divination

I Shouldn’t Do Research…or…How To Scare The Pee-pee Outta Myself In One Easy Step…or…What A Long Winded Ramble…

I gotta laugh at myself. I was doing research…well what really happened is this…

There I was, minding my own business when a mutual friend…
*as an aside, when I use the word “friend” it has contextual meaning to me that means quite a bit more than the casual social media form of the word, in other words, I know a bunch of people. I talk to quite a few. I have very few friends. K, got it?*
…mentioned how odd it was that a Water Witch lived in the Desert. I knew who she was talking about but, it had never really occurred to me that that would be an odd thing…

With me so far?

Anyway…there I was minding my own business all skinny and stupid, yes I’m “skinny as all hell:, and I decided to go to some sites and blogs and find out why it would be odd that a Water Witch would love the heat and enjoy the desert. I’m not sure I agree with the reasoning they used. They said she was “supposed” to be a winter person but, that doesn’t make sense to me cause it takes heat to get water to move. Don’t believe me, the heat in the oceans gives rise to hurricanes. Those and the storm surge that comes along for the ride is a bunch of moving water…

Holy smokes, writing is easier after coffee but, don’t wanna wake anyone up…

So…like I keep trying to get to… minding my own business doing research in blogs and stuff, articles and s**t when I got to an article or a blog or a site that wanted to talk about what “rituals” to use…and I ran like a rabbit being chased by a coyote…

Here’s an odd tidbit of thought as another aside…I never asked Aj what rituals she uses. She would answer, she said she would but, I have boundaries. I don’t invade people’s privacy. Her practice is HERS. If she decided that I needed to know, she’d tell me. In the meantime, I won’t ask because I don’t really have any need. A person I used to know would say, “didn’t I tell you? Must not be any of your business”. Sometimes, when I want to ask someone a question as background for writing, I ask permission to ask…

…and back to where I was going…

I understand the principals of the Practice, I get the basic tenets and have a sort of basic grasp of what the elements represent. I know about “energy” and its uses. Those things are like chemistry or physics. You don’t have to “believe” in them or “do” them. They happen. It’s the “doing”, the Practice and Ritual, the “work” for lack of a better term, that makes me quail. I have roughly zero desire to know how that goes…let me clarify, I don’t really have a problem with energy transference, that’s physics. Healing and Empathy have direct correlations, if not actual similarity, to things that are in my faith. Using food as a part is similar to, not the same as, Communion.

Still wandering along with my ramble?

What I don’t want to know but, in the vein of facing what I don’t know that I probably should in order to gain insight into what I write about, are the details, not of any one person’s rituals but, as an overview. Hmmmm…I’m not even sure that makes sense to me…I don’t need to know the tools used. I don’t particularly need to know the spells. I don’t need to know what happens in a coven. I don’t need to know what someone involved with tarot or divination is thinking or even where they make contact. I don’t particularly care what clothes are worn during any of these processes…in point of fact, it is not my business. Why would it be? I’m not a Witch nor will I ever become one…and Rituals, Pagan Rituals, Christian Rituals, rituals in general, scare me. Praying or the Pagan analog is something I’m comfortable with but, I don’t particularly tell people how I pray…

Yes, I am using a Christian phrase to describe a Pagan practice. Don’t beat me up. I am merely using a construct, an imperfect one, that “I” know…

Heaven help me, this is getting wordy and I still haven’t gotten to the point…*laugh, very small laugh, at self*

…so, given everything I’ve written so far, why? In the words of the Bard, “that IS the question”…Ignore for a moment My Favorite Water Witch. Ignore also, My Favorite Hedge Witch”. Ignore also that I say my motives are selfish, and they are because these women are my friends. Why would I go out of my way to find out about some things I don’t understand? Why would I tend to be so protective of them?

Truth be told, I can not “ignore” those things. I am protective and curious because of them. If it were not for the Witches I know, would I be writing this, looking at things that scare me, facing my own cultural and religious bias against them, seeking out other Witches to gain perspective on a  very non-homogenous group, asking questions and trying to understand?

No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even bother to be asking if I would. Probably, knowing the way I think, I’d be mocking and deriding. I’d be using words that tend to p**s me off when they’re directed at people I like. I’d be on some stupid page being a jerk. Also, given that The Witches are women, and I am “not a woman”, further that I tend to be a bit of a “Richard” towards things I think I have permission to bully, I’d probably use sexist phrases that offend the crap out of me when they are directed at women that are in my group. I know me, sarcasm is my default. I love being condescending. It’s a “sport” or a hobby to me…They are also the way I deal with things I don’t understand…

…and again, The Witches are a couple of things, no snark intended, that I really don’t understand. I have no true understanding of people that find the Spiritual World to be as tactile as the Physical World. I also do not understand women, again, not being sarcastic or sexist, I just don’t. Kipling explained “why” I don’t far better than I may,
“She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells—
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.”

