Archive for December, 2011

Ask Black Witch

This is the last post and Ask Black Witch of 2011. Yurp. So let’s hop to it!

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I am 10 years old. I heard about Wicca when I was 9, and was truly fascinated by it. I tried spells (I didn’t know how to become a witch yet) and they did not worked, well actually 1 did. I would like to ask you, how can you become a witch? Some people say you get anointed, others say you can just say you are one and you are, or make a ritual, or learn a lot about it for 1 year? But what is the true way? And how old do you have to be to become a witch? Some say any age can do it, while others say only the ones that are not young, greedy, and self-centered. I’m desperate!!! :(:(:( THX

Jennifer L.

Welp, you have got to be the youngest reader that I have had so far. You sound like you’re on the right path already by doing some reading. I remember when I started out and what intrigued me most about witchcraft was the spellwork but I have to caution you to keep it slow. Stay on the studies and don’t worry so much on the spells.

As for becoming a Witch, you’re right through and through. You can get anointed, you can simply say you are one, you could have a ritual and you could study for a year. All these ways are considered legit and it’s up to the practitioner what they choose is right for them. Some initiation methods can be combined such as dedicating to research and practice for a year and saying that you are a witch, you could have a ritual where you are anointed, it depends on the Pagan/Wiccan. I went with the research and considered myself a witch method. Regardless what method you chose, keep studying.

Now, you don’t have to be a particular age to be a witch – though any age that the person is competent enough to know what they’re doing is best. But that also opens up the debate of someone being a natural Witch, in opposed to being a trained Witch. The main difference is that a natural Witch is very intuitive in their practice and always was growing up. A trained Witch is that, someone who worked really hard to get to where they are. Regardless of being a natural Witch or a trained Witch, research is necessary no matter what. Even Mozart had to be taught how to play an instrument and how to write music.

Being young doesn’t mean that you’re automatically greedy and self-centered – I mean, look at Wall St and Congress – and many people who started on their metaphysical path started young. I did, a lot – if not all – my friends did. Nothing is wrong with being young and learning the craft. The only issue is just if you’re being childish about it all and that can occur at any age. So just keep up your studies and don’t do it just for the spells. Spells aren’t everything.

I’m assuming your a real witch. You can do spells, right? If so, can you cast a spell that’ll make someone get out of my life…? If you can i’ll give you their name.. and even their license plate number.. !! Just please tell me you know how to get rid of them. I hope it cost no money. Does it…? If not I’ll give you name and whatever else you need.Please write back!!!

– Alexis S.

Okay, I think either my column/blog is getting more popular or something wack is happening because I’ve gotten quite a few emails that sound just like this one. They’re spell requests and bear all the same signs as this letter does: poor writing, assumption that I’m actually going to do the spell, very poor reasoning and apparently the writer missed like an airplane that I don’t do hexes and I don’t do how-to on spells here on Black Witch.

To answer this person’s question: Yes I’m a real witch. And I do spells. No I’m not going to cast a spell to get someone out of your life. Too much energy to waste on someone I don’t know and for all I know, had a hand in her own misery. Please, no need to give me their name and license plate number – why don’t you mess up their car yourself? I don’t know, key it, put sugar in the tank, cut the brakes, whatever. I don’t know why I would be given their license plate for a random hex, am I supposed to crash their car or something? Report them to the DMV for unpaid parking tickets?

I don’t charge for spellwork, never had but honestly what you’re asking for – just hire a freakin’ hitman if this person bothers you that much… or maybe you should try working it out with the person that bugs you. It certainly would make you look less stupid than you do right now being so foolish. But maybe you would prefer a spell for better grammar and writing skill?

Allow me to ask what is Yule?
And I have another question: what is the requirement for a spell to be casted?

– Kemp M.

Yule is the Pagan’s winter holiday to celebrate the Winter Solstice and the groundwork of Christmas. It’s either celebrated on December 21st or the 22nd, depending on what day the sun goes from Sagittarius to Capricorn. This year it was on the 22nd. The best explanation and history of the 12 day holiday would be this wiki about Yule.

What’s the requirement of a spell:

1) Know what the hell you’re doing – you can’t just hop around a tree with a tube sock tied around your neck and expect something is going to happen (besides you looking like a complete moron)

2) Do research – spellwork actually does require study and I mean real study, not reading Harry Potter over and over again. That means knowing history, biology, philosophy, chemistry, anthropology, to name a few. Research helps give meaning and explanation for whatever you’re doing.

