Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Attempt at a Discussion with the Predictible Results

Yet another Pathetic Pagan blog entry that cried out for a response, this time on the "waa waa, I don't bleed so I can't lead" school of "you must change your tradition to suit my ego" school.

I commented (and am posting it here because it probably will be disappeared if it gets any up arrows)

The Dianic traditions were started because of the limitations of traditional Wicca regarding women and in particular, lesbian women. Leo Martelleo started the gay male covens for the same reasons back in the mid seventies. The Radical Faeries yet another example. In Paganism we do not hold some mythical afterlife of punishment for not following any given tradition as a sword over anyone's head. Paganism has a long proud history of new traditions arising to fill a need that hasn't been met.

Women of transsexed history have participated in women's mysteries all around the world including among the Aborigines of Australia in both the near and ancient past. Why is this suddenly an issue? Why haven't those who insist they need a new tradition for genderqueer and transgender people started one? Are you aware that transsexual priestesses were part of EVERY Mother Goddess tradition of the ancient world. That by setting women up in an oppositional class of "cis" you are actually defining yourself out of womanhood? (and by your own hand) That there is an entire body of trans focused mysteries that is still celebrated today and was a rich part of the Roman practices... open to all?

It is the height of egotism to demand a tradition change itself to suit one's self. To deny access to women and men to mysteries based on your own personal physical differences. Women cannot take part in men's mysteries either and vice versa. Yes, it can major suck to deal with being trans but that is not the be all and end all of suckyness people have to deal with for being different. Enough of the oppression Olympics already and move on just as thousands of women of transsexed history have done before you.

The response:

“Why is this suddenly an issue?”
It didn't become an issue suddenly, it's been an issue for a long time.
“Why haven't those who insist they need a new tradition for genderqueer and transgender people started one? “
Because the folks who are demanding that we go celebrate our own mysteries aren't us. I'd be leery of a “trans Mystery” created by someone who invalidates my gender identity and insults me.

“That by setting women up in an oppositional class of "cis" you
are actually defining yourself out of womanhood? (and by your own
hand) “

Being cisgender is the antonym of being transgender. Both are descriptive traits for different kinds of people. Being cisgender means that you identify with the gender that you were assigned at birth. Being transgender means that you do not. Being a cisgender woman or a transgender woman does not make you less of a woman, anymore than being a cisgender or transgender man. It's a label used to describe the different experiences we have in relation to our gender

“That there is an entire body of trans focused mysteries that is still
celebrated today and was a rich part of the Roman practices... open
to all?”

If it's open to all, then it's not a trans Mystery, now is it? Also,
there are plenty of Pagan trans folks that aren't Roman
reconstructionists. That works just fine for modern day Gallae like
those who worship at the Matreum of Cybele. Not so much for every
other tradition out there.

“It is the height of egotism to demand a tradition change itself to suit
one's self. To deny access to women and men to mysteries based on
your own personal physical differences.”

I'm demanding nothing of the sort. I wouldn't have people denied access to women's or men's mysteries based on our physical differences – that's the problem that I'm raising here, that that is what is happening.

“Yes, it can major suck to deal with being trans but that is not the be all and end all of suckyness people have to deal with for being
different. Enough of the oppression Olympics already and move on just
as thousands of women of transsexed history have done before you.”

Oppression Olympics suggests that I am trying to compare or compete in claims of being oppressed. I'm really not sure how I did that here. In
engaging in this dialogue I am trying to move on, I'm trying to
introduce people to concepts that they may not have understood
before, may not have considered before, and may want to consider.

What I wrote was not about oppression, it was about empowerment. It was about claiming our rightful place, knowing who we are and not
allowing hostility and hatred to overcome us. There are far more of
us than most people realize, and we're not going away, and at some
point folks are going to have to deal with our presence. There are
plenty of womens' groups that will accept transwomen, and there are
some mens' groups that will accept trans men, and in the long run
we're going to see that being the rule rather than the hateful,
exclusive exception.

Why does it bother you so much that another woman wants to engage in womens' rites, when you claim that it has happened in every society?

