Dancing with Your Inner WitchOct 31, 2022
As Halloween parties fill our schedule these days and the witch archetype confronts us at every corner, we have an opportunity to come face to face with the witch we carry inside. Is she scary? Is she evil? Or is she just an earlier version of you in desperate need of care?
Remember Angelina Jolie in Maleficent? Although the self-proclaimed “Mistress of all evils” appeared to be the scariest thing in the world, she ends up teaching us that all witches have a past and there’s always a trauma at the base of what appears to be evil. Someone got hurt. Someone decided to withdraw, protect herself and package her hurt into a wrap of apparent evil.
The archetype of the witch summons an image of someone dark and powerful. Someone scary using some sort of magic. Someone capable to inflict pain. But often all these things we project on the witch are simply reflections of our own subconsciousness. Our own projection. Our shadow. The pain we carry is the pain inside. The evil we fear is the perceived evil inside. The scary face with a pointed hat is simply a mirror of a hidden part of our soul.
What’s the main thing that hides in this projection? Pain. Where does pain come from? From past trauma. How does it show up? In a multitude of ways ranging from mild discomfort to waves of deep pain that many of us cover up with distractions, usually addictions: we eat too much, we drink too much, we work too much, we shop too much. All this too much is designed to cover up the pain. So, because we don’t want to see it, we project it onto others or onto collective archetypes. The witch is one of them.
Every time emotional pain comes up, we have a choice: we can choose one of the many ways available to cover it up, to distract ourselves, or we can choose to face it. If we cover it, we will feel better for a while. Until it comes up again. If we decide to finally face it, we will feel pretty awful. For a while. Until it melts away forever.
If we decide to stop circling around it and face it, it’s essential that we do this without attaching a story to it. When we attach a story, we simply distract ourselves. It does not matter what someone has done or not done. Or what was said. Or even what happened. At the deep level of that emotional pain none of these things matter. What matters is the accumulated pain, the waves of turmoil, the darkness that comes up.
But when we have the courage to finally plunge into that darkness as if we were plunging towards the bottom of the ocean and we go deep deep down as if to retrieve a precious gift, something changes. When you can do this and take a deep breath and stay with your pain, stay story free and go even deeper into the core of darkness to find out what lies underneath it all, you will discover your answer.
It may come as an image, or it may come as a thought. Maybe a memory. It will usually have to do with a younger version of you. She may appear injured. Or hiding under a mask. Or trying to run away. If you plunge deep enough, she will let you see what lies under this pain. She will let you see the truth.
And as we learn the truth, the truth will set us free. We’ll find out that Maleficent was once a sweet girl with a huge heart. We’ll also find out that she still is that girl. That at the core of evil, there’s always light. And if you dive deep enough into the darkness you will find that light.
What happens when you find the earlier version of yourself that lies hidden under all this pain? You embrace her, you accept her. You dance with her. You dance with your own shadow. And as she receives the love she needs, she feels free to blossom into whom she was always meant to be. She feels free to shine again.
And the witch? Well, the witch simply melts away.
Because when you learn how to dance with your inner shadow, nothing and nobody can scare you any longer.
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