5 Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction

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Woman. Demon. Witch.

The patriarchy IS going down, but not without a fight.

Women are still being demonized the world over.  In fact, it seems to be getting worse.  From the Free the Nipple movement to the Burkini controversy, women are constantly being told exactly how to be.  Frat boys are still receiving slaps on the wrist for violating a woman’s body and politicians are still vying for control over our sexual freedom.

The safe passage of women through life is conditioned upon their behaving and appearing a certain way.  We are all TOO something; too thin, too fat, too pretty, too ugly, too fashionable, too disinterested in fashion, too smart, too dumb.  Who among us can strike that perfect balance of meeting that razor’s edge of societal acceptance?

None of us!  It’s a fabrication.  It’s fake! And women are evolving into their own personal realness.  This is why it seems that the patriarchy’s oppression of women is waxing rather than waning, as it should be.

It is because we are growing stronger, and they are becoming more and more frightened. When any entity (a human, a butterfly, a society) goes through a transformation, there comes a time of war, a time when two opposite notions the entity has of “self” are clashing and causing extremely uncomfortable dissonance.  This happens just before the Truth wins out and the entity changes.  So take heart.  I believe this is happening and we as Witches can help to bust open the chrysalis.

The number of self-proclaimed Witches in the world is increasing exponentially.  Think about that.  As Witches, we can’t agree on much, but I’m pretty sure we can agree that everything is connected.  Every thought and action sends out a ripple of energy into the world.  That’s why magic works!  The connection; the web of reality.

To claim the title of “Witch” is to openly fly in the face of convention.  We tell the world, “I am embracing the fact that I don’t fit in.  I AM different.  I AM Powerful.  And your thoughts on the matter are of no concern to me.”

A self-proclaimed Witch is an uncontrollable entity, an unknown.  A Witch, by her very existence, is an affront to the patriarchal powers that be.  But I believe we have a greater responsibility to our sisters and to the world.

As Witches we’ve honed our magickal prowess.  We’ve worked to form our hearts and minds into powerful forces for change.  The thoughts and actions that WE send out to the web of existence are more potent because of that.  So we need to use that power for good.

So what else can a Witch do to finally turn this proverbial Prince (of patriarchy) into the toad that it truly is?

Toad

 

Ok… before I go any further – I’m reminded of a little story I must share with you my witchy friends!

A princess frolics through the forest, you know, as princesses are wont to do, and she happens upon a toad which has a tiny crown on its head.  She is fascinated. 

Even more amazing, this toad can speak!  It croaks to her, saying that it is, in reality, a handsome but enchanted prince.  The toad brags on and on about his beautiful and expensive castle and how many beautiful princesses like her he has “conquered”.  He regales the princess with wonderful stories about how much land he owns and how that land has been passed down, from father to son, for generations.  He expounds on how he must produce a male heir for all of his riches. And then, he offers her the great honor of becoming his bride if she will only give him a kiss and break the enchantment. 

After hearing all of this, the princess levels her gaze at him, which the toad, of course, takes as a sign of interest.  She asks, “And what might such a bride do as mistress of this elegant and wonderful House of Toad?”   The toad answers, “Why, you would serve me, of course!  You would be at my side whenever I wish!  You may also prepare glorious meals for me, attend to my washing and you would be in charge of keeping the castle just so!”  He said this as if this would be a dream come true for any princess! 

The Princess blinked, and then moved closer to the toad and leaned in, only a hair’s breadth away and….  Could later be heard to say (as she enjoyed a lovely meal of sautéed frog’s legs and a glass of fine wine), “I don’t fucking think so!”

[Insert evil grin here!]

And now back to our Witchy Weapons of Patriarchal Destruction!

  1. Cultivate an awareness of subtle sexism.

We can all easily notice sexism such as the toad in our story telling the princess that she can cook and clean for him.  But do we notice when we are “innocuously” given the task of calling the caterer for the office party?

We may be perfectly aware when some misogynist questions our moods by referring to a certain time of month.  But do we sense ourselves censoring our own emotions when speaking to a group?  Is there a thought, deep down, that if your emotions show, you won’t be taken seriously?

It’s true.  Studies have shown that women are more likely to be interrupted during conversation and more likely to be perceived as untrustworthy for expressing emotions.  And those interruptions and perceptions of lower value are perpetrated by men AND women.

If you’ve ever used the euphemisms that equate parts of women’s bodies (Pussy) with weakness and parts of men’s bodies (balls) with strength, that’s something to become aware of.  I’ve taken to using the words “Uterus”, “Vagina”, and “Yoni” in place of balls.  It wakes people up because they’re not expecting it.

