Empath. It seems to be a loaded word in the spiritual community. Why is it such a loaded word, I wonder? “Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel?” This is something we often hear growing up. It was how we would deal with bullies to try and get them to understand why what they were doing was wrong. The rule remains the same today for adults. But can we truly feel empathy for another person? Most of us understand sympathy. Most of us know how to say sorry—to feel bad for another person. But can we truly say that we feel the same things as another person? And how many of us can extend that towards most people and not just limit it to the ones we know and care for? Do we only feel empathy when it relates to our own situation? This is a hard subject to address. Someone is not automatically greater than others if that person is an empath. Unfortunately, I have encountered this type of ego—the ego where they are considered better people because they have more sensitivity or think that they do. So, how do we discern true empaths from some who may use it as an excuse to justify certain behavior that discriminates against others? Let us first examine the traits of empaths and then look at what is associated with empaths including a popular subject that pops up where empaths are concerned: energy vampirism.
So, what is an empath? The quick and easy definition is that an empath is someone who feels another person’s emotions. Going beyond that though, empaths tend not to just feel them. They sense emotions and then take them on. Growing up, I used to wonder why I felt so many confusing things all the time. What I didn’t realize then was that most of us have our own problems that sometimes it is challenging to distinguish it from other people’s. In our new normal, we may be feeling collective traumas of the world. We are inundated with constant waves of energy from all angles. What’s an empath to do in a state of unrest, uncertainty, and panic? Remember my earlier posts about down time and self-healing? Let’s add on! The most crucial is the filter. I cannot stress the importance of having a filter enough! The filter as I see it is where we empty out the daily clutter. Also make sure to take stock of what you are feeling. How I filter is by writing and drawing. I transfer collective feelings into writing and then draw my own emotions out in original works or fan art. I also do Reiki and meditation daily. Meditation can be harder so sometimes I will do an active workout like running, martial arts, dancing, and then yoga. I recommend one physical activity and one reflective and doing it routinely, same time of the day or night, every day. It made a huge difference for me. Again, this is not in place of medical treatments if you have conditions or are being treated. Please always consult your therapist or doctor first before doing anything physical or exploratory!
Some other traits or perceived traits of empaths include being sensitive to strong emotions, anxiety, panic attacks, and loneliness. Often, the typical expectation is for an empath to get overwhelmed or cry easily or fall apart. This does vary though. Some of the most empathic individuals I know are calm, compassionate people who remain firm under pressure. And there are others who are more sensitive and express it more readily. To be honest, expressing my true feelings or showing emotion is not something that I am comfortable doing—I tend to be stoic. But every empath is different. One is not better than the other. But what we have in common is the ability to understand the complexity of emotions we feel from others and the ability to extend compassion towards them. That is the one of the hallmarks of being an empath. This brings me to another point. What is an energy vampire? And why does pretty much everyone get accused of being one?
An energy vampire (I personally do not like the use of this term) is a person who drains another person’s energy. However, one of the big things I try to keep in mind is my etheric state around people. They may not be aware that they are seeking or taking your energy. Another thing to remember is that your energy cannot be easily taken away unless the person’s ill intent goes beyond your consent. For example, if you filter friends’ emotions out without taking it on and show compassion for yourself and use your self-care techniques, you will find that your energy is not being drained. Reiki healers, therapists, doctors, and naturopaths do this. Most of us know how to “tune” out what we do not like. If someone drains your energy even after all of this—or you know them to be malicious, it’s one thing, because an energy vampire is typically deliberate. They will leech from you, knowingly—break through your barriers of protection. These are master manipulators who sometimes masquerade as empaths. I have experience with this—and know many other empaths who have gone through this as well. I try to be careful when using the term energy vampire. I realize that some people need more affection and kindness than the average person. Remember to use the filter and be compassionate to yourself first and extend it to others. If you are however in contact with the individual who is actively taking your energy—there are ways you can protect yourself.
Warding and altered states are things I use for protection, but I’ll talk about those in another post. Here are some tips on protection from negative energy: I like to make elixirs with chamomile leaves. I sometimes use fresh sage from my garden, mint, lavender, and chamomile and boil them in water and drain the mixture. I add other ingredients in here based on personal preference and taste. I would drink this whenever needed. Another option is to drink chamomile peppermint tea—do this after you encounter that energy or after you do any type of healing. Mugwort is a great herb to burn for protection—use dragon’s blood incense in conjunction for more potency. Please be sure that herbs used are ethically sourced. Another tip, wash your hands with salt water after doing any work with negative energy or removal. My daily ritual is a saltwater wash. It’s simple, easy enough, and can be found in most households and at grocery stores. If I could recommend what herb I find most useful, it would be mugwort, because it has multiple uses (which I’ll also address in another post). If you don’t have access to herbs, salt water is excellent. Listening to soothing music also helps me. Remember to drink lots of water. Never skip on hydration and if you can, opt for hot water and lemon first thing in the morning for rejuvenation. Thank you for reading this lengthy post! With love, the Foxy Witch. Namaste.