Archive for May, 2018


The Arts!: Tre Watson

Tre Watson
Good Metalcore is hard to find nowadays. Tre Watson’s music is definitely a great snapshot of the evolution of the genre. The screaming, the melodic singing, hard drums and driving chords are dynamic. Here are a few songs.

“Harrier”

My personal favorite is “Erection Injection” (yes, I know. The title is a bit risque, welcome to Metal.) I also dig the Senpai hat.

“Bakemono”

Check out Tre Watson’s music here:

Bandcamp
FB Fan Page
Instagram

It’s a short selection this month! I’ve been working on my other project, MultiMind, so it’s been sucking time from me. That and there’s the BW Anniversary that is coming up on June 9th. Nothing too wild planned, just an FB live stream.

Ah, it goes without saying that learning metaphysics, occultism, psionics, witchcraft, etc is difficult and one long rabbit hole chase. And it doesn’t help that there’s a lot of what can easily be called “fuzz”: misinformation, half-information, bias and straight-up falsehoods. Sometimes they look real, sometimes, they look overwhelmingly bogus but enough people said “ok, sure”, it eventually became accepted as fact. Then you have dabblers, fakers, money-grubbing opportunists and charlatans thrown into the mix and it gets even more complicated.

A lot of good information on these subjects aren’t easy to find. At all. It will definitely take a lot more than a cursory search on Google to find anything useful. Looking for books (which I always suggest) take even longer because some have spent years out of print and, thus, practically do not exist. Even some of the books I own are gone out of print or ridiculously hard to find. The sites I used to be on that were pretty decent are gone or completely plump with dabblers, newbies and people who just want someone else to be their personal genie. Good sources are hard to find.

A good way to determine if something is a good source is how little “fuzz” or bunk it has. If it seems to appeal more to emotion, then it’s got fuzz. If they’re selling you something, it’s fuzz. It it seems waaaay too simple: fuzz. If it has a biased lean: fuzz. There is no simple three-step method to do any part of these practices. At all.

What I tend to see a lot is there is either some micro-particle of good or substantial information and the rest is just nonsense, or it is completely made up total nonsense. That or skeptics being over-biased in their “science knows all, everything else is fake” skepticism.

About skepticism for a second: some of it is good, it’s how you determine what is factual and what is not. How to determine the wheat from the chaff. However, just like it’s not good to have your mind so open, your brains fall out, it isn’t as beneficial to have your mind so shut, nothing gets in, either. Also, science, while beneficial for the natural world, has a long, long history of not always being right simply because of human fallibility such as prejudice (eugenics, anyone? How about the entire history of gynecology, even up to now?) That and the topics discussed here fall outside of regular science realm so some things won’t add up straight from jump. Just because it doesn’t add up doesn’t mean it’s automatically fabricated, just simply different.

Back to topic!

Substantial information is hard to find but it’s not too difficult to sort through the fuzz if you know what to look for. For example, if everyone seems to be America fixated, no matter what (the issue is usually circulated around American events such as elections or American-centric happenings), that’s usually a sign the information you get is not that good. While America is one of the super power nations, it’s not the only nation on this planet. How come there’s nothing fantastical coming out or of revolving around Zimbabwe or Uzbekistan?

Another example: if it seems to not be unilateral across the board or isolates a particular group of people, usually in a nefarious way, it’s probably not good information. If the information seems like it goes “oh, women can’t do this because [abc]” or “Jewish people [xyz]”, either subtly or overtly, it’s flawed information. The thing about these practices is that anyone can do them. The only difference to look out for is cultural background such as, “This particular form of smoke cleansing stems from the [blank] tribe, the history of this extends back to….” That description right there is how you know you’re about to get satisfactory information. It talks about history, the where, the when and the why. There are reasons and histories tied to these many practices, good information will reflect that. Bad information will sound like half-baked Buzzfeed articles.

And the all-time favorite: conspiracy theories or metaphysical or occult concepts that stem from conspiracy theories.

