Is the Craft Actually Elitist?

One of the biggest issues we face in the dying art of the craft today is the perpetual whiner that crows “Elitism”, and “Authority Issues” , “Boundaries”, and “Restrictions” whenever the established mechanisms of any mystery tradition is brought into play.

The Perpetual Whiner will have us believe that in the real world there are no rules.

They  will have us believe that the laws of physics do not apply to them.

They will have us believe that the law of the land does not apply to them.

They will have us believe that there are no experts in any craft. No such thing as hard earned experience, and that all knowledge is free.

They will have us believe that they know it all from the beginning

They will have us believe that they are entitled, and special, and unique, and that all should bow before them because modern socialism has said so.

Does this sound familiar? Of course it does. Most of us went through this stage at some point in our lives then realised, usually with a nasty thump, or a night in jail that actually the world does not ascribe to any of the above and you had better pull your weight if you want to get anywhere.

Nor is the world going to carry you.

The upside here is that there are well established rules and process in place already that we can leverage to our advantage.  These rules are called the laws of Physics, The Law of the land, Common Sense, Manners, Respect.

There is also a golden rule: TANSTAAFL – look it up. It essentially means that if you have a problem with societal norms and showing even a modicum of respect to the people around you then really you have no place in that society.

Society doesn’t owe you a damned thing. Neither does any coven, or lodge, or grove. If you want to work on your own, then respect – a righteous path – but woe betide the fool that goes about telling the world that the coven structure is invalid because of such concepts as:

Authority

Respect

Elitism

And dare I say it – Boundaries.

Coven training to me – is an apprenticeship. You learn as an entered apprentice all the basic skills you are taught, to perform those skills in the manner you are taught, and in a timely, commonsensicle, and practical manner.

This ensures the core of the knowledge that your dumb arse never would have fathomed in the first place actually sinks in in its entirety and in the correct manner. This is so that later you can take that knowledge and the associated understanding and make it your own.

Authority and boundaries ensure that you get it right and you stay alive. Respect for authority, and therefore your peers builds character. It builds a sense of esprit de corps in a team of individuals pursuing a common goal. In this age of the celebration of the cult of the individual – the terminal loners never get this, they never understand it. All but the really talented are forever stuck outside scrabbling for crumbs when in reality they could just as easily come inside and sit at feast at the table.

In any workshop – you pay your dues or you GTFO. It’s that simple. The eternal whiner will complain that because he went to University he doesn’t need to do the teas, or sweep the floor, because he’s above it.

Isn’t that odd – they face authority and boundaries, and strict rules and schedules in Education – but outside of that if the word paganism is tacked onto any educational endeavour than it is somehow wrong.

Well here’s your wake up fancy pants . . . . If you can’t perform simple functions that make your team mate’s life easier then what bloody use are you? A keenness to help, and a keenness to learn is core to functioning adequately in the craft. A fundamental facet of the craft is to serve your community – thanklessly. Manual labour teaches humility. It teaches attention to detail. It teaches character.

When you are asked to do something – it is because someone needs your help. Initiative should be sufficient to the task, but alas kiddies today are not taught to think for themselves. They are taught only that if they whine enough then mother state will provide for them.

The craft carries no such passengers.

A respect for authority also leads onto understanding and working with Higher Authorities. If you cannot show respect and due fealty to your peers, let alone your High Priest and High Priestess, then how on earth do you expect to be taken seriously before the very gods themselves?

It bears no stretch of the imagination that if you are disrespectful of authority, then how do you expect the Old Ones to deal with you (The Spirits, The Elements, The Glorious Ancestors, The very Gods themselves)? They ALL work in a hierarchical system.

Respect is not fear, nor should it be borne on fear. Respect is a healthy understanding of the essence of what you are dealing with and honouring it. You may have a dislike for something, or someone, but an understanding of their essence underlines the respect and therefore better understanding you can have. Respect is not a limitation. If anything it is a key to a great many things. Particularly forces beyond your comprehension that can help you in many ways.

I don’t like wasps – but I respect them.

This brings me to self-respect. Yes you will meet people and things out there that demand respect, yet are nothing more than a bully, a free loader, a parasite. We are told to keep pure to our Highest ideal, to strive ever towards it. To compromise ourselves, our essential being is not appropriate. Here and here alone do we find where respect for authority  without question is indeed folly. The despot, the demagogue , the usual scum that will manipulate and bully all around them with politically correct platitudes, the predators be it sexual or otherwise, the emotional vampire . . . .the list goes on and on and on.  Because of the lack standard nature of the pagan community – such mendicant effluvia  that require your existence to validate their own, infest the public domain on the hunt for their next meal.

Caveat Emptor.

It is cause for alarm, and most definitely cause for anger. Understandably it is the cause of a great many decent people’s disgust at the concepts of Authority and Respect when discussed under the umbrella of the craft.

Learn discretion.

Ask questions. Check the answers. The basic techniques within the mystery traditions have remained unchanged, and as such it does not bode well if you toss out the very basics in these traditions as a baby with the bath water. This stuff works which is why it’s still around after millennia of development and use.

As an example – The Wicca have an incredibly bad reputation due to abuse of power, abuse of knowledge, abuse of position, and zero respect. The cult of the ego in our modern times has undermined what is essentially a fully working system and relegated it through misunderstanding coupled with the bad reputation to an embarrassing joke.

