I’m the kind of person that likes to have goal to work towards (lol capricorn) and actually I just lied I like to have like 8000 goals to work toward at once because I’m a glutton for punishment. Some of these goals are things I consciously choose, like this year’s goal of finding advertisers for the podcast I don’t feel scummy plugging. Others are goals that find me. These goals are rarely quite so specific (isn’t that always the way?) and require just as much effort to figure them out as it does to actually accomplish them. Every year a certain word or colour or idea will appear in my life and inspire me to act or to learn something new. This year’s word was AUTHENTICITY and my colour was ORANGE.

I talked about this in a couple of recent podcast episodes like episode 49 with Joanna DeVoe and episode 58 about omens and synchronicity. Now that we’re approaching the end of the year I’m finding myself contemplating this year’s word and colour and whether or not I integrated their lessons into my life.

Authenticity card from Lucy Cavendish’s Magical Spell Cards

I didn’t choose either of these because of the above card, and actually came across it after I had been noticing both the word and colour everywhere. I must have heard the word ‘authenticity’ at least 20 times between new year’s day and March. It came up in my own tarot readings, in new books I read, on tv shows, and when my fave psychic repeated it three times during a reading I finally gave in haha. Every time I noticed it, all the other times I’d heard it popped into my head. Then in May a member of the Witch n’ Bitch said they wanted to focus on “authenticity and self-expression” and I nearly fell out of my damn chair.

Authenticity is SUCH a big word. When something is authentic that means it’s real. It’s origins are credible, or it’s in line with what’s accepted as fact, is wholly original, or even that it’s completely unoriginal but a great replica. Isn’t that odd? The dictionary says that something authentic has to be real and unique and not an imitation, unless it is an imitation and then it has to be a good one.

When we talk about people being authentic it usually means that their personality or behaviour is true to who they are. How great is that? It’s a word that tries to make something totally subjective into absolute fact just because …. because. The difference between real and fake is a very blurred line lately, with the news (especially american news) being a great example. What I’ve noticed is that authentic and real, are not actually the same thing! You hear the words FAKE NEWS a lot. That news is fake because it’s not based on real facts, right? but the truth is that fake news really does exist, even if it just exists now. It was given life by the people who believed it, and the ones who wrote it in the first place, but it’s not an authentic piece of news. Likewise, those parts of your personality or your self-expression that are “fake” aren’t not real, they’re just inauthentic.

I’ve learned that we often think we need to completely shed or get rid of these fake parts of ourselves, but the problem there is that those parts are real but inauthentic. They’re real parts of ourselves that are just not functioning the way they should or the way we want. There could be a very good reason that you are pulling a bait and switch– and that’s usually fear. We do this, a lot, to protect ourselves. We express ourselves in ways that aren’t necessarily authentic to who we are to fit in, to get out of a scary situation, to make money to survive, or just out of the need to keep some parts of ourselves private. So before you go chopping off pieces of yourself, looking at the reasons you might present an inauthentic portrait of yourself can help you see that in a different perspective.

We all wear a mask sometimes

Another problem with authenticity on this personal level is that authentication usually requires an outside party to declare the thing authentic or not. Despite the fact that that’s not how it should work personally, with other people deciding who the real you is, we let it happen all the time. So many of us seek validation from others to know if what we’re doing is right for us. I know I’ve struggled with that for a long time. You’re the only one who can actually figure out what or who is authentically you. You’re also the only one who can decide how to then present that to the world. No one else can actually tell you who you are, and yet people will often call each other fake or phony, and people will be really hard on themselves over it. So the first thing I had to learn about authenticity was that it’s something that can only come from inside.

I’m still trying to nail down exactly what parts of myself are true and authentic to who I am. I’ve also had to think about the way I express myself, and if I’m expressing myself in a way that is authentic to who I am– and I don’t. Like, I regularly say things or act a certain way that is so NOT what my internal version of myself would. It’s usually when I’m in a social situation and I act in a way or talk in a way that I think will be the most well received. I do the same thing with the way I dress, as we all do sometimes, but most of the time it’s built around what I assume other people want to see. Talk about not being real. I’ve had to learn to be comfortable sharing my true thoughts and feelings and presenting who I really am – and it’s so much harder than I thought.

A live meet-up from the Witch n’ Bitch all about the throat chakra and authenticity

Magically speaking, authenticity is the domain of your throat chakra. When your throat chakra’s energy is balanced you’re able to speak authentic truth, set good boundaries and accept the boundaries of others, and you feel your thoughts and opinions are valid. You are also able to express yourself in non-verbal ways that are more authentic to who you are! How you dress or carry yourself, your body language, and how you speak to others can all tell you a little something about the function of your throat chakra.

As someone who talks constantly and for work I can tell you that talking all the time and saying anything you think or feel is an indication your throat chakra kind of sucks right now. This year I realized I’m not a great listener. In fact i’d say I’m a bad listener. The lesson of “listen to understand, not to reply” is one I’m still learning. I find myself spending the time when I should be truly listening to someone’s point, both physically and spiritually, thinking about what I can say to either agree or disagree with them. This is not helpful. This is also not who I want to be! I want to be someone who listens! This isn’t something I can fix by balancing my throat chakra, not entirely anyways, this is a behaviour I’ve had to work on changing.

Then we have orange. Orange is, without a doubt, the colour I’d say looks the absolute worst on me. THE WORST. I have years of sad evidence to prove this and yet this year I found myself drawn to orange clothes, orange food, orange smells, and even people who present as ORANGE to me – which I’m pretty sure is their aura I’m sensing. This year I’ve worn orange everytime I’ve needed to feel happy, comfortable, pretty, or strong.

In magic, orange is the colour of attraction, instinct, and expression. It’s creative, warm, loud, and noticeable. It’s associated with our sacral chakra, also known as the sex chakra, which is balanced between our physical and emotional energy centers. It can be used for road opening, starting new things, bringing in a burst of energy, and general positive vibes.

This year I’ve had to get more comfortable with being noticed. Noticed by men, noticed by other people in the industry, and noticed by trolls and jerks. I’ve had to spend time thinking about how I feel about attraction – the things that attract me and why and the things that attract others to me. Orange is an incredibly social colour and oh boy has my social anxiety been a challenge this year. Many areas of my life have become imbued with this orange energy! I feel attractive, successful, in touch with my body and emotions, and more energetic. My social anxiety, however, is firmly in camp not-orange and though I knew I struggled socially, this year I learned a lot more about that part of myself and those fears and anxieties. I’m hoping that in the coming year I can work more on healing even more of those issues.

I feel more like myself than I have in years. I feel excited, successful, attractive, and confident that I know who I am. I’m also still anxious, weird, and a shitty listener because some things take longer than a year to work out and that’s ok. I know that whatever words or colours come to me next year will help me deal with other facets of these issues; will push me closer and closer to being who I truly want – me. 🧡

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