When my marriage broke down I assumed that my heart would become even more closed and damaged than I believed it already was. In a lot of ways I had shut down over the years and was starting to feel less and less all the time.
Maybe that was a symptom of the relationship I was in, maybe it was the underlying cause of our problems. It’s hard to say which caused which or if it turns into a downward spiral you can’t escape until the relationship has disappeared down the drain completely.
I expected to be afraid of my future, disappointed with my past, reeling from the rejection and ashamed of having been foolish enough to put myself out there. But somehow I wasn’t.
What I didn’t expect from the aftermath of my separation is that my heart actually began to open up and even expanded exponentially. It was almost overwhelming. In spite of all the feels going on and the nights of crying, I suddenly felt more love within my own being than I had experienced in years. I was flourishing within myself, rather than needing external validation to draw it out.
This was a very different pattern to what I was used to.
Sometimes, within a relationship you become constrained within yourself. Different aspects of who you are get rejected by the other person and so you quash them in an attempt to become worthy of their love.
But their love is meager at its best. It can’t nourish your soul and so you wither from the inside-out.
When the conditions and judgement are removed, suddenly you can become yourself again. You can be whole and happy in ways which you weren’t allowed to be when under the scrutiny of your emotional jail warden.
In my journey along the path of witchcraft I have discovered a few things:
First of all, we aren’t just supposed to “do magick” we’re supposed to BE magick.
Secondly, your individual magick can be confronting for other people and may trigger ugly responses such as jealousy, anger, or fear.
These responses from other people don’t mean that you’re incorrect in some way. They just mean that the other person isn’t as comfortable with authenticity as you are. However, they will try to project that sense of being defective onto you, to try and make you wear the discomfort they’re experiencing when they look upon your inner glow.
These aspects of ourselves which other people reject can become our shadows. We see them as the things which make us ugly or unlovable. This isn’t true, but we become conditioned to believe that it is. We start to reject ourselves and the most vulnerable parts of ourselves.
Healing the heart and opening it up to love in the fullest sense is a process of embracing the bits of us which have been abandoned, rejected, treated with derision or labelled bad. We must open our arms and enfold those parts of ourselves in an embrace which says; I love you as you are.
Once you can do this for yourself, you then have the ability to do it for others. Judgement falls away. You’re not here to determine if someone is worthy or not and you’re not here to be deemed worthy in return. You already are.
Don’t keep squashing yourself into little boxes, hiding who you can be, or dimming your light so that someone will find you acceptable.
The real question you must then ask is: does that other person see me as I am and loves me anyway, or do they not? The right person for your life will not be afraid of you; they will be capable of stepping up to match you and they will be able to let you just… be.
Ascension is a bit of a buzz-word these days, but how does it really work? Is it like some sort of vegan-fuel, yoga-pant wearing version of the Rapture?
None of the process of ascension is without effort on our part. Like any kind of growth and development, it cannot be done without a degree of discomfort, or even an element of pain.
Sometimes in life we have no choice but to cut our ties and free-fall for a short time. We can feel our carefully constructed lives crumbling around us.
This breakdown is essential to the process. You may have felt yourself stagnating for a while before, but the impetus to do something about it wasn’t there. Familiarity is comfortable, even if it isn’t good for us. Not until we literally can’t stand the heat do we really choose to get out of the kitchen.
So the universe bumps up the thermostat, inch by inch, until we can no longer stand it.
That being said, there is no guarantee that just because someone is being pushed out of their comfort zone, that they will actually take much of a leap. A lot of people will be trying desperately to hold onto what they know and can become defensive of those things, or even outright aggressive against change.
However, the new cycle of energy (aka; ascension) doesn’t wait for everyone to be comfortable with the changes. It just moves through, regardless of how we fell about it, sweeping aside the energies which no longer serve us and ushering in the ones we will need for the next cycle of our future.
The symptoms of this process will be noticeable in people doubling-down to preserve their “beliefs” even if those beliefs breed hatred (eg; pro-life activists calling for the death penalty for abortions). The flip-side is others becoming almost militant about “truth” to the point where they cannot allow others to live differently (see vegan’s protesting at steak restaurants).
