Empath sickness is probably the most common problem found among practitioners of magic and naturally gifted psychics. It seems to be a problem among members of every single magical religion and spiritual group. If you haven’t yet suffered from it yourself, the odds are you’ve seen others talking about it online or within your own real life spiritual groups. It’s a fairly large problem within the community.
It’s also a fixable problem. There are techniques to manage empath sickness that, if used correctly, are 100% effective. Unfortunately though many ritual magicians, among both Pagans and Ceremonialists, believe that every single magical problem can be fixed through shielding or banishing rituals. So the advice given to anyone suffering from empath sickness, usually by people who have never suffered from it, is that they need to shield better. Shielding is at best a temporary fix for empath sickness and it causes a crapload of other problems. Typically the person suffering from empath sickness will stop shielding even before it starts to become ineffective, because their ability to function is hindered even more from the shielding than from the empath sickness.
Symptoms of Empath Sickness:
The most common symptom of empath sickness is a fear of crowds, also known as agoraphobia. In the early stages of empath sickness, the empath will just be uncomfortable around crowds, and then later they will be noticeably agitated by them. As the agitation and discomfort get worse, the person may start actively trying to avoid crowded places, and this is the point where it really starts to affect their day to day life. At its worst a person may become terrified of crowds, and may be averse to any action that would put them into contact with a crowd.
In the same way, an empath may eventually develop a fear of smaller groups. Usually an empath can manage everything okay if the group is small enough, but as their empath sickness gets worse, sometimes smaller groups can cause a problem too.
A person suffering from empath sickness may also have issues dealing with individual people, especially if they are very emotional. This usually won’t be an issue until the empath sickness has already progressed very far. At this point the empath may become a shut-in and start to avoid prolonged contact with anyone.
Someone suffering from empath sickness may also have issues dealing with certain places. This can be anything from a small area, like a house, to an entire city. How bad this symptom will be depends partially on how strong the energy is in the area, how combative it is, and how compatible it is with the empath.
What Causes Empath Sickness
As we all know, when we want to work magic we manipulate energy and move it in different ways. Energy doesn’t just appear when we do magic though. Energy is a force that exists through out the universe and which is in constant motion. Energy is always around us doing things.
Energy is also tied into emotion, and energy carries emotions within it. A person feels a certain emotion, and their body emits that type of energy. That energy then exists in that place for, usually, a short period of time. If another person walks into that energy, they absorb some of it, and that initiates the emotion within them to some degree. This is how empathy works. And everybody does this, not just magicians and psychics and empaths. Every single person on this planet is able to do this empathy trick to some degree. It’s how we intuit others feelings and it provides the basis for compassion.
An empath is someone who is especially sensitive to this information. They feel it much stronger than most others do. A person may be born this sensitive, or they may train themselves to become this sensitive. Being sensitive comes with a lot of advantages. An empath is better able to identify the specific emotions of another, they are better able to identify who the emotions belong to, and they are better able to quantify the severity of the emotion. Being able to sense energy at that higher level also aids in energy manipulation, which is what magicians do.
Part of the problem is that not all emotions are good. You may not want to feel someone else’s heartbreak or rage. Another problem is that too many emotions become difficult to handle. With a group of say a hundred people, not everyone in that group is going to be feeling the same way. One person may be in love, another excited, another on the verge of suicide, and so on and so forth. At least a few of those people are probably going to have very intense emotions. An empath is going to take all of those different emotions in at once. It’s a chaotic emotional experience where the empath is pulled in a lot of different directions at once and has no idea how to feel. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling and after a while an empath is going to want to avoid it.
A lot of times places will work a lot like people. Different places have certain energies to them, and different cities have different energy themes. These energies will hit an empath much harder than a normal person. If it’s an energy the empath is compatible with, there probably won’t be much of a problem. However if they aren’t compatible with the energy, it can cause some degree of discomfort.
How Empath Sickness Develops
A person doesn’t just get empath sickness from being an empath. At first they’re usually fine. Then they start to show minor symptoms, and left untreated these symptoms progress and get worse. So why does empath sickness get worse?
Unless you’re born naturally empathic, you have to train yourself to be sensitive. There are also techniques you can use to manage this sensitivity, and these techniques go hand in hand with developing your empathy. Usually a person who is disciplined enough to train their empathic sensitivity is going to be disciplined enough to train the techniques they need to manage it.
Empathy however is something you’re going to end up using hundreds of times a day. It doesn’t have an on switch, it’s just always on. Every time you walk into a new place, or come near someone, your empathy is going to start up. The best way to train yourself in any magical practice is to practice it, and you’re constantly going to be practicing empathy.
