Musings of a Modern Mystic: Quiet Observations

I’ve never considered myself a torchbearer or of anyone with great importance.

I’m more like a wallflower, hiding behind the vines so I’m not seen. I’ve spent a lifetime living in the shadows, diagnosed young with ADHD, diagnosed in my early 30s as being on the autistic spectrum. And all together struggling to be understood and to communicate in a way that makes sense to the outside world. My thoughts are often jumbled and my words are a storm of confusion to the uninitiated.

I’ve always seen the world differently, heard the wind through the trees differently, the harsh notes of the world always ring strangely to me. But I suppose that is neither here nor there. There is nothing particularly special about me. I’ve never been good with divination. Because of my trauma, my intuition really doesn’t work all that well, but to be a witch, you’ve got to be good at those two things. I’m not and I don’t feel like I need to be in order to follow the path set before me.

I think my gift is seeing what no one else wants to speak about and I’ve spent a long time being afraid of speaking that. What I see is communities in trouble, what I see is safe spaces being turned into boxes to be checked. If you don’t feel or think the same way about blank, then you do not belong. Art that is supposed to be subjective is no longer subjective.

You’ve got to think and feel the same way about it. And before you say that isn’t true… I’m here to tell you it is because it’s happened to me. I was told I was wrong for not feeling the same way about a movie. What’s the big deal you may ask? The big deal is we can’t discuss things anymore without being told we’re toxic and wrong for having different thoughts about things. I’m not even talking about the big things like transphobia, sexism, racism, bigotry… we can’t even feel differently about small things without someone being offended.

The very people who told us we could be individuals are the same people gatekeeping what is allowed and what isn’t. I’m part of many different communities and this problem is in all of them. No one is talking about how unbelievably toxic these spaces are becoming. You are free to be who you wish as long as you fit into certain boxes and you check off certain tallies. No one is talking about how dystopian we are becoming as a society. How can no one be alarmed about this? How can no one see the storm coming beyond the horizon? If we can’t even discuss the little things, how can we discuss the big things?

I’ve seen all sides dehumanize one another, insult each other like children, and overall just be completely hateful and none of it changes anything. You cannot educate through hate. I don’t think a single person gives much thought to someone’s point if it’s filled with any of those things. So if it doesn’t work on you… why would it work on them?

If everyone is unwilling to budge, then how does anything change? All sides trying to silence each other by being louder don’t seem to be working and I feel like we’re running out of time. I don’t know the answers, but I know if we don’t figure out what the answers are together.

We will all fall together.

Homegrown Shamanism: Ponderings of a British Bloodline

Ok so I’m going to say this nice and clearly upfront! There is absolutely no intention here to gatekeep or attack any British person who uses the term I am about to discuss, to describe either themselves or their work. Please read the entire document before you attempt to burn me! This is merely my search for authenticity and it is fully open to discussion.

Here goes…….

Shaman – I’ve always had such a problem with the use of this word within my country, as do many other British folk. Quite basically because it’s not ours! Not our word, not our language, not our culture. Yet it’s thrown around carelessly by us Brits as we tread our spiritual pathways. It’s cultural appropration on its largest scale! Or is it?

According to Britannica.com “The term Shamanism/Shaman comes from the Manchu-Tungus word šaman. The noun is formed from the verb ša- ‘to know’; thus, a Shaman is literally “one who knows.” The Shamans recorded in historical ethnographies have included women, men, and transgender individuals of every age from middle childhood onward.”

And Greentara.ie says “Europeans first acquired the term for Shaman from Russia in the 1690s. During the mid-to-late 17th century, Russian-Cossack explorers and conquerors heard and recorded the word ‘saman’ from the Evanki tribe, a Tungus-speaking people of Siberian Russia.”

So as a British (English) woman, I have never been able to use that word to describe myself, even though I do the same work. Shamanic practitioner? Yes. Call myself a Shaman? Hell no! It always felt wrong. But let’s look into it more deeply.

England’s ancient countrymen would have done the same work as the Evanki Shaman within their tribes. Not the watered down, modern day version that myself and others like me do. I’m talking looking for visions in animal entrails here (sorry animal lovers, but it did happen). And when I say England, I mean Albion. **Albion being my land before the Celts, the Picts, the Romans, the Saxons, and the Norse ever arrived. The Ancient Celtic ‘Druid’ seems to be the word that fits the most as a stand-in, but again, I’m talking pre-Celtic history on our lands so that word doesn’t quite fit.

