« And this is what comes from dabbling; I mean you can’t practice witchcraft while you look down your nose at it. » – Aunt Jet Owens, Practical Magic.
I’ve been quiet, of late, mainly because I’ve been thinking long and hard about the direction I want to go into with my Witchcraft, only to realize that it’s been 8 years since I’ve practiced more than sporadically.
I mean, I’ve read books, articles and blogs, and I’ve ritualized and done other practices with community, whether at festivals or with our Kindred. But there has been no regular practices of any sort. There have been half-attempts at planning some more practice that have failed. There was even an attempt at joining a group, which I left when I realized some of their ethical guidelines were from Charmed, of all places.
And no, I am not considering deciding that ethical laws coming from a TV show for teens and young adults counts as looking down at the craft. In fact, quite the contrary, since, well, why in the world would you do that?
What I do count is the discounting of meditative practices, and usage of techniques and tools that, while they have served me well in the past, I am now deciding are too New Age-y, or « not serious enough », for, well, reasons… Reasons that aren’t even all that clear to me.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still think people are very wrong to see certain beings as nothing more than cute little allies with butterfly or dragonfly wings that are mostly inoffensive tricksters, which is rampant in the French Canadian Neo-Pagan witchcraft movement. Which, yikes, use caution, people! There are rules to dealing with the Fair Folk, and heavy prices to pay when not following those rules.
And what isn’t serious about working at bettering yourself daily, exactly? Witchcraft is a thing you do, if you don’t practice it, what are you doing, exactly?
So I’ve decided to put myself through the paces and to work my way through Penczak’s Temple of Witchcraft book series. And none of that « Well, I’ll skip this part/exercise/homework, because I already know that stuff. » It’s been 8 years since I regularly practiced. I have to do it all, even if I breeze through some sections, because learning and practicing those particular ones is easy because I haven’t completely lost my touch.
The only thing holding me back from actually registering for their online learning program is that after my experiences with my former Wiccan tradition and the ADF, I am iffy of large organizations, as opposed to small groups. But we’ll see if I still sing that tune when registration opens in the fall. If I change my tune, maybe I’ll register. I know I have to work through trust issues, and this isn’t something I can fully work on unless I do join up, don’t worry.
I’m also the type of person who feels like she isn’t doing this to constantly flatter egos and kiss people’s ass for favours, and that’s been a big part of the issues I’ve run into with previous large groups. I tend to ruffle feathers, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you have a HPs or a Mother Grove that doesn’t take kindly to being challenged over the bullshit they do or say, even if the challenging isn’t all that aggressive and rude, at least, to begin with, well, that is where we run into problems. I know there are groups, traditions and temples that would welcome someone like me with open arms, but those are few and far between, and I’m only bound to get « worse » with age.
Side-note because I’ve now quoted the movie and inserted two pictures, yes, I absolutely love Practical Magic. I still don’t take it more seriously than it needs to be, in my practice. There are good lessons, but come on! Who raises the dead, nowadays?