Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast!
I’m your host, Cindy.
Here in Episode 97 I answer the question, what is the witch wound?
Here we go…
Episode 97 Show Notes Links
*some links included in the show notes may be affiliate links (see disclaimer below)*
Witch Wound Books…
Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic by Lisa Lister
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Episode 97 Transcript
This is the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast and I’m your host, Cindy. I gladly welcome you to this comfy, cozy space for introverts, highly sensitive people, and solopreneurs who help and heal. This is the place for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. Gather around the hearth, get comfortable, and settle in. I’m glad you’re here.
Hello there, and welcome back to the Mountain Practice Journeys podcast! I’m your host, Cindy. Here in Episode 97 I’m going to answer the question, what is the witch wound?
The concept of the witch wound is a big one, so that means we’ll just be touching the surface here in this episode. We’ll start with a simple definition to ease into this complex topic.
The witch wound is known as a collective, psychic trauma and a spiritual, psychological wound that manifests as a result of the Burning Times, when women (and some men) were tortured, burned, drowned, and killed for being witches. But, get this, most of them were not witches.
Throughout history women were burned, tortured, hanged, beheaded, and drowned – all because they dared to be their own person, share their special gifts of healing, or they did not conform to society.
They were the healers, the midwives, and the diviners. They worked with herbs as medicine, they tuned into their intuition, they gathered wisdom from the natural rhythms of the seasons, they knew how to work with the moon cycles. They were the medicine women, the oracles, and those who were in tune with nature and animals.
And for this they were killed. And, it wasn’t just those who did “witchy” things. It was any woman who dared be different or “difficult.” Maybe you were too outspoken – therefore you were a witch and were drowned. Maybe you had a neighbor who wanted your land and made up lies – his word meant more than yours, therefore you were hanged.
Maybe you were a woman who never married, lived alone, and had a sweet black cat – you must have been a witch and were burned. Maybe you turned down the advances of a suitor – you were wicked and there must have been something wrong with you, so off with your head. I could go on and on.
These examples may sound extreme, because they are. Just remember, women were seen as property and any instance of a woman having her own opinions, sharing her voice, making her own money, owning property, not being subservient, or not belonging to her father or husband was a slap in the face of the patriarchy and would not be tolerated.
Because these atrocities happened they are part of your history, whether you know it or not. The trauma and fear of those times is embedded into your being. The witch wound lives in your DNA.
Are you terrified of your intuitive gifts, so you pretend they don’t exist? Do you ever wonder why you become paralyzed with fear when you go to record a video about your new offering? Are you worried what others will think of the REAL you, so you keep yourself hidden and small as to not draw attention? If the level of fear and avoidance that comes up for you doesn’t quite match up with the reality of the situation, you may be experiencing the witch wound.
I’m sure that you know all about survival instincts. So think of it this way – our primal brain doesn’t know that it’s the 21st century and that mass numbers of women are not being killed for not conforming to a religiously tyrannical, patriarchal society.
Although the Burning Times are in the past, and these horrific events aren’t occurring as often as they have been over the past few thousand years, they still do occur. And even if we lived in a perfect utopian world, our DNA (therefore, our body, our mind, and our spirit) remembers history. Our DNA remembers being scared, terrified, and in pain, even if we didn’t personally experience it ourselves.
When a horrific experience is had, there can be a traumatic mark left on your genes, which is then passed down through generations. Science has shown that there isn’t an actual true mutation to the genes, but the traumatic experience does alter how your genes are “read” and expressed. This is referred to as epigenetics.
If the trauma fully mutated the genes, that would be a different story. But when genes are altered through epigenetic changes, these changes can be reversed. You’ve probably heard the terms Transgenerational Trauma, Intergenerational Trauma, Historical Trauma, Collective Trauma, and Epigenetics – and these are all at play when we talk about the witch wound.
The witch wound is the collective trauma of women and healers who have been silenced (whether through shunning, ostracizing, violence, imprisonment, or actual death) over the past several thousand years. Even though this isn’t happening today to the drastic extent it was in the past doesn’t mean that those unconscious memories and experiences are no longer in existence – they are alive and well, and just being stored in our DNA.
(And I do want to note that there are still some EXTREMELY HORRIFIC things happening to women all across the world because they are a woman – so let’s not forget that.)
This is why we can’t quite put a finger on why certain things terrify us when it comes to being seen, showing up, or sharing our gifts. This is why we are often afraid to speak up or share our opinions. Although we are (mostly) safe to do this today, there’s an underlying fear that something bad will happen if we do.