Other than the word Druid, we British folk don’t have a word for the work a Shaman does. Witch? Witches certainly do the same workings as Shamans, but as we all know, the word Witch has such an abused history that it’s seen as being a slur rather than an honoured path within a community or tribe. And the word Witch comes from Old English (wicce) which would make it Anglo Saxon. So I’m talking much earlier than that word too.

Little is known about pre-Celtic history in Britain. Nothing was every really written down until the Romans came. So when someone like me comes along and tries to find a root to what it is they do and connect with, it’s pretty impossible. And due to that lack of information, I’ve found myself forging my own path.

I call it Homegrown Shamanism, and it’s something that I was guided to by my beloved Goddess Morrigan (with a further push from Elen of the Ways). The Morrigan has always tried to move me away from labelling and boxing myself too much as it’s very restrictive to growth. So both She and Elen plugged me into my natural surroundings instead. And it works! If you consider what you see everyday, what energy touches you, what animals and plant life surround you…..those are your absolute closest allies. That is the purest, rawest energy you can connect with. The most unfiltered, deep down in the dirt, unprocessed, natural, freshest, cyclic connection you can forge. The Morrigan even brought me surprising animal spirit allies. Boars and brown bears! What?! They aren’t British! Oh but they were once. And my land holds many memories of those animals within it.

So let’s go a step further here.

Let’s discuss Elen of The Ways. Some cite her with the birth of British Shamanism! Is that possibly true? At the end of the ice age, Britain was still attached to Northern Europe. A vast continental land known as Doggerland, made it possible to walk from Norway, across what is now Denmark, to the Eastern side of Britain. The ‘suggestion’ is that the Northern tribes of Denmark and Norway, crossed Doggerland, following their Reindeer herds, looking for greener lands. And they brought with them their great reverance for Reindeer, and an Ancient Antlered Goddess. It’s fun to note that in the original northern Saami dialect, the word for a reindeer herd is ‘eallun’, pronounced Elun. Go figure! https://www.laits.utexas.edu/sami/diehtu/siida/reindeer/glossary.htm

Map of Doggerland sourced from https://www.dw.com/en/doggerland-how-did-the-atlantis-of-the-north-sea-sink/a-55960379

So when Elen is cited as the birth (or Mother) of British Shamanism, is it true? Is Elen our original connection to the shamanic path? Is the word Shaman actually a part of Britain’s oldest history? Can we safely use it without stepping into the big black pit of cultural appropriation? Of course, we’ll never know for sure. Very little is fact! But I do like the possibility that us Brits aren’t just Roman engineered conquerors who chose to ‘acquire’ countries that didn’t belong to us when we felt like it!

Whatever the answer to this whole conundrum may be, I’ll still walk my own path. I’ll still work with my closest energies and nature. I’ll still practice my ‘Homegrown Shamanism’. Because sometimes, overly searching for a label, a culture, or a tradition to fit into takes you away from the deepest root of all…..our connection to what is under our feet…..Mother Earth.

Food for thought my loves. Food for thought.

Lyndsey x

**Albion is the oldest name that I could find for England, but there is very little written to prove that it is indeed, England’s oldest name.**

©Badb’s Cauldron

Musings of a Modern Mystic: Witchcraft is Political

 

It has been one year, two months and 20 days since I have sat down to write a blog.

I have not stopped writing; I write posts on my personal page, and the NR fb page. I have also worked on some writing projects.

The blog felt like it needed to rest.

Like it needed to be in chrysalis as badly as I did.

Emerging is scary, emerging in a new form, scarier still.

But here I am with my first blog in an awfully long time to talk about a topic that is much overdue.

A topic I have discussed many times in comments, or a few sentences here and there on the page.

As I move and shift this space to a Collective of writers, instead of just myself, I am inspired more than ever to push the limits. I am inspired to talk about what nobody wants to talk about, or topics that will surely get me trolled.

Bring it on, I say.

I am not here to make you comfortable, and I am done trying to have comfortable conversations.

Comfort gets us nowhere; it will only bring stagnation.

So, what is it exactly that I have to say that is going to get everyone in a tizzy?

I don’t often make generalized or absolute statements, there are simply too many variables and moving parts to any equation in this vast universe that I am careful what I say and how I say it.

This, however, needs to be spoken as an absolute.

Here it goes:

Witchcraft is political.

Witchcraft. Is. Political.

WITCHCRAFT IS POLITICAL.

I can hear it now, the cries and whimpers like, and I am using direct past quotes that have been said to me:

“Don’t bring politics into my Craft!”

“I don’t read your work to read about politics and social issues. Please don’t become *that*.”

