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Embracing Empathy

When I was younger, I was a very sensitive empath. It is actually what led me to find Wicca and Witchcraft. I was in my early to mid 20’s and it was the mid-90s. I am a totally intellectual air sign, who came from an abusive home, so I had trouble dealing with my own emotions. I got very overwhelmed by the people around me and those who would seek me out for help.

I used to always go to Ash Wednesday services when I was younger. Leland still lightly teases me about this, that most people are Christmas or Easter Catholics, but I never missed Ash Wednesday. The priest would bless me and draw a black ‘X’ (a cross) across my third eye (forehead) in ashes. It took me a very long time to realize what I was symbolically doing was closing my third eye. I did this over and over, through my teens and twenties. While I did briefly embrace my psychic abilities, in the early years of my practice, I have spent a lot of time pushing them away. Eventually, my abilities did become muted, and now, in my late 40s I am struggling to get back to my ease of practice from when I was younger.

I call it empathy, because that is the easiest way to describe the gifts that I have, which are a combination of clairsentience and claircognizance. These gifts were actually what originally led me to Witchcraft, because I had needed help to deal with the overwhelming presence of all of this information. I was working in a hospital and people were always coming up to me to tell me their issues and distress. I would walk past a counter in a certain unit and get impressions of things that happened there, what emotions the last person was feeling.

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I explicitly remember the first time I went through a “Dark Night of the Soul” and my abilities were temporarily turned off. I freaked out. I remember being in the passenger seat of our truck next to Leland as we drove down the road and freaking out because I could not ‘feel’ him. I could see him; I could have reached out a touch him, but I could not feel him. I did not know how to deal with that. Looking back, that was probably partly a trauma response – coming from my background, using everything you have to provide security (especially knowing where people are and what they are feeling) – and suddenly, I was ‘blind.’

I don’t feel closed off in that way, but my medical and physical issues of the last few years have definitely pushed me away from my practice. I have not been active in my witchcraft, in meditation, in energy work at all, because all of my energy was wrapped up in just surviving. Now that I am in a better place physically and within myself, I finally have the energy to be in a place to deal with everyone else’s energy.

I am also old enough now that I feel comfortable enough to deal with other people’s energy (when and how I want to) because I am much better at setting boundaries.

Where are you in all of this? Do you consider yourself a psychic? an empath? a seeker? How do you deal with your frustrations in feeling/not feeling things?

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