Because there is so much ugliness amongst “belief” it is easy to have none beyond what we can see.
Ever since I saw this headline a couple years ago, “Women for Trump Founder Says GOP in Danger Because Witches Put a Hex on Brett Kavanaugh”, I’ve been thinking about witches.
I never believed in witches. I have laughed at the old white guy law makers who, seemingly randomly and apropos to nothing, will start spouting off about witches. Ridiculous, I have thought, but they knew more than I did, I see now.
This is the easy route, in many ways, because the need to force religion or other beliefs on others, and the need to be *right* are so hard to stomach in the face of such obvious lies. The problem with rejecting everything in one swoop, is there there is so much that we can’t see at play, and the scientist in me is who rejects my complete dismissal of faith.
For a long time, I held on to the vestiges of a sloppily instilled christianity, which I filed away with the Buddhism I had also been raised with, and I did not question whether or not I “believed” in God because I didn’t think there was a choice.. Later, I went the other direction, and could not believe in God because of the foul affects of religion that are obvious all around time and history- but it felt like a rejection, as opposed to a realization, and there has to be something there to reject. In other words, there was something to it that I still recognized, even though I would deny it.
At the point of the road that I am at now, I’ve come to couple of resting places that feel right for me, and those are what I’m leaning into, exploring.
First, I don’t know. I don’t know about very much beyond what I can sense when it comes to God, or what I’ve come to refer to as energy, or source, and I don’t know what “happens” to us when we die, if we do, and I don’t believe anyone who says they do.
I do, however, believe there are some definite truths. That is my faith- I believe in a truth I do not have to know, but I keep my eyes and ears open for the most recent best idea.
I do know when things have felt right to me. I think those things are truth. I think some of them are fundamental, and that’s why religion feels like truth to so many. It is in our nature to connect, it is in our nature to expand, it is in our nature to be good. It is in our nature to be unruly, and need guidance: it is our nature to be constantly learning.
The pain you feel watching someone mess everything up, and you can’t do anything to stop it? That’s your lesson. The pain of the consequences of stupid, that’s theirs.
Both of you get a lesson in how you interpret or perceive the other.
I don’t think it’s important to believe in the right things. I think it is important to build a system of beliefs that you can, actually, believe in. It won’t do you any good to pretend. You can’t grow this kind of belief, you have to root it out in yourself, and be ready to be surprised. Hope to change your mind, let yourself find your way to the most recent best idea. Develop a working set of beliefs that keeps you aligned with feeling good, doing good and making the whole universe a little better by shining the authentic light of you.
The lens of time tends to soften my view of history. Witch hunts are theoretical, because everyone knows there’s no such thing as witches, but the witch hunts that plagued Salem, and Europe before that, the witch hunts that killed thousands of Scottish and other womxn over a thousand years, were very real. And the horror of the accused was real and merited. They weren’t just pointing fingers, these men were murdering womxn.
This isn’t some old concept we’ve left in the past, like horse-drawn carriages, or the idea that human flight is impossible, or we cant go more than fifty miles an hour without our skin falling off, they’re still talking about witches because the same qualities that made a womxn (or anyone) a witch back when they were murdering womxn in Salem are the exact same as they are today- the only difference being that we womxn have been convinced in the meantime that witches don’t exist.
I know womxn also accused womxn, but make no mistake about it, the witch hunts were not fueled by womxn. They were so prevalent because they had the full force of the violent religious patriarchy behind them. Womxn may have weaponized the threat against each other in some cases, but it was the organized and mass weaponized threat of the church, the law, and the entire structure of an imbalanced, capitalist patriarchy.
Witches that are green and warty, and fly on their broomsticks, witches that eat children, these are the witches we know about. Why are powerful womxn equated to these fake beings that were never real to begin with? Or not powerful womxn, just wanting to be left tf alone?
What was going on back then that perpetuated these wildly outlandish beliefs and led them hold their power for millennia? What had changed in time?
An interest to connect with my own history, and to explore epigenetic impacts on cycles and generational trauma in my own beliefs and behavior led me to a fascination with studying my dna and family tree on an ancestry site.
Reading through my ancestors names in my family tree, seeing the names and dates, the occasional scant bit of information that has made it through the centuries onto the internet, I feel sad sometimes that so much has been lost to time, if it has.
The people in my family tree, every single one of them, no matter how divergent their life paths their lives all ultimately had one objective, the success if which, literally, is proved by me.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have more of the thousands of years worth of notes-to-self that our ancestors surely gathered the hard way? Why am I, an average human using less than ten percent of my brain power, stuck with so much potential and so little time?
I like to keep it simple, I like to focus on what I know for sure. I know for sure my body needs water. I am made of both ninety percent water and one hundred percent star dust, so I decided to make a mindful, daily practice of both, daily.