“Witchcraft is not political, humans are. We don’t need politics here.”

Privilege.

P R I V I L E G E.

It’s privilege to be a Witch and say that you are not political, to ignore injustices because they “don’t affect you”.

Witchcraft is now and will always be political.

When I use the word political, I am not talking about democracy, per se. Nor am I talking about the United States’ 2 party system that has f*cked us all. This is not Democrat and Republican.

I am talking about what being a Witch, calling oneself a Witch means.

It is truly Revolutionary to call yourself a Witch.

We stand for the marginalized, the outcasts, the downtrodden, the misfits, and the weirdos.

AND WE ALWAYS HAVE!

Activism, Social Issues, Human & Civil Rights, Allyship, Anti-racism, Anti-ableism (and more!) are all pre-requisites to being a Witch.

“You are gatekeeping! How dare you tell me how to be a Witch!”

Is asking you, or telling you, rather, to be a decent human being gatekeeping?

Is it REALLY?!

 

I want you to think about that long and hard if your immediate reaction was/is that I am gatekeeping.

Ask yourself why you feel the way you do?

Is requesting human decency gatekeeping?

If you answer yes, then your issue is far deeper and greater than I can address here.

So, as they say, “not my circus, not my monkeys”.

Witches may have been hidden in history—even hid ourselves and moved in silence, but we got sh*t done.

We weren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.

Some of us still aren’t.

It was the Wise Woman, Man and Person who lived on the edge of the forest communing with nature and plant Spirits, carrying deep rooted herbal and plant knowledge that were Healers in days past.

It was the Healer who was shunned for knowing too much about plants that would help a Woman/Femme deal with unwanted pregnancy in a safer manner than some of her/their other options. Or help heal a Soldier’s war wounds, or gout.

It was the unsuspecting Granny who went to Church every Sunday, who knew Psalms like the back of her hand and whipped up the most glorious Kitchen Magick you ever had seen. Her prayers worked like she had a direct line to God.

To deny the power and role of the Witch is to douse our history in toxic positivity.

Many of us found our way to the Craft because we were met with injustice and/or adversity of some kind, and we needed to take our power back.

To be a Witch is to be Sovereign, without a doubt.

Then I think about this Tweet (one that I have shared on the page before) and I am left wondering:

Are we meant to be Sovereign AND in Service (to Magick)  at the same time?

Why else would we have or collect all this knowledge, and even though I hate the word power?

Why not use it for the greater good?

It is time we decolonized the Craft.

There are too many people who call themselves Witch and turn the other cheek when they see oppression and continue to benefit from systems put in place long ago instead of smashing said system.

We first need equality, then we need equity and finally we will find liberation.

We have a silent oath to uphold when walking this path.

We have an obligation to fight deep in the trenches so that the systems harming us can be destroyed.

If you are not willing to pushback against the status quo, what are you even doing here?

Are you even a Witch, or are you a WINO (Witch In Name Only)?

Witchcraft requires action, to be a Witch requires action; just like the Magick we cast.

Your intentions may be well and good, but unless you act on them, they mean nothing.

Silence is compliance.

Nobody said this would be easy, but it is worth it.

The freedom, strength and courage I have found through Witchcraft and living my life as a Witch cannot be put into words for, they do it no justice.

Blessed Are the Witches, the Oathkeepers, the Torchbearers and the Balancers of Scales.

Lux in Tenebris Lucet

Decolonizing Luciferianism: No Such Thing As Religion

This isn’t going to be a comfortable conversation.

It’s not an attack either.

I’m going to call out a lot of things here and give my suggestions for how we can do better.

You are free to take them or leave them.

Lest you think me a hypocrite, self-righteous, or a gatekeeper, know that virtually everything I am going to talk about I have been guilty of myself in the past.

This is about self-examination as much as navigating the difficult conversations Luciferians, Satanists, witches, occultists, whatever you want to call yourself, need to have.

Yes, this is directed at the Luciferian community, but it’s applicable way
beyond that.

So, let’s dig in…

What would you say if someone were to ask you to define religion?

Merriam-Webster gives us:

“the belief in a god or in a group of gods” and “an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.”

This is probably pretty close to how most raised in a “Western” culture tend to think about religion. When asked to describe their religion, most will begin talking about what they believe, they will discuss views on deities and the afterlife. They would also likely tend to think about and describe their religion and those of others as systems that can be thought of and engaged separately from the cultures that created them.

Most of all they would talk about “organized” or “institutionalized” religion.

They will say things like “I’m spiritual but not religious.” But what if I told you all of this, the whole concept, is a new one? That it is something completely made up in the 18th and 19th century by white Christians?

