Friends, I have asked many women in the past few years what the word ‘Witch’ means to them, and what it means to be a Witch. This has been in an attempt to better understand my own feelings about the Witch, which have been swirling in a spiral, un-worded for my entire life, waiting to be brought to light. I decided it was time to interview myself on the topic of the Witch, because I am finally feeling comfortable and clear in my own and views and experience to be able to apply it to language to be shared.
As you likely know, I have a 4 month old baby which makes it hard to find the time to write, and believe it or not, I sat down to write this with a full 3 hour block of time with which to focus. I have literally not given anything besides my children that amount of my own self in years. And it feels so good.
So, that said, thanks for being here and reading this. My hope with this series is to get more people thinking and talking about The Witch, and more witches to step forward and claim their power. Because witches, we need you now.
I think that now is a really big time for women from all walks to connect over shared oppression and heal together. This is not to discount the importance of women from different backgrounds and histories of oppression to differentiate their own unique experiences…..That is hugely important too. I just think that we have a powerful point of connection between all of womankind, and all of humankind for that matter, to deeper understand each other’s traumas and hold each other up in our collective healing. And I believe that The Witch discussion fits right into that. So, here, my Witches, are my thoughts.
What does the term Witch mean to you?
To me, A witch is a woman who understands the implications of drawing her deepest personal power from listening and following her inner wild, and is unafraid to wield that raw power. A witch is a woman who understands the balance of lightness and darkness, the duality of all things and the incredible spectrum of possibility within them. A witch is sensitive to the subtleties of the most subtle energetic shifts, and has the ability to listen very deeply, read between the lines. A witch reads the signs as they are unveiled.
Talk about intention and manifestation…..How do they work together, Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?
YES! I love this question. When we learn to work with intention, we begin to magnify our power to create what we want in the world around us. Intention can be seen as energy applied to a particular direction for a particular reason. It can be seen as a prayer, or a wish, or a vision that we want to see through to fruition. Intention requires a vehicle to travel to its destination which is manifestation or creation……The birth from an thought into reality.
How do we become the vehicle for our own intentions to manifest? Through the process of creation. There are a million and one ways to manifest our intentions, and I invite all to find the ones that work for you. Creating rituals around our intentions are a great way to build the energy up around them to help them carry through. The process of creation is a very powerful vehicle to infuse with intention and manifestation.
When I work with color, and mix color with from the primary colors, I am effectively creating something raw and magical that is begging for intention to be woven into it. Whoever gets that raw, magical color in their hair becomes the vehicle. This is how I use intention in my daily work.
During the consultation before hair color, I decide what the intention is that I want to pass to my client and help them weave into their lives. Sometimes, they have their own intention. As I mix the color, I think about this intention and during the creative process of formulating their shade, the intention informs the color, and the color becomes the intention. This is all in an effort to help my client manifest whatever it is they are needing in their lives. Maybe it is more patience. Maybe it is humor, or sexual energy. Maybe it is quiet. Maybe its a new job. It can be as specific as you want it to be.
I do this when I make mandalas from plants and flowers. Each one has an intention, sometimes for me, sometimes for you. Somethimes for the earth, sometimes for itself, and sometimes for the collective. As I think about this intention, while I design a mandala, the two become one, and the mandala becomes the vehicle of manifestation.
I set an intention every time I brush my hair. Anything can be infused with intention and magnified towards manifestation. You have to find your vehicle.
Here are a few examples of times when I began to understand how Intention and manifestation work together. One illustrates the power of the creative process. One illustrates the power of our mind/body.
As a child, I was hellbent on creating my own family after my parents divorced. I knew just what I wanted it to be like. I felt like I already knew my daughters. I drew them, painted them, told stories to myself about them. I had every intention of manifesting them in reality as an adult. Every time I created something, they were in my mind. And then, finally, I created them. I tell my daughters now…….If you really really want to change something, create something, let go of something, become something, imagine it, draw it! paint it! It builds energy and momentum in a positive direction towards what you want.