Aside from my selfish motives, and I am not “entirely” able to set those aside, why? What point is there in even trying to understand? I mean, if I NEVER asked another question, if I never even made any further attempt at writing out these posts so that I might see my own words and think through the thoughts The Witches provoke, they would still keep me around…I hope…*tiny joke*…but, I would not be true to myself if I were to abandon the questions and the introspection that facing myself brings up.

I suppose I could ask them, “what would you think if I were to publicly make some smarta$$ comment about a witch being ‘some ugly old hag that can’t get laid’?”…

…Except for a few “tiny” problems… First, I think that would hurt them. I wouldn’t do that for the world. Second, doing that as a test, without warning them that the comment is coming, would be untrue to me because I don’t believe that. Third, I know better than to believe the stereotypes. Witches come in all forms and sizes and ages and sexualities and every other variation that women are. So, that is several lies for the price of one…

…and if I hit them with it un forewarned, my life would be FAR less complicated because, poof, no more Witches, no more looking beyond my own construct, and no more Water Witch… no more Hedge Witch… just asshole Miller wondering why he did that…but…at least I wouldn’t have to be afraid of Ritual and Practice, right?

I don’t particularly “enjoy” fearing Ritual but, I don’t really want to not fear it, either. I DO want to protect The Witches with my words because, if someone that LOVES them is afraid of them then, what about the people that don’t love them and will never attempt to understand them? They know that I will keep trying…for them…and for me…to understand. They also know that my grasp will be imperfect. It’s ok.

*****

I wrote this entire post and added this afterward because it is the Truth I don’t want to face…

This is “what” scares me. To Practice, as I understand it, you must allow yourself to be a “conduit” for energy, be it for healing or divining or whatever. To be an Empath, you must feel what others feel. That flow means that you allow something into yourself and become a medium. My limited grasp thinks that you could possibly allow something inimical to yourself in…and not be able to control it. To be a Healer, you have to directly contact the “unhealthy” and that it could do you harm. Leaving you subject to the whims of something or someone that not only doesn’t care about you but, actively wants to hurt you.

Does that also explain my being “protective” of The Witches? That they would willingly take that risk in order to help someone, to make themselves vulnerable to harm, that sounds distinctly like “no greater love…than to lay down your life for another…” I SHOULD want to protect someone that would do that. I should be “concerned” that people I love do that…and will again and again…and they are my friends. I do not ever want to even contemplate them being harmed, not physically, emotionally, or spiritually harmed. I would rather be hurt myself than see The Witches, or my wife harmed.

If I got this section wrong, I’m sure they will tell me. I’ll give it this, though, if I have the mechanism right, I do not want to stop being scared for them. I know this bit also if I’m right, they will let me know…they’d better because I’d rather know the Truth and be scared than be a “happy idiot” not knowing…

*****

It really is ok that I don’t understand. It’s ok that I remain scared. It’s also ok, better than ok, that they don’t fear me for what I represent. I mean, male Christian, isn’t that the group that made a few, 15 or so, centuries of hell on earth for their faith and a few more centuries of b.s., if you subtract the “Christian”, for their gender?

This is enough introspection for one morning. I’m not doubting myself. I’m not doubting The Witches. We’re there for each other.

It’s what we do. In that case, I think I’ll end with a quote from my favorite, sarcasm, blogger…me…”Hell…f**k it…who really cares? Roll with it and just enjoy the ride, huh?’

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Divination Scares the S**t Outta Me

Divination, in all its forms, scares me from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I mean, the idea of it, even this mention will cause nightmares. A few of the people I love are Witches. In point of fact, with one exception, the closest of the handful of people that aren’t related, are Witches. The Witches keep reassuring me that divination is nothing to be feared…and I still fear it. I suspect I always will…

So what?

To The Witches, divination and their spiritual life,  are a part of them as much as the physical parts of themselves. So, if I love The Witches, if they are as dear to me as I say they are, what choices do I have?

Well, I could reject them. Just kick them away from me. You know, “Hey, y’all are just a bunch of trash. If that’s a part of you, y’all are going to Hell anyway, keep away from me. Besides that s**t scares the crap outta me. Damn Sinners…” Yeah…NO. Not an option. First of all, I’m a Heretic and figure that my God is capable of many things that I don’t know or understand. Also, the Bible says it isn’t MY place to Judge the condition of anyone’s soul. Besides, The Witches are my friends and are the Wise Women I go to when I need advice from wise women. Aj prefers the term “crone”.

I could ignore it but, that option doesn’t work because their spiritual life IS a part of who and what they are. It would be like going to an exhibit of paintings and only look at the frames, missing the image you came to see. Seems fairly stupid to me.

That leaves the third option, I could just realize that THEY are not to be feared. That if I don’t run from them or push them away, my choice is to live with the fact that one of MY deepest fears is in error…or at least, try to convince my hind-brain of that even if my “thinking brain” knows they aren’t a  threat.

I KNOW The Witches.

