Healing The Mother Wound

Healing The Mother Wound May 10, 2018

Many witches overcome a painful past in order to live our truth. The mother wound often runs deep, born from an upbringing characterized by invalidation and trauma. It is a barrier keeping us from realizing our true magick.

What could break us instead provides us with an opportunity for healing and wisdom. Acceptance work and a cord cutting ritual are excellent techniques for releasing the controlling influence of the mother wound.  With Mother’s Day upon us, my own is very much on my mind. I know I am not alone in experiencing a special type of mother wound as a result of being a witch. I’m offering my experience and the ritual at the end of this article as my Mother’s Day gift to those who are suffering from the mother wound.

My Own Mother Wound

I think many of us were taught to hide our true selves as children. In my case, it was because I arrived in this life with an insatiable curiosity about all things, especially the occult, and a burning need to be in nature on my own. Both of these characteristics greatly upset my mother. We were (and remain) not a good match. My mother wound is deep and wide. Invalidation was my constant companion growing up. Everything I was naturally drawn to, and my personality, were contradictory to my mother’s beliefs (and still are today). While I now believe that she has always loved me, for most of my life I couldn’t see that.

Growing up, I was not allowed to pursue any of my natural interests because they were satanic. This included, but wasn’t limited to, such radical things as wearing denim and going to the movies. Coupled with my intense urge to explore all things was my natural witch instinct telling me to get the hell out of my parents home before I lost myself for good. Added to this is the societal witch wound that discriminates against the abilities of people like us unless it serves their own purpose. I had a very weird childhood where I became the mistress of lies trained in the house of secrets.

Healing the Mother Wound

Perhaps your experience is similar to mine. Whatever it was, here we are, witches walking wounded through life because of the actions of the person who is supposed to be our biggest champion and most ardent caregiver. I am telling you, it’s time to get over it. Witchcraft can help. Here’s the best part: once we get over the mother wound, our magick becomes much, much stronger. We’ve removed a huge chunk of spiritual crap off our powers.

Acceptance Magick

Acceptance is the first ingredient in our “recovery from the mother wound” spell. She inflicted whatever she did on me and you. It’s in the past. There is no undoing it. However, through the magick of acceptance we can rewrite history into our personal story of triumph over adversity. Practicing acceptance requires learning a new way of thinking. When we shift our thinking this way, the energy that was formerly causing the wound to fester is transformed into a healing salve.

Acceptance starts with acknowledging that your mother wound is real. It’s an actual piece of you, existing in your energy field and dirtying your witch’s soul. It is a THING. This creation exists purely in the world of force, although it will take form in excessive destructive emotions, dysfunctional thoughts and self-sabotaging actions. In order to stop these, we need to go back and remove the emotions associated with our mother wound. Feelings are at the root of most of our problems and the basis for almost all our witchery.

Acceptance Practice

Begin an acceptance practice by writing about your mother wound (or any type of spiritual injury). I suggest doing this on paper that you can burn after the ritual below. It’s important to get it all out. Don’t apply judgment to either your mom, yourself or anyone else. Use your “I” words and be brutally honest.

I’ve found that many of us are timid to really go there when it comes to our pain, myself included. We’re witches, right? We are the curious explorers of dark corners. Get into yours. I know I had to. Tell the tale of your wound. A life time line is a great technique to prompt you into deeper exploration. While you’re doing this sort of work, take the best care of yourself possible. If you are currently experiencing significant anxiety or depression, I urge you to go for treatment. Dialectical behavior therapy is usually the best choice.

After you finish writing about your mother wound, it’s time to bring witchcraft into the healing process. There are so many options available, look around until you find something that feels right for you. Of course, you can get in touch with me to discuss. I’m concluding this article with what I’ve found to be the optimal magickal technique for mother wound (and similar types of spiritual injuries) healing, cord cutting.

I wish you all the best as you proceed with your healing of the mother wound. Remember that no one is perfect. Healing is not a straight line. Be gentle with yourself. Stand in your power.

Healing the Mother Wound Tonic

A tonic made of yarrow and ginger can be consumed during your healing period. Both herbs are safe for people without sensitivities to them or other health conditions. You can also take a ritual bath in a concentrated potion made from these. Yarrow is the herb burned in the ritual below. It’s a great emotional healer as it aids in release and in fortification of the body and spirit. Highly suitable to mother wound healing work.

Healing the Mother Wound: Cord Cutting Ritual

This exercise brings healing by releasing the connection of our emotions to our mother wound. Begin by organizing your space with paper and markers, a fresh black (or white) candle, yarrow (or other healing botanical), your grounding/safety stone (preferably black obsidian) and a piece of red cord that’s about 18 inches long. Reserve a separate piece of the cord (about 10 inches) for later. The waning moon is the best time to do the ritual.

