Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of noise from pagans who are upset at how the media portrays witches, magicians, and/or pagans. Especially with shows like American Horror Story: Coven, and Witches of East End, among others.
Or I see my FB feed rampant with how this group or that group makes everyone else in X tradition look bad. Or how what one person is doing reflects poorly on all of us.
IMNSHO, this is along the lines of someone chastising pagans who don’t worship or view deity in the same way they do.
It’s all a bunch of pointless, futile noise.
When the noise gets loud, more and more I find myself wanting to ask several simple questions.
1. Why do you care?
2. Why should I care?
I don’t care that Hollywood mocks sorcery and portrays magicians and witches in a “bad light”. Really, I don’t. They’ve been doing is since the advent of the motion picture. What ever made anyone think they would change?
I’ll come clean — I’m loving American Horror Story: Coven, and I love Witches of East End. They’re FUN shows. No – they’re not realistic. Real witchcraft and magick aren’t nearly that exciting unless you’re kind of a magick nerd (like many of you reading this). Shows like that aren’t made for “magick nerds”. Shows like that are made for the general population and the bulk of the general population is some form of jack Christian. It is what it is.
I don’t care that reporters (especially Christian ones) mock and dismiss paganism and magick as a “fad” because they’re probably right to some degree. Just like everything, the interest in the occult and magick comes and goes. Most of the people practicing today won’t be practicing a year from now, let alone ten years from now. A tiny fraction of beginners ever go on to become serious, life-long practitioners. That’s the way it’s ALWAYS been. This hasn’t changed.
I don’t care that I’m not accepted by the mainstream or respected by the Christian culture in which we live. I’ve never been accepted and I never expected to be. I really don’t understand why so many people need to feel accepted by everyone. The reason mainstream Wicca got so fluffy is because back in the late 80’s and early 90’s – a lot of folks within Wicca were so dead-set on society accepting them. They became Christianity with a goddess at the helm. When I first learned Wicca – it’s wasn’t all love, light, goddess-only, vegetarian-only, happiness and rainbows. Oh hell no. That’s a relatively new incarnation, and personally I find this type of Wicca moderately offensive since when I took pre-initiate training, I was trained old-school Gardnerian. The male aspect was JUST AS important as the female. Please know I’m not opposed to those who worship goddesses only, kudos to you. I’m just pointing out that originally – Wicca had a BALANCE about it.
I don’t care what XYZ group over there is doing. Good for them. Them doing what they do effects me adversely how again? Just because some folks practice differently doesn’t mean that I’m wrong and they have a universal truth or that they’re wrong and I have a universal truth. It simply means we do things differently and it’s not far fetched to assume both methods can get results. Besides, since when did my, or anyone else’s, personal practice and its validity rely on someone else? Last time I checked I don’t need anyone else’s validation, and they don’t need mine.
I also don’t care that practitioner X doesn’t view deity the same way I do or doesn’t perform ritual the same way I do. If (s)he is sincere in what (s)he’s doing — who cares? Practitioner X’s personal practice doesn’t effect yours or mine or anyone else’s. Perhaps the question here is — if someone else’s beliefs or practices upset you so much that you’re losing sleep — why do you feel so threatened by their difference in practice and/or belief?
It’s also not my job (or anyone else’s for that matter) to be the Pagan/Occult/Magick police and tell everyone how they’re doing it wrong. I’ve got better things to do with my time, like minding my own business and actually practicing instead of spending all my time on social media whining about how other people are doing it wrong.
So seriously – ask yourself why you care. Why?
Next – why should I care? I mean, unless someone is rounding up witches for the pyre, I could give a rats ass about the rest of society and what they’re doing. I do what I do, and practice what I practice for me and my relationship with the divine. Not for acceptance, not for validation, and not for an audience. If I wanted (or needed for that matter) an audience I’d post every magickal working I did for everyone to see. I’d talk magick and Daemonolatry non-stop on my blog or social media. But then I hate repeating myself and my Work is my own. I sometimes share, but in moderation.
Want to know my thoughts on magick? Read my books, articles, blog posts about the subject. I wrote the books so I wouldn’t have to repeat myself, blah, blah, blah.
I guess I’m sick-to-death of listening to the whining. “I hate it when XX Pagans do XXX.”
Well quit paying attention to XX Pagans and maybe it won’t bother you so much!
“I hate it when Hollywood portrays us as XXX.”
Well then don’t watch television or movies that include anything remotely ‘occult-y’.
It’s pretty easy. Maybe apathy is a shitty attitude to have, but people forget that I’ve been doing this going on 30 years (this coming February!). I am SO tired of the same gripes year in – year out.
Yes, there was a time where I bitched about how other people did things because I disagreed with their methods or thought they were idiots. Yes, I have scolded the media (most recently FOX news because I hate FOX news) for disparaging remarks about pagans, but usually when I already dislike a media outlet.
I still meet people with whom I disagree. That’s life.
But guess what I do when I run across someone or something that really chaps my hide? I don’t associate with those people, or I don’t watch their shows/movies, and they’re no longer an issue. Problem solved. Just sayin’…
Perhaps I should have titled this post, “How to be an Apathetic Bitch in One Easy Step….” lol Yes – this post is bound to piss some people off, but I’m not sure I care. I’m feeling snarky. Let me have my bitch time.