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Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
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Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
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Scorpion Energy: Not Just Black and White
Article ID: 12519
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Sage Runepaw
Posted: September 21st. 2008
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"The scorpion is an amazing arachnid. It is known to be a loner and has the ability to fluoresce under ultraviolet light in order for scientists to be able to see them at night. They have six to twelve eyes, a pair at the centre and two to five smaller eyes on each side. Despite all the obvious eyeballs, scorpions do not have good eyesight. They are able to distinguish light from dark and have excellent low light sensitivity, which helps them to both, avoid harsh sunlight and to navigate by starlight or moonlight. They sense their way around using sensory hairs and slit organs on the legs and their bodies pick up vibrations. They also have special organs on the underside of the body that pick up ground textures and scents.
"Males and females find each other by vibration, scent and touch.
"On an entirely different level, Scorpions have been revered and respected by many cultures. Scorpions have long been regarded as a symbol of metamorphosis, an openness to change, mystery, independence, self-protection, endurance, ferocity, self-possession, power, and passion. Aboriginal totem medicine regards people who carry this totem to be people who carry a masterful presence and personality. They have a high self esteem, are determined and vigilant, intense, have strong willpower and tenacity, and are forceful, tranquil, and dignified.
"Scorpion's message according to aboriginal culture is to have the wisdom to wait, to uncover what is hidden, that timing and calculation are essential. It imparts to navigate your actions via intuition. What has been started now will produce results if one is patient. It brings to light, how to find your place with awareness and tenacity. Keep instincts sharp and ready for they will be correct. Defend and attack when needed and move with stealth and fortitude in order to accomplish any task.
"Scorpion medicine is all about death and rebirth, transmutation and repelling negative energies. It has long been regarded as a protector of evil and balances personal energies around you.
"Those who feel the connection to Scorpion may learn to use self-defense and preparedness to their advantage, as the scorpion teaches vigilance. Because scorpions molt several times over their lifespan, metamorphosis and openness to change may be lessons for scorpion medicine workers. Passion, fearlessness, and waiting for the right opportunity before striking are also associated with this totem.
"Scorpion aids in uncovering hidden things, along with a cunning calculation. He teaches vigilance and an all around preparedness. Scorpion uses navigation via intuition- what is started now will make results later on, which equals patience. He shows how to find your place with awareness and tenacity, keep your instincts sharp and ready for they will be correct. Scorpions show how to defend and attack when needed.
"Are you striking at an idea with its full potential? Is it time to contemplate and wait for the right moment to move? Scorpion shows how to move with strength and fortitude to accomplish any task."
The above paragraphs are from the first three URLs listed in Sources at the end of this essay. They are others' perspectives of Scorpion totemic energy, scorpion medicine, scorpion totemism- whatever you want to call it, the lessons by scorpion.
Let me tell you of my own experiences with it.
In January, 2007, I was finding scorpions everywhere- mentioned on truck or heavy equipment brand names, items (such as deodorants, for example) , jewelry, names of characters in whatever fantasy book I was reading at the time, images of scorpions all over the internet when I was specifically looking for other things, and more.
Scorpions were -everywhere-, and every time I thought I'd be fine, a week or two later, I'd start seeing them again. It just wouldn't let up! It was agonizingly frustrating on my end- the little things scared the hell out of me, much like how some people have a primal terror of spiders or rats or cockroaches.
Then I began dreaming about them: they started invading my sleep as well. I'd dream of watching one consuming a bug, or another night I'd dream about being in my bathroom, trying to evade a whole flood of them coming out of nowhere, and being stung. Another dream I had involved me watching a scorpion devouring a bug with an intensity that had me waking up from the shock. It was as if it truly needed sustenance and had been starved for too long.
At the time, I realized that Scorpion was trying to tell me that I shouldn't have been depriving myself of something, but I didn't know what, and that I hungered badly for something.
Apparently throughout all this I needed scorpion energy, but I was still irrationally terrified of them. I decided to ignore the whole thing and hope for the best. After all, there was no way I could possibly encounter a scorpion in real life, since I live in a suburban town in New England in the USA, not out in the desert.
The universe seemed determined to show me otherwise- one day I went to the local Petco, getting gerbil food, and decided to go visit the fish tanks to admire the koi they had. I turned around and there was an emperor scorpion in a tank, about 7 inches long, just sitting there, shiny and black. And I was stunned, because what are the odds of that happening, given all the scorpion energy surrounding me? A synchronous moment, to be sure. So I stared at it up close, and it just sat there as if it were dead, and I realized holy sh*t, this thing's not that scary after all.
