Witches and warlocks are a diverse bunch. We like to study arcane magical practices, talk to spirits, and cast spells and none of us will bat an eyelash. But it seems that once someone decides to try something new then suddenly the conversation moves from one of exploration and magic to one of condemnation in order to discredit this new practice, most often without having bothered to test it first.
All this tells me is that maybe some among us lack imagination! I was always of the mindset that witches and warlocks dream into being new ways of doing things. When someone says, “Well, I don’t believe this can be done” all they are telling me is that THEY can’t conceive of how it can be done. They’ve basically given the Pagan equivalent of “because the Bible says so.”
“Perceve first, then determine what is to be believed,” is an often-quoted statement from the late Faery Grandmaster Victor Anderson. I have taken this sentiment to heart. Where others say, “It can’t be done” I say, “Let’s figure out how.”
I was once of the belief that things like Faery training or Reiki attunements had to be done “in person”. I mean, it just makes sense, right? That was until I had some personal experiences that proved to me otherwise. So I changed my beliefs based on this new information. That’s really the only logical thing to do. If I were to stay stuck in my old belief system even though I was being given new information that contradicted it then I would be a fool. But I see this happening a lot in the Pagan community. It saddens me in the same way that it saddens me when people believe in Creationism just because “the Bible says so”.
Here I have briefly addressed the argument that these things “can’t” be done… but even more often do I hear that they “shouldn’t,” usually because the person asserting such believes (!) that to do so is somehow “disrespectful”.
Honestly, this argument holds no water. It’s s straw man set up to hide one’s prejudice. They believe that it is “disrespectful” simply because it is different than how they were taught and this makes them suspicious… perhaps in the same way that people were suspicious of the idea of the earth revolving around the sun, or of germs causing disease, or evolution, or antibiotics; it really just shows how innovation is met with closed-minded suspicion. And as we are now in the information age we see that some are suspicious of the internet as well and are far too willing to simply label the whole thing as “bad” without really examining why they have arrived at such a belief.
Not one person has told me exactly HOW a long distance Reiki attunement or online witchcraft is “disrespectful,” I’m just told that I need to accept that it is. Well, that’s just not good enough for me, and quite frankly I expected more from Pagan thinkers. I’m perfectly willing to listen to whatever reasons people have, but “that’s disrespectful” is not an argument by itself. You have to explain WHY, especially if you are basically attacking something that I hold to be true and good.
Now I’m not saying that everyone needs to rush out and suddenly believe in long distance Reiki attunements if they haven’t before… if you have not had a personal experience that shows you its validity then you really would have little reason to. But what I am saying is that it would be nice if perhaps people tested the theories or actually talked to those who are doing them before they condemn these practices outright. After all, if someone is simply going to judge something as ‘wrong’ just because that’s what they’ve always believed, then in my opinion they don’t really have that much to offer the new world and perhaps it’s time they moved aside.
If anyone is interested to know HOW I have managed to do successful long distance Reiki attunements or teach witchcraft online then just let me know. It’s an offer that I have made many times in many places. But to date NOT ONE of the people who have asserted that these things simply “can’t be done” or are “disrespectful” have taken me up on the offer. Interesting, no?
I’ve renewed this offer to a few people today so perhaps someone will finally take me up on it. Time will tell. In the meantime I will go back to doing the magic that works along with the sad realization that there are far too many people in the Pagan community that obviously don’t believe in magic or at least are being prejudicial in their approach to what others are doing with theirs. Diversity in the Craft? Not as accepted as one might think.
If anyone is interested in my approach to Reiki you can read more and even schedule sessions and attunements (both in person and long distance) here.