There is very little difference between these two types of people. Their opinions might be at polarities from one another, but their attitudes and methods are not. They have no tolerance for differing views.
Anyone who holds that tightly to a set of ideals is in for a bad time.
The process of ascension is all about questioning EVERYTHING. From what you believe in to who you are as an individual. You cannot afford to align yourself with anything in such a hardcore fashion or you’ll never be flexible enough to ride the waves which are swelling.
I liken it to something Australians are familiar with; rip-tides.
A “rip” is a stream of fast back-flowing water near the ocean shore. If someone swimming at the beach is caught in a rip, they will be rapidly swept out to sea against their will. In fact, the more you struggle against a rip-tide, the worse it will be. You will never win against the current and fighting it will simply tire you out and result in drowning.
The recommendation for dealing with a rip-tide is the same advice I would give anyone caught in the energy streams of an ascension moment. DON’T STRUGGLE. Let the current carry you to where it is going and when it stops, swim sideways to a different area of the ocean and start making your way back to shore.
Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you will feel like you’re way out of your depth and possibly about to die. That’s not an unrealistic feeling. You ARE out of your depth, and this is do-or-die.
Ascension is the call to step up.
When the universe demands us to step up, we either do it, or we go the way of the dinosaur and become obsolete within our own times. There is no package-deal guided tour of this shit. The energy is so powerful that no one can tell you where it is going to take you, what you will have to give up to make it happen, or how big it will go.
So how do you deal with times like this?
You will have to trust that if you ride the tide, it is taking you to something bigger and better than you can possibly imagine, because ascension is also expansion.
Ultimately, the demolition of what has been crumbling is happening whether we like it or not. The real question which we need to start asking is: where do you want to be? What do you REALLY want?
Start imagining the potential. Start dreaming bigger, even as the walls fall down around your ears. Start cataloguing all the ways in which you have matured, learned important skills, and stepped up for yourself.
The universe is about to ask you to be bigger and better than you have been, but in exchange you will need to make room in your life by removing the excess baggage and you will have to remain open to new horizons you’re not aware of yet.
In a world of saturated social media it is rare for anyone to not be constantly connected to a black mirror, or to not have an image of themselves on display in cyberspace.
We’re so used to being surrounded by reflective surfaces that not many people are aware of how powerful they are as portals. In particular, black mirrors are incredibly potent scrying tools.
Have a guess at how many black mirrors you probably have in your home? I’m assuming you would have at least one TV, one smartphone, and maybe a computer or a tablet. That’s possibly three per person, not including actual mirrors.
Most of the time we don’t think about this because we don’t look at them in their sleeping state and usually interact with them when they’re back-lit. Not many people have examined how this may be affecting us on an unconscious level.
The original form of reflective scrying was using water, either in a container or a natural pond. People didn’t have easy access to their own reflections, so it was rare to see yourself in such a way.
The story of Narcissus in Greek Mythology is an interesting tale when looked at in this context. The reflective pool of water trapped his soul and transfigured it into a flower for all eternity. This was a very strong warning for anyone who may become obsessed with their own reflection. The inner world can be a dark and twisted labyrinth, which isn’t advisable for most people to go deeply into without precaution, otherwise we may become lost in it’s depths. Instead, most people need to maintain an outward perspective which is far less dangerous.
In this tradition we’re told not to show a baby it’s own reflection before it has reached a year old. This was supposed to prevent cot-death and also helps the baby’s soul to become grounded in its physical body.
For a number of cultures it is customary to cover mirrors in a house where someone has recently died. They would only be uncovered again once the funeral rights were complete, which releases the soul from earth-bound cares and allows it to move into the next realm. A window was also opened in the death room so that the soul could escape, something which nurses in hospitals still often do.
This practice stemmed from a belief that mirrors could trap souls and then be used as a portal for possession if a living person gazed into it. The Chinese have a similar belief, however their practice is to keep a mirror on their front door so that any demons or negative energy wanting to enter their home will be trapped by the mirror. These Ba Gua mirrors should be either flat or concave so as not to throw back the bad energy and they must be replaced periodically because they will become toxic and ineffective after a while.
