To be a witch is a radical thing.
To be a witch is to declare yourself a true bad ass. To own yourself as a witch and delve into witchcraft requires you to show up boldly in this crazy world. It requires you to show up 100 percent as you are and where you are at. To be a witch is to embark on the journey of the soul.
Witchcraft is akin to soul-making: both are a lifelong journey to answer the deep call of ours heart and soul. Both soul-making and witchcraft require a powerful type of honesty—a willingness to fully accept who you are.
Chöd is the radical Tibetan Buddhist practice of marrying our subconscious and conscious minds together. It is the union of our waking self (the thoughts, goals, and beliefs in our day-to-day life) and shadow self (the deeply hidden, taboo, and dark stories and beliefs).
What makes Chöd so radical and necessary for witchcraft you ask? Let us dive deep into the “dark night of the soul” to find out:
1. Chöd illuminates our self-sabotage.
When we start to dive deep into the black waters of our subconscious mind, we begin to uncover rather unsavory aspects of our personality. It is these aspects that are deemed bad or taboo by society, family, and, ultimately, ourselves. It is these taboo aspects of our mind that actually hold the key to incredibly powerful witchcraft and magic making.
Much of what we believe ourselves to be is actually what we have been told by a misguided world of people. They are ideas given to us by others, all the way back to childhood. These ideas are like insidious seeds that take root and hold on to us all throughout our lives. They are ideas about ourselves that were implanted by a family member, a friend, or even a forgettable classmate or neighbour. These ideas grow to become part of our core stories of who we think we have to be. They are ideas that have been with us for so long, we begin to believe and take action to further prove and reinforce these core stories as being true.
I am unlovable. I am bad. I am a failure. These are common core stories that most beautiful humans walk around with every day. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of carrying these toxic and false concepts. After all, it is the wheel of karma in action. We know not what we do.
What the practice of Chöd does is shine light on these false ideas and stories. It allows the truth to be seen for what it is. We learn to be able to see cause and effect with clarity. We are able to see who we are not. Think of practicing Chöd as the illumination and disintegration of large spiritual blockages you have been carrying around for years, possibly decades. By dissolving these previously held stories, you are making spiritual space for more magic!
2. Chöd turns our demons into allies.
A very curious thing happens when we accept and own the darker aspects of ourselves. The newly illuminated nasty parts start to become our greatest teachers.
In Tantric Buddhism, this is called “inviting Mara to tea.” Mara is considered the embodiment of illusions, falsities, and the general trance-state of our reality. Instead of preparing for battle against our demons, we invite them to tea. When we readily accept and listen to these demons, we realize they have a wallop of insight to teach. What was once an ogre is now an ally. What was once an enemy is now a friend and tremendous guru.
3. Chöd streamlines this new abundance of energy into serious magic making.
Energy is inherently neutral and has infinite potential. This also applies to the internal energy we have stored away in our psyche. The energy that was once used to perpetuate our core stories of I am who they say I am is now free and jumping at the chance to serve you. We have essentially leveled up in our magic making potential through serious psychic investigation.
All the energy we subconsciously put into sabotaging ourselves is now latent and waiting to manifest our soul’s true desires. It is ready to be harnessed into amazing and beautiful spell making. It has been waiting for you to finally realize the incredibly powerful witch you have been all along.
The practice of Chöd is not convenient. It is not something to be finished over a rainy afternoon. It is an ongoing process that is uncomfortable and, at times, painful.
In my opinion, practicing Chöd is the prelude to the art of spellcraft and witchery. It shows that we are all completely sacred and have infinite potential. It allows us to see the the lies the ego has told us, and it allows us to take charge of our life and fate.
What a wonderful and radical thing it is to be a witch.
Author: Noël Smith-Sparrow
Image: Author’s Own
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman