How to Cope and Help
It feels like this last decade has been wrought with one difficult situation after another. The world has felt like it is beyond chaotic and on the brink of something that is leaving everyone, and most especially empaths and highly sensitive people, off-balanced, confused, worried, and lost.
Whether you are concerned with the still ongoing Covid Pandemic or the recent Russian invasion into Ukraine or other current events, there are ways as witches and pagans we can try to help. The following are ideas and tips on how to cope with and help in various ways as a witch, pagan, or other spiritual practitioner during tough current events.
Prayer and Petitions
Often, when we feel lost and unsure, we turn to prayer. Prayer is a simple way of reaching out to the Divine to help us in troubling times and situations. Whether you work with specific deities or not, you can send out prayers to help current events that are troubling you. While it may not seem like a lot, studies have shown that prayer has an effect on the world.
Tips for Praying for Peace or Healing during current events:
- Ask the Universe or specific deities and spirits for help.
- Speak words from the heart. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
- Leave an offering of thanks when petitioning specific deities and spirits.
- Write down your petition (i.e. world peace, the end of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, safety for LGBT+ youth in Texas, etc.) on a slip of paper and burn it.
- Light a white or light blue candle (or other appropriate color) to be a light of hope in dark and troubling times or to bring peace. Light this daily when praying.
- Repeat your prayer daily in the morning or evening or throughout the day when you are called to. The repetition can build up the energy and strengthen it.
- Form a prayer circle with your coven or like-minded friends or family to send your prayers together. Just like with repetition, your joint energies and prayers can strengthen them.
- Gather together in person if you can, but virtual meetings work well for this too.
- If you have drums, singing bowls, or other rhythmic instruments use those. Rhythmic and drumming music playing also works. This can help as a focus to get your energies insync to the music together.
- Be sure you are all on the same page with intent (i.e. world peace or something more specific).
- You do not have to all have the same spiritual beliefs for this either. Christians and Pagans can definitely perform a prayer circle together if they are respectful of each other's beliefs. Just stick with generic terms for the Divine like Spirit, Universe, or Source.
You might feel that just praying is not enough for you to feel like you are doing anything. In that case, you might choose to perform some distance healing. This may feel more intentional for some than just prayer.
If you practice Reiki, you can send distance healing Reiki energy to areas of conflict or to specific individuals or groups of people. I recommend using the Sei-He-Ki symbol during this since there is a definite emotional component to current events.
Have a picture on hand of the current event situation you are sending healing to. This can help keep your focus on where you are sending your energy.
You can also create crystal grids for peace and healing as part of this as well. Choose crystals from the next section to utilize or use what you are most drawn to. You can arrange the crystals in a number of ways for peace and healing. Hold your intention as you place crystals and be sure to activate it after you are done. Visit it daily to spend healing or prayers through it to the area or event.
If you have never done much distance healing before and would like to, here are some steps to try:
- Have a picture handy of the situation you want to send energy to, if you can. Otherwise, have the name of the situation written on a slip of paper that you can hold.
- Center and ground. Also consider a quick protection or shielding for your energy.
- Meditate or focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
- Focus attention down to the core of the Earth and as Her for Her healing energy.
- Feel the energy coming up through a cord into your being. Feel it building up inside.
- Hold the picture (or slip of paper) of the situation in your hand and feel the healing energy of Mother Earth flowing to the situation to heal it or bring peace.
- Continue allowing this energy to flow to the situation until you feel it is enough or the energy begins to lessen.
- Allow the remaining energy to ground back into the Earth and feel yourself disconnect from the situation.
- Return to a normal state of consciousness and ground your energy again. Do a quick cleansing technique to release any residual energy from the situation. Shake your body and grab something to eat.
Crystals for Peace
There are a number of crystals that are good for peace and harmony. This is a quick list of some you may want to carry with you or use in a crystal grid or ritual.