This is exactly what is argued by scholars such as Wilfred Cantwell Smith and Timothy Fitzgerald, among others.

Smith tracks the development of our modern conceptions of religion from ancient times to modern in his work “The Meaning and End of Religion.” Here he shows how the Latin word “religio” simply meant one’s duties to family and community.

He shows that our conception of religion as something that can be thought of as separate from culture is false. Notice how vastly different that concept is to how we think about it now. Before the invention of religion as a concept every spiritual tradition was an “ethno-religion.”

That is to say that your culture determined your spiritual expression, it was a lived communal experience not an individualist choice. I strongly suggest these authors and their work, my concern involves the application of these ideas to Luciferian Spirituality.

Firstly, we need to recognize that most critiques of religion in western culture are really veiled critiques of a narrow form of Christianity. We should recognize and take greater care not to make blanket statements about sacred traditions, especially when those faiths have literally billions of adherents over periods of thousands of years. We need to be careful not to throw progressive members of such faiths under the bus nor the members of oppressed groups. I completely understand the history of church oppression and the very real trauma myself and others have and continue to experience at the hands of the church and other related faiths. It is 100% valid. But there is also nothing healthy about lashing out against others who have nothing to do with that, nothing liberatory.

Secondly, if we as Luciferians truly embrace the concept of liberation for ourselves and all people then we find ourselves in a position where we must confront issues like decolonization and, within that, issues of cultural appropriation. If we as Luciferians embrace the notion that it is part of our practice to break church based social conditioning, then I would argue that a reconsideration of our fundamental concept of religion is a great starting point for both of these things!

What happens when this modern conception of religion meets with global capitalism?

The commodification of spiritual traditions.

The shopping for sacred practices as though one were trying on clothing at a store to find just the right fit, mixing and matching for surface aesthetic expression.

Note that I am not condemning responsible approaches to eclecticism and syncretization here, but I am suggesting that:

a. one cannot easily pull practices from other traditions out of their context without losing something

b. if one’s intent is spiritual advancement and enlightenment it is not very productive to be making a spiritual “map” to somewhere you’ve never been out of pieces of other people’s “maps!”

c. we need to listen to and respect the communities whose traditions we engage with, listening and centering those voices, particularly when those groups are historically oppressed.

This obviously brings us to the controversial subject of cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of elements of one culture by that of another more dominant culture. This IS a real problem and issue that needs to be addressed in our community.

The arguments that have arisen on social media because of this subject, however, have risen to ridiculous and often disgusting levels. These arguments rely on poor understanding of the subjects in question and on individualist attempts at policing others behavior resulting in people simply digging their heels in when what is needed here is collective consensus building and encouragement towards individual introspection and learning on the topics.

Having seen far too often mainly well-meaning white liberals failing as often as conservatives when discussing these topics, I believe if you:

a. cannot define cultural appropriation or recognize that consensual cultural diffusion also
occurs inevitably when cultures contact and that such sharing is good,

b. do not understand the subjects you are attempting to police

c. are attempting to police a subject about which there is no general consensus

d. doesn’t understand the difference between open, closed and partially closed practices (it’s not always just an on/off switch)

…you’re not going to be a particularly good ally to oppressed groups on these subjects and are going to do more harm than good.

Defining what is appropriative is, as I said, a matter of collective consensus building and that work is mostly to be done by oppressed groups themselves in conjunction with the best scholars available on the subjects, not relying on the whims of random individuals on the internet.

So, let’s examine some of the key issues where Luciferians could do better.

When it comes to appropriation there are two big areas where several prominent Luciferian figures are in problematic territory or could be accused of it: the misuse of eastern mystical traditions and in the relationship between Luciferianism and Judaism.

First, let’s talk about the relationship between Luciferianism and various forms of eastern spirituality. I think the biggest area to focus on here is Tantra. Far too many Luciferian writers blend and take from Tantric tradition irresponsibly. Or, rather, they try to, as much of what they are pulling from is not even authentic Tantra, its neo-tantra, which is a sexualized, westernized mix of Tantric ideas, yoga, and New Age thinking. One can easily tell this by the complete lack of lineage in such writers work, their repurposing of the 7-chakra system.

Actual Tantra, depending on whether it is Buddhist, Hindu and on what lineage can have anywhere from 5 to 14 major chakras, the 7-chakra system comes from classical yoga and first gained prominence from a text from 1577.