So I slowly started realizing (over the next few months) , hey, it's not that scary, so why the hell should I still be afraid of it? I slowly determined that I was freaked out about it because it wasn't feathery, scaly or furry and seemed so utterly alien to me- black carapace and eight legs (and spider energy, while great during the time I worked with it, still occasionally creeped me out) . Apparently the first thing I had to learn from Scorpion was getting past appearances. It was around this time that I'd asked Deity to send me an animal guide to work with for six months for the RST rite, though I'd forgotten about that.
An isolated memory stands out that I was inside an astral, rectangular room of some sort, and in the room was a bowl on a plain table, and a black scorpion on top of the bowl. It told me it had locked my abilities away temporarily, and wouldn't let me access it until I started working with it. It looked quite annoyingly comfortable on that bowl, and I was determined to get my abilities 'back' (I was having issues with my third eye and sensing the world like I usually have; instead being limited to the physical senses) .
The first lesson was interesting. I was trying to work past its appearance, but we had communication errors. I was used to projecting my thoughts towards astral entities or speaking with images to animals, or talking to them as if they were physically present- this didn't seem to work when trying to talk to Scorpion (I refer to the astral one that helped me as Scorpion, and will differentiate with Scorpion-the-totem to mean all scorpion energy, for the purposes of this essay) . Below is a blurb from my old journal, when I recorded my experiences with Scorpion:
"There is a definite balance hidden in between projecting energy outwards to make progress in the world and turning the energy inwards for introspective work- and turning it inwards in a self-defeating/destructive manner as opposed to internal-beneficial energy. I learned that I don't always have to fight hard and put a lot of energy out when working to get what I want. I can't do that without burning out at some point; it's inevitable. So I must learn when to recognize when to be more energy-preserving and when to put energy outwards to get results.
I also learned I can drive myself nearly insane by turning my energy in on myself in a self-destructive manner, and I know better than to fall into that (even if I feel like I can't always 'bottle it up' or 'keep fighting') . The trick is to learn when to do what in order to maintain personal balance."
Like a scorpion- it contains its stinger full of toxin held curving over its back, and can sting itself if it's not careful.
"Perspective is *everything*. A situation is just that, a set of circumstances or an event. What happens after is merely how others react to it, myself included. Consciously switching from one viewpoint to another and learning when to disengage from a harmful perspective is also very important." Could you imagine the social impact if we started getting off our instant need to defend our viewpoints so hotly and opened our minds a bit to see another perspective- that of others' views? Could you imagine the sheer change that could be generated from that if it picked up momentum and rippled outward?
Scorpion had first taught me how to communicate with it, and the first thing was how to live in this new frame of existence. My physical senses were exceedingly keen- sounds were louder, my sight fluctuating between normal and dimmer (scorpions have poor eyesight, and I never knew they even had eyes until I looked into them in depth) , but my senses of touch and smell and taste besides the aforementioned hearing were amazing.
In addition, I existed by vibration. I could physically feel and even see currents of energy flowing around me and attach to me when people would approach me, and the energetic exchange. This, Scorpion taught me, was its world- how it lived, by sensing through vibration, as the people quoted at the beginning of the essay felt.
Communication- an exchange of energy itself- became critically important (also- last Samhain I divined Two of Cups for myself for this year of 2008, and it typically displays the need to fix relations between people- I see it as the card of Interaction, regardless of whether it's with yourself or with others) . Scorpion is detached from a situation, but not in the sense of disassociation, where a person's mind tries to escape reality as a self-defense. It is passively involved in life, still experiencing, but being able to "see the Whole" and still being able to be ready for whatever happens next and being able to experience life actively when need be, and not on the sidelines.
Due to the very nature of communication, intuition played a stronger role in this. Scorpion-the-creature is docile unless threatened, and in order to communicate fully (as mentioned above) , you must be energetically 'open' to one degree or another. There are many subtleties in energy that can be missed. Scorpion-the-totem observes and senses. Even though I wasn't able to directly 'speak' with it, energetically the communication was crystal clear and explicit.
Identifying personal prejudices, biases, or throwing preconceived notions out the door helps to open up energetic blocks. As the phrase goes, "If you shut up, you'll hear how loud the world can be and truly listen"- if you're blocked up, you hear nothing but yourself and you miss out on a lot.
