Processing Collective Grief

Processing Collective Grief May 15, 2020

You don’t have to be psychic or an empath to connect to the collective energies of the world. All humans are impacted by collective energy. Think back on times when large communities have been brought together. Often these are traumatic events, like earthquakes, hurricanes, or terrorist attacks. But there are also world-wide New Year’s Eve parties where it feels like the whole world is celebrating together. As humans, we get caught up in the big energies, whether we are spiritually tuned into them or not. And right now, we are experiencing a moment of massive collective grief.

We are personally impacted by the Covid-19 virus. All of us. Can you think of another event in your lifetime that has had this kind of impact? I certainly can’t. However, I do recall events where collective energies were high, intense, and difficult. I’m thinking of the impact of September 11th. I was in my second trimester of pregnancy and knew the world was forever changed. My little coven did a ritual for all the souls crossing over. That was a drop in the bucket compared to where we are right now.

Grief and Fear

The extended grief we are feeling is mixed with extended fear. Will I get sick? What if my loved ones get sick? What is going to happen to my job, my business, my savings? How will we make it? Not to mention all the events, celebrations, gatherings, and parties that have been cancelled. Disappointment, sadness, and fear are touching everyone.

Americans, and many folks in western countries aren’t really great in dealing with grief. Death is sterilized and distant. People get three days of bereavement pay in most corporate jobs and are expected to get right back to work. Most folks don’t sit with their grief and develop a relationship with it. We aren’t shown how to talk to our fear. We don’t want to be in relationship with their disappointments. It’s easier to sweep them up, toss them out, and move on to better and brighter things. We love our culture of toxic positivity.

Riding the Storm

It doesn’t matter how many times you fall down. It matters how many times you get back up. Right?

Except right now we can’t get up. We have to stay down. The situation humanity finds ourselves in isn’t going to go away tomorrow. We are facing a different reality without a road map. Fear, worry, and grief, have permanently moved into our lives and we have to learn to deal with them.

For Witches and spirit workers there is an extra level here. Being more aware of the subtle energies, means that we are more impacted by them. And there is a responsibility to do something with that. We have to ride the storm because, let’s be real, we haven’t got any other choice. The good news is that all storms come to an end.

Feel Your Feelings

This sounds so stupid, but it’s so amazingly true. Feel your feelings. Are you deep in grief today? Allow yourself the space to be in it. Be sad, cry, wail, rage. Become a puddle and express those feelings – literally. This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you don’t make space for your feelings they are more likely to overwhelm you. If you are finding you can’t do anything because you are stuck in your grief for days or weeks then reach out for help. There are a lot of resources right now. Therapy sessions are happening online. There are phone numbers you can call to just talk to someone. Call on friends or family. Don’t worry about dumping your crap on someone else. Because we are all feeling this together.

Move Your Body

Your body stores grief and pain in it. As a former body worker, I can’t even tell you how many times a client would cry on the massage table after releasing something they had stored in their muscles. Often this release would come with a story and apologies for their emotional outburst. Our bodies will carry these feelings we are having. We need to give our bodies a change to start moving through them. Exercise if you can, go for walks, do some slow and gentle movements, put on music and dance, try something to move your body.

Offer Prayer

Yup. Prayer is so healing and helpful. Call upon your guides, allies, ancestors, deities, or the universe itself. Call upon the power of healing. Take ten minutes of your day to focus your energy on something positive. Send gratitude to medical professionals. Chant, sing, dance, as an offering to health and healing. Use mantras for compassion focused on our leaders.

Do Magick

This is a great time for global healing spells. Add a little magickal working into your daily practice. I’ve mentioned this many times, but I’ve been doing a candle vigil since early March. I’m including a sigil for strong immune systems, words of healing, and herbs for healing on one candle. On a second candle I have words for slowing the virus. It’s a small little spell, but it’s something I do every day and it helps me focus on something other than trauma.

Take Social Media Breaks

Social media is great for helping us stay connected right now, but it is also filled with rage inducing crap. If you’re finding yourself feeling depleted and angry every time you sign into social media, consider giving yourself a break from it. The block function is your friend. You don’t have to engage with every crackpot on the internet. Some fights just aren’t worth getting into. Learn to pick your online battles and maybe even practice walking away.

The Future

We have no idea what the future holds. The world we have known is different right now and as we move forward it will continue to be different. If we can focus on what we want, the world we do want to live in, we have a chance of creating that world together. As a culture we are so used to instant gratification and getting what we want quickly and easily, but that’s not the way it has been for the majority of human existence. The future may move a lot slower. Now is a great time to practice slowing down, deeply listening, and getting ready for a future much different than the past.

Go Local

Seriously folks. This is a great time to shift your grief into local connections. Do you know your neighbors? Are you connected to any farmers or CSA services? Now is the time to shift from a global pace into a local one. Support local business, support local artists, pay attention to what your local government is doing, do anything you can to foster relationship with people around you.


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