My article Lightworkers & The New Age Witch got varying responses, both positive and negative. This was sort of expected. One reoccurring response stuck with me was something I didn’t address in that article so wanted to touch upon here a bit. That’s the topic of “Toxic Positivity” within certain New Age ideology. Another reoccurring response was that New Age ideology is simply fast food spirituality without much depth, real work put into it or personal development. Both of these have their points, but I think we can say that about any and all paths. I have met more than my share of lazy ass witches too who totally don’t want to do any of the inner work or the deep studying, or the practical magickal work.
The Power of Thought & Addressing Privilege
I’m strong advocate for positive thinking and what it can do, being a firm believer in the principles of the Kybalion and New Thought and seeing the results of what they can do. However, I think it only becomes toxic when people are shamed for feeling emotions that are anything other than positive. For me, my work is inner alchemy, which means I have to embrace sadness, shame, guilt, anger, and work with them. However, just like alchemy, my aim is to keep healing, refining, and growing myself.
As witches, we should understand the power of our thoughts. The more we interact with magick, the more we come into alignment as magickal beings. The power of thought and word in regards to witchcraft should never be taken lightly, whether you’re intending to do magick or not. That doesn’t mean we have to monitor and police every thought or word we say. It doesn’t mean we have to shame and reprimand ourselves every time we have negative thoughts, emotions, or words. Feri Tradition founder Victor Anderson is quoted as saying that a witch should never “coddle nor condemn weakness.” As witches we take the responsibility of having sovereignty over our lives seriously and to do so we must be realistic with what we’re observing in ourselves and how we can try to fix it.
We all each have different challenges and privileges in this life. Privilege isn’t a one-size-fits all standard. Most of us all experience different levels of privilege and marginalization. One may have white privilege but be poor. One may have financial privilege but are a person of color. One may have het-cis privilege but have mental or physical challenges. Some have more privilege than others and different privileges and marginalization create different types of obstacles and difficulties within our lives. This is just the reality of the world and of life. However, this is where witchcraft comes in. Witchcraft historically is a practice of the marginalized. It’s a way of trying to balance out the playing field as much as possible magickally despite what life and society has served us.
“This is also not to say that one is responsible for what happens to them. This is not New Age victim-blaming. Sometimes life just happens. Sometimes the universe will throw shitty things at us, regardless of what we do or if we deserve it. Whether it has anything to do with karma or similar concepts is pointless. It’s what we do when life throws these things at us that is important. The witch is forged in the flames that destroy others. The witch finds the blessing in the curse. It is through adversarial forces that we are strengthened, gain wisdom, and find balance. Every circumstance is a crossroads to which we must respond. Sovereignty isn’t about having full dominion over the events of our lives. It’s about having dominion over ourselves, stewardship of our area of influence, and our ability to change things on a physical level, a mental level, and emotional level and a magickal level to be once again in alignment with our Higher Will when things are not.”
– Mat Auryn
Less Bitching, More Witching
Neuroplasticity and Placebo
Witchcraft takes work. A lot of that work is inner work. We know scientifically that the more we think or feel a certain way the more we begin to think in that way.
“The brain is constantly creating and strengthening electro-chemical neural pathways that are used the most through constant stimulation. If a certain way of thinking is repeated, consciously or unconsciously those pathways become the predominant ones used, leading to thinking or feeling in this manner more and more. This is called neuroplasticity. Now, energetically the same is true. Energy pathways that are used more, become strengthened and easier to access while those that are ignored become weakened. The energy body has its own form of memory.”
– Mat Auryn
The Magick of Affirmations
Many folks will talk about how positive thinking is placebo. What they fail to realize is that placebo is a testament to the power of the mind. We have seen how accepting something as true can create huge impacts on both the body and the mind. As witches, we should perform our own experiments when it comes to the mind, body, and spirit. This isn’t to say that we should delude ourselves from reality, stop seeking professional help, or stop taking our medication. Witchcraft is a path of holistic approaches, trying to tackle obstacles from every single angle possible within our lives. Positive thinking alone is not going to change things, just as casting a spell alone rarely yields results. All layers of reality must come into synch with the individual for manifestation, and that includes physical action – the grounding of that energy into the physical plane.
Journaling & Introspection
This is where the power of observation, meditation, and journaling come in. Journaling is an overlooked practice by many occultists but one that was heavily emphasized by my early witchcraft teachers. Journaling provides a clear mirror to ourselves. It allows us to record both the mundane and the magickal and look for patterns and cycles. It’s easy to convince ourselves that the past was a certain way painted by how we’re viewing it in the present. However, if we are recording what’s going on inside and outside and how we feel and think at those times, we’re presented with an actual record of how we were and not how we thought we were in the present.
Journaling can help provide the insights to help us figure out who we are. It allows us to see when we’re falling into old patterns and cycles. This allows us to see how these things affects our own lives. It gives perspective to see how and into which things we’re exerting our energy and the long term results of that. Throw into the mix someone who is actively working with occult forces and powers and proclaiming the mantle of identifying as a witch, which in itself is an empowerment.
