Do you know the story of the Tower of Babel?
A mythological tale in the Christian Bible, it is based on the true city of Ancient Babylonia. Depending on which version of this myth you’ve read or heard, there existed a great and wondrous society of people that lived in harmony and peace and spoke either one language- or understood all languages spoken.
Either way, it was considered a utopia as all could communicate their wants and needs with one another without strife or pain.
As this society grew, so too did their desire for greatness. Inspired by the clouds they decided to build a tower whose top would reach the heavens. Christian God was still mighty and tempestuous as this time, and so jealous of their creation- he toppled the tower. In his omnipotence, he knew that they would just rebuild, for they were willful and had the ability to communicate.
Depending on the myth, Christian God either created the barriers of language, or removed the ability to understand other languages. What’s known of the myth is that no matter how it happened, in his wrath and vengeance, he purposely created bemusement and misunderstandings to keep his people from reaching him. In the wake of his destruction, the people dispersed from this once great society- hurt and bewildered for they were no longer understood by others.
It’s one of my favorite Christian myths, for it speaks of the childishness of a a god while showing what we could accomplish (as a species) if we put aside our superficial differences- and how vitally important it is to feel understood.
When I thought of the Tower of Babel, and the introduction of languages to our society, I often thought of the spoke word. Though the myth is an allegory for the human condition, it is highly representative of all aspects of our experience- not just those spoken.
Recently, I read a book by Dr. Chapman titled The 5 Love Languages. Up until my experience with this book, I’d never thought of love as a language. It, instead, was a feeling- something desired, but felt by the heart. Not something spoken by the lips (not sincerely anyway)!
Yet, Dr. Chapman posed the question that we, as humans, communicate our love and therefore, is it not the same as speaking a language?
He told his tale in the way that philosophers and psychologists do (in that they both theorize and “prove” it simultaneously) and I felt as if I’d been suddenly given the keys to the Tower of Babel.
Love is a language! Spoken by all of us in a desperate need to connect, yet, we bump around in our confusion- bewildered as to why it’s not resonating with the world!
What does this have to do with magick and witchcraft, and why is it on today’s blog? Because my friends, our Spiritual Gardens aren’t watered with aesthetic and rhetoric (no matter how much the New-Age Pinterest Witch community would have you think)- it takes hard work to grow into the beings we wish to be, and it starts with love.
How many of us have been in a relationship, whether platonic or romantic, and wondered if the person really loved us? How many of us have felt that pure elation when someone we cared about has kindly shown us their affection without pretense? How many of us still have heard the words love and not felt a damn thing coming from the other side?
Love is essential to who we are- not only as individuals but as a society. I often wonder where I’d be, as a person, if I’d felt loved in my youth. When I was a teenager, I raged through rebellion and bad choices at the idea that I was unloveable, and now, as young-ish adult, I only curiously lament what could have been. Ironically, though, in my youth, I cared less for the effects this lack of love had on our society, and in my adult years, it stresses me into a deep depression.
No matter how you view it, whether from a personal lens or that of a greater need, love is what makes the world turn. Being loved, feeling that deep affection of another for our simple existence, spurns us to spread love- and it’s what allows us to help our fellow man without expectation of something in return.
What’s more is that we don’t even realize how much we’re missing out on love until someone hands us the keys to the Tower.
So what are they, these keys to the Tower, these 5 Love Languages and how can we harness their energy to water our gardens and allow our magick to flourish?
Firstly, the languages, in a brief explanation, are lexicons in which we all speak, or hear, love. They’re labelled: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, and Act of Service. For each one of us, we have a primary, or necessary, language that serves to fuel our feeling of being loved and a secondary language that serves to foster the primary. There are some of us, like me, who are so damaged that we have two primaries- don’t worry, it just means there’s more ways to love you.
In my own words, Chapman’s Love Languages are as follows: Words of Affirmation are those kind and explicit compliments given in sincerity; Quality Time as the uninterrupted and undivided attention of another; Receiving Gifts as the thoughtful expressions of love through gifts (not money); Physical Touch as the physical connection of two bodies in loving gestures (not *just* sex); Finally, Acts of Service are the unasked and thoughtful gestures of “chores”. Though each one has many dialects and variations, their main component lies in the name of itself.
For me, I’ve always known that someone telling me they loved me meant absolutely nothing to me, as words are empty without action, and though I could tell you that compliments made me nervous- I couldn’t explain why they didn’t make me feel special.
I’ve always known that when I’m engaged with someone, and they can’t seem to be bothered to engage with me, even if they’ve just told me they loved me, I’ve felt small and unloved.
I’ve always known that I’d always wished for my husband to plan a surprise get-away or to get me a surprise gift, simply because he was thinking about me, but I couldn’t have told you that it’s what I needed to feel loved.
I can now.
I have the keys to the Tower, and not only am I able to unlock the secrets of myself, I now understand the languages others speak. My husband? Physical touch. My mother? Receiving Gifts. My son? Quality Time.
We can be fluent in all of them with a bit of work and choice, but if we don’t understand which is being spoken, it can lead to the toppling of the tower by a spiteful and raged god.
So, how do we apply these principles to our witchcraft and magick?
It’s not a simple spell, or aesthetically pleasing image, it’s deep and intangible work that may never reap any clear results. Ready for it?
We learn the languages of those people we’ve hurt, in the past and present, and we show our affection without needing validation or expectation of reciprocation. However, the magick or reward doesn’t necessarily come back to you- but instead, may get passed to someone else. Your choice to speak another’s language, without an ulterior motive, might inspire another to do the same for someone else.
Your magick spreads through your love, and each life that it infects is better for it- even if you can’t see it. To feel understood, to feel seen is what we all wish for, and if we could all feel that way permanently, imagine what this world would look like.
The languages you speak, fluently, allows others to learn them as well, grasping the concepts that we are all inherently the same- and it is only superficial barriers that keep us from reaching the heavens. It also teaches them to speak our own, loving us the way we need to feel seen, and that creates this beautiful and wondrous cycle of perpetual love.
When we create magick, we’re manipulating energies- and most of the time, it’s on a small scale. We’re influencing our own lives, but like a bucket in the ocean- it is but a drop to what we’re capable of. If there is any spell that could affect drastic and everlasting change throughout the world, it would be love. And I don’t mean the hippy-dippy judgmental love of the 1960’s, but true unfiltered love for humanity that we all wish for.
There are many we could use as examples as needing love in our history, but what if we’d been denied the love of so many we take for granted? MLK Jr never expressed his desire to live in a world where we judge one another for our character and not the color of our skin. Ghandi never showed his love for a peaceful solution to British Rule and didn’t inspire India’s independence. Mother Tereasa never communicated her love and the poor and dying never found their Saint. How dark the world would be without their gleaming lights!
We see so much negativity that when love comes knocking we take it for granted that those people were supernaturally gifted, when in reality, they just knew how to speak in a language as old as our species.
Imagine if you could create the Utopia that lives in your head, the idyllic society of Babylonia that remains in the mass unconsciousness of us all, with a simple and effective learning of an intangible language? The reality is, you can. My love languages are Quality Time and Receiving Gifts, but I speak Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Acts of Service- which can I express to make you feel better about being you?
And when you feel better about being you, you make others automatically feel better about being them. Love is magickal that way.
So, what is your love language? How do you communicate to others that you love them? How do they communicate that they love you?
Before I leave, I want to shout out to my husband, for taking the time to read the book and learn my love language- allowing me to want to participate and speak yours.
Until next time, my friends…