3) No dabbling – Not a witch? Don’t do witchcraft.

Out of complete total randomness I am going to have a Ustream vchat today at 8 PM EST. Be there! It will be recorded for those who may miss it so if you don’t get it – don’t worry!

The Arts! Holidays Edition

It’s the holidays! That means The Arts is going to be light this month. Ask Black Witch will be normal so send in your questions!

This is pretty much going to be tradition here on Black Witch: The KRS-One x Lupe Fiasco Christmas Battle! It’s adorable seeing Lupe and KRS battling as Blitzen and Santa.

The next selection is from Wong Fu Productions: “The End of Wong-Fu: A Christmas Story” The old tale of being careful what you wish for, you may get it.

This I found on Angry Asian Man, a Chinese Sprite commercial filled with Christmas wishes and time traveling.

Happy Yule and Merry Christmas everyone! Ask Black Witch is next week!

Be Honest, Why Don’t You?

So, in the world of being a diviner seems mystical, right? Some lady in a turban that talks with an accent and is never wrong, correct? Her glass ball is the mirror to the future and simple to trust. But what is forgotten often in that picture is how a diviner is a person and hence apt to make mistakes and bad calls.

Diviners, no surprise, don’t like to make bad calls. One outstanding reason is because it helps fuels the “Diviners are frauds and cons” stereotype but another is because a life just became affected and it sucks knowing you’re the person they went to and trusted and you let them down. It’s broken faith. But it happens for a variety of reasons: tiredness, second-guessing, knowing too much about the person which can color the reading, etc etc etc.

In university, a friend of mine was introduced to me via another friend and he had a vat of problems ranging from girl problems to illness and having some drama of his own between being Muslim and managing Jewish student groups in effort to bridge the interfaith gap. So, consistently he asked for a reading and since he was a friend, I didn’t mind obliging. I think there were only few times where I suggested otherwise when he asked for readings from other friends. Despite reminding me that divinations are considered sinful in Islam but he asked for a few readings for reassurance.

I gave fairly uplifting fortunes. That things would be okay for the most part, but not to assume that things are going to be – poof – all and well. It just didn’t match what I felt intuitively. What I felt intuitively was that good days were going to be a way’s off but I worried that maybe I’m just leaning too heavy on the doom and gloom and perhaps it’s not that bad. That and I couldn’t predict the global economic collapse which screwed a lot of people up, including my friend. I would see the signs but I’m not an economist so I wouldn’t have pointed to that but to personal circumstance. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, so to speak. Hell, I didn’t even know I was in a forest, I just saw trees, grass and sky.

We fell out of touch and I always would worry about those readings with him particularly, worry about their validity and if they were true myself. As far as I knew, he had an illness treating him poorly and was easily triggered by stress. Had difficulty with energy, sometimes couldn’t hold down food, already was wracked with stress, I guess I subconsciously (and consciously) didn’t want to add to that. I wanted things to be better, so that’s pretty much what came out of my mouth. I also thought that I was teetering too much to doom and gloom and didn’t want to do that, figuring it was just me being weird. I think I should have listened and opened my mouth.

Thanks to Facebook, we managed to reconnect and talk for a bit and he told me how things turned south for him but with one piece of good news – he’s not sick anymore. Apparently he never was, it was a misdiagnosis thankfully. So he’s fit now but still dealing with the problems affecting most Americans now and wishes he had gotten a more proper warning. Now he’s sworn off readings, saying that they’re sinful in the eyes of Allah anyways. I think that’s a good call.

The part that bugs me most is that I wonder what would have been the response should I have said that something really bad was coming and with no currently foreseeable end. Most people don’t respond well at all to that, especially if they’re going through bad things already. It’s like “What if I’m wrong and I just stressed out a sick person for no reason?” Plus, back then I wasn’t so on the pulse of the economic climate of the world like I am now (still not (and don’t want to be) economist grade but am learning quickly) so even if I could feel something was amiss, I couldn’t tell what it was. I may have dreams about hurricanes before they come but I don’t dream about bankers the same – and even if I did, I just would probably have written it off as A) I should watch my spending or B) something weird about prosperity and the draining of it…I’ll watch my spending. Even my ex-boyfriend was struck with pretty much the full hilt of the housing market collapse and jobs being difficult, pretty much the poster boy of the victims of the economy but I still didn’t get it until way after the problems swallowed my relationship whole, among other issues ticking away at it. Still pissed about that one.

