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Author Topic: magical/psychic powers/abilities and meds  (Read 5257 times)
Freyja
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« Topic Start: May 19, 2010, 08:40:38 pm »

I was just browsing The Society Of Inner Light's website and the part about membership, just out of random interest and it had a small stipulation of membership which got me thinking. It says on the site "You should not have any addiction problems or be on a course of medically prescribed drugs that could affect your psychic or mental faculties."

Personally I'm not sure what I make of this, as in all honesty it's never been something to cross my mind until now and basicly it's got me thinking and I was wondering if anyone else has any theories or expierences of medication effecting your abilities or powers or whatever you wish to call it.

To me at least, it doesn't sound unfeasible that say taking anti-depressants could affect your psychic/magical abilities, but I'm willing to accept it could be a load of rubbish! hehe!
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« Reply #1: May 19, 2010, 09:32:08 pm »

Personally I'm not sure what I make of this, as in all honesty it's never been something to cross my mind until now and basicly it's got me thinking and I was wondering if anyone else has any theories or expierences of medication effecting your abilities or powers or whatever you wish to call it.

To me at least, it doesn't sound unfeasible that say taking anti-depressants could affect your psychic/magical abilities, but I'm willing to accept it could be a load of rubbish! hehe!

My take is that anything you put in your body affects your body and probably your brain, and therefore a range of places in psychic and magical practice . That goes for caffeine and sugar as well as medication.

My own requirements are that anyone who wants to begin study with me have had any chronic conditions stable and their medication stable for at least 6 months. (Minor dose changes are likely fine, but changing drugs, or adding/subtracting an entire drug category, I'm a lot more cautious with.) I'm also more relaxed with people who've been dealing with a particular condition for years with reasonable success (knowing their limits, but still being able to do a range of things they want/enjoy without triggering massive problems), as opposed to someone who's in the first 0-3 years of dealing with something substantial and chronic (where the learning curve is a lot more complicated.)

I do also ask - right before Dedication, after they've had a good chance to get to know me - about any addiction issues, legal issues, long-term medical issues, or other similar stuff they haven't already disclosed, even if they're in the past. Initiatory training work can bring up a lot of past history for people, so even if those things have been worked through once and are not a current issue, they might become more challenging again for a period of time. I also ask if they've got reliable access to appropriate professional support for anything chronic, whether that's physical or mental health, so that if something does flare up, we're not flailing for someone who's got appropriate professional skills. (I wouldn't care for something that was clearly an isolated issue: situational depression on the death of a loved one or crummy divorce that resolved, for example, probably won't re-appear in the same way if someone hasn't had other concerns about depression)

I'd be extra cautious - given some of the focus of our tradition work - for any medication that has a "do not operate heavy machinery" warning, anything that has anti-psychotic effects, and anything that directly affects focus, concentration, or available energy. This isn't a "You can't take them" but is a "Get stable on how the meds affect your day to day life *first*, and then we'll start training/pick it up again" thing.

This year has been an interesting learning experience for me on that one: I tried anti-depressants for the first time in December through early April. They were not the right solution to what was going on (which turned out to be thyroid meds and vitamin D megadoses) but I did see a lot of changes in how I managed energy and focus, both in ritual and outside it. I've also had differences in how I handle other people's energies and emotions (I work in a high school, so there's lots of rampant emotional energy around.)

In particular, some parts of my normal practice shut down: meditation of all forms was a lot harder, and it was in particular harder to maintain guided meditations. I got a very clear sense of limits from the deities I work with: certain forms of ritual heavy lifting were just Not Going To Happen even if I were foolish enough to try. Some of that seems to have been medication related, some of it seems to have been energy related (since I was amazingly exhausted from November through March, and am now up to only Exhausted But Working Through It Mostly.

Now, I'm a third degree priestess in my tradition, with 9 years of heavily involved group training and practice behind me. (Or, as an elder of mine dubbed it, 'professionally trained stunt priestess, at your service') So, mostly, I routed around the stuff I couldn't do, and cut way back on my expectations for ritual in general. (We've been in, what for me, is very light ritual mode since November, as I don't have another initiate to back me up on some kinds of work. I expect we'll contiue to be for a while.) I miss the heavy stuff, but the lighter/gentler/less energetically demanding stuff has good things too, and it's good to remember that.

That's the general approach I'd aim at with any initiate - once they've hit initiation, they've got a much better baseline for judging their own status and energy flow (both because of training and the skills they learn therein, and because of the actual energetic shifts of initiation) and I'm more comfortable with wanting to know about meds (just in case something goes wrong) but letting them do most of the determination of how much to take on or what needs adaptation.
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« Reply #2: May 20, 2010, 07:03:52 am »

I was just browsing The Society Of Inner Light's website and the part about membership, just out of random interest and it had a small stipulation of membership which got me thinking. It says on the site "You should not have any addiction problems or be on a course of medically prescribed drugs that could affect your psychic or mental faculties."

Personally I'm not sure what I make of this, as in all honesty it's never been something to cross my mind until now and basicly it's got me thinking and I was wondering if anyone else has any theories or expierences of medication effecting your abilities or powers or whatever you wish to call it.

To me at least, it doesn't sound unfeasible that say taking anti-depressants could affect your psychic/magical abilities, but I'm willing to accept it could be a load of rubbish! hehe!

My problem with that is that if I am NOT on anti-depressants, I'm useless.  the medication brings me *up* to a proper baseline state.

Is that an effect?  Of course it is.  Is it a NEGATIVE effect? .... not by most definitions!