Now, not everything that sounds grand or unusual is a fabrication. Things like racially steered police brutality, lead poisoning and cointelpro are very much real. However, things like the Illuminati and how they control the entertainment industry, fluoride being bad for you, and vaccines causing autism are very much completely made up. These stories are emotion based and usually with an aim in mind: to provoke fear and feel like there’s something out there pulling the strings and not simply the fact that the world is a pretty random place. And each fear-mongering story usually has some subtle hegemonic-instilling prejudice in there. If the information sounds very “end of the world” or “new world order”, then it isn’t good information. If it “punches down” somehow (Concepts: Jews are evil (antisemitism), autism is worse than death (ableism), White people are under attack (xenophobia and white supremacist belief)), then it is usually not good information either.

Then you have things like “Indigo children” and other more paranormal ideas that lean towards more of the fantastical. These beliefs lean more towards Westernized ideas that give people the belief that they are a bigger effect on this world than they actually are. It’s not 100% bunk but it definitely has its wishy-washy moments. And a lot of them.

All in all, there’s a lot of fuzz but with due diligence, knowing what to keep an eye out for and how to know that what you’re seeing is fact versus fiction are pretty useful in these practices. Yes, I sound like a broken record again and again about this but, wow, do I get a lot of emails about this very issue. Many write to me because they surf the net, see all these ideas that are absolutely wild and come straight to me regurgitating what they see. This all may sound very much like a broken record but it’s going to be said again and again until it sticks.

Pop goes Witchcraft

Firstly, this reminds me of the book Pop Goes the Witch that was penned by Fiona Horne.

Recently, I’ve noticed that the idea of being a “witch” is kind of floating back into pop culture. Mostly in a The-Craft-Wannabe kind of way. Dressing in black, having more rocks on your nightstand than could be found in a cave, tons and tons more herbs than would be considered diligent for a spice rack. Wearing Baphomet or some version of the pentacle. Or the sigil of Solomon. Or a bunch of Theban scribe that looks “witchy” enough on a shirt pattern. You know, stuff that actually doesn’t make you a witch. A fluffy bunny dabbler with a penchant for fashion, sure, but not an actual bonafide witch. It’s very edgy looking but really not accurate.

It wouldn’t be such a bother if it didn’t somehow float my way or create more static when trying to dispel myths such as “all witches are evil, spell casting people dressed in black” or “all witches are creepy women out to do creepy things”. My inbox looks like a tragedy sometimes because of this. At the average Pagan event I go to, just about no one who actually practices looks like this. Or talks about trying to hex openly and widely because they’re miffed about something fairly mundane – as if seeking magickal revenge is all a witch does. Again, not accurate.

It’s not the clothes that makes the witch but the practice. Otherwise, it is more of an act than an actual action. That and witchcraft is not something to dabble with, especially when armed with internet-only knowledge that the reader does not know is actually accurate or not. Seriously, my inbox is proof of that.

Actual practice in witchcraft is not so glamorous. At all. It’s a bunch of reading super dense texts, then doing more reading, then there’s some more researching…and then there’s some more reading of stuff that is not light mental fare. Stuff that doesn’t get countless reblogs and reposts online. Yes, it sounds more like taking a college class than waving a wand and saying a poorly crafted limerick, you would be on the money about that. Because there is history, there is a reason for one thing and why it doesn’t apply for the other. You can’t slap together cinnamon and parsley on a candle and expect to ace all your finals without a drip of studying. It will make you feel like you’re doing something but, you’re just making a scented candle in a very unusual way.

Granted, some are flocking to this because it appear cool, a tad bit hedonistic (the thought of “I am this all-powerful witch”) and definitely to women and girls who took one class on Feminism, didn’t really listen and opted to learn via a Beyoncé performance instead. And, most importantly, it gives the self-illusion of agency in these more trying and turbulent times. It feels like you’re powerful. It feels like there’s something you can do to make things change. Feeling this way is great but it’s just that, a feeling.

It’s great that some people see witchcraft as a form of feminism and resistance to the hegemonic world we engage with, absolutely spiffy. Thing is, this is not the reason why witchcraft exists. Witchcraft is not inherently feminist (why, the Western notion of feminism is far younger than the existence of any practice of magick). Witchcraft is not inherently resistive in socio-political ways. It just is a lifestyle, just something part of living. No different than being a surfer or engineer. Can it be construed in such manners? Sure, but so can just about anything else in this regard.

Does this mean put away the dark clothing? Not really. But have some substance to it. There’s a lot more to magick than wearing black or waving around a stick of sage and making noises. That’s just being ridiculous for the sake of feeling like there’s some control.

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