Image: RJ Muna
“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”
Shame and I have a longstanding deep rooted relationship; it started to blossom in my childhood, and continues to grow throughout my adulthood.
I was an opinionated girl who is now an outspoken, loud Woman, for some unknown reason that intimidates people. I know exactly what I want, and that also intimidates people. I don’t rely on others because they have *always* let me down, so now I do it all by myself; which is not only intimidating to others, it seems to be threatening to them. As if my independence has any effect on their dependency.
I know my sexual power, wants and desires, regardless if I am sexually active currently—this sexual liberation will always intimidate people.
I have been shamed for my strength, but shamed for weakness, too. I have been shamed for being a slut, while also being shamed for being a prude. I have been shamed for personal evolution, and shamed for remaining comfortable.
I was called fake because I changed and I will never understand that. I grow, I evolve, my mind expands and so does my way of thinking; how is that fake?
How is personal evolution and growth shamed? How is finding a “good place” in life a bad thing? How is that shamed?
WHY is that shamed?
The how I have yet to figure out; where people get their sense of entitlement from is beyond me, but I know the why, which is: jealousy.
Does all shame stem from jealousy? I kinda think so.
Shame also comes from fear and ignorance, and when you mix the three together the combination is explosive.
So imagine my surprise when I started to venture into the Pagan and Occult community and found shame in abundance among my peers. Often directed at me with pinpoint accuracy.
Whew, was I hit with it all…
“You’re too dark.”
“You’re a shitty person if you cross/jinx/hex people; only evil Witches do that.”
“You are fluffy if you heal people, only Wiccans bother with that shit.”
“A Luciferian? So, what, you worship the Devil?”
“Daemons? You work with Daemons? I would never do that; I am not selling my Soul.”
And the list goes on, and on.
Few communities are more divided than the Witch community. Why *are* we so divided? Why are there stories that plague us with talks of “witch wars” based on jealousy, and exclusion based on being “too dark” or “too light”?
Why do we judge people based on their Magickal comfort zone and experience as opposed to who they are as a person?
I feel like judging someone based on what kind of Magick they practice is like judging them by what clothes they wear. Surely we can agree that in almost every case making assumptions about someone based upon what they are wearing will not be a reflection of who they are.
For example, those within the Goth community (probably) would agree that they are much more than “pale skin and black clothes”.
Making generalizations about any group of people has never turned out well and if you need proof of that just take a look at history, or even our current state of affairs.
The point is, you cannot judge the entirety of a person’s character on one aspect, or detail of them.
Can the same not be said about Magick?
It can in my case.
If you are to judge my morality and personal character off the Magick I practice, you will be wrong every time.
Where does this sanctimonious behavior come from? A behavior that I have been guilty of myself; I have many times scoffed at people for being Wiccan or what I deemed “fluffy”.
In hindsight I don’t regret it but I wouldn’t do it again.
I am trying to be consciously aware of such petty behavior in myself, and my hope is that in the future I will not display such ignorance and naivety towards my fellow Witches, or any group of people for that matter.
I want you to sit back and think about all of this for a moment.
I want you to personally think of the reasons why you are a Solitary Practitioner because a solid 90% of my readership are Solitary like myself.
I am willing to bet that somewhere on the list is shame. Most likely you were drawn to an alternative Philosophy because of shame, and then drawn into the seclusion of Solitary Practice for the very same reason.
Shame is a disease and we need to rid it from ourselves, and our community. There is nothing productive that comes from making another person feel bad for their actions, lifestyle or behavior.
There is nothing in the judgment of another that will help the collective; it only furthers the divide.
We should try and understand people, and why they do what they do; from behavior and Philosophy, to love and eating habits; there are personal reasons behind everything we do, both conscious and subconscious.
We should not and do not have to partake in a lifestyle or Magickal practice that we are not comfortable with but we also should not and cannot judge another for theirs.
The human condition is something we all have in common and no aspect of this experience should be shamed from a lack of understanding. We are in the age of information and technology, there is no excuse for being a judgmental, ignorant prick.
The shame inflicted on another is an issue rooted in yourself—take a long look in the mirror.
Sympathy for our fellow Witch will make us strong; sympathy for our fellow human will make us unite.