Many people live, work – and play – in what are actually abusive environments. Increasingly, we find ourselves assaulted, especially in western televisions shows, movies and on social media, by coarse, mocking, harsh, potty-mouth language. The sounds and meanings of this language are harsh and harmful to speakers and listeners alike. It is hard to escape the impact, and all too easy to succumb to social pressure so that our own speech descends to these levels.
Words have Shamanic power – they are Deeds – where they have gone they leave the Dark, or the Light. Wherever the Dark appears, its goal is to debase our humanity.
We should remember that the presence of the Dark, what we call Evil, can always be recognized by the way it degrades through use of mockery; there is almost always an unnatural, heavy-handed focus on the sexual and on the coarser of body functions.
The goal of the Dark is to cut us off from the higher levels of our Humanity – Mind and Spirit – and thus block out the Light. Torture does this to the body; coarse, mocking, obscenity-laden speech does this to the personality and spirit, but leaves its negative, harmful imprint on the body as well, because our DNA is a language itself, and “recording” all that it hears…
In the Beginning, the Word
God created the universe, we are told, with Voice and Word – with Logos. Sarasvati, Great Goddess of Speech and Knowledge in India, is considered the Creatrix of the World, and the Goddess of Time and Memory, Seshat of Egypt, has a mysterious, creative connection to the power of language – the Word.
Each human being contains this power of expressive creativity. Each time we speak (and we must assume this also includes speaking in Sign), we bring forth something which leaves us and goes forth on a life of its own…something to ponder, indeed.
“The Word is the most powerful tool we have as humans” from The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, Shaman
They say the Dark is jealous of the Light, and will try to steal from it…
From the Shaman’s perspective, there is an ongoing struggle within each of us, and within the World, between the Dark and the Light. Language is one of the places where this battle is ongoing, though this is seldom acknowledged by those who instinctively use language as a casual weapon in daily life.
Yet at some level, each of us knows that in the words we throw so carelessly out there, we are creating Word Deeds, sending arrows of psychic energy into the Temple of the World.
Word Deed Dreaming in the Temple of the World
What are we sending out into the Temple of our shared world? How are we Dreaming the World? On the spiritual path, one of the first lessons we learn is that thoughts commence the formation of a deed; intentions change the thought to bring it one step closer to the completed deed. Words are the arrows that carry our thoughts and intentions out into the world where they become Word Deeds – psychic energy crystallized in matter.
We are karmically responsible for our Word Deeds, yet we are often unaware of their great power for good or evil. Like children, we forget that there are negative forces which would use our daily language and other simple things to Darken the World.
Directing Energy As Power
Artemis – also known in Rome as Diana – is the Greek Goddess of the Great Bow and Golden Arrows…Her Hunt is the Spiritual Path. Our arrows of energy, like those of Artemis, must be strong, pure and loving, even as they speed to their mark.
The use of language is an exercise of Shamanic power. Poetry, spells, incantations, and mystical rituals all make use of the power of language. But every word we speak, in non-sacred as well as sacred settings, has Shamanic power. In the practical Shamanism of our daily lives we are casting spells whether we understand how it works, or not.
More often than we realize, these are literally spells we are casting on ourselves, and we will meet their results in another Place, another Time…
How tempting it is, and what a habit it can become, to use slang, curse words, coarse mocking terms, and the burning acid of sarcasm. These forms of language were created in all cultures to direct the force of spirit against an adversary – to shame, distance, degrade, intimidate, and control others.
People never forget – and seldom forgive – these words directed towards them. They leave lasting wounds scarring the fibers of the psyche and soul – manifesting ultimately in the body and life events of those against whom such negative shamanic power is directed. What this means is that we are able to literally “curse” another – whether we believe in “shamanism” or not.
In these moments, the Dark savors its triumph over the Light. And, in the great wisdom and justice of the Law, all that we have sent forth returns one day to our own harbour like a ship that carries the Plague.
We will learn, from the grinding schoolroom of life, the bitter lessons that might so easily have been learned in spiritual cultivation. Our tears of anger and self-pity then will be another victory for the Dark over the Light.
Harsh Word Deeds Can Destroy the Inner Temple
As they pass through us into the world, our Word Deeds burn their images into the walls of the Temple of the Self….
When we use language, creating “our spells” in the world, there is another law at work with an immediate karmic effect – another victory for the Dark over the Light. In our own, inner Temple our words pass as arrows of energy through our own beings on their way to our intended target. Harsh words, coarse slang, and curse words act like electrical jolts burning through our nervous systems, psyches and vocal cords long before they hurtle towards their target in the outer world.
Packed with their negative vibrational payload, they sear us as they pass through us, carving harsh images into body, mind and soul. These form the tablets from which our karma will be read, but often karma is swift, as we experience physical and emotional damage from our angry, biting or bitter volley of words.
Hear Me, My Temple
And when we are alone, within the Temples of our selves, how do we talk to ourselves about ourselves? What words are we using when we “think” – which is silent speech – about our place in our own lives, our place in the world, in God’s garden?
We need to examine this inner dialogue, for it is “casting a spell” upon us and our lives as surely as if we had secured the assistance of a Shaman high in the mountains of Peru.
In the new science of the brain – “neuroplasticity” – we learn that as we talk to ourselves, we physically shape and reshape the living images of perception, meaning, and memory within our brain. We are speaking also directly to our DNA, which is a kind of living biosoftware which we have the power to reprogram, though most of us are not conscious of this power nor of its effects.
In our conscious Minds, and in our unconscious Minds, do we address ourselves in an ongoing monologue of contempt, disrespect, mockery, despair and disappointment? Or do we speak in calm tones of love, appreciation and creativity to the temples of our bodies and to our faithful selves, tending the gardens of our lives?
We share, with the Creator, the creative power of Logos, of Language. What does our side of the conversation sound like?
© Carol Leigh Rice 2016, revised 2021.