8 Blisses of Yule: #1, Resonant Kin

Last night I gathered with many beautiful people to celebrate Yule.

Throughout that night I experienced true bliss, in waves that crested and rushed over me.  Over the next days I shall share what names I found for the waves.

My first bliss of Yule is the souls of my spiritual kindred.  I stood amongst the woods, goddess in me, and my kindred stood by my side.  They danced the ritual with me.  They shared food and laughter, solemnity and grace.  These aren’t just kin.  These are the people that resonate with me.  We are not the same but together we created a harmony that, I like to think, lifted us all up higher.

When we spoke, ideas and concepts and understanding was shared, not just words and information.

I felt like I was among my own kind.  I WAS among my own kind.

Graced in bliss by my resonant kin.

~Abysmal Witch

Just 20 minutes

Do you have a dream?  Something that you long for?  Something that is attainable?

You know what I mean, the desire to run a marathon, write a book, become a famous seamstress.  Something that relies on your ability, your effort, your work.  Do you have something like that?

I do.  I have several such somethings.  One of them is being more accomplished in my magick.  Tonight as I went up to my temple I had the ‘duh’ realization.

If I want something, truly want it, is it worth 20 minutes of my time?  Just that, 20 minutes.

Would I give up 20 minutes of my life to get that thing?

If not, then I clearly don’t want it, not bad enough.  Because 20 minutes is not that much time.  If I can’t take 20 minutes to reach that desire, then it’s a pretty freaking weak desire.  A mild preference, in fact.

If yes, then take the 20 minutes.  Without putting it off.  Without placing something else before it.  Grab hold of the 20 minutes because it is your desire, just in its early stages.

Sink your claws into your desire and start to sip from the great possibility of it, because you’ve put in your 20 minutes.

This was a good use of 20 minutes.

~Abysmal Witch

Halloween Philosiphizing

The other day I was thinking.  I know, I know, it was a dangerous thing for my poor little mind, but sometimes even I need to go down that road.  And after some minutes of the poor little mice struggling to overcome inertia and get the wheels turning stuff like the following spewed out:

Halloween is one of the few co-created society-wide events in our society.  Christmas is another one, the other “major” holidays less so.  These are events where a majority of people buy into the event and work together to create an atmosphere.  With Christmas, for example, people put lights on their houses and decorations outside for others to share in as an experience.

Small examples of this that I’ve experienced are small weekend pagan events where we all agree to co-create a particular world around us.  I go to one entitled Pirates & Faeries.  Everyone dresses up, decorates their living space, and work together to decorate our shared spaces.  The results are spectacular.  We live within a fantasy world that we have all worked together to create.  Which also means that everywhere you go lies within that world so long as you stay within the boundaries.

Halloween is co-created on a much grander scale.  Sure people opt out, but enough opt in that the entire day becomes a co-created “fantastical” world.

Monsters and dead things abound.

My gods, just think about this, being fearful is encouraged and celebrated.  And then we’re taught to laugh at our fears.  We are taught to wear our fears on the outside of our skin, to BE the very horrors that have us hiding under our covers.

How gods-freaking-fabulous-tastic is that?

Seriously.  Look at this outlet we have given ourselves from mundane reality, and it’s for everyone!  AND we’re saying it’s okay to be scared.  And we’ll join with everyone else in making it happen.  How wacked is that?

This is the only holiday/celebration in my society that goes beyond the shared co-creating of an environment (xmas does that with all the lights and external decorations) and invites us to GO INTO EACH OTHERS LIVES!

There are only two generally, sort of accepted ways to visit someone’s house if you don’t know them:

1) you’re selling something, from god to floor cleaners, cookies to makeup, you’re there to sell.

2) you’re begging for help, like a phone call for your car, a run-over pet, psychotic man in mask trying to kill you who turns out to be your brother who killed your older sister many years before and has now escaped from the prison/sanitarium and is now going to kill you

But then there is this bizarre, magical third reason:

3)  It’s Halloween.

Um, wtf?  Why on earth is it acceptable on this one day of the year to go wandering to some strangers house, ring their door, and ask for CANDY?!?

Just stop and think about it for a minute if it hasn’t already struck you.  Outside of Halloween, have you ever just gone up to somebody’s house, knocked on their door and expected to receive something nice?    Just try and picture it happening.  Try and picture doing it.

It’s weird.

And yet on Halloween, it’s expected.  And that it’s okay for kids to do it (even now when we’re terrified to let them touch dirt let alone talk to strangers).  And that those who have opted in (with the lit pumpkin) have agreed to a social contract to open that door and give out goodies.

This is so freaking bizarre it makes me proud to live here.

~Abysmal Witch, in her element.

With Justice to Ourselves

Today’s random reading selection was from Dion Fortune’s Estoteric Orders and their Work and the Training and Work of an Initiate.

In it one phrase caught hold of me, hard:

“with justice to himself”

The sentence it was from, for context, was “Upon this plane…man must function as a master; he cannot, with justice to himself, meet its entities upon equal terms.”

With justice to himself.

These days we are pretty good about self-entitlement and have something of a handle on justice for others (and more prevalent among women is the sublimation of self to others, but that’s a blog for another day).  But justice for ourselves?  Doing ourselves justice?

As I type this my thoughts want to slide over into the “what we’re owed” concept.  Again, what we are entitled to.  And kiddies (I’m one too, btw) I can tell you that we’re entitled to jack shit.  No guarantees in life.  No promises.  Nothing that we’re intrinsically, cosmically owed.  Many things that we may end up owed amongst our own community and culture, but there is no cosmic justice saying that I’m entitled to be set for life.

The only cosmic entitlement once we’re born is to have some fleeting time in life, however long or short that might be.

I think it is very easy for us to feel entitled for ourselves.  Just see my rant on the how Christmas has turned into the season of buying things for ourselves.

But this is not what Dion Fortune was talking about.  It wasn’t about being owed, it’s about owing ourselves.

What we really need is to ACT with justice to ourselves, our full Selves.  This is not about a liscence to shop.  This is about doing right by ourSelves.

What actions do we owe our Selves?  Which behaviours are truly in service to our Selves?  And which are convenient, easy or unconsciously distracting?

I had a lovely day out at Vancouver Pagan Pride Day today and so while I would like to ramble more on this, the sun (and sunburns, oops!) are getting to me.  Hopefully what I have gotten down makes sense to more than just me.

Sometimes I feel alone on my own Wonderland Island in the Sea of Communal Insanity.

Do your Self and your Life justice today and I’ll try and do the same.  Deal?

~Abysmal Witch

Paganism 101

Firelyte from Inciting a Riot made a facebook post that inspired this train wreck of a thought.  😀  Though to be fair, it really had nothing to do with what I’m planning to talk about.

What he said that got me thinking (and we know how hard that is!) were the words “paganism” and “101” in a related sentence.

And I end up thinking “is it possible to have a Paganism 101 book?”

I don’t think it is.

We have Wicca 101s and Heathenism 101s and it certainly wouldn’t surprise me to see Druirdry 101s and there are tarot 101s and rune 101s and herbalism 101s.  Or in other words, there are intro books to all kinds of topics that are of interest to pagans.

And oh gods, I’m going to do it.  I can’t believe it, but I am going down the road that all sane pagans should avoid:  defining paganism.

My gods, there are almost as many definitions of paganism as there are paths within it.  With nuances and blatant differences, arguments and bickering.  It’s a point that pushes us away from each other rather than drawing us together (funny, isn’t it? given that it is a community term?).  But I’m going there any way.

This is my opinion.  It is endorsed by no one by me.  YOUR WORLDVIEW MAY VARY.  And that’s perfectly grand and fine.  However, if you end up agreeing with me, I can’t help but think that’s a little grander and finer, but then, we’re all egotists at heart.

