Striving toward enlightenment doesn’t mean you’ll be happy or “positive” all the time–that mess isn’t even natural, let alone healthy. Frustration, anger, anxiety and depression are normal side-effects of increased spiritual awareness–its the opposite of “ignorance is bliss.” Once you turn the light on and see the bigger picture, you tune in and feel the greater connections, there will be a lot to process, and it isn’t always pretty. Let’s face it, there is a world-wide dumpster fire currently burning with plenty to upset the balance of wellness. Just like the waning sun, you may be having a dark time. Fair enough. The question is, what are we to do about it?
My first rule of witchcraft is Don’t burn the Witch, and that begins with self-care. The Witches’ ways aren’t easy fixes; yet, our techniques should help us remain balanced and effective, even while the world burns, strengthening us so we can help our society.
The Principle of Rhythm in Hermetics states that everything in the universe is a cycle; the pendulum swings in one direction is equal to the swing in the other direction. You may be in the down-swing right now, but your cycle will upswing again. Both sides are equally necessary, so while you are here, look around and ask yourself what lesson you are meant to learn. Right here, in this dumpster fire, what spark of wisdom may be found? The faster you recognize it, the faster that upswing will come.
The Pentacle Approach to Wellness: A Five-Pointed Plan of Balance
A holistic approach to wellness is based upon the interconnection between consciousness and the body. A magickal approach to wellness works for a harmonic balance between many subtle layers of the self: mental, emotional, will and spiritual bodies form a lens through which you experience your physical body, and vice versa. As above, so below. (Hermetic Principle of Correspondence.) This concept is symbolized by the Pentacle, an encircled five-pointed star, a symbol of modern witchcraft.
When these layers of self are in balance with each other, we are at “ease.” When there is a disruption, we have “dis-ease.” That disease is mirrored throughout our many layers of self. Abiding anger, depression, anxiety, and even seasonal blues, are forms of disease that should not to be discounted, lest they be allowed to manifest as illness or misfortune. (Hermetic Principle of Vibration)
The greater part of the practice of Witchcraft is about conquering our fears, knowing ourselves within and without, and claiming our sovereignty so that we can be happy and enjoy ourselves. Maintaining balance comes first, then an alignment of personal Will with our Highest Divine Will, which becomes a source of empowerment. This allows us to respond effectively during times of difficulty, rather than remain slaves to our reactions. The Witchcraft praxis offers us the handy framework to consider the idea of balance through the five points of the Pentacle, and the five elements: Spirit, Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
In my personal health, I’ve found that a team-approach is most effective–when the pendulum swings hard into the challenging side of my cycle–my winters of discontent, if you will–I call on my Medical Doctor, my Chiropractor, AND my Reiki Master; my astrologer, my priestess, AND my therapist. When in crises, seek out the licensed professionals for an accurate diagnoses. From there, you have many options for therapeutic care from the mundane to the magickal, but you must have reliable information in order to craft an appropriate plan of care. Knowledge is power; uneducated guesses and denial can be fatal. Remember, Don’t burn the Witch.
This subject really wants me to write a whole book. [P.S. Update Below!] Perhaps someday I’ll get around to that. 🙂 Until then, I’ll share in the following posts what I understand to be the projective and receptive mysteries of each element, how they can be integrated within the solar celebration cycle we call the Wheel of the Year, and offer a few practical and magickal exercises.
Rather than deny who I am, I’ve developed strategies to ride the tides of my watery, Piscean nature, that gives me the gifts of insight, empathy and psychic ability that serve me well, but also make me prone to suffer depression, anxiety and existential despair.
Note that I am neither a physician nor a licensed therapist. I’m just a woman with plenty of her own challenges, who over the past two decades gained a modicum of balance through medical treatment, talk-therapy, studying witchcraft and magick, working with Spirit to become their Priestess, and practicing Reiki energy healing. In short, it wasn’t easy, or a guaranteed cure against the woes of life, but it helps me cope.
“If that which you seek you find not within, you will never find it without.” Charge of the Goddess, Doreen Valiente
May you discover similar benefits on your own healing journey,
Update as of October 10th 2019: Today I complete and submit the rough draft of this book I promised myself, and my readers, that I’d write back in 2016. What seeds this blog series planted in my thinking and practice went on to grow in unexpected directions, and blossom into beauteous forms that astound and inspire my witchcraft in ways I never imagined possible 3 years ago. That flower, now matured like the seed head full of potential, I’ll cast out into the world…like blowing on dandelion fluff to scatter these seeds into the wind, hoping they take root and grow far and wide.
I’ll update links as they are posted, stay tuned for a look at the lessons of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit.