The witch is sovereign, partially meaning that they are in mindful control of their mind, their heart, their will, their words, their actions, their responses and their life. This is no easy task nor one that should be taken lightly. As a witch, one of the things I constantly contemplate are the things which may hold power over me.
So how does one know that their power is out of balance, that something holds power over them? I believe it has to deal with those things in life that cause us to lose our center and drains our energy. The key to understanding if we are in our center is discerning whether we’re reacting or responding. A true sovereign responds instead of reacts. So what’s the difference?
Reacting and responding seem very similar on the surface, but with a deeper look we begin to see the differences. Reaction occurs almost as if we’re on autopilot. Reaction is emotionally motivated, fear and anger fueled, survival oriented and tends to be defensive in nature. It’s hard-wired into us as a species as the fight-or-flight mechanism of the reptilian portion of our brain. That does not mean that the threat is unreal or invalid.
However, reaction is unconscious in nature and it tends to be draining. The reason it’s draining is because we tend to not be in control when we’re reacting without awareness. Responses are more conscious in nature. When we respond, we’re taking a moment to analyze what the situation is, honor how we’re feeling and figure out what to do about it. It is about being aware of the power your response has, especially in regards to how it affects others. It is about assessing how much power to exert and the most beneficial way to do so.
If we were to look at this in the three soul model of the witch we would see it as the lower (or primal) self , as the lower-self is reactive and emotional by nature. We would see total detachment and awareness of the larger picture and awareness of our part to play in this reality as the Higher Self. We would see the way we interact with others in this physical reality as our middle-self. When the witch has all three souls aligned, they allow the lower self and higher self to inform them and then alchemically temper the two with the middle-self through mindful awareness of both.
We live in a society that is huge on stroking our lower-selves through sex, fear and anger. We are encouraged constantly to react, as if we’re all being constantly hypnotized to do so. We are being bombarded by people and situations that are trying to take our power and our sovereignty away from us in this life and it’s always being done for the purpose of control. Whether it’s being controlled to buy a product, vote a certain way, to believe a certain ideology, to incite action or to cause lethargy or apathy through fear and hopelessness. This control is done always by trying to get us to react instead of respond. When we react it incites a domino effect of the reaction of others.
Response is about understanding and honoring your own boundaries and that of others. It’s about understanding the awesome power your participation has within the world. Responding is about having the wisdom of honoring the knowledge of how you feel so that you can take the most appropriate course of action to move constructively forward to correct the situation.
Sometimes anger is justified. Sometimes fear is justified. Sometimes you have to really respond to those reactions to address very real threats. If we’re constantly reacting, we’re losing our energy. If we’re sapped of all our energy, there’s nothing left to use to actually address and fix the situation. When this occurs we are no longer in charge of our lives or our area of influence upon the world. We lose our sovereignty.
So I ask my fellow witches, during these difficult times, how are you reacting and how are you responding? Are you not responding at all? What is trying to steal your energy and your sovereignty from you? How do you correct the situation? Is your reaction stirring more nonconstructive reaction? Is your response motivating and empowering others? Are you choosing to not respond at all from a place of privilege at the expense of others? What is draining you from fulfilling your role as a steward of the Earth and Humanity? Is your reaction for the highest good? Are you contributing to the solution or to the problem? Are you using the fire of reaction to burn yourself and others, or are you using the fire reaction to drive yourself and others forward through response?
There is no easy answer to this and each answer is personal. But it’s important for us to be motivated to respond to the world to properly address the right course of action, and not be controlled and drained through pure reaction.