So, let's talk about the Dweller.

Within each of us exists a thing we like to call the Dweller on the Threshold. If you understand
the process of spiritual evolution to be like walking through a door,
the Dweller on the Threshold is the bouncer who is there to keep you
from walking through that door.

Now, it's not malicious. It's not doing this because it's evil - it's just content. It likes you just the
way you are, warts and all. Truthfully, it has some measure of control
over you (as you'll see in a few moments), just enough to keep you just
the way you are. It's desires can be thought of as circuitious: it wants
to keep you just as you are so it can keep control over you, so it
exerts control over you to keep you just as you are.

(It is also not an external entity, mind. It's part of you. We all contain within us multitudes.)

The Dweller on the Threshold is a personification of the intellectual fear
that keeps us from interacting with Deep Mind. In a very real way, the
Dweller on the Threshold is there to prevent us from accessing our magic
and our gods, as it is the inherent human fear of transformation and

The Dweller's finest tools are our fear and our low self-esteem. When we become stronger people through the initiatory
crucible of the Craft, we weaken the hold of the Dweller on us, prying
its fingers away from the passage to the Deep Mind. Thus, the Dweller
fights those situations where we bypass it and begin to touch Deep Mind.

The Dweller usually works in four stages. Through our time in the Craft, we
move through these stages. It is important that you come to recognize
when the Dweller is at work. These stages are:

  • Embarrassment: I feel stupid. This stage is the most common among new witches. Our culture tends to be devoid of ritual, or even if we come from a society that still uses
    it, ritual is normally something someone else does. This is the moment
    where you realize how "ridiculous" you look, standing there in robes,
    with a bunch of other robed people, drawing things in the air with your
  • Resentment: This is stupid. This is another early Dweller reaction. Rather than being turned inward, however, it is externalized: you find all of this stuff you're
    doing to be utter nonsense, and you can't for the life of you figure out
    why you're participating. It's stupid, it's silly and it's juvenile, a
    bunch of adults getting together to play make-believe.
  • Enervation: I'm tired; I'm in pain. Once the stages of embarrassment and resentment have been pushed through, this is the most common one: a feeling of low energy. It may
    manifest as bodily pain (particularly in those with chronic issues) or
    simply feeling too tired - the thought of ritual is just exhausting or
    unappealing. It often manifests as the urge to "just spend some time
    with one another, instead of bothering with ritual."
  • Apathy: I'm bored. One of the latter stages of the Dweller's attempts to derail spiritual progress is boredom or apathy. It starts to seem like you do the same
    thing, all the time. Ritual has become rote, with no feeling in it. The
    Dweller actually takes advantage of the urge to delve deeper into
    spirituality by creating the illusion that what you're doing now is
    actually blocking your spiritual progress, creating the desire to run
    off and find something new, when in truth, we delve deeper through
    continued and disciplined use of our praxis. You don't dig a deeper hole
    by moving from spot to spot; you have to stand in one place and keep
    digging there.
The Dweller can be a very difficult foe to deal with, even for
experienced witches. It has access to every single one of our talents
and skills - even our magic. On those days where it seems like
everything in the world around you is conspiring to keep you from doing
the Work you planned to do that evening, it might be worthwhile to take a
careful look to see if there is some internal desire to just forget
about it and not do it that is radiating outward and affecting your
environment. Stranger things have happened.

Ultimately, it is awareness of the Dweller that allows us to defeat it. Addressing our
desires to remain stagnant, to just "get a little rest right now" with
discipline and discernment are the only means of overcoming them, and
pushing through.

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Oakthorne wrote: "Truthfully, I don't actually know if this is ubiquitous to BTW..."


I've never heard of it, so I'd have to say it is not. Interesting, though.



Your post makes me think of Eckart Tolle's book "A New Earth" that talks about the Ego, that constant voice in your head that prevents you from being present in your own life and actually living it.


I like the imagery of the Dweller.  It makes it a little bit easier to give a face to my Ego.

I see, very interesting! The Dweller, the stagnating force... I may have met him all too often. I have backed out of things or not even initiated them on the grounds of one of all these four more than once! Reading this has been very helpful and the timing at which I spotted this post is excellent.
Thank you for posting this, Oak!

Wow Oak... Very well put.  This is me all over.  I'm on a continuous loop from stage 1 to 4 every day.  I barrel into something I am excited about and think is just perfect for me.  Before long I find myself apathetic and just give up. So many incomplete things. So many what ifs.

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