Connecting to spirits, summoning the powers of correspondences, and petitioning deities for their help all require being open to these forces. Vulnerability is necessary when we open up that personal magic circle of ours to others, whether they are embodied or energetic. Like all types of energy, the essence of being vulnerable is neither good nor bad. It’s how we work with our anxieties about openness that determine whether it’s empowering or weakening.
The Necessity Of Vulnerability
The only witchcraft that matters to me is one where the spirits and I connect in a way that helps me to achieve my goals. For me, these include both personal and spiritual development. Living as a sovereign witch who intentionally creates and manages all aspects of life – both magickal and mundane. Of course, the very idea that there is a wall of separation between the two is an illusion. Overcoming this illusion, and practicing effective witchcraft, requires opening up to all that is within and without. This means being vulnerable.
At the very heart of all my writing and teaching is the necessity for opening up to spirits. What’s more, if we can’t connect to embodied others like us, it’s difficult to truly practice witchcraft that works. Perhaps most importantly, if we can’t integrate all our internal pieces, then it’s unlikely that our witchcraft will be effective.
Security is being confident in who we are and knowing that we have a safe space in which to pursue our truth. When we lack security, we feel vulnerable. The world is threatening and we are at risk. However, when we create our own personal magic circle of security through establishing boundaries and healthy self-protection, we can push our abilities, growing deeper into ourselves and our witchery. This is healthy vulnerability: intentional and empowering.
The Energy of Vulnerability
Vulnerability is a state of being that is necessary for growth in life and witchery. The complement to shielding, intentional vulnerability is about choosing what and who we connect with. Enacting our personal sovereignty through integration of the Three Selves requires internal openness. When we take this personal development work to the spiritual level, integration with our spirit self occurs. The separation between our everyday self and our eternal self can be mighty difficult to overcome. When we are in the midst of such transformation, it can be incredibly challenging. This is because spiritual upgrades are all about internal vulnerability. Shadow exploration and healing requires vulnerability. As we open up to our own truth, this burgeoning openness can spill over into our interactions with others, material and mystical.
Vulnerability is like all energy, neither good nor bad. It’s what we do with our vulnerability that matters. When our shadow self is in control, we are unhealthily open: too shut down, exploding everywhere, or vacillating between the two. We are indiscriminate in our connections, rigidly control them, and jump back and forth between these two energetic poles with dizzying speed. The shadow self serves the purpose of protecting us during dangerous times, but typically persists long after the risk of harm passes. What’s left behind is feeling that any vulnerability is a bad idea. But the vulnerability of the shadow is weakness, rather than intentionally choosing to open up, to connect and to take carefully considered risks. When we switch to authenticity, all these things become empowering.
Authenticity And Being The Queen Of Swords
I’ve been planning on writing about vulnerability for several months as a follow-up to my previous articles about boundaries and shielding. In order to get to a place where I could speak with authenticity about vulnerability, I had to intentionally be vulnerable myself. It took several months for me to get to the place where I was willing to take the risk to share an intimate look at my witchcraft homecoming. I cried buckets writing that piece. The used tissues were piled high around me, like a snotty altar to the truth. Since I shared that article a few days ago, so many of you have indicated that my homecoming made your eyes leak as well. Ugly crying, bawling, uncontrollable weeping. Something about my vulnerability in that article connected with others. What’s even better is that many of you wrote to say that you found inspiration and strength through my openness. That is healthy vulnerability.
As a Queen of Swords, I don’t care much for vulnerability by nature. I prefer to tightly box up my anxieties and fears. Trust me, I have more than my share of both. What I am comfortable presenting to the world is what I half-jokingly call a “benevolent dictator.” However, what compels me is expansion, of my understanding of myself, others, spirituality and witchcraft. This requires I step out of the safe shoes of the Queen of Swords, at least from time to time. I need to be vulnerable in order to grow.
Being Open Is Being Vulnerable
If boundaries are our personal magic circle, then openness is the key to letting the right ones in. After all, the whole point of casting a circle is to create power within it that is then unleashed. If those boundaries are so rigid that nothing can penetrate, then how will we ever interact with others, whether corporeal or etheric? This is the problem with perpetual indiscriminate shielding: nothing gets in. But, as witches and other sorts of energetically inclined creatures, isn’t the whole point to work with metaphysical forces?Developing our ability to be intentionally vulnerable is a process that begins with establishing our boundaries; our personal policies of what is, and isn’t, acceptable. The next step is to develop an energetic shield that is flexible and selectively permeable. In other words, it bends instead of breaking when attacked and it lets the right ones in. This type of effective shielding requires a mixture of our own energies with external forces, creating a protective membrane that is attuned to our boundaries. From within this space, we can begin to develop an intentional vulnerability practice where we take calculated risks, whether it’s about writing an article exposing myself or connecting with spirits and deities.
Courage Isn’t The Lack of Fear
Healthy vulnerability is the energy of the sovereign witch: choosing the risks taken and understanding our own fears. Courage is never the lack of fear but being scared shitless and doing it anyway. Just not in a reckless manner. Mindfulness, contemplation, and planning are all part of effective witchery. Awareness of being vulnerable, our reactions to feeling threatened, anxious, and fearful, is part of the process of knowing ourselves.
Feeling vulnerable implies that we perceive a threat, real or imagined. Entirely natural since we are always vulnerable to certain things. Letting ourselves experience vulnerability in a mindful way reveals that it we control it rather than anxiously trying to avoid feeling this way. As witches, we can work with the energy of vulnerability to transcend our fears, boldly going forward while acknowledging our anxieties, achieving our objectives. This is the paradox of vulnerability: it can either weaken or empower us.
Magickal Applications And Considerations
Regarding magickal applications of vulnerability, there’s many ways to use this force for our workings. The panicky feelings of confronting our fears can be used to motivate us to take risks, transmuting what debilitates into what activates. When we are truly vulnerable to the whims of others, resistance witchery where we intentionally cast spells that give us strength and limit the powers of others demonstrates healthy vulnerability. Witchcraft is inherently dangerous, we should feel vulnerable when we are opening ourselves to new rituals, expanding our consciousness through trance, and seeking out new spirit guides. The awareness of being exposed permits us to adapt our shields. Toxic spirits are just as common as miasmic humans. Practicing healthy vulnerability by developing clear and concise boundaries helps to prevent toxic attachments of all kinds.
Letting The Right Ones In: The Power of Vulnerability
The more we understand our personal vulnerabilities, the better we can see them in others. Moreover, the better we are to perceive true threats and dismiss false ones. On a spiritual level, the better we become at perceiving the deities and entities that we encounter. We can develop boundaries that let the right ones in, rather than being overwhelmed by energies, attracting harmful ones and generally being spiritually promiscuous. Perhaps baneful witchery has been taboo for some because of unhealthy vulnerability resulting from poor boundaries and brittle shielding. This leads to my final point: healthy vulnerability is incredibly empowering. It puts us as the most potent being rather than dependence on others, corporeal or etheric. We create our boundaries, manage our shields, and choose who and what we open our personal magick circle to.