Monday, October 24, 2011

The Cheeseburger Path

Eeeuugghh... Today is just one of those days. Bright and beautiful with a side of pounding headache. However.. I shall persevere. I'm actually sitting out on my fire escape to do my morning blogging.

So.. I've had in mind many personal feelings about a witch's path lately. Punky and I were sort of discussing them a day or so ago but the conversation crashed and burned. I'm going to try and put down my thoughts and feelings and musings here.. so this is probably going to be ridiculously long winded. I apologize in advance.

I think I'd be a very good witch. Up to my standards of course and not the standards or practices of any tv personality or other famous person. Even though I do not currently practice, I do have an idea in my head about what it should be like to be a witch and walk that path. When I think about that, that's when I get the feeling that I'd be very good at it.

Good at it, of course, might not be the best term to use. That just makes it sounds like I'll be pulling bunnies out of my hat and going Ta-Da. I'm good. Which is not what I mean at all. What I actually mean is that 1. I'd be happy doing it. 2.  I think I'd have a certain knack for it. 3. And that it in general I feel that it would have/give very positive results for me and mine.

Which.. I look up at and re-read and still comes off rude and cocky. Like .. Muahaha.. I can do this in my sleep. Fail. I'll move on for now since I can't seem to fix my wording up there.

The biggest obstacle between me and the path ( which I refuse to call the craft, because I did that a couple of days ago aloud and felt stupid like I was talking about the movie. ) is that I was brought up Christian. Pentecostal to be specific.

Let me start off by saying that I had some very very good experiences while in the church. I enjoyed a lot of my time there. I was a prodigy at a very young age, and therefore was treated very well. Plus, I can't lie, I like a lot of the lessons they taught. I was one of the only children ever to complete three years of the Biblical Institute here in NYC. I preached often at my church and was often an ambassador to other churches. All very fun for a kid ages 6-12.

Now. There are two very important things I keep in mind about my time in the church. One is that I went to church with a good number of people who were illiterate or very close to it. These people were intelligent in many other ways, but had come from countries/families were education had not been readily available to them. The other is.. that I went to church with a whole bunch of stupid people. These people could read and write and dressed very nicely and so on and so forth but they were just plain old idiots. They had an understanding of nothing and a belief that they knew everything. Stupid.

So.. here comes six year old me with a high school level reading comprehension and a wicked sharp memory. Duh I was a prodigy. I could read the bible, understand it, and speak about what I'd read. In the real world, this a genius does not make. I was only special because I was actually interested in the goings on of the church. Meanwhile the other six year olds were peeling paint off the walls, bored, and wanting to go home. They had been made to come by force, where as I had been given a choice about it and happily went along.

I never spoke in tongues or fainted from the holy spirit or any of that. I was just a well behaved, well spoken child. You wouldn't think it to read my writing now.. especially if you were to hear me stutter as an adult.. but I was.

Am I bitter and jaded against the church? Yes, a bit, in touches here and there. But to me the church was the church and God is God and the two are not the same. The church was a building with four walls and some people inside it. It isn't everlasting. There's nothing secure about it. It has all the same politics and gossip and drama as the rest of the world. It wasn't a perfect place. It was just a place.

My Christian beliefs however, have stuck with me throughout my life. A short one so far as it may be, there they are. But my Christian ways are very solitary, which if you were to ask the average Christian, makes me a very bad one. I don't go to church. The bible says I should, I am often told, but the bible also says a man can just grab a woman and have sex with her, and all is well if he just pays her father a bride price later. Comprehension. Tons of people don't have it.

Anywho.. Getting back to the original point.. There's the pesky little bit about Hell. Now, I have conflicting beliefs about Hell all by myself, but it's still a place I don't want to end up.

Hence... The Cheeseburger Path. For me.. making a decision about a witch's path and departing from my Christian ways is a little bit like being out to eat somewhere and seeing the person next to me have an awesome looking cheeseburger.

It looks really good. It smells great and the other person looks like they're having a great time. But I'm lactose intolerant and the cheeseburger will hurt later if I order one. What to do? If it were Punky she'd eat it and curl up in the fetal position all night later. I've seen her do this for the sake of pizza, lasagna and baked ziti. When I see her in stomach pain, it doesn't seem like the food was worth it, but she swears it was.

I'm a pansy bitch, and I'd have to think about it. I don't know that the cheeseburger will be worth The Runs of ETERNITY.

There's a small caveat though.. the witch's path is all around me. That's because it's a little bit similar to Christianity. It's just there, in the blue of the sky and the nip in the air and so on.

Take my mother for example ( No really, take her. Hahaha.. I kill me. ) She is the most Christian Christian I know. No, she can't quote the bible cover to cover, but she has studied it for years and studies it still. She knows where to turn in Proverbs for advice, and when she talks to God, he answers back.

Ok.. so you sort of have to believe in him to know how cool that is, but it is totally cool. She gets psychic dreams about the state of my house, and bodily warnings when I'm about to really sick. She is borderline creepy.

Months ago, my mother rolls into the house. This was a planned visit, so she was expected. Anyway.. Punky had been having eye issues. One of them started getting puffy, then her lid turned pink, and finally it got so bad she almost couldn't open it all the way. As my mom is bustling through the house like a hurricane on crack, she stops to notice it. Since I see her looking at Punky's eye, I start to explain that we don't know what it is, but we're thinking of taking her to the doctor soon if it doesn't go away.