Humanity attaches meaning to words and to produce those words from merely in the mind, spoken. You can say something, such as "I love you", but if there's no genuine energy behind it, as well as a mismatched tone or inflection, the other person will know you're not really meaning it.
To improve my communication with Scorpion, I visualized that astral room where I'd last found it. It was there, though it was white. I learned that when I was off-balance, my energy would darken and grow cluttered with less-than-beneficial energy- and so would it. I realized Scorpion might not have been an actual entity, but an internalized dose of Scorpion-the-totem's energy manifesting in a way I could interpret and understand better.
Just when I thought things were getting easier, things went drastically difficult. We have conscious choice on how to treat other people. For the record, I treat people pretty well: I don't insult someone unless I well and truly mean it, and follow up with an explanation for just why I've said what I have. I'm an assertive person, but prone to playing doormat from being relatively easy-going.
It turns out the scorpion hadn't blocked my abilities at all- it was just redirecting my attention to learning new ways of existing, how the physical creature experiences- and in turn being able to focus on what needed to be taught. I learned that when the scorpion was black, it meant that my energy was being self-defeating and harmful, and when white, all was well.
It became a symbolic way to help me tap into myself and see how I was doing. The scorpion- if it was ever a separate entity- was incredibly selfless, allowing this to occur. It proceeded to show me the next phase of my learning- Boundary.
Boundary itself is a pretty interesting thing. We all have our limits, and tend to 'snap' if those get pushed. But what if we learn the root of why we 'snap', what if we learn the boundary itself- and seek to expand it and retain our balance? While these questions occurred to me, I visualized that astral room with the scorpion, and expressed energetically my need to experience it through touch. Carefully, it allowed me to pat it, and I could vividly feel its cool carapace.
Then it was its turn- I worked through my fear and let it crawl onto my shoulder (this thing was roughly the size of a cat) . It emitted an odd sort of hissing, clicking sound, but I felt pleasure from it- we were working together. My boundary had been adjusted by working through my fear of its appearance. I'd say 'adjusting' a boundary would mean, "growing more tolerant of". Where there's tolerance, there's acceptance, to some degree or another.
Part of my boundaries was in learning when to take action and when to intuitively be passive, paying attention to life around me while waiting for opportunities, and then seizing the moment. I've felt too jaded growing up in this increasingly complex world, and unsure of my role within it in this lifetime. With life as hard as it can get (and I know that I've been relatively fortunate even as I've been extremely hard-hit with life problems growing up) , there's just so much that you can wind up feeling overwhelmed and out of balance from. Earth's a hell of a learning ground, however, and I refuse to just stay down for good.
Scorpion made me question just how much I could take in the form of interacting with someone very dear to me- my best friend.
I began basing my sense of self (after having amnesia twice, first when I was 17, then when I was 21- only a few years ago, and after hashing myself back together slowly with bits and pieces) off of how good a friend I was to others, and three very nasty people seriously hurt me. During that time I was best friends with another person, and enjoyed a concrete friendship, though it grew one-sided as the years went by. I have always loved this person, even in several past lives, as a best friend and protector. I played the guardian.
However, on March 22nd, 2008, I was victimized yet again: she was prone to fits of irrational rage and as she said once, "I don't care who I hurt, because I know I can apologize sincerely when I feel bad about it after and people will take me back" (I'll keep the catholic religion out of this essay, but she also went once to imply that she thought she could get a 'get out of jail free card' by going to confession after, as if she could essentially do as she wanted) .
My boundaries were pushed to its limits, and I remembered Scorpion's teachings. I had endured enough of this sporadic foul treatment since last July. The relationship had grown one-sided; I was burned out and only ever truly needed support from my best friend of five years four times in my life, and each time I got a proverbial door slam in the face.
I made the ultimate sacrifice that evening of the 22nd, and it took all of my willpower to do it: Amidst her slinging hurtful things at me, I knew where my boundaries were. It is not okay to treat people badly and then sincerely apologize- you've still done the action. No words can undo actions, and hurt leaves its mark. The only thing out of it I regret was swearing at her, but I knew that she could use it and 'latch onto it'- to help ease what I'd done.
