As a shopkeeper at The Sojourner Whole Earth Provisions, I am a merchant of spiritual, magickal and esoteric goods. Like most metaphysical shops, we also offer classes, and services such as Psychic Readings, energy healing and consultations of all kinds. There are no “Charlatans” here. We ensure that everyone who works through the shop is legitimately skilled and professional, ethical and responsible. We are also strict about charging a fair rate of pay for these services. Sadly, I’ve found that my high standards are the exception, and not the rule.
A Witch among “Christian” Charlatans
My ego-self fears I’ll be lumped in with the charlatans that are pervasive where I live. “Guilt by association” is a real concern when it comes to perception.
What I personally practice, is a Modern Witchcraft heavily influenced by European Wicca, and Reiki Energy Healing, heavily influenced by Asian philosophy. But the vast majority of what folks in this region are used to encountering are more like “faith healers” and “root doctors.” Some of them have quietly been doing good work out in the countryside for a long time. I take no issue with most of them.
However, I have a big problem with the ones who have the audacity to claim they are Christians, and usually go by the title of “Reverend,” “Sister,” or “Doctor” while they extort exorbitant fees from the poorest, most fear-bound, and most vulnerable people here, without any perceivable ethics beyond personal greed. If this sounds judgey, so be it, but if your sole intent is destroying your client’s enemy for the low, low price of $1200, even if you do so in the name of Jesus while reading bible passages, you are not a christian, you are a sociopath.
About twice a month I take a call from someone who has been bilked by one of these “christian” charlatans, or are the focus of their curses, because their entire lives have gone to shit ever since they dared to leave the church of one of these sociopaths, or date their daughters, etc.
Who do these poor, church-going folks call to magickally protect them from the ire of these wicked “Reverends?” The local pagan witch.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Magickal Aid with Ethical Parameters
I also work as a “psychic.” I offer tarot readings, past-life retrievals, healing and magickal workings, with some parameters: I will only work for the highest good of all involved, harming none.
You would be surprised how few folks will take you up on that kind of offer. It isn’t just the “reverends” working baneful magick against folks. I can’t even count how many customers have asked to hire *me* to smite their enemies for them. I should make a sign to hang out front that says “Smiting of Enemies NOT Offered Here,” but then I wouldn’t have the interesting conversations with those who come seeking <um> less than honorable services.
If you are the lovely latina maiden who comes to me with tears in her eyes to ask that your cheating, abusive thug of a boyfriend stop hurting you, to be bound to you, so that you can have him all to yourself for your happily-ever-after fantasy, I will gently say no, my love–we cannot override his free-will, and all that.
Instead, I will be that kindly older woman who says the hard things about defending your boundaries, and not allowing yourself to be his victim. Let me offer you healing, self-respect, and the strength to cut ties with your abuser. Young women in love don’t tend to like this advice.
If you are the fellow whose wife “worked a root” to make you impotent when she caught you cheating on her, no I will not help you reverse her magick. Female solidarity, dontcha know.
But my favorite request is if you ask for help to win a court case wherein you are actually guilty–and I mean, egregiously the “bad guy” who did unlawful assholish things. When I answer that I will only work for “justice to be done, so you better be sure you are the innocent one before you ask me to get involved” and that makes you go pale and start sputtering, it’s probably best we not entangle further.
Releasing the Flying MonkeysMind you, I’m no “love and light, let’s all just hug it out” kind of witch, either. Sometimes I am Karma’s little helper and I “release my flying monkeys,” because stopping assholery from harming society further needs to happen quickly. Aphrodite is my Goddess, and she will love you with both the kiss and the spanking, and I am happy to deliver both.
This means that I work for healing, justice, and balance. This should rightfully terrify wrong-doers. I’m willing to act as a magickal warrior defending our boundaries, like a law enforcement officer, or a social worker. This is how I do The Work, and become a strong link in the chainmaille of our society.
Karma is only a bitch if you are.
Karma (Sanskrit: कर्म; IPA: [ˈkərmə] Pali: kamma) Karma is a concept in Hinduism which explains causality through a system where beneficial effects are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful effects from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a soul’s reincarnated lives forming a cycle of rebirth.
Clearly, I’m not Hindu. I’m a panentheist from the western esoteric traditions and we have similar laws to describe metaphysical cause and effect. I see the entire universe as an interconnected body of Divinity. That body, like a great river, has movement with direction, a current of flow that my Anglo-Saxon ancestors called the wyrd, interpreted to mean “fate, personal destiny, or the process of coming to pass.” The wyrd is heading in the direction of both our collective and individual spiritual evolution. I understand this to be Highest Divine Will, and it, like Karma, is a system that brings balance and justice…eventually.
Spiritual adepts eventually discover that their true power is found in learning to navigate the river of wyrd rather than deny it. I have found all these things to be self-evident, so I do not waste my energies, or your money, attempting to fight the current. Resistance is so very futile.
I say all this because, in my opinion, the practitioners of other traditions who are profiting upon the fear of a lack of love within others, taking enormous payments while offering “100% guarantees” on their attempts to thwart karma or wyrd–are the charlatans. They are snake oil salesmen. Promising to get guilty people out of convictions, coerce people against their will, or to curse the enemies of strangers, has a whiff of sociopathy that I find distasteful and discouraging, alas.
While some days I feel like I’m in the snake oil business, most of the time I can find a way to contribute my own brand of authenticity to this witching industry. I offset fear with knowledge, by teaching classes openly. I find that a regular dose of blunt-force honesty tends to do the trick, too.
I live by my Four Rules of Witchcraft for Personal Sovereignty, and I dearly wish that more magickal practitioners would adopt similar codes of ethics. They are:
- Don’t burn the Witch
- Don’t be the Asshole.
- Don’t be the Weak Link.
- Must be Present to Win.
No, I won’t help you harm yourself, nor burn any other witch, nor will I even suggest that you “turn the other cheek,” because too often that makes us the weak link. I will happily help you to defend yourself against the assholes of the world, but if you want me to work magick on your behalf, you must be present to win, working in partnership with me, and taking responsibility for your actions to reclaim your power.
This is a tall order to fill, I’ll grant you, but I have sole discretion over which clients I choose; prove to me that you are deserving of that privilege. Then we’ll call upon a Divine Love so powerful that your spine will tingle; I promise you’ll get your money’s worth, and it’ll be authentic.
It won’t be easy, but that is how I love you: I expect great things.