Back when mirrors were rare and expensive it was believed that they reflected the soul of the person back to them. A distorted image was indicative of a distortion of the soul and the superstition of vampires not having a reflection at all is due to them no longer possessing a soul.
There were also old wives tales about how to see souls of the dead over your shoulder if you lit a candle and stared into a mirror.
Extremely sensitive people can have trouble with both mirrors and eye contact, since they see much more than others do. Some societies, such as Indigenous Australian cultures, consider it rude to make eye contact and pretty much all cultures have a limit on how long you can hold a person’s gaze before it becomes aggressive.
The old saying of eyes being the “windows to the soul” is far more accurate than we often credit it as being. After all, we’ve all had that moment when we meet a future lover and locked gazes for what seems like a long time, but which is usually only seconds.
That kind of soul connection creates an inner knowing which defies logic but can’t be ignored. How does looking into someone’s eyes have such power?
We all know the creepy power of paintings which seem to look directly at you, regardless of which direction you’re standing in. Obviously that’s the trademark of a master artist, something which was highly prized before photography.
Non-European cultures, when introduced to photography for the first time, often expressed concern about the process trapping a portion of the soul. For Australian Indigenous cultures it is still taboo to show an image of someone who has died since or even to speak there name as it may call back the spirit.
I don’t know any medium worth their salt who doesn’t appreciate the power of a photo for connecting them with another soul, either living or dead. A person’s name is also very powerful and can either be spoken or written on a piece of paper and sealed in an envelope. Whether the medium is able to see the name or photo is irrelevant, they can usually still use it as a tactile connection.
In my own experience, I have found it difficult to read books such as the ones written by Ed and Lorraine Warren (famous American paranormal researchers who handled the Amityville haunting). They have such an amazing career of helping people with possessions and hauntings which I admire and want to know more about. However, whenever they include photos I have to exercise caution.
I was reading The Demonologist a few years ago and turned a page to a photo of a group of people standing together, arms around one another and smiling. It was such a happy and innocent picture but it shocked the crap out of me. I had yet to read the article attached to it, but one of the faces jumped out at me and seared the impression of a werewolf in my mind. It was skin-crawling.
I closed the book for a while and then eventually returned to it and read the article. Sure enough, the man in the picture who I had spotted earlier was the person who had undergone an exorcism for a demon which claimed it was a werewolf. The photo was actually taken after the successful exorcism, but it still captured the presence of the entity.
From what I have seen of possession (which is very limited), exorcisms are effective. However they can’t completely remove the energetic stain left behind and that’s something the person just has to live with.
When a portal has been opened and a connection established to the other side, it can be patched up but not completely closed.
That’s what really concerns me the most about our fascination with black screens. We pay them so much attention in our daily lives, practically worshiping at their altar, that it has defined our modern lives.
Are we exercising caution in regard to what we connect with and how strongly we let it influence us? I’m not saying that the internet is a demonic portal, but I can’t say for sure that it isn’t.
Under the law of attraction, what we give our energy to is what we get back.
If we spend our energy on vanity, hatred, arguments, conspiracies, and absorbing all the evils of the world; what sort of reality are we shaping for ourselves?
I used to be fascinated with the horror stories, but this invited a dark shadow into my life which shrouded my reality in fear. That’s not actually a metaphor, there was literally a black shadow which stood in my kitchen watching me while I watched TV and it could turn the TV back on in the middle of the night.
It wasn’t until I started focusing my personal attention and energy on positive and joyful things that I could drive it away from me. I had opened a portal without knowing it and had to close it off before it got too close to me.
If you, or someone you know, are struggling with negative presences, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. It can be in the form of a religious organisation of your choice, research from self-help books, or even drop me a line here at Hearth Witch.
Stop worrying that others might think you’re crazy or making it up; they probably will anyway, but that doesn’t mean you should stop seeking support when you need it.
In the meantime, exercise caution around using scrying or portals and always keep up a cleansing routine.
I grew up devoutly Christian. My family went to church at least once a week, if not twice with a bible study thrown in for good measure. I sang in the choir with robes and all.
