Something came up in a class last night. A couple of folks mentioned feeling crappy after practicing casting circles. When you’re new to energy work, casting circles, or doing any sort of magickal practice, there is a potential for a magickal hangover, ritual rebound, or energy blowback. You don’t have to be a new practitioner for this to happen either. And there are some real perils of a magickal hangover.
Magickal hangovers can bring on the same symptoms of an alcohol hangover. Here are some ways a magickal hangover can manifest:
- Physical exhaustion
- Mood swings or being quick to anger or sadness
- Flare ups of physical issues you already had
- Being nauseous
Good news, you can take some steps to avoid getting one.
Sweet Sweet Energy
Ideally, when doing ritual, spells, or magickal practices, you aren’t using your body’s energy. One of the reasons we ground before stepping into ritual is to connect us to the power/energy of the earth and sky, where there is unlimited stores of energy. During magickal practice (ritual, spells, etc.) we should be pulling these energetic forces through our bodies and using them to feed the work that we are doing.
Although grounding is a foundational practice in Witchcraft and Paganism, it is by no means an easy one. It takes time to really develop the skill of grounding and centering yourself. If you notice you are prone to ritual rebound or magickal hangovers, strengthening your grounding practice will be key.
A good test is to ask yourself in ritual: where is this energy coming from? If you aren’t sure, it’s probably your own energy being used up. Ground, ground again!
A lot of what you might do to avoid a booze hangover is the same for what you can do to avoid ritual rebound.
- Have you eaten? Unless the ritual calls for fasting, make sure you have had enough to eat. However, avoid being uncomfortably full.
- Did you drink enough water? Hydration is the key to life my friends. Drinking water before, during, and after ritual will go a long way.
- Do you need a shower? Taking a ritual bath or shower before ritual can help you shift your energy (and mindset) into a more focused place. Taking a shower after ritual, can help you release any pent up excess energy.
It’s Not Always Depletion
Magickal hangovers aren’t always a response from being depleted. They can also be a sign that you took on too much energy and didn’t fully release it. If you raised a bunch of energy, got really wound up, felt ecstatic power flowing through you, it’s important to ‘come down’ from that place.
Do something to spend that energy. Running around the block might sound like a good way to exhaust the energy, but it could actually have the opposite effect of building up more. Releasing energy looks more like a slow landing. Drink a cup of tea, take a shower, place your hands on the earth and visualize (feel) sending excess energy back to the land as a gift of gratitude. Ground yourself again or cleanse. Check in with friends and coven mates, see if someone else is feeling depleted. You can always give them the gift of your excess by hugging or holding hands.
Give yourself time to unwind after a ritual or working to allow the energy to naturally evaporate.
I know, I know, it seems like I can’t go a day without talking about this. The most important part of any magickal practice comes from knowing thyself. Do you typically walk through life a little depleted or a little amped up? What are your natural energy proclivities? How do you replenish from physical exhaustion? How do you replenish from emotional or mental fatigue? Knowing how you best recover from non-magickal exhaustion will give you clues on how to best recover from a magickal hangover.
Ultimately, it’s all about good spiritual hygiene. The more you know how to take care of yourself the better. And don’t feel bad if you get hit with some energy blowback. It happens to all of us sometimes.
Now go drink some water.