Welcome back to our next edition of this series. A few months back, after publishing our first 4 interviews, an outpouring of interest came in from women in this community who wanted to contribute by sharing their words, experience and perspective. Holding a space for these women to tell their stories felt like a real honor to me.
I am continuing to publish the words of some of my favorite Witches that I have personally reached out to, as well as readers of HTHG that I have not yet personally met, because it feels IMPORTANT and I will keep doing it until it leads to something else.
HTHG started out about simply DIY HAIR and has taken us down a portal deeper into identity and empowerment. The question of what it means to be a WITCH is simply a facet and a stop along the journey, a moment to dive into a subject that obviously touches many of us.
The process of producing content that is authentic and meaningful has been very much like following a single firefly deep into a big dark cave. Occasionally, the firefly enters a small chamber, and illuminates every aspect of its surroundings. There, we stop to look around.
Please enjoy this interview with Intuitive healer Lindsay Mack on the topic of what it means to be a witch.
What does the term Witch mean to you?
To me, the term “witch” is synonymous with being a seer. Seers have an ability to see beyond the physical, beyond the senses. They are able to know things that are out of the realm of explanation. A witch sees deeply into all things, recognizes truth, and acts accordingly. A witch is an alchemist of spirit and an activist at heart, whether s/he is making medicine, growing her food, raising up her children, or protesting in the streets. Witch is also synonymous, to me, with Nature. A witch understands, lives with, and weaves with flow of Nature. A witch understands that nothing is permanent. A witch understands that everything is life is offering some kind of medicine. A witch understands that the universe is holographic, and that we live a spiralic existence. There are truly no straight lines for a witch — regardless of how we might try!
How would one know that one was a witch?
In any moment that we are connecting to the Olde Ways, to Source, to our power, or to the elements, we are in the frequency of a witch. I believe that the term “witch” is available to everyone, and that everyone can and should feel free to self define as one, if that is in alignment with their truth. I actually feel that resonating with being a witch is a birthright that’s available to all. And YET — and yet. I do think there are some of us who were born with magic in our blood, in our bones, in our very DNA. Some people walk the path of a witch when it suits them — some of us have no option. Some of us were burned for it many, many times. We come here to LIVE the path of a witch, to be a willing vessel for energy to move through. Like all things, there’s a potent complexity to this idea of knowing one is a witch. I think it finds you, not the other way around.
Talk about intention and manifestation…how do they work together? Can you recall the first time you experienced their power in action?
An intention is a deeply committed energetic vow. I almost think of an intention as being a dove. When we set an intention for ourselves, it’s like we are freeing that dove from our open hands. It’s a potent, yet gentle energy. There are all kinds of intentions: intentional sex, intentional eye contact, the intention to breathe before speaking in anger, or the intention to tell the truth. When we set an intention, we are planting a seed of the heart, and watering it with Divine Source energy. Manifestation is the ability to bring ephemera into earthly reality. Through the focus and power of our individual channels, we can bring into being a desired scenario, wish, dream or intention that we have set for ourselves. Ideally, intention and manifestation work together like perfect dance partners — they just flow, dip, weave and braid into each other. I have witnessed the intersection of intention and manifestation more times than I can count. It is truly incredible when we harvest the seeds we plant in this life.
However, I must say that I have gained quite a bit of wisdom from the times that I was not able to manifest my intention, or when I found, all of a sudden, that my intention had really changed before my eyes. I love it when that happens. It reminds me of the gentle, ever present flow of this life, how we really are in this co-creation with Source — things can transform right along with us. I also love being reminded that Divine might have an even bigger and more glorious vision for me than the one I have for myself. I’ve learned with my practice of setting intentions and manifesting, that it is wise to leave a window open for an even higher vision that the one I’ve stated, if that’s what really wants to come through to me.
How do you think that a collection of witches is magnified in power to an individual witch?
A witch, even a solitary one, always expresses her magic and medicine in relationship to the greater collective. We never work alone; the plants, rocks, sea, air and sky stand with us in moments of alchemy. All witches work and weave together, even if and when we are physically apart. The more a witch touches into her practice, lives her magic and speaks her truth, the greater the legacy s/he will leave to the planet. The collective power is so important, so profound, and I think it begins with our individual journey.
Where would you direct a woman who is interested in exploring her inner witch for the first time? (Books? Plants? etc)
I would direct a woman to play, first and foremost. There are no rules, and it’s so important to just let your heart and soul guide you to your inner witch and medicine woman. A great start is to consider what is calling you, like a quiet drumbeat to the heart — all witches experience this, and I think all women have their unique, corresponding frequencies. I would direct a woman to visit the land that she feels is calling her most — for me that is always to the water or to the desert, although there is the occasional exception. I would invite a woman to drop into prayer and connection with these places, to directly ask why she was called. I would invite any woman to come back home to her body, to explore herself with touch in all ways. Witch is synonymous with being wild, so if a woman feels clicked into the flow of her wildness — regardless of how — I would highly encourage her to continue to explore that path in her life.
