The Terror of Transformation (Feb 2017)
As an avid reader of Carolyn Elliot, I have been reading all about shadow work. Her quote, “Having is evidence of wanting” has deeply disturbed and inspired me for the past year or so. It was hard to accept such a dark version of the Law of Attraction, where you get the opposite of what you asked for, or something otherwise horrible happens instead—but how, in a weird, twisted way, you secretly did want these bad things.
I came into this spiritual Descent in October of 2016, My coven-mate and I were doing some hex work. We made some mistakes, the main ones being that we weren’t focused on our task at hand. Our everyday lives were under strain, and right before we began Working, we had been venting to one another in my kitchen about these things. The following days were absolute hell. Her husband was mugged, beaten, and robbed, and they were lacking insurance; and my boyfriend’s and my apartment burned, and, on top of being homeless, without insurance, and the loss of many material possessions, our three cats were asphyxiated and died.
The cause of the fire was a candle I had left on my altar, “Almost out,” my boyfriend and I thought as we left the house for work that morning. We had just rescued a precious black stray boy exactly a month from that day, and as soon as he brought the most complete feeling of love and family into the home—he was gone. My familiar, Yui, my true-blue Soul Mate, and my best friend was gone. My boyfriend’s sweet, 14-year-old empath cat who could always find the saddest person in the room and sit with them was gone. My boyfriend, very naturally, harbored much resentment toward me.
What in the hell had I done to deserve all this?
Maybe I was too cocky. I didn’t have any protections on the cats or our apartment. Maybe it was because I didn’t seal the jar of that fiery curse I had sitting under the kitchen sink. Maybe because I had asked Hecate for power and she took a sacrifice. Maybe it was because I was being ungrateful, trying to get a new job when the one I had had just been granted to me via another semi-recent spell.
Or maybe there was a tiny, dark, scary part of me that wanted these things.
Because all three of the cats came to us at different times, they didn’t get along much. We always expressed how much we wished our cats would be friends. I had also expressed that I wanted to move into a new apartment soon, because this one was small and so old and outdated. I wished for my relationship with my boyfriend to change—we were very unhappy with each other at the time. There were a lot of fights, with promises of changes that never happened, and complaining on both ends.
After the fire, we adopted two cats around the same time, who are now good friends and play with one another constantly. We moved to an apartment right down the street that is bigger and nicer. Almost all of the issues that we had with the other in the relationship have fallen away—they became small and petty. We have had huge, ugly, relationship-altering fights that have brought us closer together while simultaneously making us stronger individually.
It feels like a fresh start in a lot of ways.
It’s only been four months, and we are still so incredibly sad, and are still dealing with the repercussions of the fire. However, even though everything is different, I can’t say it’s all bad. I can’t even say I didn’t want these things. Would I give it all back to have Yui again? In a heartbeat. But I can’t do that. There’s no magick that can make that happen.
Being grateful is so hard when you have so much self-loathing. You want to be pushed away. You want the pain to continue. You want to keep punishing yourself. It feels selfish and wrong to laugh again, and to say “I love you” to a new fur baby after you murdered (even if it was an accident) your first fur children, and you definitely never, ever want to practice magick again. Happiness feels like betrayal sometimes. But I know that my job right now is to be here now—amor fati. To accept the darkness inside myself, to acknowledge Her so I can be stronger than before, to love harder, let go of all my ego, see the darkness in others too, and love them anyway.