Even though the Anglican church doesn’t have as much dogmatic or fundamentalist doctrine preached from the pulpit, it is still based on the same book as Catholic or Evangelist churches which contains elements that can be used to persecute others.
But what is “other”?
According to some of the less tolerant Christians I have met, “other” is basically anyone who isn’t straight, white, middle-class, Christian and conservative. In some cases, you may also be required to be a man to be considered human.
I gotta say, that excludes a rather large proportion of the planet.
So why do we live in fear of the scorn from such a closed-minded minority?
I guess its hard to undo centuries and even millennia of persecution in such a short amount of time. It’s like we’re conditioned to feel shame, fear and guilt for something which is perfectly within our free-will to exercise. After all, the Witchcraft Act in Britain wasn’t repealed until 1951. That less than 100 years of being free to open call oneself a witch without potentially being sent to jail or executed.
The pagan community and the LGBTIQ community have a lot in common. We’re all considered “other” and we all fear coming out of the closet. In Australia the last state to “decriminalise” gay sex was in 1997. That’s far too recent to be easy for a lot of that community to feel comfortable in their own skin.
My brother came out in 1998. He was already in his mid-20’s by that point and no doubt his reluctance to tell his family was entirely based on the religious aspect.
However, no one can deny their truth forever. It’s too heavy a burden to carry for so long and it tarnishes the relationships around you, not just because you’re keeping things from them, but because you can’t be sure that they love the real you.
In my last article on empaths I talked about having to find the courage to interact with a world which is overwhelming, not just for your own benefit, but for the collective good. Being yourself and openly speaking your truth is one of the hardest things we ever do as human beings. We’re all social by nature because it offers protection and emotional connection.
The fear of being rejected by your family, your friends and your society as a whole is a very daunting prospect. And lets be honest, there are no guarantees that the people you love will love you back enough to change their views on topics like religion.
You might be afraid of not being deemed worthy of their love, but if that turns out to be the case, have they been worthy of your love?
In my opinion, turning your back on a loved one just because they’re being themselves goes against everything Christ came to sort out thousands of years ago. He explicitly tells his followers to love one another and to hold that above all other commandments.
When in doubt; Love.
When my brother came out there was no doubt in my mind who I would choose, regardless of how much the church played a role in my life. Anyone who had an issue with him, had an issue with me.
Sometimes its easier to stand up for someone else than it is to stand up for yourself.
The courage I found to defend someone I love is the courage I also need to find to speak my own truth and to stand by who I want to be in this life. I need to love myself the way I love my family; no questions asked, no limits, and no judgement.
When we get to that point for ourselves, it has a flow-on effect of encouraging others to also be themselves and to also speak their own truth. Standing up for yourself does matter and anyone who tells you differently doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
So don’t be afraid of losing those relationships. If silence and repression is what it takes to be accepted, you don’t need it. The love of the divine, in whatever form you choose to connect to it, is limitless and can be found in so many ways and so many places. You just need to be open to other possibilities and new horizons.
If you’re an empath, then chances are you know all about the paradox of what you are and why you’re here.
On the one hand, you find people overwhelming, exhausting and frustrating. On the other hand, your entire purpose in life is to help them.
If you’re on the spiritual awakening journey, you have either been through or are currently going through the hermit phase. This is when you just can’t handle people anymore because they have sucked you dry and they don’t even seem to notice or care. You may have stopped going places and doing things you used to do normally because you don’t have the energy for them anymore.
This phase is vital for an empath for a few reasons:
Once the hermit phase is over, though, you need to get back on that horse called life and start having at it. This is problematic for a lot of people because they become comfy in hermit-ville, population of one.
If this is you right now, get ready for another breakdown phase. The universe won’t let you sit on your laurels for very long, even if it seems like you only just managed to get your shit in order after the last time it all went to hell.
But why!? I hear you yelling at the sky.
Because you’re vital to the collective consciousness and you can’t do your job if you’ve shut yourself away from society.
