Today I’m here to cover the hypothetical scenario of doing magic in order to affect political change.
How To Magically Overthrow Fascism: Occult Resistance For The 21st Century: https://patreon.com/posts/68236166
Today I’m here to cover the hypothetical scenario of doing magic in order to affect political change.
How To Magically Overthrow Fascism: Occult Resistance For The 21st Century: https://patreon.com/posts/68236166
In my recent blog post on the objectification of women in the Craft and other occult circles, I briefly touched upon the notion of “Maiden-Mother-Crone” which I’ll be abbreviating as MMC for the duration of this post. MMC is a well known modern depiction of female divinity, most specifically that of the patron goddess of the Wicca, frequently used in Wiccan groups both of the initiatory variety and non.
MMC is also known as “the Triple Goddess”, and was essentially derived by Robert Graves in his poetic work The White Goddess. Yes, once again, we are relying on a man’s interpretation of women and the divine feminine within our respective traditions. All that aside and to be fair, he was ahead of his times for that era. Back in the day, the notion of making sacred any aspect of being a woman, I am sure, was liberating and progressive. Finally, female can be divine! Female can be good! Female can be celebrated! And of course, don’t all women go from being a young woman, fresh in her prime and not yet married and no kids to that of bearing a child and finally, to no longer being able to bear children? Of course in this day and age we know better than that, as not all women are getting married and having kids. Some of us have gone on to do entirely different things with our lives. This isn’t to say that having children is bad and motherhood isn’t to be honored and celebrated, but we are so much more than just that and mothers have lives and identities outside of their children, too. There’s room for you too, mothers–but there’s always been room for you because you have long considered to be the default female role. Why should women be all about our wombs and what we do or don’t do with them? And why are we still relying on an outdated model created by a man in a culture that we no longer live in let alone can relate to in this day and age?
As I stated in my original post: “Women are more than their bits and fertility status; this is offensive to cis and trans women both. This is why the “Maiden-Mother-Crone” model has always left me cold–I avoid it like the plague.” From women who had hysterectomies to those who have never had a womb, for those who choose not to have children, and for those who have tried and failed to conceive, why should any woman–let alone a goddess–be reduced to the role of simply “childbearer”? Why should our status be centered around that of having kids? Haven’t we in the twenty-first century gone past the notion of women just being caregiver and childbearers and are so much more? Why reduce goddesses to a standard that we ourselves have long since moved past?
There are people who have tried to amend MMC by adding a Warrior aspect. Honestly, this is the only aspect I could possibly relate to. Who wouldn’t love goddesses such as Athena, the Morrigan, or Sekhmet? I still feel that it falls short of fully embracing the notion that as we evolve as a culture and our notions of gender, femininity, and sexuality evolve, why shouldn’t our notions of the witches’ goddess? The men get a hero’s journey in their god, hunter and hunted. Shouldn’t we rethink our approach to goddess worship in order to see the divine feminine as being so much more?
My tutelary deity is Hekate who is also a triple goddess, but not MMC. Her triplicity is a reflection of the three-way crossroads, the liminal space between the worlds. There is far more magic in women than that of just childbirth, and we have countless goddesses who accurately reflect that. If we need to take these old stories from ancient times and better fit them to make our own new, modern myths for the divine feminine, then now is the time to do so. Athena may be a virgin goddess of battle strategy but she also is a weaver; how is this not an example of creativity and creation? Why haven’t we given greater thought about examples such as this? And if you still love certain aspects of the MMC model and want to rethink that triplicity from a different perspective, there’s something to be said for the Moirae, better known as the Fates: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos. They’re literally creating Fate as they spin, measure, and cut the fabric of life! How is this not a powerful example of the divine feminine’s creativity and progression without resorting to the old song and dance about our wombs?
I admit that I come to the table as a hard polytheist; my notion of the gods is already vastly complex and within one deity can contain a bundle of contradictions. And being a polytheist, I am super comfortable with handling those levels of complexity. But I have less problems with the idea of soft polytheism than I do the philosophy that worshipping a female divinity should be limited to her childbearing status and that alone, especially since such notions tend to extend into the women within the related traditions. We are not unaffected by this limited approach to feminine divinity.