I'd said I love you, but we've grown too close to each other and now for both of us to grow, we have to separate. I've given you too many of life's answers, and you're turning into a bitter, jealous, hurtful, petty, raging person: this is not the wonderful friend I knew. We had some great times together, but even if I accepted your apology, I can't take you back because I would be accepting the possibility of the same thing happening to me again, so I wish you well in your life, and goodbye. I can't in good conscience take her back, because I felt elated and free of external strife trickling into my life as soon as I'd said goodbye.
I knew in my heart and mind it was the right decision, although it was the most difficult one I've ever made, and I think of her quite often, though I try to keep my past in my past and enjoy every moment as best I can. I did what I could to keep from turning that hurtful energy in on myself (keeping my proverbial stinger up high) - that was what she was good at, and what I sought to escape from.
While all of this was triggered by me calling her earlier that morning while she was at work with good advice I didn't know if she knew or not and her hanging up on me (and staying furious at me until she ripped me a new one online when I got home) , it served its purpose. The relationship had a way to end, and there was no other way it could have happened without some form of tension.
She spammed me on my cell while I was at work a few days later, and was still angry that I 'disrupted her at work' (when she's done the same to me via cell, and at my job, I can get fired for taking a cell out of my pocket and answering in the bathroom [which is right next to the office]- and I know for a fact that she had much more free time than I ever could dream of at her job (though that point is moot, if you hash down to 'I have' versus 'You have') , and she still didn't understand, and even called me an 'immature baby' over it and other illogical things.
I re-iterated my message, though I knew she'd ignore it. Apparently she did, because her partner sent me an email asking me what was really going on. I reiterated my message to him, sent him all my reasoning and prior messages to her, and I've heard nothing since.
Due to my attunement with Scorpion-the-totem, I was able to understand, see the bigger picture, feel the energy around me- and chose not to play doormat. It took said totem plus all of eight years to realize that I cannot base my sense of self off of how good a friend or lover I am to other people; took eight years of pain, misery and frustrations- though there were many profound changes, the most of which started on Christopher Penczak's 2005 Yule celebration, which transformed my life and helped me find my way into the tradition I am studying with, which in turn helped me discover the religion I truly feel at home with- and even further than that, giving birth to an infinitely better person than I used to be.
Scorpion taught me boundaries, and I've finally finished that lesson. I was completely transformed when I came to Wicca, but it was Scorpion's magick that helped refine me. I know how to fully be open to my senses, how to see the bigger pattern while avoiding becoming jaded and apathetic, how to find the roots of my less-than-pleasant aspects of myself and work through them, how to move through life with good timing and full-heartedly through a uniting of mind and heart at what is truly desired, giving death to harmful patterns in my life and becoming reborn again by enabling more beneficial cycles to begin.
"Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you."
Today I wear a gift that a friend of mine online bought for last Yule of 2007: without ever telling her I was working with Scorpion-the-totem, I found a box on my front porch with a black scorpion (dead of old age, she was told) encased in acrylic and made into a necklace pendant.
Without Scorpion-the-totem and Scorpion, I could not have learned all that I have and begun this new cycle of beautiful growth. Without my friend of five years, I would not have worked more deeply with the Egyptian deities, pursued the pumpkin-carving party we went to that led to my being invited to Samhain 2005, which I missed, but led to my determination to go to Yule '05 with her. Cycles and cycles of events.
It's her hand I'm holding in my Witchvox photo, her umbrella. With every person we encounter, we change each other as we interact, slowly but surely.
I can only hope that my greatest sacrifice will be as beneficial for her as it was for me. In the meantime, I thank Scorpion (both the totem and the one I worked with, if it truly was a separate entity at all) for granting me the wisdom. We'd truly started working together by June of 2007, and this past March marked the six-month mark- but I know that if need be, we can work together again.
Scorpion is not truly about 'attack or defend' or 'black and white', as some would say at casual glance. Though its appearance is rather freaky to us two-legged fleshy people, it doesn't mean it's not beneficial for us at some point in our lives. Astrologically speaking, Scorpion and Phoenix are both very intuitive creatures and interchangeable within the element of water- both stood for transformation, though they work in different ways. In fact, scorpion venom is being studied for use as a medicine due to the peptides it contains.
Life and death are intertwined. The circle has no ending nor beginning, because any point in it can be one, the other, or both. Reality is a river that is much deeper and subtle than people initially see on the surface.
http://www.reclaiming.org/about/witchfaq/charge.html ; Doreen Valiente
Credit to Scorpion and Scorpion-the-totem for teaching me.
Location: Nashua, New Hampshire
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