My definition is born out of what I witness as being included by those within and without the practices that get lumped under that poor maligned umbrella.

There are two components:  magical practice and spirituality.

Only one is required for falling under the pagan umbrella.  Yes, I am saying that you do not have to be spiritual to be pagan.  You also don’t have to be a tree-hugger.  Neither do you have to believe in magic.

Magical practices that tend to get lumped into paganism:  hermeticism, occasionally alchemy, thelema (yes, that’s the Crowley stuff), hoodoo (though this one is frequently debated), witchcraft as craft, not religion.

Spiritual practices that tend to get lumped into paganism:  wicca, druidry, heathenism, voodoo (sometimes but debated), goddess-worship, reconstructionist religions (particularly of Europe)

Some magical practices have a spiritual component.

Some spiritual practices have a magical component.

Any and all of these get lumped as paganism.  It’s no wonder that my paganism isn’t like anyone else’s.  And neither is yours.

Stage 2 of my definition of paganism.  How a person is identified.  You can be a) self-identified or b) identified by others.

We generally allow for self-identification of paganism…and not.  But you know what?  That’s only half the battle for me.  If you self-identify as pagan but your behaviour is that of a muslim, I will disagree with your self-assessment and do not consider you pagan.  If you do not self-identify as pagan but your spiritual practice revolves around goddess-worship, nature-worship and seasonal celebrations, well, then, you can deny it as much as you like but I’m still going to view you as pagan.

Not that I discount the self-identification.  But frankly, it alone doesn’t do it for me.

Now coming back for a moment to the spiritual component, obviously it is more complicated than just a simple list.  How do we decide which spiritual practices count as pagan?  Well, if they are european reconstructions or descendents, excluding Christianity, we tend to include them.  If they are nature-based, we tend to include them.  If they have goddess worship (but not Mary), then we tend to include them.

If a practice has a strong connection to one of the “big” religions, then it ain’t paganism.  But still, it’s not like we’re everything that’s left over.  Some people like to include First Nations practices in paganism.  I personally consider paganism to be a european creation, but I’m willing to negotiate on this one.  And that, my dears, is the fun part of paganism.

It is a communal fictional dream.

There is no one practice that constitutes paganism.  You can’t even say that a magical component is required because it isn’t!  You can goddess worship and nature worship and old god worship without ever touching magic.  Yes, many of the spiritual practices under the label do have a magical component but that’s cuz we like to have a combined world rather than a segregated one.  But when you look at what we include under the umbrella, it is most definitely NOT an AND situation.  It’s an either/or/and situation.

So given all this, how could there possibly be a Paganism 101 book?

To have an intro book on how to do something, there has to be a single, DEFINABLE practice that is done.  All of the 101s I listed above are definable and separable from the topic herd.  Paganism is its own topic herd.  You’d have to cover a dozen different items in a Paganism 101 book and even then, none of them would have to be included and you wouldn’t cover every possible pagan contingency.

None of them would have to be included.  Doesn’t that say it all?

I can’t think of a single requirement that applies to all groups that can be considered pagan.  Not one.  Okay, not one that can’t also be applied to any other major religion.

There is not a unique identifier to paganism.  Not one thing you can point at and go, absolutely, ALL pagans have that.  There are things that you can point to and will think ‘well, hell, ya, that’s pagan all right.’ but nothing that applies to everybody.

I’ve been in pagan groups with the hermetic, the thelemite, the druid and the wiccan, and the self-identified pagan who adheres to no particular path (but who embraces some of the components listed above).

Oh, those pesky “i’m pagan” people.  They make it extra tricky.  They’re not in one of the handy dandy defined categories listed above.  They’re comfortable as being just pagan.  Their spiritual practice may be earth-based, it may be goddess-based, it may not be.  But you watch them in their behaviour and you’ll either agree with their statement or not.  If you do, well they self-identified and you agree, ergo they’re pagan.  If they do, and you don’t, well they may not be.  They may be inappropriately using the label.  It does happen.

