I was thinking the other day about the fact that although I’ve had this blog less than a year, there are already posts that, if I were feeling particularly adventurous, I’d go back and rewrite completely. As I mentioned recently, it seems like every day I learn new things about myself; this means that I think and feel differently about things now, then I did even a month ago. In a way, this is awesome – I’m really happy and blessed to be learning more about myself and expanding my mind a little. On the other hand, at times I feel overwhelmed, as what I now understand and mentally accept smashes up against my subconscious, stuck still in the old habits and beliefs I was programmed with years ago. There are days where I have to remind myself constantly that, even if I don’t feel like it at this particular second, I know everything is fine. It’s strange – to recognize that parts of me are at war with myself.
This war is made all the more fascinating, when viewed from a distance, by the fact that one side of me, the Goddess-loving side, is just like “oh, okay, this old angry/fearful stuff is still kicking around huh? Right on.”
While my other side, the old side whose reasoning would take too long to explain, screams “nononononononothisiswrongshehatesyoueveryonehatesyoushutyourgoddamnmouthstopstopstopyoureafuckingidiot.”
….I promise, I don’t have multiple personality disorder or anything.
The reason I’m talking about all this is that I’m also now learning in my training about banishing, which is quite a bit different than most people think. Banishing, to sum it up quickly, involves performing ritual to remove from yourself and/or your life anything harming you. In this way, it acts very much as sort of a strong form of cleaning house/cleansing. It can be very, very helpful. If you hear of banishing spells or rituals from many other sources, however, you probably have in your mind something very different – an angry spell compelling someone far away from you.
….That’s not to say that you can’t banish someone’s energy from your being. And there’s nothing wrong with that, provided you aren’t intending any physical harm to the person. You are, basically, sending their energy back to them, “from whence it came,” so to speak. This is less a punishment or attack and more a setting of an energetic boundary – someone is in your personal space, and it’s hurting you. You need them to go back to their own space.
You can banish, as well, energies from yourself; I have done several to help remove various fears and beliefs from me. Always, afterwards, some bit of information has come my way to help me overcome these old fears, to replace these old beliefs. That is not to say that they don’t rear their head from time to time. But now (normally anyway) I can acknowledge they are there, and move on.
As such banishing can be very helpful. It doesn’t deserve the negative reputation it has. It is, in essence, an act of separatism, of claiming back what is yours, your space. One of the tragic things about our society is that this is not encouraged – I don’t mean banishing rituals specifically, but claiming your personal space. In this way, and I admit in many others, I am starting to notice how fucked up our culture is. There is nothing wrong with being social – we are social creatures. There is something very wrong with not knowing what to do with yourself – literally, “ok, I’m alone…what do I do with myself?” Particularly women are encultured with this; how many of you know, particularly older women, who spend most of their time, if they HAVE to be alone, doing things for other people (their family, their friends, their church, etc.?). Don’t get me wrong, we all have to do things for our family sometimes….but how sad is it that when you are just with you, that you are unable to do anything actually FOR YOU?
Growing up, the when my mother was at home, she was doing laundry, sweeping, cleaning, rolling smokes for my father, getting lunches ready for him and me, planning lesson plans for sunday school, doing volunteer work for the ladies’ church council, helping out at her mother’s house, helping out at my father’s mother’s house, doing yard work, cooking meals, volunteering at my elementary school……she would be praised by many for being “loving”, “nurturing”, “selfless”.
She was also miserable, emotionally unstable, and, I found out later, contemplating suicide. Because she was, literally, as I described above, “selfless”; she had no self. Nothing that was hers, that she did just because it was enjoyable, pleasurable, wonderful, and made her laugh. And it breaks my heart. She assumed, for years, that there was something wrong with her – why wasn’t she happy? After all, most of what I described of her activities above would paint her as sort of a model woman – active in her community, devoted to her family, an ideal.
Ideals are false. No one can stay whole and fully embody them. My mother eventually took me and left my father, and the ideal behind. She unfortunately later adopted another role, for another man, but that’s a story for another day. But it brings me nicely to my last point about banishing – that some banishings are very hard to accomplish.
I can do the most intricate, beautiful banishing ritual in the world, put my whole heart and soul in it, but if I’m not actually willing to change, willing to let this thing go, than it is useless. As I said earlier, ways always present themselves after these rituals to let the old thing go. But if I’m not able to pay attention, or unwilling to use the information given, the I will remain stuck in the old, with no change manifesting, that very change I desperately need.
A really interesting book that touches on this topic, or at least, makes me think about things I would like to banish, is Riane Eisler’s “Sacred Pleasure”. She writes in it about how our paleolithic ancestors viewed sex, for both pure pleasure and for procreation, as sacred and joyous, with no shame, guilt, or control/domination/submission aspect. She also talks about how that changed over time, and what we can do, both for ourselves personally and for society as a whole, to accept this older, healthier attitude once again. Surprisingly, this is quite difficult; banishing a belief that is so entrenched in culture is tricky at best. But being open to the information out there, looking for alternatives, being willing to change, makes it suddenly possible.
I’m reminded of this quote from Vicki Noble, who is referring to “the Devil” in the negative thought pattern sense as opposed to the mythological one –
“We all have the Devil in us to some extent…but… he can always be exorcised.”
Time to exorcise some devils.