3 The Black Witch

I’m looking out of the window as the robust, sunny day graciously fades into softness. We had made a plan to go out for some shopping but Otis is still asleep. The day is winding down, I’m losing interest and he has not even awoken. How dare he waste my day?

While I sleep all night and wake at the crack of dawn, he sleeps all day and wakes shortly before sunset. I struggle with our sleep schedule. I just hate that in the morning, when my energy is at my zenith and I am at my smartest, funniest and most loving, he is not around. When he gets around to waking up in the afternoon, I’ve already lived a whole day and am beginning to decline. Around sundown, I’m simply tired, hungry and kind of grumpy. I become super sensitive and require TLC. He gets up in the afternoon, foggy and slow in the beginning and by sundown he’s beginning to roar into his prime time. That’s when he jumps at me with his youthful, high energy in search of a smart and funny lover. Only to be met with a dud who just wants him to be slow, gentle and loving.

I’m falling asleep while he’s waking up. In translation: we’re never really in the same place at the same time. At this point, we’ve been together for about two years. The euphoria of puppy love has faded. I am beginning to realize that our sleep schedule is a big daily hurdle for our shared life.

The more I think of it, the more angry I am. It is at this point that I realize: I am experiencing myself. The calm side of me is observing the side of me filled with anger. I feel like a person sitting in a movie theater that is playing a movie about someone else going mad.

I throw my awareness overhead and look down at my body and it is trippy! My physical eyes see the sunset and my third eye sees my body looking out the window at the sunset. Wow! There are two of me. Oh, boy! A side of me is getting excited at this brand new discovery while the angry side is still sitting there in anger.

With awareness, I observe my body. My lips are twisted with eyes like darts and my body is about to lunge forwards as if to maim and kill. That face is clearly me, yet I don’t recognize myself. How interesting and… horrifying. Unnerved, I feel a deep chill. I’m afraid of that face.

I remember how I helped Otis find the monk inside him and so I decide to employ the same technique of freeze framing on my own body. This gives me a chance to examine myself carefully while my body is frozen like a statue. I closely examine my fingers, hands, shoulders and feet. By examining my body so minutely, I get a very good handle of how I feel: I am angry at how my man is treating me! I am very sad at his refusal to be with me and I feel lonely and unloved.

I take a deep breath and feel deeply into this ugly face. Suddenly, in my mind, a story unfolds out of nowhere with its own force of life. It’s as if I am in a dream and am simultaneously the dreamer and the dream itself.

I see a young woman wearing a dingy, soil and stitch covered dress with a dirty rumpled apron on top. Her bare feet are chapped and calloused. She is a sorry working class minion. Based on her dress, I guess it is medieval Europe. My intuition tells me it’s either England or France in the 1600s or 1700s.

She is standing before a large, round copper cauldron and is using a large wooden ladle to stir the boiling liquid inside. She adds wood to the fire that is cooking the plants, branches, leaves, herbs and flowers that she has thrown into the pot.

I look around the room she is in: it’s an old muddy stone house with exposed wooden beams. On the table are bottles and bags filled with more plants and herbs. Oh my, she is a medicine woman, an herbalist, a witch! I can sense how she feels- tired, but also excited to be working.

I wonder how she knows the recipe and am surprised to get an immediate response as if I am inside her head and she inside of mine.

“I cook by listening to the plants’ instructions. Some plants I’ve worked with for many years and I know their voices well. Others, I am still getting to know. It’s all a big mystery to me. Sick people come from all over to buy my medicine because it makes them feel better. I don’t really know how it works and I sometimes even doubt that it does but somehow people get better.”

Behind her, at the table, sits a big fat man. He is dirty and has dull, stupid eyes. He is stuffing some oily, charred meat into his mouth. In between bites he points his finger at her, “You are a liar! You are a fraud! You take people’s money! You give them muddy water with sticks, stones and bird poop! You think I don’t know, huh?! I know you got those plants just right outside our door!”

Based on the way they interact with each other, I assume that he is her lover and that they are in this “medicine business” together. I’m aware that their dynamic parallels my relationship with Otis.

She yells at him, “Curse you! Lowlife! I’m the one who works while you sit there eating my food and drinking my wine!” Wow! I’ve definitely said the exact same thing to Otis before. I’ve belittled him for not having a “real” job while living in my house, eating my food and drinking my wine. I’ve even called him a low life.

Her words have no effect on him. He laughs uproariously and takes a large gulp of bloody red wine from a copper goblet. She turns around and shoots him a glance so fierce that his wine goblet shoots out of his hand and one of his stool legs break off. I observe the man struggling on the floor and the image reminds me of a fight I once had with Otis: in my extreme anger I shot Otis a glance so fierce, he fell off his chair.

He points at her and yells, “I won’t be a part of this cheating game of yours! You can’t get me to do anything for you! I refuse! You’re not good enough for me! I have my standards! I’m a wizard! A real wizard! Not a liar like you! No way!”

She is pissed off at him for not taking her seriously as a healer. I can totally understand her sentiment as Otis specializes in pointing out my shortcomings, which he calls “the truths.”

The man attempts to get off the ground, unnerved that her psychic force is great enough to send his goblet flying. To cover his embarrassment, he hollers, “One day they are going to find out and they are going to get you! They are going to burn you at the stake! They will stone you!”

She ignores him and focuses on her work. He is used to her cold treatment towards him. He wants her attention but he doesn’t know how to get it. He continues his negative attacks, “Look at me, Black Witch!” She doesn’t look at him but inwardly she wishes him dead.

Suddenly he chokes on a piece of meat and while he is rolling on the floor gasping for air, she willfully ignores him and lets him die.

