Clean Up, Aisle Three . . .

It’s been a stormy day here in The Bad Witch’s town and I’m a little late at getting to my post. It seems that whenever it storms, it storms. Know what I mean?

Now, I know I don’t tell you the details of my work like some bloggers do.[1] Some of y’all post photos of your altars and your tools and some of you give scripts for your rituals and some of you report your supplications verbatim. I love you for it. But it just never occurs to me to talk about the specifics of my practice (though I have). Theory, sure. I’ll go on and on all day about what I do and don’t venerate in The Star Ruby and how I tackle “O, Phalle!” (And why I feel the need to rewrite everything I was taught after 2002.) But it doesn’t occur to me to be really detailed. Until today that is.

Let me step back for a minute and give you a few background notes that you’ll need to follow this story through.

Most of my referrals are Christian women – Southern Baptist Convention to be exact. Some are Catholic, but not enough to speak of.[2] I’m always amused that women who were raised to believe that Pentecostal “speaking-in-tongues” lay somewhere between mass-hypnosis and demonic possession are the first to call on an Occultist when thing get out of their Preacherman’s reach. But, Lawd! Don’t tell nobody!

My discretion, my banal appearance, and my knowledge of Scripture (and ways of showing that Jesus approves of “what we do here today”) make me very popular among the polyester peplum crowd.

Oh, and my effectiveness. That too.

Most of those who call me want me to help out with things for which they are simply unwilling to pay a psychologist or a lawyer. So, I advise them and give them whatever placebo they think they need – and ultimately leave them with the business card of a local psychologist or a lawyer. No charge.

But every once in a while there’s something real that needs handling.

This was the case with a woman I helped with a “house issue” a few years back. (It’s The South; we don’t say “haunting” or “spiritual disturbance” or “demonic” anything – it’s a “house issue.”) Back then, she just had a “bad feeling about the place.” It is a huge old farmhouse in a little-bitty town the next county over. It had been her rents-in-law’s place, they had given it to their son, he had married her – we’ll call her Estelle, and she and her husband had lived there for thirty years until he died – a few months before “the issue” began.

She’d had her minister come out and “bless” the house a little after the funeral. Not only did things not improve, they deteriorated. She reported an increasing sense of dread, particularly in certain areas of the house, things would inexplicably break – not always precipitated by a fall, her children and grandchildren reported disembodied voices and vague apparitions: typical stuff. Estelle’s granddaughter is a local (very young, insanely successful) businesswoman with whom I have a friendly working relationship. One day while conducting business, she pointed at my pendant, “Do you do things for other people?”[3]

That’s how that happened.

This morning, Estelle’s daughter, we’ll call her Sally, phoned me and asked me to “help out” as she believed she may have been (in a whispered undertone) “cursed.” After a lengthy conversation I surmised the following. Sally knows this woman – um, Veronica – who, Sally feels, has some sort of “black magic” power over her. I tried all of the standard, “Are you giving Veronica power over you,” examination only to discover that this was indeed, a real deal. I won’t spin too much energy on telling what’s the specific what –as I don’t want to feed it. But I feel like I can offhandedly tell you this much: Sally has always been a bit competitive with Veronica; they went to high school together, they fought over boys together, eventually they fought over husbands, etc. Veronica always seemed to end up on top and it seemed, to Sally, that it was always at Sally’s expense. Sally has taken to calling Veronica “The Evil Bitch” as a proper noun in everyday conversation. Obvs there’s more to it – but that’ll do for now, no? Now, Sally believes that a series of very unlikely events have been directly caused by The Evil Bitch. After a series of discoveries I found that, “Yes, The Evil Bitch is doing these things,” and, “No, Veronica is not doing these things.” Everything pointed to Veronica being fairly detached from and disinterested in Sally and, well, to be honest, utterly benign. The Evil Bitch on the other hand was – well – an evil bitch. I scratched my head for a minute.

If you have been through this kind of thing before, I beg you – don’t tease me that it took me a minute to figure out WTF was happening. I’m not new at handling my own, um, “demons,” but, despite having left a stack of doctor and lawyer’s business cards about town, I haven’t handled more than a half-dozen real issues for other folks (aside from family – they count as my own demons[4]). Most of these have been fairly run-of-the mill.

When it occurred to me, it occurred to me hard.

