6 Minutes of Witchcraft: Gatekeeping & Goalies

6 Minutes of Witchcraft: Gatekeeping & Goalies April 12, 2019

The last several weeks have been a whirlwind – from heading to Minnesota for Paganicon which was followed by weeklong trip to New England to do house-hunting.  Which means we have entered the scary and stressful process known as first-time homebuying + crosscountry move.  So it’s been a while since I had the energy and inspiration to do a video, but this week things have evened out a wee bit.  Hurray!

A couple of things about the video – I derped near the end of the video and got frustrated trimming it, so it ends a bit abruptly without a formal goodbye. Oh well.  Of course, there are more things I wanted to cover in the video/go into more depth about, so check below the video for more discussion after you finish watching.

Ok, here are some links to blog posts discussing gatekeeping that I think are worth a read:
The Nephilim Rising: Gatekeepers Be Gone!
Owl in the Oak – In Defense of Gatekeeping 
– Also, I know Devin Hunter/The Modern Witch Podcast just put up an episode on the topic, but I haven’t had a chance to listen yet.

Main points I want to emphasize:
– Words have different meanings to different people, and especially nowadays the cultural touchpoints/references move fast too.  Before you jump in on someone, gain the perspective to see where they are coming from, so you know whether you’re both on the same page, or totally different books.  Because I can say “gatekeeping” and one person will know it in the context of people who try to block others from gaining entry or insight because they deem them unworthy because of gender/skin color/sexuality/etc.  For others, it means protecting certain paths/traditions/mysteries from being appropriated/misused/violated by others – which is more like being a custodian, docent, or caretaker.

A little more about the origins of gatekeeping as a social term can be found here.  Also here in terms of social justice/awareness.

Photo by Nikola Knezevic on Unsplash

– What I wanted to mention about the poking fun part is that I see a lot of that stemming from insecurity, which makes sense.  Especially when a fair amount of people sharing these memes and sentiments are barely out of the gate themselves.  Like congratulations, you discovered Witchcraft 2 years ago – that doesn’t give you any superiority over someone else’s path or a place to judge them from.  We ALL start somewhere, time doesn’t make anyone special. Have some freaking compassion, even if you want to roll your eyes.

– Yes I understand being frustrated about the thing you love or that you’re into is being done by people you don’t know/don’t like/don’t approve of and you think that they are doing it wrong. That’s natural.  But don’t be a jerk about it.  If you really care and want to see change, then do something about it by offering advice vs. being a judgmental asshole.

– Gatekeeping is nothing new.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard “She just saw The Craft and now she thinks she’s a Witch” in the 90’s, I could buy a giant antique cauldron and all of the fixings for a feast to make in it. Really, I don’t care what got someone interested in Witchcraft, if they gained some understanding in the process.

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

– Lastly, to wrap up what I was saying about “thinking someone’s a Witch.”  Nobody likes it when a family member, friend, neighbor, or random person who doesn’t know you says “They think they’re a Witch.”  It’s demeaning and shows they don’t support/understand/acknowledge/respect your path.  That shit hurts.  Yes, despite how much more visible and accepted Witchcraft is right now, there is still a HUGE section of society that doesn’t get it. You don’t what doesn’t make it better?  Using that same lame-ass mentality on others.  And when you’re sharing that stuff in public, you’re enforcing the same mentality on others who don’t have an ounce of understanding what the difference is or why you feel that way. So stop propagating it FFS.

Also, I should probably talk more about hockey and Witchcraft in the future.

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