Shamanism at work

Inge Wallage on how Wicca enables a rich and meaninful approach to life

In 2008 I joined a large environmental NGO with a vision of a green and peaceful future.

It revitalised my connection with nature and rekindled my interest in spiritualism. I was brought up atheist and belief in the divine was thought nonsense. From a very young age, however, I found it hard to believe there was nothing beyond the world as we knew it. My original ‘search for more’ was in the Judo-Christian tradition, but nothing fulfilled me.

(Image: The pentagram is a popular symbol among the Wicca community. Photo: iStock)

Still missing a spiritual connection, I learned a lot from my boss at Greenpeace, an Indian Buddhist whose views on living life spiritually were eye-opening. However, it was reading the Dutch book Heks (‘witch’) that changed my life. For the first time, I felt persuaded by a belief. Wicca is a very rich, modern religion closely connected with nature. In Wicca one acknowledges natural cycles, lunar phases and the seasons. The name Wicca is preferred to Witchcraft to avoid misunderstanding and prejudice.

Wicca is a spiritual system that – much like the communications profession – fosters free thought and encourages learning. Furthermore, it teaches us to accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as a result of the choices we make.

With my 3As methodology to communications (authenticity, audiences and audacity), the Wiccan approach supports the actions I take. In Wicca we don’t blame an external entity or being for our own shortcomings and mistakes. If we mess up or do something that harms others, we have no one but ourselves to blame. We must face the consequences resulting from those actions.

“Wicca teaches us to accept responsibility for our actions and deeds as a result of the choices we make.”

When, in 2012, I read The Shaman in Stilettos by Anna Hunt, it felt like another dimension of Wicca – witches have been referred to as the shamans of the North.

Working with Anna took me to a new level of spirituality. I moved smoothly from the more cognitive functions of her approach to the pure Shamanic, ritualistic parts. We moved energy. Energy shifts, only taking form in the dynamic between the poles of negative and positive. Working with her and applying shamanic practice, I can enter a whole different level of consciousness. This can be a beautiful enabler when I’m giving presentations.

Wicca and Shamanism inspired me to be most impactful in life, my work and my private life. For me, there is no dichotomy. If you want to lead life meaningfully, you should try to combine the two. In my day-to-day world, I’m surrounded by cognitive decision-making in a society that is led by the left brain. In that reality I aim to perform a fluid dance between gut, mind and heart. With that Shamanic approach I can lead life meaningfully on all fronts.

Inge Wallage

Inge Wallage is Managing Director of the EACD and owner of The Butterfly Effect: Strategies for Transformation. Her professional experience includes Engagement Director for International Water Association, Director of Communications at Greenpeace International and Vice President Communications International E&P at StatoilHydro.