PAY ATTENTION, WITCH: 3 Pitfalls of Witchcraft

Water 2

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
Mary Oliver

There is so much that I love about the Witch community, but there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved, too. In an ideal world I would like to see more unity, and less divisiveness but that doesn’t look like it will resolve itself anytime soon; mostly because that’s a human issue, not solely a Witch issue.

I am not naïve enough to believe we will attain some kumbaya status, but there, at the very least, should be respect for other’s traditions, experiences, and practices.

I have been guilty in the past of making fun of Wiccans, for example, mostly in a light-hearted way because I was being attacked from every direction by superiority police whom happened to be Wiccan.

I’m not saying all Wiccans are like this, but all the people who felt the need to judge my way of life and practice have been Wiccan.

It was hard at first to make the distinction, so I lumped them all together; in a very similar fashion they seemed to lump me in with the LHP, Luciferian and Occult communities.

I try to take a more diplomatic stance on “the shit I talk” because everyone is entitled to *their* experience; if they decide to become self-righteous, then I will handle it how I see fit.

Otherwise, live and let live.

Rolling your eyes when necessary helps, too.

I also try hard to educate when and where I can, it’s imperative as a public figure to not feed the fire *all the time*.

Sometimes, we must learn to neutralize the fire and save our energy for bigger fights.

This blog is one way I hope to combat some of the main issues plaguing our community.

Do I believe I am the solution? Not at all.

Do I believe this blog will suddenly solve the problems in our community? Nope.

I do believe this will start an important conversation, debate and reflection.

Which is a win I will take.

I have compiled a very abbreviated list of the main issues I have observed playing out within our community, and in many cases, the Spiritual community at large.

Blind

Spiritual Bypassing: This is the idea that you use Spiritual ideas to avoid handling/healing/confronting emotional wounds, trauma and conflict. A clear example of this is the love and light only crew; this is a group of people who completely deny the existence and necessity of the darkness, or Shadows.

Conversely, there is a large group of people that are darkness only, and they completely avoid the higher vibrations of love and light.

Yes, there are many people who are so accustomed to their pain that they fear being happy; they don’t know who they are without their trauma.

Ebonee 2

image source

I know this to be true because I used to be one of those people; you don’t get to know the dark as intimately as I do without having immersed your mind, body and soul in it while dismissing all aspects of light/perceived light.

Spiritual bypassing also takes the form of denying ego—something we all have, and an aspect of ourselves that should be fed, not starved; a starved animal is dangerous.

Anyone who teaches their way as being the only way to attain (insert Spiritual promise here) is lying to you.

There are a million different roads that all lead to the destination of Spiritual Enlightenment and the reason so many roads exist is because we must pave our own way, using those who came before us as guidance.

This isn’t a contest, this isn’t a race; this is a winding journey that will take you to highs and lows you never imagined possible, and a reward you never knew existed.

Remember, the essence of the Spiritual journey comes from within, not without; while people and our outer world are great teachers, they are not and should not be our compass.

Our intuition is our compass, use it freely.

Angela

You need a Coven: This is probably one of the most annoying pitfalls within the community, and it trips a lot of people up. The idea that one needs a Coven to be taken seriously is not new, and if you choose to get into a debate with someone over it, I bet it will turn heated rather quickly.

Not only does this effect the Witch community, but it effects the Occultist community, too.

I have met people who introduce themselves by their name, and then the list of secret societies/organizations they are part of or worked with and by the time they are done listing their pretentious titles I have lost interest because honestly, who the fuck cares?

I mean, of course I care but not when I meet you.

You should be proud of your accomplishments and accolades, but to lead with that?

To have that be your introduction?

It’s arrogant as fuck.

You know that saying that wealth is quiet? And, how I have said in the past that truth is quiet because it’s truth and there is no need to boast?

Power is quiet, too.

Real power, real Magick is quiet because it knows the strength it wields, it respects itself enough to know the damage it can do.

We should be like that.

We should respect ourselves, our Power and our Magick enough to shut up occasionally and let them do the talking for us without using any words.

Covens can be an amazing tool, and asset but in my experience, they are often lead by power hungry individuals who do not see their fellow members as equals but almost like slaves.

I have seen disastrous Witch Wars come from Coven fallouts, and most of the time all because they denied their ego. The irony? Their ego is what killed them.

And, yes, there are people out there who genuinely get something from being in a Coven, and yes there are even a few Covens in existence not plagued by ego, power struggle and hierarchies, but they are few and far between, and they do not define you.

THEY DO NOT DEFINE YOU.

You define you; the company you keep can be an indicator but not a definition.

COVENS DO NOT HOLD ALL THE POWER.

You hold the power.

You decide how to use it.