So given all this, do you think it’s possible to do a Paganism 101?

If it is, what would it look like?

Honour the seasons?  Hugs some trees (I don’t mean it in a derogatory way, I’m just enjoying saying it…now I want to go and hug a tree, either oak or willow I’m thinking)?  And don’t forget that if you’re interested, there’s this magical thing that’s possible to?

So, again, no, I don’t think it is possible to have a Paganism 101.

HOWEVER, none of this means that I don’t believe in the pagan label.  I do.  It unites us with people who also seek to elevate themselves, who celebrate the same things we do (mostly), with people who make the best conversations.  By banding together in a larger group we become a greater force.

And by allowing such fabulous diversity amongst our ‘bigger’ group, we help to keep ourselves open minded and flexible.  And that is a recipe for health in my book.

And with that, my beloved crazies, I have reached the end of this ranting tale.  Til next time, live strong!

~Abysmal Witch

Funereal Thoughts and a postscript

Yesterday was the funeral for my kindred spirit.

It took place at a Lutheran church.  Funerals tend to make me think two things:

– how well does the person doing the service speak to the emotional needs of those present

– what rituals are done to help the people process the moment (with a postscript ponderation on Wiccan and Pagan rituals around death, or lack thereof)

These can be the same thing but not necessarily so.  Sometimes the service addresses the emotional component without ritual.  Sometimes the ritual is about a spiritual moment rather irrespective of the funeral.

Our clergy are not trained, not in the go to school, classroom, teacher way.  Many of us find our own way (though some are lucky to have guidance!).  We aren’t given pre-set forms on how to handle death for a congregation or psychological training for handling the emotional impact.  I’m not saying we can’t and aren’t good at it, just that we don’t have a formal training system to make sure we all get there with a measured level of competence.

We also don’t have pre-set rituals.  I mean, here we were, a crowd of probably 150 people lined up in the pews, sharing bound books with the order of the ceremony laid out, complete with hymn references and prayers.  Go to any Lutheran church and I’m betting it’s the same.  I also wouldn’t be surprised on similarities between different Christian sects.

Again, not a bad thing that we don’t have such hidebound fixed rituals.  😉  But I wonder if we will feel a lack in future years when more of us start passing on (an interesting part of being such a young religion).  There was such comfort for people in being able to share the familiar ritual.  It was a touch-stone, a grounding, a communal centering into the moment that would lay pathways to help make things just a little easier in the days to come.

I think I’d be the type to want a wake.  Sure, a eulogy would be nice, but I’d love for people to share stories about me (I don’t think there would be a lack of them), to remember me as I am in life.  I think I will contemplate the ritual part.  I may even get back to you with it.

Have you thought about it?  How you want those left behind to deal with your absence?  Have you told anyone so that it may actually happen?

~Abysmal Witch

 

As promised, a postscript (originally I was calling this a funny postscript, but as I wrote it up I realized that it wasn’t really funny, but I still found it interesting):

At 3 in the morning (why, oh why, is it always 3 in the morning for such things?) last night my cats woke me up with thunderous running on my balcony.  Since they’re only allowed out if they behave I pulled myself out of bed and called at them to come in.  They were more than a little slow at it but finally arrived and I shoved the door shut behind them.

That was when I noticed what had caused the delay.  The cause of the noise outside was a big, chubby moth that they’d been playing with.  They came inside but only after they’d grabbed the moth and carried it in with them.

I was heart-bursting proud at that moment that they’d listened to me.  (Following a command rather than just doing what they want was impressive for a pair of brattish cats, but doing so when there was a live creature involved was just this side of miraculous.)

It also struck me as funny given that of course they would have their own way in the end.

(Movie) Theater Etiquette: Time for a Manners Revolution?

A couple of weeks ago, I and three amigos headed off to see Wicked, the musical.  Which is fabulous, and I definitely recommend it.  But that is not the point of this post.