The truly weird, sideways thinking, highly sensitive, empathic, human barometers in this world used to be pulled aside by the tribes they lived in to be the Shamans. That doesn’t happen in western society anymore because our communities are not that closely knit and have less of a focus on the spiritual and emotional well-being of their citizens and a higher focus on productivity and profit.
I hate to say it, but you have to forge your own path in this culture. You may find like-minded individuals who support you, but you can’t limit yourself to just those people.
Empaths are the embodiment of uncomfortable truth. They’re the people who hold up a mirror to other people’s ugly aspects and this can make them outcasts from a society which glorifies those same aspects.
However, while the role of the empath is to shine a light into dark corners, that same light is also needed to illuminate the path out of darkness.
You’re the beacon others need in order to transcend lower vibrations and reach for higher ones instead. How do you do that? By forging the path for yourself and showing other people that it isn’t an impossible feat.
Is it hard? Yeah, it’s incredibly hard. Does it suck to be you? Fuck yeah, it sucks to be you. Are you required to have a back-bone of steel? Yes. Yes you are.
Having the courage to come into your own truth, your own light, and your own path less traveled is no small thing. Showing others that it is worth all the discomfort is why you’re here.
That is the paradox of the empath: An underdog who is kicked to curb by others becomes the hero. Someone who feels all the sorrows of the world, still has the courage to love. When everyone else is pretending that things are fine the way they are, the empath stands up and says “not good enough, we can do better”.
If you’re one of those people, never underestimate how needed you are.
Sometimes it amazes me that this is still considered up for debate. I mean, seriously? We’re not sure if another person deserves to be treated like a human-being?
As a straight, mostly-white female in a developed country, I understand that I don’t have it as bad as some, but even in my level of privilege I have experienced the strange dichotomy of not fully owning myself and being accorded basic respect from other people.
Whether it’s a socioeconomic distinction, a racial distinction, gender, sexuality or religion, we have drafted people into categories of “human” and “sub-human” or in other words “deserving” and “undeserving”. All people are equal, but some are more equal than others.
For example, as a woman, some men believe that if they show me any level of respect then it is because they are magnanimous and a shining example of charity, rather than simply knowing that I have the right to basic human respect no matter what they think or feel about the matter.
In a time and place where that dichotomy is shifting, it seems to be eliciting anger from the demographics who believed that they held the decision making power on who got to be human and who didn’t. Whether business, church, state or independent organisations, there’s a massive kick-back from the soon-to-be-extinct way of perceiving others. They’re not going quietly into that dark night and you’ve probably noticed that they’re raging quite a bit.
But rather than a dying of the light, it’s actually a shining of it which has the vermin scurrying for cover. With the advent of the internet and technology, there’s nowhere to hide anymore. All shameful secrets will come out regardless of how deep someone buries them and excusing are becoming thin on the ground.
The general population is more aware than ever before and education is not just for the few who can afford it, although there is still resistance to make it accessible (again, to keep people “in their place”).
Ultimately, though, we all need to take ownership of sovereignty and personal power. At an individual level we must stand up for ourselves and instead of showing gratitude and differential treatment of those who would put themselves above us, command basic decency and accept no imitations.
Understand that you owe other people no apology for existing, just as they also owe none to you. We are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as long as it comes at no cost to others around us. If anyone tries to impose a cost on you, reject it as fraudulent.
The usurpers of our power have had long enough.
My husband didn’t know that he had been sexually assaulting me for five years. He’s a really nice guy and he has no problem treating women like equals in the workplace, or talking to women socially. We’re best friends.
The biggest problem was, even I didn’t know I was being sexually assaulted. I couldn’t figure out why I recoiled and started to sexually shut down when he would creep up behind me and stick a finger in my vagina while I was unloading the dishwasher, or cop a feel of my breasts when all I wanted was a hug.
The fact that I told him every time that I didn’t like it, or kept covering myself, or back into a corner when he entered a room never seemed to penetrate his thoughts. He just continued to ignore me to the point that I broke down and sobbed on the floor while screaming for him to leave me alone.
It wasn’t until I used the words “sexual assault” that he realised what he was doing to me. He believed he was showing affection and being spontaneously romantic.
