Believing that there is one right way to practice witchcraft is a symptom of spiritual programming, which is indoctrinating individuals until they believe that their own experiences and knowledge are unimportant or wrong.Spiritual programming is based on fear: those who instill it fear us and seek to control us through their methods, while we, out of fear, fall into their traps. Spiritual freedom occurs when we realize that we have a choice in what we believe and practice.
One of my earliest memories is sitting in a church pew on a Sunday morning. The wood beneath me stuck to my bare legs in my short summer dress. As a child, I couldnt articulate how that painful feeling of stickiness permeated my soul in that Pentecostal church, but I knew that my discomfort was about far more than my sore legs. It was the complete lack of freedom, coupled with the omnipresent fear that doing the wrong thing would end in a one-way ticket straight to hell. Thats enough to make anyone stick to their seat, but I yearned for the freedom I knew existed.
Flash forward to when Im involved with a tradition that, although beautiful in many ways, felt like just another uncomfortable church pew. The very opposite of freedom.
Gatekeepers are trying to keep us stuck to our spiritual seats. What these gatekeepers are doing is trying to program us into believing them, to literally keep us in the place they need us to be. They try to insert doubt and other forms of fear into our minds. This contaminates us spiritually so that we get confused about what intuitively feels right to us.
From telling us that our understanding of the deeper world is wrong, to insinuating that we are incapable of determining what practices are best for us, they program us in ways that can be very subtle but are still very sticky. Their aim is to render us as frozen in fear as they are. Make no mistake; anyone claiming to have the one version of the truth is engaging in spiritual programming. Their goal is to deny you of your own free will and stick you to your seat out of fear.
Theres no point in trying to change the gatekeepers minds, but there is great value in discussing how spiritual programming influences even the most independently minded witch. The gatekeepers are bullies determined to bind us to them through the power of fear. Send them the love they lack and follow your own truth.
Spiritual abuse is the extreme end of programming. It involves manipulating our emotions and thoughts to the point that we no longer believe what feels intuitively true to us. Toxic witches in all their many forms are spiritual programmers, from the gaslighters to those who take up all the air in the room.
Claiming that we shouldnt do deep inner work on our own borders on spiritual abuse because it attempts to infantilize practitioners to the place where they have no ability to make their own decisions. We are not small children who want to eat an entire box of cookies. As adults, we make our own decisions and accept responsibility for our actions. That is, unless we are so spiritually programmed that we blindly follow whatever the gatekeepers tell us.
Spiritual programming shows up as discrediting our individual experience, so much so that what we know to be true ends up needing some sort of external validation. The expression unverified personal gnosis has always rankled me. Its as though what I know to be true isnt, unless some expert agrees. Thats contrary to the very nature of spiritual witchcraft.
Even though Ive always been an independent thinker, I was still accumulating spiritual programming from these paths. In particular, the idea that my inability to deeply connect with any one tradition was a failure on my part. I had a fear of commitment or I lacked discipline. All these hurtful terms used to describe anyone who resists blind adherence to a tradition. Were taught to conform out of fear: if we dont, well be punished, by losing our community or going straight to hell.
Spiritual programming promises us that by staying stuck in the seat of accepting that one system holds all the answers we will have a heavenly life. It denies that the individual is the expert on their own journey, and that spiritual growth is very messy. When we get stuck in spiritual programming, we start believing that forces outside of us are responsible for both our well-being and our misery.
The major shift in how witchcraft is practiced today, in comparison with the wise women of the past, is that we have access to so much information. Our ancestors learned what they could and then improvised the rest. Instinct, intuition and a bit of mysticism drove their practices, not what a website said to do.
Spiritual programming doesnt belong in witchcraft because it steals the very heart of it: the power of the practitioner to be the expert on their own journey. Ive said it many times: the only rule that matters in witchcraft is to know yourself.
Sometimes, we gain insight into who we are by comparing ourselves to others. My early misfit days in the church became clear as I observed how others in the church acted. I wasnt like them. Theres no need to be critical of those who require the comfort of dogma. Being responsible for your own life is frightening to many. For them, the easy road is to just go with the flow. Theyll never even become aware of their herd mentality.
Seems weird to say that herd mentality is encroaching on witchcraft, but it really appears that way. We have all these rules, from which directions of the compass go with each element, to fixed ideas about what constitutes a ritual. If the Christians were to be successful in wiping out real witchcraft, it seems to me that convincing us there were specific rules that must be followed is an excellent approach.
