My Thoughts on the Witch Craze

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Now that American Horror Story: Coven and Witches of East End have been out for awhile, this witch thinks it’s time to address what bothers me about these shows both as a fan and a practicing witch.

Both shows start on the premise that women suddenly come in to powers they didn’t know they had and have to be taught how to use them. They seem to start on that journey but then all of a sudden, they are just slinging spells all over the place and have no freaking clue what they’re doing or what the consequences will be. People die, come back to life, die again, come back as shades and don’t know what they are, portals to places get ripped open, and nobody seems to give a rat’s ass as they do these things. The “I found out I was a witch yesterday so now I’m gonna just do whatever” mentality bugs me because (ESPECIALLY in Coven because they are in what is supposed to be a school and made a big damn deal about what learning witchcraft would entail) there is so much drama going on in the background, it’s seemed to turn into a soap opera with magic.

This isn’t to say the shows aren’t enjoyable. I am hooked. I have to know what happens next. But if I think about how the shows started, I wonder where that plot line went and if they are ever going to bring it back. I enjoy wondering who The Supreme is (Coven) or who is in this other world full of witches (East End) but the character development the first few episodes promised never happened. So, how are these characters supposed to withstand the trials ahead when they’re just as woefully unprepared as they were in the first episode? Are they all of a sudden gonna level up to 9000 just to wrap up the plot? And it certainly doesn’t present a good view of real witches as flighty manipulators who reach for their spell books without thinking.

Now, I certainly didn’t expect anyone to hold hands and sing We Are The World or anything in these shows. There is nothing to watch if there isn’t any conflict. But part of this experience is to see the characters grow and change; and that includes some sort of actual teaching happening on camera. And none of that has happened yet. All the characters have some sort of deus ex machina-esque sudden knowledge of what they’re doing – and it’s rarely complete and frequently blows up in their faces.

As these shows go on, I would like to see some sort of training of the fledgling witches in these shows. It would showcase witchcraft as a CRAFT, a skill which must be honed and practiced, AND it would give the characters a chance to grow their powers through the plot instead of on the fly when its convenient. I don’t want Hogwarts, but I want these witches to learn SOMETHING.

See? Bookstores are dangerous for me…

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Yeeaahhh… I was left unattended in Barnes and Noble with a credit card… This is the result. Actually, this and a couple things for my kiddo for Easter/Ostara gifts, but still…  >_< *smoke wafts off debit card*

I regret nothing. “Ghost” was I comic I read in high school and while it may seem silly to others, she was a huge role-model for me.  Rediscovering her at this time in my life has to be fate. 🙂 As for the special edition “Death?” It’s Neil Gaiman. I’d read the phone book if he wrote it. :p

The Tarot and Trace books just looked cool. I’ve always wanted to expand what I can do with my tarot cards and any sort of spiritual advancement I’ll take. :p

This is about IT for me in regards to book shopping. I did a big shop last week when I took the demon seed to get pictures with the Easter Bunny and still haven’t finished all THOSE comics. Looks like reading isn’t my anti-drug, it IS my drug. XD

Pagan Blog Project – “S” for “Spell”

It’s usually the first question I get asked when I tell people I’m a Pagan Witch. “Do you cast spells?” Can it get annoying, sure. But it beats getting asked if I worship the devil.

The quick and dirty answer is, yes I cast spells. Many may think of this as a roughshod explanation but most of the time for me, spells are prayers with kickass props. Can I cast without props? Sure. I do it all the time. Quick thanks for a good day, guidance in a decision, safety when traveling, patience with my kid; anything that strikes me at the time.

I say it’s like prayer because a spell is just focusing your will and intent on a specific goal. And like prayer, it only works if YOU do. Go ahead, cast 100 weight loss spells. If you sit on your ass and eat gallons of ice cream for dinner, it won’t work. If you pray for a job yet never take an interview, it won’t work. It sets you up to go out and make your destiny. It gives you confidence and a sense of purpose. Something some of us sorely need.

Pagan Blog Post – Double “M” for “Money” and “Magic”

To make up for missing last week, this is a combination post.

In my practice, I have noted that force of will is the driving force behind everything I do; including magic. I do this for two reasons:

1. I feel it imbues a certain passion into my work.
2. It’s CHEAP!!

Like many Pagans, I have piles of books and reams of printouts of spells and various concoctions I would love to try, but some of the ingredients are so fricking expensive, I feel like part of being a practicing Pagan Witch necessitates winning the lottery or being a full time gardener. The closest I’ve come is saving up enough to buy a relatively inexpensive collection of herbs on Ebay. And even “relatively inexpensive” had me grateful for any OT I could get at work to make up for the cost. >_<

I understand someone has to make these materials and they should of course be compensated for their time and effort. But when you’re talking to your deities, who ever they are, I don’t think they really care if your athame cost you $20 or $200 or if you even just use your finger. Magic can’t always be about having The Stuff. It’s from within; borne from your intent. Making an herbal sachet or mojo bag quite obviously requires physical items but don’t go crazy. We all know money doesn’t grow on trees so go out and hug one instead. XD

Pagan Blog Project – “J” for “Jinx”

I’ve had friends and acquaintances come to me believing they’ve been jinxed; believing their run of bad luck is supernatural in origin and hope their friendly neighborhood witch can to something about it. They fill me in on the situation and are frequently are disappointed when I tell them they’re not jinxed; they’re repeating bad behaviors and wondering why it all turns out shitty.

“Lenni, can you cast a spell for me?”

Sure! I can cast all freakin day but if you don’t study? Your grades won’t improve. Guy broke your heart again? Stop messing with him. Perpetually out of money? Stop over-shopping. Tired of being fat? Take a freaking walk.

Of course there are always mitigating circumstances but on the whole, it seems people will jump on the supernatural explanation rather than look within and see what the root of the problem is. It may not be all “witchy” and “pagany” but it works. I do believe in a little magical help but I always combine it with good ole fashion hard work. And who knows? The application of my will towards change may be the transformative magic; not the spell. If not, it certainly can’t be said I didn’t have all by bases covered. 😉