And my reply:

Bother me? not in the least but you sidestep a MAJOR issue here. When the transgender movement basically erased transsexuality in the name of "opposition to the gender binary" they dismissed out of hand those who transitioned and got on with their lives... as men or as women without modifiers like myself. Funny how my long experience was that when you approach a womens group as a woman rather than as a trans-whatever, you are welcomed with open arms 99.9% of the time. The fact of the matter is that when the transgender movement started using "cis" as an oppositional position, and yes, that is exactly what it is, it was to oppose the gender binary and it thus follows you surrender all claims to womanhood or manhood in the process and thus any right to participate in rituals that a woman or male specific. You can be a man or you can be a woman but if you identify as trans, deny actual physical realities as a result or oppose a gender binary, you are something else. You cannot have your cake and eat it too and that is the dishonesty that has personified the "trans inclusive" movement in Paganism. Rather than participate in all the traditions that are not binary specific, you demand those that are must change to suit yourself and that my dear is pure ego entitlement. It is no different than if I approached Baptists and insist/demand they switch to worshipping the Goddess to accommodate my feelings and call them bigots if they refuse.

Your entitlement is showing big time. It takes a lot of work to start a new tradition or reclaim an ancient one and that is the real reason there are no trans specific, non binary traditions. Those with entitlement issues don't do the work, they demand everyone else change to suit their own worldview. As for the Cybeline mysteries, they are actual mysteries in the ancient sense, not discussed and experienced on a personal level, while the rituals leading up to them are open to all. If you are going to discuss mysteries, you should read up on what they actually are.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Be Thou the One and Renew The Light

I wrote on this issue as part of a prior blog entry but perhaps it is time to tie this together with other threads from this blog. To be a witch you must first live a witch's life meaning if you are all words and no deeds, you are not a witch, a Pagan or practicing a religion, you are just a blowhard poser.

The last Pagan Emperor of Rome and devotee of Cybele, Julian, charged Pagans to "Be thou the one" referring to doing public works and charity and thus providing a living example to the rest of the world. We live by this at the Maetreum. As far as I can tell, other than a few other groups like the New Alexandria Library, the so called Pagan blog-o-sphere is dominated by those who do nothing in the real world except write. When they write they mostly ignore those who are doing. They often oppose Pagan infrastructure because they have no damn idea on how to make that happen. They gather a bit of food at Pagan Pride events and pat themselves on the back for doing something to help those in need but how many actual lives do they save? Who do they take in that are homeless? Where are the gardens and solar panels and wind generators of these so called defenders of the planet?

When you read those so called Pagan blogs, be aware of a few things. These people appointed themselves spokespeople, no one elected them. They gather at large so called Pagan events like the Pantheacon that are far out of the reach of the average Pagan in terms of expenses where they debate whether or not Paganism is a religion, who is more oppressed than who, and anoint each other “leaders” without actually doing a damn thing in the real world. They act as gatekeepers on what Pagans and Pagan groups are worthy to be discussed. If you look a bit more closely, they are largely 20 and 30 something males and the women who cowtow to them. These are today's Pagan “thinkers”.

They have almost zero respect for Crones who have little of value in their eyes until they are safely dead and thus can no longer stand up to bullshit they spread about who they are. “By their deeds you shall know them”... and they have almost none.

Real Pagans are out there but you would never know it by cruising the net and they are harder and harder to find as a result of these posers. Online witch groups often contain no actual witches as in those living a witch's life. So called Pagan online leadership groups are overrun with those who never actually led anything and taught by those who only credentials of leadership are teaching about it. Zero real world experience, almost no actual practice of anything resembling rituals and religion.

I call foul on this
If you want to claim a leadership role, be thou the light and actually do something in the real world or shut the fuck up and stop poisoning the well for seekers. If you claim to be a Pagan leader and you cannot point to at least ten lives you made better by your direct actions, you are not a leader, you are just some random asshat with opinions and everyone has those.

I have spent most of a long and weird life in service to others with zero regrets. What will you be able to say when you are my age?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cultural Appropriation Gone Wild

Cultural appropriation is one of the buzzing new concepts flying around the neo-think crowd. Basically it is the disrespect of a culture by taking over key elements that define that culture almost always to the disrespect of the culture being appropriated. An excellent example is young white people running around acting like black people and in Paganism, acting like Native Americans to the point of sometimes even being so bold to instruct those of Native background or injecting themselves into Native ceremonies univited.

It is considered a bad thing.

Interestingly enough it is totally at odds with another neo-think axiom, that you are whatever you say you are and can totally ignore actual reality in the process and everyone else damn well better just accept that without question. Or you are a bigot, or transphobe or a cranky old lady........ (please note the agism and sexism in this last one.) “If someone tells me they are a woman, I accept that without question” sounds all wonderful and accepting and oh so liberal but the reality is some of those who claim to be women in male bodies are actually oversexed male asshats. I know, I took a bunch of them in over the years. Transsexuality is rare as hell. Those claiming to be transgendered are not.