There's a lot of anti brain-drugs (for lack of a better way of putting it) in the Pagan community.  Of course, that's because it's that way in the greater world community - depressed people aren't sick, they're weak type crap.  No one gives a diabetic crap for needing insulin, but a schizophrenic in desperate need of medication to function in society is weak or just plain nuts.  And the more "normal" problems - anxiety, depression, that sort of thing?  Just "weakness".

I think it's crap, but it's COMMON crap.  And it's really really painful to those people that need those medications to function.  Sure, I could self-medicate on caffeine to try to get to the same place - gods know I've done it before.  But it's not the same.  And capable of being more than merely "functional" should not be a bad thing.

*looks around furtively* ... uh ...</rant>
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« Reply #3: May 20, 2010, 11:52:40 am »



*looks around furtively* ... uh ...</rant>

It's not a rant.  It's true.  I have never needed "brain-drugs", but recently solved several years of feeling like I was whining to the doctor by finding out I'm hypo-thyroid.  And you will take my medication away over my dead body.  Every day, every effing footstep was a struggle to get through.  Now, I feel 45 again (20 would be good, but what the hey).  All brought on by menopause crap (can we get this overt with yet???).  And reality?  I was having a hell of a time doing any energy work for the last 2 years.  Now, bring it on!

Should I stop taking my thyroid pills for magical work?  Umm, NO!  If I stop I'm pretty useless for anything including magical work.  And the same holds for someone who has a brain chemical issue - fix the issue and you're good.  Don't fix and I don't think handling magical energy is a good idea.

But, then, I don't do group work anyway - unless my daughter or the SO count.
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« Reply #4: May 20, 2010, 01:37:07 pm »


Should I stop taking my thyroid pills for magical work?  Umm, NO!  If I stop I'm pretty useless for anything including magical work.  And the same holds for someone who has a brain chemical issue - fix the issue and you're good.  Don't fix and I don't think handling magical energy is a good idea.



Just an aside here.... stop taking the meds and possibly die. Beleive it or not, even though hypothyroidism is relatively easily treated, it can be life threatning untreated. As can many other types of endocrine imbalance issues.

Lets face it, if you need meds, for what ever reason, you should take them. If your meds interfer with ritual/trace/meditative work, talk to you MD about alternatives. My mom is bi-polar. The first meds she was on made her a zombie, the second had her dizzy all the time. Third time's the charm, and she is now a stable, well functioning member of society.

More harm is done by well meaning anti drug camapigners than many know. As ugly as it may sound, for many of us, drugs are our friends. Those with diabetes, hypo thyroidism, Addison's disease, Crone's disease, high blood pressure, yada, yada, yada. Being a witch does not prevent malfunctions in the body... and meds correct malfunctions.... so that you can function; in or out of circle. Spread the word; just say no to drugs is not talking about prescription meds for medical issues.

and I will now jump off the soapbox and join Owl and Heartshadow in the sahdows.......
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« Reply #5: May 21, 2010, 04:43:25 am »


There's a lot of anti brain-drugs (for lack of a better way of putting it) in the Pagan community.  Of course, that's because it's that way in the greater world community - depressed people aren't sick, they're weak type crap.  No one gives a diabetic crap for needing insulin, but a schizophrenic in desperate need of medication to function in society is weak or just plain nuts.  And the more "normal" problems - anxiety, depression, that sort of thing?  Just "weakness".

I think it's crap, but it's COMMON crap.  And it's really really painful to those people that need those medications to function.  Sure, I could self-medicate on caffeine to try to get to the same place - gods know I've done it before.  But it's not the same.  And capable of being more than merely "functional" should not be a bad thing.

I am on 9 different meds for varying illnesses and I cannot properly function without them. Yet, even taking all of these, I am still a practicing Witch and participate in both solitary and group rituals. How? By getting myself used to how my body and mind react with my meds and working with the energy accordingly. I cannot stop taking my meds (the concequences are incredibly grim if I do) so I had to learn to work around them.
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« Reply #6: May 26, 2010, 07:31:05 pm »

To me at least, it doesn't sound unfeasible that say taking anti-depressants could affect your psychic/magical abilities, but I'm willing to accept it could be a load of rubbish! hehe!

To me, I think it's important to be in a stable mental/emotional/physical place when working magic/ritual. I have covensibs who are on heavy drugs to keep their brain chemistry in balance, and I'm much happier with them in circle when the meds are WORKING.

I also have a covensib with advanced MS. If we never let him in the circle when he was less than 100%, we'd never see him. His drugs work pretty well, but he does have physical pain issues and some side effects. So there has to be some balance and compromise and awareness on the part of the person with the issue, too.

But having said that, I wouldn't want to work ritual while hopped on Benadryl, Zyrtec, Nyquil or anything else that made me drowsy (is it always a drug with a Y in it?) because I'll be out of it and unable to focus.

And generally, you shouldn't be in ritual or doing magical work unless you're awake and aware for it. If you're tired, or have a cold, or had a shitty day and can't unplug from the stress, then it isn't a good time to be doing ritual work. Take care of yourself first and then come back to the working when you're well.

I'm guessing that this group intends to warn against prescription drugs that have a negative effect on you, and not ones that people take for normal upkeep that do not affect perception. I don't stay out of circle if I'm on Midol (and I'm sure everyone else is happier that I keep my crabby PMS in check).

Karen
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« Reply #7: May 27, 2010, 05:03:54 pm »

I don't stay out of circle if I'm on Midol (and I'm sure everyone else is happier that I keep my crabby PMS in check).

Karen

I suspect there are covens that keep Midol in a candy jar under the altar.........I've noticed that some members tend to synchronize over time... and no one likes a crabby priestess...or two....or more   {yikes!}.
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