Another lesson that still feels very profound to me was during a time when learning to snowboard was the most important thing in my world. It was all I thought about. When the season ended, I was lost and depressed because I had not mastered a toe-side turn, which, if you are a snowboarder, you know is a crucial step in being confident on your board. I had had what felt like a very frustrating and tangible mental block AKA fear of failure and lack of confidence that had kept me from progressing through that step and I was so mad at myself and felt actual despair about it.
Every day in the off season, through the Spring, Winter and Fall of that year, I imagined myself doing a toe side turn. I saw myself doing it, I imagined what it felt like to do it, and what it felt like to finally bust through that block of my own fear. When the next season started, I jumped on my board and had mastered the turn in my head, and on the mountain. This was a major moment of clarity to me……I had the power in my mind and imagination to create my reality how I wanted it. Didn’t feel like witch craft at the time, but did feel like magic and it taught me the power of using my intentions to manifest.
How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?
In the same way that intention magnifies manifestation, intention magnified by numbers magnifies manifestation by number. This is why covens are a thing. This is why gathering with other like minded people to create change is so exhilarating and wonderful……We see our intentions begin to swirl around and take their own shape and course. They become sometimes larger than all of us combined!
This is why we really need to put our minds and hearts together right now, in this world.
Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (books? Plants? etc)
Look to the dark to understand the light.
Into her own shame, fear, anger and darkness. Into the wild. To the places inside her that make her feel alive. To Persecution. To her dreams. To plants like Nettles and Mugwort. To Amanita. To Foxglove and other shamed/dangerouns plants. To the elements. To the Stars. To songs, and sharing her voice. To other witches. To her ancestry, to the history and folklore and botanical world of her ancestral landscapes.
How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?
I believe that we cannot use our powers wisely and purely without really digging into the parts of ourselves that we keep hidden. Of course we never stop learning about our own selves and our own blind spots, but I think we need to really strive to understand, integrate and embrace those parts of ourselves constantly to be able to fully own our power to heal, BECAUSE we cannot heal ourselves without healing those hidden parts of ourselves and therefore we cannot effectively heal others without healing those parts of ourselves.
What traumas do we carry? What are our triggers and why? What of this trauma is actually ours, and what do we carry from others like our mothers and ancestors? Where in our physical bodies does our trauma live? What can we do to soothe ourselves without hurting others or masking our feelings?
Sometimes it feels too big to understand and accept our own dark mystery, and accepting that integration can be as simple as just forgiving yourself and agreeing to hold and love your own dark self for one more day……..There is power there.
Why do you think it is so hard for some of us to own our power, speak to the woman who knows she has it but is afraid to use it.
Well for one thing, we remember in our DNA how dangerous it is for us to be powerful, due to worldwide persecution and witch burnings at the hands of centuries of partriarchal systems of oppression. We remember. I think that is the biggest reason. Because it is fucking huge.
I think today, in our society, their is a strange sort of thing happening where ‘magic’ and ‘witchcraft’ is being both commodified in a major way, and jeered at and shamed for the Woo factor, which feels to me a bit like the 21st centuries version of Witch Trials.
Woo Woo is, according to the Urban dictionary …….any belief not founded on good evidence, the poorer the evidence the more Woo Woo the belief.
To me this is basically a way of saying that anything that can’t be explained doesn’t exist and shouldn’t be considered. And every witch knows that this is a very limited, dangerous and close-minded way of thinking about ourselves and the world. There is so much power in the mystery but we are afraid of being shamed for understanding that fact and believing in it.
What is one concrete way we can empower women to own their witch powers?
I thing that there is so much power in teaching young women about the magic and mystery of their bodies, their cycles, and how they are connected to the cycles of the earth. Teaching young women how to care for themselves, body mind and spirit. Helping them celebrate their unique qualities, bodies, hearts, minds. Bring back Rites of Passage. Creates safe spaces for these important learnings to be nurtured, and get as many generations involved as possible. I truly think this will help raise a generation of kind, strong and aware women who respect and value themselves and each other and the earth. Empowering women leads to a better planet, all around. This seems like a great place to bring more healing and awareness.
Witches, we need you now more than ever to keep believing in the greatness of the mystery, and to spread that light drawn from the deepest darkness. Keep spinning your webs and over time, they will become one……. the greatest web ever spun, to reconnect and heal the frayed and thin worn parts of the collective back to vitality.