Larimar - tranquility, peace, harmony
Rose Quartz - love, infinite peace, forgiveness BUY
Spirit Quartz - harmony, alignment, cooperation BUY
Blue Lace Agate - communication, peace, integrity, restores balance BUY
Pink Calcite - peace, divine love, forgiveness
Kunzite - love, emotional healing, making peace with the past BUY
Amethyst - spirituality, peace, protection, inner strength BUY
Jade - peace, luck, inner calm BUY
Selenite - cleansing, inner peace, angelic and lunar BUY
Protecting Your Own Energy
With social media and troubling and difficult news on a daily basis, it is important to protect your own energy during these times. It isn’t so much about ignoring what is happening so you can go about your daily life as if nothing is happening, but rather about making sure you take care of yourself despite everything.
When you can, take a break from the media. Even if it is just an hour walk outside, a break from being inundated with constant negative and troubling news can help us recharge. Unplug for a whole day if you can. Then you can come back a bit more refreshed.
Wear protective crystals like black tourmaline or shungite. These can help keep your energy boundaries strong. You can also carry around crystals that will help ground you or maintain your own inner balance and peace.
Journal about your thoughts and concerns. Meditate when you can to rebalance your energy. Talk to someone about your worries and concerns.
And most importantly, avoid judging yourself. Whether it's because you think you could do more and can’t or because you are questioning how your own personal issues and needs can take precedence over terrible things happening in other parts of the world or country, don’t judge your need for personal self-care during these times. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. It is okay to feel lost right now. If you can take time to care of yourself first, you can be in a better position to do more with your time to help others later.
Right now, if praying is all you can do, then pray and don’t compare yourself to Karen on social media bragging about how she donated so much money to such and such cause because she is such a great philanthropist.
Perform a Spell or Ritual
If you have the time and energy, you can perform a spell or ritual for bringing change to the situation. Here are some things to think about when planning for a spell or ritual for troubling current events:
- Gather some ideas from different sources and decide what your main purpose and intent is before starting. You might find peace is your goal or you might find that justice is a better intention or safety for individuals affected.
- Decide on the day and time best in alignment with your spell's intention. (Check out this post from Learn Religions about Magical Days of the Week).
- Gather your supplies. Candles are almost always appropriate. Maybe using a cauldron or burning bowl for a petition would be a good idea. Gather incense or herbs for your spell’s intention too. Research which ones would work best or go with your gut intuition.
- If your plan requires multiple days of reinforcing the spell, schedule time to do it.
- Meditate and ask your spirits, deities, and/or higher self for guidance and help creating the ritual. Ask if this is the right time to do the spell and if there are things that should be changed. Then during the ritual call upon your deities and spirits for their help and be sure to leave offerings for their aid. You can also use divination tools like tarot to get the answer to some of these questions as well.
- Consider casting a magic circle when performing the spell to keep the energies appropriately contained and focused for release.
- Protect your own energy before the spell. Cleanse yourself and establish protective barriers. Cleanse again afterwards. Current events are very emotionally charged, so you will want to protect and cleanse your energy before and after a ritual to deal with these sort of events.
- Practice raising and grounding out energy before the ritual as well. Figure out the techniques that work best for you. I almost always have to eat after an intense ritual to ground my energy out, but others find other techniques better.
Witchcraft for Coping During Difficult Times article from Patheos from 2018 but still relevant
Spells for Tough Times book available in the shop for $32
Donate to Relief Efforts
Do some research for relief efforts, organizations, or causes in your area. There are many legitimate groups that try to help in various crises around the world and even closer to home. Pick one that matches your values and if you can, donate money or supplies. If they need volunteer help, find a way to volunteer if you don’t have the money.
Here are some links to lists of various relief groups specifically helping in the Ukraine Crisis:
Whether you feel lost and overwhelmed, take some time to consider what you can do with the resources you have. If you can only take the time to protect your energy and pray, then take the time to do so. If you feel you can do more financially and/or magically, then take some time to research groups to donate to or how you might want to perform your spell. Do what you can and don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities of dealing with and coping during these continuing difficult times.
If you want to, share with us on social media ways you are trying to cope or help these current events.