When we being to overcome spiritual programming, its incredibly uncomfortable. Just like when we lift our legs off that pew. Well heal from the stickiness as we move from fear to freedom.
Go here to read the rest:
- David Nichtern on Spirituality and Making a Buck - Lion's Roar - January 30th, 2020
- Spiritual festival curated to bring world together in peace, love and harmony - Hindustan Times - January 30th, 2020
- The Ark brings shelter to those in spiritual need - Kern Valley Sun - January 30th, 2020
- 'Satanic wombs': the outlandish world of Trump's spiritual adviser - The Guardian - January 30th, 2020
- An Unexpected Spiritual Balm - Word and Way - January 30th, 2020
- Actors asked to find a spirituality for new Belfry production - Peninsula News Review - January 30th, 2020
- Spiritual Sounds unites a world of faiths in the East Village - amNY - January 30th, 2020
- What on Earth is wrong with Paula White, Trump's spiritual guru? - Washington Examiner - January 30th, 2020
- According to Trump's Spiritual Advisor It's Apparently Okay to Ask God to Terminate Pregnancies as Long as They're Satanic - Jezebel - January 30th, 2020
- Senior thesis Five Flights grapples with spiritual identity - Kenyon Collegian - January 30th, 2020
- Jefferson Award winner is a spiritual healer that attracts people from all over the country - WXOW.com - January 30th, 2020
- CITIZEN COLUMNIST: The value of discernment and spiritual discernment - SCNow - January 30th, 2020
- Spiritually Speaking: Jim Lehrer: To live a life of integrity - Wicked Local Sharon - January 30th, 2020
- The 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz: Returning in Spiritual Triumph - Yated.com - January 30th, 2020
- Trump's Spiritual Advisor Comes Out in Favor of Abortion - Patheos - January 30th, 2020
- Ganga yatra to invoke spirituality, focus on need to clean river - Hindustan Times - January 30th, 2020
- Tend to spiritual needs too - Bryan County News - January 30th, 2020
- I never meditated, would rather be a criminal than spiritual: Ma Anand Sheela - India Today - January 30th, 2020
- We put Jen Aniston and Gwyneth's spirituality gurus to the test - Marie Claire - January 25th, 2020
- On matters biblical, spiritual belief, and marital in the land of matoke - Daily Nation - January 25th, 2020
- Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books for Spring 2020 - Publishers Weekly - January 25th, 2020
- Spiritual book proposes that we should nurture our souls as we would a garden -- with love and tenderness - Benzinga - January 25th, 2020
- Religion and Spirituality Books Preview: February 2020 - Publishers Weekly - January 25th, 2020
- Getting spiritual: the real essence of yoga - The Age - January 25th, 2020
- Spiritual Intervention for Crime Prevention? - The Voice St. Lucia - January 25th, 2020
- 6 Bishops on Their Favorite Saints, Spirituality - National Catholic Register - January 25th, 2020
- The spiritual poet - The News on Sunday - January 25th, 2020
- Is the Spiritual Realm more Real than the Natural? Brad Jersak | Brad Jersak - Patheos - January 25th, 2020
- Terry Crews says intermittent fasting is his fitness secret but he's actually doing it for spiritual reasons - Yahoo Entertainment - January 25th, 2020
- The role of scriptures on the spiritual path - The Navhind Times - January 25th, 2020
- Undiluted Catholicism: what the Amazon really needs - Catholic Herald Online - January 25th, 2020
- Review: 'Babette's Feast' a warmhearted exploration of the spiritual and the sensual at Lamb's Players - The San Diego Union-Tribune - January 25th, 2020
- GRHS graduate using platform to write about spiritual themes - The Glen Rose Reporter - January 25th, 2020
- Abortion is socially sanctioned, sovereignly offensive and spiritually sinful | Guestview - Pensacola News Journal - January 25th, 2020
- Material achievements and spiritual perfections - Centurion Rekord - January 25th, 2020
- Pastor's 'spiritual DNA' will live on - Impartial Reporter - January 25th, 2020
- The theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence - Sumter Item - January 25th, 2020
- Why "Business Meets Spirituality" Is an Important Leadership Trend For 2020 - Thrive Global - January 19th, 2020
- The Fall of Spirituality: The Blood-Soaked History of the Cathars - Ancient Origins - January 19th, 2020
- In this art gallery, conversations about religion and spirituality are welcome - The Oakland Press - January 19th, 2020