See scholar/practitioner Chris Wallis (Trika/Krama lineage of Saivite Tantra) discussing this:
https://hareesh.org/blog/2016/2/5/the-real-story-on-the-chakras.

It had nothing to do with snakes or dragons originally, Wallis discusses the history of kundalini here: https://hareesh.org/blog/2022/1/31/the-real-story-on-kundalini

You can see this kind of poor understanding clearly in the systems of the Dragon Rouge and Temple of Ascending Flame as well as the writing of Michael W. Ford who goes further and creates the even more absurd “Ahrimanic Yoga” as if stealing from India wasn’t enough, Iran had to get ripped off too! Not surprisingly, fraud E. A. Koetting is guilty here as well.

The misinformation and ignorance just keeps getting worse as evidenced by so called “chakra removal” being pushed by some internet personalities.

Now, there is particularly good reason Luciferian inclined people are attracted to Tantric practice and I encourage respectful study and engagement with it.

There are parallels in thinking, and the practices of Tantra complement Luciferian practice extremely well, but I think there’s a responsible way of doing this. One can practice as a dual observance: pick a lineage, learn from a qualified teacher and if you are serious get properly initiated, do not syncretize these traditions at all unless you are advanced in both traditions, and always give credit to the actual sources of these teachings and practices.

I think we should also drop the use of the term “Left Hand Path” and the use of eastern terminology in general to describe Luciferianism.

The use of the term Left Hand has been annihilated in western usage from Blavatsky to everyone after her repeating it.

I used to think the solution was to simply push people to use it correctly and responsibly and if you know its actual meaning and use more power to ya but most don’t, and the damage is done, and I don’t think the term is needed anyway. There’s no reason to borrow a term we don’t need or understand from another culture….unless we’re trying to sound exotic and authoritative.

Second, let’s start examining the relationship between Judaism and Luciferianism. Let’s start by being honest as to the origins of Luciferianism as a spiritual tradition: it grows primarily out of resistance to an oppressive church hierarchy, inside a Christian cultural context that it cannot be simply separated from. It makes sense and is valid within that context and it is valid in its interpretation of its myths.

Judaism as well is valid and makes sense within the historical and cultural context in which it grew. Jewish people are not “wrong” in interpreting their scriptures the way they do. We should be aiming for mutual respect. Just because groups disagree doesn’t mean either is “wrong.” If you cannot intelligently discuss the differences between Christianity and Jewish interpretations of their scriptures you have no business condemning them and given that Jewish spirituality and Jewish culture and ethnicity cannot be easily separated you can easily stray into antisemitic territory.

Be very careful.

If you demonize the Jewish god you are easily heading into antisemitic territory. It’s a very easy step to go from demonizing a deity to demonizing those who worship it. Do not do that. Make a clear distinction between the god of the oppressive church that you actually oppose and respect other progressive interpretations in other faiths.

Luciferianism is heavily influenced by Gnostic ideas and again, one needs to be careful here and I encourage those who want to honor those influences take a more Valentinian approach to interpreting the Demiurge. One where the material creator is seen as an important and necessary part of the creation process. Not necessarily morally “good” but not inherently
“evil” either. There is again far too much of this problem in established writers and groups, again Michael W. Ford comes to mind and is all the worse for his early fascist ties via the Order of Nine Angles, and again E.A. Koetting for much the same.

See:

https://mythoughtsbornfromfire.wordpress.com/2021/08/07/we-need-to-talk-about-e-a-koetting-and-
also-michael-w-ford/

The various anti-cosmic trends within Luciferianism/Satanism, such as all those descended from Current 218 and the Temple of Black Light, are also guilty of such demonization.

Now, given that Luciferianism grows from a Christian cultural context, and one that reinterprets the myths of an oppressive church system, it inherently shares heritage with Christianity even as it reacts to it, and again given that Christianity has a great deal of Jewish originating concepts, scriptures and practices, Luciferianism does too.

The history of Christian and Jewish interaction and determining what has been freely shared and what has been egregiously appropriated by Europeans, is a mess to say the least; there’s probably many areas we will never know for sure. Again, I have heard several poorly understood claims being made here as well. I have heard Luciferians (and Satanists and other witches) should not work with Goetic demons, should not engage with Lilith, should not engage with Hermetic Qabalah, that these are all part of Jewish closed practice or are appropriated. Based on my understanding and study I strongly disagree.

The idea that only Jewish people should work with Goetia ignores the strongly Christian context of much of that material and the ultimately Greek roots of much of that practice in the Greek Magical Papyri and it dangerously reiterates the antisemitic trope that Jewish people are Satanic demon worshipers.

