Reclaiming ourselves: Cutting The Cords That Hold Us Back
‘‘I was told many years ago by my grandmother who raised me: If somebody puts you on a road and you don’t feel comfortable on it and you look ahead and you don’t like the destination and you look behind and you don’t want to return to that place, step off the road.’’
On Monday just passed it was the full moon, or the Wolf moon, call it what you will. What made this one special though, was the lunar eclipse that would occur at the same time. Many a pagan and witch took to their social media to talk about the energies of this event and what auspicious tidings it would bring, but here in the middle of England, the weather was typically British. The sky was heavy with clouds so thick not even a glimmer of the moons silver light could be glimpsed. Typical.
Two days later, as I drove my son to his grans, we glimpsed through the tree line a bright, heavy moon, hanging low in the sky, swollen and bright orange in colour. After I dropped my son off, I stopped the car at the side of the road and found myself taking the track past the new housing estate and through the woods until I came to my place.
Sometimes I come here with my sister, but it’s been a while since we were last here. Since I was last here. It’s easy, all too easy to get caught up in other stuff. It’s easy to leave behind what’s really important. What’s real. And so I spent some time in the woods alone, with only the strange light from the orange moon to guide my way. I’ve written about being out in the woods at night before, and there is something about being beneath the boughs after night fall that makes us realise the truth of ourselves.
And in the woods that night, I was reminded of myself.
Since then I have started to cut away those things that no longer serve me, that instead work against me, make me doubt myself, make me forget myself.
This is the first step in freeing ourselves, in reclaiming ourselves. Or perhaps it is the last, sometimes it’s hard to tell. Perhaps it is a process, one that starts so small that we do not always realise, or maybe each step in reclaiming ourselves, the food, the medicine, the self defence, maybe it’s all a part of the cord cutting. Either way, freeing ourselves from those things that hold us back, that keep us down is a vital step in the reclaiming process.
Reclaiming Our Spiritual Practises
For me, witchcraft is spiritual and practical, though I know not everyone sees it that way, and for the record, it’s all good. But all too often, people want to tell others what they can and cannot practise. There’s always some debate or argument and nearly all of the time, especially on social media, the folks doing the arguing aren’t really that far removed from one another.
Cultural appropriation is a thing, but all too often it’s thrown as a weapon, even against others who share a heritage. I’ve been accused of it before, as if my own relatives and ancestors haven’t been exploited by the very same systems that others have. As if my ancestors were not stolen from their homelands. As if on my mothers side,those poor white men and women didn’t have hard, bitter lives. They too were oppressed and brutalised. Not in the same way as on my fathers side, but for any individual experiencing pain and abuse and suffering, it can feel like the world is crushing you.
People are pitched against one another instead of uniting against that which oppresses us all.
It is time to cut away all of those things that no longer serve our spiritual practises and traditions; all of the misinformation, the arguments and debates, the fake-lore and opinion. Get rid of it all. Take your spirituality right back to basics, to its very core. To it’s truth. Your truth. Find your way back to nature, to the earth. To the land and the spirits that reside there, no matter where that may be. Embrace the genius loci of where you are right now, of the land you inhabit right now. Get to know those spirits who inhabit the same space as you. It doesn’t matter if your ancestors hailed from that particular patch of land but rather that you are there now. Connect with the real of where you are, but never forget those who came before. You can honour them all, without disrespect to any of them.
Taking Control Of The Mundane
This is easier said than done. Capitalism does not want us to reclaim ourselves, for doing so would lessen our dependence on it and thus the control it has over us. Taking control over the mundane, the everyday, even in the smallest of ways is a way of reclaiming ourselves.
If you work in a shitty soul destroying job that doesn’t pay enough to live on, then do something to change that. I know it’s easier said than done. I know from experience, but the real truth, the hard truth is that nobody will change it for you. Of course for many, changing jobs just means swapping one dire situation for another. But still, we must try, for what else is there?
I recently left a job of ten years for another, a complete change in fact. And it was fine at first, but it isn’t for me. Next week I start anew elsewhere, and again a total change. Who knows what will happen, but you don’t know if you don’t try, right? The point I’m trying to make I suppose, is that you must decide for yourself the best course of action for you to take at that particular time. But also remember that any change must come from you. My partner calls me a pessimist but I argue that life has taught me to be a realist and as such, not to rely to heavily on others, to become more self sufficient.
Then there’s the people in your life. Do not be afraid to cut away those who hold you back or drag you down. Get rid of those shitty people who make you feel less than you are. You don’t have to put up with it. It’s okay to distance yourself from the drama. Putting up with it is a waste of your energy, time and effort and keeps you focused on issues that aren’t important. Sometimes you don’t notice just how toxic a person or situation is until you are away from them.
Cutting cords is about beginning to taking back control. Though the measures described herein may seem small and insignificant, that is where we must begin. With ourselves. And with those things we already have control over, though we may have forgotten we do so.
Cutting the dead weight away will not be easy. Some parts will be harder than others and courage will be needed. And like most things, the more you exercise that courage, the more it will grow, so take heart if you think you only have a little courage. It is like fire, the more you feed it, the brighter and bolder it will become.
Resist and reclaim beautifully folks!
‘‘One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.’’
My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magic, of course!You can follow Emma on Facebook.