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.
I’ve always been reticent to really chat with other Pagans about what I believe and how I practice. This is usually because I’m very different from most practicing Pagans or Witches. Hell, even saying “Yes, I’m a witch” gets me funny looks from Pagans and comments like “You shouldn’t say that.”
You’d think a bunch a tree hugging dirt worshipers would be a little more open to how individuals practice. Every so often, you’ll see posts in major Pagan blogs about how Pagans need to be more understanding of one another and that trying to get a consensus of what we all believe is a kin to herding cats. While I believe there is strength in that lack of uniformity, but a little more understanding of that very lack of uniformity would go miles towards a greater sense of community despite all our differences. Then perhaps wouldn’t be so hesitant to talk to people who share my brand of faith.
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
I absolutely believe when you prepare food (or anything) with your own hands, you impart some of your thoughts and energy into what is being prepared. Being a busy lady, I don’t have the time to impart such energy into every meal. Its usually Throw-Peanut-Butter-On-The-Bread-And-Get-The-Fuck-To-Work in the mornings and dinner is started right when I walk in the door from work. But on holidays like Samhain and Yule, I am very deliberate and careful with what I put into the meals I prepare. I reflect on what the sacred day means for me and my family and what I hope for the coming year.
I also do this when I prepare meals for any sick family members. You wouldn’t believe a simple can of chicken broth can be turned into a magical elixir for the ultimate destruction of the common cold, but with the love from her mama, my 4 year old believes it is. 🙂
It’s also very therapeutic to be mindful of the preparation of your food. It’s comforting to be IN the moment, not dicing onions while screaming at someone or watching tv. It gives the mind focus and makes me much more aware of what I’m putting in my food.
Also? I hardly ever measure. I do everything by how the food smells, tastes, or feels. This is very annoying for people who taste my food and want to know how I made it. I just stare at them blankly and babble “Really, I have no idea.”
Because it’s magical. 😉