Friendly Fire & Witchcraft

friendlyn-bannerIf given the option of making crappy tasting cookies that take only 20 minutes to make, and making the world’s most amazing-tasting cookies that take two hours (and you have all the of ingredients for both) – what would you choose?

What is the better investment of your time and energy?  Which makes you feel better in the end?  The amazing-tasting cookies right?  Yet so many folks are more likely to choose poorly and make crappy cookies instead.  Because they’re faster and take less time.  You could reason: “I just wanted something sugary to eat – it didn’t really matter how it tasted. I was hungry!”

Let’s add another layer to it – let’s say you were making those cookies for an event that involved peers, coworkers, or family.  Which cookies are you going to make then? Probably the latter, because you want to make something people will enjoy, and may impress folks too.  You don’t want to be known as the infamous person who made the crappy cookies. No, you’d probably prefer to be appreciated for good work instead.

Yes, folks, once again it’s time to equate Witchcraft with cookies And we’re continuing along with the communication and energy themes of the last two posts: Spell of Communication and Talking With Hekate – if you haven’t read those, click on them for later reading!

Now let’s switch out our cookie metaphor for something more witchy.

If given the option between acting out (magically, verbally, or otherwise) against someone you know in your microcosm that will make you feel instantly vindicated – and doing a prolonged working to cause significant change against a larger defined “enemy” or creates a greater good that is harder to define in the macrocosm – what would you choose?

Most folks would like to think they would choose the latter, but often lend their energy instead to the former.  It’s easier to lash out against friends, familiar faces, and people who may be otherwise inside our circle, but are designated as other. Why? Because it’s immediate gratification, despite the damage it causes. It may seem easy to get away with – especially with folks who know you right? They’ll probably forgive you right? But when you release that kind of energy in relatively close quarters, it’s essentially friendly fire.

Google defines friendly fire as “weapon fire coming from one’s own side, especially fire that causes accidental injury or death to one’s own forces.”   

Don’t care for the weapons comparison?  Imagine saying you’re going to do a controlled burn outside, but end up instead setting an explosive fire in a small closed fireplace with the doors locked because you’re pissed at someone in the room.  Everyone present gets suffocated by the smoke, and while you may have enjoyed setting the fire – your supposed goal is not accomplished.  Plus you’re angry because now you can’t breathe like you could before. Doesn’t matter if you were “just kidding” – which is always a bullshit excuse to avoid saying “I’m sorry, I screwed up.”  Sure sounds rather stupid when put that way, doesn’t it?friendlyfire

Most of the witch wars and other crap I see doesn’t come from people who are complete strangers.  No, rather they’re often quite familiar, or fairly adjacent in some way thanks to Kevin Bacon. Perhaps it’s an example of familiarity breeding contempt.  Or big Witch in a small cauldron – someone needing to feel powerful or recognized to counteract their own insecurities. Whether it’s dissing other traditions and paths in a game of better than/less than, or personal attacks from integrity to body and age, it’s amazing how much energy some people put into their efforts.  Or nit-picking something to death because it doesn’t exactly fit you, though it certainly works for others – it serves little functional purpose. It’s like everything is magnified to the microscopic level and the bigger picture is obliterated. It’s a display of exaggerated aggression, about as satisfying as crappy cookies.

It’s such a waste of energy when there are bigger fish to fry.  There is not one way to see, work, or worship deities, nor is there one way to do ritual, magick, or divination.  Education in the craft takes a variety of forms, and the people who follow this path are amazingly diverse in background and belief. Of course we’re not going to all get along.  We are not going to agree on everything, and I’m not saying we should.  Heck, one of my favorite regular local events is a monthly occult drinking night: booze + debating and discussing esoteric things is a lot of fun.  But the root of that is sharing ideas, not shutting other people down, bullying, or arguing.

As Witches, we have our hands on the threads – we are weaving the past, present, and future.  If we get too caught up in the thread – knotting it needlessly or trying to cut adjacent threads, it screws up the pattern.  It’s a challenge to balance detail with the overall image.

What’s the overall image? It’s the Tapestry of Life.  It is all of our beginnings and endings. It’s what we do to create beauty in the face of destruction, to reconnect ourselves with this planet, with each other, with the universe.

It’s easier to do that when we’re not playing with friendly fire – when we unite instead to focus our attention towards the bigger idea.  Or if antagonism suits you better, to join together against a larger common enemy. Who or what is the common enemy? It’s ignorance, hate, and lack of compassion. That there is only one solution, one way, or a superior anything.

To be exceedingly clear, I’m NOT saying don’t hex, curse, or bind.  If you have been reading this blog for longer than a hot minute, you will know I’m not against “baneful magick” – I’m a fan.  Nor is this about worrying about what other people think.

Rather, I’m saying to consider using your time and energy to make it count, where it counts most.  It’s better for you, it’s better for the bigger picture. And it follows my three rules. 

Be a smart Witch – and most importantly, be an effective Witch.

 

 

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