Witches. Samhain. The Burning Times. Intuitive wisdom. Magic. Women. Finding our voices. Speaking our truth. Claiming our full potential. Embodying our sacred powers. Embodying our sacred selves. Curious?
With Halloween around the corner, it is time, once again, to remember the witches. It’s a time to honor the dead and all who died during the Burning Times.
This post picks up where last year’s left off. It is part of a provocative act of collaboration and co-creation by five kindred spirits: “Remembering the Witches – Embodying Your Sacred Powers”, a blogging series and Samhain event to take place online on November 13th, the New Moon in Scorpio & Solar Eclipse.
If someone had told me a year ago I would still be thinking about witches or calling myself a “modern day witch” or a “sorceress of the sacred self” I would not have believed it.
If you skim my website or scan the titles of my blog posts, a post about witches would be the answer to the question: “Which one of these is not like the rest?”
Listening to the whispers of your heart and following the signs—however irrational they might seem—has been a challenge and a theme for me throughout my life, and especially over the last year.
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Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog post that “chose me”—it was completely unlike anything I had written to date.
It was not on an editorial calendar and it was not part of a blogging or business strategy. I had watched a 20-year old documentary film that, to my amazement, I had never seen before, and it was one of those experiences that turned my being upside down. I was so shaken that I decided to write about it. It was transformative because this film, and all that ensued after I wrote that post, alchemically changed me.
The film is called The Burning Times and it examines the witch hunts that occurred between 1560 and 1650 and the legacy they left.
Watching this film and, perhaps even more importantly, staying connected with and embracing what came up for me in the process, was a wake-up call.
It was an unusual call though. It was the kind of “call” that is only apparent looking back.
And it was not a call that required any proactive action or efforting on my part. At the time, I knew that this film and my reactions to it had rearranged me but had no inkling what I was to “do” with it. My only “knowing” was that I had to write about it. And the terror I felt pulse through my body when I hit “publish” was palpable.
Without offering a play-by-play of my life over the last year, I would like to share several pivotal experiences that flowed from that post. I share these because I think, in hindsight, it shows what happens when we act in the world from our sacred self and follow our calls. When we do that, mystery seems poised to greet us where we are. When we open to that, we make space for our intuitive wisdom and for magic.
- I deepened connections with readers, colleagues and kindred spirits who read and commented on that post, and who were also changed by the film. Their comments and offline conversations were heartening and I felt less alone.
- One reader had a dream that she was supposed to connect me with an intuitive. She did and the session I had brought profound relief and knitted together scattered aspects of my life. It also nudged me ever closer to my Sacred Self.
- This past summer, an author who was writing a book on the witch trials stumbled upon my blog. She contacted me and asked if I would be willing to submit an essay for her book. Humbled and nervous, writing the essay came with a heap of resistance and ultimately culminated in new insights and a whole new level of integration for me.
I clearly saw the connection between the burning times and my own fear. I realized that my work and that of my clients is quite literally about claiming our full potential, finding our voices and speaking our truth. The witch burnings left us with a legacy of persecution, humiliation and betrayal—who wouldn’t be afraid of stepping out with that fear enveloping our collective unconscious.
“Six generations of children watched as their mothers burned at the stake,” the narrator tells us toward the end of the film.
I felt chills throughout my body as I imagined all of those children who learned to hold back their voices. And that fear of really showing up fully— is still with us. At least it’s still with me.
So here is my confession: this is the first blog post I have written since last Halloween.
I could tell you it’s because I undertook some intensive work with a brand strategist; I could tell you that I was working on creating a lifestyle business and blogging strategy that lights me up; I could tell you that I used the time to work with my clients. And all of that is true. But what is even more true is this: I have been afraid.
The post I wrote last year took me to a whole other place and I felt I needed—or wanted—to do more of that. And the more time that elapsed, the more significant it felt (in my own mind) to write something really worth reading. And so I put all of this pressure on myself to produce something worthy. But the truth is, it’s not really about having it all figured out. It’s about writing and figuring it out as I go.
What happened when I wrote the essay for the book was that I got a better sense of my own point of view as well as the kind of writing I want to be doing. And in doing it, I moved one step closer to claiming my voice, speaking my truth and leaning into the fullest expression of my potential.
What I learned is that we do this not so much by taking large, grand steps. We do this one small step at a time.
The term “witch” took on a whole new meaning when I realized that witches are intuitives and healers committed to their communities and to shaping consciousness.
My executive coaching and work with the Enneagram puts me squarely in this realm. And I have had more conversations about witches over the last 6 months than I ever thought possible. I am grateful to have heard stories that would never have been shared with me if I had not leaned into this.
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Last month my friend and colleague Kathleen Prophet conceived of a blogging series and culminating call/webinar to mark this time:
She invited me to join a stellar group of women and I am honored to do so. (And so, I have Kathleen to thank for my return to blogging.)
As I wrap up this long post, I invite you to take action now:
If you feel moved, I invite you to join us for this blogging series and ritual call/webinar on November 13th. Do so by subscribing below.
Watch the film The Burning Times before November 13th. What comes up for you? Where do you see connections in your own life?
Where do you have an opportunity to express yourself more fully? Where might you holding back? Let your intuition guide you.
What is one next step you will take before November 13th to speak your truth and claim your full potential? Remember, tiny steps matter.
Share this post, the blogging series, and the film with anyone you think might benefit.
Leave a comment below and tell us what steps you’re planning to take.
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Deep gratitude to artist Gail Baker for lending images of her exquisite artwork for this blog post.