Like so many, I watched in horror on January 6th as a mob (whipped up by the outgoing POTUS) unleashed itself upon the Capitol Building. Many people have been echoing “I told you so!” because it is not as if this assault is a surprise. Trump has been promoting his “stolen election” false narrative for months now (years, really). Is it any wonder the people who cling to his every word followed his instructions?Even so, it was a shock to witness the brutish riot and plundering of our Capitol by its own citizens. This action must not be allowed to stand. May Lady Justice prevail in the lawful arrest, prosecution, and punishment of ALL those involved (from the POTUS, to all the Republican inciters, down to the mob who performed the attempted insurrection).
Make Time to Step Away
I’ve debated about writing anything about what happened at the Capitol. I’ve read many articles, watched or listened to the news coverage, and commiserated with people over Facebook about the incident and the state of our nation. Our country stands on a precipice. One foreshadowed for a while now as Aine Llewellyn reminds in her recent post. Time will tell which way we tilt.
In the meantime, through all the turmoil we must remember to care for ourselves. There is work to be done and it won’t be accomplished if people are paralyzed by shock or fear. And of course, I know this. My family and I have shared podcast episodes about self-care and I’ve written here about it here.
But sometimes it is necessary to be reminded when we get caught up in the “everything.” Take care and step back for a bit. This thing is not going away anytime soon (especially over the next twelve days or so). This is why I found myself needing some reminders to tread another path and pay attention to what my body and mind are telling me. So, I’m offering the same reminder to you.
Shut down from social media for a few hours. Do not engage in pointless arguments with people (including family or friends) entrenched in MAGA beliefs (boundaries are a VERY good thing). Cut social media ties with those whose toxic MAGA rhetoric is infecting your life or sphere of influence if necessary. Whatever you do, care for and protect your mental/emotional health and that of your family.
Take A Breath
Taking time to breathe is a great way to relieve stress and the effects can be felt with that first deep inhale. So, if you are feeling the stress of events playing out on social media, television, city, state, et al., then stop. Literally, stand still and close your eyes (but do so in a safe manner. I shouldn’t have to say that but there you go). Take a deep breath like this:
- Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
- Breathe in through your nose and allow your belly to push out (my vocal instructor called this “barrel breathing — imagine your middle as a barrel that you fill with oxygen), allowing the hand to be moved. The chest remains still, so make sure that the hand does not move.
- Breathe out through the mouth with lips slightly parted. I may also breathe out through the nose. Take your time to release the breathe while drawing the belly back in.
Repeat this deep breathing (slowly) for five counts.
Ground, Center, and Shield
If you are feeling keyed up with emotion or energy, perhaps it is time to ground and center. Patti Wigington has a wonderful guide available on Learn Religions. Here is what I do when I need to restore my foundation, center energy, or shield myself.
Grounding: This can be done by carrying a stone or object. For instance, Ode created a “grounding bottle” as a Yule gift for me. It is filled with stones and herbs that correspond with the earth. So, I can hold this small bottle as needed when out and about, use it during meditation, etc. I also visualize tendrils of energy from my feet growing down into the planet like tree roots. As a devotee of the Earth Deity, I also use this as a way to connect/interact with them through meditation and prayer.
Center: For me, this is gathering energy from the centers at the top of my head, middle eye, solar plexus, palms, and feet. I draw this energy so that it infuses me from head to toe, make it accessible for use, use my hands to work with the energy, etc.
Shield: I’ve written about this technique here in the past. When centering, the energy I draw forth can be used to create a shield. I tend to create mine with layers that filter unwanted or negative energy into something useful or send it down into the Earth to be neutralized and dispersed.
Do Spellwork If You Feel Led
Sometimes, the best thing we can do is spellwork to address a situation when we feel led to do so. I’d say the current atmosphere in our country warrants it for those willing and able.
One may want to offer justice spells to ensure the guilty parties of the attempted coup d’état don’t get a free pass. Perform a protection spell for our elected officials or one for the upcoming inauguration. How about one that encourages truth to win out over Trump’s lies and false narratives.
Spellwork to aid marginalized communities in this country remains necessary. Magick on behalf of Black Lives Matter is an important focus. There are so many issues we face as a nation. And while a significant group is still binding the one most culpable for January 6th’s distressing action, a banishing may need to be considered (if some are not already doing it).
My point is, a Witch or magickal practitioner can choose anything on which to focus their energy. A person does not have to focus on the insurrection alone. But no one should feel obligated to do political spellwork unless they are drawn to do so and able to channel their energy toward the work. It is okay if you need to focus on other things.
In the long run, however, you choose to respond to the events of January 6th, be good to yourself. Read a book. Watch a funny movie. Bake some cookies. Play with your kids. Take a walk with your significant other. Be smart and safe because there is still a pandemic in play out there.
If you are prepared, maybe light a candle for the police officer and the other four people who died during the Capitol riot. And when you are ready (or willing), turn your focus on how to help this country move forward to a better (if not more perfect) union.