The western society which I live in, and many other cultures around the world, have reinforced the message that men own women’s bodies to the point that both genders are incredibly confused. It literally took me five years to express coherently what I was experiencing in a way which he could understand.
In the wake of the #metoo movement so many men have begun an outcry that they no longer know how to behave around women. And they’re right. No one has actually taught men how women should be treated, not even women themselves. Which means that lots of “nice guys” are finding out that they aren’t as nice as they thought they were.
The sense of entitlement which straight-white-men (SWM) are raised is so pervasive that not even the people subjugated to it are fully aware of the extent it reaches into their lives. How do we expect men to evolve if we cannot breach the barriers which coddle them?
In the fall-out of my husband’s awakening, he became horrified. He was so traumatised by what he had done that he moved out because he couldn’t look me in the eye. I, on the other had, relatively took it in my stride. So much so, that my main concern was for his welfare more than my own.
As a woman I know how to handle recovery from abuse. I have never had a relationship where I wasn’t abused in some way, so with a lifetime of experience I can almost happily shrug it off. Can I function in a sexual relationship? I doubt it. But normal life like going to work, cleaning my house, hanging out with friends and such, I’m still the wise-cracking life of the party.
Men, on the other hand, are ill-equipped to deal with their emotions. How does a man process such an overwhelming experience when the only tools he’s been allowed to use are jokes and anger? It’s like going to build something and all you have is a drill but you need to cut a length of timber.
I have no idea if there is any hope for the generations which are already in place, but we definitely need to start teaching our boys about boundaries and that they do not have the right to do as they please with another human being. Maybe it’s a lesson we all need to keep in mind.
If you’re a spiritual person, chances are you have encountered THE crossroads, either in the past or perhaps right now in your life.
So what is the ultimate crossroad?
When it comes to living your purpose, for people who incarnated with a mission in life, usually we all fall into the trap of living basic, or living mediocre. The world around us tells us who we’re supposed to be what we’re supposed to aim for and generally it is very superficial, consumption based, material based and generally devoid of real heart connection.
So what happens after a while of getting bogged down in the base chakras is that our bodies literally start overriding our intellect. When I say “intellect” I’m referring to the conscious mind which relies on tangible evidence in order to make choices and usually disregards emotions and extra senses.
The body, on the other hand, pays attention to meta-data or extra-sensory perceptions and is usually based in heart logic, not brain logic. The heart knows things about the world which the conscious mind may not be aware of, or may have dismissed as “fanciful” or “emotional” (and therefore inferior).
When your body has reached it’s threshold for being ignored and maligned by the intellect, or it has been drained by others around you who may be just energy vampires, it has a breakdown. The symptoms for this can be found in a previous article about the Awakening process.
That breakdown serves two purposes:
First, it forces you to take better care of yourself and to listen more closely to what your body needs. After all, the body is your truest ally in life. It nurtures you, protects you, and gives you the means of performing meaningful actions.
Second, the breakdown usually purges your life of all the meaningless crap you have been surrounding yourself with and striving to obtain. You will find relationships either falling away or dramatically imploding. Your job, house, car and other material goods may be either taken away from you or you may end up rejecting them yourself. You might no longer be physically able to perform certain activities which once made your life meaningful, such as sport or fitness.
All of this is a massive and traumatic purge. You will probably hate it.
Congratulations, this is the crossroads.
A lot of people assume that an awakening process takes away our free-will and forces us to evolve into the stunning butterflies we were supposed to be, however, that’s not entirely true.
We always have a choice, it’s just that the choices often suck at this point in the process.
Choice number 1: Truly change your life for the better and embrace a spiritual way of being which provides you with self-care, integrity, autonomy and courage. AKA finding the path of love and joy.
Choice number 2: Stay in hell and bemoan your trials in life because you don’t want to change, don’t feel like you should have to, or believe that its too hard and too painful. AKA living out of fear.
Choice number 3: Bowing out of life permanently.
A lot of the time no one wants to talk about option 3 because it is such a taboo subject, but I’m sure if you have endured the crossroads and come out the other side, you probably thought about option 3 at some point.