This 'you are anything you claim to be' concept has now spread to Paganism. Every six months or so someone does a quick google search on the word and attempts to define it in non religious terms. Yes, in the original Latin it meant country folks but they always seem to miss that Julian, the last Pagan emperor of Rome, redefined in terms of non Abrahamic religions because up to that time we didn't actually need to coin a word for that until the christians tried to outlaw all religions but their own. Julian was a convert to the Cybeline religion from christianity. Paganism, from the mid fourth century CE on, has been defined in terms of religion. Despite the widespread modern confusion, it is not Wicca, a mid 20'th century invention of Gardner. The word has an actual meaning, a well defined one and a cultural one in terms of religious practice. I, myself, have been an actual practicing Pagan for more than fifty years. Along with others, I personally reclaimed the Cybeline religion and re introduced it to the world. That would be the religion of the Roman emperor who defined the word as understood by the rest of the world for 1600 freakin' years. I apparently got a bunch of atheist panties in a wad when I blogged about atheism is the opposite of Paganism. The most recent one of these asshats is the one that called me “cranky” and linked to that blog entry.

“I get to call myself a Pagan even if I do not believe in any Divine principles” is not an argument. It is not logic. It is an oxymoron, plain and simple and further, it is a direct cultural appropriation of Paganism from those of us who actually are Pagans. Athiests are no more entitled to this appropriation than some guy who ties a pink bow on his penis is an actual woman absent all the experiences that goes along with being a woman in today's world. Reality check time please. You do not have the right to redefine whole categories with clearly understood common meanings because you feel like it. That is the ultimate in disrespect on so damn many levels I lose count. That is the act of an ego out of control. It is sociopathy ultimately.

You neo-think children writing on Pathetic Pagan channel take note. You don't get to redefine the world or words based on your freakin' egos. Doing so makes actual communication impossible. Same for you Mark Green, you sexist asshole. Learn to respect your elders......that's one of the things actual Pagans are supposed to do you know.  I manifest into the real world actual things.  Reclaimed an ancient lost religion, reclaimed Pagan history regarding especially the transsexual priestesses of the ancient world, built the first Temple to Cybele in 1400 years, won a major legal battle for all Pagan religions, started the first Pagan owned and operated FM radio station in the US, reintroduced Pagan monasticism to the world and taken in more than forty people in need to get them back on their feet, mostly women.   
You write a blog.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner as the Goddess? Seriously?

Once again I check out Patheos Pagan channel and read yet another entry that simply has me going “what the fuck?”

Alone In Her Presence: Caitlyn Jenner and Still Knowing Goddess written by someone named Erick DuPree does a reasonably decent job of explaining the concept of Divine immanence but then steps off immediately into the ozone. Erick defends his teaching women the women's mysteries using the Goddess within us as an excuse for doing so. Let's look a bit into this and how it is almost impossible not to see this as sexists as all hell. A man, and one into trantric practice at that (sexual magic/yoga) presumes to teach women about mysteries that have been the exclusive providence of women since the dawn of history and then hangs this whole thing on a brand spanking newly transitioned celebrity transsexual with literally only days of “experience” living as a woman and one totally sheltered from the reality most women deal with on a daily basis at that by virtue of being a celebrity!

Gee, who could possibly see anything wrong with this?

Just like another author from this site, the Allergic Pagan, I've mentioned before, Erick apparently likes to take perfectly good words with well established meanings and just redefine them to suit himself. In this case it is matriarchy. In trying to parse his using this term it is clear he is not using the established meaning but hanging some internal sense of worshiping women on it instead. The word means a society ruled by women, something that never actually existed in the real world throughout human history. What some people called matriarchies in the ancient world were in fact egalitarian societies which admittedly, viewed from the patriarchy of today can be seen as matriarchy simply by virtue of difficulty in most people of actually grasping societies where men and women are actually equal.

Erick is blown away by the image of Caitlyn Jenner, America's latest three day wonder. Of course he is! The image is overly sexualized and photoshopped to turn a 65 year old newly transitioned transsexual into a masculine wet dream image. In other words, the very sexist patriarchal worst of reducing women's worth to whether or not some man gets a hardon or not, to be blunt as hell.