I don’t know their every thought. I don’t their every thought. I don’t want to. I don’t know their rituals and practices. It isn’t my business. I don’t know what god(s) they follow and, again, unless they make it my business, it isn’t my business. What I do know is their character. I know that I can trust them with my fear of some of their Practice and they will, patiently, try…one more time…for the zillionth time…to explain and reassure. I know their love.

You know, it’s “odd” to be me. A Witch taught me some of the life lessons I needed to learn. The first woman that wasn’t a blood relative or a dog that I told I loved I married. That is my Lady Wife.

The second woman I ever said that to is a Witch. SHE, Aj, taught me that it is possible to love someone that you are not obligated to. To love a friend. She taught me that I don’t have to understand to be able to accept. She taught me that “different” is not the same as “threat”. She taught me that her beliefs and mine are not the same but, they can exist in harmony. She helped to teach me, read kick my a$$ in the right direction, that “I” am worth trusting, even if I didn’t believe it about myself. She gives me advice on difficult subjects like “how does my wife think?” She taught that sometimes you have to risk a great loss to have a great gain but, that’s a different story for a different time.

It seems kind of mercenary to me to not just kick The Witches out. I mean, I gain from them and they have to deal with my b.s. I mean, I see what MY upside is. I get to be around people I love and like and admire. What’s in it for them? I’m no great shakes. Just some random Heretic from a faith that pushed them underground and persecuted them for the better part of 2,000 years…I really don’t get it…That loss that is in the paragraph above, Aj told an, at that time, Evangelical Christian, now Heretic. that she was a Witch. She had decided she had found someone that could be her Best Friend…while I was realizing it…and KNEW that she had to tell me the Truth about herself, to remove any assumptions I may have, rather than to let me live with Illusion…and if I just decided that I should kick her aside, that would hurt but, not as much as the Lie would.

The Witches are NOT a threat. The first Witch I ever knew taught me that. The others I know reinforce that. Our beliefs are NOT the same but, the way we live our lives are.

You don’t have to agree with my faith…or theirs but, before you so readily dismiss someone as worthless, consider who they are. Don’t look at the frame and miss the artwork within…If all I see is what I fear, I lose The Witches. THAT loss is a price I am unwilling to pay.

Aj Is Going to Hell

My best friend is an immoral Pagan witch. She’s rejected Christian Morality. She outright refuses to accept the concepts of Christian repressed sexuality. She makes her own rules and worships her own gods, plural. She has her own rituals and practices divination. Yeah, she’s going to Hell and there’s nothing I can do about it. Not only that, she doesn’t even believe Hell exists…

So, if she’s going there, why do Christians, not all of us but, enough, feel a need to persecute her during this life. I mean, if you believe someone is going to Eternal Damnation, isn’t that enough? You think the condition of her soul means you have the right to be a jerk to one of God’s Creations, even if you think that she’s an “offense against God” and that, when He created her he made a mistake. That somehow, you’re showing her what True Christian Values are by letting her know you think she has no value? That God will praise you for showing His love to her by treating her like she has no worth?

This is what you have taught her by your examples… “I wish for true religious freedom every day but I know that as long as it is a christian based society there never will be…I have learned to walk quietly so that I am not persecuted for my belief. I do not hide who I am or deny my personal truths.” You have taught that you only believe in religious freedom for yourself. You have taught that she WILL be persecuted for her belief. You have taught her this, “If you are such a damn good christian then follow your own commandments and guidelines. Love your neighbor, do not judge and do unto others as you would have done unto you” and that you will not. You have taught her that my “heresy” in treating her as a human, a loved and cherished human that happens to not be Christian, is vanishingly rare among Christians.

You realize that you failed? If you value the souls of unbelievers, then there is one that you will never be able to save because YOU have driven it away. Your actions. Your failure to show, by the example you set, that your path is worth emulating, means that her soul is beyond reach. Once, you might have had a chance, now it is too late for her… The question does remain, what will you do now? How will you reach out to the next person you would send to Hell? What love will you reach out with? Will you invite them into the warmth of your home and life? Will you teach them, without words, of the depth of your faith? By the love for them you express, will you show them that their souls have worth and their lives matter or will you reject them and send another worthless Pagan to Hell? Will you cause them to find community away from yours and take away any chance you might have had to “save” them? What will you do to the next chance you have?

*****

My best friend is a Pagan. I am not. This is what I believe. I believe that God is able to do anything. I believe He shows himself in the form He best thinks will be received.  I believe that, to Christians, He appeared in a form we can accept. I believe that it is possible that he presents Himself to others in a way that they might accept.

I am not trying to “Christianize” Pagans or Aj. I know she doesn’t even allow for the Christian Hell to exist. I know that she will never be a Christian and yet, I also don’t think she’s going to Hell. Her soul may be a bit banged up around the edges but, the core of it is as solid as any I know. That soul, that person that lights candles for me, that shows concern for my life and my fears, has nothing to worry about. That human, that soul that animates the shell that lives on this earth, is valuable to me. I believe that soul will not go to Hell just because she’s not Christian.