Sally has put so much energy into developing the The Evil Bitch character – in frighteningly intentional ways – that she created a fecking thoughtform – not just a larva or gooey astral pest – one strong enough to actually do things. It wears Veronica’s face because that’s how Sally created it. It looks – for all intents and purposes – that Veronica is doing the damage because Sally created The Evil Bitch to pass for Veronica. It soothes Sally’s psyche to believe that Veronica is “out to get her” and it creates a much needed villain for Sally and her catty girlfriends. (Not unlike Batman, hmmm.) But, having poured that much energy into an energy being, giving it a name, giving it a purpose, no shit – giving it instructions. (I kid you not; sometimes I just want to shake people.) And, of course, because Sally is not a trained Magician who knows better, the damned thing has no death date or means of constraint. Fun, huh? I can dismantle the thing – getting Sally to let go will be the hardest part – but it won’t be cool. And I’ll still need to leave her with a card for the local psychiatrist.

Here’s my parting thoughts on this. I know that there are people tossing energy around all the time; I know that, often, this causes manifestations. I know that “normal” folks “work magic” all the time. None of that is a surprise to me, nor should it be to you.

I am called to mind of a conversation – what? Three years ago? – I had with someone who purported to be a hard-core Magical practitioner. In the context of a profound conversation, I asked about his/her thoughts on egregores, servitors, and elementals. S/he said that s/he “observed the elementals” and that s/he had “many servitors” and that “some of them don’t even know [that they are his/her servitors].” More head scratching.[5]

I only tell you this because I use this instance to remind myself that not everyone is on the same page when it comes to genuine Magical practice. But, like I also said – everyday-folks toss energy into the aether and get appropriate manifestations. But does that mean that they are “doing Magic”?

I’m not saying that they aren’t – this is a sincere question. Is what Sally did “Magic”? Sure, it’s akin to what Magicians do on purpose; does the fact that she did it unknowingly and ill-advisedly make it “not Magic”? Is it about “intent” again?

If so, then is what the aforementioned Self-proclaimed Magical Practitioner (SMP) does really “Magic”? Or is it “Just the way the universe works”? S/he has intent – just not knowhow. Does the fact that s/he doesn’t understand the theory behind it – or even have the language to discuss it competently – make it “not Magic”?

We Magicians like to be imperious[6] and it pisses some of us off just a little when those we perceive to be our intellectual inferiors “stumble onto” our playingfield. And we might even like to say, “Sure, it’s magic; but Sally had to call a real exorcist to sniff out and take care of The Evil Bitch.” Or, “Sure, it’s Magic; but SMP would be laughed out of any conversation with self-respecting Magicians and prolly wouldn’t be able to control his/her thoughtforms once created.”

But, then again . . .

 

Whatcha think?

Blessings, Quarks, 93,

The Bad Witch

 


[1] I figure that just because I don’t tell you about what I cook every night doesn’t mean that you assume my family starves, or because I don’t tell you about social life you think I’m a hermit or a pariah, or because I don’t tell you about my BMs you assume I have a toxic colon, or because I don’t tell you about my sex life you think I’m celibate (or a prude). I figure y’all have enough sense to know my life is bigger than this page – and I appreciate that about you. Likewise, I figure that just because I don’t tell you the specifics of my training and practice schedule doesn’t mean you should assume I don’t have one. I am a Witch after all.

[2] Anyway, Southern Catholicism is more like Northern Baptistery than it is like anything in my experience with The Roman Catholic Church.

[3] I always feel like I look a little like the late Zelda Rubinstein when I first talk to someone. I can’t shake the feeling that I am 4’3” and my hair won’t stay tied up.

[4] Remind me to tell you about my Momma’s china cabinet and my (adult) nephew’s garbage can monster. *Hand on head.*

[5] Servitors, just for the record, are not human beings that one manipulates into doing our bidding without their consent. Those are called “victims.”

[6] Admit it.

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16 thoughts on “Clean Up, Aisle Three . . .

  1. There is a movie coming out, soon, that is this exact “question”. The title is; The Apparition. And it intrigues me only so far. I know that it is possible for the “mundane/muggle” to create/call an entity into existence, and then not be intelligent enough to know what to do next. That is precisely how I became a Witch. PFM, Baby. Pure Fuc*n Magic. I scared myself so badly that I picked up every book and learning tool that I could procure, just so that I would not make the same mistake again.

