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.
This is a ritual which you can use to clear stagnant or discordant energy from your life. Use as often as you need to.
Crush or tear up any of the bigger pieces and combine everything into an airtight container, preferably either glass, wood or metal. Don’t use plastic, it’ll mess with the energy.
Can be burnt on a charcoal disc inside a heat-proof container like a cast-iron cauldron. Use lava rocks in the bottom to create an extra heat layer. Sand can be used, but the rocks are better if you wish to use the ashes in a black salt recipe.
Set up your ritual space, play the misc track and cast a circle of protection using the crystal. Call in your guides and angels or light-beings. Ask for their support and protection.
Light the candle and then light the charcoal disc and place in the burner.
Center yourself, close your eyes and listen to the music. Connect to all the elements and ask them to assist in clearing away any unwanted energy. Fire to burn it up, air to freshen your spirit, water to wash everything clean, and earth to absorb the mess and transmute it into new growth.
Add the incense to the burner and use the feather to brush the smoke up and around you. Feel free to stand up and continue to add incense while wafting the smoke all around your body and through your aura.
Visualize the smoke clearing out old energy and invigorating new energy. Imagine it filling any pockets of boundary breaches with white smoke which then turns to sparkling light. Bring a rainbow of colours into your aura, bright and pure.
Waft the bowl of salt through the incense smoke and say;
I purify this salt of the earth, may it ground me and guard me.
Next, waft the glass of water through the smoke and say;
I purify this water, may it cleanse me and wash away my troubles.
Now drink the glass of water and feel the sensation of it washing through you, crystal clear.
You can take the salt and sprinkle it on a piece of ground outside, then stand on it and visualize any residual gunk oozing out through your feet and into the earth. The salt will draw out any impurities and neutralize them.
The salt can also be kept, or some of it kept, to make black salt as well as the ashes from the incense.
Thank your guides and light-beings, remove the circle and snuff out the candle.