It is sad that in this day and age that a witch and priestess can still be scrutinized or disregarded for her age, fertility status, ability to be conventionally attractive, for possessing or not possessing a womb, or any of these things–all because of our instance upon having a MMC Goddess Barbie and wanting to see that reflected in our female witches. And some of the scenarios it proposes are hilariously outdated. It is ludicrous to consider a women in her thirties or forties as a “crone” because she is infertile and/or does not possess a womb. Fertility is far more than literal childbirth, and can carry into many things into one’s life. Creativity and creation aren’t limited in scope to developing babies in our respective wombs, and my femininity is not defined by whether or not I can or will have children.
People are welcome to their own traditions and if they choose to carry on the old model of “man and woman” and all of that fertility-womb sacredness, that’s perfectly fine and valid. It’s still sacred in its own right; it’s just not all that is sacred for women. And there’s so much more to fertility than the classic understanding of it. Women are welcome to also celebrate their motherhoods as they see fit and have insular traditions for them and for these traditional aspects of the craft. However, this isn’t for everyone–nor should it be. There is fertility within women and in general that can be honored and celebrated in new ways beyond just the traditional. Models such as MMC, defining gender by their parts, the old interpretation of gender binary, and the traditions which see these concepts as unalterable and rigidly defined are rapidly becoming a minority in a world and culture whose ideas on gender and sexuality are quickly evolving and encompassing so much more than the binary, cut and dry approach to these topics. The rest of us are moving on and embracing a more progressive and inclusive witchcraft. We continue to teach what was and also why we moved away from it. We do not forget nor seek to distance ourselves from our past, but to learn from it and why we have chosen a new approach.
The future is not just female; it is intersectional. It does not seek to exclude women who lack wombs, nor does it seek to exclude those who do. All forms of women are sacred. There is room for everyone, and we have a lot of work to do.
It’s pretty clear at this point that we are at a crossroads of a social revolution, one that is taking us into a direction where the long-held and accepted notions of both gender and sexuality are being questioned and in many cases, outright thrown away. However, it’s nothing new–they’ve been questioned for some time now, but people have gone on willfully ignoring or blowing it off for literally decades, and so the battle continues. Conversations which began years before I was born that were never resolved and ended in blood and tears are still happening. Why? Because people are stubbornly clinging to their security blankets and shields in the form of tradition, religion, and/or philosophy in order to avoid self-examination. And we can’t afford to coddle these individuals anymore, because it’s quite evident that hatred, ignorance, and bigotry mean more to them than the dire need to allow the craft and other magical traditions to evolve, not to mention entire pagan and polytheistic communities.
We can’t pretend it’s all about adhering to the tradition, or the letter of the law. For instance, there is more than enough documentation to demonstrate there were conditions under which Gerald Gardner himself was fine with same sex initiation, and that Alex Sanders himself performed such rites. So we can’t argue that “strict opposite gender initiates always” is core to either lineage. We also know that during their time that the laws and culture surrounding non-heterosexual and non gender conforming people were pretty negative, to say the least. This is increasingly no longer the case. As a result, it would appear to be that the majority opinion within various initiatory Wiccan traditions is finally heading in the direction of acceptance of same sex initiation in addition to recognizing the validity of those who identify as a different gender than the one assigned to them at birth. Even more importantly, people are finally beginning to publicly admit that this is where they stand. This is both huge, and necessary.
And these traditions are not alone in these discussions–far from it. People can point fingers and claim that initiatory Wiccan traditions are the only ones having the gender and sexuality issues and debates, but the reality is that in many if not all pagan and polytheistic communities, there are problems. I’ve regularly had to block homophobes, transphobes, and all sorts bigots in general from the Facebook group I run on Hellenic paganism. Those people whom I blocked and banned included people from white supremacist groups. We cannot pretend, as these screaming bigots want, that the Greek gods were all heterosexual and that homosexuality and bisexuality did not exist among them. Given the countless tales of the gods and their same sex trysts, I don’t think I need to state what an incredibly inaccurate view this is. And I’ve already gotten into some of the genderqueer, non-binary, and genderfluid gods in that pantheon besides in another blog post. Once again, we have an example of narrow-minded, hateful people trying to apply historical revisionism presented as “tradition” and using it as a shield for their bigotry.
