Yesterday I was asked by an interested friend how long it took to manifest my soul mate. “Around 18 months, with a very focused 9 month period of work,” I replied, anticipating the usual deflated sigh that I hear from so many people waiting for their dream of love, or any dream to manifest, “that’s so far away…”

I know, from the position of wanting, it is a long time. And from my perspective, with the dream fulfilled, it wasn’t very long at all. What’s a few years in the greater scheme of things? Did I have something better to spend my time on than attracting the love of my life?

But instead of giving me a sign of defeat, hope flickered in her eyes when she opened a topic we didn’t have time to finish but rang loud and clear with truth, “I was recently told that magical time works on a different timeline than our concept of time.” She was told this by a man she’d used magic to attract, no less. As she mentioned a soul mate spell she had done quite awhile back, wondering if it could have possibly attracted a relationship happening right now, I smiled. Yes. Yes. Yes. I knew she knew a secret about magic, and I’m not just talking about The Secret.

It is in vogue to talk about manifesting your intentions and desires, and there are as many ways to bring your desires to fruition as there are people looking for true love. In my experience, manifestation doesn’t happen in a day. It’s a process of commitment. It begins with a prayer in the heart, openness to and playing with the different ways to make it real, and a willingness to stay in it for the long haul. When we talk about manifesting our desires, we’re talking about matter that’s been spiritualized into being (and Webster’s agrees, defining the act of manifestation as spiritualism materialized) – and that takes awhile.

But it’s a sacred task assigned to only you. There’s nothing more spiritual than a deep desire in your heart, than a dream. The Creator speaks to us through our dreams, through planting a desire for something bigger, badder than you’ve ever wanted before. Author Julia Cameron says, “Dreams come to us from a divine source. If we follow them, they lead us back to a divine source. When we work toward our dreams, we are working toward our God. Our dreams are not futile.”

But they can feel futile. Especially when it feels like it’s taking FOREVER. But what is forever? It’s a long time when your wish remains a wish, your dream something you only see at night in dreamtime. A dream made manifest is only furthered by taking the small steps toward it, by working ringwith matter, by working the earth as a farmer might do, planting the seed, watering, waiting, tending and waiting. Collectively, we’ve been learning more and more about harnessing intention by listening to synchronicities and signs, but we haven’t been taught how to work that intention into the earth. There is something we can DO, that really speeds up time. We can light a candle, write a letter, create a spell, paint a painting, or educate our selves about the magical world of symbols… These are all ways of working with matter on spirit’s terms and they move things forward at a much more rapid rate than just prayer, or a wish on our heart.

Here’s a thought: you are walking around everyday, a living breathing magical message, and you probably don’t even realize it! If you wear perfume for instance, the top bottom and mid-notes are communicating. Rose says true love, while rose with sandalwood says true spiritual love. And the more skilled you become at matching up your intention with the earth’s abundant symbols for spirit, the better the earth/spirit gets at answering your specific wish. Oh by the way, wearing perfume doesn’t make you a walking advertisement for love! Because as with anything, your intention and awareness means everything.

After taking a class in Hungarian mysticism this weekend it really struck me, we’re all wandering this planet among things infused with symbolic and magical meaning – and we don’t even know the half of what we’re looking at! Everything from a circle (commitment), to the color red (heart and earth), to clouds (change), to a triangle (the joining of man/matter/spirit) will never mean the same to me. Everything around you has symbolic correspondences and those are what the people you turn to for answers about your deepest desires – your psychic, astrologer, healers, visionaries…read and interpret. You have that same gift of vision, and a very simple act to jump start your desires, is to start marrying your intention to the world of matter. There are many ways to do this, and all of them are wonderful.

This New Moon in Capricorn is a potent time to manifest our dreams – forget New Years, it’s the divine time for resolve. Astrology’s calendar excels at divine timing. And to do this fully, we’ve got to marry heaven to earth, and understand that it takes time, persistence, patience, fortitude, all those wonderful Capricorn virtues that vex and reward us (eventually). Above all, it takes faith. Faith is knowing the light’s on even when it’s dark. I was reminded this weekend that the color black, ie the dark, is not evil, it is not scary despite what we’ve been told. It is absence of everything, it is the void where it all began, and begins again. The dark of winter is not the absence of light, it’s the beginning. It is empty and hopeful. And the dark is where you’ll always begin your most important life’s work, and find your opus, your dream, your soul mate.