The Witch Within Us

shallow-focus-photo-of-woman-with-face-art-3163994_Photo by Paul Kerby Genil
Photo by Paul Kerby Genil

There is no animal more invincible than a woman, nor fire either, or any wildcat so ruthless. (Aristophanes)


The truth is, witches still exist. They never ceased to exist.

Men have tried by every means to destroy them, but they’ve never succeeded and never will, because the witch-woman is a fundamental element of this planet, like air and water.

Who are the witches? We can consider them in a folkloristic or childish sense as monstrous, grotesque and evil beings. Still, in reality, witches are women who cannot and do not want to conform to specific models imposed by society, if these constraints go against their deepest instincts.

The Woman And The Fire

woman-holds-lighted-sparkler-3135232_Photo by Rahul Pandit
Photo by Rahul Pandit

Originally there were matriarchal societies, the first divinities were statues of prosperous female figures, representing the concepts of life, abundance, birth and inner power. Fire, an element worshipped since ancient times, was often guarded and kept alive by women.

In Ancient Greece, there was a goddess who is now almost totally forgotten: Hestia (Vesta for the Romans). Hestia is the guardian of the fire, the accomplished woman who perceives her body as a temple and gives herself entirely. She is the shelter from darkness, protector of the hearth, and keeper of the secrets of fire. Her sexuality is free and selfless because she can light the fire; she doesn’t need a man to do it. Her symbol is the circle, which is a complete element, in the middle of which she welcomes other people to warm and comfort them.

Hestia ‘s flame never dies. It is the mystical fire from which all stories are born, Hestia is also the goddess of the stories around the hearth; the goddess of secret traditions, initiatory tales and ancient wisdom. This goddess is mysterious and forgotten, but in reality, her voice is always inside every woman, her warmth is what drives us not to fear anything, to endure pain, loneliness, and teaches us the art of love.

Hestia, like other powerful female divinities, has been forgotten because the destructive action of patriarchal society has imposed a strict and radical code of conduct. The concepts of giving, of listening, of universal love, have been replaced by war, conquests, ambition and passion for temporal power.

Over the centuries, patriarchal society has continuously tried to repress women and has relegated them to two rigid and opposing stereotypes: the angelic image of the mother (see the Virgin Mary), and the distorted image of the witch.

Such a sharp division of female identity has caused the cultural loss of women’s power and spirituality.

Witch Hunt

bonfire-burning-campfire-fire-270815
Photo by Pixabay

In Europe alone, as a result of Inquisition trials, there were nine million witches killed between 1500 and 1800; and there were witch trials also elsewhere, just remember the witches of Salem in what is now the United States or Joan of Arc in England.

The accusation of sorcery and heresy was addressed to those women who did not conform to the models imposed by society, and in particular, to the healers: in fact, only men could practise medicine.

The witches’ curse, therefore, lay in the knowledge. Witches were herbalists, midwives and body healers; they were free spirits, confident and fed by the flame of Hestia; they did not accept to be relegated to the submissive figure of being weak and silent. Witches spoke loudly or whispered true, and therefore, frightening words. All these are subversive elements of society.

The followers of sorcery have never worshipped the devil (not even today!). Satan is a figure created by the first Jewish and Christian sects and destined to debate with God about ethics and morals, to distinguish good from evil conceptually.

The witch-woman embodies the nature and the original power of the woman. Ann Belford Ulanov, Professor of Psychiatry and Religion, defines the woman as “the witch bursting with energy”, in a spasmodic search for the meaning of life.

The witch’s primary impulse is to be herself, to express herself freely and without limits, to seek the flame within herself and finally bring it to the surface.

Are You A Witch?

I am, or better, I am desperately trying to bring out the witch inside me, so long dormant and buried by years of conforming convictions that I thought were right. I diligently followed a path that had been traced for me, and in the end, also by myself, because for so long, I considered it appropriate, necessary. As a kid, I was really convinced that I was a witch; still, that sense of rebellion and life-force died out in years of work (not particularly loved) and due to the daily difficulties: children, duties, bills, responsibilities. Only recently, the goddess Hestia whispered in my ears to wake me up; she called me to feed the flame and recognize my inner strength.

Do you think I’m crazy? I’m not. After all, who are the witches?