My friend is very hopeful of the future, and hope is good. But still it doesn’t shake how bad it makes me feel because geez, I would always think “Man, what if I said this?”, “Man, I totally missed that, should I say something?” I thought I would see him one day in the halls but that didn’t happen so I would always stay thinking. It sucks to second guess and worse not be able to help. Divination does open up the mind to the unconscious universe for an answer but with nothing for the diviner to connect to for themselves, bad calls are made.

It sucks to make wrong guesses but it important to express that the circumstances can sway even the best diviners. I think that it’s because diviners don’t live in a vacuum. We have good days, bad days, quirks, biases, moods and personality. We live in the same environment as everyone else, etc etc. A diviner should be as objective as possible so not to get the reading mixed up with emotions or personal thinking but still trip ups occurs.

Usually with mistakes, the most you can do is learn and deal but some mistakes are harder to just pick up and move on from. They’re the kind of mistakes that make you wonder if this whole metaphysics thing is simply parlor tricks like some people say or is the fault just theirs for being incorrect. It kind of reminds me of a volume of a favorite manga of mine The Tarot Café where Pamela, the main character, once read for a blind person and instead of saying what was really on the cards (whether you know tarot or not, some cards simply convey bad things are coming just judging from the art, 10 of swords or The Tower is a great example) she made up a happier tale that was completely inaccurate. Granted, the main character knew that crap was about hit the fan Mach 5 so she wasn’t second guessing and opted for the safer route like I did but I did understand that she lied only so the blind person could feel peace for once by simply being told what he wanted to hear: It’s going to get better. I guess I wanted the same and went for the “spared feelings” route.

Is it good to be honest? Oh sure, always shoot for honesty and go with your gut but know that you’re going to have to make a tough call sooner or later and you’re also going to slip up sooner or later. Not always but occasionally it’s better to go with the happier story that could give the person the boost they need to see through the hard times they’re already going through. Okay, not better. I think it is more accurate to say it’s human, not better. It’s more human to understand that someone is going through something terrible and is constantly stacking up and to want to ease things a little. Even doctors have done it, telling terminal and critical patients or their families that things will be fine simply out of human sympathy. Is it right? Depends on the person you ask but it’s completely understandable why it happens. It’s difficult to be cold and unfeeling, especially when using an ability that requires feeling something. This does mean you may have a reading you’re not so sure of nagging you for a few years only to find out that it didn’t pan out like you hoped it would and you’re going to feel crappy about it but at the very least, learn while you kick yourself. And keep those blind choices to a minimum – reserved only for the hard times.

Or better yet, you could just put down the deck and say, “I don’t feel confident in reading for you because I sense something that I’m not sure is accurate and I certainly can’t describe.” That’s probably what I should have done.

Before I continue along with my column, I would like to address any potential curiosities of why there was no Black Witch Public Service Announcements (BW PSA) last week regarding World AIDS Day. The short answer is that I don’t care about World AIDS Day as a “holiday/awareness day”. My long answer is that I don’t care about World AIDS Day because AIDS and HIV are terrible pandemics that are rife through the international Black community and other minority groups every day. It takes way more than a day of kumbayahs and reflection to beat this disease. Every day, not just on Dec. 1st are people being infected. Every day, not just on Dec 1st are people dying from complications the disease causes. Every day, not just on Dec. 1st are people misinformed about the disease and it spreads, both the misinformation and the virus that rides under it. This is every day, not just for the first day of December. If any readers would like an extensive learning on the subject, please go to the Links of Interest on the sidebar and click Greater Than AIDS, it’s a great starting place. Stay protected, get tested and remain informed. It’s more than a physical disease, it’s a Black social crisis. [/soapbox]

Continuing with the column:

Dealing with Christians in the Black community can be a funny experience. Funny “Dear god, this is weird” during the experience and sometimes funny “haha” afterwards. Regardless, sooner or later, the excuses, arguments and pseudo-concern start to repeat themselves. One that always makes a return like a stubborn computer virus is the question, “Who hurt you?”

