An Introduction To Eclectic Witchcraft
I am Fiona Duncan--Witch, Teacher and Creatrix of the Magickal Path. I love billowing cauldrons, deep-forest walks and my ridiculously huge collection of magickal botanicals.
I created this school because what I really love most is empowering people to find their magick and transform their lives.
Principles & Practices to Guide the New Witch
by Fiona Duncan, 3/17/20
Today the Spirit of Blackbird came to me while immersed in my energy-aligning grounding practice. I desperately needed to reengage my highly distracted witchy senses after a week of increasing fear, spurred on by the arrival of the dreaded COVID-19 virus in my local area.
Perched in a giant oak tree in my yard, I saw three blackbirds sitting upon some branches across the backdrop of an overcast morning sky. There they sat, motionless, for an unusually long time, and even while I ran into the house to grab my phone so I could photograph them. They never flinched!
This caught my attention because birds of all types are usually pretty active creatures, even when just resting in a tree. I knew this was an omen—it was a message from Spirit…
At first I thought this sighting was a bit unsettling. After all, Blackbird and its cousins, Crow and Raven, have been long-touted as harbingers of death. But as a Witch I knew better, understanding that death does not have to be literal, and can take on many forms, including change.
This unusual sighting deeply resonated with me because the energies associated with Blackbird include all the things I hold dear, or that are an intrinsic part of my being: home, family, guidance, awareness, magick, safety, transformation, the occult, and mysteries. I believe Witches all generally hold these same values, and is likely why Blackbird, Raven and Crow are sacred to us, and are part of our pop-culture iconography.
Further, because these otherworldly messengers appeared to me in a group of 3, I knew this was a timely message from Spirit: the spiritual meaning of number 3 is about magick and intuition, and is also a time identifier representing past, present and future. The number 3 also represents our Maiden, Mother and Crone symbolism. Even blackbird’s color has meaning, as black is associated with the Underworld (a place of transmutation).
According to animal spirit lore, Blackbird comes to us when we feel the world around us is shifting and changing faster than we can handle. Blackbird also appears when we feel the things we hold sacred are in danger. This is particularly true if the matter at hand involves our loved ones. Seeing Blackbird was a timely omen, indeed.
Things are pretty crazy right now! We are in crisis. We are in the throws of a global pandemic. Who in the world is NOT feeling a sense of danger right now? Who is not worried about their loved ones?
We are experiencing something, the magnitude of which we have never seen in our lifetime. Fear, anxiety worry and the enormous suffering that is happening worldwide has permeated the Collective Unconscious. Everyone, whether magickal or muggle, is feeling the uncomfortable buzz of this energy. Its heaviness lingers in the air… There is danger. We feel it. It’s palpable. It’s real.
Being a territorial bird in nature, the spirit of Blackbird is also one that defines boundaries. It can help us to reclaim our territory, and in this case particularly, reclaim our ‘inner territory’–from coronavirus.
COVID-19 is an invisible enemy. This virus has encroached upon and infiltrated almost every border across the globe. It has breached our personal borders as well—boundaries that not only protect and define our physical bodies, but also our psychic boundaries (our minds and our spirits).
Today Blackbird appeared to help me adapt to this new situation—the invasion of my physical and psychic borders and territory, as well as this crazy new world of perpetual sanitizing, selfish hoarding and fear. Blackbird helped reel me back into my witchy senses. It helped me to sort out and makes sense of this ’new normal’– germ warfare, social distancing, and the witnessing of the uglier side of human behavior with greater ease. And I don’t mean in a way that accepts and condones this darkness—I mean in a way that will help me to personally transcend it for the sake of myself, my loved ones, and my greater community, both mundane and magickal.
I do not have to give in to the fear or participate in toilet paper riots. I may stay informed, but I do not have to be glued to the news and fear-mongering media.
What I can do, in conjunction with mundane actions to remain safe and keep others safe, is transmute my fears and heavier emotions. By embracing and accepting ‘what is’ and ‘how I feel,’ from a perspective of compassion, I disempower the hold of these dark feelings. I free my mind and spirit to be present in the moment and see the love, joy and beauty that remains around me despite the threat that looms.
It is not about ‘sticking your head in the sand’. It’s about pure, radical acceptance of ‘what is’. And this is where Blackbird helps us because as Spirit of the Underworld, Blackbird is all about TRANSFORMATION.
We have the power to transform our inner terrains by:
Repressed emotions are harmful and always resurface in ugly ways. Just ‘sit’ with your feelings for a while. Identify your emotions. Feel them in your body. Where are they located? Listen to what your emotions are telling you because they will inform you and bring clarity about what’s really going on inside you.
Whatever you are feeling is ok. Self-recrimination and denial have no positive value to you whatsoever. Have compassion for yourself. Give yourself comfort and understanding. Treat yourself they way you would a frightened 5 year old child.
Holding onto angst over things you do not have the power to change does nothing except harm you on all levels. Also, doing so makes you less available for not only those who need and rely on you, but for yourself as well!
Indulge in healthy comforting activities. Don’t push yourself to ‘get things done’ that are not crucial. Just ‘be’ and give your body, mind and spirit a break and a chance to ‘reboot’. Involve yourself in activities that nourish and ground you. I like to write, as I am doing now. I also love to study all things magickal, witchy and occult. My inner Kitchen Witch loves to cook, so I just made a big veggie lasagna for our dinner tonight. Maybe you want to work out, clean out your closet or be in nature. Do whatever makes you feel good, engaged and gives you a sense of normalcy and satisfaction. This will result in raising your personal energy and vibration.
After we have done all we can do magickally and in the mundane, all there is left to do is release and surrender. This is where the magick lies. In fact, it’s very much like when we cast a spell—we do all the preliminary prep work, we create our ritual space, we raise power, we laser-focus, and then we release, fully knowing and believing that the power of our Will, in conjunction with the energies of the Earth and Spirit, will manifest our desire. View transforming your emotions in this same way.
As you sit with your feelings and take comfort in the magickal or mundane ways that are meaningful to you, you will notice that your anxieties begin to dissipate, whatever the current situation is.
Blackbird is the energy of transformation; when Blackbird comes to you, whether through dreams, divination or unusual circumstance in the mundane, it reminds you that inner transmutation is required of you at this time, and that you have the innate power that is required to adapt to change, shift your energy, fortify your boundaries, and soothe your soul.
Today, and very likely for many, many days to come, I will be like Blackbird—perched upon my branch in my tree alongside the others with whom I live, adapting, changing and transforming my inner terrain from a place of fear and unease to one of mindful joy and love until it’s time for me to fly again.
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