Every single day, I drink enough water. I’m not going to give a number, because enough for me is not an rx for anyone else, but, its a lot more water than I have ever consistently consumed in my life. In six weeks, I noticed a difference in my skin and energy, and in six months, I could easily distinguish between thirty and hungry, and now, three years later, I can confidently say I will never diet again. I have never loved my skin more, and my migraines have gone down to almost zero. My body works better.
I feel deep sadness when I think of my thousands and thousands of dollars that have contributed to the billion dollar diet industry. All it took was water, plants, it was that easy. Just one tiny ritual, and I’m off the merry-go-round for good.
The stardust comes with less obvious instructions, but the basics must be in the commonalities- the things that all humans have always done, forever, wherever they are. EFT and NLP are both, in their ways, tapping into one of these powerful shared human experiences- the quieting of the conscious, monkey mind. Clearing the mind of unintention, mindfully tending the now with a sense of gratitude and wonder is universal, and it works just like the water for the body.
Meditation, prayer, affirmations, music, poetry, physical exertion, art, are all ways humans have always fed the thirst for stillness. Small incantations make big ripples.
When this happens in a church it’s fellowship. Maybe in the garden, or on the phone, or bring the light that shines, guiding another womxn into her own intention, it’s a coven.
When I focused with intention on meditation, and joyously added all the ways I could think of to mediate as mindfully as possible, I found a wealth of guides. Beautifully led guided meditations, guided self-hypnosis’s and affirmations with and without biurnal beats that helped me bask in gratitude in a whole new way. Putting my hands and art to it, I began to make vision boards that have worked in ways that I once found uncanny, but now I know are just the tip of the ice berg when I gave my imagination free reign to seek my dreams, and submit to my intuition in total trust to get me there, it became like the tide- already done, not my job to control, but surely, surely, sure as the moon, rising whether I’m in the way or in the flow.
These were hardly secrets, but they were the little spells that led to a better, more wild and authentic goodness than I even could have written. Things are better than my passing thoughts ever allowed when I let them run the entire, exhausting, show.
It was when I was cataloguing my seeds into a binder that I’ve lovingly come to call the “growing grimoire” that I finally got it.
The patriarchy knows what we have forgotten, because they made the lie, and they never stopped knowing they made it. They have known all along what I had to uncomfortably realize and come to terms with- witches were as real as they always were, and they were like me- growing little gardens wherever they live, sometimes because of the freedom in feeding yourself independently, but also just for the joy of co-creating beautiful, living familiars to live among.
They were, always have been, expressing their love through their tonics, like I cook a meal or distill a basket of lavender. They were gathering seeds, and eggs, and are never understanding the violence, the rage, and the hatred they have for us. Because yes, for sure, when those guys are talking about witches, then or now, they’re talking about me.
Sometimes the people that like you the least see you the clearest. The vicious misogynistic hatred that burns womxn at the stake and is responsible for society sanctioned femicides in every “civilized” land, barely noticed much less punished femicides that may as well be sanctioned because they are allowed, century after century we have proof of their fear and hatred, they don’t have it wrong, and it’s time to find the contrast in their hate, the truth in their reflection of us. They are punishing us because we don’t need them, and that’s the real power of witches. We don’t need them, and we aren’t fighting to be equal, we are already existing in a power that’s as real as gravity, and when we only have to stop and be still to remember it, to find it again, and to use it to do good. We only have to remember the basics, the keys to nourishing every part of ourselves are right here, but we are so busy relearning how to build the wheel, fighting the same same violent wars generation after separated generation to spend the time doing anything but surviving, using all our collective power to feed the few.
They don’t hate us because they think we’re something we’re not, that’s where we let ourselves get fooled. The very vocabulary for our energy has been so co-opted that we can’t even see ourselves reflected in the lies they’ve pretended to believe about us. We have turned witches into monsters and costumes, either evil or submissive.
The patriarchy has always known what we are, and they fear the power of our independence even if we have forgotten how to use our own, very real, living magic. Rather than spend my time believing the worst about myself, I’m going to dive deep for the best, and I am going to do it by honoring the ancient knowledge that it took for me, right now, to share segments of dna with people who lived and died for me a thousand years ago and longer, despite the long, hard bid to scare and shame it out of us.
For me, it’s tiny rituals, it’s everyday magic. It’s the glow that comes with gratitude, feeling my hands in the earth, the good feeling that indicates to me that I am doing a good job of operating this beautiful, energetic body of life that I’m residing in. For me, the spells and potions are the simplest, with the shortest list of ingredients, like water, plants, the moon. Acknowledging the most humble of spells has opened a power in me that runs through me to the beginning of time, and claims the freedom and love that is my birthright, and it keeps me happy and full in a world with too few gardens and too many old men in power. It doesn’t take newt’s eye or abracadabra, just the truth in the words I speak; I am.