Yes, folks, you can see one installation of happening in Mental Mentality and I can assure you it has happened a few more times after that instance. Now, I’m sure that some random reader is thinking “Don’t say anything, problem solved.” Yah, it’s that easy. Not really, mate. Ask your gay friends how they fare when living in a world where rampant hetero-normativity ties their hands and mouths when they can’t talk about their relationships as freely as their straight friends, get questioned why they “choose” to be gay (BW quick note: they can’t choose who they like but you can choose whether or not to be a dick about it, choose wisely) and risk getting fired or worse, killed if they show any sign of liking the same gender. Same here. A Christian can do anything they like just about (enforced laws withholding) when it comes to expressing their religion and not catch the same “oh, it’s a phase” crap that I and other non-Christians catch. Take the Norway terrorist for example. We’re not going to assume all European-descent people are intuitively capable of airing out a room with a few blitzes, that Christianity is the religion of crazy and backwards extremists, that you have to suspect every Christian is packing enough heat to make hell look chilly to the point laws are made about it and media will openly demonize Christians as crazy murders in a second. No tv shows making them the enemy, no cable channels dedicated to spreading hate about the religion, no nothing. Despite one ill-balanced and trigger-happy Christian White guy, society doesn’t assume all Christians, especially White Christians, are all potential murderers like the very same society does about anyone who is Muslim or even potentially looks Middle Eastern over 9/11. Religious privilege sucks if you ain’t got it.

So, carrying on from that rant, many Christians ask “Who hurt you?” when you correct them about your religion or even bring it up in passing. Hey, they like to talk about their Christmas plans, I like to talk about my Yule plans, it happens. Of course, they don’t blurt out with “Who hurt you” right off jump, no no. They first try to clarify what they just heard: Did someone just say they didn’t believe in the almighty power of Jesus? Then, they attempt to insert their faith in nearly every utterance, especially after they figure out your religion has nothing to do with theirs. They expect you’ll magically catch the faith in Christ and abandon your heathen ways right then and there. Continue to refuse and bam, there goes the “Who hurt you” because apparently converting away from Christ and some of his less stable-minded believers means that you must be a victim of sexual abuse or any other form of abuse (but they seem to have a preoccupation with sexual abuse). Well…that’s nonsense, to be frank.

This implication gets on my nerves so much because what it says is: “My religion is so great and I couldn’t see it any other way. No one would ever leave the protective hold of Jesus unless they were severely abused, which would trick them into leaving thanks to the Devil and his wicked ways. The church does have legit abuse cases that aren’t talked about but maybe if this person feels connected with, they will leave this devil worshipping and idolatry of false gods and return to the one true and loving god [that couldn’t protect them from alleged abuse, but that’s another subject].”

Christianity is nice but I say this all day, every day: Christianity isn’t for everyone. Nope, it’s not. People change, their views change and while most Americans are raised Christian (I was), some figure out that maybe this religion doesn’t work for them for one reason or another and go elsewhere more spiritually beneficial. This revelation doesn’t come from abuse, that’s tragic to assume every once-believer is a victim of abuse and the transfer to a different religion is a symptom of said abuse instead of the conversion out of Christianity could be of its own benefit. This is boisterous thinking because the Christian believes that A) Anyone who leaves Christianity must have been severely inflicted somehow to even think of leaving Christianity B) If you have someone who was once a Christian then ah-ha! Even if that person is well adjusted, they must be a victim of abuse or something traumatic enough to steer them away from the everlasting love and benevolence of Christ. C) Any person who believes in a god that is not the Christian god must have problems somehow because there is no other god besides Christ and His Father so this must be a lie and a sign of self-defensive delusion.

Why is this nonsense? Because A) Christianity, the religion itself, can sometimes be its own exit sign. There are many reasons why people leave the religion and usually they are legit. Not everyone agrees with some of the tenements of Christianity such as homosexuality being a sin, woman is inferior to man, conflicting verses, etc etc etc. B) Abuse doesn’t make people run from their religion usually. It makes them definitely have unsettled responses to what has happened but insta-conversion isn’t it. To assume every person who has left Christianity did it as a response something as traumatic as abuse is wack for both ex-Christians and the abused. Those who are Christian and abused usually hold on to their belief in Christ stronger (sometimes to the point Jesus is the not-so-sticky tape keeping them together) because they rely on Christ more to get them out of their jam and have faith that Christ will oversee their recovery, not the opposite. Conversions due to abuse do happen but they’re a reaaaaaaally small minority and it usually shows itself in the person’s personality and in their religious practice sooner or later. C) There are thousands of religions in the world, even I haven’t heard them all. Guess what? That’s okay. Because there are over 7 Billion people on this earth and it would be absurd to think that every member of that 7 bil.+ would believe in the same faith, completely ignoring that different cultures with different faiths exist and that every single human being on this earth does not know (or care) about Christ. Simple as that.

