Rage, Healing & Being Triggered By Truth-Telling

Rage, Healing & Being Triggered By Truth-Telling October 7, 2018

I love the power that the #metoo movement is bringing to trauma warriors. The righteous anger we feel propels us towards healing. While calling out the predators who perpetrated the abuse is vital, sharing our stories is complex for the one doing the truth-telling and those bearing witness. In particular, others who have experienced similar trauma may be triggered. Being silent is not an option. Speaking out is the only way forward. This is how we make it all stop. How we navigate our rage, healing and best support others is a subject very much on my mind these days. I know it is for many of you, too.

canstock photo. Time’s up. Truth-telling will heal us all.

Every day I get messages from people who are struggling due to trauma from abuse of all kinds. For me, witchcraft is fundamentally healing work. I’ve been supporting trauma warriors both within the mainstream health system and in my private work for about two decades. I’ve collected so many stories. I honor everyone who has shared their pain with me. I try my best to offer support. I say all the right things, especially about the importance of radical acceptance for healing. I write a lot about healing and trauma. I offer my Shadow Healing course for free a few times a year. Along the way, I’ve found my own healing through the bravery and strength of others on the same journey.

Still, I rage that the abuse happened in the first place, that society doesn’t value their pain or believe them, and that the only way out of their misery is through hell. This is where we are. I stand with you.

We all want instant fixes. I wish I had a magic(k) wand to wave to make it all better, but it takes work. Healing is a continuing process.

I’ve been working on an article entitled “Witchery for Conquering Our Fears” in conjunction with the New Moon Circle I’m leading on Wednesday. If only I could recommend one crystal, ritual or spell that would erase the things that keep us up at night. Talking about truth-telling seemed a more important topic.

Healing doesn’t work like that, it’s about staring our pain right in the eyes and doing the work – supported by our various guides, spells, and botanicals – daily.

I’m fortunate that I have someone to talk to about my rage who doesn’t judge me even though they don’t have similar experiences. Hearing someone. Holding space for someone. These are often the best things we can do.

I know some of you are triggered when others share their story. I ask you to consider transforming this into support. We are all triggered these days. The point is not to avoid hearing others’ pain but to use that trigger for healing. Silence is our enemy. I will never discourage someone from sharing their truth. The only way forward is to learn to handle when we are triggered and to overcome these initial reactions to stand with the person sharing their story.

I want to drop this right here: trauma warriors are not exclusively women. I’ve heard from people identifying otherwise about their pain and struggle. It’s true that women are highly likely to suffer abuse and violence. This doesn’t mean that it only happens to us. Men, in particular, are often made to feel even worse (hard as it is to imagine) when they share their stories of abuse. Let’s lift them up, too. People who are marginalized by aspects of their identity (from race to sexual orientation) suffer more, are less likely to have access to services and be believed.

If someone is truth-telling they are telling the truth. 

There’s too many risks in coming forward. It takes courage to share our stories. We must be brave enough to return truth-tellers bold honesty with our support. Turning away is the shadow telling us that we can’t reach out because of our own pain.

Are we not powerful witches? Our rage is justified. Turning away from other warriors with similar experiences is NOT the way forward. We are the warriors in Hekate’s army. Fierce love, mindful support and compassion are my weapons. What are yours?

I get triggered, too. I rage. I have so much rage.

I get angered when witches and other types of spiritual practitioners advocate a soft approach. Honestly, this is part of the absolutely useless and damaging toxic positivity culture that some spiritual practitioners, teachers and writers push on those who need truth more than white light. 

We need more anger witchcraft. Banishing. Justice spells. Healing work borne of compassionate anger. Using energy work to lift up those coming forward. It’s time to put down the broom and take up the sword. If you’re one of those who are about to comment that anger never solved anything, know that I wish you well and completely disagree. Anger is the fuel for all revolutions. You know why witchcraft is so popular today? Because people were pissed off at Christianity. Light and love has it’s place in the spiritual world, but it’s not the only way or the best. This is a time for anger.

Those of us who are strong enough have a responsibility to bear witness to those stories never before heard.

