One summer day, I was sitting opposite a tote bag with Micah 6:8 (“Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God”) calligraphed on it, as I read Lisa Lister’s Witch, a rallying cry for women to step into their power. It was the dark moon and I had been reflecting on the themes of the Magician in the Tarot. Not the card you’d think would make me think about re-wilding if you know your Major Arcana, but I think it is a card that speaks into our innate witchiness (whether that’s what you want to call it or not).
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Re-wilding is embracing our instincts
The irony was not lost on me. I was raised Catholic, and when I was at uni I was proud of wearing that bag on campus. I was raised to believe that there was something wrong with my innate desire to be strong, independent, what many would deem a selfish woman. Since I wanted to be acceptable and loved, I made myself small. My younger self tried hard to embrace those people-pleasing messages on steroids.
At that time I kept coming across the concept of “re-wilding”, although as a city girl I was sceptical. I love my runs in the park on a sunny day, and to be at the beach. I also can’t give up my minimum 4 stars hotels in the city centre and high end restaurants. And it makes me so happy and confident to wear heels, a LBD, and a red lipstick. At first, the wording made me feel like this wasn’t for me, but it kept coming up everywhere. I decided to pay attention.
Re-wilding is a spiritual process rather than a physical one. It’s about reconnecting to a forgotten side of you that is still there below all the conditioning. It’s not a coincidence that if you look it up, you’ll find retreats in lush parts of the world.
Re-wilding is embracing true femininity
As Starhawk defined it in The Spiral Dance: “in the Craft, we do not believe in the Goddess ~~ we connect with her; through the moon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, through trees, animals, through other human beings, through ourselves. She is here. She is within us all”.
You don’t even have to believe in the Divine to feel the depth of this message. And you don’t have to go camping to connect with nature either, as I was glad to realise.
Whether you are desire your own business, or a personal brand to grow your career, re-wilding could be for you. It is if you can relate to being too nice, and feeling uncomfortable putting yourself first. Or if touting your own horn even when it’s not boasting makes you want to puke.
Believing in myself is something that was new to me when I started my first business, and it was a big part of why I closed down that venture. I required a lot of inner work even to get to the point of contemplating the possibility that maybe, just maybe, I really did know the answers, and I had just been conditioned to disregard my intuition and look for answers elsewhere.
Re-wilding is embracing the body
Re-wilding is learning to navigate your environment like a huntress: she has no space to carry all sorts of maps, or time to look at them to figure out her way. In life and death situations, she has to truly believe deep down that she has all she needs inside of her, and follow her instincts.
If I’m completely honest, I think “mindset coaching” has become a bit of a grift. It can be easy to disempower someone under the guise of helping them.
I firmly believe that mindset shifts are important, don’t get me wrong. I’m writing this hours before interviewing a coach I greatly admire for the podcast.
True coaching is about seeing where you have a blind spot, not overriding the things you know about yourself. It’s also about holding your hand as you do something that can be terrifying. A coach that is a little ahead of where you are can show you a likely outcome for yourself.
In time they’ll help you believe deep down that if they have done it, so can you.
And that’s the key thing about re-wilding: it brings us out of our minds and into our bodies. It brings us back to the full meaning of what it means to be a human. Mindset shifts are important, especially for women who have been kept small for far too long. But mindset is not enough. Your body needs to feel safe.
We need to go deeper than mindset alone
Affirmations are powerful, and spells are incredible…if you are fully aware and connected to the power you already have. I used to be a member of To Be Magnetic, and have found a lot of it very valuable.
One of the key aspects of their method is the idea of expanders. People from the same background who have things in common with you, to show you it can be done. Or at least people as close to it as possible.
It’s only 1/3 of the whole method, though, and for good reason. It’s easier said than done. The biggest hurdle for me was truly believing that because they had done it, so could I. I’m not them, and if I trusted that it was possible for me, I wouldn’t need others to validate me.
Connecting to your intuition
Many people swear by that method, so it’s possible that I tried using subconscious reprogramming too early in my journey. I felt that I was not able to drop into the body and things made sense on an intellectual level, but taking aligned action still felt too unsafe. It was even rare for me to feel pings that were clear intuitive hits.
Paradoxically, intuitive eating has been a great addition to my manifestation journey, and re-wilding helped me to connect to myself on an even deeper level. It strengthened my trust in my intuition, which is an evolutionary gift of our wonderful bodies.
It helped me to grow into feelings of safety in my body as I took different actions from what I have in the past, reaffirming that what was unknown was safe after all.
You don’t need to believe in the supernatural to believe in your intuition, and magic.
Our minds are powerful
Personally, I take the view of magic that came from the Victorian British Occultist Alesteir Crowley, “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.” There are other definitions, too, and not all witches agree on the particulars.
There are also plenty of people who use what is arguably magic (or magick, as he called it) without ever thinking they are doing anything strange at all, like athletes visualising their victories to get their head in the game.
I stand by this definition because it covers any view from placebo magic to belief in the supernatural, and also views where the things we call supernatural are just a part of the whole of nature.
For many of us, myself included, taking on the label of witch serves a purpose, but at the end of the day it is all about doing things that intentionally tap into our power to make things happen.
If I had to pick one mindset shift that every woman needs, connecting to their power is it. You can coat it in the language of witchcraft or not. You can talk about it as alignment or whatever spiritual terminology you connect to the most.
Everything else follows from plugging into this source of energy, knowing that the power was there all along as it is a part of who we are. We can lean on things outside of us to help us on our quest, but we have what we need for our hero’s journey.
Re-wilding is the process of connecting back to the wisdom of our bodies after centuries of worship of the mind.
Things you might like:
If you desire to explore magic and love the stars, Season 1 of my podcast is all about the basics of Cosmic Witchcraft. If you are not sure you are for the cosmic path, or just want more resources, here are my book recommendations.