Pagan and the Pit(bulls)

The political musings of a Pagan and her dogs.

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Influential Books: If Wishes Were Horses


It’s really appropriate that I’m writing about If Wishes Were Horses by Anne McCaffrey today. Yesterday I did my 3rd-degree initiation, and in some ways, If Wishes Were Horses follows a concept that was brought up during my preparation before the ritual. But that isn’t how I was introduced to the book.

I talk my way through my thoughts, so when I was grappling with what I believed and my philosophies, I talked my way through it. The problem was, instead of talking my thoughts out to my dogs, I talked them out to the people around me. And that wasn’t the best idea, and I was often bullied because I didn’t know when to stop pushing. I can honestly say I was a terror, and I retreated to the library.  If Wishes Were Horses is a short coming of age story, that follows Tirza from 14 to 16 as the family survives a war. Tirza watches as her mother works magic and miracles to hold the community together. At the end, Tirza receives her first magic crystal necklace as well as the wishes she for as she works throughout the book.

This book really kickstarted my basic magical practice. I started selecting my jewelry with thought to the magical potential: what was I doing that day? what stones would augment and supplement my plans? I also started to see small acts as magical, the small things I do every day that become spells and witchcraft. Salting a dish becomes a spell. Lighting a candle before a bath is a spell. The bells on the door are a spell everytime they chime. Blowing dandelions on the walk home is a spell. Brushing my hair is a spell. If Wishes Were Horses really opened my eyes to basic hedge magic and folk magic.