What You Need to Know if you Work With People - Teachers, Witches, Healers - A Cautionary Tale

There is something I see that is quite common in the alternative spirituality world. No matter the path - Yogic, Tantric, Witchy, What-Have-You - and it is this: some folks are more connected to - let's call it Source Energies - than others. The ones who seem to be more deeply connected to these energies tend to have access to what appears to be power or wisdom or healing or art in a way that is, let's say, thrilling. What I see is that very often the person who has access to these energies often does not realize that others who use the same language and get the same widening of their pupils are not, in fact, experiencing this energy directly. (Or, conversely, they imagine they are the only ones who swim in such depths) What I mean by directly is that they are not in intimate relationship with it. Not in a constant, lived way. Rather, they dip in and out or have an intellectual knowing so mind-blowing as to appear embodied and real when it is not. I do not mean to imply there is no actual connection. I mean in terms of depth and frequency and, perhaps we might say, mysticism, and we might also say, crucially, obligation. Some of us are, for lack of a better word, possessed by the deeper forces of life. Our identities, our paths, our thinking, and our bodies informed, led, fed, even dictated, by these energies. While it may sound desirable or romantic on the outside, I can assure you it comes with its own challenges. But that is a story for another time.

When the person deeply connected with, or swimming in, these deeper energies encounters people who are not, in fact, as deeply connected or possessed, a number of strange things can happen that rarely have a good outcome. And this is what I want to address. First, the person swimming in these energies often lacks discernment and/or integrity. Discernment to be able to tell who is, and who is not, actually in these deeper energies as well. This means they can form expectations or make assumptions that can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feeling, heart-break, or worse. And integrity to not take advantage of others. Another thing that happens is that the person who is not possessed by these energies will often experience the person who is as a power-source of some kind and tie themselves to them and fixate on them or feed off of them, a kind of depth-by-proximity. Instead of going inward and cultivating what must be cultivated, they simply rope themselves to the person who is a kind of doorway to the Unseen and live in that, convinced they are somewhere they are usually not or something they are not (yet). Let's start by looking at the first instance I gave. For the person swimming in these energies and lacking discernment, they have often not made a distinction between themselves and the energy they are connected to and so are blurred with it to a degree that they cannot tell when someone else is responding to them or the energies they are connected to. Things get messy. And when you are connected to these deeper energies and think someone else is, you might expect that energy to inform them and guide them as it does you, to deeper states of love or connection or bliss or whatever it may be. And you may expect this without having necessary conversation and pacing that allows for the reality of humanness and the interference of the outside world. For those who lack integrity, and this can include unaddressed wounds that drive behaviors, the way one is viewed when they are connected to these energies is often in an elevated, hierarchical, power-framework that can feel, let's call it...good. In this instance the person with the integrity issue (who is the same person who appears deeply connected) preys upon others and everyone falls into a power-trip of cult-like proportions.

In the second instance, where the person who is not possessed by these energies will often experience the person who is as a power-source of some kind and tie themselves to them and fixate on them or feed off of them, the person doing the fixating will often begin to mimic the other person and think they have achieved something they have not, locking themselves in a kind of mind-fuck they do not know they are in. And if the person they are fixated on lacks discernment or integrity, they will participate in this, thinking the other person is experiencing something they are likely not experiencing. In this way, the person not more deeply connected gets affirmed that they are profoundly connected and continues to focus outwardly and does not go inward where the real connection, and the real work to cultivate deeper connection, takes place. This keeps many folks from finding their own way and it's a huge disservice to them. (It also means the person getting fed upon will also get drained - or used, as the case may be - which is a sacrilege to the innocence that often accompanies the deeper connection and is quite harmful to one's spirit.) The common denominator in all of this is that people want relationship. Or, more accurately, people want to feel seen and maybe loved/important and not alone. This gets whirred into the space we call "magic" or "sacred" and that space gets messy. Which happens. But if you lack discernment or integrity, then you will continue to feed the mess and the Sacred gets colored over. Figure out what you serve right now. Is it the Sacred or is it your own personal healing/fulfillment? It is likely you serve both, but one is prioritized - figure that out for yourself and have the integrity to move forward with this awareness so you are clear with yourself and others. If your priority, not intellectually, but as indicated by your actions, is your own healing/fulfillment, be honest with that and do not deceive yourself or others but seek what you need for yourself in a more clear, less messy way. It's okay to need healing even as you are taken by deeper energies. There is wisdom and maturity in being honest and being where you really are as a human. Also, please have the humility to know that greater forces than we can understand are always at play. We can never know why connections are being made, but we can hold space for curiosity - the kind of space that prevents us from prematurely naming something, only to later find out it is something else entirely. Especially if you are in service to the Sacred or an agent of it in some way, this particular kind of humility is crucial. A huge part of this path that many folks will encounter is the the need to grow big enough to hold paradox. This includes the paradox of both your sacredness and your conditioning/wounds. In a physical body we generally can only attend to one thing at a time, even as many things may be in play at once. This means being very mindful of what is present in any moment and meeting it as it is, as best you can. We do this by not looking through lenses that color what we see. Until you can do this, and do this well, slow down. Give yourself the time you might need to become the person who can skillfully hold the energies that have a hold of you. A final note: None of this is clearly delineated. Life is an ever-unfolding roil and it is not neat or tidy. The things I speak to here will be untidy. Including one's awareness of them. The words are to give language and framework for awareness and action. The words are not to imply that things are clearly demarcated and easily discerned or addressed. Skillfulness and capacity are what's needed and those must be cultivated in a space of deep compassion and accountability with space given for one's own learning and limitations and sacredness. That we are both small and mighty is in no way an easy occurrence.

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