I’ve seen similar issues as described above in Thelemic groups, Asatru groups, Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn groups, and a ton of other places. In all these communities I have seen people from the alt-right, neo-Nazis, TERFs, and all sorts of hate groups attempt smear their maggot-ridden feces everywhere while they try to twist facts, science, and history to support their bigotry. These groups are also very typically anti-women and filled with internalized misogyny, which surprises no one who is aware of the studies linking misogyny with white supremacy. And the reality is that these movements are painfully in support of nothing but the cis-centric heteronormativity that is anti-women (either cis or trans, they hate them all), anti-non whites, antisemitic, anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-anything of the non-binary gender because let’s face it, it’s harder to police what you consider to be women when gender is far, far more complicated than mere genitalia. All of these movements are connected to that concept, which is why in order for all of us to continue to exist let alone evolve, cis-centric heteronormativity must die–and why we need to be suspicious of anyone seeking to strictly preserve that overly rigid, limited narrative. We must stand up to these movements and not tolerate intolerance, so that we may preserve and protect tolerance.
Unfortunately no pagan, polytheistic, or occult community is without its loud, bigoted minority. If you think your community is exempt, think again. The problem is widespread, and we need to own it. We can no longer afford to pretend it does not and will not affect us, and those of us not directly impacted by the beliefs of the loud and hateful few need to learn how to be good allies and stand up on behalf of others in our community. And not enough people are doing that.
We also need to stop being afraid of challenging people who are perceived as leaders when they say or do inappropriate and outright hateful things in regards to large groups of people. Misha Magdalene in their blog sums up the issue with such savage finesse that I will quote from them here:
“(I)f it’s not some ceremonial magick dude managing to simultaneously junk-punch himself and hang himself with his own tongue by clumsily conflating rape and rape culture with BDSM, it’s some Pagan dude bloviating about uppity women, queers, and trans folks getting peanut butter in his Ten Thousand Year Old Book of Cisgender Heterosexual Shadows… or, in the case of the current bee in my bonnet, it’s a Well-Respected Feminist Elder™ running her tattered TERF1 flag up the flagpole to see who salutes.”
I’m honestly not sure why so many Known Names™ are becoming louder than usual in banging their bigot drum, even including those who normally describe themselves as “liberal” or “moderate”. It’s certainly not that they’re secretly hateful people who side with neo-Nazis, as most of them are pretty far from it. But those same self-described liberals and moderates are also painfully oblivious to how their attempt to “see things both ways” is harming people who have considerably less societal advantages than they, and so much of the discourse seems to be very defensive of their own position in society. My theory is that we are seeing the “rage, rage against the dying of the light” from those whose comfort zones have been challenged as they desperately cling to those very societal advantages. But the “dying of the light” is happening, and as a result, we are seeing a much-needed shift in power and dynamics. Challenging the status quo, particularly when it has benefited you, can be very uncomfortable. And these people are not just uncomfortable; they are chafing from the friction of the reality around them against their cushy privileges. They need to realize that they have nothing to lose having others gain vital and necessary civil rights. After all, it isn’t pie; you don’t suddenly have less rights once other people who have been traditionally under heavy societal disadvantages finally get rights too.
It pays to be be self-examining, and realizing your own prejudices due to institutionalized sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and so forth requires a great deal of that examination. It also means becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. Part of it is realizing that there’s a vast difference between hatred due to bigotry versus ingrained biases that are the basis of prejudice. Truth is, you don’t have to hate a group of people in order to have incorrect judgments and assessments about them. You just have to be raised from birth in a society that sees being different as dangerous, and questioning the status quo doubly so. And unfortunately it is entirely too human to stick groups of people into biased boxes. Once one realizes that having these biases is not a negative judgment on them as a person–and therefore being on the defensive is unnecessary–they will be able to move beyond the constrictions of those prejudices and relearn what they have learned.
For spiritual and/or esoteric movements to have issues challenging societal standards is sadly ironic given how much of what we do and what we believe being so terribly, vastly different from the mainstream. But for those who were raised in strictly religious homes (read: orthodox or even fundamental), taking those ideas with them into a new religious or tradition is all too common. They may be able to take the pagan or polytheist out of strict orthodoxy, but sadly it is often difficult to remove the strict orthodoxy from the pagan or polytheist.