It sucks for those who actually are a victim of abuse because the talk around it usually is in the vein of ignoring the abuse for what it is but working around it and making sure that the faith is still intact at least a whit but not really taking down the person who did it. Or worse, not even believing the victim and ignoring them – yet being an abuse victim the first thing the Christian may think of when someone says they’ve transferred to a different religion: “Oh that person must have been abused somehow and is simply acting out.” Real swift.

I do understand that Christians are taught that their religion is the only one, true way to God and if you have that hammered in your head since you were young, it would be a little odd meeting someone who was once Christian but not anymore. Given the current Christian is taught that no one should (or can) leave the religion, it would be easy for them to believe that the one who left probably has something wrong with them to the point that they felt like turning their back on what is perceived as a very rudimentary idea of being, to have unwavering faith in Christ and henceforth, be easily led away by Satan from the path of righteousness onto the path of condemnation and wickedness. But here’s the thing: following a different religion isn’t being led astray on the path of righteousness. It’s a different path of righteousness.

It isn’t fair at all to those of other religions because we can’t do the same. It’s not right to assume someone is a victim of violence just because they don’t follow what you believe anymore regardless of religion but it is not fair that if I were to meet someone who said they were once Wiccan or Pagan or Witch but moved on to something else, I couldn’t ask who harmed them. There are tons of dabblers about and while I do wonder of their motives sometimes, I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) outright assume it is because someone treated them horribly – though if you said you were a hardcore witch and then changed your mind in a short period of time, I might assume you probably read too much Harry Potter and took The Craft too seriously. People change, people figure out who they are – sometimes at the expense of others’ nerves – but never assume that if someone left, it’s because of a horrid encounter they had. No religion is perfect and not everyone will agree with the same religion because not everyone thinks and feel the same. If you used to be a Christian but moved onto something, you’re damaged goods but apparently if you move to Christianity from another religion, you’ve seen the light. Something doesn’t seems right.

It isn’t fair to assume that if everyone was Christian then all would be good in the hood. Nope, there are deep divisions in Christianity that disprove the notion easily. If you run into someone who used to be in your religion but isn’t anymore, don’t ask if they’ve left because they’ve been hurt somehow. It’s not a rude question to ask why they left, it can make for great conversation, but it is rude to assume something bad had to happen for them to leave. I left Christianity simply because I didn’t fit well with the religion. I’ve never been sexually abused by a preacher or anything, I just didn’t want to be part of a belief system that I didn’t really believe in. And I’m certain I’m not the only one and not in the minority either. People convert for different reasons but it isn’t a symptom of abuse or neglect. It’s a symptom of people wanting to follow what’s right for them.

Yep, I’m having a Ustream vcast tonight at 8 PM EST! Please do come! Ask questions, interact, things like that! I’ll be covering a variety of topics and answering questions! Be there!

Coming out of the broom closet – revealing that they are a Pagan or a Witch – is not an easy thing to do.

I am all for someone coming out of the broom closet – revealing that they are Pagan/Witch – but please keep in mind, it’s just as risky as coming out of the closet, if not more because there are still stronger stigmas out there that doesn’t get addressed. Plus Hollywood needs something to run to when they’re fresh out of ideas and apparently Witches and psychics do the trick. A lot of thought should go in revealing your religion to whom, how and when. Some folks respond very well to the blunt approach (not many tho), others have to get warmed up. If the parents already have expressed their opinion about psychics, Pagans or witches and it’s negative, maybe you should hold off until you’re on your own and with a ready support system of friends and people who care about your well-being.

If you choose to stay in the broom closet because it is too risky at current, that is perfectly fine and understandable. It sucks, I should know, but it’s necessary if it puts you at physical, financial and/or emotional jeopardy. You’re just going to have to learn how to adjust and live kind of a double life. And let no one force you out that closet. If fallout happens, that person is probably not going to put you up long-term or send you rent money. If they are Pagan themselves, that’s their choice and their consequences to bear, not yours. So for people who are reading this and aren’t Pagan but know someone who is and hiding it from their parents – don’t force them out because you think that’s the best choice for them. I know you love them and think they shouldn’t lie to their families because deception is wrong and they come from what seems like nice families but this is challenging their core beliefs and could cause unneeded misery on your friend’s head. You can’t support them nor promise them a solid future without suffering. Don’t make hints around their family and don’t joke about it as an intro to admittance. There’s no amount of humor that’s going to comfort your friend if they become homeless because of your “bright” idea. Just be there for them and let them choose when to out themselves. It’s their life, not yours.

