An Emotive Ramble on “Coolness”

So recently, on one of the Discord servers that I’m a member of, there was a question asked about if people are familiar with the Theban alphabet, and if we use it.

I got into a bit of a debate with someone on the server about whether the Theban alphabet is a language or not. I continue to insist that it is not, but rather in this instance is a tool used to conceal language, and not a language in and of itself. They insisted that it is a language, because it can be used to communicate between two people.

A Frustrating Encounter - Theban Alphabet
"A Frustrating Encounter" - Theban Alphabet

The thing is, during this debate, they insisted that the Theban alphabet has no true use, and that people learn it just because they think it’s “cool”. And the way that this was presented sounded very snide, especially in the context that they were insisting a better method of concealing one’s writings from others would be to learn an entirely different language, and use that instead of a cypher (which is what the Theban alphabet is).

Now, while I agree that learning another language would be beneficial to anyone and everyone, I disagree that the Theban alphabet has no place in today’s witchcraft. I also strongly disagree with there being anything to look down upon in learning something…. anything, for that matter, because you find it “cool”.

In fact, I would say that aside from outside influences (economic, parental, educational requirements, etc) that the “cool” factor is humanity’s key motivator in any learning or exploration process. It is what sparks our inspiration and curiosity, and thus from there we dive in and explore, learn, and eventually develop and then hone our skills.

I don’t understand why anyone would look down on people for thinking something is “cool” and thus deciding to learn about it, no matter what it is that has caught their attention.

In the end, this person’s dismissive invalidating and degrading tone really put me off (and pissed me off), and combined with the tension between myself and her as we tried to discuss… I ended up having to excuse myself from the conversation.

Which… is so fucking frustrating. And irritating. And damnit, I hate when people look down on others like that and it pisses me the FUCK off and, in this instance? There’s just nothing more I can do about it other than the posts I already placed in there to reassure anyone that read the discussion that it’s okay to explore and learn something because you find it cool. Why the hell wouldn’t it be?

Side note… The answer to the original question of if I am familiar with and/or use the Theban alphabet is that my sister and I were taught this alphabet by our mother when we were children, and were required to write our rituals and spell notes in it in order to become fluent in reading and writing with it. I no longer use the Theban alphabet, and haven’t since leaving my parent’s house at the age of sixteen. That does not change my opinion that it has it’s places and uses in today’s witchcraft, just not in mine specifically as I am very much “out of the broom closet” and not planning on spending any time in there.

Musing On Best Decisions

So in a live on YouTube today, Simon over at The Hermit’s Cave asked a question at the end they really got me to thinking. The question was “What is the best decision that you’ve ever made?”

hearts

My first answer was Gideon.

Then, as other people answered, I had time to think about it and went through a whole roster of thoughts on what maybe my answer should’ve been. Things like my emancipation from my parents, or deciding to buy a home, or allowing my sister to come and live with me… All of these things were good decisions. But which one was the best?

Thinking about my emancipation from my parents, I realize that although I left their home at the age of 16, it really wasn’t that much longer to reach the legal age of 18. Yes it would’ve been a miserable two years add it onto an as so far miserable existence, but I would’ve made it through and come out the other side as long as I didn’t end up offing myself along the way (which was a definite possibility, as I did give it a couple of tries).

Purchasing a home has given me a homebase, and the stability that I feel that I need in my life. But, my life would still go on and be fine without that stability. I would just be renting instead of owning, and probably moving every few years. Yes, that stability and security is very important to me, but it is more about comfort level than true necessity.

Allowing my sister to move in with me was an excellent decision, and a no-brainer. She needed the support, and as her twin I really can’t say that life would be the same without her. I’ve spent my entire life with her other than a few years when I was out on my own and she was still living with my parents, and she provides me with her support and love every day. That said, if she was not living with me she would still be in my life.

So then we come to Gideon. Allowing Gideon into my life was a conscious choice that I had to actually make in order for us to move forward into a relationship. At the time, I felt that I was doing fine without him and even happily so, and I was in no real hurry to get in a relationship. The thing is though, by including him into my life and giving him the place that he has in my life, he has enriched my life beyond all imagination. It’s more than just love (as if love could be quantified with “just”).

Gideon provides support, perspective, and is the catalyst to many of the things that have made my life better over the years we’ve been together. These include the support that he has given me in healing some of of the wounds of my past, the encouragement he provides on a daily basis, his wisdom and understanding, and his unconditional trust and love. He has helped me to develop into the man that I am today in a way that so many other decisions I’ve made have helped along the way… but not in such a significant and pervasive way.

I firmly believe that the best decision of my life has been in welcoming Gideon into it, and allowing him to convince me to explore what we could be together.

Thinking about so many of the decisions I’ve made in life, I’ve made a number of really good ones. But, of them all, Gideon is by far my best ever.

Soulmates

I didn’t write this… but having read it on one of my discord servers just reinforces how fortunate I feel to have you in my life. I love you Gideon.

Why I Don’t Own the Modern Witch Tarot

In a nutshell, it comes down it dishonest marketing ploys.

Modern Witch Tarot

So as I said, in a nutshell it comes down to dishonest marketing, but I’m going to go through and outline my issues below.  Yes, I know that my opinion on this is very much in the minority and highly controversial, but unfortunately?  I’ve not been able to “get over it” and look at this deck without feeling that polluted tinge of deceit and hypocrisy, so here we go…

When this deck came out and throughout the marketing process for it, this deck was billed as “LGBT Friendly” and “Diverse”.  These were it’s major selling points in its marketing campaign… and in my opinion?  They are both outright lies.