Cast your circle around the truth-tellers. Send them specific healing energy. Take the time to do more than saying “healing sent.” Stand with them. Don’t overwhelm them with words or resources. Love bombing is toxic. Check in with yourself before rushing in with a million solutions. Work to know and strengthen your boundaries, shield when necessary. Remember that being open is a sign of strength. Trust that others are speaking their truth and have confidence in your ability to heal.

So much of what we hear and share these days occurs on social media. It’s far too easy to avoid these courageous acts of truth claiming. Yes, it’s upsetting. Avoiding it isn’t going to make it any better for you or the person trying to claim their power. That’s what #metoo is about. Taking back the power that was stolen from us. The witchcraft movement occurring right now rides the same energy current. This is not a coincidence, nor is the return of Hekate as a powerful and popular goddess.

This is a revolution. We are the trauma warriors. 

If you get upset by truth-telling, you have my unconditional understanding. I urge you to let that trigger become your power. Take your rage and transform it into fierce love. Everyone has the right to be heard. I struggle to understand why anyone would want to silence another warrior’s brave sharing of personal pain. Haven’t we been silent long enough – as witches and as the traumatized?

Healing is an ongoing process. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the truth-telling, ask yourself if this is really what’s going on or are you using avoidance? That shadow self wants us to turn away. We know better.

Being triggered is good. Rage is required. Healing begins with anger. Truth-telling is the revolution.

Apply to join The Witches’ Realm to find a safe and supportive environment for truth-telling, including our specialized support group, The Healing Well. Connect with Keeping Her Keys on Facebook.

Some of my healing articles:
Healing with Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft: Concepts, Practices, Techniques, Spells and Correspondences

Elemental Healing Ritual

Healing The Mother Wound

Healing from Trauma with The Three Keys Ritual

13 Types of Toxic Witches: How To Recognize and Deal With Them

Waning Moon Magick: Let It Go Energy Grid

Hekate, Guardian of the Children: Ritual of Blessing, Protection and Rescue

Where There’s A Witch, There’s A Way

Read Scarlet Magdalene’s excellent articles on rage and not reporting abuse, Toxic Positivity Culture, and when a witch says #metoo

About Cyndi
Cyndi Brannen is a witch and spiritual teacher, a trained energetic healer, psychic and herbalist. Merging together her training in shamanism, Tarot, past life work, meditation and psychology, she teaches and writes about better living through witchcraft. Keeping Her Keys: An Introduction to Hekate’s Modern Witchcraft explores Hekate from her ancient origins to modern understanding through magic and personal development is available now for pre-order from Moon Books. True Magic: Unleashing Your Inner Witch uses the magic of the elements and the three realms to activate your true witch powers and will be available later in 2019 from Moon as well. Connect with her on Facebook or at keepingherkeys.com to learn more about her teaching and writing. Cyndi lives in rural coastal Nova Scotia with her two sons where she can often be found wandering the cliffs or wild foraging plants. She lives what she teaches: fierce love, emotional courage and true magic. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Cherie Webb

    Cyndi always offers a fresh perspective on societies issues in a freshly magickal way

  • Brianne Raven Wolf

    I agree with you totally Cyndi! We witches have to be strong, and fierce! That’s why I write what I do, about my journey as an open transwoman…so that others like me can see that being quiet only reinforces what is used against us. Like I wrote about in a slightly different way before “Enough is Enough”. Witches own who you are…I’m a Witch..& I own it!!!

  • I agree with the over-emphasis on the positivity. In fact, that is what creates the Shadow (the repression of anger, and always being “sickly sweet” positive).

    I like to embrace the “dark and violent” side of Nature because I am a part of Nature…not just as a human, but also on the soul-level.

    Nature is not all cute and beautiful and sweet…it is dark, violent, poisonous, and deadly in many ways.

