by Mictlán MoonShadow
Hello once again! What I write here is inspired by my own recent awakening and new understanding of the nature of my soul, and spiritual gifts.
Many of us have heard the term “Empath” thrown around spiritual and metaphysical communities a lot for quite some time. Some latch on to that label quickly, others dismiss it as something that does not apply to them. What I am writing here is for those who are beginning to discover their own Empathic abilities.
So what exactly is an Empath? Most of us are familiar with the word empathy. The ability to understand what others are going through on an emotional level. While everyone can understand in some level the experiences of others and as such have empathy. That does not necessarily make them an Empath. Empaths are souls who incarnate in this world with the ability to feel others experiences as if they are their own. There are many forms of Empaths who experience their gifts in different fashions. That is not the subject of this blog post, as I am just beginning to understand my own abilities myself.
For what I am willing to say I have seen two primary forms of Empaths in my work as a Shamanic Healer and Witch. First the Empath by Wounding, second the Natural Empath. Let's start there! What exactly is an Empath by Wounding? Well trauma can affect peoples energy systems in very drastic ways. Hang in there with me I am about to once again go down the Shamanism Rabbit Hole! The two primary self defense mechanisms to trauma are, from a Shamanic perspective: Power Loss and Soul Loss.
Power Loss is when something happens that is very traumatic to us. In that moment we feel powerless to stop the trauma from happening. In cases of Power Loss, that sense of feeling powerless doesn’t leave us. This leaves the individual in a lifelong pattern of spiritual illness, and all forms of disfunction in life. Power Loss cannot be healed by simply reclaiming power in everyday life. This is because is the loss of an essential part of us: Our Power Animal. Power Animals are the living embodiment of all of our positive traits. They are our protectors, teachers and guides in spiritual form. However this is not a blog post about Power Animals or Soul Loss. We are here to talk about Empaths. So let’s move on to another Shamanic Illness that impacts our spiritual abilities: Soul Loss. In cases of trauma, many times parts of our very soul don’t have what it takes to live through our challenges. So they fragment and leave to a place in spirit. Again you may see how this would create all sorts of issues in people with Soul Loss! It is not unlikely to find both Power Loss and Soul Loss in the same person. So what in the name of Goddess does any of this have to do with Empaths?
Well when we have lost our Power Animal or pieces of ours Soul to trauma. It creates holes in our energy system. Like pieces missing from a puzzle, that are essential in order to see the whole picture. In the case of the Empath by Wounding this is the source of their experience of Empathy. Empaths by wounding normally cannot control their own abilities. No amount of meditation, grounding, centering or shielding stops the emotions of others from being felt. No amulet, crystal, herb or oil can stop the experiences of others from being felt by the Empath is they were their own. This is due to the fact that their energy system is compromised. The holes created by Power Loss and/or Soul Loss is the hole in their natural armor where all of the energy of others is leaking in. Unless the Soul Pieces and/or Power Animal are restored by a properly trained and experienced healer it will remain that way for the as long as the holes are there.
The Natural Empath is one that with training can control their abilities because they don’t have holes in their energy system. Be aware that some Empaths by Wounding can become Natural Empaths by healing their wound, in doing so gain control over their empathy. However healing Power Loss and Soul Loss is such a transformational experience that, it may change the individuals spiritual abilities in the process. However the Natural Empath can also be touched by trauma, just in a different way. Empaths tend to be very loving caring people, who understand what it is like to suffer and cannot stand by idly and see other people in pain. Empaths who have not full control of their gift can many times have difficulty discerning between their own emotions and experiences and those of others. After all if you feel the emotions of others, how do you know what is yours and what belongs to someone else? This is where the trauma begins to show in the Natural Empath.
Empaths are such sensitive souls that care and feel so deeply for others, that they tend to have issues with boundaries. Because they feel the pain of others, they tend to sacrifice their own boundaries and wellbeing to help others. This tends to attract toxic people and individuals with narcissistic personalities. After all if the Empath has issues with boundaries the toxic and narcissistic people can get away with whatever they want.
This tends to bring forth relationship patterns of toxicity and abuse. Where the Empaths tenderness and kindness is seen as a weakness by the abusers, and used as an excuse to perpetuate abusive behavior. For tender loving souls such as Empaths this can cause a great deal of trauma. In many cases also creates a defense mechanism where the Empath puts their gift into shadow. Ignoring it until they may complete forget it was there( or at least try to) yet when push comes to shove we can never deny our nature. Empathic abilities can still be triggered, when that happens it opens the floodgate of internal baggage. The Empath feels their trauma triggered by their own abilities due to the experiences of abuse connected to their loving tender nature. This particular wound is complex and is best dealt with by both a mental health professional and spiritual healer in cooperation with each other.
The Empath can also be one who as a soul incarnates in families of toxic patterns in order to heal generations of toxicity and illness. However that is not an excuse for them to take on more than they can handle, nor take responsibility for the life lessons of others. The Empath is here to be a healer, teacher and guide to those who are not understood. To those who cannot voice their pain. To those that need someone who understands what they are going through. If you think of the Empath as a teacher, healer and guide. Their gift is not a burden but a superpower. The Empath in control of their gifts is the Superhero of this spiritual world, using love and understanding to bring healing and strength to those who no longer have what it takes to stand on their own.
Mictlán MoonShadow is a Psychic Reader and Shamanic Healer at Teotl Tonalli Intuitive Arts. He is an active member of the Keepers of the Flame Coven, ATC (The Ever Green Hearth) Please check our Community Connections page to find ways to connect with Mictlán or other members and Affiliates of The Ever Green Hearth.