Make sure to use it wisely, or it will use you.

Stormy

Your expertise is based on the number of followers you have: This is real ya’ll.

THIS IS REAL!

This obviously pertains more so to those like me, who are in the public eye, but it’s important to address all the same.

It’s probably one of the biggest issues in our community right now.

In the age of Social Media, and Instagram Witches we are being judged by the number of followers we have; we are not taken seriously unless, across all platforms we have a huge following.

I have been all but snubbed in the Instagram arena because the following I have on Fb doesn’t translate over; mostly because I wasn’t and still am not super active on Instagram.

The heavy hitters on that platform won’t support baby pages like mine, and honestly?

It makes me fucking laugh.

Their worth is put into numbers and an algorithm.

What happens if IG were to disappear tomorrow? Or Fb for that matter?

What would they do then?

I have a Shop, Courses, Published Books and a blog where my heart and Soul live outside my body.

What do they have when it’s all gone? When the filters fade? When the pretty pictures are no longer considered pretty?

I have missed opportunities with Magazines because of this; only for them to see my Fb and blog and suddenly they come back with, “Oh, sorry, we didn’t know your reach as an influencer. We would love to have you!”

That’s an actual quote.

And, this happened not once, but TWICE.

I have been dismissed by some people in the community, only to be given a stamp of approval later because someone, considered more prominent, gave me a shout out.

What a herd mentality.

The numbers on Social Media are essentially arbitrary; meaning, you can’t do anything with them.

You can’t live off them, you can’t cash them in at a bank, you can’t put them on a resume.

They have meaning in the sense that (in my case) 45 thousand people have resonated with my work, and what I share, and they have chosen to include me on their journey; to use me as inspiration and motivation to keep going.

They have chosen to learn from me and my experiences, and that’s a great honor.

I will carry that with me forever.

At the end of the day, I do this because it’s needed; because the Soul cry deep within tells me that people need to hear my voice.

So, in that regard the numbers have meaning on so many emotional levels, but not in the real world.

Even still, we are judged because of them.

Another way we are judged is who we are friends with.

It’s like, in a professional sense, if you are not friends with other high caliber public figures, then you aren’t taken seriously.

For this reason alone, it makes me want to keep to myself even more than I already do.

Don’t judge me based on who I am friends with. Don’t judge me based on numbers on a screen.

Don’t judge me based on anything other than the words I write, and who I am as a person.

I do not seek approval. I do not beg to be seen. I do not need to be loud.

I am who I am, and you either take it or leave it.

Numbers don’t define me, or my power because truth is quiet, and I am truth.

Lessons in Magick: The Power of Signs and Omens

Rachel Baran

Image: Rachel Baran

“It is your omen, only you know the meaning. To me, it is but another star in the night.”

Gerald R. Stanek

Witches, Mystics, Cunning Folk and Wild Women (People) have used signs, and omens to guide and help direct them in life since the beginning of time. The mentioning of and superstitions surrounding these otherworldly messages crosses many cultures and traditions; varying only slightly between them.

It is extremely important to pay attention to the signs, and follow them with an open heart but it’s equally important to know when the signs are not yours to follow. And, you absolutely need to know when it is NOT a sign at all but simply a result of cause and effect.

The latter is super hard for me, personally, to grasp.

I put a lot of faith in the Universe, and I know that sounds crazy coming from a Luciferian but it’s true. I have lived my life following signs and they have never led me astray, until recently; the delivery of these false signs was through hard, painful lessons (all dealing with the same subject matter which is the greatest sign of all). As I write this in fact, the wounds are still open.

It’s a healing process, a learning process, and a shedding process. It’s a process that requires faith in Self with equal parts determination and stubbornness.

Yes, I have wanted to quit when signs revealed to me an answer I did not like.

Yes, I have been angry when signs took me down an entirely different road.

Yes, I have been sad when the signs were not there at all, or when I followed them and they turned out to be nothing.

Even then, though, everything IS something, even if it’s just an experience, or an opportunity to lift your heart to the sky and say “fuck you, I have been hurt, burned and beaten but here I am, I continue to show up and show out. You can’t and won’t defeat me”.

For clarification purposes when I say Universe I use it as an umbrella term for the Universe as a collective, primordial energy, my deities/Spirits, and Ancestors—kinda like, everything not of the physical world. And, even then I refer to signs from birds, animals and nature as the “Universe speaking to me”. We will get to that though.

So, WHAT are signs? How do you know when they are for you? How do you know when the lesson is learned? SO many questions, right?

Let’s start with the basics.

For me I define signs as messages from the Universe (definition above), they are little bread crumbs from Spirits and Guides letting us know what we should or should not do.

