A Witch’s Battle with the Leviathans of Global Suffering

These are troubled times on our spinning, blue earth-ship, my beloveds. There seems to be a surge in hatefulness lately, with countless acts of terrorism and carelessness. In the United States where I live we have rampant police brutality, rapists getting off with a slap on the wrist, persecution of GLBTQ people, mass shootings, and willful pollution. We are all interconnected; we are one body; what happens to one of us, happens to all of us.

We are witches, and we know these things; countless hideous acts of inhumanity, and their global repercussions, relentlessly break down our barriers. They claw at our hearts and darken our Spirits until decent people can’t help but be sucked down like a leviathan by all the global suffering. That is what makes us decent people: we can discern right from wrong at a global scale, and we care.

Fantastic. Now what?

Viktor M. Vasnetsov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Viktor M. Vasnetsov [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Four Horsemen are Assholes

I’m now a witch, but I was raised in the “Hellfire and Brimstone” of the Southern Baptist Church, and damned if this doesn’t look like the Armageddon prophecies of the book of Revelations, come to pass. Except for a troubling omission: where is the second coming of Jesus, so that all these fundamentalists and evangelicals will be raptured right on out of here?

We’ve got the four horsemen of the apocalypse running roughshod over society lately under the banner of Abrahamic-Religion-based extremism. Hell, Donald Trump just announced his running mate as Mike Pence, the appalling Governor of Indiana who does his level-best to destroy his state with extremism against women and gay folks. I’m getting a sulfuric whiff of an Anti-Christ power-duo on the rise. Gods help us!

If we must suffer from war, famine, judgement and death, let’s go ahead and get on with this apocalypse already! Apocalypse doesn’t really mean that the world ends, you know. It means that the veils of illusion are pulled from our eyes so that we finally see the truth of things. These truths definitely feel like the end of a world!  Don’t get me wrong, I normally have an excellent relationship with J-man, but he’s late, and its really becoming a problem for the rest of us who hope to be left behind so we can clean up the mess these “true-believers” are making. <insert sarcastic eyeroll here>

But seriously, for those of us who are tapped into Universal Consciousness: witches, shamans, mystics, people with an uplink to aspects of Divinity that ask us to love, to heal, to restore the earth and her creations, to rise up like warriors against these mad-men who do harm, what are we to do? How do we deal with the horrors that our fear-bound neighbors are imposing? How do we go about our lives in an effective way, and resist succumbing to the madness, or despondency ourselves?

Goooood question.

Pandora carried off by Mercury - Jean Alaux [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pandora carried off by Mercury – Jean Alaux [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A Message from Hermes

When I woke up this morning, something special happened. I turned off the alarm, but was then sucked under, back into wildly vivid dream world where symbolism speaks volumes, as happens when my patron Hermes, a god of mediumship, has something important to transmit.

He left me with the burning necessity to share with you all the following blog I wrote back in 2014 after another school shooting. That was a hard day for me, and I’m sure many of you are having similarly hard days. My hope is that you will find some comfort in knowing you aren’t alone in your grief, and you will find the courage to keep on doing the Work of Witchcraft; of transmuting this bane into something beneficial, wherever you live.


The Deep Swim
June 10, 2014
:
This morning, I took a deep swim for a bit, resulting in this journal entry that I hastily posted to my personal blog.

The Other Option:
Last night the dreams were intense, of magick and intrigue, dark and powerful. They illustrated the unfolding of mystery I’m currently working. It’s some good, juicy energetic unfolding, too. It excites my soul, and kinda scares me, too. Par for the course…

I was awoken at precisely 1:23, 2:23 and 5:23 am to look at the clock and make note of the dreams. No one can tell me we are randomly adrift in a chaotic, spiritless Universe. That may be an easier view, but it is lazy and lacking vision.  It is the ostrich’s way, the mundane way…poor, lucky dears.

The deeper into this “rabbit hole” I go, the more clear the patterns become. I’m getting closer to finding the key to unlock the next gate. Either I will unlock these mysteries, or insanity will take me first.  Frankly, that scares me, too; I have children to consider.

I’d stop if I could. I’d lay down the tools, hang up the pointy hat, and seek a new job.  Maybe a pleasant, reliable, muggle job. I’d enjoy the comforts of normalcy and acceptance folks get from walking that well traveled path.  I mean, it looks so much easier to walk in a parade of the mainstream, without feeling the deeps of the Universe, nor having the veils ripped back to reveal the ugly, rotten heart-wood that lies beneath the facade.  It seems so lovely to gaze only at the rose blossoms, but no, I get dragged through the thorns.

I’d give it all up for the muggle life, if that were ever an option, but witchcraft is not an option. Well, not one to take if there is any other option possible.  I tried for a long time, but the witchyness screams up from the depths of the soul and will not be quieted. You *see* things that cannot be unseen. You *know* things that will not be unknown. There is no flavor in the mundane, no succor enough to quench the drive and hunger of the Witch’s spiritual cravings, or so I’ve found.

Nay, if you think you have an option, you are already something…else, and be glad for it.  Paganism is a huge buffet and there are many options; go serve yourself whatever suits you.  But if you are a Witch, and this is your calling, you will get to that buffet and there will be only one dish to meet your needs. It is no dessert, mind you, but it has sustenance…and it is to be savored….some days it is the bitter pill, and some days the intoxicating wine of ecstasy. Choose wisely.

I posted that through my iPhone, from the patio of the local Starbucks, on a bright and sunny morning, as the bustle of traffic and progress buzzed around me.  There was a Chai Tea Latte to be enjoyed, my trusty calligraphy pen in my hand, and a book I couldn’t wait to read.  The occasional dear friend popped by to say hello and give squeezes! Sounds like an ideal summer morning, right? You’d think.

A sailboat on placid waters, a sunny day.
Public Domain Image ~ Pixabay

“The deep swim,”  is what I call it when I slip into the deeps of trance without intending to do so. I dunno what else to call it: I’m sailing along up here on the sunny surface of the waters, focused on my own mundane life in my own little boat, blissfully unaware of this ocean of Universal Consciousness through which I’m sailing. Then against my will I am blasted wide to what is happening outside of my little body/life/house/town, and the feels of that ocean just come flooding in; I get swept away.

I picture it like a kraken, a leviathan–the enormous tentacled beast of the deeps that ate whole ships on Pirates of the Caribbean (1) It reaches up to grab me–hull, keel and sail–and drag me under. I can get lost down there in the murk. Like most witches I am rather empathic, and those feels become my feels and its very confusing until you can figure out where they are coming from and why. Even then, the funk can be difficult to shake off.

Leviathan or Kraken devouring a sailing ship at sea
Wikispaces ~ Kraken ~ Free for Commercial Use

Thing is, these aren’t my feels, so meanwhile the tidal wave comes crashing through me, my analytical mind is busy observing them. I am both experiencing this funk of the world and observing it from a distance.  When I came back from that swim this morning, I was aware of this palpable quality to the outer world…tension, fearfulness, mourning.

I check Facebook feeds an hour later, and there was another school shooting that blew up social media an hour before. Didn’t this tragedy just happen? And the time before?  My friend Lynn comments that this has been the longest period of “consistent despondency” she’s ever had. That was it. Those words capture the feels of the deep swim…relentless, “consistent despondency.”

Picture me at that moment on the Starbucks patio, just like Ray and Winston in Ghostbusters 2 (2), covered in the pink mood slime of these blargy feels of fear and resentment, angry that I’m laid opened and bare to these things, that this is the person I have become, and what this world has become <downward spiral diatribe redacted.>

How to do Battle with the Leviathan

Heron at an #OrlandoStrong Vigil in Greenville, NC. This photo was taken while I was "heavy energy eating," an exercise of taking in the pain of those at the Vigil, transmuting it into love and healing, to send back out. This is what my guides suggested I do to "help" during a time of crises. This technique can be found in The Shamanic Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak, Exercise 9. Photo used with permission
Heron at an #OrlandoStrong Vigil. This photo was taken while I was “heavy energy eating,” an exercise of taking in the heaviness of pain and mourning, transmuting it into love and healing, to send back out. This is what my guides suggested I do to “help” during a time of crises. This technique can be found in The Shamanic Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak, Exercise 9. Photo used with permission

You’ve been there, right? It sucks. My advice is to go back to the basics of your Witchcraft training and pick up the big guns of praxis. Go all-out to ground yourself,  strengthen your shields, nurture yourself, then do some WORK.

  • Go dig your toes and fingers into the rich earth; plant something beautiful. Sing to them.
  • Sit under your favorite tree, a priest of the plant world, and do an energy exchange until you feel revitalized enough to carry on. Tell him “thank you.”
  • Witches tend to walk around with our crown chakras wide open and ready to receive, but if you are feeling overwhelmed, trim the sails, and slow the flow, until its manageable again. Say, “No thank you.”
  • Take a cleansing ritual bath. I suggest rose petals, lavender, rosemary and some rose quartz, with a hand full each of Epsom salt and Himalayan pink salt, for good measure. Say, “Yes” to yourself.
  • Eat something delicious, indulgent and nourishing, whatever soul-food you like best; avoid depressants like alcohol, though I know that is a tough order to fill because wine is delicious. Just take good care of yourself and aim for whole things grown from the earth, rather than processed foods. Know your worth.
  • Smile at strangers in public; Be polite in traffic; help someone open a door; offer heart-felt compliments where deserved; Laugh a lot with your friends. Help others know their worth.
  • Get thee to your altars; meditate, pray, do divination and ask for guidance on what reasonable things you can do to help the world, and if you agree with what they suggest, go do the thing. You’ll feel better.

May you all be victorious in whatever leviathans you battle!

Blessings to you all,
~Heron

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean,series of films, by Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films
  2. Ghostbusters II, 1989, film by Columbus pictures, created by Dan Aykroyd
    Harold Ramis
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