I addressed mental illness in my previous article (Mental Illness in Magic and the Occult) regarding magic and the occult. It is still seen as a stigma by many practitioners, but there is a positive movement for mental illness in the magical and occult communities. I do feel it is something that needs to be addressed, as some of these advocates for mental illness in the community are causing harm. There are some practitioners that have been making outrageous claims saying that using crystals, energy healing, and ceremonial magic have completely healed them – and therefore it works for anyone if they want it hard enough. Though the worst, in my opinion, are those that claim mental illness is a Divine Madness that makes them special.
I feel that this type of thinking is a trap. One that cheapens mental illness, and also causes more stigma within the community. It can indeed be a very spiritual experience. My experiences, especially during mania, are akin to those that need LSD or DMT to commune with spirits and the Universe. It can be very exhilarating! Image having the ability to stand where you are and only needing to close your eyes to be fully present in an astral realm. Pretty neat, right?
But what about those times that there isn’t a natural high? Or what about people that never get a natural high, but only feel apathy or severe depression? Where is the exhilaration of the Divine Madness? This state is frightening and akin to the Dark Night of the Soul on steroids.
I’ve seen many bragging that they are mentally ill, and as a result, see beings or have special gifts. Most of these people are liars and looking for adoration; though some are just trying to find a reason to carry on.
Other practitioners use drugs or have a severe mental illness that distorts messages and what beings from the other planes of existence truly are. We often see or hear what we want, especially in unnaturally induced states. Our biases can create what is true into fantasy, and that should be remembered. Even when a natural vision or message comes through, if you feel that there is conflicting emotion, then check yourself.
There are rare times that I know a message or vision is ABSOLUTELY true, but many are just snippets of information that I can only guess what the message truly means. No one holds all the keys to the Truth, though many hold a lot of knowledge and techniques to try and strive for the Truth of this existence.
Mental illness is not awesome, no matter the amazing things that may happen. I would not give up my experiences, but I would not wish my mental illness on anyone. It shouldn’t be glorified, especially since having a mental illnesses doesn’t mean a person has “gifts”.
Regarding my own mental illness, I am working on being healthier and finding ways to retain “the Divine Madness” without it spiraling out of control. This is why I think it is important to do a lot of Self and Shadow work – know Thyself.
Stay true to yourself, and keep working towards your goals, whether you have a mental illness or not. I believe with passion and hard work, you can become what you are meant to be.
Original Post: Arachnia Stoneskull
January 11, 11:125 A.M.
Photo Credit: “Gratitude for the Earth and Sky, 2015” by Cameron Gray