We are the granddaughters of the witches they were never able to burn. If history teaches us that a ‘witch’ is nothing more than a woman who doesn’t know her place, then damn straight, I consider myself a witch.
A W.I.T.C.H. is a Woman. In. Total. Control. of Herself.
A W.I.T.C.H. dedicates herself to being the mistress of her own power.
To be a W.I.T.C.H., you don’t have to be a wiccan, a pagan, or know your way around herbs and moon cycles.
If you seek sovereignty over the sanctuary of your own sacred being, this is enough.
Becoming a W.I.T.C.H. does involve spell craft, though. Just not the kind that needs a wand.
So here is the magic: if you do not define yourself by the System’s rules, if you surround yourself with others who do not buy into their values, then you are free. Completely. To be yourself. Your full self, not just the self that you feel safe projecting into the world, but your shadow side too, the parts of you that you have always had to hide in order to be honorable.
What keeps a woman disempowered, small and voiceless? A constant barrage of fear and shame. We’re worried about being liked, being included, being good.
We fear we’re not doing it right. In our families, our jobs, our friends, the way we look, the ways we express our opinions and emotions, the ways we love and partner-up or not, the ways we parent or not, the ways we give and care and sacrifice.
We fear critique.
We’re too big, too much, too bossy, too small, too selfish, too tight, too timid, too emotional. Or not enough Not talented enough, not bright enough, not young or pretty enough, not grateful enough, not assertive, polite, helpful, creative, pleasing, strong, feminine enough.
And while we fear this makes us unacceptable and therefore unloveable, we fall under the spell of the patriarchy.
We hemorrhage magic as we cow-tow to the outer patriarchy that demands our subservience, and the inner patriarchy that insists we steer clear of danger. The danger of judgement. The danger of rejection.
Under patriarchy’s spell we become pliant, easily crippled into submission by both outward and inward critique. The fear bullies us and keeps us afraid of standing up or standing out from the status quo. We are controllable.
It is up to the W.I.T.C.H. to break this spell.
In order to loosen the bindings on the external patriarchy and free herself from the jail of the inner patriarchy, the W.I.T.C.H. first learns, then demands sovereignty.
This means withdrawing your energy from an unhealthy system that requires your selflessness (isn’t it crazy that women are still raised to think not having a self is a virtue?) and profits from your insecurity. It means having the courage to court your own power, and to shift your allegiance from self-doubt to self-love.
This is no easy task.
You’re going against all the rules you were raised with in order to DARE to believe that you’re worthy of love, belonging and joy exactly as you are right now. It takes a huge amount of bravery to dare to claim your worth is dependent on your beingness, not your doing-ness.
Patriarchy can exist so long as women are afraid.
Every woman knows there are dark forces moving across the planet that put her life at risk. But very few understand the dark arts moving across our inner landscape, in the form of thoughts feelings and belief systems.
I call this realm of internal threat and abuse “the inner patriarchy,” and when I teach tactics to confront it, protecting yourself from its powers, I use the Hogwart’s class term “Defense Against the Dark Arts” ‘cuz nothing is more threatening than the monsters that haunt our internal castle.
The W.I.T.C.H. is armed with the knowledge that, having been raised in a patriarchy that systemically denied women the same rights and powers as men, her early life was in many ways programmed by an invisible poison.
Both her mother and the maternal influences in her life were plagued by it and passed it down in a thousand unconscious ways. Like a canary in a coal mine, a female is breathing invisible toxins from a system that benefits from her diminishment.
In order to keep her daughters safe, a mother will teach her girl to be good, to color inside the lines of what is deemed proper, and to fit in, even if it means cutting off the parts of the daughter’s psyche that don’t fit. After all, mother had to do it too.
By the time girls become women the damage is done. We are self-sustaining “not-enough” machines, gauging our worthiness not by our own standards of authenticity and integrity, but by what everyone else has deemed right, good and proper for us.
The external patriarchy need not pressure us too much, as we’re carrying it inside of us with thoughts like I can’t do that. I shouldn’t go there. What will he/she/they think? Who do I think I am? They’ll find out I’m a fraud. What if I fail? I’m not pretty/young/talented enough to do that. That’s too selfish. What if I hurt someone? What if I disappoint? Why can’t I ever get it right? I can’t ask for help, that’s weak. I’m tired but I’ve got to keep going. It’s not going to happen if I don’t make it happen. Why isn’t it happening? What’s wrong with me? I’m too much. I’m not enough.
Arguing for our limitations and smallness instead of arguing for our possibilities and grandeur, our power leeches away as easily as life force drains to a dementor on the grounds of Hogwarts.
To me, a witch is a woman that is capable of letting her intuition take hold of her actions, that communes with her environment, that isn’t afraid of facing challenges.
A W.I.T.C.H. knows her place, and that place is E V E R Y W H E R E.
She has shifted her allegiance from pleasing to pleasure, from subservient to subversive, through the very act of claiming her inner knowing as her highest authority. She’s willing to abandon everyone else’s expectation and approval before she’ll abandon herself. She’s stopped fearing her path and started blazing it, loyal to the visions in her head and the longing of her heart. She trusts her intuition to guide her to the next right thing for her, even when she can’t see the entire path or explain it to a mind of logic.
A W.I.T.C.H. knows her worth, and that worth is E V E R Y T H I N G.
She treasures her authenticity, so she’s let go of manipulating how others perceive her, and accepted a radical unbecoming. She values her time and well being, so she no longer betrays herself by agreeing to things that sap her energy. Boundaried and self-respecting, she understands that “no” is a complete sentence. Her “yes” then becomes a whole-hearted sacred thing, requiring no permission or explanation. Instead of adjusting to the demands or desires of her ever shifting world, she roots inside her deepest truth, and her highest values, and lets the world adjust.
A W.I.T.C.H. knows her power, and that power is S O V E R E I G N.
She doesn’t depend on circumstances, success, or approval to experience it. Her power grows from self-knowledge, self-care and self-trust, which requires daily amounts of self-forgiveness and grace. Her strength derives from her ability to fall down and get back up again, knowing she is lovable through every stumble, weakness, or failing. Her belonging is not earned, it is birthright. Having granted herself the freedom to belong foremost to her self, her very presence passes on permission for others to do the same.