Thankfully, these attitudes which stem from rigid orthodoxy are a part of a minority that is rapidly becoming outnumbered by those around them. And the more of a minority they become, the louder are the cries of discomfort, rage, and belligerence from said minority. Because truth be told, the rest of us are marching into the twenty-first century whether they like it or not. We do not require their consent nor should we desire it. Should they choose to change their minds, they’re more than welcome to join us. But as our march continues, their days are numbered for the old ways must die in order for us to continue to live, let alone thrive. And it’s the essence of the reality of those numbered days which makes them protest, because their world is ending and ours has just begun.
And as I keep mentioning, the future is not just female; it is intersectional.
“You attract what you are.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
I’ve seen a variety of these sorts of phrases. They’re typically found in the New Age and LoA (Law of Attraction) communities, but it’s not unusual for pagans, polytheists, and occultists to fall under the trap of this type of thinking. A lot of this tends to stem from the notion that intent is everything (or at the very least the main thing) which you need in magic, therefore if you “just think positively” your magic won’t fail.
Obviously this isn’t the case, and magic is far more than just intent. And if you’ve noticed that these phrases tend to sound victim blaming/shaming, you’re not alone and you’re quite correct. I’ve frequently noticed that people who gravitate towards such philosophies are desperately seeking a sense of control over their life and surroundings, including over events they have no way of being able to otherwise prevent or handle. But this can also be used to turn on people in order to discredit or gaslight them, and be New Age bullies. Such tactics are also used in order to silence victims of abuse and oppression: “You brought this on yourself, no one can harm you without your consent.”
The other aspect of this poisonous philosophical trend is what amounts to spiritual bypassing. By focusing only on the positive in regards to thoughts and emotions, you are preventing yourself from confronting your problems, healing from past traumas, and in short not allowing yourself the necessary personal development in order to work on your issues. A fantastic example of this is quite honestly what amounts to the darker aspects of the so-called light side of the Force from Star Wars. By avoiding fear, pain, anger, and hate out of the notion that it will “make you evil” or “turn to the Dark Side” is usually how people wind up not handling those very issues and become a self-fulfilling prophesy by going to the said Dark Side. And the perfect example: Anakin Skywalker.
Part of being a well rounded witch, magician, or occultist in general is being able to confront and deal with your crap. It also means recognizing that yes, there will be events beyond your control and that of others. It doesn’t mean that magic isn’t real, that you aren’t an effective occultist, and/or that you somehow deserved it or otherwise brought it on yourself. There’s a great deal of superstition that I sometimes see even in the Hellenic polytheist communities. A streak of bad luck occurs, and people ask why the gods hate them or how they managed to piss them off. That’s not how this works; that’s not how any of this works! Blaming the gods for bad things that happen to you and other people’s bad behavior isn’t even remotely accurate, let alone appropriate.
The LoA community likes to pretend that everyone is “switched on” and that we’re all in control over the forces in our lives and what happens to us. The reality is that most of people are in neutral gear while a minority of us contend with a volume knob that can go up or down due to reasons not entirely our own. Bad stuff can happen to good people regardless of who or what they are. Not acknowledging that is essentially denying our humanity and reality at large. You’re not going to become a better magician or witch by only focusing on positive emotions, or blaming others or yourself for when bad stuff happens. But you will find that your magic will be far more efficacious if you learn how to harness your anger, control your responses to your emotions, and allow yourself to feel and process those emotions. They are valid, and so are you.
I tweeted recently that at some point as a nation, we need to sit down and have a serious chat about toxic Christianity and its relationship to the patriarchy, white supremacy, and toxic masculinity. Screenshot and link below:
Now to the meaty bits (or seitan if you don’t eat meat): what exactly do I mean by toxic Christianity?
Like with the phrase “toxic masculinity“, I’m not saying that all of Christianity is toxic. I’m referring to a very specific flavor of Christianity which IS toxic, and has perpetuated a number of problematic to outright bigoted and hateful behaviors, particularly here in the USA. This especially includes Dominionism, which everyone needs to read up on in order to understand some of the political and religious power struggles here in the United States. It’s also led to a number of people to get involved in lawmaking and try (and sometimes succeed) in passing a number of laws based on them. These laws are actively working towards making the rule of the land be mostly white cis men while taking away the rights of literally anyone else.
