Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Misconceptions about Misconceptions

Waving your wand around at the Ren Fair is Magick, but dealing with Night-Flights and Sabbatic lore is "delusional"

Modern Craft (included under this umbrella are the vast majority of NeoPagan, and Wicca-lite bits) has got it's head up it's ass. Very, very, very far up it's ass. So far up it's own ass that you can actually somehow see it's head peeking out of it's own mouth. It's disturbingly recursive, you might say.

It is well and good, fine, even encouraged, to saddle up to the local Fair and play fairy-magick. This is described as being "part of the religion" with no qualifier as to it's value or purpose. I have been witness to a group of people forming an open circle at a local Ren Fair, dressed in glittery fairy costumes and plate armor, who had the brass cajones to get insulted when people gathered to laugh.

This same group (or rather, several of it's constituents) later explained, with a patronizing sort of tone and quiet patience, that my references to "The Sabbat", and "Mandrake Kings" was delusional. "Night-Flights were just drug-induced delusions, Mandrakes are so poisonous that even touching one will kill you and also, they really DO scream, just like in Harry Potter! I know someone who grows them, it's really the sucking sound when you pull the root up!"

Historical sources cited, books proffered, and trial records presented they merely scoffed - "Torture makes people say stupid things. Witches are wise, and should know better!"

Solve et Coagula...

Gaining perspective is a good idea. Imagine things from outside your own head once in a great while. Can the hubris, and reflect: What would you think about seeing a group of Christians holding a loud, raucous, evangelical baptismal at a concert while dressed in full KISS regalia? If you'd laugh your ass off at that, don't do it's equivalent and expect to be held to a different standard that does not include statements like "Look at those dumb fuckers over there."

Furthermore, if you're discussing how you can feel the unique energies of the "crystal" you're holding, be sure it's a crystal and not dichroitic glass. Because calling sabbat-flights silly while cupping a Dichroi-cab made in the home-fuser of a hobbyist and talking about how you feel the ancient Atlantean energies ... er...

Ferrous metal tools are no different than anything else. Anyone who says otherwise is just uneducated.

Sorry to say, but you're mistaken. Ferrous metal (iron, specifically) has a long history of being antagonistic toward the Fair Folk. There's a lot of suggestion that it has roots in anthropological matters, but it has magickal implications. Mars and Venus don't always get along, a Martian (iron) influence is not always wanted. Sometimes it's downright hostile.

In my Tradition-with-a-big-T, Iron and Steel are considered commanding. It is it's very nature as "cutting in two worlds" that makes it so damned perfect for cutting ritual space out of reality and neatly inserting it into between-places. It is by the skill and authority of the Smith that raw ingredients become a blade. It is by this uniquely human blending of the elements into a quintessential form that gives it a power "fey" to the fay. To some of the kindred of Elphame, steel is as alien and hostile as some of their works are to us.

Furthermore, we consider that the Deva/l of a plant, specifically those plants Witches concern themselves with (i.e. plants which have a purpose, or spiritual effect) akin to the fairy races. Uplifted from the communal "Plantness", named, and identified as an individual fairy - kind of. For some plants it is perfectly fine to cut them with iron or steel. For others, well, you've just ruined the plant, because you drove off, insulted, or slayed the spirit residing therein.

Fixin' da Problem...

Anyone within mailing distance of a ceramic studio with a computerized kiln can own a hand-crafted bronze, copper, silver or even GOLD blade. Try googling "Precious Metals Clay" and getting an eyeful of the product. While I would not suggest making a solid silver or gold blade (gold, yes, is expensive), a core of copper or bronze with gold over-top, or plated on, would be about as easy to create as molding something out of Super-Sculpey. These metals are not antagonistic toward the fey, and can help engage a better relationship with them.

Beyond any of that... I sometimes wonder if the spirits just appreciate seeing things done the old way. "Oh, cor! A brass sickle. Haven't seen one of those in a spell!"

We're all Brothers and Sisters in the Arte!

For some reason this one usually precedes some request for money, information, or material things. Never does it accompany an offer of "so you can go ahead and crash here until they're done bombing your place for those herpes-carrying head lice."

We all practice some form of the Arts/Crafts, sure... but we're not siblings. And in the event that we were siblings, that's no encouragement for me to speak kindly to, or of, you. My sibling is the biggest jackass I know.

No, in The Arte Magickal, we range from estranged cousins to sharing the same family name via an ancestor who heard someone say their name was "Smith", and liked the sound of it. My Brothers and Sisters are those with whom I have done Work, and with whom I spend (and enjoy spending) great lengths of time.

Communing with the "Stop that BS" vibrations...

We're a community. Not an orgy. We don't need to be entangled quite so intimately all of the time. I don't need to even LIKE you to circle with you, as long as we can both do our part in the little pageant of Juju. And also, no, you can't sleep on my sofa, or have my last beer. If we're NOT circling, what does it matter? We're strangers. Let's verymuchplease STAY that way.

The Rede/Threefold Law applies to everyone who's ever lit a candle.

Hm. no. I want to believe (like Mulder) that there is some sort of universal law, but there's not. There are weird patterns, often little tapestries of interaction that can establish a "weave" if not a "pattern" but the whole thing is still malleable, and fragile.

I see ethics like clay. You're made of clay. That clay is magic. You take a 'Curse' shaped lump of clay out of yourself and throw it at someone. If their juju is in order, that clay won't get in, and it'll be looking for someplace to go. Mind, it just so happens you created a hole the exact size and shape of that wad of clay... guess where it's most likely to come to roost?


Pull your heads out. Stop preaching to others. Stop insisting that your worldview become their worldview. Honestly, that actually sums up MOST of the issues in this post. Live and let live. Hecate Enodia opens many doors, to many worlds.


Traditional Witchcraft does not have a little superscript "™" at the top and even if it did you wouldn't own it. Gene Simmons would, because Gene Simmons trademarks fuckin' -everything-. Wicca does not encompass the whole of Pagandom, and even if it did, people would still "do whatever feels right" and call it something else.

Coming into a situation, guns blazing, stating that other people are doing wrong/dangerous things simply because they're NOT doing what you do is silly. Lecturing ritual-leaders afterward on how it -should- be done is crass, and disrespectful.

Cornering noobs and oldies alike on a forum explaining how they just aren't close enough to your own definitions to be "TW™"? Er... go eat a bushel of Cakes of Light and get back to me.

Solving the issue.

Stop caring about other people making you look bad. Stop caring whether or not people are doing things 'correctly' unless they are part of your working group. Stand on your own merits. Don't want to be judged? Be impeccable, to borrow a phrase from Castaneda. The only way to be above reproach is to be known in your community as a stand-up person, someone who's not a moron, someone who is not a flake.

Of course, standing on your own two legs is a bit much for some folks to take. It's a lot easier to just whinge at everyone else.

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