  • They are independent women who love the freedom of expression and whose capacity for introspection is surprising, often frightening.
  • The witch-woman loves animals and especially cats, from which she draws energy, connection with deep instincts and relaxation. The cat has always been considered a sacred animal (see the Ancient Egyptians) because it is magical: it can be a bridge between this dimension and the world of the spirits.
  • The witch-woman loves the woods, gardens, flowers and plants. She feels good in the green because it’s part of her soul.
  • The witch-woman loves rainbows, but also rain, storms and thunderstorms: all the intense manifestations of mother earth that help connection and communication.
  • The witch-woman needs moments of solitude and silence and meditation to recharge and connect.
  • The witch-woman has a troubled emotional life, marked by pain, depression, sadness but also by the constant search for balance and self-awareness, which will eventually lead her to wisdom.
  • The witch-woman thinks with her head, and she will clash against the rules, the patriarchal society, the impositions.
  • The witch-woman lives on empathy, compassion and sharing. She talks and knows how to listen; she cries, despairs and laughs again, always reborn and renewed.
  • Witches are women on the path to constant evolution.

Sorcery is one of the oldest natural religions and represents a real lifestyle.

If we learn to feed the goddess Hestia who lives as an archetype within each one of us, we will achieve a profound inner balance. Hestia is the goddess of silence and light. Her voice can be heard in the crackling of the fire, and if we enter her magic circle, we can increase our inner strength. If we learn to free the woman-witch within us, we will be able to embark on our journey towards what we want to achieve, with determination.

We need to devote time to our inner fire. Let’s not let our temple become cold and desolate. Let’s melt the trapped emotions with our flame and let them flow, and with them, let us get rid of constraints and limiting thoughts.

On my path towards evolution and self-improvement, I decided to free myself from the shackles of a job I didn’t like and forced me to trade my time for money. I chose to work for myself and build my new career, using one of the most powerful means we have at our disposal: the Internet.

If you also want to reinvent yourself and try to be free and self-confident, register here to get the FREE Workshop. We will teach you step-by-step how to start your online business. Anything is possible if you decide to do it.

Women must always remember who they are and what they can do. They should not be afraid to cross the endless fields of irrationality, nor should they be afraid to hang on the stars at night, leaning against the balcony of the sky. They must not be scared of the darkness that sinks things, because that darkness frees a multitude of treasures. That darkness which they, free and proud, know as no man will ever know. (Virginia Woolf)

Women Most Powerful Weapon Is Inner Energy

Mother Earth. Image by @bktheartist Instagram
Mother Earth. Image by @bktheartist Instagram

“The healthy woman looks a lot like the wolf: vigorous, full of energy, great life force, capable of giving life, ready to defend the territory, inventive, loyal, wandering. Yet the separation from the wild nature makes the woman’s personality poor, thin, pale, ghostly.” —CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS

In recent centuries, women have believed that their role is passive by nature and men deserve a more active role. A woman is made to love, to feed, to heal, to cradle, to listen. Isn’t that right?

There is a truth that they have hidden from us (or have we forgotten it?): the woman is made to protect and defend, like the wolf, precisely, or the lioness, or the bear.

When a lioness wants to defend her cubs, she doesn’t do it passively. She attacks the predator without fear and with all her energy, no matter if the predator is a group of hyenas or the male lion itself.

We have long forgotten what the true nature of woman is. We must seek knowledge and inspiration in the past, in ancient matriarchal societies. And you know? There are some even in our times.

Ancient matriarchal societies

In our remote past, God was female. Throughout the Paleolithic, the primary divinity was female: In Europe and Asia, anthropologists found the so-called Venuses, abundant and pregnant women, symbols of regeneration and nourishment. The first sculpture of a goddess dates back 35,000 years; it is a pendant of ivory of mammoth, found in the cave of Hohle Fels, Germany. The figurine represents a fat woman with oversized breasts, large buttocks and an accentuated vulva.

In Neolithic times, and during the megalithic civilisations, again the chief divinity was female. Obese female deities were found among the Megaliths of Malta, where a civilisation built temples using large blocks of stone, in the 4th millennium BC. The megalithic settlements had no fortifications, a sign that the war was almost unknown. And they are not only found in Malta but also in today’s Great Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Central and Eastern Europe. Therefore, in old Europe, and not only that, there was a great civilisation before the Sumerians and the Greeks. A civilisation of women, equal, peaceful, who believed in a mother goddess.