We can’t pretend that Christianity is the only place where we’ve had this toxicity, as certainly a number of ancient cultures were patriarchal and in them women had few to no rights. But right now, those cultures are not in a position of power, and neither are we pagans/polytheists/witches/magicians/etc for the most part. While some of us do indeed come from a Christian background–particularly since witches and magicians can pretty much be of any religion–we are still partaking of a lifestyle that is not mainstream and often targeted for abuse.
So where am I going with this, and what can we be done? What do we collectively need to realize in order to withstand the potential threats we face to our rights and well being?
First of all, we are all affected by politics, some of us more than others. And we are all impacted by our upbringing, some of us more so than others. This is a good chunk of why I have urged pagans and polytheists to work on dumping their baggage as too many have come into polytheism–especially reconstructionist and revivalist polytheism–and other branches of paganism dragging their match luggage behind them and letting it color their perspective on the faiths they are attempting to practice. We all need to work on dismantling our pasts and the crap that holds us back, and in dealing with this topic especially so. There’s a lot we have to rethink, and institutionalized sexism, racism, transphobia, and homophobia are among those things. Unfortunately there’s a great deal of religious fervor devoted to the feeding and protecting of those -isms and phobias, and that is part of why the struggle continues in the United States.
More than anything regardless of our respective backgrounds we need to discuss the problem of toxic Christianity, as it’s dooming us all. We have Dominionists in the White House, people making laws not based on science but based on beliefs that focus around misogyny and the control of anyone with a uterus (especially black women), and children in cages in actual concentration camps. Yes, they are concentration camps and yes, I am Jewish. “Never again” is now. America needs to wake up, strengthen the protections and walls between church and state, get the offenders, enablers, and grifters out of their respective offices and take back our government from toxic Christianity and its followers which infiltrated the Republican party.
We need to stop making excuses for the attitudes that enable the behavior to go on. We need to stop pretending that voting won’t solve the problem, and also that voting alone will solve the problem. We must become comfortable with multitasking and with being vigilant long after the danger has past. Our culture, lack of proper regulations, and lack of consequences for those responsible are just a few things that are letting the cancer continue to grow and eventually kill us all. Toxic Christianity and its beliefs prop up white cis men at the expense of literally everyone else while tax exempt churches make large donations to politicians who back up their views.
I know that people are exhausted of the state of the world, especially those who have been fighting the longest and hardest, but I’m talking about the very heart of the issues that allowed America’s current government administration to do all that they are doing, and with the issues that affect us globally it won’t just be Americans who are in trouble, but the rest of the entire planet. Climate change alone has become a huge part of this, and it will literally kill us all if we don’t do something. We have 10-15 years left to be able to do anything about it. Toxic Christianity won’t care because toxic Christianity wants to usher in the end times and bring back Jesus. Toxic Christianity doesn’t think women should have rights let alone vote. Toxic Christianity only likes white people, heterosexuals, and cis men. The rest of us are deemed unworthy, unacceptable, and less than human.
I realize that there are a fair amount of occultists who are Christian, engage in Christian mysticism and Christian derived magical practices (yes, they exist). I’m also painfully aware that most occultists are not engaged in toxic Christianity. However, some are. There are a few fairly famous examples that I could give, particularly in the ceremonial magic communities. Some of you who are Christian mystics, witches, magicians, and occultists are already actively involved in fighting against fascism, white supremacy, and the patriarchy. I salute you and stand by you. We need to stick together and remember our commonalities over our differences. Please continue to use your religious privilege to call out those who continue to act as if religion is synonymous with Christianity and try to make decisions for the rest of us based on those beliefs and ideas. It continues to amaze me that someone like Jesus who challenged the patriarchy, those in positions of power, and his culture in general could possibly have inspired the ideas which these people perpetuate, and the failure falls not on religion but that of humanity.