Beginning the Ritual

Prepare by cleansing and then create sacred space however you like. Light the candle (which you’ll throw out after this working) and the incense. Keep the stone nearby. If you start to feel overwhelmed during the working, release your emotional overflow into the stone. Envision yourself completely surrounded by a protective circle. Nothing can harm you here, not even pain of your mother wound. Sink into the realness of this space. Safe. Secure. Powerful. Ground as you need to.

Writing the Words of Power

A lot of magick relies on using the power of the written word, such as the case with this working. When you are ready, write a short description about your mother wound on one piece of paper. This is the memory sheet. On another, list the emotions you feel that are connected.  Roll up each piece and then join them with the red cord, leaving at least six inches in between. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Remember that these emotions are not the problem. It’s their connection to your wound that is. Continue to ground as necessary into your safety stone. You may be feeling intense emotions at this point. You are safe in the circle; the stone is supporting you and the exercise ends with a reversal of these emotions.

Cutting the Cord

Hold a scroll in each hand. I suggest keeping the description in your right and the emotions in your left. Carefully, sever the cord using the flame (or scissors if you prefer, although you’ll have to lay the scrolls down to do so).

Take the memory sheet and destroy it by burning or putting it in the trash (and getting it out of your house as soon as possible.) The memory exists but no longer has emotions connected to it. You can safely revisit the memory when necessary, but you don’t want its energy lurking about. You retain the wisdom, release the rest.

Reversing the Emotions of the Mother Wound

Now turn your attention to the list of emotions. How do you feel reading the list? Thank each one, then cross it off and write beside it a beneficial one. For example, replace “anger” with “compassion” and “sadness” with “joy.” This is the reversal part of the working. Now take time to feel each of the beneficial emotions, as you consider each one you feel the release.

If you wish, you can keep this paper with you, tuck it in your mirror, etc. to serve as a reminder of your power over your emotions and of severing your emotional ties to the mother wound. You can also wear a piece of the red cord that was involved in the spell as a reminder. This is one of my personal practices after doing healing work. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or the tug of the mother wound gets strong, I look at the cord and take strength from it. You can also snap it as a distraction when you’re struggling. When you are ready, open the circle. Record the technique in your Book of Shadows. You can apply removal and reversal magick to a great many problems using this cord cutting technique.


This ritual is adapted from The Sacred Seven: A Course in Applied Modern Witchcraft. Learn more.

I’ve written about healing from trauma using The Three Keys Ritual. You can also recite The Witches’ Prayer to Hekate while you recover from the mother wound.


The next classes of The Sacred Seven and Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft begin October 1. Learn more.

Join the Keeping Her Keys Facebook community. Become a member of  The Witches’ Realm.

About Cyndi Brannen
Cyndi Brannen, PhD is a witch and spiritual teacher dedicated to Hekate, her two sons and living the coastal life in rural Nova Scotia. She is a trained energetic healer, psychic and herbalist who is also an internationally-recognized expert on women's health and the development of self-help programs. She teaches The Sacred Seven: A Course in Applied Modern Witchcraft. She has written the forthcoming Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft. In 2005, she founded Open Circle Wellness which offers courses and individual support, including the popular Shadow Taming Workshop and Personal Development Tarot Readings. She created The Real Work: A Pagan Path for Personal Development and teaches that in-person and online, as well as providing training for those wishing to deliver the course. Dr. Brannen has taught meditation and mindfulness to a variety of groups and organizations. She started Keeping Her Keys to fulfill her mission and dream of writing and teaching about Applied Modern Witchcraft and Hekate. You can read more about the author here.
"Hi Cyndi, I added another comment, and I noted today that it has been stuck ..."

The Witch Reborn in Autumn: Spiritual ..."
"So I understand to create the grid you are anointing each point with the oil ..."

Samhain Death Walking Oil & Ritual

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Rose Myst

    In my erratic searching and desire to be further in my magickal journey ( gotta love that past addict behavior creeping up, Everything Now! Yes Right Now!.) Arriving at this article, I thought pump the breaks girlfriend! Your carrying around bricks of hurt, pain, abuse and trauma! You gotta cut that cord and call in the dump truck. First and foremost! When everything starts to whither and die. And its The Dark Mothers time it all comes back with a fury. I hit an emotional deep same time every year. Which is now. I realize this morning, ” It’s about damn time you paid attention So instead of stewing in your shit What you gonna do about it” Cyndi thank you! Im feeling honored and extremely grateful.

  • Lynn Cooper

    Thank you for this.

  • Samantha Sabovitch

    I just finished using this ritual, and it was a powerful experience. Thank you for sharing it.