Thursday, July 28, 2011

DEJA BROOM: On Being a Skeptical Witch

"DEJA BROOM" denotes a blog repost from my old site.  Feel free to read anew, or refresh your memory to re-live the ranty goodness.  Otherwise, feel free to skip ahead to more modern mayhem

I'm not saying this tale is the end-all, be-all, but I can tell you it is a frequent enough refrain that it leaves a trail marked with breadcrumbs that folks who have been a part of the pagan scene for more than 10 years can attest to the truth it belies.

Everyone who first comes into the Craft starts out with such puppy-dog enthusiasm and excitement for all of it. The idyllic concepts of gods who are accessible to us, the understanding that magic is both real and attainable, the real and deep interconnectedness with ALL THAT IS! How empowering! How full of delight and love and joy!

This state of exuberance, like everything is all Midsummer Nights' Dream, generally lasts for the first months or a few years. Gradually, as one participates in "pagan community" to some degree, there is a space of deflation, disenchantment that comes along.

Of finding out that things aren't all happy-sunshine and hearts and flowers between the participants. That there are egos which grandstand and merchants who take advantage of those who think the trappings of faith are imbued in the latest fancy-schmancy tools and accoutrements. There are charlatans and liars and idiot savants and average, patient folks who want to put their efforts towards creating something worthwhile and meaningful.

There is an awakening that no matter how positive and lofty and ethereal our initial spiritual goals, we still have the real-time human element to deal with.

We still have to operate in a mundane sphere while we juggle our awareness of the Otherworld and Underworld. Our religion does not segregate and cloister us away from our day-to-day world, but instead challenges us to find the mystical inherent in it despite all the muckety muck muck of running a household, paying bills, going to a job for 40+ hours per week and paying our taxes to a government we may or may not fully trust to do what is in our best interest.

Like that old gem about how young lovers cannot truly sustain themselves by living only on love for each other....they have to eat, sleep, move, better their surroundings, too must the modern witch get over the lofty and pipe-dream idea that there is a way to circumvent life in order to be some fairytale caricature of our spiritual endeavors.

We do not have the luxury of living in a sequestered commune, set apart from the human thrall, only dispensing our wisdom and power when approached like some divine intercedant like the Pope, the Dalai Lama or one of a hundred historic guru-figures. We are practical sorts who are given to do what needs to be done, in the moment, in the dirt, in the messiest and fully-alive parts of our lives. In pain, in terror, in ecstasy and in fully blown desire.

Ours is not the path of wishing for beautiful hippie-resonating notions of universal peace and unconditional love....nor is it about fears of Mayan calendars forewarning the apocalypse. Ours is the path of struggling to balance the individual, personal moments of life and death and love in our lives and letting those be exalted expressions of our path, everyday. Every. Day.

The cynic in me, the jaded person who once wanted all those glittering and wondrous childhood dalliances to be true when I "took up the pointy hat" is now happy to be a practicing skeptic AND a practicing witch. When I dropped those expectations of BS, I came to know from experience that there is beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility and all those illuminating aspects right here, right now, exposed and visible in my life, if only I take the time to breathe and seek them in the moments apparent and around me.

My wish, if I dared to notice it, has already come to pass. I just have to uncover it, a bit at a time, and take it into my heart. And I love watching others wake up to this. Rather than being saddened by their dreams for witchery being broken and found to be rippled by too much wishful thinking and not enough reality....most of them learn that there is enough here to feed them. To give them a new sort of hope and outlook.

I've heard this saying ---and if you know the author, please tell me!!--- and find it speaks exactly of this moment: "Many people are drawn to the Craft for what it isn't. Those who stay in the Craft appreciate what it is."

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