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Sexism rears its ugly head in our society in many ways and we need to be aware of these subtler expressions of it, so that we can…

  1. Call people out on their sexism. Male AND female.

Whenever you notice sexism in action, with your high-powered awareness, say something. Whether it’s some internet troll objectifying a woman or a woman who is begrudgingly accepting a role put upon her by the patriarchy.

Speak. Up. Every. Time.

Know this. You will be attacked for it.  Because How dare you point out a man’s foibles, you uppity *%$# (fill in the derogatory term of choice; bitch, feminazi, perhaps even Witch!)  In which case, you can slow-grin at them and give them a proper education.

I read an article recently called “Girls’ Guide to Calling Out Sexism Without Being Attacked”.  I prayed it was meant to be an ironic title, but I really couldn’t tell even after reading the article, which suggested we adjust our tone when calling out sexism, and advised us that we might be seen as “shrill” or “preachy” in doing so.   The article gave no advice as to how to call out the sexism of the attack itself.  And <heavy sigh> it was written by a woman.  Obviously not a Witch.

Don’t be like her.  Don’t tone it down for the sake of peace.  That’s how we got here in the first place. Fear.  Don’t let that be you.

And while we’re on the subject of fear…

  1. Empower others.

Do your best, as the witchy, wise, persuasive powerhouse that you are to bring those affected by sexism out of their fear.  Be an example but also be a shoulder.

One of the things that Witches are great at is bringing the love.  If there are women around you who are giving away their power, show them how to do things differently.

If they show interest in growing and becoming more empowered, help them discover ways to do that.

I volunteer at a non-profit for women teaching them workshops in self-discovery, finding their power and transforming their lives.  It other words, I’m teaching them to be Witches without calling it that.

Do the same for those you care about because, as I mentioned before, the more Witches, the better!

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And so, Witch… what’s next?

  1. Do Magick!

So you know how to cast a love spell and you can conjure up some cash when you need it.  You can witch some weather for your special event and call on Jupiter to expand your business.  And all of that is awesome.

But every once in awhile, consider doing some altruistic magick.  Goddess knows the world needs it in may ways.

Be creative!  Come up with a spell that helps to open the eyes of those who appear to be blind to casual sexism.

Practice a daily devotion to Diana requesting that she increase women’s power in the world.

Hell, masturbate with a sense of adoration and respect for your yoni and expand that feeling to the universe.

You’re a Witch, you can think of a spell that suits your purpose.

And if you are part of a group of Witches and you work together for the end of sexism in our society in some way, all the better.

Use your powers for good.  The world will thank you for it.

  1. And finally, continue to be your witchy, wise, bad-ass self unapologetically!

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** NOTE:  Image Sources are embedded in each image.

Words of Wisdom by Witch in the World

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Hello Dear Readers!

I’m kind of big on this word “Responsibility”.  From early in my training as a witch, it was my understanding that we all have a tremendous amount of power; much more than most folks believe.

In learning spellcraft and witchcraft, I became aware that I was being given tools with which to wield my power in the mundane world.  As I’ve honed my skills with these tools and as I’ve crafted more efficient and powerful tools, I’ve come to understand that line from Spiderman.   With great power comes great responsibility.

As witches we believe that everything is connected (else magick wouldn’t work!).  And therefor, everything we do affects everything (and everyone) else.  So we take responsibility for that.  Hence the edict to “Harm None”.  And hence one of the reasons I love witchcraft as a lifestyle.  You are required to THINK before you act.  That goes for whether or not recycle and what kind of spellcraft you work with.

But there’s more to my little Words of Wisdom meme today.  As thinking, powerful beings with finely honed tools, we are responsible to become our best selves.

As Doreen Valiente said, “Keep pure your highest ideal; strive ever towards it.  Let naught stop you or turn you aside.”

What this means to me is that we must continually seek out our own enlightenment.  We must continually be looking for improvement, of ourselves and the world around us.  And in order to do that to the glory of all that there is… we have to realize that that glory begins inside of us.

So Realize your Awesomeness.  And then go out and show it to the world.  That’s how you save it.

The Philosopher’s Stone

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Alchemy.  The science of transmutation.  Turning lead into gold.  We all want it.  Everyone wants to find that element, that elusive and pivotal essence that will create the desired change.  Where is that magical Philosopher’s Stone?  One sliver dissolved in liquid and quaffed is a panacea for all ills.  Taken regularly it is the Elixir of Life, bestower of immortality.  It’s powerful stuff.