The idea that only Jewish people should work with Lilith fails to understand that she was already a part of Christian demonology long before Luciferians showed up. She can actually be found as early as the “Mirror of Lilith” rite described in the Munich Handbook of Necromancy explored in Richard Kieckhefer’s “Forbidden Rites.”

Although she may share a name we are not even talking about the same entity.

She is not some baby stealing monster to us; she is more like a dark and empowered version of the Gnostic Sophia if anything.

Jewish people are 100% valid to interpret their Lilith their way. But ours is valid in our very different context. I will add that while I agree it is totally possible to appropriate specific practices and teachings, the idea that anyone, individually or as a group, can own a sentient being, as spirits of most sorts are generally considered to be, seems profoundly unethical. Spirits and deities, much like humans, are not commodities, they are not intellectual property anyone can copyright. It is bizarre to me that people would treat spiritual beings so disrespectfully.

Finally, Hermetic Qabalah.

There are 3 different systems that need to be distinguished here.

There is the original Jewish Kabbalah, which is its own complete system specific to Judaism.

There is Christian Cabala, which is a pretty clear example of disgusting appropriation: created by the church to convert Jewish people to Christianity!

There is finally Hermetic Qabalah, a separate system produced in the Renaissance that shares some structures and names with the Jewish version but is heavily syncretized with Hermeticism, alchemy, astrology, Christian mysticism, and pre-Christian polytheism.

This system is foundational to most of the western occult and New Age. It is in every Rider Waite influenced Tarot Deck, it is the foundation of most of the Golden Dawn and Thelema and every tradition derived from or influenced by them. It is quite removed from the Jewish Kabbalah not merely in theory but practice. Luciferianism has again its own way of interpreting the Hermetic Qabalistic system which is, yet another step removed. As I said it is often difficult to even determine what was shared or appropriated from the period of development in question, so it is impossible to conceive how a system unrecognizable in its many differences and so far removed remains an example of problematic appropriation.

But what Luciferians can do here is give respect and credit to the roots of where this material came from.

Further, there is often not even a consensus within the Jewish community on these particular subjects.

There are Jewish witches and Luciferians of Jewish descent right now who work with all of these things and maintain they are not closed. Even views on the nature of Lilith within Judaism are not settled with Jewish feminists such as Judith Plaskow having established alternate interpretations of her.

So, I think it’s clear by now everyone needs to stay away from blanket statements in regards to spiritual practices and the people who practice them.

One thing Luciferians and occultists in general can do to respect Jewish culture is not use the Tetragrammaton in their rites. Don’t pronounce it, don’t spell it out. Yahweh and Jehovah and YHVH aren’t any better. So, remove them from any magick circles or incantations.

Generally, replace with Adonai or the word Tetragrammaton itself if you must refer to this being.

As Luciferians we have a lot of work to do in our community, there is far too little accountability, far too much misinformation, and far too much colonizer mindsets.

My hope that articles like this can help to start necessary hard conversations and self-examination for us all, myself included.

Confronting these things means taking a hard look inward as much around one.

It’s uncomfortable but all growth is and there is no liberation without growth.

And we are Luciferians, liberation is our calling.

RANTINGS OF A MAD WITCH: The Great Divide

Leaves 2

 

“The human body resonates at the same frequency as Mother Earth. So instead of only focusing on trying to save the earth, which operates in congruence to our vibrations, I think it is more important to be one with each other. If you really want to remedy the earth, we have to mend mankind. And to unite mankind, we heal the Earth. That is the only way. Mother Earth will exist with or without us. Yet if she is sick, it is because mankind is sick and separated. And if our vibrations are bad, she reacts to it, as do all living creatures.”

Suzy Kassem

I don’t identify as Pagan so writing a post that has been inspired by Pagan community issues is ironic, and that point is not missed by me.

As the world spirals out of control due to Government policies not in alignment with or appropriate for modern, progressive times, among other things, our system becomes further and further unbalanced with an “us vs. them” dichotomy.

This divisive narrative has bled into all areas of life.

And, yes, that includes Magick.

I always looked to the Witch community for inspiration.

For hope.

I sought out my Brothers and Sisters in Magick when the world got me down; it was my escape.

And, as socially and politically aware as I am, perhaps that escape became blinders.

Note: For clarification, I use the term Witch broadly in the context of this piece, and in general; I don’t use the term Pagan broadly (even though many people do) and I’m aware that by definition my practices are Pagan. We will unpack that mess another day. I also know that some Practitioners of African Diasporic Traditions, for example, do not identify as Witches, or practice Witchcraft. They are still and always included.

