Kipling

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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We Created This and We Have to Fix It

*sigh*

This is what we have done. My faith, Christianity, says that women are second class. My “programming” says that they are there to keep the home…and by extension, be mothers first and women second. Western Culture is finally breaking out of the Puritan view that women are sexually depraved and morally weak. We allow ourselves, men, to believe that we are “owed” whatever we want from women because they are incapable of doing anything without a man. We are taught, from an early age, that some things are “women’s work”. We have created a stereotype that makes them only menials.

*****

Kipling wrote this in “The Female of the Species” and this is what WE fear…

“When the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
‘Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husband, each confirms the other’s tale,
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations-worm and savage otherwise,,
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger,- Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue, to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

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.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions, in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!,
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges, even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons, even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish, like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it cames that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract Justice, which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern, shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.”

*Yes, this is a 19th Century sexist view. It is gender divided along strict biological roles.*

We know this to be true…and it terrifies us. We HAVE to exert power or we have to admit weakness. That is the perception.

*****

That quiet girl in the corner at the party, her boyfriend raped her and no one believes it. He’s a nice guy… The one that’s very loudly drunk, her father abuses her and her mom blames her… The girl that was walking home from work because her car broke just got blamed for wearing shorts and a halter top in 105-degree heat. The cops told her she was asking for it…The college student that passed out at a frat party should have expected it…The one you just ogled, she dressed for herself and NOT you…The girl that has a string of abusive relationships, the first was her father and, now, that’s all she thinks she deserves…The one you just called a b**ch, she doesn’t trust anyone because she can’t. Everyone she did trust told her he loved her and betrayed her. You were staring and the only way she feels safe is to push you away…The older lady with the bad attitude in the grocery store, her husband has been an abusive drunk for 40 years…

The random indignities, the disrespect that men don’t see, the verbal abuse we think is flattery, the casual disregard, the turning to stare, the whistles and comments, we don’t even realize we’re doing them and women have to put up with them. We think it’s normal. We think those are compliments. We think they’re our right…yet, if we had to deal with it, we could not.

Women didn’t invite this. They for damn sure don’t deserve it. No one does.

*****

Guys, men, we created this. We are the cause and the solution. We have made the world so that we are not trusted. We have told women that they are second class, that they are servants, property, sexual objects, stupid, and only good for bearing children. Every right they have, they had to fight for. They had to fight to be able to vote. They had to fight to be able to decide when to and not to have sex. They had to win the right to choose contraception. Now, we have the nerve to blame them for not trusting us to act in their best interests when we have proven time and again that we will not…

The answer it not to “allow” them to have rights.It is to, finally, shut up. They well and truly earned their space and rights. If men had to put up with the s**t that women have had to, this would be long over. It is not “giving up” power, it’s sharing it with the other half of Humanity…Women shouldn’t have to fight to get what is theirs. We, men, have to finally get over ourselves. We, Humanity, can be greater than what we are when half of humanity doesn’t fear the other half…and, yeah, I mean both halves fearing the other…