I was just reading a copy of Pentacle and a paragraph in the editorial caught my attention:
“I've noticed a worrying trend in recent months. It seems that a number of conferences, moots, events and Balls have been canceled through lack of interest, poor ticket sales, or just the 'feh factor'. This is a fairly recent phenomenon. Fifteen years ago there were only a few conferences or events where Pagans could meet and discuss together.”.........
“That is something else that seems to be creeping into Pagan Spirituality – Consumerist Paganism. People wanting the Path or Tradition to mould round , rather than invest the time and energy in understanding their place within it. Further to this, when people are asked to invest time and effort, they flounce off citing they are now 'Traditional Witches' or whatever this week's special spiritual offer is....and sod the nasty Wic(c)cans. I'm too good for them anyway. Oh well in the end someone else provide entertainment and mental stimulation for you.... won't they?”
Well, maybe two paragraphs.....
Imagine my shock when I looked at the cover and discovered the date of the magazine was Samhain, Winter 2007.
Now I wonder if the projected reasons for the decline in attendance were everything we thought or were the truly psychic beginning already to pull back for monetary reasons sensing the crash of the world economy in 2008. Were we really taking the criticism too hard and canceling things in a pique or was the Universe giving us a nudge to back off and save our resources?
So, I looked back at my own life as I tend to live by my intuition and that is, of course, how I make my living.
In 2007, on a fairly nice evening I opened the mail to discover my favorite dealership was having a sale on vehicles. I didn't think they had commercial vans like I was looking for but I carefully typed in the website as the name is VERY hard to spell and I still don't have the hang of pronouncing it, and up popped two pages of vans.
I chose the one I thought was the best and started to type in a request when the hours and map came up and I muttered, “What the Heck?” It seems I didn't go to their web page when I typed in this very hard to spell name, Lou Bachrot.com...just butchered it again....I went to OffLease.com. Now, if you can see any possible similarity between those two names, you need help. But, there was the van I wanted at the price I could afford so I dragged George three quarters of the way into the next county, got directed to furthest end of the 40 acres (it seemed that way), climbed over a few cars and discovered the van I wanted was trashed, needed four tires and generally was a total disappointment. While perusing the remaining vans, most of which were in the same condition being recent rejects from various county projects, I happened upon a pristine van, with new tires (tires are expensive) and I drooled but I had been warned if the papers weren't on the dashboard, it was sold. The dashboard was bare. Finally after circling it several times I decided there was no harm in opening the door and there on the floor lay the papers...it was bit more than I planned to pay but it was in warranty for another year and I flew to the office...this time really climbing over cars....and bought it. One week later, all car loans were suspended and you couldn't get financing for a car if you were the Donald. I even had a low interest loan!
Within weeks, my readings all started to say, pay off debt, don't take out this refinancing or any loans and start putting at least 6 months money aside. People's jobs suddenly started looking iffy when they had been employed their entire lives and had sterling resumes. I almost thought the cards were going crazy but I dutifully read what they said and started taking their advice. I was about the only one who did. By the fall of 2008, the cards were coming up dismal, I was cutting back on everything and no one was listening to me, as usual. I think you know what happened.
The issue of the magazine is right in line with my life. I bought my van in September of 2007 and though I had bought it to attend in state events as a vendor, I just couldn't seem to part with the money the events would have cost. Information slowly trickled back, when people started telling the truth, that they had lost money on the events. Events disappeared that had existed for years. Even the huge commercial/professional events took a hit. This was all in 2007. By 2008, there were few if any events scheduled and the rest is history.
Now when you consider the economy was riding a false high, people were flipping house like flapjacks and making loads of money and the Secret was to visualize money falling out of the sky and it would, why did people start pulling back in 2007? There was absolutely nothing in the news or the economy that would explain to the average person, it was time to stop and get off the merry-go-round. Yet, the truly intuitive jumped ship. The only possible answer is they sensed something no one else did. Since hindsight is 20/20, it now seems obvious, the fault really didn't belong to the providers or the consumers in the above paragraphs. The fault was a crumbling economy to come and, thankfully for the providers, they dropped anchor before the ship sailed into the sandbar.
So, the next time someone tells you that you are just too sensitive, say, “Thank you.” It might just save your economic future.
However, taking a look at the second paragraph, that is something to discuss and really finally put the blame for it squarely where it belongs: The Infamous Simplistic Think It and It Will Manifest out of thin air..... If it was really that easy, do you think occultists, Druids and magicians would have spent lifetimes studying and spent fortunes acquiring books and information and objects? Do you think most would have died in poverty when wealth was that easy to manifest? Come on...use a little common sense. They would have stumbled over it in the first week. When everyone is making money it's easy to make money circa pre 2008...Now try it after 2008 and see if it works or wonder why this wonderful intuitive metaphysical secret of the ages didn't protect you from the fall......
This eclectic nonsense makes about as much sense as thinking you can take a toaster, a microwave and a refrigerator and make a car. You might start by noticing none of them has wheels. Now, you might be able to take a car and install a toaster, microwave and refrigerator in it...in fact I think one of the stretch limos even has a hot tub...but it doesn't work the other way around. In other words, you need to learn one system and learn it well before you start grabbing bits and pieces and incorporating them into your practice.
True, I am Druid and I have been studying ceremonial magic(k) since I was 16. I think I spent my entire allowance with the Mystic Arts Book Club every month until I found Triad for supplies and then I had to get a job. Thank you Eagle Army Navy for making me the Druid I am. Without that pay check I would never have had Anna Riva's original Power Oil and a better job. You see, pretty much every job I ever held had a single purpose to bring home a paycheck so I could buy supplies and more books. Conferences were a luxury item, I chose carefully and went into debt to attend. Until someone would discover my expertise might actually be greater than the presenters, I soaked up every ounce of information and nuance of practice I could. Nothing was ever wasted and I was more curious as to how people reached the conclusion they did than the actual conclusion.
You might want to read that last sentence about ten times because the process in magic(k) is a thousand times more important than the desire. It is a lot like learning to drive a car. First you learn the road rules so you manage to get on the right side of the two lane highway and stay off the sidewalk. Then you have to learn what the key does and each pedal. For a long time, you clench the steering wheel, can't drive a straight line and ding things parking until finally, it becomes, with a lot of practice, a reflex. But when you change cars there is a period of adjustment before you easily drive the new one. You become reluctant to change cars. Still, if you grab the cell phone, the reflex goes down the drain with the distraction and you are picking yourself out of another car's rear. Now do you see why starting with an eclectic or a simplistic framework will crash and burn.
Perhaps a lot of people were misled simply because the people who they investigated appeared to be creating magic(k) with a simple flip of the switch and they never bothered to spend the time and effort to look at all the wiring behind the curtain. Or maybe they deliberately misled thousands of people making their first step into the metaphysical for the simple purpose of putting them off it and making them furious at anything metaphysical for a generation or two? I'm sure time will provide the answer and karma will provide the reward. Karma always does.....Just remember, forewarned is forearmed.