I didn’t go into too much detail about the atrocities of the Burning Times in this episode, as I wanted it to be a general overview of what the witch wound is. Next week I’ll be continuing this train of thought and will talk about how the witch wound shows up for us in our lives and how we can begin healing.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I am hosting a Healing the Witch Wound retreat in Black Mountain, North Carolina, October 23 – 26, so if you’re interested in applying you can go to mountainpracticejourneys.com/witch-wound to find out more.
ACORN (Tarot Card Pull)
Welcome to the acorn segment. With each solo episode I’ll be drawing a tarot card to help provide some magickal inspiration and insight.
The card for this episode is the Three of Swords (reversed).
I’ll describe the card for those of you who may not be familiar. This card features a red heart with three swords pierced through it with a grey, cloudy, rainy background.
The Three of Swords in its reversed position can represent negative thinking and self-talk, optimism, forgiveness, and the releasing of pain.
I can’t believe how appropriate this card is right now though. First, listen to the general meaning and interpretation of the card, and then I’ll go into personalizing the interpretation so that it makes sense within the context of our episode.
So, for this interpretation, I want to read an excerpt from one of my favorite tarot books by Elliot Adam called Fearless Tarot because I’m not going to be able to say it better than he does. In his book Elliot has this to say about the three of swords reversed…
“If the Three of Swords appears reversed, it calls your attention to any self-inflicted wounds that are being perpetuated through negative thinking. Holding on to negative expectations is a form of self-betrayal. The clouds that appeared in the sky are now on the base of the card. Clouds symbolize the element of Air, and Air represents your thoughts…
“The Three of Swords reversed can indicate that the negative thoughts you are holding on to are affecting your outlook. This includes thoughts that project catastrophes into a future that hasn’t even happened yet or replaying past traumas mentally and anticipating that they will happen again. Your anxieties aren’t harbingers of disasters to come. They are merely fears, and they rarely resemble the future that will actually come to pass…
“When the Three of Swords reversed appears, it’s best to avoid ‘borrowing trouble.’ Negative projections into the future will cause you to miss out on being joyful in this moment. If you are anxious about what hasn’t even happened yet, then you are harming yourself with your thinking. Catch yourself when you notice you are falling into this. Release harmful thoughts and know them for what they are: thoughts.
“Choose to focus your thinking on something that really interests you or brings you joy. Remember, the heart on this card is much larger and stronger than any wound it’s experienced. Your heart is stronger than your fears and wounds from the past. Transcendent love is always a viable answer when this card appears.” And this ends the excerpt.
Woah! This interpretation from Elliot is so pertinent to our episode today! We were just talking about past traumas and their effect on our lives today. So this card is asking you to release negative thoughts and catastrophic thinking. And be gentle on yourself. Recovering from trauma, whether it’s from this life or another, isn’t instant. It takes time and gentle reminders.
I’m not encouraging spiritual bypassing or toxic positivity when I suggest this, so keep that in mind. But I want you to take some time today to remember joy and immerse yourself in the knowing that you are more than your past. And allow that transcendent love into your being.
I’ll post a picture of the card along with the message today on my instagram @mountainpracticejourneys so head on over and let me know if this message resonates with you at this time.
Thank you so much for joining me today. For episode 98 I’m going to share more about how the witch wound shows up for us in our lives and how we can begin healing.
If you haven’t yet listened to Episode 96, I urge you to do that. In that episode I spoke with Emily Anne Brant about how you can begin to decolonize your coaching spaces. This is a must listen for everyone in the personal development, spirituality, and coaching world. And, on a related note, this is also tied to the topic of the witch wound because the areas that were most affected by colonialism were the areas that were most devastated by the Burning Times.
And in the show notes I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite books on the topic of the witch wound, so be sure to check them out if you’re interested in delving a bit deeper.
I’m truly grateful that you choose to join me here for practical, nature-based, magickal support for your business and life. For more inspiration and to see what I’m up to, join me over on instagram @mountainpracticejourneys If you’re enjoying yourself here, please head over to Apple Podcasts and hit those 5 stars and I’ll be over the moon. If you’d like to work with me, join me in Forestmind, my cozy, supportive, small-group mastermind for introverted, highly sensitive solopreneurs who help and heal. And I’d love to see you at a Tiny Retreat sometime. May the forest be with you.
I Want You To Be Successful In Business & In Life!
Starting, growing, and maintaining a business is a big deal. It's super-exciting and super-scary all at the same time. I created Mountain Practice Journeys to support you through the difficult and muddy terrain, and to celebrate with you when you have reached each summit of the many mountains you will conquer on your journey.
Happy Climbing, Cindy