When Danielle LaPorte asked me to share my own White Hot Truth in celebration of her new book WHITE HOT TRUTH: Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another, I panicked. Because I knew I was being asked to reveal the thing I really didn’t want to tell you.
If you don’t know Danielle yet, I’m honored to pop your LaPorte cherry. She is my favorite kind of artist, one who pulls the very essence of life, pain, love and growth and weaves melodic prose to capture the very heart of the matter. She’s on Oprah’s Super Soul Top 100, a best selling author and has one of the top websites for personal growth, DanielleLaPorte.com. Danielle has the voice of a powerful, sultry, angel and I get swept up in her words.
Can you tell I’m avoiding getting to what I’m going to tell you?
Ok, here it goes…
I grew up going to a Congregational Protestant Church in Massachusetts. I loved going to church. My two best friends were always there, no one was allowed to make fun of me like they did in school, I got to dress up and eat donuts. Mostly, I felt peaceful there. When I prayed I felt a connection to God, and it made me feel safe. My church was for sure one of the good ones: open minded, focused on love and kindness and never said anything bad about women, but they rarely talked about women either…
It was as if the whole gender didn’t have a lot to do with the salvation of humanity. Besides Mary of course, who was a scared, alone virgin who has the baby and then is basically ignored for the rest of the story. Hmmm.
On the side, I was taking out fiction books from the library about Witches, Druids, and Egyptian Priestesses. I searched for fairies in the woods, made potions out of clovers, dirt and moth wings (good spell for getting your brother to stay away) and trying to get my magic wand to work.
When I was about 10, my backyard magic dwindled and my body hatred picked up. My sense was that this was more of a ‘changing of the guards’ than a coincidence.
Fast forward to living in New York City in my early twenties. I was at the peak of my binge eating disorder and was drinking way too much. I landed in a beautiful community that centered around meditation and the law of attraction. Although having a spiritual practice and community gave me all the juicy feelings of belonging, I noticed that a lot of the women felt paralyzed by the fact that they were creating all of these terrible events in their life. The addiction to positivity and the fear of being negative (which would attract a terrible thing like a car accident or getting fired) was debilitating.
And all that sitting on the ground being quiet made me want to get up and scream or dance on the pillows to an Usher song.
When I moved to San Francisco, I was connected with a therapist in my neighborhood. When I went to her home office in my jeans and collared shirt, I noticed little goddess statues and crystals strewn about. ‘So San Francisco,’ I thought. A few months in I walked into our weekly session and she had 13 cushions on the floor in a circle on top of sheaths of red velvet with a little table full of pictures of pregnant women and burned down candles.
It was liked being dunked under water. Red, thick, molten water and it pulled on my heart in a way I haven’t experienced. I wanted IN on this mystery. I wanted a place in this circle.
“What is going on here?” I whispered to her. My head bent.
She told me about the 13 Moon Temple she held in her home, a group of women dedicated to exploring the divine feminine in all of her faces.
“Maybe you will join us someday when you are ready.” and quickly shifted gears and asked me how I was feeling about my relationship this week.
When I saw that circle of cushions on the floor, all of my memories from my backyard magic days came flooding back. And I had a ferocious hunger for more.
I pried and prodded her until she revealed the full capacity of that work and I’ve been learning and experience the magic of the 13 Moon Mystery School for five years now. It’s been the best thing I’ve ever done.
Along the way, I became the most interested in how we relate to the seasons and the cycles of the moon. I took note of the crows that landed on my window sill and the trees that were fallen across my chosen path. I noticed how the love I felt for my body was directly correlated with how magical, intuitive and powerful I was.
I was trading in enlightenment for embodiment, the heavens for earth, my mind for my body.
It all felt wild, weird and a bit dirty. I liked it.
I was waking up to the fact that I was a Witch.
And then I got stressed out. I HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN. I HAVE SO MANY BOOKS TO READ AND SPELLS TO LEARN. I started worrying that I wasn’t witchy enough, that I was a wannabe, a charlatan. I didn’t have a real cauldron! I create ritual potions in the same bowl I make pancakes in.
People are just starting to come around to the word “Witch” and understand that it’s not synonymous with the evil warty villain from our fairy tales. And as I’ve been discovering the teachings of Paganism and Wicca, I get all tied up with cultural stereotypes and judgments, and when I talked about it, I just felt awkward.
Then I read White Hot Truth and took a pause.
You see, I’m a personal growthaholic….
I’ve read hundreds of books from the power of mantras to A Course in Miracles to the history of Scottish Witchcraft. I’ve attended countless workshops and retreats and travelled to sacred sites. It’s all been A LOT. Maybe too much. Because all of the input is noisy, and I forget that the most important teacher, the only person who can give me permission to stand up and claim my White Hot Truth is Me.
So I took a break from the input, the expectations, and the gurus, and got quiet. (This is all Danielle’s idea btw, if it were up to me, I’d be rereading every book in my library searching for the answers).
And in that silence, I asked, Am I a Witch? If you define a Witch as a woman who worships the Earth and her body and her power, then YES. But what feels truer than any label is that I am a Woman. A woman who is awake to her innate (aka it is built into every woman) connection to the Earth and the power of her body and uses it to connect to an unspoken language that exists between the trees, the wind and the stars.
You see, you don’t need to become a Kundalini yoga instructor, a Priestess or a Witch to be magical, you already are that. You just have to sit in the quiet long enough wake up to yourself.
And so here I am. Just a woman, sitting outside any specific spiritual path. I’m free to explore and bail as I please. Curating what helps me remember my innate power, and discarding anything that tells me I’m powerless without them.
So if you feel like you’re drowning in an ocean of spiritual opinions, or lost in the woods of mantras and crystals wandering this way and that without direction, then here is a place to land for a while: White Hot Truth by Danielle LaPorte. It isn’t another spiritual practice or self-help book, but a call back to your center so you can start to make sense of your spiritual journey so far and introduce you to the most critical teacher you’ll ever have, yourself.
In celebration of your truth,
Simple actions to take your life back, know your worth & feel alive no matter how drained, overwhelmed and far gone you feel.