And let's not even go further into exactly how creepy it is for a man into trantric sexual practices to be teaching women about the women's mysteries, something he cannot have any personal knowledge about but does put him in a position of authority over a group of unsuspecting women. Gee, what could possibly go wrong here?

I am not going to attack Caitlyn Jenner. The journey she is about to start is a long and difficult one I actually know quite a bit about having lived roughly half of my adult life first as a nominal male and then a woman just as the ancient transsexual priestesses of the Goddess before me. But Erick, my dear, there are damn good reasons why male bodied people were not among the priestesses of the ancient world and it has nothing to do with the fact that the Divine is part of you as it is myself. Your heart might be in a good place but please take a step back and see that women need to address the patriarchy as empowered women and having a man “show them the way” doesn't cut it in a world where men telling women who they are and passing judgment on their worth is the problem.

There is no paradox with immanence btw. It is simply a concept that humankind understood the Divine by until the Abrahamic religions screwed it up with Poppa god. Paganism today, in a true paradox, has turned from the Poppa God to mostly the ancient concept of the Divine Feminine principle, not completely, but in that the majority of Pagans now refer to the Goddess rather than God and Goddess from Wicca, even those who define themselves as Wiccan. But sexism is still the order of the day among Pagans who will forgive a child molesting sexual predator male “leader” but vilify any Crone who dares to speak out against it.

Sexism, pure and simple. And I am getting really sick and tired of seeing in in Pagan venues that should know better.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Future of Paganism, to Build or Not to Build

Can you name the Pagan group that was written up in the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, The Washington Post and a whole slew of legal reviews? No?, perhaps that is because the cliché that thinks it owns Paganism refuses to mention it. The Maetreum of Cybele was founded in 1998, owns real property that includes a former Catskill Mountain Inn, an outdoor Temple/Grove, three acres of land and has been doing real world charitable work for those in need for more than 12 years. The Temple is the first dedicated to Cybele, Magna Mater in more than 1600 years. The charity work has taken in more than 35 women in need and fully supported them in room and board until they could get their lives back together. Other families have been fed, had clothing provided, household goods provided and holiday gifts supplied for needy children. It included taking in victims of hurricane Irene in the hard hit area in the Catskills and raising and disbursing emergency funds for victims of hurricane Katrina, particularly the mostly ignored LGBT victims. We did all this ourselves, on a shoestring budget.

We had to ask for help when the Town of Catskill, in which we are located in as part of the Hamlet of Palenville, forced us to court for equal rights as a religion even though we are incorporated, our property belongs to the corporation and we are fully recognized by the IRS as both a religious charity and a church under 501(c)(3) That battle was long and hard and very very expensive and the Town fought us up to the highest level court they could. The resulting win established legal precedences regarding minority religious property rights that range far beyond New York State. And only one Pagan blog covered the win, just one. The Washington Post covered it, the New York Legal Review covered it, Forbes covered the initial win at the Appellate level, but only one Pagan blog. Not one single Pagan “defense” group such as the Lady Liberty League came to our aid in that fight. The ACLU ignored us as well, we had to go it alone with some grassroots support from mostly individual Pagans raising the money need for legal fees.

We do real world charitable works that aids real people.
We reintroduced Pagan Monasticism to the world after more than 1400 years.
We built a Temple.
We recovered lost history including the role of transsexual priestesses in EVERY Mother Goddess tradition of the ancient world.
We reintroduced Pagan monotheism to the world.
We won what may prove to be the most important legal battle for the future of Pagans in decades.
We are active in our local community as an actual resource for all.

And apparently we are not worthy... and transphobic...and troublesome.

Now an online debate is raging about Pagan infrastructure in multiple blogs all over the net. And once again, even though we are literally the poster child for building such infrastructure we are ignored.
Let's get somethings clear here. If you are a solitary and do not feel the need to support Pagan infrastructure, don't do it, problem solved. If you are part of a small Wiccan style group and feel that larger venues aren't for you, don't come. But I'd venture to guess many of those in these camps would jump at the chance to visit an ancient Pagan temple site. So the question must be asked, why do they seem to often actively oppose building modern temples sites? Because frankly from some of the comments on this debate I have been reading, these folks are peeing themselves in fear of Pagan infrastructure. Oh they want the conferences and large scale conventions they have to lay out large sums of money to attend and where they can lead or take part in endless “classes” and workshops and meet the self appointed metaphysical celebrities. And spend small fortunes on Pagan bling. But some other Pagan group actually building something in the real world? The horror!

So what is the future of Paganism? Solos and tiny groups hiding in the woodwork emerging only for expensive Pagan Parties and endlessly ranting about their self importance online? Legally, it's groups like us. Opps, sorry to piss in your cornflakes but our legal battle was all about our “legitimacy” as a religion and that has been established now beyond question by the highest court in New York. But to win, we had to have dotted all the “i's” and crossed all the “t's” legally which requires work and dedication. We had to actually build something and actually do real world work. And now in the legal world, we are Paganism like it or not as a result.

Among modern Pagans there appears to be a huge dose of church-o-phobia as a reaction to Christian models many fled from to Paganism. But before the Christians was the Pagans with impressive temples, public works, charity, did you forget that? When someone calls me the new Pagan Pope I don't know whether to laugh or cry because it is clear they didn't bother to spend even three minutes on what we teach, that the Divine is within all of us and you don't need a religious leader, you just need some education on contacting that Divine part of yourself.

So you wannabees out there who try to monopolize the Pagan conversations, we are here, we planned for the future, we will continue to work in the real world and in the end, we don't need you to do so.

You can be part of the future or you can continue to agonize over your child molestors and sexual predators in your midsts. Your choice, but we don't need your approval or acknowledgment. What have you built? Who's lives have you changed for the better? What will you be remembered for? These are the real questions because a remainder of a campfire in the woods won't be there long after you make it..... a Temple will endure. The Burning Times were possible because there were no longer Pagan centres because of the church. Don't want to see them return? Then you damn well better be part of building and defending Pagan infrastructure.  We build Temples.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How I Became the Pagan Pope and Other Tales From the Internut

I would like to start by thanking a bunch of Atheist “Pagans” for elevating me to the position of the Great Grand Poopbah of Paganism. By reacting to one of my blog entries as a decree from on high that is essentially what they claimed. Interesting. Let's take a closer look at what they actually were doing. If you wish to elevate your own position and you are in opposition to someone else's position, it makes sense to elevate your opponent to make your own position more important. That was one element of what is going down in a backwater of Pagan blogs right now. By labeling the position of another a decree from on high, you are also attempting to silence an opposing position by attacking the very right to even hold that opposing viewpoint, or in other words expressing an opinion contrary to your own.

I've been around Paganism a long long time but because I rarely attend the “conferences” I wasn't particularly well known outside of a smallish group of Pagans. Until our somewhat epic battle with the Town of Catskill over basic religious equality, most Pagans never heard of our tradition, the Cybeline Revival or the Maetreum of Cybele. Hell, until we founded the Cybeline Revival, Cybele as a Mother Goddess avatar had pretty much been erased by the Catholic Church for 1600 years to the point neo-Pagan Goddess women had forgotten Her as well and never included Her in the recital of various Mother Goddess avatars.

“True Believer Pagans”

This was one of the first labels applied to me by the opening salvo. Let's look at this one closer as well. First of all, yes, I absolutely believe in the Great Mother Goddess, belief in Her is literally the oldest religious practice in the world. So as far as that goes it is accurate. But what about the word choice? Ah, now that is a horse of a different colour you've heard tell about. Words have literal meanings, that is what you find in dictionaries but they also can carry emotional associations, especially in certain phrases. In Western Judeo-Christian world view, “true believer” is emotionally tied to fairly radical fundamentalist religious thought, very ridged and unyielding. Given this emotional loading it is not particularly surprising a person pushing atheism would go there. It carries a clear emotional context of belief the Mother Goddess is sitting up there on the third cloud over from Yahweh. Now there are plenty of Pagans who do in fact believe in the Goddesses and Gods in this fashion as it is basic human nature to personalize complex thoughts. As it happens, and as a mere fifteen minutes of reading the material from the Maetreum's website would have revealed, this is not how Cybelines view the Goddess. We see Her as eminent in all things in the Universe and teach that She is already part of you so you do not come to us for answers, but rather to learn how to connect with the Goddess part of yourself. Consistent with this, I personally, do not proclaim edicts from on high but make it clear if you want my opinions on spiritual matters, I am more than happy to share them but my opinions carry the same value as you paid for them....... and I do not charge anything.