Carrying on…

Over the last several months I have noticed how deeply divided we are within the Witch community, and I must admit, it was surprising to me.

I know that many of my readers will say they are not shocked at my epiphany as they have experienced division, elitism and, often, racism first hand, but I thought we were better than this.

It’s important to point out that I stick to myself in pretty much every way possible; I have never been part of a Coven, or organization. I am not initiated into anything, and don’t believe someone must be in order to be taken seriously. On a mundane level, I’m a loner with a tight inner circle and extremely close familial connections.

I am a seeker and follower of the Old Ways, my path is my own and my research is endless, vast and deep.

Leaves1

I consider myself to be super introverted, and us introverts know the one thing we do better than hiding is observing.

I notice everything, so how the divide in the Witch community was missed by me is something I must reflect on myself; no outside opinions necessary, or welcome.

It all started slowly, too–the realization, I mean.

First it was certain groups using Norse symbolism and Asatru teachings taken out of context to promote (white) nationalism, and racism.

Then it was white Witches excluding WOC (Witches of Color) from Witch spaces, or worse, talking for them instead of allowing them to speak for themselves.

Then it was white washing deities and/or using them out of context (ie. etymology of words/names and traditional lore must be considered); a blonde Kali threw me over the edge.

I have watched Witches’ pounce one another for “pulling the race card” simply because they wanted to have a conversation, an honest and open dialogue about what it means to live with brown skin in this world, in these times AND be a practicing Witch (again, all inclusive term).

Intersectionality is important—it’s the keystone of progress.

I have watched as Witches called out sexual abuse in the Pagan community only to be attacked in every way possible for daring to have a voice.

I have watched Witches improperly lash out because they are too scared to face their own traumas; Shadow Work is essential no matter what path you walk.

I have watched people use mental illness as an insult, or suggestion that someone’s behavior is because they are mentally unfit; this is dangerous for so many reasons.

I have watched people gather like a group of ‘Mean Girls’ and judge the witchiness of another to somehow validate or invalidate their practices and experiences.

I have watched Indigenous traditions stolen and exploited over and over and over again.

It goes far beyond the use (and misuse) of Sage, too.

I have watched as people were told they couldn’t practice a tradition because they are not the proper ethnicity.

And, trust me, I speak up, I speak up all the fucking time and I am shut down or attacked as people project onto me.

I have witnessed white folx being told they can’t practice Hoodoo, Haitian Vodou, New Orleans Voodoo or any African Diasporic Tradition in general because they don’t have African Ancestry.

The folx (gatekeepers) telling them this are the same folx who say that all people come from Africa (which they do).

Here’s a link for your reading pleasure, and my sanity.

You can’t have it both ways though.

We are either an inclusive community or we are not.

YES, black Witches, and black people in general, deserve to have spaces for themselves where they are represented authentically and unapologetically, by themselves.

And, YES, there are many traditions that ARE NOT up for the taking by outsiders because they are rooted in culture as well as practice and tradition (ie. being immersed in it day to day with your physical presence and time).

I DO NOT believe that as a white person everything is available/accessible to me, but when it comes to Spirituality, Spiritual practices and what resonates with the Soul, the lines get blurred really fucking quick, and it’s important for ALL parties involved to acknowledge this.

Respect for the path we walk, and education for the tradition we follow is key, in my opinion.

Leaves 3

I have watched white Witches tell black Witches they cannot venerate Norse or Celtic deities, or any Anglo-saxon group because they themselves are not white; that they will not be accepted because they are black.

I have only met a handful of Spirits who gave any flying fucks about race; generally, they just like to be honored, and most Practitioners, regardless of tradition, will agree with me on this.

It boils down to respect and education, as aforementioned, but also intent.

Another point, colonialism and how it continues to affect this country, and the world is a tricky, tricky subject and one of great complexity.

This of course affects our community.

Racism, sexism and sexual abuse in the Witch community are topics that must be addressed, and folx it’s going to suck for all parties involved.

White privilege is real. White supremacy is real. The patriarchy is real. Racism is real. Sexual abuse disguised as enlightenment or ritual is real.

We as a community cannot expect change on a grand, global scale, like so many of us truly want, if we are unable to see the issues among ourselves.

We cannot resist the system that wants to obliterate our existence if we aren’t even strong enough or brave enough to have the difficult conversations.

Yes, some white feelings are going to get hurt in the process, but imagine the generational trauma that POC must work through?

And, no folx this is NOT SAYING that white people don’t have generational trauma themselves.

