Since sometime last week I have been fighting some kind of flu or virus that has fogged my brain, congested my sinuses, plagued me with nausea, given me fever chills, and supplied me with muscle aches. My brain is finally emerging from the fog slowly, and my fully lucid moments are long enough to be able to write something that maintains coherency for more than a few sentences. Before I got sick I hurt my back. Last night I believe I managed to fracture my big toe. I didn’t want to get up this morning for fear of what the day would bring, besides piles of work to catch up on.
My brain doesn’t have much of a filter on it normally, and when I get sick it all goes away. Whatever I think comes out of my mouth before I have a chance to examine it. My sister used to like to call and talk to me when I’m sick because she thought I was hilarious, cussing everyone and everything in the angerless loopyness a fogged brain will give you. So I have been mostly quiet here.
As a Witch, as a magician, as someone who takes a pretty level-headed approach to “woo,” it has crossed my mind that maybe I have a case of the astral nasties. Maybe even some astral nasties flung in my direction by some poo-flinging monkey. A part of my brain thinks the notion is ridiculous. As if the foundation of psychological motivations behind such concepts as the Evil Eye are not still valid. As if I am somehow better and more evolved than my ancestors and their traditions. I, who can neither butcher a hog nor build an iPhone.
I believe we should have scholarly, serious, more theologically complex Pagan traditions. I yearn for it. I read, enjoy and generally soak up the work of the marvelous academics in our communities. It’s good stuff. But I also believe in “woo.” In gods that appear to us and instruct us to build temples to them. In the Evil Eye. In the time proven notion that with a bit of devotion and gratitude the Parking Witch will find me a good spot near the grocery store entrance.
Because my big toe really freaking hurts right now, and I’m all congested and feeling nasty, and I’m trying to be easy on my back so I don’t re-injure it. I’m liable to cuss you out without even being angry at you. So, silly as it may seem, I’m going to take steps to protect myself from astral poo. Pray a little, and conjure a bit. Maybe I’m just having my natural share of bad luck come in one dose rather than spaced out, or maybe I have a problem that can be solved by some “woo.”
Regardless, while my filters are absent, I want to make one statement regarding the recent kerfuffle over “woo.”
I don’t think anyone is upset that people are looking down their noses at “woo” anymore than people are upset that people are trying to build religious institutions or that people are brewing up love spells in the kitchen. We’re upset because we’re all running around calling ourselves Pagans as if we have anything in common. We all know Pagan is a meaningless word, it’s why we use it. Just like the Hindu’s use the word Hindu even though it essentially has no meaning for their many religions. But we all run around calling ourselves Pagans and making stupid, broad statements like “Pagans don’t talk about the nature of the gods” and keep assuming we practice the same religion and get angry at each other when that is over and over again proven untrue.
When the hell are the gods going to smash this tower of Babel so we can get on with the real business of our spiritual lives? So the poetic, naturalistic atheists can go their way, and the ceremonial magicians get their own groove on, and the devout, reviving polytheists can go do their thing, and all the eclectic, ecstatic, folk magic people go do theirs? Without us getting up in each others face all the time?
Let me know when you figure that out. I’m going to hobble into the kitchen to get coffee, take some ibuprofen and conjure against the Evil Eye.