As I was meditating at my altar this morning I happened to look up to see my witch’s sphere hanging on my witch’s ladder. Many of you won’t know what that means. So let’s start with some simple definitions:
- Witch’s Ladder: This is a stick or bar hanging horizontally from which magical tools and talismans are hung. For some of you, you may be familiar with a common form of this that involves rope or yarn being hung in colours and patterns from a stick or bar. Often these also have feathers and crystals and such attached. But whether or not they do, they are still a witch’s ladder because the mere intent going into the weave of the string and yarn and into the braiding of it creates an energy field. Add to that feathers, crystals, bones etc and you have an even more powerful one. Mine has very little yarn but mostly leather and crystals and feathers and a witch’s sphere.
- Witch’s Sphere: These have many forms. We are all familiar with the crystal ball. Yes. There are also other forms of witch’s spheres. For example, the shiny balls we hang on Christmas trees are actually adopted from the Pagan traditions of having witch’s spheres hung around the abode. These are reflective round surfaces that allow one to bridge consciousness between this realm and other realms of reality. Because they are reflective, they serve as a bit of a mirror as well. This is where my experience this morning comes in.
So I was gazing up at my witch’s sphere and realized that, from the distance I was from the sphere, I could see lots of things in my environment around me, but I could not see myself. I wondered to myself, “Where am I in all of this?” So I lifted my arm and waved to the reflection in the sphere and, sure enough, there I was amidst all of the scene, just so subtle that I was hardly even noticeable.
This got me to pondering how often we do not see ourselves in a situation, or in participation with the scenery around us, or even in how our presence affects the entire picture. I believe this is why it becomes so difficult at times for people to take personal responsibility for the effects that they have on others around them; perhaps not because they are mean or ill-willed, but because they just cannot see it.
As humans we sometimes get caught up in the blame game. As we do, we forget to check ourselves for our participation in any situation and how we have contributed to the current outcome of where we are at right here and right now. When someone else points it out, it takes a self-aware individual to look closely at what they are saying, without taking it personally at least at first, and see it from the other person’s perspective. Even if our intent was never to create disharmony or harm, sometimes our lack of action does just that, and sometimes our instinctual action does it as well. What we do and what we don’t do has an effect on everything and everyone involved. And sometimes we have extremely valid reasons for why we have or have not done something. But it is important to make sure that, instead of reasons, we are not just making excuses for ourselves so that we can cop out of personal responsibility.
It takes courage to ask oneself the hard question of “Where am I in all of this?” Because to ask that means that we may find that we messed up. But that is not a disaster. It is a learning opportunity. It is a trial run to help us to learn how to do it much better the next time around. But first, we have to reflect and we have to see where we are. Now and then, just stop, look around you, and ask yourself, “Where am I?” You just might find that there are ways in which you have been playing antics all along and that those antics must stop before they create more damage. At the same time, you may find that you have been participating like a soft smoke from an incense stick; subtle, yet effective. Either way can improve our personal participation on a conscious level in the rest of our lives.