Monday, June 27, 2016

Maybe we should let the witches out of the dungeons, after 600 years?

Last week I saw an interesting article on what makes a witch a witch, "Forging the Body of a Witch," by Peter Grey. Written in the language of a true bard, this essay is packed with rich language, complex sentence structures, and a turn of phrase that brings powerful images to the mind and heart. It was a fascinating read.

After getting past the prettiness of the words, though, I started thinking about what he was saying, and it really started to bother me.

First he was saying witches are basically broken:
My proposition is that witches are un-made by the social process, by the constrictions that distort the body of desire and are played out in a landscape of lost dreams. Witches are not only born and made, they are undone. They retreat, out of fear and out of necessity.
And the cures he suggests? Don't be fat. Move more, don't be still, society tells you to be still, but the witch's body moves (but later he says you have to be still, but it's different when he says it, because then you're tied up). Have you tried vitamins? Herbs? Be more sexual, sexually liberated, but really, it's women that need to hear that:
To celebrate the erotic furor that has always been condemned as witchcraft and that characterises female sexuality and female sexual response in particular. That is not fetishising the female but stating corporeal and historical matters of fact. Jouissance in the sense of Cixous, rather than Lacan, is the essence of witchcraft. Men can also learn these skills, though that is less common because for the most part, they do not need to.
Note he says he isn't fetishizing the female, but then he goes on to say that an active actual witch is someone who is thin, fit, lithe, erotic, and into BDSM for the spiritual aspects of it, really.

Any resemblance to an adolescent male's ideal sex slave who is somehow empowered by her submission and embrace of the icons of actual slavery is entirely coincidental, I'm sure.

And he goes on to talk about how witchcraft of this type was, after all, the product of the dungeon. The mythos, the cosmology, the entire foundation was based on a warping of the idea of the Sabbatic Goat, an idea that was created in the minds of sexually repressed Christian torturers, who then broke the bodies of women, with penetration and blood, and bondage, and pain, until the women adopted the fantasies of these psychotic men as their own, their broken psyches longing for the release of the flames.

And this is the mythos he suggests we embrace, including the methodologies. A return to a thing that never was, the adoption of a view of female sexuality that was foisted on them by men with red hot irons, who tortured, maimed, and finally killed those whose intelligence and psyches they had shattered.

I don't see how that witch is a model for today's women. Embracing an ideal that never was? That happens to be a sex slave, or sure looks like one?

I think today's witches can do better.

What if your power as a witch had nothing to do with how you look, how you fuck, or don't fuck, whether you believe new age theories of the vital importance of vitamins and herbal supplements, and whether or not you want to be tied up and spanked to enlightenment?

What if your power wasn't measured according to a standard of a 14-year-old male's ideal submissive bound sex toy? What if...

And this is kind of wild, I know...

What if you're actually already powerful?

Regardless of your body type, if you can achieve an orgasm when you want to, what if that was ok, and there's no need for you to subscribe to a narrative of innate brokenness that can only be redeemed and healed through pain? What if you weren't really robbed of a childhood of innocence and bliss and purity because it never existed?

What if you're actually fine, but you're just tired because life can be hard sometimes?


Hermetics teaches that we already have the power to do what we will, we just forget because we get distracted. Remembering that is the point of the Work. You don't have to lose weight, take magnesium or witchy herbs, or be a nymphomaniac spewing crotch fluids on everything in sight to prove you're a strong independent human who don't need no other human, even though you're trying to live up to (usually) his standards anyway.

You're already powerful. You can change your entire life today, by making different choices. Where you work, who you work with, your career path, whatever. You can go to another country. You can leave the family and friends you've had all your life and go on an adventure. You can join a coven, take up new forms of magic, write a book, start a blog, volunteer in a political campaign, start a stand-up comedian career, clean out your basement, or order an amazing pizza. You have the power to change your entire world, every day, and the experiences you have in that day.

And you can use spells and rituals and curses and hexes and blessings and sabbats and equinoxes and solstices and community and politics and whatever you feel like to aid in that, by sitting still, or moving, as you see fit, when you see fit, as you see fit, regardless of whether anyone else sees your work as fit.

You can do other things with that mind of yours walking around in that body of yours, you powerful witch you, and it's the doing of other things that makes a difference.

So yea, if Peter's article speaks to you where you're at, and you found something valuable in it that you want to pursue because it's actually what you want, then great. You have the power to become a lean mean vitamin chewing herb taking BDSM scene queen machine, if you want that, and more power to you if you find what you're looking for in that path.

But your power isn't about your sex. It's about what you do with yourself.

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