Being confronted with ego in witchcraft is interesting and you know what? The idea for me to talk about this actually comes from one of the first exercises in the first chapter of The Witch’s Path by Thorn Mooney. She talks about how when we are in our practice or we’ve been doing it for a while, we kind of get in a groove. Even if we end up in a rut or our practice kind of stagnates, we don’t tend to explore other options.
In the particular example that she uses in the exercise, she talks about how she really had a bias I guess, a negative connotation, to some different practices that are associated with the New Age movement. I think she even says at one point the word that she “harshly” used to describe those practices was stupid or dumb. I can relate to that and I want to talk about it because I want to have an honest conversation about what can happen when we’re confronted with our ego in our witchcraft practices.
Ego in Practice
So what do I mean when I say our ego gets in the way of our practice? Well, I mean those things that we have feelings toward that bother us or that we look down on. It’s okay. We all do it. No one is going to know that you’re thinking it except yourself. You just have to be honest with yourself. Being confronted with ego in my practice has been such a smack in the face. Sometimes there are different practices, tools, or methods that I have a reaction to, that I look down upon for a connotation that’s attached to that word or practice or whatever it is. Some things have a negative connotation for a reason — they’re problematic in one way or another and have valid criticisms. That’s not what I’m talking about.
Maybe there’s a practice that you don’t like but you’ve never given it a fair chance. Maybe you have a perceived notion of what it is or what it involves, but you’ve never actually done it yourself. For example, scrying. I don’t really scry. I haven’t actually given it a full chance. So when you’re confronted with a practice that you’re kind of “ehh” about, like scrying, you immediately think oh I’m not going to do that. That’s not for me. That’s dumb. That’s stupid or lame or whatever other negative descriptor word that you can use for a practice that you have feelings about. And as long as those feelings aren’t rooted in that practice being 100% problematic, then it might be your ego getting in the way of you exploring a new practice.
For me, this could be something like crystal healing. I have crystals. I think crystals are beautiful. They’re wonderful stones, pieces of the earth, but crystal healing makes me go “ehh”. Part of that negative connotation comes from the fact that what I have seen online doesn’t give me “positive vibes” when it comes to crystal healing because a lot of times people will say that certain crystals can heal things like cancer or mental illness and really. This really goes against the grain of our current scientific knowledge and understanding rather than flow with it. That’s not to say that crystals can’t be helpful, though, and if I let my ego get in the way of trying it out I’m never really gonna know.
Ego can Hurt your Growth
So when your ego gets in the way of your practice, you can really stunt your growth. You can really hinder the development of your magical practice or understanding of other practices and techniques simply because you have feelings about not trying them for one reason or another. If I had a negative connotation against scrying and I never tried it out, never wanted to scry and try using scrying as a divination technique, I’m limiting myself because if I never try I’ll never know if it works for me. What happens if I never try but it ends up being something that I could potentially be really good at and that could be really beneficial to my practice? Again I’ll never know because I’m limiting myself by not giving something a fair chance.
Now that’s not to say that everything that you set out to try is going to work for you. I could sit down to scry and do it every single day for 30 days straight and have absolutely no results. That’s okay. I can still walk away from an experience like that having learned something. I might learn that I suck at scrying and it’s just not for me, but at least I tried. At least I gave it a fair chance. Then moving forward, I can say oh yeah you scry? That’s great. I tried it. It wasn’t really for me but it’s wonderful that it works for you, and I can then take away the negative connotation from that particular practice because I gave it a fair chance.
Ego can Hurt your Relationships
Something else that can happen is you carry those negative connotations of those practices or tools and project them onto the people you meet. This could then lead to you have a negative feeling toward someone for no reason other than they practice a certain way or use a certain tool or method.
I have very negative connotations for the Law of Attraction because of my experience with how people have used it to victim-blame. That’s not to say that everyone that practices the Law of Attraction sees it that way. However, my experiences in Law of Attraction communities have given me that view. If I let my ego and my perceptions blind me to the experiences of others solely based on my own experience then I could end up projecting those negative feelings onto other people that practice the Law of Attraction through no fault of their own. I could meet someone who is fantastic. They’re a great person and they’re supportive and generous and kind and compassionate and empathetic, but as soon as I find out that they practice the Law of Attraction, then my perspective of that person can shift solely based on the fact that they told me they practice the Law of Attraction.
What can you do?
I guess the whole point of this is if you let your ego get in the way of your practice, if you let your perspectives that maybe have come from bad experiences get in the way of trying something that is not problematic on its own, then maybe try experimenting. Try small things first. If you’re kind of iffy about crystals, get a crystal. Try a crystal. See what happens! I mean the worst that’s gonna happen is it doesn’t do anything and you learn that it just doesn’t work for you.
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