We have all known difficult people. Whether they are manipulative, disrespectful of boundaries, toxic or whatever the case may be, our lives improve when we sever our connection with them. Disconnecting is a nuanced and multifaceted process. Personal boundaries have to be established and enforced, and then begins the work of removing the remaining tendrils of the connection. Metaphysical links have to be sussed out and severed as well.
For me, dandelions (also called Witch’s Gowan) make a wonderful metaphor for difficult people. Like the dandelion, difficult people are resistant to being uprooted once they have found good soil (i.e. you). Also, difficult people usually establish deep roots, insinuating themselves into multiple facets of your mind, heart, and spirit, and your body too if they are a lover. When people learn their lesson and cut ties with difficult folks, the situation improves for the better. But difficult folks often remain unchanged by their experience with the people they use. The psychological and metaphysical mechanisms that make the person difficult or toxic remain un-neutralized. Are there sorceries and magics that can catalyze that transformation process for difficult people? Of course, as sure as Hekate is Queen of Witches and Dark Lady of the Crossroads. But that growth process is the difficult person’s cross to bear. They are responsible for their own growth and change, and they are naturally reluctant to be self-reflexive and take on that agonizing process. Consequently, when we move on, difficult people, like dandelions, typically find someone else’s soil to take root in and use.
Dandelions are often irritating weeds in any intentional and crafted garden but they inevitably spring up. With that said, don’t fret too much. Dandelions can be consumed for their nutrients. Muahaha! Difficult people can be grist for the mill of personal growth, at least they can be for resilient folk who are trying to reach their full potential and be better today than they were the day before. That said, there is no need to keep a garden full of difficult people in your life; that’s not my point. But when you inevitably cross paths with them, make their seeds, leaves, roots, and the like into take-away messages and lessons that you can use to add to your own Soul Caliber (“This victory strengthens the soul of…And yes, that is a video game reference.) and to squash similar challenges in the future. This is a part of accepting what life has to teach you and moving on.
When healing from contact with a difficult person, be sure to engage in as much self-care as you can. A key part of self-care is putting distance between you and the problematic person and then giving your personal boundaries a good once over. Are they non-existent? Are there just gaps? Begin closing those us. This is your garden, your sacred enclosure. [Gerda has taught me a lot about the magic and mystery of the sacred enclosure. More on that in a later post.] You decide what’s in, how in it is, why, and for what larger purpose. And you decide what’s out, how out it is, why, and for what larger purpose. Dandelions will enter the sacred enclosure; that’s the reality, but only you decide if they are allowed to stay. And only you decide what personal growth you will extract from those encounters.
If you decide that the dandelions in your garden have to go, be sure to carefully lay the groundwork for disconnecting from them. Remember that their roots run deep. So, do the work you have to do on yourself, then harvest several dandelions for a delicious salad, and when it feels right, seal the Disconnect Deal. Maybe the simple little charm below can help with that. This spell charm can either begin your work of disconnecting from the difficult people in your life or it can mark the successful end of that work. It can also serve as an in-between charm to help push you forward. But no matter where it falls in your work, it does not in and of itself constitute the whole of it. It’s not enough to wish a person away from you. You then have to close the door, hold the boundary line…and call in reinforcements (or the cops) if necessary.
Witch’s Gowan: A Charm of Release
Obtain a dandelion that has a full crown of seeds and dig up as much of the roots as you can. Ideally the dandelion would come from your own property or from the property of the difficult person in question. Mindfully carry the plant to some distant place, perhaps to a crossroads or to a railroad track or even a park or natural water source. Wherever you go, it should not be too near your home. Let your walk to the place be a meditation on the troubles you’ve had with this person, the lessons you’ve learned, and your will to walk a new path that does not include this person.
Once you’ve found your spot, hold the plant away from your body. Speak the following or something similar:
Annoying little weed seed,
Up, up and away!
Let the winds of change carry you
far from this place.
Enrich the soil of well and wishful hearts.
But my garden has had enough of you,
And your tangled roots too.
Repeat this charm or something similar as many times as you feel you need to. Then, with the full strength of your will, throw the plant (hard and high) away from you. Walk away without looking back. When you return home, wash your hands at the very least or take a cleansing bath.
It is done.