Friday, November 18, 2011

"Dangerous Knowledge."

The Necronomicon - Archetype of Dangerous Knowledge

I do my best not to shy away from any topic here. I feel that shying away from something in a medium as non-confrontational and hopefully tone-neutral as a blog means that I can't discuss it calmly and I don't like that idea one whit. I've discussed insanity, self-sacrificial magic (twice), and a myriad of other stickiness hidden in the bowels of my blog. And I'll be adding this one to the heap.

There has been a recent spate of blog posts about "dangerous knowledge" and/or "oversharing".The crux of the arguments being that if one shares knowledge and experience, "teh noobs" are immediately going to go out and get themselves all fucked up on it. Except... it's just not that damned simple.

The issue of "Dangerous Knowledge" is not easily summed up. Not even a post with 30-odd comments has yet managed to rectify the misunderstandings, benefits and/or pitfalls of concealing information. A dozen other posts broaching the issue hasn't clarified it either; it's just muddied the water and made a few people rather cross.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Photos"

I recently got a few questions (anon, so possibly from the same person) about why I do not post ritual photos here and on my blog - unlike other bloggers.

I do not post up photos of ritual work, detailed photos of my temple/tools, or much in the way of pictures of my Familiars, Allies, and Chamberlains because they don't want to be photographed and I respect them too much to display them for non-attribution, mis-tagged, reblogging. 
I could beg off, showing low-quality photos taken in bad lighting, so motion blurred that all you get is a vague sense of it - I could retire, satisfied that I made it look all very mystical without giving anything away... but instead I'll say "I don't want to show it, and the spirits don't want it to be shown."
I could simply re-construct a few ritual setups, a few things omitted, and take photos... But what purpose could anyone have in constructing a ritual just to photograph it? Staging shit for photos smacks of trying too hard for street cred.
I could show my tools, but they are given to me and empowered by the work between myself and the spirits. Why would I profane that gift by using it as a vehicle for self-aggrandizing?
I could show Famulus bones, or Homes, but showing the privies of an Attendant without permission is like putting a pic of your ex on one of those "Burned that bitch" websites. 

Hope that answers the questions.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How I Accidentally Became A Toadwitch.

This season is, I am not ashamed to admit, the most sacred time of year for me. It has always been during this time of year that things "happened" for me, and so that has informed decisions and timing for a long stretch of years. It's also the time of year where I get free-er with my tongue, and tell stories I would not ordinarily tell. 

On the Menu are three stories, starting with the strangest, and ending with the most reasonable. 

I Want To Post A Clear Disclaimer Here.
I am not posting about this to brag, nor encourage. I've removed details, spirit-guidance, and waymarks that are necessary to making anything happen. I have done this so that only those who have the proper who are called may come. 

I doubt many people who have claimed to perform this rite really have. The actions of this rite shape themselves - details emerge that are not spoken of by even Chumbley, but are consistent with those who have performed it.
Of those who went through the actions, I doubt many did the inner work. This rite cannot be performed in actions alone. The spirit work behind it is required for it to have any effect, any success, and any impact.
Of those that actually did the actions, and the inner work - I doubt many actually had success. They speak of it too fondly, to gently, and too lazily. This rite is not to be played with- if you do not have the stars right, and the permissions in place, it will exact a serious toll on you. If you are not secured like a vault, impervious to the assaults that come with this rite, it will devour you. IF you are not mentally balanced, it will unhinge you (when the insects in the night start to speak to you, good sirs, I challenge you to keep your shit all in a row).

There are a million other ways to get the same "results" - all of them a far better, safer, saner, and more accommodating to not getting your world wrecked.  Once it is started, it cannot be aborted. It has to be seen through until IT, not the witch, the rite itself, decides that it has concluded. This rite is best described as Lovecraftian in nature. It is a crash course, a hard-wiring, and a quick butcher job to jack someone in. It is utterly, utterly, unfriendly.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Finding a Mentor/Coven.