She just goes " Hmmmmm... You looked at something you weren't meant to see. " The she continues bustling through the house like a hurricane on crack. She doesn't mention it again until she's at the door leaving. She's laughing and she can't stop, but she manages to wheeze out some advice.

" Listen to me.. Do what I say. I know how to fix your eye. But you have to do it. You can't just say you will and not do it. "

Punky agrees cause she wants to stop looking like Quasimodo and then this is what my mom let's loose with.

" Go into the bathroom later and ( omg I can't believe I'm going to type this ) run the tip of your finger around the ring of your asshole. Don't do anything before that, don't bathe or clean yourself. Do it just as you are, then wipe your finger on your eye. It'll clear up. "

Needless to say we were mortified, and though Punky nodded along, she totally did not do this. EW. We thought my mom was on crack. However.. the next day Punky woke up with her eye almost completely healed. Like.. 95 percent all better.

Of course, I called my mom to tell her she was a crackpot, and that her nasty advice was nasty and the eye fixed itself all on its own. Naturally, she starts laughing again. She says.. Punky was never supposed to take the advice. She was just supposed to think about it, which she did, and the thought of something so dirty is what scared the thing away. Also to tell her to stop looking at things she's not meant to see.

Now. What is that if not some Peruvian voodoo? I told my mother that later and she did not look amused. She thinks I'm nuts. She's the nutty one. She's told me a million stories about witch-y things that are part of our culture. I was raised believing that to know whether it was going to be a good year for crops or a bad year we had to open a bottle of wine and throw the wine at the side of the house to be read. We didn't have a house or crops. What use was this lesson to me except to tell me about another way of life outside of what the bible says? I told her she needed to be free of the white man's shackles and ignore what he said about our Incan ways being unholy and evil.

Now.. I've read about some people who claim to be Christian witches. They manage to combine both their religions. The thought is tempting of course, but it isn't one I can personally follow. My god said it's better to be hot, or cold, than to be lukewarm. So.. Maybe I'd be better off a hot Christian or a cold witch, but not somewhere in the middle.

That's what's been on my mind.


  1. Loved this post!! Your mom is fantastic. Ok, here's my two cents. I do not believe that Witchcraft is a religion. It is more...a way of life. I think that many people who say they are witches practice in a way that is way too much like the religion they were most likely raised in...which is understandable. Comfort, familiarity, etc. And I see way too much Christian like practices in the books written for the "Modern witch."

    But to be a Witch, first and foremost (in my opinion) is to do the Work, to actually practice. Go figure - but seriously, there are so many witches who go to gatherings and do elaborate rituals and NEVER cast a spell, and barely know what phase the moon is in.

    I personally do not believe you have to belong to a coven or honor any particular day, or wear robes or wear pentacles. You do, however, have to practice witchcraft, which means - magic - spells. And no, you don't have to draw 10 magic circles around and call in St. Michael before you do them either. Like your mother, you can just give good ole wacky advise that works.

    How about God? Witches do not worship the gods - we work with them. We have a working relationship with them, and we "honor" (thank) them from time to time, just as you would your friends and coworkers. This is probably THE biggest difference between Witches and Christians and why Christians (I'm sorry) cannot be Witches. You have to pick a side (even though we are not really at war - at least some of us aren't.) Your mother is more a witch than some of the people I've met who claim they are.

    Ok, that's what I have to say today, and what I know so far.... Thanks for the thought provoking and very entertaining post.

  2. I'm totally with you. That's what I meant about doing it my way and not with some instructional manual. I mean, books are great and all, but I think that it's something you have to feel out. Like you just have to open yourself up to it, and what comes is what comes, it's catered and personalized for you, so how can anyone else tell you what it's supposed to feel like?

    Okay.. so, for the sake of discussion and not cause I'm a pushy christian with tract in hand, the way you describe working with the gods instead of worshiping them is sort of the way that God works for me and my mom. There is a certain amount of worship, but it's not about hymns and sunday service. It's about sending out a silent mental thank you when what you wanted to go your way, goes your way.

    I know it must be freaky to hear/see, but I swear that my Christian way and the way I believe the witches path to be, are so similar it's eerie, the dividing line being that the God of Abraham is jealous and wants only one God, and that there's no such rule on the other side.

    Food for though.. God said, Put no other Gods before me. He didn't say Put no Gods anywhere. What if he's just like a jealous boyfriend that wants to know he's number one, and everyone else can be number two?


  3. I definitely thank the gods - just as I would anyone who helped me out with a task/job. I think this is different than worshiping. I think of it as honoring - valuing the friendship and the working relationship.

    I like your analogy about the jealous boyfriend and I definitely think it applies to those who view god in this way - but the thing is, I don't put the gods at the top of the celestial corporate ladder either. I don't even have an org chart. I refer to all those that I work with as "my people. " I think the gods are different but not necessarily better or worthy of more praise.

    I know - it's funny how hard this is for most people to swallow, this idea of equality in magic/spirituality - especially the idea of HUMANS actually being equal and valuable?!! We've been taught for so long that we are the lowly peasants of the universe. And yet, religion aside - in everyday life/society, we humans think we're pretty damned great. Go figure.

  4. Well....I'm just glad Punky did NOT do what your mom said. ~shudder~