Do you ever find yourself playing small, keeping your head down and staying quiet even though you know you have something to share and something to say? Are you fearful of speaking your truth? Do you feel as though you have healing qualities but lack the confidence to step into them?
If any of this sounds familiar, it may be that you are living with the witch wound.
How the witch wound began
I invite you to cast your mind back several centuries to 1486 when a book called Malleus Maleficarum, The Hammer of Witches began doing the rounds, first in Europe and eventually making its way to Britain; its purpose – to find and flush out women and men who danced with the devil through the act of witchcraft.
It fuelled a frenzy of fear and suspicion that overwhelmed society for three centuries. Many innocent people were accused of witchcraft, tortured and executed. Those who knew them were forced to testify against them – children, family members, friends, or be tortured themselves.
Witch hunting, guided by the Malleus Maleficarum was also supported by the publication of the King James Bible in 1611 which says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”. (Exodus 22). King James himself was personally responsible for the torturing of Scottish witches, accused of causing a storm, endangering the life of his new bride on her passage across the sea.
Finding a witch
Witches were often identified by a devil’s mark (a mole or birth mark). Women and men would be stripped naked and pricked all over with a sharp needle to see if it would hurt or bleed – if it didn’t, they must be a witch. Witch hunting was a lucrative business and some witch hunters even had retractable prickers to falsely accuse their victims. Another favourite witch test was to bind by ropes and submerge in water to see if they would drown or float – if they floated they were a witch, if they didn’t, well they weren’t a problem anymore.
With the mob frenzy of the time, many didn’t make it to a trial and were ‘strung up’ once caught. Hanging was most common although many were burned after death to prevent them coming back to life or creating after life mischief. Only a few actually suffered the fate of still being alive as they met the flames.
Staying small, staying safe
The intensity of witch hunting meant it became unsafe for healers, herbalists & midwives to practice, for old women, anyone a bit ’different’ or who owned a cat. Vilified and persecuted they were forced to lie low, to be small and not seen.
And here lies the witch wound. The majority of these people were women, and the wounds we carry are mistrust of each other, playing small and quiet to stay safe, fear of speaking our truth and denying the innate healing qualities we possess. This trauma lies in our DNA, passed down through our ancestors. Even now our children are taught to fear the ‘wicked’ witch, that witches are evil.
Just look at the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary
- a person thought to have magic powers, especially evil ones, popularly depicted as a woman wearing a black cloak and pointed hat and flying on a broomstick.
- a follower or practitioner of Wicca or of modern witchcraft.
- an ugly or unpleasant woman. derogatory “he can marry the old witch for all I care”.
When actually the word witch meant ‘wise one’. A witch is someone who connects with the cycles of nature, the medicine of Mother Earth, a healer, they may have a foot in the human world and spirit world. They are intuitive, creative & work with the forces of good, the elements, the moon & the stars to help others and the planet.
Does this sound like you? This is me. I’m proud of it. I have worked for many years to heal myself of the ancestral wounds of being small, fear of being too much, fear of putting my head above the parapet and talking about my spirituality. So much fear!
The time has come for us all to do the same; embracing our divine feminine & masculine, reconnecting with mother nature and the medicine of the natural world, supporting and raising up our sisters and brothers.
Are you ready to explore & heal?
On 2nd December I am holding a healing workshop and fire walk to honour and heal the witch wound.
In this special event, we work with the element of fire to heal the witch wound; the fear, distrust and separation many of us still hold in our DNA.
Building the fire together we place the wood for love, forgiveness & remembrance, scattering rosemary in the flames to remember and honour our ancestors, sisters and brothers, who were persecuted, tortured and burned.
As the fire burns down, we come together in sacred circle to explore and release our fears and to raise our personal & collective energy.
As the coals glow brightly in the dark of the night, we walk the fire for freedom & empowerment in this lifetime and to welcome and honour the new generation of witches.
This time we will not be burned!