Sitting before the four of us were five friends.  Five head bopping, head turning, CELL PHONE USING, talking twenty-somethings.

Our post-show discussion covered many of the fabulous moments of the show (“the ‘guh’ is silent”, “not everyone can travel by bubble”, songs that were catchy as hell) and an analysis of the lack of manners in kids today.  It is funny to note that our ages range from early thirties to early forties.  So we’re not that old.  lol  I had the same experience in New York, at the plays I went to, people texting and using their cell phones, people talking constantly.

What happened to respecting the community of fellow theater goers?  What happened to respecting the ART of the show?  Why the hell would you spend over a hundred dollars for a ticket and then watch your cell, not the show?

Time passes and last night I and two amigos went to see X-men:  First Class.  Sitting beside me was a group of three or more friends (yes, twenty-somethings).  Not that long into the movie (which was really good, btw), the chick beside me pulls out her cell phone.

I really hate cell phones in theaters.  I don’t care if you think you’re hiding the light from your screen.  You’re not.  I tell you now, I and many others can see it and it’s distracting and therefore offensive.

Without thinking I turn to her and state flatly, “no”.

She looks at me, startled, and covers the screen with her hand, not saying a word.

“I can still see it.”  My voice is quiet but I like to think there was a plank of steel in it.

She makes some odd jerky movement, turns it off, puts it in her purse, zippers that closed and puts it down.

During the movie she and her friends talked at regular 5-10 minute intervals, the third girl, farthest from me, was on her cell for so long I’m really surprised she bothered to spend the ten bucks for the movie.  What was the point?  She wasn’t watching it.  The talking continued, so did the texting or game playing.  At one point the girl beside me pulled out wet wipes and started giving herself an upper body bath (those things reek of citrus chemical smells).  She fidgeted; she was in and out of her purse constantly.  Towards the end she pulled out her cell phone again but she leaned far forward and covered it with her hair and body.  Since I really couldn’t see the light from it, I didn’t say anything.

Until the movie was over.

The lights came up and I turned to my neighbours and tell them very calmly that they needed to work on their movie etiquette.  That I’d been able to hear them talking throughout the movie, quite clearly.  That I could see their friend’s cell phone being used.  That it was all very distracting.

I was not rude.  I did not yell.  I commented on their actions, not them as people.

I felt like a parent.

They listened, they nodded and they apologized.

I nodded and turned back to my friends. My point was made.  There was no need to belabour it, to harp on them, or to work at making them feel bad (or wore, as the case may be).

What about you?  Do you feel like it is time for a manners revolution?  Is it time to speak up when people behave badly?  Instead of sitting there and trying to ignore the self-centered, immature, I-hope-to-gods-that-they-just-never-learned-better behaviours, why don’t we confront them, gently, with all of the communication grace of our maturity and work at teaching people what they’ve either never learned or have forgotten?

It’s not about fixing that moment in time.  It’s already been tarnished.  But by speaking up, by calling people on their actions, by being the consequence that bites them on the ass, maybe the next time they’ll behave better.  Maybe the next person sitting beside these girls at a movie theatre won’t even notice that they are there.

Maybe together we can help young souls come to a greater understanding of the consequences of their choices.

Are you with me?

Hekate’s Suppers

In honour of Her whom I serve.

It’s amazing what a question, some google time and a bit of logic can do for us.

My curiosity centered around Hekate’s Suppers, something that’s been mentioned repeatedly but casually around me (people, internet, etc.).  So I went looking for specifics and this is what I found.  Please note, this information is not properly cited and so I cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of the details, aside from those things that are simply my own experience and perception.

In case you don’t know, Hekate or Hecate is a Greek goddess of antiquity typically known as a Goddess of magic, crossroads, witches, etc.  She is also a psychopomp.

There are two points I’d like to bring to you regarding these suppers, first on the timing of them, the second on the purpose.