That’s the biggest challenge of the cross roads; you have to choose life. If you don’t, then you stay in a place of despair or you give up entirely.
Living life to it’s fullest and being an authentic person is a huge act of bravery and not everyone has the guts to step up. However, if you do decide to cut the crap and do what you came here to do, the rewards are surprising, amazing and definitely worth the trials undertaken to finally get to that point.
Anything worth having is going to demand your very best. I’m not saying it needs to be difficult, I’m saying that it needs to be of high quality. You need to bring forth honesty, bravery, integrity, decisiveness, strength of character and conviction. Add to that pure, unabashed, unapologetic kindness and love.
Other people probably will call you a nut. But who gives a shit what scared people say? Don’t let other people’s fears and lack of conviction throw you off course from what you need to do with your life. If they can’t handle it, and aren’t willing to let you try, then they aren’t up for the journey and all they’ll do is hold you back.
Find a new tribe, forge a new path, discover new worlds hidden in plain sight. Keep a sense of wonder and curiosity about life and the rest will unfold. Have the back-bone to be yourself.
Most importantly, realise that the crossroads is just a phase of transition. It’s not the end of your world, just the start of a new one.
There are plenty of witches out there who see no problem with working really dark magic. From poppets to demons, curses and hexes, the options for utilizing dark power is quite extensive.
But what are the risks of dipping your toes into the black, fathomless lake of evil? Is there ever an appropriate time or place for such things?
Obviously the allure of power and knowledge is very enticing. Flexing your magic muscles is just as addictive as becoming a gym junkie, or developing an eating disorder. If you have ever struggled with addiction, then magic can become a new drug and like any other addiction, you start out with the small stuff and graduate to the much harder substances when the highs need to become higher.
The other problem a lot of people face is dealing with their own shadow self. Delving into your own darkness can pull you into the black hole of depression. The shadow is all about your pain, your fears, your psychological wounds, and all of your weaknesses. The density of shadow vibration can become overwhelming and strip you of hope. Once you are devoid of hope, depression sets in and suicide becomes a real danger.
Don’t get me wrong, shadow work is vital for your growth, understanding, and ultimately maturing into a stronger person who has conquered (or at least made peace) with their inner demons.
However, shadow work needs to be done in small doses and balanced out by higher vibrations and more joyous emotions.
Half the time when you begin witchcraft, you have to be very mindful of what vibrations you’re putting out and ultra-hygienic with your spiritual practice. Cleansing is a major part of everything you do because if it isn’t, you leave the gate open for all sorts of vampiric, negative entities to latch on like a tick.
It can be so easy to let in the wrong energy, and so hard to get it out.
Have you ever looked around at your life and thought; Who the fuck are all these assholes I keep being surrounded by? Why is so much bad luck happening to me? Are all of my friends and family just using me?
I know I’ve been there, before I began my journey into personal sovereignty and self-care.
When you get stuck in the lower, more dense vibrations, where all the jerk-faced people and evil entities exist, then you get stuck in survival mode. That world is dog-eat-dog. There’s no room for growth. No room for expansion. No room for love and joy.
Ultimately you have to figure it out for yourself, but for me I know I can’t allow room for that shit in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of things which piss me off and make me consider taking the option of revenge. Some days I really have to consciously choose which sort of person I want to be: Do I want to get bogged down into negativity, or do I want to be free of it? Would I like to waste my time and energy on people who don’t deserve it, or would I like to spend that time on something nice for myself?
Discernment is key.
We all have choices, and those choices ultimately shape our lives.
There’s a lot of buzz at the moment about being “non-binary” or obtaining a state of true neutrality. But what is neutrality? By its very definition it is an absence rather than a presence of anything.
So if Non-Duality is a red herring, how does duality work?
First off, we need to stop looking for a bad guy. Masculine is not any more a dirty word than feminine. Light is not better than dark. Data is not always more reliable than intuition.
Have you ever seen Inside Out? It’s an animated kids film about emotions. The overall message is that we’re told to “be good” for others and always put on a happy face. We’re supposed to shun sadness and suppress all our “uglier” emotions. However, the reality is that we feel things for a reason and we need to honour and process the whole spectrum of our emotions. If we don’t, then they fester and become toxic.