Comparing the two is a false equivalency (another reason Intersectionality is paramount).

Our community is better than the actions of a few and I know that, but what I brought up here has moved far beyond just a few people.

How can Witches be a force of resistance, a force in the resistance if we can’t unify on the most basic shit?

How?

RANTINGS OF A MAD WITCH: I Will Not Submit, I Will RESIST

Chains

“Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Dylan Thomas


**TRIGGER WARNING**

I do not speak for all Women, but for myself and those closest to me, the last 10 days have been profoundly painful; I did not realize how triggered my own trauma would be.

I watched in awe as Dr. Christine Baisley Ford testified and told her story of survival.

I watched in shock as Brett Kavanaugh testified by throwing temper tantrums, losing his composure, putting on the fake tears, justifying his predatory behavior (“boys will be boys”) and trying to be a victim.

I watched in horror as Congress voted 11-10 to confirm him through the first process of nomination.

I watched as our Government told myself, the females in my family, the Women, girls and Femmes around the world, that we do not matter.

Our voices do not matter.

Our stories do not matter.

Our pain does not matter.

But, I am here to say that

I do matter.

Our stories matter.

Our pain matters.

We matter.

The Divine Feminine is more than waking up, She is here and She is GROWLING WITH RAGE.

Lioness

Humans have raped and pillaged this planet, its animal inhabitants, and people through genocides, crusades, white supremacy and all-out war for eons.

Men have raped and pillaged Women since the beginning of time to place their superiority over us; to place their superiority over all things.

Side note: I do not hate Men. I know that not all Men are predators. I know that there are good Men out there. We are not here to discuss them, though, we are here to call out the predators and discuss how we got to this place as a country, and world. If your initial response to this blog is “not all Men!” then you have missed the point entirely.

I have not met a Woman, in my life, who has not been sexually assaulted.

Read that line again.

And, again.

For the Men who follow my page/blog: your Sister, your Mother, your Grandmothers, your Aunts, your Female/Femme Cousins, your Nieces, your Daughters have or will be sexually assaulted to some degree in their lifetime.

This is not to say that Men do not experience sexual assault, too—they do.

But not in the way Women do, and to compare the two is a false equivalency that helps nothing.

Let’s look at statistics:

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives
  • In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime
  • 51.1% of female victims of rape reported being raped by an intimate partner and 40.8% by an acquaintance
  • 52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger
  • Almost half (49.5%) of multiracial women and over 45% of American Indian/Alaska Native women were subjected to some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime
  • 91% of victims of rape and sexual assault are female, and nine percent are male
  • In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator
  • Eight percent of rapes occur while the victim is at work.

Source

How can you look at the next generation and not feel despair in your heart for what they will experience? How can you look at them and not want to change their fate?

I can’t do nothing. I can’t remain silent. I can’t accept this.

I won’t.

The world will hear me roar because:

I have experienced (multiple) sexual trauma in the form of rape and molestation. I have experienced sexual (and physical) trauma in abusive relationships. I have experienced sexual harassment in every workplace. I have had men pleasure themselves in front of me on public transportation. I have been stalked (and fought off an attempted kidnapping, twice). I have been verbally threatened and physically abused on more than one occasion when saying no to a man’s advances. I have been spat on (by strangers) for speaking my mind. I have been sexually assaulted by partners for saying no to sex; relationship rape is real.

And that’s the abbreviated list.

Nude

The unrest so many of us are feeling lately is not just the cosmic fuckery going on, it’s the collective.

It’s our trauma coming to the surface.

It’s our Sisters’ trauma coming to the surface.

It’s every single word we have swallowed when biting our tongue’s coming to the surface.

It’s every Woman/Femme to have ever existed finding her/their voice.

And, it’s magnificent to watch.

A few days ago, a prominent Herbalist and Witch posted a blog about sexual abuse in the Pagan community; it was illuminating and heartbreaking. I support you, Sarah.

On Social Media I saw Women, and Men, showing solidarity with Dr. Ford by using #WhyIDidntReportIt and telling their stories.

More recently there was the “blackout” to represent how Women do not matter; a cool concept, but poorly executed. (The idea was/is to change your profile picture to all black.)

I will not give the Patriarchy what it wants; I will not give them my silence.

I will not give them the satisfaction of thinking for one split second that they have won.

I will not shrink myself.

I will not make myself invisible; the world tries to do that already.

I am here to make noise.

I am here to make people uncomfortable.

I am here to rebel.

I am here to RESIST.

Hex the Patriarchy.

Fuck the Patriarchy.

Don’t give up, keep roaring.