I would say as far as books go, I would recommend “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “Healing Wise” by Susun Weed, or “The Spiral Dance” by Starhawk. I love those books dearly.
How do the facets of our souls (shadow side, sun-lit side, good, evil) effect the process of owning our power?
I truly believe that the only thing that can minimize our relationship with our power is if we believe that something — anything — in us is “bad” or “negative.”
Everything within us is medicine, even our dark sides, and it is all an opportunity to expand and evolve, to become more aware of ourselves. To really honor the shadow is to agree to a life of deep intimacy with the self. It’s agreeing to a life of wise inquiry, of intentional discomfort, of self awareness. Our shadows contain an enormous amount of wisdom, medicine and information, and if we judge or suppress them, we will not be available to listen and to evolve. If we judge ourselves, we will not be available to invite others up out of judgement. It’s easier said than done to release judgement around our shadows, but nothing could be more important for our highest expansion.
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.
I think, to be perfectly honest, it is so hard for us to own our power because we were burned for it. Some of us are still being burned for it. That kind of trauma is in the cells and DNA of women. The innate power, sexuality, intensity and magic in a woman can not only be threatening to others to those around her, but to herself. Women shut their power down to remain likable, to be easy, to be approved of, to be safe. To own our power means we are owning ourselves, and shining our light.
My words of loving encouragement to any woman who feels her power but is too afraid to express or own it: feel the fear and do it anyway. I know that it can feel really scary and threatening to our nervous systems to shine our light and speak our truth without apology. Just know that every time we experience fear and take a step in spite of it, there is an soul evolution that takes place within us — we breathe through the contractions, allowing ourselves to expand, getting closer and closer to rebirth.
On the road to your own power, be willing to allow everything that’s not in alignment with your truth and power to fall away. Know that whatever leaves will just be making space for better. Trust yourself; be fierce, be gentle, be a warrior of the heart.
Tell us a little bit about your personal witch journey.
I didn’t understand that I was an intuitive until very late in life, but I truly always knew I was a witch. I knew it before I knew the word. That was a part of me I came into this world with, and it thrived in me, even though I was raised by women who didn’t have a sense of that word as being a part of their identity. I was a really intense, empathic kid, and sought out connections with God, Nature and invisible beings from a very young age. I knew I was bisexual at a very, very young age, something I didn’t know the word or term for until much later in life. The flow of my sexuality has always been an enormous part of my identity as a witch. When I was in the Ocean, too, I remember sensing this wildness in me that was beyond just a kid playing in the waves — it felt very ancient. It was in me before I knew what it was.
When I was 12, I bought a book on Wicca and it transformed my entire life. I can’t even say how I found it, although I was clearly guided to it. I didn’t even know what the word “wicca” was or what it meant before I bought that book. I was fully in the throes of PTSD and anxiety, even at that age, from living with a very mentally ill and abusive parent. I truly believe that book on Wicca saved my life. Every word of it rang so true to the deepest parts of me, and it helped me understand how to connect to something larger in the Universe in my worst moments of trauma. From there, my life shifted on its axis. Rituals and ceremony in my bedroom were a regular occurrence from that age, and I even recall making a little potion to protect my house and offering prayers to every corner of it. I never grew out of those practices, or had a time in my life where witchcraft wasn’t a deep part of my heart and my connection with Source. It’s just grown and expanded with me, and continues to. Tarot came into my life in a very similar way. When I was about 30, I fully woke up and began to realize that being a witch was my soul path and my purpose — that’s when Wild Soul Healing was born.
I’ve had so many deaths and rebirths in this lifetime, all of them bringing me even more deeply into my identity as a witch, an intuitive, a healer and a woman. It’s a spiral that (thankfully!) never stops turning. It’s been an incredible gift. I didn’t realize when I was a kid that being a seer and a witch was actually my dharma in this lifetime, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Lindsay Mack is a witch and an intuitive who works with the Tarot for deep soul evolution. She is the founder of Wild Soul Healing and Soul Tarot School, both based in Brooklyn, NY. She has led ceremony and taught workshops on Soul Tarot all over the country, most notably at Spirit Weavers Gathering, Inquiry Pop-Up in Marfa, TX, HausWitch in Salem, MA, Maha Rose, New Women’s Space, Active Culture Family/Bridge Temple in San Diego, and Otherwild in Los Angeles, CA. She offers Soul Tarot Readings, Private Tarot Immersions, Mentorship, and Intuitive Soul Coaching of her apartment in Brooklyn, and all over the world via Skype.
To stay in touch, you can follow her @wildsoulhealing on Instagram.