Most references I have found to a ‘date’ for them is on the 29th or 30th of the month.  However, this is not based upon our calendar!  Something that I think most people forget.  Using the old roman calendar (not the Julian calendar and not our modern Gregorian calendar, and boy, that was a fascinating little trip into wikipedia) led to an interesting realization.  I did not look at the ancient greek calendar given that every city-state had their own calendar and most weren’t recorded.  Besides, the early Roman calendar may well have been based upon a Greek lunar calendar.

Right, so the ancient roman calendar was largely based upon the moon cycles.  The month would start on the day of the new moon, when the crescent was first visible.  This would put the 29th or 30th of the month on the dark moon (1-2 days before the crescent would first appear).  Their calendar system is complicated but the idea that the “date” for Hekate’s suppers is actually on the dark moon seems both logical and fitting for the Dark Goddess of the Crossroads.

Second, Hekate’s suppers, classically speaking, were offerings left at crossroads.  It seems that part of the purpose of this may have been a round about way for the rich to feed the poor.  The rich people would leave offerings to Hekate at street corners that the poor would take up.  I don’t know, but it seems plausible, particularly when we remember that most offerings by the temples to the Gods would ultimately result in a feast that would feed the locals.  Often it was the only time that poor people would get meat (this is from a class I took long ago).

CORRECTION:  If you check out the comments, you will see a post from Dver explaining that while many offerings were of a nature to share with people, Hekate’s suppers do not fall in that group.  The comments also give a link to their own post which includes an explanation of where this misconception comes from.  Not that giving to the poor or the foodbank is bad, just that it doesn’t fit with offering to Hekate on the dark moon.  Now back to the original post:

Experience says that it doesn’t make sense to take a whole plate of food to a crossroads.  Instead, I would suggest two potential ways to honour Her through a supper.  One is the offering of an egg at a crossroads (though if the animals don’t get to it, the smell could be most unfortunate), the other would be an offering of food to a homeless person who was at/near a crossroads.  But as always, in the end it is your intention, will and passion that determines the purpose of what you do.  There are, of course, a multitude of ways that She can be honoured through the use of food, offerings, and crossroads.  It’s just a matter of personal choice.

Now taking this one step further, and from personal practice, Hekate’s Supper can also be an opportunity to sit down to a meal with her.  Invite her to your table, or to a setting near a crossroads, and eat your meal knowing she is there with you.  And yes, I don’t see why this couldn’t be done with any deity with a time and location suitable to their nature.

One of the wondrous things of being pagan is being able to bring the spiritual into any aspect of living.  In this case, it’s bringing deity into our meal, rather than simply leaving something for them. Truly, we are blessed.

A Pagan Tempest…Let’s Go Have Tea

Ah, the on-going joys of defining “pagan”.  I haven’t read all the recent commentary, but I have spent some time reading through linked blogs from The Wild Hunt on the topic.

There are those who focus on definitions.  What is paganism?  Who is included?  Can we even reach a definition?

Peter Dybing warns of the dangers of sliding back into the Witch Wars of yesteryear.

Much of the commentary seems to focus on the importance of being inclusive in our community.  Or in other words, for the love of any god, please don’t turn this discussion into another reason to fight amongst ourselves because when we do that, none of us win.

The debate over the meaning of pagan is not a new one and not surprising.  We’re using a single word to try and capture western magical traditions as well as religious and spiritual practices that are largely (though not exclusively) European based (whether inspired or reconstructed, I do not care).  And then, that poor little word, has to take on all “earth-based” religions (though thankfully they’re pretty much already included in my list) PLUS anyone who doesn’t identify with a specific practice in the above but feels comfortable in the pagan grouping.  It only has five letters, that poor little word.

It’s a very flexible word, letting us bend it however we wish, but somedays it and we feel the strain.

So why the big flare up of this old discussion?  Because there’s a group that we would normally assume would be with us under the pagan umbrella who don’t see themselves that way.  Drew Jacob explains there why he and those in his Temple don’t consider themselves pagan.

