WooWoo Scale 2.0
When I came into Paganism. I went to a guided meditation class to meet my totem animal. I was a bit miffed because I found a snowshoe rabbit approaching me — especially when I compared myself to the guy who met the green and gold dragon with iridescent scales that glimmered in the sunlight. He hopped upon the dragon and found a magical sword suddenly in his hand. As the dragon’s wings beat to tornadic proportions, they rose into the sky to survey the lands and were mystically transported to another place where the dragon told him he would one day be king.
After my initial reaction of “Bullsh$t,” I began to think about some of the things I don’t normally tell people that would be considered just as farfetched as what this guy was spouting off. Maybe this encounter with the dragon really did happen… but what about his account made it seem doubtful?
I thought about how I raised my son, how I navigated the waters between children’s fantasy and supernatural reality. And that led to me creating the WooWoo Scale.
Then I lost the WooWoo Scale and, when asked to find it for a friend, was unable to come up with the paper. So here I am probably ten years later, revamping, updating, and creating WooWoo Scale 2.0.
What is WooWoo?
Just recently I came across a website called WooWooScale.com. Here’s its definition:
WooWoo (Adj.) – 1. Term used to describe beliefs outside support of empirical or mainstream scientific evidence. 2. Term used to describe practices that have strong popular opposition, questionable validity, or accusations of being fallacious. Example: “Patty went to one of her WooWoo meetings last night.” (Patty was at a UFO channeling meeting). Other spellings: “Woo Woo,” “woowoo,” “woo woo.” See also the SkepticWiki entry entry for another good definition.
The author goes on to say that “WooWoo is used lovingly, not as an insult but more in fun.” The website presents a level system to rate WooWoo on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being the Sceptic and 10 being tinfoil hats to stop mind reading. They even have a WooWoo quiz that will give you the percentage of WooWoo you currently carry. (Mine is 79%.)
WooWooScale.com gives good reference points for woowoo, so let me boil down the basics here.
- Level 0 – Absolute Skeptic
- Level 1 – Belief in God
- Level 2 – Ghosts, Reincarnation, Fortune Telling, ESP
- Level 3 – Belief in Angels, Spontaneous Healing, Miracles
- Level 4 – Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Bermuda Triangle
- Level 5 – UFOs, Communication with Angels
- Level 6 – Atlantis, Crystal with Healing Properties
- Level 7 – Dragons,FairiesNature Spirits
- Level 8 – Scientology, Channeling, Goblins, Ogres, Vampires, Mummies, Ghouls
- Level 9 – UFO Abduction, Astral Projection, Super Powers
- Level 10 – Tin foil protection, UFO Pregnancy, Stickers on your cell phone to cut radiation
Who has the WooWoo?
The author of the WooWoo Scale previously mentioned takes a broad view of WooWoo by stating that a belief in God is a step on the scale. I concede that to some without a belief in a God, that belief might be enough to land you on the WooWoo Scale.
What the author doesn’t say is that at Level 10 you have definitely left WooWoo and entered into the area of “needs mental health assistance.” Schizophrenia and other types of mental illness that are notable for auditory and visual hallucinations or defined by extreme paranoia will fit into the Level 10 WooWoo Scale category.
That being said, most Wiccans, Pagans and “other” spiritual practitioners are going to have more than a 50% WooWoo outcome. Some may even have as high as a 100% outcome. So how do you tell you have crossed the border and need medication or intensive therapy? How do you raise relatively grounded children who will still have wonder, mystery, and magic in life?
How did you get your WooWoo?
This caused me to consider my own upbringing. I remember having a dream about an airplane that was broken and running into the living room to tell my biological parents. They turned down the television and I stood in front describing the plane, the part that was broken and how it should be fixed, as only a five-year-old could do. The next day, I was shipped off to my grandmother’s.
“You know that plane you dreamed about?” my grandmother asked, and I nodded.
“Well that plane was real, and it was broken. It fell out of the sky and lots of people died.”
“Why didn’t mom and dad just call and tell them what I saw? I saw the piece that was broken and it could have been fixed and nobody would have died,” I replied with complete confident ignorance.
“Time is a funny thing,” she replied. “Sometimes dream time and real time aren’t the same thing. You dreamed about the plane as it was crashing so there was no time.
“Belief is funny too,” she continued. “There are things that you can see, do, and know that make you special. Your mom, she used to be like you, but it scared her too bad. So she blocked it all out. Are you scared?”
“Sad,” I reply. “Why would I dream it if nothing could be done?”
“I don’t know,” she says rubbing my back, “but I know that what you know will scare people, so you have to learn not talk to people about it. I have always used these three rules: 1. The gift isn’t you, it is God in you. 2. Never take money for what God lets you know. 3. What you can do is not a game, don’t use it to show off – Keep it secret. Keep it sacred.”
This would mark the beginning of conversations with my grandmother about WooWoo. Of course at the time I wasn’t aware this is what we were talking about. Although people have argued with me about the rules she gave, they have kept me sane and grounded. They have also given me the basis for WooWoo Scale 2.0.
Time is a funny thing
After some more time in community and some more thought on the experience of WooWoo, I decided that if I had had such a profound vision as the guy who met the dragon, I would be struck silent. The amount of time you know the people you share your WooWoo with is very important to whether or not you will be believed. This guy had a great experience that he should not have shared with a group of strangers. He should have analyzed it and meditated upon it and harbored it in his heart as a jealously guarded, profound moment in his life, not blurted it out to every Tom, Dick, and Jane that was sitting in class.
WooWoo, when it is true, should change you – profoundly.
It should be something you are shy about sharing. It should be something that you recognize is partially crazy and something you know without external validation is not. It should take time to assimilate and it should have the possibility of many meanings. You should sit around and worry about what the WooWoo really means and how it will change your life now that you have experienced it.
