I know I’m stepping on a lot of toes here. In the community it seems there’s a very stark divide between the love & light only-s and the take your power back and curse ’em-s.
However, just like everything else in the Universe, there isn’t just light and dark. It’s a spectrum. Some people are more light. Some people are more dark. Some of us fall square in the middle. Personally, I toe the line, as most shamans do.
Let me tell you a story from my own experience, and then you can make your own judgements (which I recommend that you do always, anyway.)
I’ve been really hurt before. I’ve certainly thought about letting my shadow self indulge herself and really give it to someone, numerous times. To have revenge. To teach someone a lesson. One day I snapped, and I let my shadow self take over.
A few years ago, there was an older woman who came into our business and just laid into me. How awful I was, how unprofessional I was, how I was doing everything wrong in her eyes. How I was apparently the sole reason for her ‘miserable’ experience. The experience? She took a class and didn’t like it. It was a kundalini class, so I get it – kundalini isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But it was her first try. I explained to her that I understood that trying a new class could be intimidating sometimes and that I was sorry that it didn’t work for her. I asked her what she wanted to do. At the time, she huffed off without saying anything and left. A few days went by and I forgot about it. Eventually an e-mail came in detailing how unprofessional I was for not offering her a free class after her ‘unpleasant’ experience. Mind you, she didn’t even pay for the kundalini class – she was already using a free pass that we had given her for another ‘bad’ experience. But now she expected another handout, and she was calling for me to be fired from my position? I was livid.
I saw her again a few days later, of course, to take another class. She made a snide comment when she walked in about how, “Hopefully this one isn’t another disappointment.” I faked a smile and waited for her to go into class. When the doors shut, I walked into the hallway, looked at her shoes, and whispered a hex.
Class ended, she left. An hour later, I was cleaning at the studio and had to get up onto the countertop (I’m short, so this is a normal occurrence.) I’ve done this thousands of times in my life, up and down. Well, I slipped and landed on my foot.
I was on crutches for a week with a severe foot sprain, and I never saw that woman again.
Sometimes the Universe comes and smacks you in the head. I got smacked that day. You should know better, was the message I received for the next few days. And I took my punishment with humility. I do know better. I gave in that day.
Some practitioners will try and teach you how to shield yourself after casting negative spells ‘in case it rebounds.’ Well, in my experience, it always rebounds. What’s the point of going through all the effort of casting and shielding and carrying the heavy energies when it very well could (and probably will) come back and bite you?
I’m human (mostly) and so I’m not going to beat myself up for having human emotions. Frustration, anger, hurt, pain. I used to wish the Universe would smack some people more often until I realized that they act the way they do because they’re getting smacked all the time.
They aren’t aware enough to realize that’s what’s happening, though. So they don’t change their behavior and keep getting the same results every single day. Eventually they’re led to believe that life is miserable so they have every right to act the way they do. We create our own experiences.
Even so, it doesn’t give anyone the right to harm, consciously or unconsciously. And it did really hurt me. It poked wounds and traumas that I was still in the process of healing. So instead of trying to cause harm back, I finally came to the understanding that she was suffering enough. I didn’t need to do any more. I did, however, need to develop better boundaries and protection practices.
How it didn’t occur to me then, I don’t know (perhaps because my judgement was clouded by frustration) but – my spiritual family are the Norse. Literally some of the most powerful, heavy duty deities out there. Did I not think that they would be protecting me? Watching me? Shielding me? Perhaps they knew it was something I needed to learn. My closest spirit guide was also not around that day to talk me out of it (but of course said later, ‘Well, I’m sorry your foot is hurt but…now you know.’)
It’s been a few years since that day. I’ve grown a lot, my energetic ties to my family are stronger, and my practice has evolved. I have better boundaries and a stronger shield, which mirrors and repels anything thrown at me. I don’t need to come down on anyone – that’s not my job, and way too massive for me, anyways. When I feel that I’ve been wronged in some way, I have a practice for that now, too. I go to Tyr.
Tyr is a formidable figure in my Norse family, and his realm of expertise is justice. I go to him (in journey or meditation) and tell him what happened, as objectively as I can. Tyr is extremely wise, so he will consider all that I’ve said before he speaks. And he tells me what he sees.
Sometimes I am given an assignment on how to rectify the situation within myself (a.k.a shadow work,) because if I had done the work, the situation may not have arisen at all. I don’t get down on myself – sometimes it’s really hard to see what’s in your sub/unconscious, and you don’t even know it’s there. That’s what spirit guides and deity connections are for. So they can help you see and evolve.
There have been times though where there was nothing I could have done, and I had truly been wronged. Tyr has carried out what he believes to be a proper sentence on my behalf, and I have seen it happen right before my eyes. My lesson was to learn to trust my family and to let them handle it. As a bonus, they have helped me see where I needed to do my own work in a supportive way.
At the end of it, I want to offer you this: think before you react. Take a pause. Is there a way you can protect yourself better? Is there someone you can go to to ask for assistance (deity, guide, entity, or otherwise?) Is it necessary?
We’re all here to learn. Some people have a harder time than others.