Oh no. We don’t want or can’t have your negativity here. It’s bringing us all down. It’s something to be ashamed of donchaknow.
Memes and quotes and exercises abound, filling your awareness constantly with their messages about removing negativity from your life, surroundings and consciousness. Lightworkers and Spiritual Coaches lecture you on focusing purely on the positives and letting go of all that is negative.
Cancer is negative. I let go of all cancer. I no longer acknowledge it’s existence or it’s power to harm those I love. Cancer has no power over me.
Do you think that worked? Can I now think positive and choose to never have another Cervical smear or mammogram because that would be inviting negativity back in?
It’s a word that you’ll hear a lot in Pagan circles. What does it mean?
There seems to be a number of ways it gets used:
- Anything perceived as bad or evil
- Anything that makes you feel challenged or uncomfortable
- Any time someone disagrees with you
- Anything that takes away from your self-esteem (deserved or not)
- A buzzkill
- An expectation or projection of judgment or criticism (again deserved or not)
- Worrying or concern
Negativity has become a cliched catch-phrase that is supposed to make you feel bad for displaying anything other than bouncy nauseating optimism and positivity. Even neutral things now come under the heading of negativity.
Most recently I was called negative for giving my reasons for disliking and not recommending the works of a certain author. Apparently it is bad of me to think that advising a teenager to be dishonest with their parents is wrong. I questioned a blanket statement “witchcraft teaches us that we can’t do magic for personal gain”. Questioning this person and asking him to back his assertions allegedly qualifies as negative banter.
I find this most fascinating in magical circles. Especially those circles where the way magic works is described using electricity as an analogy. Magic is just like electricity apparently.
I also inform all clients that magic is like electricity. It is energy that feeds off other other energy (the intent of the Enchantment & how well you follow my instructions on following through with prayers and/or meditations after the Enchantment is completed).
In some ways, magic is like electricity. It can flow from one source to another.
Magic is like electricity; if you do not give electricity a specific way in which to travel it will fit [sic] the quickest route to ground itself, which usually ends up with someone being frazzled.
Magic is like electricity, it will choose the method which is both direct and energy efficient. Therefore a bolt of lightening would be quite energy inefficient, when a spell is cast. It would be more likely that it would be an energy packet (quantum energy) which would interact with the environment on a quantum level, hence no balls of fire.
Magic is like electricity--it has a purpose but can't do everything.
Psionics use the inner strength of a person to operate and like any other physical exercise can and will tire a person out. Magic, however, does not draw on a person's essence to operate. Magic is like electricity, it is power and people are the shapers and users of such energy.
Never mind all the ones that go into dark or light purposes… Well, sticking with the electricity analogy.
I’m sure that at some stage in school we’ve all done that little exercise where you make a small circuit with a battery, some wire and a light bulb. Now picture that battery in your mind. Do you remember how it has two terminals on it? Two opposing poles? How are they labelled? Yeah, positive and negative. What happens if you only attach the positive terminal to your circuit and not the negative?
In magic, there is no difference. Your lightbulb won’t glow if the source isn’t balanced, that is if the connection to both poles isn't present.
I think some of this phenomenon has come from a misunderstanding.
Positivity and Negativity
Affirmations leap to mind for me as my next and best example. Affirmations allow us to change our reality, to improve ourselves and the world around us.
Affirmations must always be positive.
Now this doesn't mean that they must be filled with childlike optimism and naive choices to ignore reality. It means that you can't use negative words in your affirmation. Not bad words, negative words - "not", "don't" and so forth. The reason for this is that your brain doesn't really hear them - it filters out many of the filler words. If you were to make "I will not get sick" as your affirmation, your brain will hear "will get sick" and filter out the rest. This is why your phrasing must be positive - "I will be healthy and well".
When you're phrasing a magical intent, the same rules apply. "Only happy thoughts shall enter" is better than "sadness is not allowed". You can have things that are thought of as negative "I will take my vengeance" (yes, it's melodramatic but it's fun) and it's still a positive phrasing of intent.
The negative is seen as the bad things. The things we don't like about ourselves. Some traditions refer to these things as Shadows rather than negatives. Your Shadow side is still a part of you. Denying it's existence or pretending that it's not there or that you can be rid of it is as silly as trying to cut off your actual shadow on a sunny day. Are you Peter Pan?
If you are frightened of or threatened by your shadow side, then it has power over you. It becomes a driving force and isn't that the opposite of what you're trying to do?
I've done readings for people who've been freaking out over something they perceive as negative or bad. I recall one lady whose husband had died about six months earlier. She had been told it was time for her to be moving on with her life and letting it go. I told her it was okay for her to be mad at him, it was okay for her to be still mourning him. It didn't make her bad, it made her human. It had been eating her up so much that she was so grateful for that one sentence. She'd almost been making herself ill with the idea that it was negative, bad or wrong for her to be still sad, mad and caught up in her husband of forty years.
Why is it that we can accept that night follows day and will pass at sunrise tomorrow. We can accept that Spring and Summer follow Winter. The darkness and the light follow each other in these cycles and it's natural. We accept that these darknesses are essential and temporary, but when we face our own darknesses it is something wrong, it is to be feared, treated and medicated?
I know I can't change the world. I know I can't beat everyone around until they grasp this concept. I can only try to reach those who are willing to listen.