Protecting Your Power

protecting your power mat ayrun the house of twigs thot witch witchschool

Being a human is difficult. There will be countless times when people try stripping you of your personal power. As witches, we understand the importance of power and find strength in our otherness instead of allowing other people to use it against us for disempowerment. When we step “out of the broom closet”, we are bombarded by even more attempts to take away our power. We face scoffing, fear, and in the worse cases discrimination. Being a public witch, sadly, only escalates these attempts, and I haven’t met one single public witch who hasn’t had to deal with this. Public witches are not only faced with the crap of outsiders, but most often the worse comes from within our own community.

When I decided to start publicly teaching, I was lucky enough to be pulled aside by a few of my own teachers and friends to be given some great insight and advice on what to expect. Despite my own resistance to the idea that anyone would ever be jealous of me, I was promised that some would be. But more so, I was warned about those who would feel threatened by my influence, despite feeling this notion was absurd. I was told that there would be tons of gossip, projection of who I am (both positive and negative), twisting of words, putting words in my mouth, attacks against my character, major betrayals, breaking trust and confidentiality, and challenge my motives. People will try to turn you on other people and others will try to turn people on you.

I was warned that people would try to involve me in drama that had nothing to do with me, and that they would repaint my character to serve their narrative when I no longer fit their agenda. At worse I was cautioned that in some cases others would work magick against me. People can love and support you until one human moment, one single post on social media sharing a bad day, one single misunderstanding, believing one piece of gossip, and then turn completely against you. I was warned that this happens to others as well and to always be aware of it.

All of this advice I listened to, wrote down in my journal, but brushed aside. Why? Because it’s against my own nature and it can be difficult for me to assume that’s how others operate. A reoccurring lesson for me is understanding that just because I approach things with the best intentions or because I have a tendency to try to see the best in others, doesn’t mean that everyone else does. The ideas of jealousy or competition are alien to me. Coming from a scarcity consciousness that there isn’t enough has always seemed so foreign and doesn’t seem to serve anyone. I have always wanted to see others succeed and promote good work and those doing good work. Their success doesn’t threaten my own work and seeing other people succeed only motivates me and encourages me to strive for greater goals. Especially when the goals of sharing and teaching are so much greater than any one single person or cult of personality.

When these things actually do occur, it can be difficult, even devastating in some cases. There have been a few blows that felt so unexpected, so deeply betraying that it made me want to give up completely. Some words can be said that you may not ever be able to shrug off, forget, or even feel you’d ever be able to forgive. I have had people list things that so-and-so said or thought about me with the inner irony that it was all stuff that I had heard about the person telling me. Literally, every single thing. However, I refused to believe what others shared as their experiences with the person, or their thoughts, projections and assumptions. Why? Because I was told that it was to be expected and I held my own personal experiences and interactions over what others had said. More importantly, I held my tongue and focused more on listening than speaking.

Sometimes the few negative voices of others can be so loud that you miss all the silent people whom you’ve helped or impacted. So how do you deal with someone trying to disempower you? How can you protect it? How do you keep from falling into paranoia or feeling completely defeated?

Know yourself. This sounds simple but its true. Keep your intentions and motivations clear. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Recognize what is important to you. Be completely clear on who you are, what you’re doing, what you’ve said, and what you’ve done. This is your truth. Your truth is your power. Stand in your truth and stand in your power. Hold onto your inner light. When you do this, the universe will support you.

Listen and be honest with yourself. Truly listen to another person. Maybe they’re right? Maybe you really need to examine yourself and change a behavior that you’re not seeing. That’s definitely a possibility you should entertain earnestly. Maybe this is how people are perceiving you and you’ve been totally blind to it. Own up to your words and actions and take responsibility for them. Admit when you are wrong. Apologize when its the right thing to do. I have had discussions and mediations where it just felt like the other person was not owning up to their own actions or responsibility in the matter and just feeding on my own ownership of my part of the situation, leaving me apologetic in the moment, and feeling gaslighted afterwards. If you truly know yourself and are willing to look at yourself honestly and critically, it’s hard to fall prey to this if you’re firm about what is true and what isn’t true. Losing sight of this can have us agreeing to the person’s narrative and saying, “I can see how you would come to that conclusion” despite how paranoid, or stretched that conclusion could be. We can try to understand without believing it. Have friends who really know you, who can give you honest feedback, whether that’s in your favor or not. Friends who can remind you of who you are and where your heart is when you begin to question it.

Knowing yourself means knowing what your real work is, despite what others think your work is. Each of our paths are our own, don’t let others change your path because it doesn’t fit their expectations, or agendas. Learn to respond instead of reacting. Refuse to be dragged into witch-wars that are not your own. Choose your battles wisely. Recognize where you are going to exert your energy and your power in your life and where you’re not going to waste it. Don’t allow others to manipulate you. Make mental notes of what others are saying about a person, there may be a real warning in there, but your own interactions with the person should override any gossip. Show basic respect, even if it’s not being given to you. Be compassionate, even when they’re denying you it. Recognize that in the end, we’re all humans and that humans are a mess. This is why shadow work is never ending, it’s a continual process of exploration and growth.

And as always, ensure that you’re regularly doing cleansings and protection.

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Mat Auryn (New England) is a witch, writer, professional psychic, and occult teacher. He has been drawn to the occult and metaphysical since an early age, reading books on witchcraft at eight years old. He is a graduate of Black Rose Witchcraft and a priest in Sacred Fires Tradition of Witchcraft founded by Devin Hunter and has studied under various other schools and traditions of Witchcraft. He writes for Patheos Pagan in his blog For Puck’s Sake and on his personal website and is a contributor to Horns Magazine. He has been featured in various magazines, radio shows, books and other periodicals.

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Mat Auryn (New England) is a witch, writer, professional psychic, and occult teacher. He has been drawn to the occult and metaphysical since an early age, reading books on witchcraft at eight years old. He is a graduate of Black Rose Witchcraft and a priest in Sacred Fires Tradition of Witchcraft founded by Devin Hunter and has studied under various other schools and traditions of Witchcraft. He writes for Patheos Pagan in his blog For Puck’s Sake and on his personal website and is a contributor to Horns Magazine. He has been featured in various magazines, radio shows, books and other periodicals.

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