Witch Wars: For the love of Power
Article ID: 2100
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,821
Times Read: 23,501
Posted: January 4th. 1998
Times Viewed: 23,501
Without a doubt, this is the key element of many a Witch War. Since a self-serving individual is never a pretty sight to behold, there is bound to be criticism of their agenda. People can always tell when one of these people enters the room. The only sounds that they will hear at first are the hushed tones of "Oh, look! Is it really HER?" If they had listened more closely though, they would have probably also detected the sounds of teeth grinding together. These sounds come from those Pagans who have to live in the same community with this person. Unfortunately, not too many people are willing to listen this closely. Too bad. It would usually save them a lot of time and money...
This type of leader wields a mighty athame over the local community and, of course, his/her own group of followers and fans. They have their own P.R. kit. Its free. Take one. You'll pay for everything else! A good measure as to whether a group is exhibiting "cult like behavior" can be found via The Advanced Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame. A typical cult hierarchy is as follows.
Does a group like this believe that they are doing wrong? Almost NEVER! They would say they what they are doing is correct and the good of all. This is the heart of the problem.
- The Leader: This "figure head" (usually self-proclaimed) builds up his/her "power base" and is ready to take on the world if and when they are questioned by the community. You're talking about their precious reputation here! No dissent allowed! His/her power source typically includes the following subservients.
- The Inner Circle: Their mission is to serve and protect-the Leader, that is. The inner circle has everything to gain by keeping their leader's name in a favorable light. This is often a full time job. If He/She looks good, so do they. This can only increase their own power and worth in the group. Let's not forget that the inner circle members hope someday to be the next in line to lead or "carry on the agenda".
- The Followers/Fans: The depth of any group is dependent on the numbers of its followers or fans. The fans are often proud of their affiliation with the group and happy just to be involved. They'll do anything just to be able to say that they met or know this leader personally. This group often exists to feed the ego of the Leader and his/her inner circle. They also provide a nice buffer zone in case things get 'sticky."
Other concerns related to Power...
Healing Power This is another loose and dangerous trend in the Craft that once again comes down to knowing who you are dealing with. There are many forms of healing both mental and physical. Techniques run the gammut from folk medicine and "professional" medicine. It is my belief that there is value in all types of medical practices but no ONE way. For good reason, these "practices" are just that. Lots of mistakes are made and many experiments are documented until a consistant and safe result is achieved. The next time someone in our community wants to experiment on YOU, make sure you do know what their history is; what makes them qualified to "heal you". One guide to an ethical healer is one who really listens to your hesitations and answers them; if a healer tries to override your right to heal at your own pace and in your own way, find someone else. There are two words that give this Witch nightmares... "unnecessary surgery". Be careful and really know who is doing you this favor.
The Danger of Guided Meditations Have you ever heard of hypnosis or mind "control"? Well, do you know this guide or did you just meet him/her 5 minutes ago when the Workshop began? And now you are turning over you mind to him/her? Would you trust your child with this person? If not, then why are you trusting your own inner child (sub-conscience) with this guide? Guided meditations can be both an inspiration and a revelation, but be very cautious here. Many "teachers" will tell you that you can't do this wrong... This is somewhat true, but it can mean that THEY cannot do this wrong. While it is true that a hypnotist cannot "make" you believe anything you don't want to believe, an unethical person can establish considerable control by playing on your wishes; yes, precisely...the things you "want to believe"...and we all have them. Don't take guided meditations to lightly. Be careful out there and do see the WebNOTE at the bottom of this page.
Out Right Lies! No place is this more prevalent than on the 'Net. Why? Because its much more difficult to verify some of the claims made in chatrooms, web pages or the like. Numerous Witches are claiming all kinds of credentials and skills (some are true, many are not). You don't have the advantage of looking into their eyes. Many Net charlatans are often exposed with a little research. Be very careful on the net and use your intuition to help you sort things out.
|Witch Wars as related to POWER:|
Typical Victims: Everyone under the Leader, competing groups and often the local community itself!
Some Antidotes: Don't fuel their power! Ask questions of others who have been around a while. Better to know before you spend time and money supporting a group what their reputation is. Joining a group is a very big committment. At least give it the same thought as you would when you are purchasing a new car. Check under the hood of the public image. Kick the tires of their financial statement. Don't get stuck with a lemon and no warantee!
The Light: There are many wonderful groups in Modern Witchcraft. They usually aren't famous. And because they are NOT famous, they can be hard to find. You almost never see them involved in a Witch War. Why? Because they are in Her service and they do this work for the right reasons. I know of several groups like this in our area. They give the Witches' Voice something to look forward to... It's called Hope! Webmaster's NOTE 4/19/99 We received this in the mail today from Shelby Martin and we couldn't agree more!
This is in response to the article in Witch Wars, relating to power. Let me first state that these are wonderfully written, educational and informative. Very useful and appreciated information regarding what to look for and protection for yourself on the walk down this path. And all of the information is clear and I agree with it.
However, even though I understand completely what is said in the section regarding healers and hypnotism, I also wanted to express my concern that the article did not make it real clear that not ALL hypnotist and guides for meditation are unethical. I agree that it is a powerful medium, but as a practitioner myself of Past Life Regression and Clinical Hypnotherapy I would like to weigh in on the positive side of this discipline. Used in an ethical manner, it is very healing and releasing in many situations. I personally would welcome any potential client to check my credentials. I admit that 'certification" is easy to obtain. But there are many who use this in conjunction with many other life talents that they bring with them. I have been a social worker for the past 10 years and have other education in related fields that I feel my certification has enhanced. - In Magick, Shelby Martin
Location: Clearwater¼ v2, Florida
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