (even just social anxiety) because we see the world differently, we ARE different and society is quick to point out just how different we are.

I also believe deeply that there is a connection between consciousness and past life wounds with chronic conditions.

As for substances, drugs and such in regards to Magick: it’s a personal choice.

Am I condoning drug use? No, I am not but I am standing up for one’s right to choose, even if that choice is harmful to themselves—they will either learn their lesson or they will die, it’s simple. I have never been into “hard drugs” and I don’t judge those who are. I did cocaine a bit when I was in my early twenties, and haven’t touched it since.

I have tried and loved hallucinogenic mushrooms a few times (acid scares me) and everything else is too hard for my taste.

In regards to weed, it’s part of my everyday life and Magick; I am a true advocate for it, and I have seen the health benefits first hand, not just in myself but in others, too.

When my Mom was going through Chemotherapy and Radiation for Breast Cancer and her mouth tasted like metal and she couldn’t eat, it was smoking a bowl or two that allowed her body to calm, her appetite to come back and for a brief moment she was taken away from the pain she had become accustomed to.

My personal experiences and chronic health conditions are vast; I had a full hysterectomy due to a uterine fibroid, cervical cancer, ovarian cysts and endometriosis at 27 (now 33).

I experienced a Soul Wound and massive Auric tear at this time because it was such trauma and changed who I was as a person, or so I thought at the time.

I mean, a Witch in her Maiden and Mother years harnesses her power from her Womb and her monthly blood; all of that was taken from me, and it took me years to come to grips with the fact that my Magick now comes from the darkness of the Crones, and I had no choice but to adapt.

I then faced the true reality that we can draw from all three phases of our Womanhood; at any given time we can be Maiden, Mother or Crone–think about it.

From this point my “little pains” I had experienced since my late teens could no longer be ignored.

I had a grand mal seizure in August 2013 and it was at that exact moment that my Spiritual awakening kicked into overdrive, and I have not been the same since.

Two months later in October is when I took my vow of celibacy; a personal, not permanent vow to myself.

It was once believed that Seers would have seizures induced by Hekate to test their will, and to invoke Her power into them. I will link you to the story at the bottom.

I have never since, and never before had a seizure, I do however get severe muscle spasms and ‘twinges’ when a vision is about to occur; this happens during waking or sleeping hours. And, yes, I went through more neurological tests than I can count and the only thing they could find is that I have an extremely overactive mind, and I use parts of my brain more than the average person. There were and are no defects to my brain, no nerve damage, nothing.

I have been diagnosed with Bipolar 2 (have not faced a manic or severe depressive episode, the focus of my “disorder” is on mood swings), Anxiety (general, social and agoraphobia), ADD, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Disease (a form of Hypothyroidism), Chronic Pain and Fatigue Syndromes, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Systemic Lupus, Severe Dermographism and some pretty nasty allergies (the kind where I need to carry an epi pen everywhere I go.)

I have been through the ringer with the pharmaceutical world, and I know what to do and not do in regards to what I put my body through; that was a painful lesson to learn.

I treat myself Holistically with a splash of Modern and a whole bunch of Ancient methods.

Some medications can and absolutely will affect your Magick, and fog your mind but there are times when medications serve their purpose and can actually help you.

When the mind is clear the practitioner can focus intent with better precision, and is that not the end goal of any adept?

I don’t think people should become dependent on medications or drugs for their ailments, be them spiritual or physical; I also don’t believe it makes us weak as people, or as practitioners if we have to rely on something to better our quality of life, and overall health.

Of course I believe that we should lead the healthiest lifestyles we can, and believe it or not I actually do lead a healthy lifestyle and still find myself stricken by these chronic conditions.

We need to listen to our bodies and minds in regards to health as much as we listen to our intuition in regards to Magick.

So many Witches practice under the rule that one must be calm with focused intent to cast, to some degree that is true. However, I have seen many Witches who CAN harness their madness and incorporate it into their Magick.

We are all individuals and should stop comparing and competing with each other so much.

Live and let live, live and let live.

I will end this saying, in most countries even to this day mental illness and/or chronic conditions are seen as a sign of spiritual enlightenment; too bad the West can’t adopt that theory and wish to over medicate instead.

The Article that inspired this:

The story of Hekate and epilepsy:

My most favorite article on Mental Illness:

About the Author

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Jaclyn Cherie is a Word Alchemist, Witch, Herbalist, Shaivite Hindu, and Torchbearer with her roots planted in New York. © Jaclyn Cherie, Creatrix & Owner of The Nephilim Rising LLC (2014-2023)


Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your journey. My wife suffers from Chronic Pain as well, and although I say I understand, I know I never really will. When I am not on the road for work, and wake up in the morning and see her whimpering in pain, I just want to die.When I am travelling, I feel even worse because I am not there to just be there, There is nothing I can do to ease her pain. Michelle is a wonderful woman, a witch (like me), genius IQ, a stay at home artist who struggles every day to put a smile on her face. She is the light on my life and most courageous woman I have ever met. So, I think I may be close to understanding and empathizing with your recent post. My best wishes and positive healing energy to you every time we do a healing ritual, every time I thank the Goddess for this journey.

