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Owning the Witch

Amber Adrian

Six years ago, back when I first learned what energy healing was, I was sitting at my kitchen table in San Francisco with a friend who had flown in from Australia to spend the summer with me. We were releasing energy together when all of the sudden, I got hit with the biggest vision I had ever experienced, before or since.

I was huddled on the floor with my children as the cottage burned around us. I was trapped in that hellish heat, knowing that my children were going to die because of what I was.

The vision was so strong that I couldn't breathe. I was left gasping and nauseated and clutching the edge of the table. It was your classic burn-the-witch flashback, one that any woman healer - any woman, really - will be familiar with.

My friend sat across the table, hand wrapped around his coffee mug, looking at me quietly. With empathy, but also with a prosaic “yeah, that’ll happen” demeanor.

For years, whenever this vision would pop in, I would see a tree, barren and blackened by flame. It’s only been recently that the tree has begun to flourish and blossom again.

Whether this is something that really happened to me in a past life, or was my assimilation of the collective consciousness, or was simply my subconscious processing fear doesn’t really matter. Even though I’ve worked with it for years and healed much of it, it still has the power bring tears to my eyes.

Years later, I was working with a healer on burnout. Energetic work - channeling, healing, holding space, helping people process their emotions - can completely tank you out if you aren’t replenishing yourself properly, and I hadn’t been. She noticed that I kept putting my right hand on my neck and tipping my head to the left when I was thinking, something I’ve done for as long as I can remember.

She closed her eyes, opened them again, and told me that I'd been hanged in a past life for being a channeler. 

I think of that every time I find myself holding my neck.

Coming out as a channeler was hard - it took me years. I still feel uncomfortable talking about it with people, and not just because it's a tricky thing to explain. Even though I've become slightly more open with it, whenever I think about posting something extra hippie on social media - crystals, oils, sage, whatever I’m geeking out about at the moment - I hesitate. 

Lately, I’ve been thinking about where I’m still hiding, where I'm not stepping in fully. And what my responsibility is to those who have come before me and those who will come after. 

Part of our feminine ancestry as healers, herbalists, and midwives has been many millennia of fear and often violent death.

But it’s safer now than it has been in any point in known history to practice this light. We are now on the leading edge of processing that pain and that trauma for thousands of our ancestors, for our future children, and for the collective. But it’s not easy. It can make something as simple as an Instagram post feel deeply unsafe.

I’m a channeler and an empath and a light worker. And since we are all mirrors of each other, if you’re reading this, you're probably a healer too.

If you’ve ever held energy in your hands or used light to heal an energetic wound or burned sage and felt the difference, this is part of your journey. If you know you’re meant for something bigger and you feel right on the edge of that power, this is part of your story.  

We are all part of this history, whether in past or present lived experience or as a member of the collective.

I want to fully step into this. I want to own the witch and the hippie and the channeler and know that those are all just labels to help put words to a universal truth that we are all so much bigger and brighter than we know. We have power we don’t yet fully understand. We have access to wisdom and abilities that we are only just beginning to dream of.

It’s time to harness our potential and learn to ride the edge of that wave. Because it’s just beginning - and it’s going to take us somewhere we can't yet imagine.