As an ode to Halloween this week I decided to read a witchy novel. It was about a people pleasing, self conscious, 30 year old who is dumped by her longtime boyfriend and leaves her home in New York city, moves upstate to a small picturesque town where she’s befriended by the local witch. The book is called Cackle by Rachel Harrison.
Now in my opinion, life is one big lesson, so it’s no surprise that, not only did I find the book entertaining, I also found a bit of wisdom.
The book was really about a young woman who learns to find her true spirit and finally stand up for herself ,and as a result finds that she possesses magic, as in witchy magic.
This in itself, could have been just another, girl who finds her inner strength, overcomes her need to please, and finally finds true happiness, kind of story had it not been for the cackling. Let me explain.
It’s all about releasing pent up energy inside of yourself. By that I mean the emotions and feelings that stew inside you, sometimes for years. We all know how good a belly busting laugh feels. You know the type – your sides hurt, your eyes tear, your jaw aches, but your whole body feels euphoric.
A cackle is when an emotion bursts out of you so fast that you release a harsh crowing sound. It is guttural and comes from deep within you. It also acts like a energy projectile and forces stuck emotions up and out of you, and it is predominately a female sound.
Why do I say this? Because when a female cackles, she is usually expressing some sort of self empowering emotion to a situation that is in front of her. Cackles purge.
Think of it like you’ve just swallowed some sort of poison, or perhaps it was just someone’s else’s bullshit, and your emotional body reacts by pushing it right back up where it busts out of your mouth in utter rejection. The sound produced is harsh and maybe a little maniacal and so it should, it means business.
Cackles have a close association with witches, and not in a good way. To cackle is to reveal your inner badass. It is an unleash of power. It says, I reject what you are saying and project it right back at you with my own attitude of confidence. I am nobodies fool.
The ancient root meaning of the word “witch”, is wise one. Knowledge is power after all. Is it any wonder witches throughout time have been vilified, hunted, tortured and ultimately killed.
Woman have always cackled. We cackle at the absurdity of ourselves, we cackle amongst our sisters and dear friends but we rarely cackle in public. Is this a generational lesson learned from our wise ancestors who learned long ago to mask their energy in mixed company as to not attract unwanted negative attention?
In the book, the town folks fear the witch because she fully embraces her power yet they enjoyed the many benefits of her abilities that created the flourishing community they live in. Or in other words, they use her for only what serves them and shun the rest. As the main character sampled her own power, she too faces criticism until she embraces her inner cackle.
And therein lies the wisdom. We all have a side of us that comes out as harsh and guttural, usually in response to some perceived deception or injustice. Our bullshit meter goes way up and our emotional body immediately feels compelled to purge it from us, yet our societal training has taught us to internalise it, stuff it down and instead, let it fester inside where it will manifest as self doubt, self loathing, and repeated enough times, these emotions can manifest as hate.
But what if you chose to cackle right back at the perpetrator. What if you unleashed that energy immediately back at them, unbalance them with a burst of crowing disbelief. Sure they might think you’re crazy. They may even shun you just as our witchy ancestors where rejected for standing in there own strength and knowledge eons ago, but they will know that you are someone not to be trifled with.
And here’s another truth, the disrespect they payed you to begin with already proves their lack of regard for you. So cackle at yourself as well for being fooled into thinking their opinion matters. Purge that emotion before it manifests into self doubt.
So whether you are feeling a little witchy this week leading up to Halloween, or you embrace your inner witch everyday, I invite you to practice your cackle. Start with a little self cackle at first and then move into a full on, headed tilted back, from the belly, and maybe just a little maniacal, pure and powerful cackling. You have it in you, and I promise, it will feel amazing.