Alright, got that out of the way. I love supportive friends, but sometimes their heart is in the very right place but their mind is completely elsewhere.

Now, should you, the Pagan firmly stuffed inside the broom closet, get ousted, it would be time for damage control. If the slight is small – you had an amethyst lying in the sun, you said “gods” instead of “god” – you can lay low and wait for everything to blow over and keep the faux pas in mind. If it’s something big like they found your BOS or a book of witchcraft that you own, time for an impromptu confession. Just be honest, you got caught. Tell them that you’re Pagan/Witch, pause for the freakout if they have one, and tell them why you hid yourself from them for whatever length of time. Now is the time to be an adult, even if the parents aren’t acting like ones themselves.

Whether or not you spill to your family, you still need a support crew: someone to talk to, learn from and raise yourself with. They can be friends, people at metaphysical shops (that’s how I got my bearings) and online spots. The advent of the internet really makes this easier than ever. You can make friends with other Pagans, Witches and psionics. Look at my The Arts! Samhain Edition for a couple suggestions of where you can hangout online.

While I’m all for friends and support nets, there still are snakes in the water when seeking out other Pagans. You have to be cautious of people who say they’re bigger than thou, want you to run away from home (and into their arms), and/or want you to do things that are against your morals or are plan illegal – especially if it involves a minor. I’ve had the…luxury, to be polite, to meet these people and have other pagan friends of mine tell me of others. Every teen witch book you’ll read will warn you of this and I’m no different. Here we go:

The “Great God/Supreme Witch”: This megalomaniac here thinks he’s (can be a she but it’s usually a guy) some great and fantastic being that really just wants to get into your preferably underage pants. He claims he has all sorts of amazing powers from the great and holy god (if he mentions a deity, research it! Here’s GodChecker, it’s awesome.) and he wants to impart the wisdom to you, oh young tenderoni – I mean, sapling. Young sapling. And the way he wants to do it most likely counts as statutory rape in all 50 states and territories if you’re a minor. If you’re not, just take away the “statutory” part. Yep, if this guy wants to meet you in person, I’d say pass up or if you wanna meet him, have it somewhere public and bring a friend or two as well as a fully charged cell phone. If you don’t want to meet the guy (which is smart) but you know exactly what he’s doing – which is being an online predator – tell someone you trust and call the cops. Grand Lord of the universe, meet Grand Jury of the American judicial system.

The psycho psychic: People like these give people like me such a bad look. And to top it all off, they’re not even real! They can’t shut up about their super powerful telekinesis, foresight, and anything that makes them sound like they’re a rookie recruit of the X-Men. Dear god. I think a good saying that can be applied to this situation is “those who do know don’t say and those who do say don’t know” – if I’m using the quote correctly. Basically, those who usually act like Marvel or DC comics pens their life story usually are people who want to “stand out” from everyone else and to bolster their low self-esteem by saying they’re a powerful individual that are capable of otherworldly feats. I’m not saying psionics does not exist since I have a personal background in it myself but these kids don’t have it. Period. Never even budged a psiwheel, made water turn cold, or even focused the heat in their hands. They’re posing as something they think is better and cooler than them and, in their mind, that person is a psychic. All that talk they do is hot air. The phony lays claims to big things (“That volcano? I did that.”), anything to make their lives look like it came from a superhero movie. They have huge egos and no brains. And they get on real psychics and psions’ nerves because closed minds don’t come with closed mouths. The over-skeptical I was talking about in my first column? Chances are crossing paths with the psycho psychic partly made them that way. The average psionic and psychic such as myself doesn’t blab and boast around about how “powerful” they are… unless we would like a vat of psychonauts and nutjobs that are relentless in stupidity and fear knocking on our door. Instead of pretending to be bigger than life, we may be excited about finally moving that psiwheel a full turn and how tiring all that practice was. Or frustrated that we can’t read someone or some object as perfectly as we would like. This stuff is normal in our lives and treated as such, no need for extra attention. Fairly aware that we’re not Magnetos, it’s cool what we do but it ain’t like it didn’t come without training. I’ve been doing this stuff for a while (not as much as I used to, though, fairly rusty now), so it doesn’t often come up in conversation with my friends unless something is wrong and I could use a second opinion. I don’t throw that weight around because to me, there’s nothing to throw and I definitely don’t want the attention it’ll bring. Besides, if I’m so good at what I do, why boast?