He lies dead on the stone cold, muddy ground. She is so mad at him that she screams over his dead body, “Son of a bitch, bailed out on me!” What a funny woman! Her man dies and all she can think of is to be mad at him. No mercy, no kindness, no compassion.

Am I like that to my lover? Yes, I am. I can be so angry and hateful that I wish my lover dead. She is inside my imagination, she is me and I am her. We’re one and the same person.

The scene changes.

She is tied to a pole surrounded by a small crowd. The crowd is mostly made up of ugly men, urchins, beggars and thieves. Many of them are drunk. They each hold a large stone in their hands. There is a sense of excitement like a show is about to happen. She scans the crowd and recognizes her neighbors and friends – the very people she has healed with her medicine. They turn away from her. She feels so betrayed and is furious at them.

In this present life, I often find myself feeling unsettled and weary in large crowds. I avoid such things as Mardi Gras because they make me ill at ease. Seeing this scene gives me some understanding of why I feel this way.

The stoning begins. Imagine stubbing your toe on a rock and how much that hurts? Now imagine rocks thrown at your face.

The crowd laughs, “If you’re so powerful, use your magic!” They chant, “Die, Black Witch! Die!”

She is suffering unbearable pain. As she gets more and more bloody, she howls, “I will kill you!” As she painfully suffers her death, her heart, her soul and her entire being is filled with hate. Just before her soul flies out of her body, she makes a last wish to return in another life for revenge. Could this be my “past life?” She is inside my body and I am repeating her story to heal this unjust treatment?

The scene changes again.

After she dies her soul transforms into a silvery, smoke-like energy that lingers around her dead body as the crowd takes her body down from the pole, drags her by the hair and throws her into the lake.

For eons she is filled with the desire for justice. Looking deeper into her heart, I feel all of her hurt and all of her sadness. I feel ashamed for our collective inhumanity.

I’ve come into this life with a fury inside me that I never understood. I thought my fury was something that I learned from my parents – the same fury that ruined my mother’s relationship with my father. Right now, I’m in danger of ruining my relationship with my lover man.

I know that this story could very well be an imaginary movie from my active filmmaker’s mind. It is not “real” in the logical scientific sense. However, this story helps me put my fury into perspective. Now it’s no longer an “unknown” fury but a known one. I can taste the Black Witch’s anger and I understand why she wants revenge.

I am angry at my man but I don’t want that madness anymore. The Black Witch’s story can help me cure my fury. How? The Black Witch can’t do anything about her situation but I can. I live in the NOW! Not in a past which I cannot affect. I can be nicer to my man.

Why not take the Black Witch seriously, so that I can help myself heal? When mental illnesses cannot be completely understood through physical, logical, medical or scientific approaches, we can call in the spiritual, the magical and the divine to help solve the puzzle. I am living out my own and humanity’s collective hate in my current relationship.

I am in lover’s heaven but I can’t seem to be happy. I have put myself in lover’s hell and if I take the Black Witch’s story as mine, it’s because I feel that my man belittles me.

I lay in bed wondering if I could use my imagination to make the Black Witch a part of me. Instead of finding a justification for my anger in my childhood or my parents, I can chuck it to the Black Witch. I can treat my intense anger as a personality I call the Black Witch. If an imaginary story can help me heal then why not use it?

This anger is habitual. It is an endless, looped cycles of attacks and defenses. This insanity is a cycle of old stories in my mind. It is not “real” in the sense that it is not happening right now. At the same time, I still experience the old story the way the Black Witch remembers it.

Sophia, my spirit guide, says, “You are not living in the heaven God creates for you. You would rather live in the hell created by yourself.” I decide right then and there that I want to live in heaven.

I imagine flying into the scene at the time the crowd dumps the Black Witch’s body into the lake. In my imagination, I’m the all powerful creative maker of reality. I can make anything happen with my imagination.

With a wave of my hands, the crowd disappears. I pull the Black Witch’s body from the water, lay her gently on the grass and dry her up with the softest towel my imagination can come up with. I put a beautiful dress on her.

I sit by her side, gently calling her back to life. “Hello, baby girl…”

She opens her eyes and looks at me. I say to her, “You’ve come back to this life as me, residing inside my psyche.”

“Yes, I know. It’s you who doesn’t know I’m inside of you.”

“Oh? What does that mean?”

“Whenever you’re angry, it’s me but you don’t know it’s me. You can’t control your fingers and legs because they’re mine! You’re not conscious of me being inside of you.”

“But NOW I know! I’ve found you! I’m aware you’re there inside of me. I’m conscious of your presence. I can command my fingers and my legs, I can take control when you’re out of control.”

The Black Witch looks at me with eyes from immortal times. She looks at me with eyes that have witnessed humanity’s violent history, still so present in our everyday life. The Black Witch hisses at me, “You cannot get rid of me! We’re stuck together!”

For eons my mind has been sick with anger, attacks of sadness and revenge. The Black Witch is me. There is an evil presence inside of me. I’ve hurt people around me. I’ve behaved insanely. I’ve cheated and lied, I’ve lashed out because I’ve felt betrayed. I want revenge. I am the hate. Yes, I am the Black Witch!

Out of the stillness of the night, a gust of wind stirs the wind chimes in the awning just outside my bedroom. Gently, gently, ding, ding, ding… I take refuge in the sound. In the silent night, the Black Witch looks at me as she too listens to the chimes. I open my arms and take the Black Witch into my embrace. We merge. In the 5th Dimension we have become one and the same. I listen to the chimes, unsure of what I’ve done.

Silent night, holy night.

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