Scared and sacred share the same letters. The higher on the scale the WooWoo event, the more it should scare you, and the more sacred to you it should become.
WooWoo should also scare you to share. You should be completely aware that if you are quickly sharing your WooWoo, you are looking for external validation instead of trying to assimilate the event into your life. If your WooWoo is sacred, then a time will come when you will run across someone else who has had some similar situation or with whom you know you can share your WooWoo without ridicule. Then and only then do you share.
My life’s work came from a Level 9 astral projection event. I still don’t know what it means. I am glad these events don’t happen all the time or I would have a really rough time staying on top of it all. And no, I am not going to tell you about it. Maybe when I have figured it all out, I’ll write a book about it… but the likelihood that I will say the book was inspired by a Level 9 event is very, very, very small.
You validate the WooWoo, the WooWoo does not validate you
I would not use my WooWoo to validate the things I write in a book or say in a presentation. In fact, when I use WooWoo to try to validate myself, it has the opposite effect. I am invalidated, because “keeping it secret keeps it sacred.”
If you have experienced a great WooWoo event on Level 9 or Level 10, then you should NOT expose that WooWoo to general consumption. Much like a woman that is ageless, you want to allow the people who hear you speak or read your words to wonder where your secret lies. On very rare occasions you may want to share your WooWoo experience, but ultimately, the change the WooWoo brings into your life is the testament to the power of the WooWoo.
WooWoo of great significance is validated by the universal truths that it exposes. It is often riddle-like, a cluster of images and messages that must be thoroughly explored and deconstructed. WooWoo should expose something of great significance to the recipient, and if the message is real and true, then it will expose some universal truth that can be evenly applied to all of humanity.
A little bit of woowoo can happen every day, maybe
WooWoo can happen on a small scale on a regular basis. Pagans believe in the little miracles and signs that accompany belief in angels, spirits, and gods. That belief, however, should be tempered by a skeptical mind. Is the candle flickering a message? Or is the candle catching the air from the vent directly above it? Is the bunny your totem, or should you put up a better fence around your vegetable garden? Are the crows portending the death of someone in your house? Or are they migrating this time of year?
I have employed a few rules of thumb that might assist you:
- Unique & Unusual: When dealing with the animal kingdom, unique and unusual sightings tend to have a significance. When I saw a cow killer wasp walking down my front walk, I knew there was a magical message in its approach. I had live in Georgia all my life and never seen one before, even though research led me to understand that they are native to Georgia. It was walking as bold as you please up the middle of my front walk when I went to get the mail and I was barefoot. Its hairy red and black stripes warned even the bravest of souls that it had a stinger that would hurt you…. hence the name cow killer – a stinger that can bring a cow to die of pain. My life was in turmoil at the time from two different distinct sides. I studied all about cow killers and what they meant and applied those lessons to my life. I took action based on the emergence of the cow killer. Another day, I opened my red door to a preying mantis doing the love dance on my front step. It was in love with my door. I could never apply the preying mantis to anything that was happening in my life, but I cherish the memory of that preying mantis to this day. It may have had a significance I missed. However, it taught me that unique and unusual is important, but to be WooWoo, it must be applicable to my life at that moment.
- Frequency: When dealing with the animal kingdom, take into account frequency of sightings. Crows are plentiful in Georgia. If I see one, I don’t much take notice unless I see them at the same time every day in the same place doing the same thing. Then I have to apply that encounter to what is happening in my life and ask if what the crows were doing was significantly unique and unusual to warrant having any special meaning.
- Candles: The only question when dealing with candles is: where is the wind coming from? It is hard to believe that some message is being sent through a candle if noticeable air currents are impacting it.
- Pendulums: I don’t use or like pendulums because I feel like our subconscious mind can play too easily upon the outcomes of them. There are others who swear by them. They use pendulums regularly and hone the skill. They always ground and center before using the pendulum and they have a ritual of sorts that always accompanies the use of the pendulum.
- Divinatory Tools: Like the pendulum, tarot, runes, ogham and any other type of divinatory tool can be influenced by the subconscious mind or interpreted according to what someone wants the tool to say, not what the tool actually says. To combat this, going over the tool in deliberate way–for example, studying the runes, ogham or tarot deck one card at a time in a specific order–helps to solidify the meaning of the tools and better allows the reader to understand when they come up in a reading.
- Magic: When you do magic, you should not speak of it again until it has come to its completion. If you did a spell to get a job, you shouldn’t mention that spell until you get a job. Live life like the change you invoked has already happened. You live in a world already changed by the magic that was done. Keep it secret to keep it sacred.
Woowoo Scale 2.0
The scale below is a good visual for rating and dealing with your WooWoo.
A represents a low WooWoo happening that you choose to share quickly after meeting someone. “I am Wiccan” or “Pagan” might be in the A area.
B represents the high WooWoo that should take years to assimilate and requires a much better understanding of those you would share it with.
C represents moderate WooWoo that happens to you frequently, such as a feeling in the pit of your stomach that leads you to go a different way to work or being visited by an animal.
D represents a person who has high WooWoo level happenings all the time. If this is the case, then it is possible that mental evaluation should be undertaken.
E represents a frequent magical thing that happens but it isn’t unusual: for example, getting shocked and determining that was karmic retribution, or a candle that flickers when energy is applied to it.
F represents a very unique and unusual thing happening often. Again, if this is happening to you, consider mental evaluation.
G represents the normal, not very unique or unusual thing happening often in someone’s life.
H represents the unusual or unique thing happening infrequently in someone’s life, which would be considered the norm.
XX represents safe areas.