Posted Under Paganism & Witchcraft

Signs, Symbols & Synchronicities (and Cannabis) for Shadow Work

Notepaper and Cannabis

Sometimes, we can have a life lesson presented to us over, and over again, only to repeatedly miss the full, deeper meaning. Maybe it is part of a master plan, or an interesting twist of fate that brings highly unlikely people and situations together to eventually result in a completely cohesive healing action. Whatever the driving force behind these signs, steps, and perhaps prerequisites, occasionally we can draw a map from beginning to end on the interconnectedness of a particular healing journey and wonder why we couldn't see the finish line much sooner.

This shortened tale of one such experience for me emphasizes the role of cannabis within shadow work and the importance of paying attention to themes, signs, and symbols that repeatedly appear in your life.

America Goes Online
Many moons ago, back in the early days of the 1990s, one of the first attempts at a social media company was American Online, aka AOL. While it began as only a bulletin board message system in the late 80s, it quickly grew adding features such as real-time chat and email. The "You got mail," .wav sound echoed throughout households everywhere and even prompted the creation of the popular Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romcom titled the same.

While AOL boasted message boards and email, the big draw was the eventual chat rooms. AOL volunteers hosted these message boards and chat rooms in a huge variety of different channels and networks. I worked in the Women's Network. The group of women I worked and chatted with soon became fast friends, some of whom I still have contact with 30 years later.

The chat rooms were a place where people from all over the country came together. It was a new and unique experience for most people at the time. Even though chat rooms required typing and sending chat to a screen, there were other ways to communicate with room members. One feature was the ability to play .wav sounds. If someone typed in the command {S } and you had the matching file name on your computer, it would play for you to hear it. These sound bites were often one liners from tv shows and movies, and music. People who were active in chat rooms would often have hundreds, if not thousands, of these .wav files on their computers to help communicate and convey feelings and emotions while sending text to a screen.

When someone would enter or leave a chat room, the "room" would announce it. For example, one of the screennames I used was "Hydrospanner" (a tool used in Star Wars). When I would enter the room, everyone in the room would see:
Online host: Hydrospanner has entered the chat room.

With this type of information popping up on the screen, there would be several responses in turn; some people would type an actual, "hello," but many others would send something like {S } and everyone with a .wav sound file named "hello" in their computer's operating system would hear the sound the file contained. Honestly, it was a lot of fun.

The women in our network became such good, fast friends; they were soon creating .wav files that represented each of the room regulars. When one of these women would enter the chat room, someone would then play their .wav sound as a welcome. (If you remember Cheers, think "NORM!" This was very much the same affect.) The chosen sound files may have something to do with the person's screenname or their personality.

I remember the night when "LoisLn2" (we are still friends) gifted me with the .wav sound chosen for my Hydrospanner screen name. The song came as a surprise to me because without her knowing, she had chosen a song I not only loved but that people had also used to describe me in the past. It was a song that had already been connected to several events in my life and would prove to be connected to several more in my future. Now it took on an additional meaning as a pun to match my "Hydrospanner" screenname.

The song? "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel. I strongly experienced the power of this song from the standpoint of the singer. Paul Simon's lyrics described perfectly how I had felt about loved ones throughout my life. My family, my friends—whenever they needed a hand, I was there for them. It was common knowledge even as young as when I was in high school. I was the one who mothered everyone else. I was the one who took care of people and made sure they were ok. When they needed a friend, I was there. When my aging parents needed more care, I was there. My brothers naturally assumed I would be the one to take care of them, even while dealing with my own breast cancer.

Always there. Always caring. Always their bridge.

Loyal to a Fault
I lived up to my theme song well; I was loyal and helpful to people far longer than I should have been, and to plenty who were manipulative and selfish. It's easy for "takers" to take advantage of "givers," especially when we let them. Giving to takers makes you feel worse afterwards due to their lack of appreciation or respect, so you move on to try to help someone else, and may possibly fall into the same pit again. Always looking to help someone else, and having poor boundaries, aren't conducive to self-healing.

At the time, of course, I had no clue that the part of me that was always taking care of others at my own expense was connected to my shadow shelf—which protected me from the lack of care I had received as a child. I was taught by adults in my life that giving to others would make me feel better about myself. I had for years tried to give others the care and comfort I had missed. Between early sexual assault, the death of my mother, and then the death of my grandmother (who had become a main caregiver), all before the age of 10, I would spend a few decades trying to make up for what I lacked. Unfortunately, not having a full understanding at the time, I didn't fully comprehend that I was giving to others what I still needed for myself.

In Steps, Simon and Garfunkel
One night, several years after the "hydro.wav" file was created, I was floating in the hot tub, listening to music from a speaker on my deck, and trying to enjoy my high. Sometimes, however, the higher self has a message it wants to get through, and it doesn't necessarily care if you want to relax and chill. When it decides that there is work to do, then there is work to do.

When weed helps you make the connection to your higher self, don't fight it. Let it take you to where you need to go. You're ready for whatever it is your mind wants to reveal to you.

I felt the nudge that stands for the signal of, "here we go again" that my mind sends before taking me on a journey into the past and the shadow lands. While I let the environment around me melt away, my sense of hearing intensified, and I soon heard a familiar tune being played on a piano.

The music surrounded me, drowning out the sound of the hot tub jets. It enveloped me. Embraced me.

As the words reached out to touch me, I felt a shift in perception. I was no longer hearing the words as if I was singing them, as if I was offering them to others to ease their pain. For the first time, I heard "Bridge Over Troubled Water" being sung to me.

For me.

It was an incredibly revealing moment. I could give myself the same love and care I had given to others for so long. I could be my own bridge. I could be my own friend. I could stand by myself. I could give myself the things I needed to heal instead of giving them to other people and hope for…hope for what? A form of osmosis to soak in the healing I spread to other people? While I do understand the sentiment that helping others heal helps us heal, working on and healing yourself is a direct and effective route.

Conjuring with Cannabis
Working with weed has been a complete life-changer for me. It has affected most areas of my life. I use it for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes. I generate income through the books and articles I write about it. I have healed myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Cannabis is a large and central part of my life. Because it has helped me in so many ways, I was excited about writing Conjuring with Cannabis: Spells and Rituals for the Weed Witch, in hopes of sharing some of the benefits with my readers.

I have found cannabis to be helpful with shadow work, and while I have written articles about it in the past, I am pleased this new book will contain a full chapter on the subject. Learning to put your ego aside and communicate with your higher self is difficult, but it is necessary for healing and expanding your magical power and abilities.

These are how moments of healing comes to us sometimes: in a flash, a sudden memory we now see differently, a new point of view as an old favorite song takes us by the hand and leads us across a bridge.

About Kerri Connor

Kerri Connor is the leader of The Gathering Grove (a family-friendly, earth-based spiritual group) and has been practicing her craft for over thirty-five years. She is the author of several books, including Spells for Tough ...

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