  • Bekka Mekka

    I really appreciate this article, thank you for writing it and for the links you’ve put at the bottom. I just wanted to point out one bit that’s obviously unintentional, but ultimately unkind. You use the word “triggered” in a way that’s unkind to those of us with PTSD and similar trauma related issues. You used it as if “triggered” means to be enraged or powerfully emotional. But that’s not the only meaning it has (and in fact that meaning is very new). Triggered is also about when a flashback or a panic attack is triggered by something that reminds a person of their traumatic experience. When I’m triggered it’s not good, it’s not powerful, it’s not healing, what it is is continuing to experience the trauma and the hurt. Yes, we need to face our pain for healing but for those of us with severe PTSD, diving right into all the things that make us relive the horror again is NOT healing. To heal that level of trauma is a lot more delicate, and I really needed to point that out. Don’t tell people to dive willy-nilly into their horror in the name of healing for some of us that’s a path to destruction not healing. And please don’t tell folks that choosing not to speak of their trauma is bad, some of us choose not to speak of it for very good reasons, some of us can’t speak of it without it breaking us apart, some of us have horrors so terrible that to share them hurts others, and others still are raw from a recent assault and just can’t. Every victim should be allowed to choose when they’re ready, and not be bullied to do so before they’re able because of the enthusiasm of others.

  • persephone

    Thank you for this. I’m tired of hearing forgive, mend fences, let go, yadda yadda yadda. No, I may let go enough to not waste energy on something or someone I can’t change, but I’m not going to forget, and forgiveness doesn’t happen unless the person is remorseful, contrite, changed, etc., which means never.

    I’m Bruce Banner in the first Avengers movie: my secret is I’m always angry.

  • …which means never…exactly.

  • Thanks!

  • Bekka, if you interpret my use of the term as unkind, then that is entirely up to you. I’m not going to invalidate your experience. Haven’t we all been invalidated enough? Truth is that exposure therapy is highly effective. Turning pain into power is very healing. I wish you all the best as you recover.

  • persephone

    Yes, exactly.

  • Bekka Mekka

    Do you realise that using the response of “if you interpret what I said as offensive/unkind it’s your fault”, is actually a strategy abusers use to invalidate criticism? It’s a kind of scapegoating.

    It takes maturity and integrity to gracefully receive criticism, and only a little of both to NOT use abusive strategies in order to silence someone for saying something that you don’t want to hear.

    It wasn’t my intention to invalidate your perspective, only to show you some respect by expanding your knowledge (which you’re obviously lacking a lot of in the field of trauma healing). I hoped that as a fellow witch, you might take that information and think a little deeper about your use of particular language, so as to avoid, where possible, harming people who are already suffering and vulnerable. But you failed to see my intention or even actually read what I said.

    Truth is, you need to realise that just because something works really well for you and your specific circumstances, it doesn’t automatically make it universally applicable to everyone else’s situations.

  • Bekka, can you please point out to me where I blamed you for anything? Honestly, I feel like there is some sort of communication barrier between us. If you would like to see my trauma treatment credentials, I am most happy to provide you with my curriculum vitae. Perhaps you might like to read some of the academic articles or book chapters I’ve written on various aspects of trauma? Or talk to the hundreds who have benefited from my courses? I don’t just throw out random personal opinions, I use evidence from both traditional methods and modern effective treatments. I take umbrage to your accusations, clearly you are interpreting my supporting words as something they are not. While you are ordering me to be open to criticism, you appear to be completely resistant to it. I can’t speculate as to the reasons for this. I was clearly trying not to invalidate you, while you ignore my words and accuse me of scapegoating. Know that I do take all comments into consideration. I wish you healing.

  • Erin Coldrick

    I love this comment. Perfectly stated!! Positivity all the time is toxic, nature does not act in this manner.

  • Thanks. You might enjoy my Pluto website (although I am working on it here and there):

    https://plutoarchives.blogspot.com/

    It’s where I have been collecting relevant information along with my own experiences.

  • Erin Coldrick

    “I get angered when witches and other types of spiritual practitioners advocate a soft approach. Honestly, this is part of the absolutely useless and damaging toxic positivity culture that some spiritual practitioners, teachers and writers push on those who need truth more than white light. ” – I LOVE this!!!!!! This constant need for positivity feels so bloody unnatural and wrong. That is NOT my natural state. I don’t think flying off the handle is always the correct course of action, but anger doesn’t always mean going off the deep end without thought. Anger for me…. yesterday…. helped me think more clearly. I was ready to give in and crawl into submission in a certain situation. My anger reminded me I am worth the respect I ask of people.
    Avoiding how you honestly feel and not honouring who you are and where you are in your journey is NEVER the right course of action. Thank you!! I needed this article right now, even though it was published a little while back! lol