I have heard it on podcasts, read it in books and seen it in posts: (insert witch, occultist, etc.) should not practice magick if they have a mental illness. What a singular discouraging thing to read and hear. Not only do they you should not practice magick, but you also should not do it to help others---because you are not in the right state of mind to do so.
What a horrible thing to say! Especially considering that in the US alone around 1.5 million Americans identify as a witches or pagans and greater populations worldwide. And this is only for those who identify as witches or pagans—what about the occultists? Ceremonial magicians? And what about those who choose not to identify themselves?
Considering that anxiety alone affects 40 million adults in the US and depression affects 16.1 million… it is a safe bet that some of these self-identifying witches, pagans and occultists suffer from depression. And I am also going to bet that most practice some type of magick for either themselves or for clients.
So, what is the big deal?
I understand that you most definitely do not want to have a narcissistic personality doing root work for your, nor would you want someone who has anger issues that they have not yet worked out doing a healing spell for your loved one…I get that…
What about those of us who have a mental illness: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia- but our illness is controlled by medication. Does that make our magick and spell work less effective?
No. No it does not.
Mental illness is caused by chemical issues in the brain. We cannot help it. Medications can. We can still practice our four-fold breathing- in fact, we probably find it easier since we use it as away to help calm us down when we are mid panic attack. We can harness our energy field – another thing we are good at because some of us have used our energy to help us work through depression. We are good at meditation and visualization—things crucial to successful magick and spell work—and things needed to help us through the murky gloom of our illness. Furthermore, and this is the biggest.
We can walk within the darkness and bring in the light. Those practitioners, including myself, who have a mental illness are terrific shadow workers. Part of being mentally ill is dealing with the days when you are stuck in a shadowy muck of emotional and physical pain brought on by psychological issues and shitty serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain. We have walked through the shades of death and fear….and some of us have even attempted to find solace in its silent embrace. We know what its like to suffer and be in pain. But we also know what its like to rise again and take back what is ours.
In fact, I think witches, pagans, occultists or however they want to identify--- with a mental illness-we make damn good fucking spell workers. We can walk and balance out the darkness in the light.