I wonder if the upsurge in commentary is based upon fear?  Fear that if every group and individual who sees their practice as something separate and distinct from the idea of ‘pagan’ were to leave there would be no pagan community left.  Which is a fair concern given that probably 98% of the pagan community are not ‘practicing pagans’.  Hel, what would a practicing pagan even be?  They usually, in my experience, are the earth worshipping casual practitioners-of-nothing-in-particular.  There’s not many of them, but they are usually nice people.  Most of us define ourselves in a particular faith (Druid, Asatru, Heathen, Wiccan, Thelemite, a unique label that works for us that no one else understands, etc, etc, etc) based on what we do and believe, but accept the pagan label for outside convenience and for inner community.

By agreeing that pagan is a label we can apply to all of us gives us the perfect excuse to spend time, learning and celebration with relatively like-minded individuals.

Take that away and it becomes harder to sit around that communal fire with each other that T Thorn Coyle mentions on the Wild Hunt blog.

For me personally, I will not force Drew Jacob’s group to be part of paganism.  That’s their choice.  However, his arguments for why they are not pagan did not persuade me.  One argument was that their method of practice was not well understood or comfortable for the pagans who took part in it; all you have to do is watch any relatively homogenous pagan group attend an event thrown by a different type of practicing pagan group and you’ll see the same thing.  We all get a little discomfited when we experience something that is new and different.  This does not make the new experience not-pagan, just not-familiar.

He also lists a number of specifics that his group does not do that he sees as typically pagan (though he also says that list is but a sampling).  To which I say, try working around Thelemites and Hermetics and those notions of four elements, 8 sabbats, working in circles get a sound thrashing.  Not in a ‘they are bad’ way, but in a ‘we don’t do that’ way.  ADF druidry doesn’t do circles either and they only reason we stood around in that shape was due to the convenience of speaking and seeing each other.

In other words, pagan is a broad descriptive bucket term.  And just as any material in a bucket is not the bucket itself, we don’t practice ‘paganism’, we all practice different things that can be, conveniently or not, shoved into the very accommodating bucket of pagan.

The more I type, the more I believe that this reaction from the pagan community arises from a subtle feeling of being threatened.  And the urge to bond closer together is a natural and healthy response to that.

In the end, one group wanting to disassociate themselves from the pagan bucket will make no difference to the rest of us.  The attempt to define ‘pagan’ will continue like waves of the tide.  And we will get together when and where we can to celebrate life.

It is our actions that define us and how others see us.  And my next action is to get a cup of tea.  Tense moments always go down better with tea.

Mind Versus Magic?

This post was inspired by Episode 29 of New World Witchery in one of those random statements leads to random thoughts leads to curious wondering moments.

There is a lingering idea in the world that “a curse won’t work if you don’t believe in it”.  Not all people or even practitioners adhere to it, but I still hear mention of it now and again.  In the above episode, Cory, Laine and their guest discussed the impact of healing magic on animals and young children, young enough that the child wouldn’t understand what was happening.  In both cases it’s obvious that the healing, which was witnessed, could not have been the result of positive thinking.

What then occurred to me was that perhaps the mind could impact the situation in a negative fashion, rather than a positive one.  We know that magic is driven by our will and focus, powered by our passion.  Now let’s assume that the recipient of the healing or curse is adamantly opposed to the magical possibility.  Not just a laissez faire attitude towards magic but a complete and utter repudiation of it.

Or in other words, they put their will, focus and passion into the certainty that there is no magic that could possibly touch them.

If they were strong enough in all these components, could they counter the affect of the magic coming towards them?

It would be a form of counter-magic (making it extra funny given that it would require the same tools as magic does).

If this is the case, it could account for the ‘you have to believe in curses for them to work’ statement.  Except that the phrase has leapt to the wrong conclusion.  It’s not that you have to believe in them, but perhaps if you repudiate the very idea on a deep, strong, passionate and consistent level, it could form a natural shield that might protect the anti-believer.

What do you think?