Got your Back always Robin McKee

I was diagnosed with Chrohns last year, a few months ago I was drawn to witchcraft, since I started this path, my disease is gone, no symptoms and meds are not being taken. I with the help of the craft have healed myself. I believe it is a matter if personal strength.

Thank you for your comment, if I may just say a few things. I believe the Craft absolutely serves its purpose in the healing process and I myself have healed ailments with Magick; I do not agree that all conditions can be treated via Magick though. I believe that medicine can and does have its place and that saying it has to do with “personal strength” is false and only further divides is. I am a strong Witch, and a strong willed Woman yet I am still stricken by conditions far beyond my control. I’m happy that you were able to heal yourself, and rid your body of disease but not all of us are so lucky and just because we are sick, doesn’t mean we are weak.

HELLO Jaclyn,
congratulations for your blog.
I found very useful the practice of YOGA NIDRA, the so called yoga of sleep. It does not involve any difficult asana (posture) at all. There are guided meditations on internet, if you don’t know anybody who can take you trough. Just lie down on your bed, put the head phones on and follow the indications.
You can direct your consciousness on each part of the body in needs and is very powerful.
I suggest to every body who suffer from chronic conditions, to do a research about this ancient (and so simple) technique to heal your own body, spirit and mind.

The ultimate victory belong to the soul!

I always appreciate your candor and insightfulness. This article was so very well expressed in its honesty and directness. Thank you for your empathy and thoughtful words.

Hi..Loved Your Article..Perhaps You Should Get Tested For Lyme Disease..Most Of The Symtoms You Have Described Are All The Same As Lyme..I Myself Chronically Have It And Maybe You Can Get Some Sort Of Comfort Knowing How To Treat And Feel Better..Kelly

Hi, Kelly! I’m glad you liked my article. I actually had Lyme Disease back in 2008, and after two rounds of doxycyclene I have since tested negative. I have (finally) some really amazing Doctor’s now.

Since writing this article I’ve gotten some answers, all auto immune diseases; Hashimotos being the one that is plaguing me the most right now.

But, I shall persevere. As well you.

Again, thank you for your comment. ❤

Hey there,
Thanks for the article. I’ve got chronic lyme too and struggle a lot with fatigue, pain, thyroid issues et al.
I agree with Kelly.. I may be saying things you already know, but a lot of tests that are used for lyme aren’t the most accurate – false negatives are common and many people end up getting misdiagnosed.

Anyway I’m re-igniting my magick practise and found it very helpful to read an article I can relate to as much as this one.

Many thanks!

I don’t have any of the above, I do have a chronic ache, ever present ache in my chest.

I was born in 1949 with heart disease, and my sudden collapses weren’t diagnosed until I was 26. The first cardiologist I saw wondered how I had survived until then. I don’t have a working sinoatrial node and because of severe Atrial Fibrillation in the 90’s my Atrioventricular node was ablated. My atrium has a natural beat for 3% of the time, the Ventricle doesn’t and can’t beat on it’s own and I still have a degree of Atrial Fibrillation……The nodes are the receivers of the brains signals that tell the heart to beat, to that end I have a dual chamber pacemaker on which I am dependent, and medication for the other problems.

It doesn’t matter how spiritual I am or could be (I have been practicing witchcraft for 40 years) I would not be in my Crone years with out the mechanical and chemical agents that keep me here.
On days that I feel very unwell, I don’t practice any rites etc. I’m just grateful for a ‘chat’ with the Goddess, to watch the play of sunlight through the leaves, listen to the rain falling on the windows and just be.

Thank you for your words, I have always been guided by my deities and I know, when my journey here is done, I will wait at the waters edge, for the barge and the sisters, that will take me to the Summerlands and the Seers Isle, until my next journey. I have no doubt there will be another, I have been told several times by different people, who have the sight, that my first death was by rocks being heaped on my chest until I was dead, for being a wise woman.

I need to get past that as the centuries pass, that takes time, My treatments are what gives me that time. Blessed Be )O(

I have been living with an obscure Chronic illness (thyroid resistance, allegedly) for the past 15 years. I lost all my teeth, severely swell, battling many other symptoms like hair loss, fatigue, rapidly declining eyesight, daily. I had to go out of network to even find a doctor who listened. I was treated like I had the plague, called crazy, accused of drug abuse (I don’t even smoke ), given psychiatric medication, laughed at, even attacked physically once by a network doctor for daring to say that my medication is not working. I live with no dentures, as we can’t afford a bone graft i need, for 5 years a shut in a home with my inlaws who hate me being there, and a husband who isnt there physicality or emotionally due to his own mental disorder. I am a witch. I do the best I could. I can not cure an illness, but I certainly can alter things enough that I wish to live instead of die, and that’s already a big plus in my book. Healthy people don’t understand this battle of daily survival. They lose their wits over a cold. We are the strong ones. If i am capable to bake , to cook, or train my dog, or clean the room, it is not because my friends cheered me on-I don’t have any. It is not because my parents gave me a hug-they are both narcissists, and haven’t spoken to me for years. It ‘s because the craft gave me strength. Love and power and healing energies to you all. Blessed Be.

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