Anon Asked: I know this isn't even your most recent post, but it felt too "off topic" to post this there. I would have hunted down your email, but I figured if you were open to that direct of contact it would have been front and center somewhere.
I've been wondering just how does one find a mentor. I've tried to obtain one through the means of internet and real life connections. I've had nothing but bad luck on both ends. Maybe my standards are just too high. Any tips (that go beyond "find a local coven = profit")?
Well, Anon... you're right - Direct Contact is not one of my strong suits. I do have this blog and my tumblr, though. My Tumblr (same name as this blog) has questions enabled as well, and I get some interestin' ones from time to time! To get forward with it... Mentors, covens... hmmm...

Wherein I Tell You What A Dick I Used To Be.

Once upon a time I was a young pagan. I had a demonic entity driving me mad, and then I ate it. And that sort of dietary change does things to a person - in short, I got in a massive heap of fucking trouble because I had a massive heap of fucking power coursing through me. And I found some folks that "jived" with me. I pestered them. A lot. And they said "No, you're too young, and too crazy."

I knew I was fucking up. I knew I was doing dangerous work - I was desperate. I crossed their fucking conditions, I jammed my fingers up their asses and yelled "1,000 years of pain!" (metaphorically), I hassled them endlessly - illustrating my knowledge of them, their system, and shit I should not have known. Until the Elder finally said "Alright, someone needs to train her, because she won't leave us alone, and she's one of us, and she's an asshole."  I was initiated into that system, and into another one of it's members was a part of - both places were squarely "Family".

So, my technique was "batter the gate until it falls" - that was stupid, and wrong, and assholish. Don't do that.

Wherein I Offer Advice Completely Not What I Did.

So, what do you do? Find the things that are important to you, and find parallels with others and their paths. Find someone you trust or admire who is a little further along the road you feel that you're on.

If they blog, or do classes... read/attend. Build a rapport, comment frequently.  Never doubt the value of Internet Occultists - I've known Jack Flash since the late ninties or early naughts on various journal and blogging sites. I'd probably jump in front of a knife-wielding madman to ensure his safety.

Ask them one or two REAL important questions (to you). See what the answers are. If the answers jive - if you feel like "AH! THIS!" then ask them what Trad they are part of, if their Trad trains, if -they- train (if they are non-trad), ask them about their sources of inspiration and Work. Ask them about avenues you might find proffitable - of course, that assumes they're personable and will answer.

And The Real Core Of It All.
The BIGGEST thing is to find someone/someones with whom you feel a connection - and that connection ought to be mutual. It may not be everything you asked for, but it may be more than you ever dreamed. Be flexible - be willing to accept a mentor who occasionally rips ass in front of you, or looks different than you expected. Be willing to travel, or at least jump through weird and seemingly nonsensical hoops to provide -them- with information on who you are magickally. Be willing to accept a No, or a Yes, or a "Yes, but not now." or a "The Gods are saying yes, but I say no. Because XYZ" But be willing to accept a "Yes. And not only yes, but come over here and give me a fucking hug, bro!"

Set firm boundaries,but don't consider your boundaries to be an immoveable force. You may never be called for the things that squick you, so never behave as though the demand is currently present (unless it is).

Wherein I Bitch And Moan About Being Lonely.
I get the want, and the need for Family.  My "Family" is no longer with me in the flesh - when I touch my feet to the Sabbat Hill I find fewer of them each year - some old, some hateful toward rogue upstarts like myself, some dead and gone. Where there was once a great, big, united coven... now it's splintered. Some have simply gone to other hills, and other ways - their blood a bond, but Family may not always meet for Thanksgiving. I sought it with CUUPs - and I did not find it. I sought it with Pagan Pride and Psychic Fairs - and I did not find it. I sought it with online communities - I did not find it. But between them, in the cracks and little places, I found a few people with whom I can converse openly - and honestly? Not in the places I looked!

Sometimes we ask for something, and we get something a little different. Eventually, longer than we'd like, we get something amazing. Keep your chin up - Witchpower does things, you don't step on the path without garnering notice.