“As a Hermetic-Qabalistic Witch, everything that moves from source seeks to return to source eventually. All our creations energetically return to us, as their source, on some level. When they are what we want, we call that return a successful manifestation. Even in non-Wiccan or non-Hermetic traditions, there is the concept of “paying the coin” or having to take some level of responsibility for what you have created, and what you have cursed. So do any magick consciously, and be prepared for the consequences of your actions.”
– Christopher Penczak
The Hex Appeal of Activism
“I have been hearing and seeing a lot of variations of the phrase “I can’t” in witchcraft lately. What really astounds me about this is that is starkly pushes against the grain of what witchcraft is. One of the reasons that I work so hard in my own path is that witchcraft gives me the power to stand up and say “I can, and I will.” At what point are we feeding so much into what we believe we can’t do, that we are essentially cutting off and limiting our own ability?”
– Elizabeth Autumnalis
The Debilitating Power of “I Can’t”
Along with limiting themselves, one of the things I constantly see people do is curse themselves. Many witches acknowledge that a curse doesn’t have to be formal, but rather strong negative energy directed at someone, which has given rise in history to concepts such as “The Evil Eye.” If ordinary people are able to curse in this manner it would only make sense that one who is an actively practicing witch can do so more powerfully. It also becomes pretty obvious that what we can do to another we can do to ourselves.
How many times have you heard people say “fuck my life”, “just my luck”, “this always happens to me”, and so on? Do not fool yourself, that is a straight up self-curse. It has been my observation of watching others that curses are addictive in nature. When taken lightly or done out of paranoia, curses seem to cause more problems than solutions.
“One thing that I’ve noticed about those who curse casually is that they become addicted to cursing. Suddenly they constantly draw dramatic situations and threats towards them on some weird energetic level that gives them reasons or excuses to “need to curse”. Slowly their lives turn into this constant struggle. They become blocked in other areas of their lives. They begin battling deep depression when they had none previously. People begin distancing themselves from the person. Life starts showering them with what can only be called ‘bad luck’.”
– Mat Auryn
The Consequences of Continual Cursing
Fear Calling & The Power of Hope
An idea I really love is the idea of the rabbit as “fear caller.” This idea is supposedly Native American in origin though that sort of bothers me as it’s vague and doesn’t credit any specific tribe, and I wish I could credit where it comes from or whether it’s a modern “plastic shaman” invention. For some reason we tend to group the vastly diverse cultures, tribes, traditions, and beliefs of indigenous Americans as some sort of blanket ideology, despite recognizing the diversity of culture of Europe which is only a fraction of the size of the Americas.
Regardless of origin, the notion is striking and powerful. The idea is that some Native Americans supposedly refer to the Rabbit as the “fear caller.” The idea is that the rabbit is so paranoid of predators that it begins summoning that fear into existence, thereby attracting predators. Some variations of this I’ve heard are that it literally keeps screaming not to be eating drawing attention to itself, in others the rabbit is just so consumed by its paranoia that its energetic vibe that attracts the predators into existences.
I see this constantly. I have seen folks paranoid about people talking negatively about them and begin to act irrationally causing people nothing else but than to talk about them negatively. I have seen folks paranoid of their partner cheating on them, which then affects their relationship leading to either the partner cheating or the relationship failing. I have seen people so paranoid of losing money that it paralyzes them and leads to the loss of job, home, etc. Again, as people plugged into magickal power I straight up believe that this is heightened for us as witches.
Are these people to blame for what has happened to them? This has to deal with our relationship with fear itself. If we allow fear to turn into a paranoia it will consume us and begin manifesting. If we partner ourselves with fear and use it as motivation to empower ourselves and make healthy action to prevent the thing we’re fearing we then are beginning to think more like witches having sovereignty over our lives. We can’t control what other people do or what life sends us, but we can however alter our responses to it. You may be recognizing the similarities between this and the Shadow.
Never underestimate the power of hope and optimism. This shouldn’t be confused with delusion and complacency. Hope has built empires and has also toppled them. Hope keeps our actions, thoughts, and emotions aligned in a frequency that everything passes, and that with work and patience miracles can and do occur. We all fall. We all get depressed, angry, jealous, impatient, and paranoid. This is what makes us human and these emotions enrich our lives as much as the ones that we deem as being positive.
However, we shouldn’t get stuck there. And as Victor said, we shouldn’t condemn or coddle ourselves for these things. Rather, we should assess the situation and ourselves with honest introspection, feel what needs to be felt for as long as we need to feel it, pick ourselves up, and try again. We need to affirm to ourselves who we are and what we truly desires of ourselves, our lives, our world and then work on creating that. This is why I believe discovering and maintaining your home frequency is such a vital practice for witches. If you catch yourself unconsciously cursing yourself, try to consciously bless yourself as well more than your curse yourself. Watch how your life changes.