Magic and Painful Emotions

It is generally assumed that magic is partly empowered by a force or energy that we create, especially when it is not specifically theurgic or spirit based (and even then there’s often an exchange of energy).  Emotion has been used consistently throughout history to raise that energy, and direct it.

Sometimes we have emotions that we don’t like.  Anger, hostility, rage, sorrow, anxiety; feelings that often cause actual physical pain or stress in our bodies when we experience them.  Modern Paganism has huge stigmas regarding these painful emotions and around pain itself.  They’re often seen as something that is always bad, or at best are there to test us. There are many ways of dealing with emotions; I recommend having a therapist first and foremost.  I think regular mental health care is something everyone can benefit from and should engage in if it is available.

For magically inclined people there are other outlets for these feelings.  The energy that you raise within yourself can be directed and pointed at things.  Breaking with a lot of modern magical thought I’m going to suggest that the energy raised by negative emotions can be put to use in things that aren’t specifically harmful.

There are things that can help with this.  If you have a deity that you’re familiar with and might be willing to assist you, you can sacrilize the magic and thus the energy being poured into it.  Your Gods or spirits can help to bless, change, filter, and direct these feelings.

Also, these emotions come from a place of need.  Using those feelings to help achieve that need is not necessarily harmful.  Center yourself and direct those emotions towards a representation of the thing that you desire.  For sigil magic that provides a near constant stream of charge, and in my experience releasing that energy this way can help to alleviate the emotion and the accompanying pain.

(Courtesy of Pixabay)

Some suggestions:

Sorrow: Sorrow comes from a place of hollowness within us.  It comes to use when we miss someone, when we lack something, when we are overcome with need.  If you have tears, trace your sigils or runes or anoint whatever physical focus or talisman you are using with them.  Offer them to a deity who has a particular love for tears.  Reach out to a God you love when you are wracked with sorrow, and let the power of it help them to understand your human need.

Anger/Rage: To quote Anansi from American Gods “Angry gets shit done.”  Have you ever rage-cleaned?  Used your anger to empower you to say the thing that needs to be said?  Then you’ve used your anger before to accomplish things.  Glare at your sigils, shout at them, compose a poem or prayer to say to one of your Gods that shows how your anger is aligned with their inclinations.  Anger comes from a feeling of being harmed or wronged; anger fuels justice and righteous wrath (though as always, keep in mind your own deeds when doing magic revolving around justice or calling on Gods who value it such as Tyr or Ma’at).

(Courtesy of Pixabay)

Fear: Fear precedes anger and sorrow; it is the anticipation of harm or loss.  Anyone who has watched the jingoistic responses of this country’s populace to the warlike declarations of its leaders over the last 20 years know the power of fear.  Everyone who is afraid of the dark, of spiders, of wasps, of betrayal, of loss, of loneliness knows the power of fear.  Fear can empower protections against the things that you are afraid of and can bind together things against a common goal that might otherwise fall apart.  Fear of lack can give you the power to seek the things you need, and find them.  Speak your fears to your sigils and talismans and emphasize the reasons that they are protecting you.  One of the most consistent forms of prayer throughout history has been apotropaic prayer; asking for protection.  Reach out to your Gods and let them know your fears and ask for their aid in overcoming or facing them.  Don’t be afraid that fear makes you weak or a coward either; fear can give you strength like the might of a cornered rat or boar, and fear doesn’t make you a coward; being afraid and dealing with it is bravery.

In doing any of these things I suggest trying to perform divination on them first, at a moment when your head and heart are more clear.  I also suggest you center yourself well when you are going to harness and direct painful emotions; you don’t want them spilling into places where they could cause pain.  Finally, I recommend good spiritual cleansing before and after doing work like this as they can attract energies and powers that feed on these feelings and thus benefit from attempting to perpetuate them; which of course is counter to the exercise.

Like the tears of Isis and Freyja your tears can be used to bring healing and beauty to the world. Like the rage of Cú Chulainn and the Morrigan your rage can be turned to righteous action. Like the Aesir having their wall around Asgard built, your justified fear can be turned to protection and safety.  Seek emotional health and balance, but do not deny the value of your painful emotions.

(Courtesy of Pixabay)


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