I’ve been kicking this thought around for about a decade or so, and now I want to trot it out and give it a try. I use tarot cards to fish for any further information I can get about unknown situations. I do believe dead ancestors may drop by for a visit (but I try not to discuss this aspect of my life with medical professionals.) I honestly believe that when I have sex with someone, there is an etheric transference that occurs wherein I take up some of the other person’s characteristics, making it enormously important for me to be highly selective and limited in partners.
I do have a set of specific, mystical, to date unverifiable beliefs that are consistent with the way I experience life. I can’t reasonably expect someone else’s life experience to match mine, although there is always camaraderie formed from having similar experiences.
Now, having said all that, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I’m not superstitious.
((photo by zettmedia))
In fact, I suspect that those who are part of mainstream religions that get the “rational enough” social award are frequently more superstitious than I am.
Let’s start with tarot reading. Almost every time I’ve done readings at a street fair, some Christian type walks by and with real fear in their eyes, states that they “don’t believe in it/don’t mess with that stuff.” Now, I don’t think that everyone in the world should be forced to have a tarot reading. If you don’t think it has value, then you won’t benefit from it and I’ll be annoyed at the waste of my time.
But if you really don’t believe in it, why are you afraid? Tarot cards in and of themselves are not occult objects. They may be used to transmit that information, if you’re open to it, and yes, my call to Wicca did start with an energy jolt from a deck of cards. But the cards were just the medium of delivery; I’m lucky that the divine didn’t resort to dropping books on my head, because bird poop is bad enough. All those rules and rituals about how you’re supposed to obtain the cards (be gifted) and borrowing decks – they’re meant as etiquette, not energetic stamps.
Tarot cards are just pieces of cardboard with pictures on them. That’s all. I have yet to encounter a good reader who brings up dead ancestors, and the only dire warnings raised had to do with stuff I already knew about. Most of my readings have no spooky-ookie to them whatsoever; the majority frequently turn into low-level counseling sessions where someone just needs guidance looking over options they already have full information about, and the tarot cards with their western symbolism make a useful key for doing so.
Astrology is actually similar in that, once I lost my superstition that astrology had no relevance, it finally became useful to me. I really think there is something to Mercury Retrogrades – even if it’s just the timing of when every warranty ever made expires. I also think that progressive astrology is relevant and useful once you understand what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean your fate is in the stars – it’s in your own rump, and where decide to have that rump be, and the influences around your rump. The energies and gravities and influences of various stars will eventually be quarked out in a rational pattern by an overworked quantum physicist soon enough.
And then there’s the Harry Potter books. Fundies view them with such fear, and it’s hilarious. Perhaps in some parallel universe there is a Hogwart’s – and in that universe, magic is wholly necessary to keep the world running. In this universe, however, little kiddie’s minds will not be corrupted reading about the magical adventures of a little boy unless there are additional influences that make it appealing. If there’s real concern about children assuming occult practices because they look fun ((since real occultism frequently requires considerable discipline and discomfort; it’s really a tradeoff for some of our outward hedonism)) then perhaps, rather than banning books, perhaps it would be a good idea to find a way to re-engage children in their religion of birth. I recommend C.S. Lewis as a starting point for that.
Besides, I’ve tried leviosa. Can’t float a damn thing.
So much for that superstition about needing to know Latin to practice magic.