Pro-Drugs/Pro-Death/Pro-Screw up: These people are in serious need of a reality check…and maybe a trip to the rehab center. They believe that because they are invincible, they can completely obliterate their bodies and minds and think you should follow. They hate their parents, been very close to being institutionalized, problems with authority such as committing actual offenses and getting caught for them, possible harm to animals, possibly mentally unstable, etc etc etc. They think that now they have magick and a different God to answer to, no matter what they do, it’s alright. It’s not alright. These people need help and unless you have a fantastic grip on yourself and who you are, they’ll just be anchors around your ankles. If you can (or have to) deal with them, remember not to confuse what they’re doing with the religion. There is nothing in Paganism that justifies harm to yourself, animals or others. It’s a nature-based religion, not a religion of over self-indulgence. These people are just using the looser tenements of Paganism to wrongly justify what they’re doing. It happens in every religion but with Paganism it simply re-affirms the “self-destructive weirdo” stereotype. They have complexes where they believe wholly that no one likes them and lose every potential friend they could have, which at this point is their fault. Never change yourself for someone else but if you’re being a total jerk and complaining about it, either improve yourself or deal with it. No one wants to hang with a self-hating junkie, regardless of religion.

Ok, what other mental cases that lurk online and offline? Ahhh, the persistent noob and the mental Christian.

The persistent noob: They’re new and super excited. OMG they’re gonna be supaheroes! I’m glad they’re so gung ho about learning magick, Paganism and/or psionics but they ask a lot of questions – mainly to you – and won’t do any research of their own since you’re their reader digest version. It doesn’t seem to matter how further skilled you are than them, you could have even started the day after they did, it won’t prevent them from pestering you if they think you know more than them, even if it’s something small. I don’t want to dissuade someone from learning metaphysics if that’s what they want but please keep in mind to do your own homework. How else are you gonna learn if someone does the learning for you?

The mental Christian: Now, not all Christians are crazy. It may seem like it when you’re any religion besides Christianity but not all of them deserve a padded room at a mental hospital. There are some pretty well-mannered and level-headed Christians out there but they’re not the ones to be wary of (But please do make friends with them! They’re super pleasant and some of the nicest and warmest people you’ll ever meet!) but the ones I’m talking about do fulfill the “Christians are crazy” stereotype. They’ve found out you’re “straying from the flock”, as they would put it, and want to get you back as soon as possible. They use scripture after scripture to support their frenzied point that you’re ruining your life and it’s all going to be downhill from here. Turn your back on Jesus and he’ll turn his back on you but he’ll love you unconditionally if you stay. Well, how spectacular. They’ve whittled the holy son of God down from an archetypical being of mercy, peace and benevolence to a vindictive, bipolar and overemotional friend with major abandonment issues. Despite what they say, I don’t really count these folks as Christians (but they do). The mental Christian doesn’t even have a very sound grasp on the Bible themselves and use tons of scare tactics to frighten you back into Christianity. They tell you that you’re being persuaded by the devil, that you’re trudging down a path of wickedness and sin, that you’ll be hexing people and eating babies and God won’t hear your prayers. They’re so vehement because they’re trying to save your soul from the fiery pits of Hell. That’s nice but forcing a person to remain unhappily in a religion doesn’t exactly please God either, I don’t think. The mental Christian is only doing what they think is right but you have two choices, either debate them on it or try to explain your newfound belief system to them the best you can. Sometimes these folks do come around and grow to understand that they’re not the only religion a person can follow and sometimes they don’t but it’s not your job to make them fully understand and it’s not your fault if they don’t understand. But remember, if you meet a nice, kindhearted, well-grounded Christian, they’re the legit ones so make friends with them.

Thankfully these people mostly are online since it’s easier taking on another personality behind a screen but even if you meet them in person, they’re folks to look out for.

It’s a personal choice of coming out of the broom closet or not. No one else can or should force that choice because each person’s life is very different. Some people have very open minded families, others don’t. Some are comfortable letting others know about their religion, others rather keep it to themselves. Any way is fine so long as the person knows that this is the path they want to take in life. Picking a religion isn’t like choosing whether to go to the mall or not, it’s an extremely important decision that anyone should take immense thought into, regardless of religion. So think wisely and surf safely!

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