Our action is required. But action isn’t always outward-facing, and the way forward is not always clear. So I’d like to suggest a place to begin.
This work starts from within. It asks us to examine uncomfortable emotions of shame and guilt. These feelings contribute to our fragility and the need to prove our “goodness” to ourselves and others which leads to performing our activism.
Having complicated feelings is okay. You are allowed to have them. What's important is processing them in a therapeutic setting to avoid bringing them to spaces they do not belong. Feelings of guilt should not preclude you from taking time for self-care. As a white person, striving to be an ally or accomplice does not mean upending your life and devoting every aspect of your resources to the cause. In fact, this is an internalized colonial capitalist mindset and impossible to do. Caring for ourselves in good ways is a liberatory act in direct opposition to white supremacy culture.
This is a long game and can feel disheartening at times because this internal work is invisible, quiet, and slow. We’ve been programmed to get the quick fix. We want it cheap, fast, flashy, and on demand. Instead, the work we need to do requires us to enact compassion and solidarity in ways that lead to dismantling oppressive systems, which ultimately benefits all of humanity.
In support of this work, Vanessa will be hosting an IG live ritual on Mon June 15th at 6pm. This ritual is designed to work with white supremacy as a thought-form, or egregore, as a possessing spirit. This ritual calls in psychopomp spirits to guide the egregore from this world to a place it can be dismantled in good ways, and creates a space for personal and collective processing. This ritual will be led by Vanessa, a white lady. It is open to all. If you are a BIPOC interested in joining this ritual, you and your presence are welcome and appreciated. AND. Please be advised that it centers concepts and experiences of white folks in an effort to do the internal work needed for meaningful antiracism work.
continue reading to learn more about personal sovereignty, overshadowing, egregors, and psychopomps
This material has been co-authored by Vanessa Ainslie + Sharon Arnold
intrusive energies + egregores
Our physical bodies are conduits for Life Energy. If life energy it cannot move through us it is because it has been trapped somewhere, creating blockages in our mind, body, and energetic fields. The space these blockages take up displace our spirit from our body and given enough weight, they will manifest as physical symptoms. These intrusions can be thought of as entities, energies, beliefs, thought-forms, and egregores which overshadow and influence our lives. They can come from within or be projected onto us.
An egregore can be thought of as a cultural thought-form or belief system.
Anyone can be overshadowed by any concept/being/energy/entity/thought form/energy field that is near and around an individual which intrudes into their energy field to influence and affect the individual. All non-consensual intrusive energies and entities have an overshadowing effect.
It is possible to invite an energy/entity/belief for altruistic purposes, believing in something that is greater than us, putting it on a pedestal above us allowing it to influence our thoughts and actions.
Sometimes our power is taken from us by an overshadowing cultural oppression. Sometimes we give our power away because we are afraid of it or believe we need protection. Sometimes our life situations and woundings create the shadows we live under in the guise of limiting self beliefs. Sometimes energies/entities/beliefs are projected onto us by others or are imprinted onto us ancestrally.
Sometimes we give our power away to a seemingly altruistic cause hidden behind dogma. This cult-like behavior becomes overshadowing as we are out of sync with the truest purpose of our core self. Overshadowing is different than being one with Divinity/Source Energy/Spirit. We are not separate from Divinity/Source Energy/Spirit. We can certainly align with a higher power or directive, but we should not sacrifice our free will as a violation of our personal sovereignty.
To be sovereign is to be practice good energetic hygiene and to act in accordance with one’s own self-will and highest good unobstructed by foreign energies/entities/beliefs.
A psychopomp is a specific spirit, ancestor, guide, angel, deity, or creature who escorts the deceased and/or trapped/lost beings to the afterlife and other realms. They are experienced border-crossers who walk easily between worlds. Psychopomps are often shapeshifters, altering their appearance to accommodate circumstance and period. They also work in mysterious, inexplicable, or unexpected ways and, in healing work, they're compassionate and non-judgemental spirits who offer transformational healing experiences.
The word itself originates from the Greek word ψυχοπομπός, psychopompós, literally meaning the "guide of souls"; further broken down in the words psykhē(breath, life, soul, or mind) pompos (conductor or guide). Stories, myths and legends are found all over the world from sacred texts to personal accounts of encounters with such entities. Some of the more well known psychopomps are the Greek god Hermes, Greek ferryman Charon, Egyptian god Anubis, the Christian Archangel Michael, and the Muslim Archangel Azriel, Nordic Valkyries, The Morrígan, Hecate, and Donn; all of whom are known as more formidable entities and deities but who also act as psychompomps. Ancestors may also help guide the deceased to the afterlife as well as any number of angels, animals, birds, and light beings. And throughout the world, psychopomps appear as anthropomorphic beings such as horses, stags, bears, ravens, crows, vultures, owls, or sparrows.