Ghia Vitale on writing as a form of alchemy
How have you used writing as a healing or trauma recovery tool? How does it give you autonomy and self-understanding?
Writing has been my most powerful tool for healing and recovery. I used to journal a lot when I was younger. However, poetry has been the most powerful force in my recovery. I see both writing and reading/relating to poetry as manifestations of my higher self. Writing is a form of alchemy for me because it involves turning hurt feelings and trauma (lead) into essays, poetry, and other forms of writing (gold).
Do you integrate writing into your ritual/spiritual/magical life?
Writing has always been a major part of my life, so it's a major part of my magickal practice as well. I write down sentences and affirmations to make my intentions manifest quicker. I construct my own sigils and burn them during spells/rituals. I also use sigils to create and program servitors. Writing also helps with keeping a record of spiritual experiences, dreams, manifestations, and more.
If we put three writers or books into a circle to summon you, who/what would they be?
The three books you'd have to put in a circle to summon me are Nothing is Okay by Rachel Wiley, The Flowers of Evil/Les Fleurs Du Mal by Charles Baudelaire, and My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness, a manga by Nagata Kabi.
Is there a single piece/book of writing that has helped to heal you? How has it helped?
A book that has recently helped me unpack a lot of trauma is Force Fed by Christine Sloan Stoddard. When I agreed to edit it, I didn't know it would become one of my favorite books ever! It's a short yet powerful chapbook about how food is more than just food—it's feelings, control, capital, and so much more.
Reading this chapbook helped me understand the relationship between food and trauma as well as how that relationship develops. It also helped me understand that witnessing someone else's abuse is a form of trauma in and of itself. As someone who's in recovery for an ED (but hasn't relapsed since college/2012), insights like these help me understand myself, my body, and my trauma in the context of the wider culture.
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