    Yes, she had to come to a real working Witch to get rid of her creation. But she, in fact, did create it. Perhaps Sally just needs a nudge in the appropriate direction; for knowledge sake, and the ability to know when to NOT do something…

    • Hot, damn, girl. You are my kind of Bad Witch – you fall in a pothole, get out, and make sure you post a warning sign so others steer clear.

      BTW – can I steal “PFM”? I will footnote you in one of my (in)famously numerous footnotes. I kinda loves it. A lot.

      I agree with what you say but then really want to ask if there is a difference between magic and Magic. Is it a different thing if you can control it?

      Is it anything at all like owning a dog and training a dog? (That’s a bad metaphor but it’s the best I’ve got right now.)

      Google-ing the movie, BTW . . .

  2. I was trying to outgrow being imperious, Sister; not so sure I am ready to transcend self-deification just yet, though.

    I headed off something similar once, as a colleague came to us with the start of a storm brewing, and I put pi and Jung together and exposed it as Shadow misbehavior.

    I’m with you on limiting the public airing of specifics (hark unto Harpocrates! Tacere ! STFU!). Too many of mine make me sound utterly bug-nuts, anyway.

      • If it is too early, you should do it anyway, just like eating dessert first sometimes because life is uncertain 😉 That way, you get me to admit being equally a fan of yours.

        I have two good servitor stories, but one makes me sound way too woo-woo, and the other would get me classed among Teh Eebil Mages by many commentators. So I’ll save them until they can be told around a campfire or equivalent.

  3. I’m getting some good feedback on other social media. Here’s some:

    AR: I think everyone has the power to do magick without knowing it. We know all things are made up of energy. Is not magick the manipulation of that energy? They may not know how or why or even the theory behind what they are doing but they are using magick none the less. Those are just this witch’s two cents. BB!
    TBW:I think that too – but I wonder if it’s “Magic” magic or if it’s just the universe being the universe. What, then makes “us” different from “them”?
    AR: I think there really is no us and them. Everyone could be a witch if they wanted to be. Most people manipulate power without even knowing it. I think the answer to your question is simple: The universe is magick and magick is the universe. Without one, there couldn’t be the other. IMO

    MS: I would say that everyone has the potential to manipulate energies both for desired and unexpected results; however, the art of using magick as a means to that end is to utilize a specific tool to accomplish one’s desires. In other words, while the energies may be the same, the approach to access those energies is different for different practitioners. Therefore, one who absentmindedly “makes things happen” would not be the same as one who actively uses magick for manifestation.
    TBW: That’s what I was thinking. But it’s still there, right? She still did it. I wouldn’t consider it “real” Magic – but I often wonder if that makes me a snob.
    MS: I think it might come down to semantics for some. Some people see no difference between magick and energies. That’s fine. For me, the distinction is in what it takes to create and execute a magical operation/ritual. Magick is the process. The result is how the energy was used and/or directed. If the practitioner doesn’t know that they are manipulating energies, then how can it be magick?
    TBW: Ahhh. Point to be considered.

    AW: From my “quantum reality” perspective, the operative term is “Intent”. I consider Magick to be an Intentional act of creating change. Change in observed reality caused by conscious or sub-conscious wish and desire, without thought out Purpose and well planned Intent is not Magick. It’s more like “Be careful what you want, it might want You.”

  4. I happen to agree with you…It’s sorta like letting a little kid drive a car…sure they can do it, but do you really want them to and wanna hafta pick up the pieces afterwards…

    Magic(k), High, Low or in-Between IS all about intent. That’s what makes it work…

  5. I tend to agree that anyone can manipulate energy and create things; but those of us who do magic do it with intent so that makes it different. In my mind it’s like cooking: everyone can take the same vegetables and spices and make a curry, if you want to eat that curry or not might depend on a little bit of luck and who did the cooking. Some people cook well enough to get by and some people are chefs. Everyone can learn it: but some folks do it more readily or have more natural inclinations than others.

    For me, I always was having strange things happen to me. For a long time I think I did the same thing this girl did: even though I was a witch. My grandma is kind of like that, and she would tell me what I did all the time, but she’s not any kind of magical practitioner – on the other hand she fell heavy into the new age in the 1970s and she knows how the universe works. She taught me I have to control myself pretty much.

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