A story about the beginnings of my spiritual leanings as I headed down the path of magic.
I had some exposure to organized religion via christianity in my childhood but neither of my parents were zealous. I was always always always attracted to magic and mysticism. I have always been very curious about ecstatic experiences.
My earliest memories of my dreams as a child resembled something like the fabric of a nebula, and perhaps a mix of the forms that Plato wrote about.
Cosmic, fluid, grand, peaceful. I’ve always held me dreams close.
My foundational belief about spirituality is that “truth is a pathless land,” a Krishnamurti quote, meaning there are an infinite number of ways to arrive at the same truth, or divine essence or great spirit. I have an eclectic approach and draw from many traditions. I take what works and resonates and leave the rest. In this way I’ve become a shapeshifter which allows me to move about freely.
I am an empath. A highly sensitive one.
I can feel what people are feeling and very often can hear what they are thinking. I mave many psychic intuitive gifts including mediumship and all the “clairs”, although clairvoyance or “clear seeing” is my primary.
As a child I carried the world on my shoulders and intuitively understood things that were beyond my emotional maturity to process at the time. I had a way (still do) of seeing into people’s souls which usually made them very uncomfortable. I would later come to understand that this is typical for empaths.
It never occurred to me until my teens that the experience I was having of the world was radically different than most people I knew. It also took over 30 years for me to get a handle on turning down the loudness of the information I was receiving. This will be a lifelong learning process for me.
When I was 18 years old I heard a call to be a shaman. I had tuned into my guides for the first time. This was my purpose for being on the planet. I was terrified of that, didn’t feel ready, didn’t believe it, wasn’t connected to an ancestral lineage to give me permission and training, etc.
I was terrified, but I was clear, my guides were clear.
I remember excitedly announcing to my parents that I wanted to become a holistic practitioner and had found a training program. At the time I was a pretty free spirited hippie and crazy about herbal medicine (I supposed not much has changed). I needed and wanted the financial help of my parents, who were separated. My mom was as supportive as can be expected when your barely grown daughter hatches a magical plan. She was willing to contribute. My dad not so much. His was the voice of the patriarchy. At the time I didn’t really understand that, but when he told me he wasn’t going to give me any money to help me become a witch doctor it felt like a punch to my heart. It deflated me, it made me retreat and doubt myself.
But, the quiet and fierce rebellion in me made a mental note to henceforth refer to myself as a witch doctor, even in private.In the end I have my father to thank for helping me recognize myself. I had to learn how to take my power back from anyone or anything wanting to suppress my truth.
For the next 20 years I was an avid spiritual seeker but avoided going down the path of a shaman. I moved at what felt like a glacial pace until the voice became louder and louder and couldn’t be ignored. Even then I had great difficulty owning and accepting it. I resisted. At at one point I agreed (with my guides) to stand on the path, looking down it but still not making any forward movements.
Over the years I had many healers and magical friends validate what I already knew and gently encourage me to pursue my purpose. I can’t quite remember when I started moving down the path, I just finally began.
I still have mixed feelings about calling myself a shaman. Traditionally it’s a name given to you rather than one you self select. My guides are clear though, the intention is what matters.
I know in my bones and blood that I’ve been a witch, shaman, medicine woman, crazy witch doctor living in the swampy bayou, across many lifetimes.
Part of my reclamation is openly using the word witch to identify myself, and now I’m doing the same with shaman. Being visible is scary, but feels necessary.
I have found in this lifetime and past that remaining hidden is helpful and sometimes mandatory for survival. Part of learning to take my power back (from the Patriarchy, because isn’t it to blame for everything?) is standing in my truth about who and what I am and pushing myself to show up more and more each day.
At one point I could actually hear my higher self switch between saying, “I am so tired of being burned at the stake,” to “I proudly own that I am the kind of woman they used to burn at the stake,” to “Bring it y’all.”
No matter what, owning my power, standing in my truth, honoring my ancestors and honoring my magic is more important to me now than safety.
I am still afraid but I am committed to practicing bravery every single day. I can show up for my life. Some days that’s all I feel like I can do. I’m not sure exactly where I’m heading but I am clear and certain that I want to spend the rest of my life working as an artist and healer. I commit to turning my “witch doctor side hustle” into my main hustle and taking daily actions towards this goal.
Blessings and Besos.