Anger and Conflict Resolution

Some people just never seem to get upset by anything. It would be nice if we could all live our lives without anger, but anger is an emotional outlet letting us know that we aren’t happy and our needs are not being met. Anger tells us that there is something deep inside of us that should be addressed. Magickal elders teach us that we should never practice magick when we are angry, meaning that we shouldn’t target a person, place, or thing just because we’re mad. We can use magick, however, to work toward reducing stress, which will also (in time) turn our mental fuses into slow burn rather than a quick explosion.

Our feelings are not separate from the body. In magick, we learn that the body, mind, and soul should work together as one to create a harmonious lifestyle. When something is out of whack, our emotions let us know. When we feel good and express that nice feeling to others, then we are in tune with the universe and it is harder for people to push our emotional buttons. Sometimes anger, annoyance, frustration, or rage comes from old hurts, present fears, or even physical sickness. Occasionally we are angry because of what others do.

When you hear people talking about righteous anger, they are speaking of a moral issue that has deeply upset them — such as murder, abuse, or unsafe practices at work or play. Sometimes when righteous anger takes hold of a person, they demand changes that will make our world a better place. Anger (in this case) can be a catalyst for positive change, but we should never forget that anger is as volatile as a volcano.

One of the hardest things to realize is that we manufacture our own anger. Magickal people know that we control our thoughts, therefore we can learn to harness and move through our anger in a positive way. The trick is to remember to do it before we get carried away, because emotions are quick and natural. They aren’t like a delayed television feed where you have time to sort out what you will show the world and what you wish to keep private.

Not everyone behaves the same way when they are annoyed or upset. Some people hold their anger in, acting sullen or very quiet. Others scream and shout, throw their hands around, and make a terrible display. Then there are the people that are so overwhelmed by their feelings that they can’t think or speak, and when they do, strange and nonsensical things pop out of their mouths, covered in gobs of spit. Being mad every now and then is okay and even healthy because it keeps you from swallowing all that energy and getting sick. On a daily basis, however, how you express that anger is the key to your personal success. Don’t be ashamed if you know you are having trouble controlling your emotions. I know adults that have never gotten the hang of it and are now too old to care about how their rage affects themselves or others; conversely I’ve met lots of young adults (and full-grown ones, too) that have come to the Craft seeking positive ways to harness their fury or frustration and have succeeded magnificently.

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