27 Oct It’s Spooky Season… Redefining The Word Witch and Growing Beyond Ancestral Wounds
By Cindy Harley
Hello fellow traveler of worlds,
It is fall here in the northern hemisphere. The leaves are changing, and people are starting to think about witches, ghosts, and ghoulies. As spiritual seekers, we know that these can be as real as we choose for them to be.
What, Cindy, you believe in witches, ghosts, and ghoulies? Next, I bet you are going to tell us you believe in vampires, werewolves, elves, wizards, and giants. My answer is, “Why not?” There are so many things in the world that we cannot explain.
Remember, we are looking at ways to challenge our perspectives and broaden our worldview. Witches have been given a bad name. They are often portrayed like the evil witch in The Wizard of Oz or the Sanderson Sisters in Hocus Pocus.
But what if that is not the true story?
Baba Yaga in Slavic Folklore
Let me tell you a tale of a witch. This is a fable. There is a story in Slavic folklore about a great witch called Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga lives in the forest in a house that continually moves. In some versions, the house comes up on chicken legs to move.
Baba Yaga is often portrayed as an old woman who can either help or punish. She rides around the world on a mortar and pestle.
Like most folktales, the witch is portrayed as evil and selfish. One of the stories is about a young boy who is stolen by Baba Yaga and a young girl who saves him. Read the story here.
Is Baba Yaga evil or is the story an archetype of what people often think of as the crone archetype?
Breaking the Stereotype of the Witch
Older women have often been portrayed as busybodies in movies and literature. If they are wise or powerful women, they are often viewed with fear. And you can hear the gossip: “They must be a witch to have so much power,” or “Be careful of the lady down the street—she may lure you into her house…”
But as I get older, I can see that women (and men) are often stereotyped into certain “roles.” If you like to read and learn, you may be seen as a “librarian spinster.” Has anyone watched the musical The Music Man? Think of Marian, the librarian; no one (even herself) thought of her as beautiful. In the same musical, the song “Pick-A-Little Talk-A-Little” describes how the local older women are seen as gossips. What else do women have to do but gather together and gossip? So many things are wrong with that attitude. Even saying “women are only good for…” That just makes me cringe.
As a child, I was often told I should be quieter (women or children should be seen and not heard). I shouldn’t try to have the top test score (men don’t like to date smart women). My grandmother would tell me how to sit like a lady.
All these “shoulds” could really limit my outlook. During this Season of the Witch, I am choosing to release the “shoulds” in my life.
Time To Grow Out Of What Is Not Serving Us
I read in an email recently that we need to “grow out of what is not serving us.” We usually think of growing into what we want to be. But what if we need to grow out of old beliefs, patterns, ideas, roles, and even people and acquaintances? These can start feeling stifling like clothes that no longer fit. And what do you do with clothes you grow out of? You get rid of them–release them. Although it sometimes takes extra effort for me to let go of clothes, ideas, perceptions, roles, beliefs, questions, and goals that I have outgrown, it is necessary.
Serendipitously, an email from Esther Hicks of Abraham-Hicks Publications shared the following last week:
“Other’s Opinions Are Less Important Than My Personal Guidance System… You did not intend to use the opinions of your parents to measure against your beliefs, desires, or actions in order to determine the appropriateness of them. Instead, you knew (and still remembered, long after you were born) that it was the relationship between the opinion (or knowledge) of the Source within you and your current thoughts, in any moment, that would offer you perfect guidance in the form of emotions. You did not intend to replace your Emotional Guidance System with the opinions of your parents even if they were in harmony with their Emotional Guidance System in the moment of their trying to guide you. It was much more important to you to recognize the existence of your own Guidance System, and to utilize it, than to be deemed correct by, or to find approval from, others.”
This made me think of an excerpted titled “Our Love” from The Vortex by Esther and Jerry Hicks:
“We must trust our personal Guidance System. Our system is different than anyone else. When we are willing to grow out of our old systems of thinking, then our Personal Guidance System and our Spirit Team will have the space to bring in the new.”
Perceptions of the Word Witch and Ancestral Wounds
Bringing it back around to the perception of the word witch. It is another word we need to broaden. We need to let go of the old ancestral concepts that a witch is a bad thing. I personally would have loved to be more like Samantha in the old Bewitched television shows. (You know, being able to wiggle my nose to make things happen). It would be great to wiggle my nose and have my house cleaned. I want to honor the Witch, the Elder, and the Wise Woman; the young person exploring their power; the herbalist, the energy worker, the crystal maven, the Pagan.
Thanks to my Facebook friend, Sandra Goss Mayeux (here’s her facebook page), I have learned a new meaning of W.I.T.C.H:
Woman; In; Total; Control (of); Herself.
Sandra shared a Devon Cole song with me: “W.I.T.C.H.” If you have a moment, watch the video and give it a listen.
We need to heal the wounds that are hidden in our DNA. Like the witch wound. What does healing the witch wound entail? Or any ancestral wound for that matter? We carry within our cells memories of our ancestors and what they went through. The pain they may have felt when they were chased out of their country. The fear they may have felt if they were hunted or enslaved. The anger they may have felt for being misjudged and having their voice taken away.
A way to heal the ancestral wounds is first to recognize within ourselves that the wound is there. It is within our very cells and energy bodies. Acknowledge the life your ancestors lived. Give thanks (more on this in our next blog post). Release and let go of patterns, beliefs, roles that are not inherently yours. Give yourself permission to grow out of things.
Make it a ceremony or write a letter. Allow yourself to grow out of the old and open up to a new way of being. We are precious. We are worthy. We have a place in this world and no one is like us. Best-selling author and Human Design specialist Karen Curry Parker tells us that we are “a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic event.”
We can be in commUnity and we can BE.
Again, we need to take the time to center and ground ourselves. Give yourself the gift of acceptance and peace. (And a little fun).
Here is a Birchlight Mini Meditation for you to enjoy, “Just Be.” Take three minutes and allow yourself to deeply and completely love, honor, and accept yourself. You deserve it. We all deserve it.
In Love, Light, and Laughter (and maybe a Witchy Cackle),
Birchlight Energy | BE–Shine Bright