An interesting part of this little tale is that Saul had already issued an edict declaring witchcraft illegal and calling for the death of anyone caught practicing. How many of we who practice now would a King break his own laws to visit for guidance of any kind? None of us, I daresay. Witches today are punchlines. We are harmless alternatives. We are a mildly laughable form of rebellion against organized religion.
We are not what we once were.
We have always done the highwire walk between science and fantasy, working in the greys between faith and hope, bridging the worlds with our beliefs and our fearlessness. This is our history and our heritage. It should be our future.
Now, we come out of the broom closet and hold “Bewitched” parties. We dance the Tara in public parks on Pagan Pride Day. We surreptitiously proseltyze with our “spell-in-a-bag” kits, herbal soaps and our “Blessed Be” totes. Our robes are white, or gaily colored, and the distinction is carefully made between good magic and bad magic.
Funny how none of us are ever bad witches, especially not in front of the children, running about in their long scarves and Gryffindor outfits.
When did we get so happy and shiny? When did it become so important that we fit in with the mainstream? After all these years, why is it suddenly so urgent for those who do not share our beliefs to understand what we do and what we stand for? Are we so afraid of persecution that we jump right up and tell the world what we are before they have a chance to find out for themselves? Our best work has always been done in secret.
I’ve never identified myself as a Wiccan. I have called myself a Pagan, but I think I need a new name. I didn’t start on this path just so I could paint my face with wode, drink mead and hook up with some spooky strange on Beltane nor did I seek to become the crazy uncle at the party, sitting in the corner doing the Disappearing Thumb trick.
I wanted to know things others didn’t. I wanted to be able to affect the visible world by using the invisible and the arcane. I wanted to get shit done. I wanted to be the reason the shadows existed.
Gussy it up with the finest public relations campaign money can buy, but any form of Wicca or Paganism has its roots entrenched deeply in magic. It is as vital for a practitioner as transubstantiation is for a Catholic. It can’t be explained, but it can’t be taken for granted and it must not be forgotten.
There is great joy in how we worship and the rituals we practice. There is also an element of Fear. Mainstream Witchery is trying to downplay that, but it is already deeply etched into the human heart. Popular culture tells you that’s true, as does any conversation with an outsider. There has to be a willingness to embrace the darkness before you step one foot onto this path. That’s why most outsiders won’t do it. Their Fear is greater than their curiosity or their need.
Live and let live, I say. Let those who believe that integrating with modern religious life do everything in their power to do so. I’ll be waiting for the knock on the door in the dead of night, when someone comes to me, asking something they dare not ask anyone else for. And I will compile herbs, and I will say the words, thrusting my energy into the warm moist aether, just as my forebearers did, staring into the low flame of the dressed candle at midnight, existing on that sacred fringe. Maybe they’ll be a little scared as they make their request. I will take that as a sign of respect and a compliment, a gesture that I’m doing things correctly.
And they will call me a “witch,” and I will say, “You’re goddamn right, I am. You run a risk coming to me. And now it cannot be undone.” And I will laugh.
The Fear is imperative! The wonder of the unknown is tantamount! Stop opening things up and dumbing them down for people. Let them be filled with curiosity and a little terror! What’s wrong with seeming like a threat to most people? Besides, if they’re afraid and they come to us anyway, we’ll know how important their desires are to them, and we can work with that.
Back to the Shadows with me, into the moors. If you need me, think twice. My magic is real. It works. It’s not a toy. It wasn’t created by ILM. And perhaps you should be afraid of it.
And perhaps you should be afraid of me.
2 Responses to “A home in the Shadows.”
October 1st, 2012 at 6:54 pm | edit
I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here X. I myself have been guilty of trying to downplay things here in the real world I live in, making things seem less “dark” than they really can be. I myself cannot claim to know what all lurks out there, what things I could be capable of doing, what energies or “other” beings that could be interacted with. I’m not ready to delve into that yet. But why downplay? Cuz sometimes its just easier. I explain what I do, what I think, what I believe, as it is now, nothing more nothing less. Is that downplaying? I don’t -really- think so. whitewashing? perhaps.
And another sidenote: Endor is mentioned in the bible?? lol
October 2nd, 2012 at 1:51 pm | edit
Yes. This is when King Saul was battling the Ewoks.