Is it no wonder people look at contemporary Wicca and spit on the ground. It is no wonder when people look at the corruption within the modern interpretation of Wicca, all they can do is turn away with disgust. Furthermore it is no wonder therefore that the lowest froms of life gravitate to it to feed.

Yet the principals remain the same. High and Low Magic. We find a mentor. We develop a relationship with that mentor, we learn from that mentor in the correct fashion so that one day we may take that knowledge and make it our own. All of this is interspersed with periods of solitude so we can work out a lot of stuff for ourselves too.

But how do we find the right stuff – the right people to train us?

Easily enough: Ask.  Seriously – look to the universe, ground and centre – open yourself up and damn well ask!

Then look to the life style of the individuals you meet.  If they are destitute eternal sisters of suffering – then chances are their magick is about as much use as a cunt full of cold snow. If they are highly successful in their lives then you might be onto something.  Look at their ethics. Look at how they treat others and why.

If you find someone who is ever under psychic attack – congratulations you just met a fruitcake who will do their utmost to include you in their fantasy. Kindly end your association and move on.

Then there’s the troll. Look up “How to stop your coven from going Nova” < LINK > Or the Pagan Troll spotters guide.  These guys just like to see the world burn. Avoid – seriously AVOID – there is no way to manage this kind of deviant as all they want to do is see your world burn.

Then if you are lucky – you’ll find the hard core who will be stern, grumpy as hell and be actually quite hard on you to make you understand and grasp your unlimited potential after shaking the crap out of you to make you wake up.

They are like the old school master (back when caning and cold showers after PE was mandatory) whose only purpose in life is to see others succeed and do better than they did with the knowledge. You see there is actually joy to be had in seeing others do very well when you had a hand in it.

If you are made of the right stuff, then that respect will be reciprocal. Working hard and developing your skills means working beyond the apprentice stage and moving into the operating level of your peers so that your skills are commensurate with theirs. It means becoming a school of thought in your own right but still the guiding hand of your elders ensures the many distractions and pitfalls are avoided or at least managed effectively. Please remember – a few scuffed knees and elbows is part of growing up. So it is with the craft.

By now you will (should have) have realised that Authority, Boundaries and respect were keys to getting you where you are now. This is not kissing anyone’s arse. It’s just simple hard work, common sense and honouring those that go to bat for you.  These are the people that helped you out when they really didnt need to. It is your trip after all.  By now you will realise the restrictions placed on you were a means to making you stay alive, sane and healthy.

 

The outsider looks at all of this and collectively writes off the entire mechanism, the reciprocity, the mutual support, learning and realisation that you are inside a mystery tradition, and  that you are in fact part of something much much bigger . . .

 . . .and they call it elitism. The Reality could not be farther from the truth.

Because they want in –  without paying their dues. They want in –  without paying their respects. They want in –  without doing any work. They want in –  without contributing in the slightest to the mix.

They want to be a part of something bigger but because they are still thinking like a 13 year old, all they can do is rail against the presumed injustice of it all. This is no different to the same 13 year old telling their parents: “I Hate you, FASCISTS!!”  when they are told to do their chores.

Other malcontents will read this and go – “But I didn’t want to be a part of your bullshit imperialist dictatorship anyway”  . . . .yeah yeah yeah  I get that, and that’s why you keep bringing it up isn’t it – to tell us again and again how you don’t want to be a part of it.

Are you expecting me to go – “There there you poor thing, I’m so sorry for singling you out to discriminate against – you must be so upset that we didn’t include you into our collective and impart the hard work and research of our tradition, I’m deeply sorry that your lack of manners, respect, and hard work was not seen as a means to express your actual interest”

This pissing and moaning is akin to a 13 year old ranting about not being allowed to ride on the Roller Coaster . . .because hey short arse – you need to be “This” tall to ride.

Summary The real tragedy of all of this is that really it doesn’t take a great deal of work, not in the great scheme of things.  That is unfortunately too much for our entitled and Tottenham burning generation who have had everything handed to them. The craft is not elitist – it is not racist, it is not sexist, it runs on common sense and reciprocity. As above so below, Newtons 3rd Law, and all that. It expects work, not idleness. It expects common sense, not excuses. It expects initiative, not dogmatic inertia. It expects a keeness to learn, to know, to understand, not determined stupidity. It expects the strength of will to assail the core volume of the work and make it your own, rather than the narrow minded repitition of misundertood rituals. It expect the guts and daring to expand your consciousness, broaden your perceptions and verily steal fire from the gods if need be, instead of cowering in your cave of understanding. It expects the proud humility of a mature, upright, contributing member of society who expects no thanks – instead of the social parasite concerned only with who will hear them complain about what Mother State has not provided them.
The craft expects you to be the best human being you can be – a perfect vessel. This is not elitism. Nor is it the celebration of the mediocre the unwashed masses would have us think is acceptable.

One final note.

The perpetual hate that is pointed at Wicca in the UK because of the bad rep, or the misunderstandings about it comes down to inciting religious intolerance. It is something that is frowned upon in the UK.

It is also illegal.

Some people really should take that on board because there are a few hidden children of the goddess out there that have had a guts full of it and will very happily charge accordingly.

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