High Winds and Dark Waters ~ Witcheries for Dark Times, Part 2 of 3

The deepest, truest magick I know is the power of self-determination.  Much more than the simple ability to make choices, there are additional layers and abilities that come from having a rooted sense of Self.  I teach a Mystery School and the very first magickal tool Blackfeather students start with is a mirror.  Establishing a strong connection to your true Self – your full, complete spirit – is vital to effecting desired change.

When all hell breaks loose in the world around us, responding to those influences in a meaningful, useful, coherent way requires us to be grounded in many ways.  We need to be rooted into the present moment, but we also need to be rooted into our Selves.

So, let’s get started. In my last blog, I talked about what to do with the frantic energy.  Responding to panic signals by doing something productive teaches our brains that we can respond to a crisis. It doesn’t matter that the response doesn’t immediately resolve the stimuli that caused you distress.  What matters is that you responded. If you haven’t siphoned off some of the ‘ohfuckohfuckohfuck’ vibes yet, do that before going further.

There, better now?

Our Inner World

Grab a piece of paper and a pen and take a few minutes to sit with your emotions.  Start just by closing your eyes and breathing deeply.  Then, begin by exploring how you physically feel.  Check in with your body starting at the very top of your head and work your way down.  Notice, and write down, anything that stands out.  Is your jaw tense?  How about your shoulders?  How does your heart-space feel?  Your belly?  Our bodies carry our emotions with us and manifest them with physical signals.

Next, dig a little deeper.  Ask yourself how you’re feeling emotionally.  This can be a little overwhelming, and that’s totally normal.  We live in a culture that teaches us to bypass, ignore or otherwise suppress most of our emotions.  When we finally do ask ourselves how we’re feeling, there’s frequently a tidal wave response.  Sit with it.  Let it wash through you.  Cry if you need to.  Then, begin writing.

I like using the Feelings Wheel to help with emotional labeling.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words for everything we’re feeling, and seeing some ideas listed out can be very helpful.  You can write out your emotions in long-form, or as a list or bullet statements.  What’s important is to get them out into a form that you can see.  So, for example, I am feeling:

Tired, tense, frustrated, afraid, overwhelmed, inadequate, infuriated, horrified, embarrassed and shocked.

I’m probably feeling a few other things, too, but those emotions are the most noticeable – the ones one top and easiest to parse out.



Finding the Balance

I personally use Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit as the points I balance between – my personal valences.  The points a witch balances between vary among practitioners.  If you are a Kabbalist, you’ll want to balance between the Spheres.  If you are more oriented toward astrology, perhaps you balance between planetary influences.  There are many possibilities depending on the Path you follow.

If I look at my list of emotions and think about what Elements are most prominent, I see a lot of Air and Fire and a little bit of Water.  This tells me that the Elements I need to root into more are Earth and Spirit.   I  also notice that I’m leaning heavily toward the shadow side of the Elements.  Anger and Joy are both aspects of Fire, but I’m more on the Anger side right now.


Design a Practice

Now that you know where you are ‘sitting’ in relation to your valences, you can design a journey, spell, meditation or other practice to honor, stabilize and balance out your emotions.  For example, I will journey to the five Elements I work with.  I will begin with Earth and end with Spirit since those two are the most lacking in my emotional health right now.  While visiting each of the Elements, I will welcome help and assistance from my allies in that realm.

When I visit Earth, I will root deeply into the primal soil, allowing moss and lichen to adorn my skin.  I will feel the slow song of the stones in my heart and remember that I, too, am Earth.  I will feel the stability in my bones.  I will talk to my Guide in that realm and learn how I can stay more connected to Earth.  I will breathe out my fears here and breathe in strength and fortitude.

When I visit Air, I will let the breeze carry more light and hope into my thoughts.  I will allow my feelings to flow rather than settle.  I will invite movement, inspiration and creativity.  I will talk to my Guide about ways I can stay more nimble and mentally lighter.  Here I will welcome in more light.

When I visit Fire, I will hold space for my fiery emotions.  I will let the flames before me burn bright, then watch them settle into glowing embers.  I will allow those embers to help fuel my actions not with the bright, hot flash of impulse but with the slow, steady fuel of my values and beliefs.  I will invite the brighter aspects of Fire as well – joy, laughter, passion and drive.  I will talk to my Guide about ways to balance Fire in my life. In this place, I will build a steadier blaze to power me.

When I visit Water, I will sit with my fear by a quiet pool.  I will hold my anxiety and horror in my arms like a child.  I will sing Water songs to my heart and rest my feet in the blue-green lagoon around me.  I will remember to feel the other Water emotions within me – love, connection, empathy, compassion.  I will talk to my Guide about how to stay seated in connection.  Here I will soothe my gentle heart and welcome its soft counsel.

When I visit Spirit, I will let the golden thread of my soul lead me to a high cliff.  There I will visit Spirit while the flow of life continues far below us.  We will watch the eternity of stars wheel overhead.  I will once again be shown my place in the Tapestry, the point where my thread meets others.  I will remember again that who I am is separate from what I do, that my worth and value is not based on money or resources.  I will feel my higher self, my spirit, sing within me.  I will talk to my Guide about how best to hold the thread in this changing world. Here I will reconsecrate my Self.

When I return from my journeywork, I may change things.  I might need to add more green and brown to my altar, to change some of the jewelry I wear.  I may add more meditation time, or more exercise or ecstatic movement to my schedule.  It all depends on what my Guides say and what I discover during that practice.  What’s important is to do the practice and then follow the guidance given.  What’s important is to balance out your inner world.


Once our inner world is again in balance, or on a good path for arriving there eventually, we can respond in meaningful ways.  Next week’s blog will be all about our relationship to community – how to respond effectively and ways to engage constructively with the events around us.

How do you balance your inner world?  What valences or points of reference do you use to find your center?  Hit me up in the comments.





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