SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!: How Self-Entitlement is Ruining the Craft

RJ Muna

Image: RJ Muna

“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”

C.G. Jung

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.

Persecution of The Modern Witch: Divisions, Judgments, and Labels

Daniel Vazquez 2

Image: Daniel Vasquez

“The Destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing, you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”

T.H. White

I am not some justice warrior or one Woman army who is going to change the world, although I would like to try; I just know my calling, I see the bigger picture, and I have an amazing platform to speak on. In recent weeks I have found myself being more aware, and more present, but I have also found myself unable to bite my tongue anymore, unable to remain silent on issues that just don’t sit right with me; not that I was ever any good at biting my tongue.

I don’t want this to come off self-righteous, as if I know more, or as if I myself have not in the past been guilty of letting my ego takeover, and embarrassing myself. I am guilty of being wrong, of fucking up spells, of being rude to people who did not deserve it, of judging people too harshly when my own hands weren’t clean, and I have been most guilty of being defensive when I shouldn’t be, just to name a few.

I am not innocent, and it is my very guilt that allows me to be a better teacher.

I am a strong Woman and bad ass Witch, I will no longer hide my feelings towards some patterns that I have been seeing within our Community. I don’t expect all of you to agree with me, I actually expect a majority to be upset with me but this is bigger than me, or you, or any of us, and our egos. I admit that I have let my ego take over a time or two, and I made an ass of myself to put it mildly. As a reader said yesterday there is such a delicate balance between maintaining confidence in yourself and your Craft, and becoming egomaniacal.

That’s all any of this is ever about; most conflict, most miscommunication has to do with ego, or some form of, that is the hard truth. Most of our differences are based upon ignorance, sure, but mostly on ego, an “I’m better, I know more, I have studied longer with better people, my book collection is fancier etc.” mentality. The Witch community is full of this thought process, and if you tell me I’m wrong, you are simply in denial.

We are divided by what type of Magick we practice, what Philosophy we adhere to, what labels we do or do not wear, Hell I have been judged for not dressing “Witchy enough”. Since when is all black not Witchy enough?

We are also divided, primarily, by where we may fall on the spectrum. This is poetic irony, and I am utterly amused by it.

Which brings me to my first point I want to discuss: The Spectrum. I posted an article yesterday about the ‘new-age, love and light crap’ and how they do not accept their darkness. It was a witty, sarcastic, wonderful article, and it caused quite the stir.

We ALL carry the ENTIRE Spectrum with us. Let me say that again, we ALL carry the ENTIRE Spectrum with us. Some of us are balanced, while others favor one side to another; that does not change the fact that we are everything and nothing; we are all shades, and no shades simultaneously. Technically speaking the shades don’t even exist, but that may be too much for today.

We get so caught up in worrying about how “light” or how “dark” a person is that we can’t see them for who they are. If they are a good person and the vibe is right, if you can learn something from each other, and most importantly, you want to be in each other’s life, does it really matter where you, or they fall on the (fake) Spectrum? Does the type of Magick you practice really matter?

How boring to want to hang out with people who are exactly like you, never wanting to live outside the box, outside of your comfort zone. How fucking boring indeed.

The point most of us “Darker ones” are trying to make to the “New Age, Light ones” is that you cannot deny the darkness, or surely the Shadow self will devour you. Conversely, we (dark ones) cannot deny our light, or the darkness will become all consuming, and any hope of balance, and sensibility will be lost.

So let us try and stop judging each other so much on our differences and start finding the similarities; I bet the latter is the longer list, by far.

The next issue I want to address is that of personal evolution. We all change, some change more than others, but change is inevitable. It seems that people, especially Witches, have started to associate change with being unauthentic.

I even recently heard the most horrific term “Basic Witch” when referring to a Witch who has not evolved enough. I just want to ask, by whose standards is this evolution based?

The term is a play on words for the phrase “basic bitch” which is someone who adheres to mainstream pop culture, or basically, likes what everyone else likes. Now we are insulting our fellow Brothers and Sisters by calling them “basic”?  Not only is the term condescending and degrading, whoever came up with it seems to have done so out of a place of superiority.

My advice would be, get off your high horse before the Universe pushes you; nothing is like a piece of humble pie served from the Divine.

We all evolve, that is what our process of spiritual seeking is about: change, transcendence, shedding of old skin. None of that could be made possible without change; be open to it, embrace it, accept it.

If I happen to read something that enlightens me, or that follows my current train of thought, or Philosophy and I wish to adopt whatever it is that I read and incorporate it into my own life, I am free to do so, as are you!

There is no rule book on how we are supposed to practice, or what type of Magick makes us more authentic than the next. As I have said before, we are all real Witches, just on different levels. Who is anyone to call another person real or fake? And, honestly, I mean, HONESTLY, who is anyone to call another Witch, basic? That is petty, and catty, and speaks volumes about one’s character.

We are not obligated to make sense to anyone, or to have anyone understand our methods of madness. We are not obligated to follow any set of rules except our own. If something makes you happy, pursue it with an unbridled passion.

We are obligated only to ourselves; live your life, practice your Magick, dance to your own drummer and burn in the fire of your truth.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”

Blessed Are The Witches.