So calling me a true believer Pagan was a duel edged deceptive sword. First it was done within the context of atheism to view any belief in the Divine as uneducated and unscientific as proclaimed by Mr. Atheo-Pagan, take a very real shot at those Pagans who do believe in personified Deities in that same light and then, having ridiculed that position, place me within it. This is about as dishonest a method of “debate” as it gets. To then go on and say I am the one tearing Paganism apart by expressing an opinion they do not approve of is just icing on the cake at that point.

What exactly is Atheism Then?

Apparently some of those declaring themselves Atheo or Naturalistic Pagans do in fact believe in some sort of intelligent Universe if I parse their writing correctly and that is the basis of claiming membership in Paganism. To that I say fine, I have zero problem with that position but what it is not is atheism by any meaningful definition. You believe in something, no matter how nebulous, that is greater than yourself and you are not an atheist, though you may be agnostic. If you don't believe in something greater than yourself, no matter how nebulous, and you cannot call yourself a Pagan. That is what my position boils down to. Why does it matter? It matters because the Maetreum just fought a long long legal battle to define Paganism within the law as a legitimate religious path. Atheism is the opposite of religion (I am not addressing radical atheists who are so hardcore they look like a fundamentalist religion) Why am I personally entitled to an opinion on this? I have occupied the identity of Pagan for more than fifty years, long before those attacking me have been on the planet, so yes, I get to maintain that identity and it's meaning. And it is a damn broad identity already covering Theists, Deists, polytheists and yes, even those like us Cybeline who are essentially monotheists. I stood up and was one of the few “out” Pagans back in the day when the police around the US had “Occult Squads” and you actually would lose your job if you were out at work. I reclaimed an ancient religious tradition, did original historic research along with my sisters in the process. We Cybelines fought a major legal battle on behalf of all Pagans. So yes, I have the right to hold and express an opinion on Paganism because frankly, I earned it.

The various atheists blogging about my little old essay are essentially saying they are entitled to express their opinions and I am not. That is the essence of their position.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Why Your Magic Doesn't Work........

You just got a book of spells and cannot wait to bend someone else to your desires.  Carefully you get all the required ingredients and gather it all together and learn the proper words to say over them as you mix and blend and light the candles and then....


If you are today's neo-Pagan Crystal Liter, you try a couple of more times then go online and beg an answer from some other witch wannabe in a chat room.  Maybe eventually you decide magic is bullshit or the witch you asked is bullshit and you start to badmouth her.  “Why oh why won't it work for me?' you cry out.  The reason is contained in that action.

You left out the most important parts, will and intent because you don't have a freakin' clue what those two words actually mean.  Ah, yet again we have failure to understand the actual meanings of words gumming up the works.
Will and intent doesn't mean staring at something and popping veins in your forehead concentrating on it.  It is a state of mind and one you probably have been taught from birth not to obtain.

For Magic to Work, You Must Live a Magical Life

Will is not wishing.  That is where we start.  That dirty word faith comes into play but not in the fashion you probably think.  Faith in yourself.  In order to have faith in yourself you first have to keep your word, especially to yourself.  Do not make commitments you cannot keep because doing so tells your subconscious you aren't serious.  Do you joke about Pagan Standard Time when you cannot seem to show up anywhere on time?  Every time you do that you send a message to the Universe and that part of you that is the Universe that you are not a serious person, that you lack willpower.  How on earth can you expect to visualize something to make it manifest if you cannot meet a simple obligation to be somewhere when you say you will?  Simple answer, you can't.  Magic begins with self respect and empowerment and you have to do the work on that yourself.

Most people attempt spellwork hoping stuff will magically appear, sorry it doesn't work that way.  You wish for a pile of money (and we'll get into motives next) and it doesn't appear and you are pissed but someone told you of an opportunity for a great job and you blew it off because better the devil you know.  The magic worked and you blew it because you were hung up on the Hollywood witch concept.
And your motives sucked.  You want a pile of money but never asked yourself why you want it.  You need to take the next step and figure out the why because what you need probably isn't money which is basically just a concept, but something else entirely like a decent place to live and food and basic comforts.  Because you were looking for a pile of money, you miss the opportunities for those essential things that presented themselves that Universe provided you.  You have to grasp the opportunities.  And to do that, you first have to just be able to see them.

And sometimes not getting what you wish for is the kindest thing the Universe can provide.

I teach what I call the paradox of magical power.  If you seek power, you will rarely get much, if you obtain power (through living a magical life where you can manifest into to world your “will”) you will rarely use it. (because you won't have to)
Within that lesson is your answer but that's all you get from me for now.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Respect and Disrespect, Do Pagans Today Understand These Words?

