Everything you think you know about Wicca is wrong

This blogpost was inspired by this conversation on Twitter:

The snark quotient of this post may be dangerously high — you’re strongly advised to put your snark goggles on, because I have a snark hammer and I am not afraid to use it.

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Blogging and privacy

People are often confused that I’m a blogger but I really value privacy. They seem to think that having any sort of internet presence is incompatible with privacy. In this post, I will attempt to explain why that is not the case, why privacy matters to me, why it should matter to you, and what that has to do with Pagan stuff.

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The Tower and the Virus

My first guest column at The Wild Hunt.

I have been anxious for months, years even. I have watched with growing horror the rise of right-wing populism, the melting of the icecaps, the burning of Australia, the beginnings of wars over water and resources, the seemingly inexorable destruction wrought by climate change. The protests of Fridays for Future and Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion gave me some cause for optimism, but it is also obvious that governments have not been doing enough to turn the economy around to stop the production of carbon emissions. So when everyone suddenly swung into action to deal with the coronavirus crisis, it gave me some hope that perhaps now the needful actions to deal with climate change (many of which, it turns out, are quite similar to the actions needed to flatten the curve of coronavirus transmission) would seem doable. It also feels like now everyone else is as anxious as me.

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If you enjoyed this post, you might like my new book, Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft.

Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft

What we have in common

I dreamed that I was in an Anglican or Episcopalian Church in North America and had been invited by the vicar to introduce a hymn. She handed me the order of service which already had a hymn picked out, and it had been annotated to change “him” to “her”, so I introduced it and encouraged people to sing “her” where appropriate if they wanted to. One of the congregation said they didn’t really know the tune for that hymn. So then I suggested we sang Morning has broken and changed “him” to “her” in the second verse, and “God’s” to “Her” in the third verse. Then I woke up.

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Notable and quotable: coronavirus (1)

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Avoiding spiritual burn-out

Ask Grace: What are the symptoms of spiritual burnout and how to avoid psychic burnout

Spiritual burn-out is a real risk for spiritual leaders, counsellors, caregivers, healers and psychics. Grace, a psychic, gives advice on how to avoid it (and she should know because she has suffered from it). I have suffered from this myself (in 2011), and have found in the past that if I was getting nurtured by others, and receiving energy from the universe, it didn’t happen, whereas if you fail to do these things, you will get burn-out, and the symptoms can be quite nasty.

She first identifies the symptoms of spiritual burn-out, and then identifies how to avoid it, or how to recover from it if you already have it.

The symptoms of spiritual burnout or psychic burnout can include exhaustion, depression, dread before or after working, feelings of unbearable responsibility, feeling overwhelmed, crying for no reason, crying often, being overtired, insomnia, difficulty getting out of bed, restlessness, procrastination, avoidance, constant illness, problems with the heart, difficulty breathing, anxiety and panic attacks, extreme weight loss or weight gain, hair loss, irritability, and a desire to avoid people.

Grace’s advice can be summed up in six key points:

  • Take a break and rest – Grace says “take a sabbatical from everyone and everything, and really nurture yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually”.
  • Make sure your needs are met – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Breathe properly.
  • Draw your energy from the universe – don’t use up all your personal energy; make sure to be replenished from the source.
  • Charge for your services – either in money or in kind – Grace says “there always has to be an exchange of energy, which is what money is – it is the energy of worth and value given in exchange for the service received.”

See my article on Pagans and money for a discussion of when charging for spiritual services is appropriate and when it’s not. Most Wiccans agree that it’s inappropriate to charge for training because you received your training for free, it’s a continuing relationship, and you get as much out of it as your coveners. But it’s okay to charge for services where you don’t receive energy in return, like Tarot readings.

  • Maintain strong boundaries – visualise yourself surrounded by white light; set aside a special room for your clients; set fixed working hours. If there’s an emergency, calm the client down first. Have a website which answers all the obvious questions about what you do.
  • Only work when you can give 100% – don’t deplete yourself by working when you are ill, distracted, etc.

It’s well worth reading the whole article, which gives more examples and some excellent techniques and advice.

If you think you are suffering spiritual burn-out, get help – don’t leave it until you are absolutely exhausted.

(This article was originally published on UK Spirituality)


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Pagans and money

 


If you enjoyed this post, you might like my new book, Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft.

Dark Mirror: the Inner Work of Witchcraft