by Sarah Twichell
When I work magically with a guise it teaches me the same lesson.
I am not always what I seem, and I should look carefully before
judging or dismissing ideas about who I am or could be.
Guising gives me the opportunity to take a look at what I consider to be
beyond my own boundaries. When I guise as a being who is deeply wild, I
can embody more wildness than I can ever imagine having in my ordinary
life and self. In doing so, I gain a chance to question those limits: am
I really tame and civilized as think? Is there wildness I didn’t see or
recognize in me? What else am I missing when I say and act as though I am
Guising also works to free me from the ways that habit and expectation
limit my perceptions of others and of the world. Sometimes things seem
clearer, even harsh, through new eyes, and at other times they look softer
and less clear. Knowing how different even the very familiar can look
reminds me to find out what I can see when I really look, even with my
No matter how deep or magical my connection with a being I am guising is,
in the end, I must come back to a shape that’s nearly the same as the one
I left. In that “nearly,” though, lie the most powerful lessons of
guising: the ones we bring back to our everyday lives.
At Rites, there were several opportunities to take on a guise. Did you
choose to do this work there or somewhere else, or to interact with
someone in guise? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.
[photo by David J. Anderson]