You must realize, of course, that I’m speaking in metaphor here.  It is my belief (and that of many others) that the “science” of Alchemy is allegorical to the quest of the human soul towards enlightenment.

Is it unrealistic to believe that there is one ingredient that can transmute our heavy leaden existences into the soaring, golden bliss of enlightenment?  I think not.

I’ve noticed a theme running through my life. This theme has to do with “True Statements”.   I’m talking about that experience when you hear a phrase or a quote or a teaching and the deep, undeniable Truth of it hits you in the face like a chocolate cream pie thrown by a major league pitcher.

Here are some of the True Statements that have pie-whacked me:

“Follow your bliss.”  Joseph Campbell

“Do what thou Wilt be the whole of the law.” ~ Aleister Crowley

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”  ~ Rumi

“Do what you love. Know your own bone; Gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it and gnaw it still.” ~
Henry David Thoreau

“Keep pure your highest ideal.  Strive ever towards it.  Let naught stop you or turn you aside.” ~ Doreen Valiente

“Your Heart’s Desire is the Voice of God, and that Voice must be obeyed sooner or later.” ~ Emmett Fox

Do you see the theme?

There’s nothing high-minded about it.  It’s not about intellect or wisdom. It’s not about finding the right guru. And it’s not, in the end, even about prayer or meditation.  It’s about DOING.

I do believe that we are spiritual beings, at our core.  But we were put on this earth, in this mundane existence for a reason.  It is to experience things and experience Doing things.

Without exception, when humans occupy that space of “the zone”, they are creating.  And creation is the realm of the gods.

In those moments you are connecting your heart and your soul to the Soul of the World, the Anima Mundi.  At those times when you are doing what you truly love, you are at peak intuition, highest wisdom and you are changing the world.  And not just your world, THE world.  You are collaborating with the Anima Mundi to bring about that which is in your heart.  In those moments you can feel the presence of the divine.

And this, my dear readers, is the Philosopher’s Stone.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those quotes.

Joseph Campbell said “Follow Your Bliss”.  And I said, above, that you’re changing the world by being in that zone of joy.  Here’s a little excerpt from Bill Moyers’ interview with Joseph Campbell in the PBS series “The Power of Myth”. They were discussing the idea of “Following Your Bliss”.

“-Moyers:  In this sense, unlike heroes such as Prometheus or Jesus, we’re not going on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves.

–Campbell: But in doing that, you save the world.  The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and to become alive yourself.”

 The more you can cultivate those moments of following your bliss, the more often and the longer you dwell there, the more miraculous your life will be.

How about Crowley?  “Do what thou wilt be the whole of the law.  Love is the law; love under Will.”   Crowley expanded on this edict from his seminal work Liber Legis or “The Book of the Law” in a further interpretive work, “Liber II, The Message of the Master Therion”.  He discusses the meaning of Will (with a capital W).  This Will is akin to Purpose (with a capital P).

“It is Nirvana, only dynamic instead of static–and this comes to the same thing in the end.

The obvious practical task of the magician is then to [(1)] discover what his will really is … (2) Do that Will with a) one-pointedness, (b) detachment, (c) peace.

Then, and then only, art thou in harmony with the Movement of Things, thy will part of, and therefore equal to, the Will of God. And since the will is but the dynamic aspect of the self, and since two different selves could not possess identical wills; then, if thy will be God’s will, Thou art That.”

And Doreen Valiente’s beautiful poem, “The Charge of the Goddess” furthers this notion.  The quote, expanded, reads:

“Keep pure your highest ideal. Strive ever towards it.  Let naught stop you or turn you aside.  For mine is the secret door which opens upon the land of youth. And mine is the cup of the wine of life and the cauldron of Cerridwen, which is the Holy Grail of immortality.”

So don’t seek enlightenment. Seek the joy of creativity that makes you forget that you’re not enlightened yet.  Don’t pursue self-development. Pursue those moments of pure bliss that put you in the role of creator.  No self-judgments or doubts can creep in at those times.  You’re already there.

That’s your Alchemy.  That is your pivot-point of transformation.  That’s your Pholosopher’s Stone.

Contemplate what that is for you.

I will leave you, dear reader, with these quotes from “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho to move you along your journey.

“I learned that the world has a soul, and that whoever understands that soul can also understand the language of things. I learned that many alchemists realized their Personal Legends, and wound up discovering the Soul of the World, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Elixir of Life. But, above all, I learned that these things are all so simple that they could be written on the surface of an emerald.”

“This is why alchemy exists,” the boy said. “So that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to turn itself into gold. That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

Brightest Blessings