First presented as a reading at the annual gay literary convention Saints and Sinners, 2003, New Orleans Louisana. Adapted from Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe (Weiser 2003).

People, gay and straight, talk a lot about finding their soul mate, but don’t take the time to think about what that really means. “Soul mate” can have different connotations for different people, and the way you define it can indicate your healthy and unhealthy expectations in a romantic relationship.

Too often, people define a “soul mate” as “my other half. The person that contains the other half of my soul, like we were split before we were born, and spend the rest of our lives trying to find each other in the world. We are spiritually drawn to each other, and meant to be together.” Sounds very romantic, but not very real. One of the first spiritual lessons to learn is that you are complete, just as you are. You need not do anything or be anybody. As a spirit with a body, you are prefect just as you are. Experiences can make things more or less enjoyable and satisfying on a personal level, but spiritually, you are complete. Trauma, abuse, illness, and emotional or mental difficulties may cause parts of you to feel less connected, rejected, and scattered and the healing journey asks you to recover your fragments and unify yourself—but no one contains half your soul.

A partner may complement your soul. A lover can resonate with you, but you shouldn’t look to someone to complete you, for that places a lot of un-real expectations on your partner, even if they believe they are half of your soul. Subscribers to this system think the challenge is in the meeting, as if all life leads up to this dramatic, whirlwind romance. Events may fit together like a blockbuster movie, and once the lovers meet, problems disappear, like two pieces of a two-piece puzzle coming together. The pieces fit, puzzle solved, no more problems. Life doesn’t work that way. Relationships are about partnership, balance, compromise, and these things need to be worked out through good-old-fashioned communication and expression. Magick doesn’t whisk away the need to talk. Just because someone is intuitive or psychic, that doesn’t mean he or she always knows what you are thinking and know when you are hurt and upset. Relationship is a journey together, side by side, not a puzzle. If you spend your walk looking to solve the puzzle and win the game, you miss the journey itself, which is the true reward.

Another definition of a soul mate is one who was your partner from a past life. Yes, those who we knew in other Earthwalks seem intimate and familiar to us, almost immediately, but you may have had many different mates from many different lives. And you can meet up with more than one in this life, or find a brand-new one in this life. All of them are not your “one and only” soul mate. If you do any work in this area, you may find that someone who is your parent now may have been your child in lives past. Siblings become lovers and vice versa. You may feel an intimate, soulful link to someone in this life, but that doesn’t mean they are going to be your romantic partner here and now. I feel a definite bond to my mother, and we feel we are soul mates, traveling many lifetimes together and changing roles. We have always felt this way, even when we were Catholic. But I knew that in this life I had a partner waiting for me with whom I also felt an intimate past-life connection. There is not just one intimate connection in every life. Explore the possibilities.

The problem with these views of soul mates is that they paint very unrealistic portraits of love, romance, and a spiritual relationship. We feel that because we have a soul mate, that they know us so intimately, no problems should arise. They know what our souls want. Perhaps our souls do, but our personalities, and our egos, do not. We are all having a human experience, and the quest for this perfect, divine, and often dramatic love can blind us to the wonderful relationships all around us. Movies, books, and television paint this relationship not only as the ideal, but the expectation. When we don’t have a romance like the ones we see on television, we feel somehow cheated. When we get the drama and things don’t turn out happily ever after, we want to quit. No one tells us relationships are work. They are hard work. These media relationships are so great to us because we close the book, turn off the TV, or leave the theater at the end of the drama. We don’t see the day-to-day life and problems.

True love can be an expected and desired part of your relationship, but you do not need the Hollywood dramatics and intrigue to follow it. Be real in your relationships.
I prefer the term “life mate,” a partner for us in this lifetime, with no expectations or responsibilities from any other incarnation or role. Even if a life mate feels like we have known him or her forever, we must actively work to reestablish these connections and get to know each other all over again. It’s like catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in ages. It can be a wonderful, magical, and spiritual love, but not the fantasy people associate with the words “soul mate.”

Think about your feeling on soul mates. Do you use the term? If so, what expectations do you bring with it? Have they helped or hindered your quest for love and romance? Knowing yourself is the key to magick.

Rose Life Mate Spell

This is a particularly powerful spell used to find your mate, your partner. Attempt it only when you are ready, and feel good about yourself.

1 red rose
1 vase
spring water
1 pinch of brown sugar
1 pinch of dragon’s blood (a plant resin found at metaphysical shops)

• Create a sacred space. If you practice paganism, cast a circle. If not, you can meditate, pray or smudge the area with sage or incense.
Place the water in a chalice or glass. Meditate on water as the power of love. Drink from it. Take the water of the chalice, after taking a sip, and pour it into the vase.

• Add a pinch of brown sugar, for love and sweetness.

• Then add a pinch of dragon’s blood, for power and passion.

• Take a freshly cut, live rose, and meditate with it. Feel your connection to the spirit of the rose. Join with its still living spirit. Pour out your feelings and emotions. Match the pure energy of love.

• Ask the gods of love and the rose energy to immediately “bring me the life mate that is correct and good for me, harming none. So mote it be!”

• Put the rose in the water and let it stay on your altar for a day or so, then let it dry up and keep the petals or whole rose in a safe, dry place.

If you are ready, and your mate is ready, you should come together in three to four months. With your mate, plant your petals in the ground after you’ve been together for five months. If you don’t meet at this time, let it go and don’t do another love spell for a year. Work on your relationship with yourself and enjoy life, then try again.

This is a powerful spell. Use it wisely. I met my husband through it. In my meditation during the spell, I was “told” by the Goddess that I would know him because he would give me a rose long before I ever thought of giving him one. On our first date, meeting through a personal ad and going out for coffee, my partner, Steve, gave me a rose as I walked him to his car. He nearly had to catch me as I almost passed out from the shock. We’ve been together ever since.

Love magick can be an act of transformation. We often have to kiss many “frogs” to find our prince or princess, but the first frog we must really kiss is our own self. We must transform ourselves through self-love and acceptance before we can ever find that ideal mate.