The historian Johann Jacob Bachofen (1815-1887) assumed the past of humanity was matriarchal. He claimed that some Greek myths, for example, the Amazons or the story of Medusa, were not the result of psychological problems with the opposite sex, but the memory of real social conflicts, which then led to patriarchy (i.e. the domination of the male over the female). Bachofen believed that patriarchal society won when men took possession of the spiritual power reserved for women.

Dozens of ethnicities are still matriarchal today. For example, the Mosuo of Chinese Yunnan, the Bemba and Lapula of the forests of Central Africa, the Cuna Indians “isolated” off the coast of Panama, the Trobriandesi of Melanesia. And especially the Minangkabau of Sumatra, about 4 million people who still live today basing their society around the values of care and the needs of the community. The core of their organisation is life, not power.

How to recover this now forgotten ancestral bond?

Mother Nature-Canada Picture by Alamy
Mother Nature -Canada Picture by Alamy

We must retrieve the warrior within us. If we allow ourselves to meet the inner ego, to understand who we are, to harmonise the forces within us (male and female, active and passive), then we will respect our nature, and we will be able to live more authentic relationships.

We must dig within ourselves and understand, reveal, bring it to the surface. It is a complicated, painful, but powerful introspective work. Eventually, it will not only benefit ourselves: by rebalancing ourselves we induce men and society as a whole to do the same. In every woman, there is a warrior, and her most potent weapon is her inner energy. Let’s learn how to get it out.

La profezia della Curandera”, by H. H. Mamani is a book that I read recently and that helps to understand and exploit this energy.

“A woman’s most powerful weapon is the inner energy that protects her and everyone she loves,” continued Mama Maru. “It is for this reason that you will have to learn to enter your inner world: only when you discover your true essence, you can use all your inner energy. You are strong and endowed with a lot of energy, which is why you belong to the group of women who can move the world. And yet you have a limit: you don’t know yourself yet, and as a result, you don’t accept yourself.” (H. H. Mamani)

The power of women is to respect and protect life while maintaining harmony between humankind and nature. The path to recovering this truth is complicated, but we can start by following seven teachings from “The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power”, by Vicki Noble.

1. Respect your body and yourself

The soul is directly connected to the body and communicates through it. When we pollute and poison the body with chemicals and lousy food, or with negative images, or distorted ideas of women, we lose contact with the soul and get trapped in the physical cage of our body. A healthy body is naturally beautiful. At all ages. And it is our best ally in the search for the divine.

2. Challenges are the transformative path to rebirth

In life, we all go through some transformative experiences; often, these episodes are unpleasant or fearful. For example, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job or an illness. If we let go, we change. This is transformation. It means living as conscious actors and not as spectator-victims of events.

3. The power flows through your hands

“All artists experience, to some extent, contact with the realm of the invisible during the process of artistic creation, and call it muse or inspiration.” Let’s learn to create: a song, a drawing, a dress, a cake, a blog post, a dance; the important thing is to follow the inspiration. It is an intuitive, authentic creative process that nourishes the Warrior Woman, the Woman-Wolf that is within us and that demands our attention with a loud voice.

4. Free your sexual energies from dogma

One of the main characteristics of the ancient female figurines found in archaeology is the evidence of their sexuality, which assumes it was both sacred and actively expressed. In modern society, women are defined primarily as sexual objects and/or reproductive machine; therefore, any process to transform a woman into a subject (not an object) questions her sexual role. Let’s get rid of stereotypes.

5. Intuition and instinct are parts of you: get to know them

Not listening to our intuition is a serious mistake: our instinct allows us to avoid dangerous situations and deceptive people and, above all, it guides us to find our way, to understand who we are and what “labels” do not belong to us.

6. Know the mysteries of the menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is ‘sacred’, not sinful. To awaken our feminine power, we need to regain contact with our menstrual cycle, know the mystery of the synchronicity between woman and Moon and the power of the tides and nature. Let’s not ignore it, let’s not hide it, let’s not blame malaise or irritability on crazy hormones. If we listen to our body, we will discover many surprising facts.

7. Responsibility, awareness and action as key points

We need to get in touch with our essence, our inner depth and our ability to act effectively in the world. The world will never be balanced until women can rediscover themselves, respect their nature, express themselves and take actions with freedom and awareness. Let’s take actions.

To free ourselves from the stereotypes and cages imposed by society, we have to learn, improve and release our creativity. To be very practical, today, the digital economy offers us the opportunity to express ourselves following (or finding) our passion.
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
La profezia della Curandera, by H. H. Mamani
The Double Goddess: Women Sharing Power, by Vicki Noble