In witchcraft, there has long been a strong (or, at least, vocal) community of people who espouse living solely in the light, eschewing all negative thoughts, feelings, and habits. Maybe that works when one is at a beginner level of witchcraft, but nearly impossible to do once we’ve moved past the basics. Why? Because focusing only on “love and light” prevents us from becoming whole beings and is a form of spiritual bypassing. Absolutely, it’s more fun to ignore our negative qualities or hope they will go away if we keep them locked away in a mental basement. Doing so, however, leaves us relying on superficialities and platitudes which look good but have no depth to them.
Having a Shadow takes nothing away from how good or wonderful a person we are; it is an essential part of being embodied. How well we accept and assimilate those qualities is a better indicator of our success within the world. While much of the language relies on the duality of light/dark and positive/ negative, in no way are there judgments being made about the intrinsic nature of “dark” or “light.” Shadow work is a process of assimilation and acceptance of all aspects of one’s Self. Too much light is a form of spiritual bypassing; too much dark is as much of an avoidance.
A big part of my new life is that I’ve had to step back from being directly, constantly involved with the Art of Ritual Class and JaguarMoon. Being hours ahead (as much as eight) of everyone made how I used to do things almost impossible. So when I knew it was real that I would be moving to Portugal, I asked the coven to step up.
And they have, beautifully.
(Umm… Lisa? I thought you were going to talk about writing?)
Hi, my name is Lisa and I have a bad case of conflict-avoidance.
The thing is: avoiding conflict is a huge dead end. It’s a dead end for self-esteem, for healthy love relationships, meaningful friendships, work drama, and stable family engagements.
Autumn is a liminal time for me, a place where we move from one state of being into another. Most of my life, its been a time of massive energy, a shifting from the slow relaxing days of summer into the increased pace of back-to-school or oh-look-year-end-is-coming of work. September has always been a shift into a higher gear, one that doesn’t ease off until January.
Tonight, in the light of the moon peering through the towering pines behind my house, I will offer myself up to Deity in a ritual I have done every year since 1980. I pledged myself then, and renew that vow in recognition of Their regard of, and for, me.
In my spiritual tradition, this is a day (and night) to honor our beloved ancestors. We take time to pause and look at all those who came before us, paving the way and providing the skills and assistance we used to get to where we are.
Autumn is a liminal time for me, a place where we move from one state of being into another. Most of my life, its been a time of massive energy, a shifting from the languid days of summer into the purpose full days of the harvest. For years the pattern was set by the return to school, with its formalized schedule and targeted knowledge absorption. Then it was office work, where clients themselves would come back from vacations, ready to face their duties again, and bringing me in to assist. Continue reading
What a difference a year makes.
I’m pleased to be able to announce that I have another book being published!
Crafting Your Practice is due out from Llewellyn Worldwide in Fall 2022 and I’m quite pleased with the manuscript submitted. Aimed at those of us who know we want an alternative spirituality but feel overwhelmed by the sheer tonnage of information available. It’s a distillation of the most basic principles of creating a magical practice for oneself.
Stay tuned for more details as they unfold!
Remember that Big Shift I wrote a bit about (teasingly) in April?
At the end of November my husband and I are going to San Francisco to share Thanksgiving with our family there. The next day, we’re boarding a plane to Portugal.
We have one-way tickets.
It’s been a big year for me, not just with a pandemic; too much going on to stop and write.
detail from Acropolis Wall; copyright Lisa Mc Sherry