Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Things coming together

It has been a little while since I have posted on here. Of course this does not mean the Hound is inactive meddling in reality, but rather that I have a number of things going through my head, none of which would constitute a post in itself.
I notice I had another pause around this time last year, so it may simply be an Autumn thing.
My depression is much better, thank you. I'm liking fluoxetine better than sertraline, & am about ready to take on the world again.
My poor old ginger tom cat is still with us, but visibly fading now. I will miss him terribly, but so badly want to move house & have been putting it off because he's been 'dying' for the past two years.
My complaint about a colleague had interesting repercussions. Most interestingly the management didn't side behind him, which, having learned the anatomy of workplace bullying from several experts at it, surprises me. I was all ready for a full scale battle, but believe that since I've learned that one I don't need to keep Tim Field's Bully in Sight anymore: this is one that isn't going to keep coming round.
The 'pagan community' is a continuing source of irritation to me. If it was anyone other than me I would query whether that person wasn't a team player. Or maybe it's just a witch thing.
There are two 'Passages' - Congreve & Coleridge - in Brum that carry writers' names but I have been unable so far to find out whether that was actually how they were named.
The present state of the former Grande Hotel in Mozambique is not a result of either blacks' inability to run things or the political instability of the country (both of these pieces of nonsense are bandied around on the internet), but rather the result of the colonials' greed. The hotel *never* made a profit & could not be supported by the resources of holidaymakers at that end of the continent.
I'm watching Ross Kemp on Gangs. Yum.
Anyway, all of these things make me think that things are moving on in me & around me, & that fortunately my year of the Hanged Man is drawing to a close. Of course this means that next year my year card is Death, so I'm bound to be all at sixes & sevens!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Why I Am A Witch: Motivations to Witchcraft & Avoiding False Altruism

I have written the title of this post before starting, in an attempt to limit myself to the actual subject, since it could probably actually be a number of different posts with different subjects.
I became a witch (or perhaps came to enter my true witchiness) as a result of disenchantment with the Catholic church: this is a fact that will be apparent to anyone perusing the posts on here. A major element of this sea change in my life was that it turned virtually everything upside down, & a major change for me was that I no longer felt that my life should be about anybody else. I think if someone were to offer me Gardnerian initiation I would accept it, purely to be in a lineage with old Gerald himself, since this would tickle me inordinately, but on the whole my life & witchcraft is about me & my hedge. This is the primary dynamic described on this blog.
Now this necessarily raises questions about the witch's relations with the world around her - the whole point of the hedge is that we are in a world of interconnecting energies & entities. But what we should resist is any concept of enforced or enjoined altruism: what makes us appear 'satanic' to outsiders is the primacy of real emotions & thoughts. It is dangerous for a magical practitioner to start being influenced by how things 'ought' to be, feel the emotions they 'ought' to feel, or be influenced by external values systems or commandments. Yes, you've got it right: if you're reading this & thinking it a load of twaddle, that's fine by the Hound.
Do witches meddle? You bet. One of the things witchcraft is all about is finding oneself in situations where we have an opportunity or even duty to nudge a situation one way or another. Some Christian writer - I think it was C S Lewis - writes somewhere that you can tell a man who lives for others by the haunted looks on others' faces. And that almost perfectly describes the danger I'm trying to avoid here - we don't become witches for other people primarily. A witch who is busy in every community group, running several groups of their own, altruistically doing voluntary work, & giving out this impression of selflessness is deluding themselves. That is nothing more nor less than the false altruism of the Christians, & that witch will be kidding others (if not herself) that the main beneficiary of all this selflessness is herself. Codependence is as much a risk for witches as it is for anyone else.
I have previously written about how many neo-Pagans fantasise about the communities of the past. This involves a huge dose of pseudo-history, since in reality the pagan past they fantasise about was frequently brutal, violent, & dangerous. The modern construction of witchcraft is enabled by our modern individualistic world, not by the Christian civilisations of the past: in many of the older civilisations of the world (yes, this is a huge generalisation) the individual was subordinate to the community. What's dangerous here is the individual who rattles on about the community when they're chiefly in it for themselves.
We witches don't have a mission in the sense that some other religions do. We are not looking for converts. We're not looking to change the world. We're not looking for a revolution. Well, we are. But it begins with my mission to myself. Your mission to yourself may or may not be any of my business, & this dynamic of liberating myself first is surely the most revolutionary act there is.