For example, my Grandparents are both passed now and they talk to me through old black and white films, sounds crazy, I know but it’s true. There will be a compulsion to watch a movie, and then it will be playing on TCM (the channel I would watch with them for hours) and during it, certain words will sound distorted, or will be louder than others and often the word correlates with what I am physically doing, or thinking about at that time. They usually correspond with number sequences on the clock, too, and phantom scents in the air.

I don’t (often) subscribe to the concept of coincidence, which is probably why it’s hard for me to grasp that sometimes stuff happens and there really is no reason for it.

Life sucks and so I *know* that shit, does indeed, just happen; I still want to believe there is a reason, though, no matter how messed up.

Is this Denial? Hope? Ignorance?

All of the above?

I don’t know but it keeps me curious, and it keeps me going.

You will know a sign is for you because you will FEEL IT in your gut, it’s incomparable and no, it cannot be confused. I know that some of the more logical folk out there will suggest that we cause ourselves to “feel” whatever it is we want. Or, conversely, we cause whatever we subconsciously fear, and are bending reality to fit into those boxes. I see the point in this train of thought and logic should always be taken into consideration but when you are communicating with the Universe, there is no confusing it and there is no applying logic to it.

Signs are everywhere and they are obviously not all for us, but they most certainly surround us.

You will know when a lesson is learned because you will stop finding yourself in the same repetitive pattern. Life is cyclical and it is NORMAL to have periods of time where you find yourself in a rut, or stuck in a pattern of behavior; this does not always mean there is some major sign to be seen, it could just be the ebb and flow of your life. If you find yourself stuck for a long time, or unable to get out despite your best efforts then the Universe might be testing you.

The further you venture on your Spiritual path the more you will come to understand the difference between normal “life shit” and what is Spiritually motivated or induced. You will also come to know when the lesson is learned because you will feel it lift off you.

Here are some of the most common ways the Universe talks to us:

NUMBERS: The Universe is nothing but one big mathematical equation, so it makes perfect sense that it would use numbers to communicate with us. You can start by reading up on Angel Numbers—don’t let the title fool you, even if you don’t believe in Angelic beings, the breakdown of Angelic Numbers by Doreen Virtue and Sacred Scribes will help you tremendously (as they have helped me). It is also good to start understanding numbers and their role in Tarot, Numerology, and Astrology. Don’t overwhelm yourself, start slow and with the numbers that you are seeing the most—the message you need to see/hear will show itself. Listen to the feeling in your gut.

SCENTS: As mentioned in previous blogs our sense of smell is one of our most useful senses because it can trigger some of our deepest memories. Have you ever wondered why you smell something so simple like a light perfume or flower, even a food cooked a certain way and you were transported back to another time? Smell is a powerful indicator of energy, and depending on the smell, can tell us a lot about our situation. Always pay attention to phantom smells: who do they remind you of, where do they take you, where is your mind the moment before the scent appears, how long does it linger, how strong is it, etc.

DREAMS: Our dreams reveal to us a lot about what is going on within. It does not matter if the dream is prophetic in nature, a vision or travel of some sort or simply because you ate that extra piece of chocolate too late—dreams are the easiest way for our Spirits to communicate with us because they can access the Dream state, as we can access the world beyond the veil through our dreams. I keep a dream journal, and try to encourage everyone to do the same. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and to be honest, it’s usually just written on the memo pad of my phone but it’s important to notate what sticks out in our dreams. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a dream, and written something down, knowing damn well it made no sense to me, only to have it make complete sense later. Don’t doubt yourself, and write it down, no matter how ridiculous it seems; it will pay off later.

ANIMALS: This is a big one and refers to my comment in the beginning about the Universe speaking through animals and nature. I find that messages come to me a lot through birds, and spiders. In some cultures, birds represent Bird (or Animal) Medicine (mostly Indigenous cultures) but in other cases, the species of the bird (or animal) is the message itself. Here is an article I came across regarding the 15 most common animal messengers. Pay attention to how you feel when you see the bird or animal, what are you doing, what is going on in your life at that moment, what are you trying to manifest—these questions factored in with the basic symbolism of the animal will reveal to you what you need to know.

SYNCHRONICITY: This is those little moments where you experience intense déjà vu and you find yourself having moments of alignment. Examples, you think of someone and they suddenly call or text. Your manifesting abilities become more potent, and your intentions become clearer; abundance and prosperity come flowing into your life (no this does not mean money). Synchronicity is the Universe telling you that you are BECOMING.

These are just a few of the common ways the Universe communicates with us, you just have to be tuned in enough to hear it.

This is a hard path and I know sometimes the signs and lessons are harder but they are all worth it.

It’s always worth it.

Never regret the choice to wake up, never wish to go back to sleep.

Always trust the process.