I want to share some thoughts based on a discussion I had the other day with my husband. He had been reading Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday. It’s a great book, and one I recommend all the time, regardless of whether you’re on a magickal, occult, or spiritual path at all.
But especially if you’re on a magickal, occult, or spiritual path. So, let’s talk about ego in magick or the occult.
Ego is something I see in a ton of new witches, but experienced ones alike. I see it in witches of all paths and cultures. Its not something that anyone is immune to. I had to battle with it myself when I first started this journey, and do occasionally still have to check my ego from time to time.
But why I’m writing this is the simple fact that so many of us could be doing so much better if we would completely remove ourselves from the equation. What I mean by that is that 90+% of the time, something someone said to you or did to you has nothing to do with you at all.
That person is miserable, unhappy, chaotic, or otherwise struggling to hold on, and you were just convenient.
They may have bad or destructive habits that affect you, but they’re not consciously trying to affect you. They’re just not in control and they’re projecting all that out around them to whatever and whoever is closest.
Most of the time, you don’t even need to be involved in anyone else’s bullshit. Most of the time, you’re focusing on what others are doing and how you think they think about you, instead of fixing the way you think about yourself.
Someone called you a name on the internet? It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them being a shitty, small, insecure person. Someone gave you the evil eye? It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their ego and pettiness. And so on. You get the picture.
And you continue to feed their ego when you continue to let them affect you. Your own ego drives this.
What is Ego?
Let me go here for a minute so we’re all on the same page with what I’m referring to.
Dictionary. com defines this in two ways:
the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
Psychoanalysis: the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
In this post, I’m referring to the second definition, as it pertains to psychoanalysis. The ego is the sense of self-importance.
Self-Importance Will Ruin Your Magick
Of course you should be the most important person in your life. So this isn’t some diatribe on always putting others first. Put yourself first almost all of the time, and help others as much as you can without depleting yourself in the process.
Many of us find, choose, or stumble upon this path because we feel pulled or called to it. Or maybe they are healers of one kind and decide the magickal or spiritual healing path is better suited to them.
Others because its something they’ve grown up with in their family or culture. And others, still, because they want to obtain power, influence, material wealth, exact revenge, or some other reason of personal gain.
Whatever the reason, we’re here now. But the last group, let’s be real. There’s a little bit of this in all of us.
Who hasn’t at least once wanted to be more skilled, more powerful, wealthier (crystals are fucking expensive ok), or some other intent that centers around a personal or selfish desire?
And that’s okay. Its human nature to want to fulfill your basic human needs like shelter, food, warmth, and socialization. Not mad at anyone ’cause this is me, too.
But then we all know at least one person (or maybe its our own self) that is on this path to seek power and control. They’re driven by their ego’s need to be recognized as important. They won’t think twice about throwing a curse. Their only end goal is to be smarter, more skilled, more whatever than everyone else, simply to be able to say they are and have control. They prefer being feared to being respected.
And everything with those people is personal. You know exactly what I mean. They constantly think someone is criticizing them, trying to curse them, doesn’t like them, is a threat to them, is attacking their ideas, and so on and so forth.
This person’s ego is massive. They are incredibly self-important. And its 1000% preventing this person from truly realizing spiritual enlightenment.
I can guarantee you that the more you think of yourself as better, and the more reactive you are to what others say and do, the more you limit your own growth. The minute you head down this path of thinking, you effectively shut off the access your spirit has to higher consciousness.
You are literally what is standing in your own way.
The biggest lesson in this is that you, yes you, are connected to everything. And everyone. We are all one big ‘All One’ of energy. So, when you energetically send your ego after someone, the ripples effect you just as much.
And I’m not talking about the rule of 3. I’m talking about energetic connectedness. Every effort you put into caring what someone said or did, you create an energetic bridge to them, and you just keep on laying bricks down across it for as long as you care.
What if You Stop Giving a Fuck?
This is where my life changed dramatically. And if I can pass on one tip as my legacy to new witches it is this. Stop giving a fuck about literally everyone else. Your family, your partner, your boss, your kids. Remove all them for a second and look at just you. Just who and what you are.
What would make you happy (extremely, truly, unreservedly, unapologetically, ecstatically happy) with yourself so that you can achieve anything in life you want? Do you need any of those other people’s opinions to get there?
How much time does your brain spend per day occupied with other people compared to occupied with you?
This is where we differentiate between loving yourself and knowing that you are valuable and important, yet at the same time insignificant in the greater picture, as are we all…
being self-important, thinking everything should revolve around you, using people, looking down on others, letting insecurity guide your decisions and reactions, or generally being self-centered to the extent of unnecessarily and excessively harming others in the process.
Option A is where we remove ego and act from a place of realizing that every action, thought, and spoken word has power over others, but also over us.
Every time I throw shade on someone, I’m throwing a little back on myself. Every time I worry about someone’s opinion of me, I hand them power over me. Every time I don’t live to fulfill my own happiness, I am telling myself that I don’t matter to anyone, especially me.
So, what I’m saying here is not to not do magick for yourself. Always do magick for yourself, and for others if you can.
But if you approach magick and spirituality with the mindset that the vast majority of the time, you do not need to be involved in whatever energetic bullshit is dragging other people down, and you don’t need to take things personally, and you do not have to let someone affect you if you don’t want them to, its like the best fucking energetic shield you can conjure.
Start asking this one question every time you feel yourself getting ready to react to someone or something: Is this really even about me? And is it my responsibility to do something about this?
I think you’ll find you free yourself of many energetic burdens and connections you’ve likely been carrying around for a while.