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 Deity I offer honor unto is Hestia. She was the Lady of the Hearth, a Goddess so fundamental there was little written about her. No one needed to write down Her stories, they were told cradle-side and carried throughout life.
One of the things I struggle with is living a life of tolerance, inclusiveness, and creating safe space for all walks of life while dealing with the odd “bad actor”. Although I’m not sure I’m using that phrase correctly, let me explain.
I’m having a hard time with Imbolc this year.
Usually it’s one of my favorite celebrations. We — finally — can literally see the promise made at the winter solstice; the light is returning! We light our candles in hope and joy, secure in the knowledge we’ve survived another winter.
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.
I’ve got a release date and (pretty firm) title for the new book! A Witch’s Guide to Crafting Your Practice will be released October 2022. I’m quite excited, and hoping to put together a book launch around that time.
As well, my new website — lisamcsherry.com — will launch on January 3rd. Meant to be a single source for all of my projects, these blog posts will ‘port over there.
Happy New (Calendar) Year!
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.
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