Disconnecting from the external world through daily contemplative practices, such as prayer and meditation, offer perspective for the immediate time and help build our spiritual muscles of discernment, thereby quieting the shadow illusion. More extended periods of separation, being closed for spiritual maintenance, is a practice that can be enormously beneficial. Going deep into ourselves, using our powerful minds to reveal the truth, can be difficult. There are so many distractions, plus the general state of society is troubling. However, without this turning inward, I argue that it’s impossible to solve the external problems. The magick is within us to reveal, and it all begins in our witches’ mind.
“A Witch’s work is mind work and utilizes powerful metaphors, allegories, and images that unlock the powers of the mind.” ― Laurie Cabot, Power of the Witch: The Earth, the Moon, and the Magical Path to Enlightenment
This has long been one of my guiding principles in life and witchcraft. The mind has fascinated me since I was an adolescent, trying to figure out my place in the world and understand others. I became so infatuated with exploring the mind that I earned a doctorate in psychology. The mind is where I am most comfortable, whether it’s in my private self or as a teacher and writer. I love thinking about thinking, and I love thinking about how thinking is involved in witchcraft.
The Witches’ Mind Can Be A Powerful Self-Deceiver
There is a danger in getting too much into our minds: we can lose our bodies along the way. The challenge becomes how to play to our strength – our beautiful, powerful mind – while developing our weakness – avoidance of corporeality. We may be spiritual beings having a human experience, but a huge part of that is to sink into physicality. The mind, though, is so much bigger than our bodies.
From our experiences, our thoughts and beliefs grow. In turn, our experiences are filtered through our existing mindset. Seems a bit of a vicious cycle when we are pursuing our truth, especially since many of our thoughts are entirely false. How then do we discern what is truth and what is fiction? How do we learn from the shadow self without being seduced by it’s fear-based lies? In other words, how do we avoid creating false poppets?
The Imagined Other
Our minds create thought-forms of others, both for individuals and groups. These forms influence not only how we see these others, but how we interpret ourselves. This “self in relation to others” is a construct that I spent a great deal of time studying in my graduate school years, and it continues to fascinate me to this day. There is absolutely no way that anyone can have a truly objective view of another person since we interpret everything through the lens of our personal experience and personality. In a way, everyone is imagined and everything is a thought-form.
When we are truthful in ourselves, we are likely to attract others who are more sincere. Moreover, we have appropriate boundaries that make us less susceptible to allowing toxic people into our lives, thus the ensuing thought-forms and self-in-relation-to-others energetic beings and constructs we create will usually be more healthy. We become less judgmental of others and more firm in what we need. Those pesky expectations, so often associated with the “false” poppets of the shadow self transition into requirements for engaging with us.
The Remedy: Spiritual Maintenance
The way to discern true from false mental chatter is through daily practice designed to bring out the former and expunge the latter. Contemplative practices such as meditation and prayer that quiet the mind create space for the truth to bubble to the surface of our consciousness.
The Psychic Witches’ Mind
No discussion of the witches’ mind’s ability to create and deceive would be complete without talking about how psychic abilities are involved in all this. A daily divination practice is accessible to everyone, whether or not you identify as psychic. Using the cards to discern truth from shadow by asking the card-spirits for specific guidance regarding what you need to know about a situation, or insight into yourself, yields helpful results. Honing your psychic skills through daily practice, including recording your experiences, premonitions and dreams, leads to deepening your powers and self-awareness. There is no separation between the everyday witches’ mind and the etheric one, the more the two are merged the less likely we are to create false poppets of ourselves and others.
Mat Auryn’s book Psychic Witch is full of exercises to strengthen the witches’ mind.