There has been a disturbing trend occurring with the rise in popularity of magick and witchcraft, I’m calling it Munchausen Magick Syndrome. Many are familiar with the Munchausen medical diagnosis, according to WebMD “Munchausen syndrome is a factitious disorder, a mental disorder in which a person repeatedly and deliberately acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he or she is not really sick.” I have observed a magickal disorder that is similar to this, it is when people attribute absolutely everything to magick, theirs or someone else’s. Most often I have seen this occur with newly formed Witches. They begin to explore their magickal power, and have trouble defining its boundaries. Boundaries are vital, both in the visible and invisible world.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in Magick. It is a powerful and transformative tool that can allow you to do just about anything. But the first question is, what is the cost ? My whole life I have loved the song Pennies From Heaven. It tells us there is a benefit to the down side of things because it brings the sunshine. The downside to Munchausen Magick Syndrome is you neglect to see the balance of life in an attempt at omnipotence, or alternatively powerlessness. Everything affects everything else. Science has called this the Butterfly Effect. Actions have consequences and this definitely holds true for the magickal world. You might be able to magickally stop the rain, but what will you do when the plants, animals, and ultimately people suffer.
I recently did an interview with author Devin Hunter. It will probably release sometime next week, but please follow my author page for more information. To paraphrase he asked me what I thought in the practices of African Traditional Religion (Vodou, Voodoo, Santeria, etc.) could be a benefit to other forms of magickal practice and Witchcraft. My response what that these religions have tests and trials associated with the practices. For example when people appear to be possessed and manifesting a divine energy they perform superhuman feats- eat glass, speak in languages they have never spoken, walk on fire and the like. This proves the power of both the individual and the energy that is coming through. It gives us a glimpse of the Gods. I was happy when Mr. Hunter told me that in his tradition tests are also required and present. These can validate a person’s ability quite definitively. One of the things I teach my students is to perform daily divination about mundane things like “is it going to rain on me?” or ” Will I get a message from X today?” These routine exercises will help you gage your own abilities and work on methods of strengthening them . I probably could have titled this post Unpopular Opinions, but I’ve written a few of those already, but I’m sure some people will find these words off-putting. It’s just my two cents …. based on a lifetime of magickal practice, teaching, personal and professional study.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter in the comments below. And as always if you have enjoyed what you read here please do me a favor and like, comment and share.