I have been asked this question on numerous occasions lately…
“How does a Witch cope with issues such as stress, anxiety and the usual events that life throws at you?”
It is an interesting question but also a strange one. It somehow makes me feel that people don’t believe, as a Witch that I have all the usual things that everyone deals with.
Yep, I am most definitely a Witch but I am also a human being, a mother to teenage children and a wife. I also work a job out in the ‘real world’ (because it pays the bills). I have a house to run and all the usual washing, cleaning and cooking duties that anyone does.
Honestly, I cannot just hit the bibbity bobbity boo switch and get it all done in the blink of an eye.
A perfect life
I suspect that social media has a lot to answer for (for many things, but that’s a whole other story) with a view to giving the illusion that people have perfect lives. No, I don’t air my dirty laundry or any of my personal disagreements on facebook, I take the view that it ain’t anyone else’s business but my own.
So, perhaps it may look like life is perfect. And I must admit I don’t have much to grumble about. I do have a lovely family and a pretty good day to day life. But it all takes hard work, effort and time to make it so.
I do have health issues, I have had a bowel disease since the age of 16 (ulcerative colitis). It sucks, but I deal with it. I have good days and not so good days. But I won’t let it beat me and I won’t let it stop me from doing what I want to do. I am also right slap bang in the middle of the peri menopause and believe me when I say…it is evil, pure unadulterated evil. Am I coping with it? Hmmm not so much. At the moment I am dealing with it on a day to day basis and trying to formulate a plan of action to help.
My past is littered with ‘experiences’ both good and bad and that includes a divorce back in my early twenties and a miscarriage between the birth of both my children. Both equally horrible things to deal with. That’s just an example – I am a human just like anyone else, there have been numerous issues to deal with over my fifty years on this planet. I have seen a lot, done a lot, experienced a lot and got the t shirt to prove it.
Does being a Witch make a difference? Well, it has made an enormous difference to my life, it has changed me as a person and all for the better. And although I get all the usual life stuff thrown at me and I do struggle on occasion and even have the odd melt down. My Pagan faith and my Witchcraft teaching helps me to deal with a lot of the stuff. Meditation can bring about calm or to find solutions to vexing problems. Spells can be worked for healing or strength. The tarot can help to bring clarity to a situation. I can work a ritual to call upon higher beings for guidance or strength.
But when you are in the middle of a menopausal melt down things like that don’t even think of entering your head. It is only afterwards when you surface from a bad menopause episode that you realise you could have worked some magic or drawn upon a deity. It is all a bit of a learning curve, and I am learning as I go.
Health issues are helped and supported by holistic therapies (reflexology in particular) along with meditation and taking time out in nature.
Faith and teachings
My faith and teachings have taught me to be more patient, to accept that some people are just asses and gossiping and bickering really aren’t worth it. It has taught me to not to knee jerk react to situations but rather to take a step back and decide whether it is worth wading in or not (the latter usually being the wise decision). When my children come to me with issues, I do believe I see things with a better eye than I have done in the past. I do tend to see more of both sides of things now, whether that is my age (with age comes wisdom apparently) or whether it is because of my Craft I don’t know, perhaps a little of both?
Whilst some seem to think that a Witch gets up at dawn to gather the dew and spend the day making potions and standing in circle, the reality is that unless I win the lottery that is seriously not going to happen. My mornings are spent getting teenagers off to school and college, tidying up, answering emails, doing accounts, working, writing and putting washing on.
My Craft weaves in and out of my day, whether I am doing the housework and combining a house cleansing in with the dusting or making dinner and adding herbs imbued with magic to the family meal. Or taking a moment out of the day to sit in the garden to connect with Mother Nature.
I have ‘action plans’ in place for when situations hit for when I get anxious, stressed or worried. Some of them are straight forward such as sitting in the garden to get a breath of fresh air. But I also have a Witch’s tool kit at the ready with spells, rituals and herbal teas, all of which I can utilise as and when they are needed. So yes, as a Witch I do have a support, but it doesn’t mean that things don’t happen in my life. It is just a case of learning how to deal with them and working out the best solutions.
I have made my fair share of mistakes in life and within the Craft. I have hopefully learnt from each one of them. Sometimes it has taken a while and on occasion the lesson has been thrown at me more than once before I have taken notice. Perhaps being a Witch also gives me the added insight to see these mistakes as life lessons?
By no means am I perfect, heck nowhere near so. In fact, after years of shadow work, I know my failings and the personality traits that I am not so proud of. I don’t beat myself up about it, they are all part of me, good and bad. You have to see the dark to appreciate the light and vice versa. There must be a balance. I don’t want to get rid of what would be perceived as my ‘negative’ traits (that would be the bossy control freak bit) because it gives me strength and courage when I need it and is a part of what makes me, me. But I do know that it is there, and I am very aware of it, knowing and accepting the darker bits allow me to temper them when necessary (I don’t always succeed with that, but I do my best).
The shadow work I have done and continue to do has made me a better person, I would say that also gives me an added bonus as a Witch. But anyone can do shadow work, it isn’t exclusive to Witchcraft.
I deal with all sorts of issues on a daily basis just as any individual does. But as a Witch perhaps I have a bit of an edge because I do have the ‘tools’ available to me, to help fix and/or support myself through them. It is just a case of remembering that the tool kit is there…