For good or ill we are living in a technological age. An age that likely will not move away from technological development any time soon.
Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and the blogging phenomenon has given pretty much everyone - from seasoned academic to Joe Schitz, a voice. A voice to say what he wants, when he wants, in whatever format pleases him.
I'm generally of the mind that this is a good thing.
But the simple fact remains that not all voices are equal or equivalent. This, sadly, is especially true amongst Pagan's who participate in the world of online communication.
I'm aware of the history of the Occult movement. I've seen old newsletters and zines where some of the more prominent public Pagans hashed out grievances, spread lies and gossip, and generally made asses of themselves.
There is nothing new under the sun, and this isn't what I'm referring to. Occult folks are a snarky bunch, with very strong opinions, and even stronger Wills, and if this were not so, I'd wash my hands of the whole mess.
I'm referring to downright stupidity being flung about like so much poo.
I was recently watching a video on YouTube about a group of Australian Witches who worship skyclad. This was a clip from the Taboo program on religious nudity.
As I was reading through the comments, there was one in particular that jumped out at me. There was this young woman who was absolutely outraged! She was condemning the Witches in the video, the produces of the tv show, YouTube for hosting it, and anyone who would dare to watch it.
Because the Witches in the video were moving counter-clockwise in their circle.
"Real Witches only move clockwise in their circles!!! I should know, because I am a Wiccan, and WE would NEVER EVER move counter-clockwise. It's black majiqk! That rule is, like, totally in books! Whoever these "witches" are, clearly don't know what they are doing. Unlike me, because I'm a super-powerful natural witch for REALZ!!!!!!"
I ignored my urge to inform this young lady that down under counter-clockwise would technically be clockwise there. Or to reach through my computer scream and smack her upside the hide with her probably very cheap, mass-produced, and McWicca approved wand.
Or, for that matter, to use one of my favorite quotes from Victor Anderson:
"White magic is poetry. Black magic is anything that actually works."
Most governments require people to be educated and to pass formal exams in order to drive vehicles. I think the same should be applied to Witchcraft, or any other Occult practice.
I not-so-humbly suggest that certain folks should meditate very strongly on the To Keep Silent side of the Witch's Pyramid, carve it into a candle, write some bad poetry, and make a good effort to put that practice to work. The rest of us would be so much happier.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some counter-clockwise black magic to do.
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