What’s taken me by surprise has been the deafening silence from spiritual leaders, witches, and healers in the wake of current events.
Over the last year, I’ve seen white supremacists take over the White House, normalize Nazi beliefs and violence, devalue American citizens in struggling U.S. territories and more. Though these events seem to have happened in breathtaking succession, I can’t say I was outright surprised by any of them. As a Black woman, I was never in a position to deny or hide from America’s shadow. It’s one I learned to recognize as a child, and it was only through intense study of its depths and origins that I was able to remove myself from its darkness.
What’s taken me by surprise has been the deafening silence from spiritual leaders, witches, and healers in the wake of these events. It seems that, for as much as they encourage “confronting your shadow,” or becoming familiar with the less seemly parts of your personality, they are unwilling to recognize the societal shadow that casts us in oppressive systems and beliefs.
At first it was puzzling to see their weekly newsletters appear in my inbox, without so much as a mention of incidents like Charlottesville. At most, they would acknowledge a “heavy energy” and advise us to protect our own, as though white supremacy could be conquered through visualization alone. At the bottom of these emails they urged followers to book a healing or coaching session, but how could I be counseled by someone who does not witness my struggle?
Spirituality has become trendy and there’s no denying that related services often cater to a high-end crowd. It’s so much less controversial to promote “light and love” instead of confronting unsightly truths and potentially alienating devotees. After all, everyone’s sick of politics, aren’t they?
To be clear — it’s a privilege to be “sick” of politics, to extract yourself from these issues and choose when to engage. For so many of us, our very existence is political. When we see Trump make ignorant statements about the “president” of the U.S. Virgin Islands, we’re reminded of the countless leaders who insulted and denigrated our cultures in the past. We understand that these are not isolated events, but symptomatic of a nation that has not come to terms with its brutal history.
Healers don’t just wiggle their fingers and magically conjure up a cure, they give us the tools and understanding to facilitate our own healing. It’s a title that holds a lot of weight, one that upon claiming enters you into an sacred agreement to hold space for collective suffering. This exchange doesn’t work if practitioners refuse to give credence to inherited traumas or offer support to those who are disproportionately impacted. It doesn’t work if healers cannot recognize their own complicity in upholding these systems and encourage their privileged followers do the same.
Personally, I’ve begun implementing a “Fool me once” system for weeding out clueless spiritualists and brands. I admit that a lot is happening on a daily basis and it’s impossible to address every individual concern, but that isn’t an excuse to ignore everything that can’t be repackaged into an SEO-friendly subject line. I might be willing to give one pass, but if it turns out to be the norm, I divert my attention (and dollars) to those who aren’t afraid to use their platform for progress.
If there’s one thing that’s true for our capitalist society, it’s that money talks. I can only hope that through such divestments, spiritual leaders will eventually realize that playing it safe is no longer profitable.
If you’re interested in following insightful intuitives who are doing the work to call out and dismantle the patriarchy, a few of my personal favorites include astrologer Chani Nicholas, Oracle of Los Angeles Amanda Yates Garcia, Bri Luna of Hood Witch, tarot reader and ritual practitioner Tatianna Tarot, and artist/intuitive Marcella Kroll.