remove your ego from your practice and become a better witch

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…

and

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.

9 magickal alphabets

I love linguistics and the way language morphs and changes over time as peoples carry it from one location to another, mixing and adding new words and ideas.

We can see a little of this in alphabets and how they share commonalities, but also in how they differ.

And alphabets that are commonly used for magick or occult practices share some of those same characteristics, especially those that once (or still) functioned as linguistic alphabets, such as Greek, Hebrew, and Runes.

So here’s a quick run down (in no particular order) of what alternative alphabets are out there that you might encounter in your occult or witchcraft studies or practices:

Hieroglyphs

This is arguably one of the oldest alphabets or systems of writing documented that has been used in spiritual, occult, or magickal writing, dating back to at least 4000 B.C.E. Hieroglyphs were the formal and intricate writing system used by the Ancient Egyptians until sometime around 600 C.E., at which point all traces of Pagan spiritual or religious writings and references were abolished, banned, or suppressed in that region, and they were essentially lost until later in the 1800s when discovered by archaeologists.

Ogham

The origins of ogham (also can be spelled ogam) are unknown, but it appeared in the Celtic world first on stone markers such as memorials, burial stones, and stones at crossroads. It is a script based on trees in the Celtic world and each of the original 20 symbols represents a letter or sound, but also a type of tree. Ogham can also be used as a divinatory method, similar to Runes.

Ogham is often referred to as the ‘oracle of the trees’ and as an artistic script its quite beautiful. Legend tells of its creation by Ogma, the Celtic god, and one of the legendary Tuatha De Danaan. Part of the divinatory element of the ogham symbols is knowing what characteristics and correspondences are possessed by each tree, but also the folklore associated with that tree. Ogham, when read as divinatory symbols, can be read upright or reversed, similar to other systems like Runes or cartomancy.

For instance, Ailm represents the pine or fir tree, which is a tree of ecstasy and elation. This is a symbol of letting joy and elation lead you through an experience. Adopt a sense of wonder, as you’ll be struck by many realizations. The pine varieties are all evergreen, bringing their color to even the coldest winters. They pre-date most other trees in the Celtic region, as they are part of an ancient group of conifers. Pines are revered as protectors, mystical, enduring, and even terrifying in their size and breadth.

Hebrew

Long used by occultists due to its use in some of the earliest writings in mysticism, such as the Qabbalah, Hebrew has even earlier origins dating to possibly even before the 10th century B.C.E. Those forms of Early Hebrew vary significantly from what became the more commonly used Hebrew script around the first or second century C.E. Modern Hebrew alphabet was influenced on the Early Hebrew alphabet, but is more closely connected to Aramaic, which it eventually replaced as a dominant form of writing.

Hebrew is a worthwhile alphabet system to learn and understand if you follow Qabbalistic writings or practices, as well as if you want to be able to read some of the original Judeo-Christian writings and not rely on the (heavily mistranslated) Christian bible. It also comes in handy when working with any of the deities, angels, or demons which have Solomonic seals or sigils.

Greek

The Greek alphabet, originally derived from the Phoenician alphabet, has been around since about as long as the Hebrew alphabet, dating to around the 9th century B.C.E. Greek differs from all other ancient alphabets due to its inclusion of letters representing vowel sounds, which none of the other older alphabets did.

Greek also spawned Latin, which is the alphabet used by most Western societies, or those who speak/write any language based on any of the Indo-European languages such as English, French, Spanish, German, and Gaelic. Greek was also the first alphabet to denote upper- and lower-case letters.

Prior to the Roman conquest of most of Europe and part of the British Isles, Greek was the dominant alphabet used to write pretty much everything, but especially religious texts. There are original versions of the Hebrew texts and what would eventually become the New Testament books of the Bible written in Greek, as well as many other mystical writings, especially concerning the Greek and Egyptian pantheons of deities. If you want to be able to read these in their original context, Greek may be worth your while to learn.

Runic

Runes date back to ancient Germanic tribes and practices, estimated to appear around the 1st century B.C.E. and lasting for another 800-1000 years until the Latinization of language occurred across the region as Rome gradually conquered peoples and converted their linguistic and spiritual practices to those of the Romans.

The type of runes most commonly used today for divination is the Elder Futhark runes, however, at various points in history, multiple runic alphabets existed due to a lack of homogeneity among the broad lands covered by Germanic tribes and peoples. Other runes systems that were common were the Anglo-Saxon (Futhorc) and the Younger Futhark varieties. There are still some traditions that use those other two runes systems for divination.

Similar to the Ogham script, each rune represents a letter or sound, but also represents a spirit of a concept. They can be read upright or reversed, and even the way that you can read the bones, position of where they land when throwing them lends further interpretation.

Astrological and Planetary Symbols

I bet you didn’t immediately consider that the astrological and planetary symbols are an alphabet unto themselves, but they are! Think about how many people’s IG profile reads something like this: ♋︎☀︎♏︎☽♋︎⇑♑︎⇓ ? Well, I basically just described myself in detail for you with a set of symbols.

The astrological and planetary symbols used in the western astrological system date back to codices in the Byzantine period. These were symbols assigned to represent celestial planets (which includes the Sun and Moon, even though from an astronomy perspective stars and moons are distinctly different from the label ‘planet’).

The system we use today was solidified in Greece sometime before or just at the beginning of the Renaissance period. These were, and still are, commonly used to note the positions of the planets upon the zodiac at specific time points relating to a notable event or during a particular ritual or magickal working. Many old grimoires and Book of Shadows will have these notations letting the reader know under what astrological conditions something occurred, in case one wanted to correlate specific occurrences or outcomes to that.

Angelic/Celestial

This alphabet was created by H. Cornelius Agrippa, specifically for occult use. He based the Celestial alphabet on the Hebrew and Greek alphabets, hence why it may look familiar to you, even if you’ve never read it before.

Agrippa used this alphabet primarily to communicate with angels and higher beings, an application that is still in use today. Another element that may seem familiar to you is that the symbols are based on star constellation patterns.

Theban/Honorian

The Theban alphabet is also attributed to Agrippa, even though there is no documentation definitively proving its origins or creator. It was used mostly by occultists and witches to disguise the content in their Book of Shadows or grimoires before it was safe to be publicly ‘out’ about being an occult practitioner.

Theban is still commonly used by many occultists and witches today, even though there is less need to hide these aspects of our lives in the Western world, many of us still face prejudice and bias in our communities or families who are not open-minded or do not share our beliefs or an open tolerance for beliefs that differ from their own.

Theban script is still taught in many Wicca 101 type of books for that reason, as many witches still use it, having learned it as a new witch a long time ago, and, therefore, you may encounter a mentor or teacher who wants you to learn it simply because its something they use to communicate.

Enochian

Enochian script or alphabet was created or recorded by John Dee and Edward Kelley. They allegedly wrote it and recorded it from visions and work in which they invoked or commanded spirits. It is important to note that it is not derived or written by the same source as the famous biblical text the Book of Enoch, but it is related in that Dee and Kelley developed the script in order to uncover the secrets they felt the Book of Enoch was hiding from all but the most astute readers.

John Dee’s journals stated that the Enochian alphabet and script was the language God created for man to speak with God, and also which was used to create the world and all of its inhabitants and contents. Enochian waas later discovered and began to be used in the late 19th century by members of the Golden Dawn.

There are lots of other alphabets that have been used in magickal or occult practice at various points, so this list is not completely exhaustive, but the ones I left out are more obscure and used by a more limited number of people, and, therefore, not as likely to be encountered frequently by occult practitioners in the modern era.

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