I daresay we all go through a phase where we think we know just everything. What we fail to notice during that phase is how we’re getting absolutely nowhere.
Things I am really tired of:
I am SO academic. I’ve read ALL the source materials.
Ever? Really? I’ve read Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy cover to cover, and since I can’t read ancient Greek, I use a lot of stuff on Internet Sacred Text Archive. It’s so boring it actually prevents useful learning. While I encourage my students to read whatever interests them, I don’t push too much on source materials until they’re ready to start talking to gods.
I’m sure those of us who are serious read a good number of source texts. But unless you’ve got a degree in Classical studies, you are flat out lying if you claim you’ve read them ALL.
Insert any anti-other-religion sentiment, followed by standard justification because “something bad happened”
I know a lot of people are justifiably bitter about their past religious experiences. And you have a right to be about YOUR FORMER CHURCH. But when you paint all of one religion with the same brush, you are willfully being a bigot. I know it’s hard to imagine, but Christianity has a left, Islam has magic workers and Hindus think pagans are Hindu – but don’t see Hindus as pagans ((there’s a temple a block from where I lived, and a mosque across the street. Yes, I did ask.)) .
This is personal: QUIT MAKING ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ME.
I swear about half the attitude I get is just because I write once in awhile for a certain moon-oriented publisher. I do have graduate level education, I did go through initiations up to third degree twice ((whether or not either time was a good decision given I was still in my 20s is a moot point as I’m with neither tradition now)), I am not Gardnerian, nor have I ever been, nor do I ever want to be. I am an adult in my mid 30s who has practiced my faith seriously every single day since I was 19. I am not a goth. I RABIDLY dislike JRR Tolkien. I heart my technology. I see no virtue whatsoever in martyrdom, poverty or pretending that raging negativity is in any way truth telling. The environment matters to me a lot, but I’m going to just do my thing to take care of the earth, not make pious ranting shows about it.
I hear a lot of excuses as to why not to practice magic and I think they’re all bullshit to cover for being afraid of the entire world. I think having someone take vows without knowing what those vows are before a ceremony is a dirty, dishonorable practice. If you don’t at least try to be a good person, I don’t like you. If it’s an occult book published before 2003, there’s a very good chance I’ve read it or may have it waiting for me on my shelf. I do think I need to keep a public reading list – I’ve had so many books recommended to me that I read several years ago that it makes me want to choke a bitch. I stopped wearing a pentacle in favor of a Vitruvian man pendant, and I’ve had very good success with making sure people of other faiths treat my religion respectfully by letting them get to know me and that I am a moral human being who believes in a greater good and then, when asked, explaining my faith. I feel no need to be different. I already am different. Very different.
If I’m not writing about magic here, it’s because you’re not seeing it, not because it’s not there.
This rant triggered by idiots who miss the point and assume I’m some 20-something sitting on a stack of pizza boxes while thumbing through my Cunningham ((RIP)) .