The Problem of Sending Love

by Christopher Penczak, edited by Tina Whittle

As part of my journey, I got deeply involved with the lightworker paradigm as found in the modern New Age movement. While a crossroads for many esoteric paths—including holistic health, flower essences, yoga, crystals, channeling, and angels—its deeper underpinnings are rooted in Theosophy.

One of the hallmarks of the work is the emphasis on light and love as not just virtues but tangible energies sent by the practitioner. They were ultimately the solution to all problems. Sick—send light and love. World crisis—send light and love. Dangerous conflict—surround yourself in light and love. Send them light and love, and all will be well. And it will. Eventually. Depending on your definition of “well.”

One teacher emphasized a shift in our wards and protection shields. I was taught never to return malicious harm for harm (something I still agree with) and to instead send love back to the sender of the harm, with the idea that true unconditional love would ultimately change the bad behavior. I found it effective, felt good about it, and taught others.

Then, as I grew more well known, I encountered some truly toxic personalities. You don’t have to be famous to have this happen, but since I had been blessed with a relatively healthy family and circle of friends, I had been mostly unexposed to such noxious people. What I noticed was that my pre-programmed and then conscious efforts of sending love and light seemed to only encourage them:

  • Do something horribly wrong.
  • Receive a blast of love.
  • This must be my reward.
  • I feel good about what I’ve done.
  • I’m justified by feeling so good.
  • It’s affirming.

I was reinforcing their bad behavior with loving energy while trying to maintain what I thought were compassionate boundaries. I was exhausted and ineffective.

Occultists have the four primal “L-words” for the elements. Light and Love are half. They stand for fire and water. There are also Life for air and Law for Earth, though the teachings of Aleister Crowley often replace Law with Liberty. I use Liberty for spirit, having five L-words. Light and love alone can be imbalanced.

In the Temple of Witchcraft, we pay the virtue of love with will and wisdom. Wisdom balances the sentiment of love and the action of will, which is more than simple willful desire; it is also true soul purpose. Love is not sentimental love alone, but also unconditional love. Wisdom is not just knowledge, but the understanding of how to apply knowledge in true will and unconditional love. They are fundamental forces to us.

Now when I charge my shield, I reflect love, will, and wisdom to the source of the harm. Rather than offering a feel-good move, I send out awareness of the soul’s purpose and the harm they are doing. May the recipient grow and choose wiser actions in the future.

Since then I have noticed a shift, at least in me. I feel I can more effectively hold compassionate boundaries for myself and others, energetically, verbally, and physically.

Temple of Witchcraft