Did you know that Bipolar disorder is experienced by 2.8% of the population of US adults? According to the American Psychiatric Association, those who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder experience intense mood swings.
During 2017, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. The reality of my diagnoses from a medical professional hit me harder than I had initially anticipated. I accepted the fact that my brain was abnormally imbalanced, however I was unwilling to accept it as a “death sentence” or a “total definition of my character.” Yes, I have bipolar disorder however it is not the sum of who I am.
As a Witch, how can I use my energy to bring about transformation during the imbalances caused by bipolar disorder?
Introducing “Manic Magick”
Being a bipolar witch is like being a student of Chaos Magick. The bipolar witch may feel like they are in a state of complete flux. Here are some best Magickal practices for using these ebbs and flows of energy most effectively. As a disclaimer, these practices alone will not help in your recovery or healing. They will be excellent practices to use as a supplement to what is already prescribed by a medical professional. Magick works best for us when we are doing things in the physical as well as the spiritual world. These mundane habits come in the form of therapy, prescribed medication, & reliable education about our mental illnesses.
When you’re feeling low, depressed, or unmotivated:
Being in a manic depressive state can put our dreams and aspirations on hold. This can be a time when even the most basic of needs are not being met. This is the time to rest, cleanse, and put up protective wards. Here are some examples of some effective practices during this time. Not only will they help you Magickally, they will also boost your ability to perform self-care when you need it most!
- A daily cleansing ritual. This ritual doesn’t have to be lengthy. It could be in the form of smudging yourself with burning herbs for five minutes in the morning and saying, “I release that which does not serve me. I remove the emotional hooks and anchors which cause me toxic thoughts.” Use what herbs feel appropriate. Some examples of smudging herbs could be Goat’s Rue, Yerba Santa, sustainably harvested Palo Santo, Rosemary, Angelica, Hyssop, or Lavendar. Taking magickal baths with these herbs will boost the effectiveness of the spiritual cleansings and will be a good way to practice self care.
- Creating magickal wards for yourself. I carry a gray leather pouch (gray is a color of battling depression in various traditions of American Folk Magick) filled with carnelian, quartz, and citrine to help me out of the darkest times. You can use scraps of cloth procured from a thrift store or from unused linens around your home. You can fill this little protective ward with whatever herbs feel most appropriate or whatever you can afford. You can use white table salt & ginger as a low-cost means to provide yourself with a little extra energy. Wear it on your person, either in plain sight or hidden somewhere in your clothing.
- Consider a bedtime ritual. Sleep is essential for dealing with any mental health crisis. It’s also the time when our brains can express themselves in the form of dreams and give us valuable insight into our subconscious. Before you go to bed, light a candle. I like to use purple or silver candles for dream work. If you can burn incense, I recommend sandalwood. Take a deep breath and sit with the flame for about ten minutes. Invoke your higher self with this small incantation:
I call to my higher self, the ancient soul,
Please come forward through my dreams,
To guide, to inspire, and lend me your wisdom!
I trust in myself, the inner light shines!
I am more than the sadness,
I am wisdom!
So mote it be!
As you would honor any ancestor, spirit, or deity, it’s now time to give yourself an offering. Take a small glass of water, hold it over the flame and envision the brightness of the candle filling the glass of water. Drink it and know that you are empowering yourself towards creating a better life for yourself.
When you’re feeling unstoppable, hypomanic, or unbelievably revved up:
A hypomanic state, or the period of time when a bipolar person feels revved up is a scary time for those watching on the outside. It can be characterized by sleepless nights, fast talking, and impulsive decision making. These habits can wreak havoc when we’re trying to learn how to balance ourselves. This is not the time for manifesting goals. This is the time for looking inward and exploring our roots.
- Shadow work. If you’re familiar with shadow work, this is a good time to use the explosive energy caused by a hypomanic episode to do some super effective journaling & meditation. You can explore different facets of your personality by using music, exercise, or dance to reach new heights. Write everything down and don’t act on anything yet. Set these new insights aside for a time when you’re feeling more balanced. You can either bring these revelations to your therapist to discuss or keep them in a journal away from prying eyes. Healing yourself, no matter how much energy you have now, is a marathon – not a sprint.
- Banishing Magick. Banishing Magick, is not to be confused with cursing or hexxing work. If we know there are toxic habits which haunt us and keep us from being our best selves, we can use our temporary state of heightened energy to sever the connection to self sabotage, feelings of worthlessness, and other negative traits. We have to keep in mind, however, that huge changes which occur overnight will not be sustainable in the long run. Banishing work is a journey of a thousand steps. We begin by writing down on a piece of paper, one negative trait which we think holds us back from being our best self. Let’s make a circle of black salt (you can use sea salt or white table salt if you can’t make your own black salt) on a fireproof surface such as a ceramic plate. In the center of the plate, fold your paper up. Use a lighter to incinerate the bad habit. Do this every night for a couple of weeks. While the paper burns, envision the habit leaving you and also think about how you will physically change your daily practices to become more healthy. Using impulsive spending as an example, it might be in the form of creating a sustainable budget for yourself or avoiding places where you have no self control when spending money.
- Grounding. I think the practice of good grounding is severely underrated in the Magickal community. By grounding ourselves during a time when our energy is revved or fluctuating, we are helping ourselves stay in control. One best practice is to acquire a “worry stone” which is usually a crystal such as rose quartz or citrine carved into the shape of an oval with a concave depression in the center of it. If you can’t acquire a crystal worry stone, you can use any stone you find in nature which fits easily in your hand. I’ve had impressive results with raw crystals or rough stones I’ve found on hikes. When you feel yourself beginning to emotionally detonate or when you can’t focus, pull out your worry stone.
In a safe place, close your eyes. Practice some square breathing and run your fingertips over the surface of your worry stone. Concentrate on the temperature of the stone, the texture. When you begin to calm down, stare at your little stone. Notice the colors or any imperfections within the crystal. Once you get into the habit of grounding, you’ll find it gets easier over time. You can prevent a lot of emotional upheaval and arguments by regularly grounding with reality. Practicing grounding is also a great habit after ritual work to a deity or after casting a spell because it won’t allow the magickal act of manifestation to completely drain you physically.
These are just some of the things I’ve come up with when riding the currents of my emotions during my journey with bipolar disorder. Now that you have an understanding of what Manic Magick can be, what do you think we could add to this? What are some other insights about using our emotional state to help us transform?
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.I’m always interested in hearing the thoughts of others when regarding my work or Magick in general. If you have any questions, comments, or constructive criticism, please don’t hesitate to reach out here or on Facebook. Please follow me on Instagram for more related content! – Shining Quill the Unicorn.