Why do I say they are lies?   Because there are no men in this deck.  None.   A fact that they very conveniently swept under the rug and was not mentioned even once… anywhere.     How can something be either LGBT Friendly or Diverse if you are excluding (nearly) 50% of the population from being represented in the deck?

To be clear.  I have no issue with women-only decks.  I have no issue with decks that celebrate the divine feminine in all her glory.  I think it’s a beautiful thing, and I own a few of those all-women decks myself.

What I have an issue with, is the hypocrisy of saying something is either LGBT friendly and/or diverse when you are very clearly and very consciously 1) excluding the G, B, and half the T  in the LGBT equation 2) excluding (nearly) half of the world’s population through sexism.  It’s bullshit, and it pisses me off.

I also have an issue with the name of the deck in relation to the missing (nearly) half of the world population.  The deck is named the “Modern Witch” tarot, and yet they are excluding men.  Males are also witches and a serious minority in witch circles.

Not only that, but in my experience male witches are often treated in those witch circles as the enemy and not to be trusted,  or as if they are superfluous and don’t count, or as tools to be utilized. To leave them out of a deck that is 1) supposed to be diverse, and 2) representative of “modern witches” is encouragement of this exclusionary behavior, in my opinion.

Again, I want to say this again.  I have no issue with women-only decks.  I have no issue with decks that celebrate the divine feminine in all her glory.  Women have gone through a lot in history, and still go through a lot of crap in today’s society.  But as a society we are supposed to be striving for equality.

Equality is not about restitution or who owes what to whom. Equality is about balance. If someone is going to make a deck that touts itself as diverse and a representative of modern witches (especially if it’s going out mass market around the world)?  It should truly be diverse and a representation of all modern witches…. instead of saying it is when it is very much a deceptive marketing ploy.

Just my opinion…. and a mini rant.

All of the above said?  The card’s artwork is beautiful.  It’s a beautifully made deck.  I just wish that it had been more honestly named and honorably marketed.   These issues make me unable to enjoy the deck, perhaps because every time I see it it reminds me of the subjugation and unpleasant treatment laid upon me by witch circles throughout my life for being a witch that is male.

 

A Letter to Mother

A letter I will never deliver, but… needed to get out of my system somehow.

rain

Dear Mère

I am hurting, and you don’t care. You are the perpetrator, and… you don’t care.

When I was growing up, and even as an adult before dad passed away, I saw you as warm and caring. I saw you as a wonderful and supportive mother. I was blind to, and amused by, your frivolous antics and society focused views. Your constant desire to have us look our best and present at our best was simply a part of your motherly charms.

And then father died, and you seemed to drop the charade that I didn’t even realize you were performing. You became clear about your disgust concerning my orientation, where before you had seemed supportive in contrast to father’s constant berating. You stopped trying to conceal your shallow and self-centered interests and goals behind a motherly façade.

Perhaps we are at fault for perpetuating your behavior. After all, in our home your children’s birthdays are not celebrated. Instead, those birthdays are another “Mother’s Day” with the focus upon you and the life you have given to us. Father left decisions up to you, because he was focused upon appearances as well, and you made certain he was pleased with how others viewed our family, even after I emancipated from it in my teens.

I now realize that the pagan parenting mentor you sought out when we were children wasn’t because you wanted to find a better path to integrate your faith into your children’s lives… but because you wanted to be less involved, and you treated Z like a nanny, handing us over to her so that you could wash your hands of the heavy lifting. I now realize that it was Z that raised me through that second half of my childhood, and Z that taught me about values, ethics, and morals… whereas what you taught me was about social mores, with a heavy stress on the “social” part of that equation.

I have realized very clearly of late that our value to you is based upon what we can do for you. The dance classes, the etiquette lessons, the constant pressure to look “presentable” and “perfect” whenever we might be seen by others either outside the home or within it. It wasn’t for our benefit as you so very carefully had us believe. We were rare and beautiful trinkets to be shown off and admired by all. A set of beautiful, exotic looking twins that were both loyal and well mannered no matter the occasion of situation. A social stepping stone to elevate you above others.

But we are no longer children, mother. We are not pawns in your game of life to be positioned at your whim. L and I are not toys to strategically maneuver into place for your social or economical benefit.

Please stop.

Stop trying to show us off to your cocktail party friends, country club acquaintances, and foundation associates. Stop pressuring L to move back in with you so she will be more available to be manipulated and used to your benefit whenever you desire to do so.

And for fuck sake, STOP trying to pressure and blackmail me into going on dates with “the eligibles” of your circle in the hopes for a “good match”. A match that would only be good for you and you alone. I’m with someone. I have been with him for nearly twelve years. I’m not going to leave him (or betray him) just because he’s of no use to you.

Honestly? I don’t even know why you’re trying. After the way you reacted when I was attacked and obtained my facial scar, I was sure this shit was over where I was concerned.

The next time you spring another “date” on me, I will make such an embarrassment out of you that you won’t be able to show your face among your circle again without being snickered at and mocked. Do not give out my phone number. Do not send people to my door. I’ve had enough.  (This part I have already clearly communicated to you, and I really hope that you were listening.)

I love you. Despite your flaws and your selfishness. I love you, and I always will.

But it’s time to stop.

Your wayward son,

L