Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Dilemma

Much Ado About Very Little Indeed. There are almost no available resources for Atheists who de-converted from Wicca (such as myself) What gives, Interwebs? Even Richard Dawkins' own organization, whom at one point produced a feature-length documentary debunking New-Age pseudo-spirituality, is strangely lacking Ex-Wiccans as a viable category of supporters. Surprising, given at one point it was said to be the fastest growing religion in America (come to think of it, I can't help but wonder if that was ever true.)

There's sure no lack of action for those of us who pulled proverbial bags over our heads and ran straight into the arms of Christianity, some of them even wrote (laughable) books about this. I don't know what to say, except that I feel lost. SURELY I can't be the only one out there who had just had enough bull-shit for one life-time.

And what am I supposed to do with all my old "stuff?"

There's a big plastic bin full of dried plants and shiny rocks, mysteriously no one I know who still "practices" wants anything to do with it. I used to wear a silver pentacle ring on my right hand, I gave it to a good friend who has been having some hard times: All it seemed to do was confuse him. I had a stack of candles and holders that seemed to vanish rather quickly when offered to needy non-pagan friends, but I still have my statues. THOSE were expensive, I suppose I could keep them as Art, but there are just too many memories of sky-clad wishes and rituals that never came to fruition. They're just pretty pieces of brass, wood and rock.

I am, however, keeping a small selection of my old books purely for reference. I think there are some serious lessons to be learned from my myth-adventures, the rest are at the bottom of the plastic bin in my room.

But I'm keeping my seashell collection, dammit. I worked hard to find all of those.

This just isn't me anymore. I still love to walk through forests and along rivers, but now I have a different kind of appreciation for them as what they are instead of what they might be able to do for me. The trees are living organisms that amaze in their own way, who cares what might (not) happen if I set a small piece on fire in an incense for Isis. My dreams have always been vivid and full of emotion, not messages from dead pets: If the dead COULD talk, they'd have better things to tell us than 'just saying hi.' A winning lotto ticket would be lovely, is that somehow asking too much? Is "The Universe" afraid of what I might spend that money on?

And this is kinda the problem: Wicca, Astrology and other commonly cherished New-Age ideas aren't so much dangerous as they are "cosmically Immature" (you like that? I came up with it) The odds of seeing anybody blow up a clinic or assassinate a political figure because Brighid told them to are relatively slim, but violence aside it's just as asinine. Why are you gathering your friends in the woods to walk around a camp-fire in the hope of "manifesting change" when a good sit-down with them at a coffee shop or perhaps even casting your vote can just as easily (and more likely) accomplish the very change you are probably hoping for?

While you were probably 'sending positive energy into the Universe' or reading The Secret wishing that things will go your way if you just pretend hard enough, a convoy full of Soldiers just got blown up in Afghanistan. This is not pretend, it's quite real. I've served alongside Christians, Wiccans and Atheists alike: Roadside bombs don't care what flavor Kool-Aid you prefer to drink, the result is the same regardless. When I was in Iraq, I had often pondered what a conversation with a so-called Medium would be like if s/he had been right there beside me for the entire year. If this person's abilities were genuine, if the dead could indeed show themselves and talk to us, of all situations a Combat-Zone seems the most appropriate: Thousands of men and women who were thinking about, just as well probably praying for, their families and loved ones back home lost at the press of a button. Maybe, if they were very lucky, they'll have their names carved into a piece of stone at Arlington to be lost among the great many "occupants" before them.

BOOM! I'm dead! Well, fuck. I'll never see my family or my kids again! Now what do I do for all eternity? I know, I'll go make objects move...

Doesn't it also seem just a little bit silly that none of these modern-day-mages has been successfully able to raise a corpse or cast something vaguely resembling Magic-Missile? If they could, we would have won both wars a long damn time ago. Or maybe we would have lost anyway, depending on when "the Power of Prayer" decided to kick in. Thy-Will-Be-Done rarely seems to enter the minds of those whose squad-mates have just been annihilated in battle, does it? If magic and prayer were real, why does war still happen? Why do otherwise good people continue to suffer while seemingly bad ones prosper? You'd think, if anyone could effectively fix such human issues, it'd be a witch or a wizard.

No Dice, not even a D20.

That's just life, if any mystical forces or beings DID exist they'd have never left us in the first place. Conjuring faeries and angels to fix your problems is on the same level of delusional as speaking in tongues, you'd be much better off simply confronting your asshole boss or changing what you eat than lighting certain colored candles. Flowers and mountains are still fucking awesome and continue to be as such without spirits or gods dwelling within or around them, why spend this one existence asking them for favors when we know they can't answer us?

It's quite literally talking to a rock. 

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