Respect: noun
1. a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in):
to differ in some respect.
2. relation or reference:
inquiries with respect to a route.
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability:
I have great respect for her judgment.
4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment:
respect for a suspect's right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.

Disrespect: noun
1. lack of respect; discourtesy; rudeness.
verb (used with object)
  1. to regard or treat without respect; regard or treat with contempt or rudeness.

It is widely stated by many younger Pagans that they do not have to respect Pagan Elders and then they turn around and show disrespect believing that is the exact opposite when it is not. Discourtesy, rudeness and contempt are a far cry from not holding someone in esteem. To those who say they do not have to hold me in respect, I say, fine but I do not have to put up or will put up with out and out disrespect. Managing to survive X number of years may not grant acknowledgment, but if in doing so you fought the good fights, stood up for the rights of others, manifested into the real world real changes and things of worth to many, that should be respected if only out of proper acceptance or courtesy. It does not matter if you agree with those accomplishments, simple common courtesy dictates basic level respect.

Ah, but we live in the internet age where hiding behind a screen name every troll and his sister can ignore a disagreement of principles and ideas and go straight to character assassination, and his or her minions pile on gleefully ignorant of actual facts. And we do indeed see this played out over and over online.

Straw Men and Women

Because debating is a lost art in today's world as is teaching logic and reasoning all too often the response to disagreement on someone's position is to get up a totally made up profile of that person and then attack that rather than debate the actual ideas and concepts. This is what passes for debate these days and pretty much assures that actual learning beyond what ever prejudices you personally hold is rendered impossible. It is an extension of the recent concept of egalitarianism taken to illogical extremes. No, your uninformed, uneducated opinion is not equal to those of someone who did the work to be informed and educated. Informed and educated opinion can be wrong of course but if you believe it is then it your responsibility to counter in an educated and informed fashion. That is how things actually progress, learning takes place and progress is made. Newsflash, if you launch into personal attacks unprovoked because you disagree with a position they hold, you lost in the eyes of anyone who isn't a like inclined idiot. You basically just substituted bullying for discourse. You made sharing of viewpoints and ideas impossible, you took away any opportunity to actually change someone's mind or maybe work out a compromise position.
And like it or not, sometimes wisdom does come with experience and that deserves not to be disrespected, if not out and out respected.

Sexism and Ageism as Disrespect

Crones used to be respected. Once a woman reached an age where she no longer felt constrained to express herself freely because of the jeopardy of losing a man no longer applied, she was considered a Crone. If she spent a lifetime learning healing arts, herbalism and midwifery she was considered an Esteemed Crone. Many Native American tribes also recognized that she gained wisdom denied men by virtue of thinking differently and having a high regard for the welfare of future generations by virtue of raising them. With the advent of the Abrahamic religions and a shift from matrilinear to patrilinear descent these principles were ignored. Hey, if the world is gonna end any day now, who gives a crap about future generations, preserving the environment or women as anything other than property?

This sexism still runs rampant, yes, especially in Paganism. Let some male “elder” get caught with computers full of child porn or pushing sex with children as legitimate forms of education and scores of Pagans rise up to debate it and agonize over the “good” they did being thrown out with the bathwater but let a elder woman take a position regarding the tradition she founded that empowered thousands of women, say a Z. Budapest, that runs counter to some neo-egalitarian idea that you can be whatever you declare yourself to be, physical realities be damned, rights of physical female women to restrict their religious practices to with other physically female women, is oppression, and she is EVIL, everything she touches is EVIL. Honey if that isn't a prime example of sexism, I have no idea what would be. Yeah, profess belief in the Goddess and pull this shit, did you just realize the Goddess isn't grandma with cookies? That maybe this isn't the greatest position regarding the Goddess to put yourself in?

And this all goes hand in glove with ageism usually expressed with sexism. Say you have a choice, having broken your leg for example, between having a medical doctor set the bone or a kid from Burger King. Hard choice? The medical doctor learned how to set the bone and is credentialed as someone who has that knowledge. When someone who tells you their credentials in the form of years of experience and battles fought and won do you dismiss that out of hand because the kid from Burger King may have new ideas on setting bones? Only if you are an idiot. And this, my darlings, is why you might disagree with a learned elder but you do not disrespect them.. at least if you are any kind of decent human being.

Thus endeth the lesson......