The rest of us, however, do not come from Christian backgrounds. While most pagans and polytheists were originally Christian or from Christian homes, I was not. I lack religious privilege on a fairly substantial level. I run into monotheists and atheists all of the time who equate religion with Christianity and monotheism in general and use phrases like “Judeo-Christian” when they really just mean Christian. Religion is assumed to be entirely anti-science when my very faith honors deities for whom science and medicine are both sacred. When I don’t run into bigotry against paganism and polytheism, I run into anti-Semitism. Antisemitism stems from toxic Christianity, too–as does Islamophobia. Anti-witchcraft and magic sentiments? Also from toxic Christianity. Anti-science beliefs and ideas surrounding climate change denial, anti-vaxxers, and flat earthers? Same.
And the list goes on.
We don’t need less religion or less Christianity; we need greater protections, more conversation, and the dismantling of the support toxic Christianity has received up to now. The problem lies not with specific religions, genders, or races, but in disproportionate privilege and power. Deconstructing privilege and balancing the scales begins with starting the necessary conversations about concepts such as the Paradox of Tolerance, and why tolerating intolerance needs to stop. We need to challenge ourselves and call on people around us who behave and speak inappropriately as compassionately but as decisively as we can.
Removing toxic Christianity from power both in our culture and in the American government will unfortunately not remove the attitudes and ideas it perpetuated. But it will prevent further harm to those who are among the marginalized and disenfranchised while we continue to try for a better world.
I’m part of a blog hop for topics concerning financial sorcery! Today I will blog about having learned how to do financial magic right after having learned the absolute hard way how not to do the thing.
Learning how to do magic to boost wealth and finances has been a series of trials and errors. Along the way, I’ve learned a good deal about what you should and should not do if you want to do magic in order to gain money:
I credit money magic with going from being tens of thousands in debt with maxed out credit cards in a terrible job to being in my ideal job, about 70-80% of that debt now gone, and making more than enough to support myself and have a savings account. It took a while and a LOT of trial and error but it’s real and it worked.
Liked this blog post? Check out the others in this blog hop:
There have been, in my experience, three different forms of magic:
How do you determine which of the following types will suit your needs? To be honest, it depends on the goal. Is this something you will continuously be requiring? Or is this for a particular need-of-the-moment? Or is this something more serious which requires formal attention over a length of time?
I used to struggle with money/financial magic until I realized that I was responding to emergencies as they came up and not dealing with the long term. Most of the magic I’d do was in type #1 and sometimes type #2. Realizing that I needed a constant and more consistent flow I switched to type #3 and suddenly the results came–and stayed. I didn’t just get a job that turned sour later; I got myself what amounted to my dream job and was not only able to stay in it but make it even better. I created a cash box from Jason Miller’s Financial Sorcery book, and take out and put in cash into it regularly. That cash box rests on my money/Jupiter altar in my temple room where I keep my statues of Zeus and HEra. When I do, money comes in. When I don’t, I notice it–and a lot. The results I get are as consistent as my practice.
Some forms of magic require more maintenance and attention than others, but it all comes down to intent. If it’s something that you KNOW you will constantly, constantly need, I recommend creating a particular designed space or an altar for it and do magical work for it regularly. Could be daily or once a week, whatever works for you–but I recommend making the day work for you as well. For instance, if you’re gearing magic towards making and keeping yourself healthy, I recommend picking Sunday for the solar work. For financial concerns, Thursday is the obvious pick. If you’re unable to do it that particular day, use the corresponding nighttime planetary hour instead–that’s the planet of the first hour of that night. For Sunday, that’s Jupiter. If you’re looking to have a solar background to your Jupiter work, that’d be a great backup day/time to do your work. The idea is regular investments on a magical level towards getting what you want, keeping what you want, and getting even more of what you want.
In addition, I definitely recommend tying in your work to a particular deity or daemon, preferably a being you already have a connection to, and appeal to them in your work. I found Jupiter energies extremely difficult to control until I made regular prayers and offerings to Zeus and later on both Zeus and Hera to act as guiding, controlling forces. Prior to that, I found myself creating basement floods and hot water heater breakages–which I obviously don’t recommend. 🙂 If gods aren’t your thing, there are many daemons to pick from who can assist such as angels, saints, etc.