In the same way, duality isn’t good-guy/bad-guy: it’s not antagonistic. It is complimentary opposites.
What are complementary opposites? They’re the Yin-yang within us, which make us complex emotional beings with rich inner worlds.
Think of the most boring and stereotypical people you’ve met. I can almost guarantee that they have either subscribed to neutrality or they’re caricatures of stereotypes.
Either way, they haven’t explored their masculine/feminine or their sun/moon or the shadow-self/light-self.
When you know your dark side, when you can man up and nurture others, or when you embrace the power of the sun as well as the moon, you’ll truly know yourself. You’ll also be able to draw on aspects of your personal power which others might not know you have.
In short, whether you’re male, female or a sliding scale in between, being able to reconcile your own duality will make you a bad-ass witch.
People might not tell you this, but it’s not really essential to use tools in witchcraft. On your own, you’re far more powerful than any magical implement can ever possibly be and the key to magic is knowing this and using it.
However, all that energetic potential you have swirling inside your being sometimes needs a focal point or a direction in order to be sent out with purpose and clarity. That’s where the tools of the trade come in. They’re symbols to help you direct your energy into a focal point in order to manifest and set intentions.
A tool is also an extension of your physical being, since magical workings will incorporate it into your energy field. That’s why no one shares tools and also why it is really important to choose them carefully.
Never rush the process of acquiring your tools. Always take your time to source them and make a connection. How do you know that you’ve found “the one”? You’ll feel a thrill in your heart and a longing in your gut which fills you with excited energy for all the possibilities ahead.
The reason why I say “acquiring” instead of “purchasing” is because not all tools are objects which money can buy, nor should they be. For example, I work with feathers and sea shells which I have stumbled across while walking and connecting with nature. I also acquired my staff that way (it’s a Druid thing, I know, not all witches feel a connection to using a staff).
That’s another thing; some blogs or videos or covens or orders will tell you which tools to use and what you should have. The problem is, not every witch is called to use every tool. It depends on what your skills are, or which area of witchcraft you’re most drawn to. A garden witch will work with tools attuned to gardening, whereas a kitchen witch will need different tools. Some witches like to work with the ocean, other prefer to work with fire, or crystals, or any number of other paths.
Your practice also evolves over time. What you connected to a year ago might not serve you anymore, or you may have expanded your repertoire to include more interests.
No doubt you’ll collect over the years, and that’s half the fun of it.
As a Hearth Witch these are the tools I have found most useful to me so far:
No doubt the list will expand as I work. I’m currently getting a friend to forge me an Athame so that’s very exciting.
If you have a tool you like to work with, add it to the comments below and tell us what you love about it.
As all good witches know, black is a powerful colour to absorb and neutralise negativity. As all good healers know, activated charcoal is an excellent ingredient to absorb toxic chemicals from the body and transport them out.
If you have a need to cleanse and protect your space or property, Black Salt is an excellent tool to use and really simple to make. The only difficulty is that it’s more effective to make black salt from the ash of your incense cauldron or burner than to simply mix salt and activated charcoal (although you can do that too).
For details on a cleansing ritual, click on the link in this paragraph. You can use the ash and salt from this ritual as ingredients in your black salt mix.
Grind any rock salt in a mortar and pestle, then add salts to the jar. Depending on how much area you need to cover, you might use a cup or two of salt.
Add a couple of teaspoons of activated charcoal and mix through.
Collect the ash from your burner and sage stick and grind them into a fine powder in the mortar and pestle. Add that into the mix.
Add the iron shavings and black tourmaline crystal. Secure the lid and then roll the jar around gently to mix the ingredients. Say the following invocation as you roll the jar around in your hands;
Salt of the earth and ash of the fire, absorb all negativity and set me free to inspire.
Carefully extract the tourmaline before using the salt as a boundary sprinkle outside, or an additive to your bath (clean the tub thoroughly afterwards) or sprinkle a little on the floor of your car, or keep a little open jar of it beside your bed. The uses are almost endless, but remember it will make a serious mess if not contained.