Firstoff a short apology for me being gone so long. October is a very difficult month for me, and I just was not in any type of head space to write anything. But…I will go on now and write some more. Thank you all for having such patience with me.
And now onto the topic of today:
I frequent several “pagan”-flavored groups of Facebook. I also occasionally venture into the “paganism” and “witchcraft” tags on Tumblr. Only rarely, but it happens. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about people thinking their nightmares are caused by spirits…or general physical ailments are caused by “insert-magical-being-here”. Anything from ghosts, to fae, to succubi/incubi. It’s really headache inducing how stupid some of this is. First step always first – get thee to a doctor and rule out all mundane reasons for you ailments. After all, magical and mystical works should not be in replacement of the basic workings of doctors. Physical health should always start off with “mundane” workings to try and get the problem solved. Using magical/mystical options should be the compliment to all normal things, not in lieu of. That’s just common sense.
But…all the talk about “weird magical goings on” did remind me of something I did when I was 6 or 7.
I was at a friend’s birthday party…and you know like children tell those stories about “Bloody Mary” and the mirror thing. So of course, my friend’s slumber party, I was the youngest girl there, everyone else was 8-10 years old. And they all decided it would be a great idea to try and summon Bloody Mary. So they all sat down in a large circle. I didn’t want to do it, because it was too scary to myself. But they did, so I was watching from outside their circle. Of course it was a circle, because that’s what all the witchy-things and portrayals did…and my friends all thought they were going to be summoning something. And they of course do some chant, one of the one’s that a girl had heard from her older sister and her friends (no doubt to scare her into leaving them alone, now that I look back on it).
I know logically that it was just group-think and us psyching ourselves out. But one girl flipped totally and thought someone grabbed her hair and yanked on it. A few of them swore someone had poked them in the back, or had run their hand up a girl’s back. Which of course terrified everyone there. I know that because the girls had grabbed flashlights and propped them up like a “candle” in the middle, and a girl knocked it over, it was very shadowy. So I thought, at the time, that I saw a figure moving. Of course, looking back, I’m sure it was just my mind freaking out because everyone else was as well. But at the moment I was pretty petrified. We were all so freaked out, no one wanted to go into the bathroom alone for the rest of the night. Because of course there was a mirror in there, which terrified us all. So one of the taller girls went in and covered the mirror with a blanket so we didn’t have to look at it.
Looking back at it, I guess it does sound funny to have a bunch of children freaking ourselves out. But there’s something there that has stuck with me ever since, no matter if it was just a case of group-think and freaking us out.
The one thing I took away from the whole stupid endeavor was to never meddle in things that I am not researched on (no matter if it is mundane or mystical). Preparation became clearly necessary for me, and I realized that I was going to always make sure I had a working knowledge of whatever I got myself into. If just so I wouldn’t ever have an unnecessary freak-out again. I did not like feeling freaked out for no good reason. So when I wanted to get deeper into studying, I was determined that I was going to make sure I knew if I would have reasons to freak out, and do the best I could to ensure I knew enough to keep myself calm.
It’s certainly served me well. Though at times I suppose it has made it so that I am more of a book-witch than a real practicing one. I do admit I do far more researching and reading than I do in day-to-day practicing. But I do believe knowledge helps improve the reliability of those things that I deal with or choose to work on. And this was perhaps the first “magical” experience that taught me that. Whether what my friends felt was real, or whether it was just hysteria caused by young children–it taught me that magical and supernatural things can be very dangerous, and it’s best to be prepared and not just play flippantly with things that are known for being “dangerous”.
I figure, my terrifying/amusing childhood experience might at least get a chuckle out of someone else. Because after all, a bunch of children with over-active imaginations are bound to create crazy stories. At least for me something good came from it, an understanding of how knowledge and preparation are necessary.∗