Part of being a magician and/or a witch is being in harmony with your environment and local spirits. You may not always chat with or say hello to your neighbor, but it’s not nice to blare music at 12:30am and if you’re going to have a loud and widely attended party, it’s good to warn them in case they want to be elsewhere. And then there are the sorts whom you do not NOT want to invite because of the fallout which will inevitably occur. So what’s an occultist to do under similar conditions in their practice?
My roots as a pagan and my very first spiritual community was with ADF, a pan-Indo European Druidic organization. It was here that I learned the concept of giving offerings to the “outsiders.” These outsiders could include anything from trickster deities like Eris (who already has a tale about her and what happened when she wasn’t invited to a party) to the fae, whom I think pretty much everyone knows you REALLY don’t want to piss off. By doing this, it was making it clear that these weren’t spirits to be banished or cast out but instead “Hey, we’re doing a private ritual and intend no disrespect, but here’s a token of respect so you can party over here instead”.
Nineveh Shadrach details similar practices with the Djinn in his books such as Magic That Works in which the idea is that you warn the neighboring Djinn that you’re about to do a ritual so if they don’t want to be there to get the hell out. Courtesy again in this case matters, as the Djinn and the fae have similar traditions in dealing with them and pissing either off isn’t something you want to do.
I sometimes wonder how much of “imp” or “trickster” activity in one’s home is instead a manifestation of this: a spirit feels forgotten, left out, wanting attention. Maybe they outright feel snubbed or slighted for whatever reason. What’s an attention-seeking daemon to do? Why, hide your things, of course! If you’re finding that a lot of weird activity is happening within your home or surroundings at any given point in time, it might be helpful to do a divination to determine the identity or type of spirit or just go for broke and leave an offering for the local spirits in whatever form or forms they may be in.
It’s good to save the outright banishing rituals for entities of malicious or evil intent, and cases like this where they just simply happen to live near you instead give them courtesy and respect. Be kind to your neighbors, you never know when they too might decide to have a party or otherwise remember you. Allies are just as good to have as are friends.
This blog post is part of a blog hop. Feel free to check out the rest of the posts in this theme when you’re done with this one. 🙂
This was a blog post I was going to make before the total proverbial shit hit the fan and I had to make a post about that instead. What I am about to discuss is a case of “no one’s wrong, it’s just a matter of different perspectives and words getting in the way of understanding.” It’s a kinder, gentler post, but no less important. So without further adieu….
I posted a link to a blog a week or so ago entitled Magick, Money, & Bullshit: Do the F**cking Work. Literally my only complaint about this post was the need to censor an excellent word such as “fucking”, but I digress. One of the best parts about it was this section here: “Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something YOU ARE. How you think. How you live. How you love. How you behave all affect any magickal working you perform.”
When I posted this to Facebook, I was surprised at a few who didn’t seem to understand the spirit of what was being said, namely “Magick isn’t something you do. Magick is something you are.” One felt the need to point out that magic(k) is a practice while another voiced the idea that once you hit Adepthood, magical practice is something you do less often out of pursuit of other things. Neither of these statements are “wrong”; they just weren’t the point that I felt the deep need to express and celebrate. I also fell short of being able to explain it on Facebook, as the medium really isn’t sufficient for this sort of discussion. Expressing why magic is who you are and not just what you do requires more than it provides.
Magic is a mindset. It’s a mentality. There is no separation between your “mundane” life and your “magical” life, and when you live out your life in a way that expresses that, all of the barriers towards manifestation come tumbling down. It’s not just something you do when you’re lighting that candle, casting that spell, doing that working, this invocation, robing up and entering your temple room, or spending all of your hard earned money over at Wolf & Goat.
Yes Virginia, you ARE magic. This is why it’s so important to take care of yourself, get your physical needs met, and don’t neglect any part of your life. If there’s an area where you’re struggling to manifest something take a good look at why. Maybe it’s your approach, maybe it’s something you haven’t quite digested yet, or maybe you’ve been treating it as something you’re not yet worthy of. Maybe you’ve only done it when you desperately needed to as opposed to making it something you do on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth. Perhaps it’s a fear of failure o the belief that magic is somehow limited to certain things. It’s time to put all of that away and set aside the notion that you’re not deserving. Yes, you ARE worthy. You don’t need to feel guilty or make excuses as to why you can’t do money/job/career magic or any sort of magic; you are the vessel from which the power of the gods flow. You are a magical being, and with every step you take to perfect both the person whom you are and what you put forth into the world, you can make the world around you more in touch with the very essence of magic.
