Safe Hate Can Inspire.


To the dearest and most despicable parts of you (yes, reader, that means you),

I saw a lovely Facebook banner on a friend’s photo today. My initial response was warmth, agreement and an unconditional love. That was innate. I smiled. And it felt good. The application seemed simple at first; it read, “No place for hate.” I acknowledge that the intention of this banner is in response to devastating political meanderings that are affecting humanity.

I made it my profile picture. You know, just for the sake of lovin’. ‘Cuz hot damn I dig lovin’.  And that should be shared.

Moments later, a simple statement complicated itself. Fuck, I love when that happens.

It came to this: upon further thought, I retract my support for that statement.

Why? Sometimes I hate. I bet you do too. It tears you down, rips you open, fondles your gullet, and sucks on your entrails. Begging you to come back for more as you stitch yourself back together in a more acceptable Frankenstein-stitch-type fashion. Existing in the spiderwebs of the mind, blowing in a dark wind along with the old flies I have worked hard to suffocate in silk.

They shimmy, shake and whisper, and if I don’t look them in their many eyes, they continue to watch my every move, waiting for the opportunity to seize the day.

It comes up like little demons, this hate, at first with dental tools, gently whittling away the essence that is positive mental attitude, scraping away the essence that is non-judgmental notion, hacking at any unconditional positive regard one may possess, and then they bust out Beelzebub’s sledgehammer.

Now the raft I have built that keeps me afloat dissipates to splinters as I am left in fragmented kaleidoscopic pieces of soul and self. That’s a trip.

Alright now, friends, take a breath. Deep. Aw hell, at this rate, take two.

There are safe places for this processing to take place. Safe places for the raft to be annihilated to pieces only to be rebuilt into something more beautiful. Safe places for you to put your fragmented pieces back together.

It comes to this: Safe hate can inspire. Choose where you feed it. Choose how you feed it.

Enter Alchemy.

This is not only a transmutation of base metals to gold, nor is it just a transmutation of the essence of plant matter. It can work through the disease that is hate. Divine chemistry, my friends. It is a shift in consciousness. Letting the mind heal the heart. Taking one thing and reconstructing it to another.

How does this show up for you? How can you turn the blacks and grays into cerulean blues, cadmium red or even yellow ocher?

Ah, the hate. Every time this demon sneaks up and takes me down, until I am standing in a pile of splinters, it allows me to recreate a more desirable ground in which to navigate my every engagement. With a whole lot more appreciation. And a whole lot more lovin’. So it comes to this: a dance. Romancing the hate. It starts with a little wink, and this time, my friends, I lead.

My shadows. My demons. We sing. We dance. We break strings, blow out reeds and cry. We speak prolifically. We offend. We play with leather.

In the corners of my bedroom, I can see them shifting along the wall, taunting me. “Hey guys, mama’s gonna smoke you out.” God damn, they sometimes look so pretty making eyes at me through the haze. Come on now, give me a little kiss, let me taste you one more time before I say goodbye.

Hmm, this raft, I think I shall call it my Pontoon of Transmutable Despicability.  Let’s go for a ride, I’ve got a couple extra oars.

In shadows, in light, in color, with love,

~A girl in a room


Johanna Westerneng is a lover, dreamer, believer, and sometimes misconceiver. She is a community herbalist, and a safe-space sex-positive facilitator on Vancouver Island, BC. She loves to share magick and insights through written expression with a dash of ‘sass, crass, and hold the class’. She enjoys moments that arise to encourage others to scream, to cry, to ignite, to touch, to taste, feel and breathe. You can take a peak or connect with Johanna through her herbalism endeavor via Instagram, Facebook or email.


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Rebelle Society
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