- A Spirituality of Aging: Deepening our Wisdom Years - CatholicPhilly.com - January 19th, 2020
- Spirituality and values in the Disney universe - Evangelical Focus - January 19th, 2020
- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s spiritual influence remembered in Steubenville | News, Sports, Jobs - The Steubenville Herald-Star - January 19th, 2020
- 5 Reasons to jumpstart your spiritual reading in 2020 - Aleteia EN - January 19th, 2020
- Big Freedia Will Bring Bounce Tunes, Spiritual Experience When She Takes the Stage at Paper Tiger - San Antonio Current - January 19th, 2020
- Meaningful Conversations Chapel Hill looks for the spiritual basis of forgiveness - The Daily Tar Heel - January 19th, 2020
- Liverpool players spiritual preparations and how club respectfully honours faith behind the scenes - Liverpool Echo - January 19th, 2020
- Local Cantors are 'The Spiritual Caretakers of the Congregation' - The Jewish News - January 19th, 2020
- The 12 Best Mayan Sites to See in Guatemala - Fodor's Travel - January 19th, 2020
- Father beat children secluded on Ruinerwold farm with "spiritual sword": Report - NL Times - January 19th, 2020
- SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: What will your legacy be? - Wicked Local - January 19th, 2020
- The Ummah Chroma to Launch Spiritual & Meditative Installation at Het Nieuwe Instituut - HYPEBEAST - January 19th, 2020
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pray for the president's spiritual aligning with Scripture - Anniston Star - January 19th, 2020
- Spiritually Speaking: 2020 vision for the New Year | Eden Prairie Opinion - SW News Media - January 19th, 2020
- The Shepherd and the Shrink | Dexter duo launches podcast combing spirituality and psychology - thesuntimesnews.com - January 12th, 2020
- Spirituality Has Long Been Erased From Art History. Heres Why Its Having a Resurgence Today - artnet News - January 12th, 2020
- Expert says medical professionals need better training on spiritual care - Crux: Covering all things Catholic - January 12th, 2020
- Its possible to be spiritual without following religious practices - Hindustan Times - January 12th, 2020
- Religion and Spirituality Book Deals: January 8, 2020 - Publishers Weekly - January 12th, 2020
- The history of scientists dismissing spiritual experiences - The Week Magazine - January 12th, 2020
- Spiritual New Year's resolutions - The News Star - January 12th, 2020
- Dubais Demand for Niche Spiritual Retreats on the Rise - Skift - January 12th, 2020
- Spiritual Medium Yesenia Berbiar Aims To Heal Hearts By Connecting With Departed Family Members - KHTS Radio - January 12th, 2020
- Spiritual editorial: Last year in the rear view mirror - NorthcentralPa.com - January 12th, 2020
- Spiritual Alphabet Soup of Death and Dying - Thrive Global - January 12th, 2020
- KEEPING THE FAITH: Local spiritual leaders respond to recent national violence - Evening News and Tribune - January 12th, 2020
- Faith and Values: Look outward for spiritual growth in the new year - The Spokesman-Review - January 12th, 2020
- GOD SQUAD: Spiritual New Years resolutions - CTPost - January 12th, 2020
- Bill Tinsley: Develop a physically and spiritually healthy heart - StarNewsOnline.com - January 12th, 2020
- Czech out Svickova Na Smetane and get spiritual about bread: this week's food events in Eastern Iowa - The Gazette - January 12th, 2020
- The spiritual meaning of the word - magviral - January 12th, 2020
- I have faced the roughest time in my spiritual walk, Rose Muhando - The Standard - January 12th, 2020
- Blackbird, Regnum Christi, and the Legacy of Spiritual Abuse - Patheos - January 12th, 2020
- Music And Spirituality At 'Rising Song' Event - Jewish Week - January 5th, 2020
- Divine grace found in messiness of imperfect life - Times Colonist - January 5th, 2020
- Shamanism in Nepal: Inside the practices and spiritual world of Jhakri - The Independent - January 5th, 2020
- The three most important walks of existence: spirituality, relationships, and career success | By Judith Nwadigo - Qwenu! - January 5th, 2020
- Oddity is an Earthbound spiritual successor that used to be a fan sequel - PC Gamer - January 5th, 2020
- GUEST COLUMN: The spiritual pleasure (and poetry) of flowers - Wicked Local - January 5th, 2020
- Mother Teresa's former spiritual advisor accused of raping boy more than 1000 times - LGBTQ Nation - January 5th, 2020