It is a given fact that if you practice magic or engage with spiritual energy on a daily basis that at some point, something not quite human or that was once human might find its way to your home or start following you. Part of this is energetic frequency and the other part, I feel is just a matter of being the metaphorical light in the dark. Think of…moths looking for light. This was a description my mother expressed to me in my early years. Now, don’t drop everything and run screaming witchlings that is the nature of energy in general…attracting and repelling etc. Also, there a number of things that you can do initially that will help avoid the likelihood that this may occur, as well as, prepare you to handle situations you feel intimidate you.
It is important to note, that as Wiccans (and other practitioners of magical crafts), encounters with spiritual energies of this kind can also indicate an imbalance. There may be something important you are learning on your spiritual path that this experience can offer you such as the need to protect yourself, the need to set spiritual boundaries, expansion of energetic awareness, or acknowledgment of a spiritual gift that you are being called to use for the community. A case in point is that Shamans who resist their spiritual gifts are often plagued by physical and spiritual events that are often initially perceived as attacks. When the individual surrenders to their spiritual gifts the negative experiences often subside as the individual obtains a new sense of balance. Sometimes, to find your balance, the spirits knock you over, you teeter-totter back and forth until you discover a new equilibrium. Below, I cover three points that I feel all beginners should become exceedingly comfortable with early in their practice. Despite specific religious, non-religious or spiritual affiliations and labels, these three items are, in my opinion, vital aspects of a healthy practice and contribute to the overall holistic health of the practitioner.
- Understanding of the energetic foundations such as grounding, centering
- Clearing, Boundaries, and Purifications
- Forming strong connections
People have often expressed to me that their beginnings flared after their first energetic experiences. These events may have occurred during meditation work, after years of intense dreams, or may have taken any of the myriad forms of experience including but not limited to: receiving relevant spiritual guidance, hearing helpful spiritual forces, feeling awakened or quickened to new spiritual concepts and realities, seeing ghosts, being spiritually attacked, precognitive visions, successful first spell work –the list goes on.
While I’m not completely against throwing yourself into something new and just “going at” a practice, choosing that course of action may result in many hard-earned lessons that could’ve been more gently learned. The foundation of many spiritual practices involves the need to be aware of energy both within and around yourself. Grounding, centering and breathing lays the initial foundation for beginning to physically and mentally sense the way that this force naturally flows. Long term practice results in an increased sensitivity to personal energy as well as the energy that exists around you. This means you may be able to more easily tell when something is “Off” meaning “out of balance or unusual.” It also aides you in recognizing when you need restoration and cleansing. The routine practice will lead to lower stress levels (coping skill), clearer decision-making and aid in helping you maintain your over-all equilibrium.
Rituals of Clearing, Purification and the act of setting boundaries
There are many ways to perform such rituals. Here, I use the word “clearing” as the act of ritually removing energy from a space. This is often done by utilizing herbs such as sage and rosemary, purified water, or the sounds of bells, clapping or even voice work. The premise behind a clearing rests in the act of raising the energetic frequency of an area. By doing so, other energies essentially vacate. That is putting it plainly.
Purification (Cleansing) is the act of removing energy of various kinds (usually harmful, stagnant or blocked) from the physical and energetic body. Again, the idea is to raise the energetic frequency as well as to remove specific energetic/spiritual influences. Cleansing rituals take various forms such as baths, smudgings, the use of plants to (very gently) strike a person on their body and may or may not include the ingestion of infusions (teas) or other substances. In some cases, purification may require removal from social community and solitude as well as fasting rituals, increased consumption of water or other diets.
Take a cup and fill it with water. Knock that cup over and watch the water spill out over the counter. Boundaries. Our energy flows much like water, the spiritual work performed often sets up well-needed boundaries that affect our overall psychology. Here I speak of boundaries as they pertain to shielding, holding on to our own energy and not letting it over-pour into others to the extent that we may lose our sense of personal identity. This sometimes happens when we constantly give and forget to honor our need to receive and reconnect as well as honor our inner sources. It may also happen that our boundaries are shaken up by traumatic events which may leave us vulnerable to similar events over and over again. To begin, you may research learning how to shield (a mental projection around your energy body that grounds out, reflects, filters or otherwise prevents specific energies from entering into the body’s field.) The construct of the shield (what we imagine it to be) will affect its function. Much of this has to do with the material we imagine it is made of and the mental associations we have with the construct we are creating. Like meditation, working with a shield may increase personal sensitivity to what may be around or near your own energy fields. There are many more things to say about energy work where it comes to boundaries. These practices may also include: warding, sealing, barrier workings, learning to say no, setting personal limits to accomplish goals and more.
Forming Strong Connections
This particular work I cannot stress enough. This can be a real challenge for those of us who work as solitaries or those that for one reason or another are rather isolated from the larger community. Community takes many shapes and forms. We may discover online connections and communities. Through networking, it is possible to make positive, healing, uplifting friendships that we feel support us. Another source could be a local Unitarian Universalist Church. However if you are located in a rural community and the closest Unitarian church is three hours away, as it is in my own case, the feeling might be more frustrating. For those who happen to be rather isolated from community, I encourage you to become very closely acquainted with your online community. Witchvox.com may offer the location of ministers that are close to rural areas (or maybe you will choose to become one to serve that need like I did!). In times of spiritual crisis, these connections will serve to support you –even if only from a distance, many practitioners are willing to offer advice or energy to help. If you’ve enjoyed this article, join me next week for: Dealing with Spiritual Attack