Logically we understand that humans have emotions, and those emotions impact our thoughts and behaviors. Or is it that we have a thought and then an emotion and behavior? What I know is that there is a connection between the three that interact almost simultaneously. Although many of us have done a lot of inner work to slow down enough to recognize our personal pattern of how these interact, there is still this egregore out there about “bad” emotions.
While I would love to get into the semantics of the importance of balance and the philosophy of polarities of emotions, there is simply not enough space or time to do justice to the thousands of scientists who have made it their life’s work to understand the ever-changing landscape of emotions. Instead, I will focus on my experience and the hundreds of experiences that have been shared from other witches and friends: it is the historical emphasis on compliance and that the earning of love, resources, respect, and acceptance were conditional upon our ability to navigate emotions in a way that only showed “good” or resulted in “good” behaviors deemed appropriate by those with power over others. This has sometimes been the difference between life and death for many people, and I wish I could say that is no longer the case. It isn’t.
What we learn about love and acceptance being conditional based on compliance (especially at a young age) is that we comply for love and acceptance not realizing that someone else’s love and acceptance has cost us our own ability to love and accept ourselves.
There are emotions that we can’t even name because we don’t want to feel them or understand what they are when we do feel them.
Top 5 Things I Learned
Emotions Just Are
Emotions are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, they just are. This is not to say that there is no impact of emotions because emotions are literally energy in motion: they cause us to think and behave in certain ways dependent upon many factors. The impact of the subsequent thoughts and behaviors could be labeled as positive or negative, but the emotion itself – it just is. It is our ability to recognize, name, understand, and cope with the emotion that is important.
Ignoring an Emotion is a Nope
Can we really ignore an emotion? Yes.
Can we really not think about or act on an emotion? Yes.
Does ignoring an emotion still have an impact? YES.
As a human, I can attest to the ability to ignore an emotion or compartmentalize emotions. There is a time and place to feel them. The issue is that I am also great about not feeling them until much later and when they have grown a lot bigger:
- My fear of failure preventing me from moving in any direction.
- My anger at any injustice, not just my own, that causes me to rage clean until I feel nothing.
- My resentment of rewarded incompetence that has caused me to step out of my own character on more than one occasion, especially in the corporate realm.
However, what happens when that energy in motion doesn’t manifest itself as a behavior like rage cleaning or just being stuck? It doesn’t just disappear. When the feeling and dealing with emotions do not happen at all, it manifests in the body instead as illness. As a witch, ignoring my emotions is more like flying an aircraft without a pilot. Or even a co-pilot for that matter.
The whole ‘she’pit of the aircraft is empty.
We aren’t even taking off.
Our magic is stuck somewhere, like a plane without a pilot in the middle of a forest. We can do all the spell work as the pilot of our lives, but the truth is this: If we can’t feel the energy in motion within us, we damn sure can’t work with it outside of us. We are disconnected from it, which means our intuition and our ability to sense energy, symbols, and signs are also deeply disconnected. How many of us suffer from an inability to reconnect to our intuition? How many have trouble connecting deeply to our bodies? We can no longer ignore them once we know better, we must experience them.
Experience Emotions Fully
I am required to feel all my emotions fully. If I do not experience them, perceive them, name them, and sit with them then I know for sure I have shortchanged myself on the ability to feel and channel the energy that is life. I am courageous and so are you.
Sitting with the grief of loss (in ANY respect) and feeling it fully has led to a deeper appreciation and a deeper knowing of joy. Sitting with rage and doing absolutely nothing to stop it or make myself feel better has led to an understanding of how it feels within my body.
The point is this: feeling all of the emotions, even “negative” ones, ensures that we are not emotionally stunted toward only one end of the emotional scale. When we are emotionally whole we can then do the work of giving ourselves permission to be curious.
Give Yourself Permission
In a world that values compliance it is rebellious to give ourselves permission to do the hard things we are capable of. This includes feeling our emotions and discovering ways to experience, cope, and channel them effectively.
- Why yes, that does mean that I have screamed “fuck off” into a pillow.
- Yes, yes I have thrown salt as hard as I can at a mirror. And was also salty (pun intended) about having to clean it up afterwards.
- I have written pages worth of funeral rites to relationships and set them on fire.
- I have cried in a bathtub of Mugwort.
- I have danced naked around a fire in absolute ecstasy of the summer solstice.
Give yourself permission to be curious about what you feel and why. You might be surprised at the outlets you find.
Channel it with Magic
A part of finding an outlet is also learning to channel the energy in ways that we can use for our own magic. Our grief work may be an outlet to connect with the ancestors for guidance. Using the energy of emotion, the ability to gather it within, and then channel it into a spell, a talisman, or poppet is a great way to utilize it. Turning something that has been used against us for so long into something with the ability to promote great change and personal sovereignty is a superpower.
Go be powerful!
A Candle & A Key,
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Kaycee is also a Co-Collaborator over at Dark Goddess Collective, an upcoming community of Sovereigns being built on a private network to do the deeper work.
Feature Image Credit: Nicolas Postiglioni via Pexels