I’ve always found that magicians who quote the statement “As above, so below” and yet draw lines in the sand on their spiritual/personal and “mundane” lives to be demonstrating a sad cognitive dissonance. Repeat after me: it’s all the same. There are no lines, no boundaries, no differences between them. You cannot keep your altars tidy and not extend that into the rest of your life, and while doing one can help to improve the other it’s not enough. Take action, get it done.
One of my magical teachers once said to me that magic is about making a connection. And it’s true. We need to make connections between all of the bits of our lives, and if it’s the physical world we’re struggling with we cannot continue to divorce ourselves from it. Ultimately it’s about striving for what is termed in my faith as areté: excellence in all things and living up to one’s full potential.
Don’t just do magic, be magic.
I’m tackling this as a blog post because it needs to be said, someone needs to say it who does not identify as a male given the gendered nature of some of what has been said, and so it might as well be me. Given the subject matter I want to make a few disclaimers utterly crystal clear before I begin so that there is no misunderstanding:
A particular blog post has been making the rounds in the occult communities entitled Forging the body of a witch. While I agree with a number of points this post attempted to make, there are a few things in it which are decidedly problematic. I won’t get into the health points as they’ve been covered to death elsewhere, but I’d like to discuss one which was covered towards the end, namely that women need to submit in a ritual BDSM setting in order to have any power as a witch. To be fair Grey adds the disclaimer that “The kind of witchcraft (he) discuss(es) can be used as an excuse for abuse. For power over the aspirant rather than liberation. For sexual exploitation rather than liberation. That does not make the techniques anathema.”
No, it does not. But let me vehemently disagree on the following points:
The thing is this: you can add all of the disclaimers to the post that you want, but the implications are clear, and they are fairly disturbing. Of course sex can be abused. Of course BDSM can be done by people looking to abuse. Hells, I myself was raped by a “dom” and can speak volumes about that alone. But as always, I’m not saying that BDSM is abuse or that sex or sex magic is bad. What I am saying is that implying that they are expected, necessary, or required is bad, and does open the door wide open for abuse no matter what you may claim.
And do I really need to get into why a man suggesting a woman must submit, be sexual and submissive in order to fulfill his requirements of what he considers to be a witch is a serious problem? I’ll leave this comment here, no more need be said.
Then there’s the issue of sexuality. As someone who is on the asexual spectrum, I have no need nor desire to be sexual. Nor should anyone feel that it is required or a requirement of being a witch. Even if someone who identifies as pansexual was engaged in witchcraft or any sort of ritual or initiation, their consensual participation in such acts of sex or BDSM should not be assumed or required either. Having a ritual scourge, symbolic or otherwise is one thing, but what was described in this blog post was something else entirely. If people want to have such things in their rites, fine. Do we really need it? No. Can we do just fine without it? Yes. Am I still a witch if I don’t? Absolutely.
I had to deal recently within my own communities a few months back with a similar argument due to a very problematic situation which arose, and it became clear that there were people who felt that if you attended the ritual that you were open to being sexual and you were consenting to this. Had these ideas been clearly communicated and in advance, this would not have been a problem. The problem which arose was that no communication occurred, consent was just assumed. This presumptuous attitude which denies the opportunity to consent and consent knowingly needs to be discussed and at great length, and to ignore it is abuse.
Ultimately this is what makes Grey’s post problematic: the implication that we must all have sex magic and BDSM in our rites to be witches or otherwise have power. I don’t need to be beaten, tied up, or whipped in order to be a witch or have power. I don’t need to have sex or be sexual either, and I find it incredibly disturbing that this is even a subject for debate. It’s not just a matter of “safe spaces”; it’s a matter of not supporting what has been described elsewhere quite accurately as rape culture. Consent should never be required or assumed; it should be given freely, with perfect love and perfect trust.
Without that, your magic is in vain, and you have no right to call yourself a proper person let alone a witch.