Once you pass a certain threshold in developing your sensitivity, you don’t have to train it anymore. Just by existing, you’re going to get better and better and better at it. Its a magical ability that you don’t have to do any work to develop.
The problem is, those techniques that help you manage your sensitivity, they don’t develop themselves once they hit a certain threshold. You need to train those techniques in order to get better at them, and you need to be better at them so that you can keep up with your ever expanding empathic abilities. It’s sort of like a race where you’re always trying to make sure your empathic abilities don’t get ahead of your training.
This is why empath sickness, as a serious problem, is more common in naturally born empaths. Many of them never learned some of the energy manipulation techniques they need to control the sensitivity, and they’ve never had to show any discipline in developing those abilities. With people who have developed their empathic abilities, it’s still a problem, but those people usually figure out how to fix it after a while. Often times these types of people stop practicing magic all together, or life gets hectic and they don’t have as much time to spend on their magical practice anymore. They stop training the techniques, and the empath sickness eventually hits them.
Why Shielding Is A Bad Idea
The answer I always see given for how to deal with empath sickness is that a person needs to learn better shielding. That is not a solution to the problem. There’s a problem in the magical community where a lot of people seem to think that shielding and banishing rituals are the best solution for every problem, regardless of what that problem is. Look on any message board where people talk about their magical problems, and every answer will be shielding or a banishing ritual. I can probably write a whole article on this issue, but the people who give these sorts of answers usually aren’t very good at magic, or even practice it much. It’s the sort of answer that requires very little thought and less first hand experience.
The first issue with shielding is it cuts off your empathy. All of the cool advantages you get from being an empath go away, and now you’re expending energy and using magic to be a mundane person. However people who suffer from empath sickness don’t just start suffering from empath sickness. Many have been using empathy for years before this happens, and many were born with an empathic sensitivity.
When a normal person interacts with another, there are certain signals that help them determine how that person feels right now. Things like tone of voice, body language, and even verbal clues hidden in what they say. Empathic people though have an extra advantage. They’re able to sense their energy and get an idea of how the person feels. If a person starts talking to them and then starts pushing out sexual energy, that person probably has a crush on them. With such a huge advantage, empaths never have to bother to learn those normal signals and how regular people interact with one another, and many of them never do. Some used to be able to interact with others normally, but after years of being empathic they’ve kind of forgotten how.
If you take someone like that and cut off their empathic ability, they become unable to interact with other people. All of a sudden they don’t know how they should be acting in a social situation. They can’t tell if a person is flirting with them or just being polite. They can’t tell when a person needs to be comforted, or when a person is angry at them. A lot of times not knowing what to do will make them nervous in social situations, and this issue will only become worse after a few awkward moments. Eventually they may not want to be around people at all because they develop a fear of social interaction. This is why many empaths who have some success with shielding eventually stop doing it.
If you’re a practicing magician, shielding will also severely limit your magical ability. Not only are you expending energy to sustain the shield, but the shield makes it difficult and even impossible to manipulate energy outside of yourself, or sense what’s going on around you metaphysically. The worst thing any practicing magician can ever do is constantly shield.
The other problem with shielding is that it doesn’t stop a person from developing their sensitivity. You’re still going to become a better empath while shielding. This means your shield will be less effective, and the only way to fix this is to make your shield stronger. This means your shield is going to be pulling more and more energy off you, making you metaphysically weaker, and eventually it won’t be able to compete with your empathic ability at all.
So What’s The Solution
To deal with empath sickness you need to develop two abilities. The first is the ability to balance energy. This takes energy which is intense and instead focuses it in a calm way. That way the emotion can still be felt, but it takes the edge off it.
The second thing that needs to be developed is the ability to convert energy. You need to be able to take one kind of energy and turn it into another. In fact, eventually you should learn how to take dozens of kinds of energies and turn them into a single type.
This is easily done with simple energy manipulation. Pull energy into yourself, change it to another type of energy, and push it out. Pull energy into yourself and calm it, then push it out. You can pick up twenty different kinds of gemstones from any occult shop for $20. Each of these gemstones is going to contain a different kind of energy you can pull out and play with to your hearts content. You can also just sit and meditate and mess with the energy inside yourself.
It really doesn’t take much time, it just takes constant practice. Ideally you’d want to spend ten to fifteen consecutive minutes every day practicing. Realistically though, if you aren’t having any problems, fifteen minutes once a week should be enough to keep you well. If you are suffering from empath sickness, I’d suggest doing ten minutes or more every day at least until you’re feeling well.