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Misuse of Magick

Friday, March 4, 2011

 
Those of you who have followed my blog for awhile know that most of the time when somebody claims this or that to be a misuse of magical powers I generally think they're full of it. I strongly believe that magick is a natural human ability, and that there's nothing wrong with using it for practical goals. The idea that using magick to achieve your goals somehow constitutes "cheating" is ridiculous, and I think it should generally be left up to individual magicians to decide which ethical system should guide their practices.

But then there's this.

A trio of Salem witches, offended by Hollywood hell-raiser Charlie Sheen’s proclamation that he is a “warlock,” are planning a spiritual housecleaning for the “Two and a Half Men” train wreck in the Witch City on Sunday.

“If he doesn’t get some spiritual help, he could end up dead,” said a witch who goes by the name of Lorelei. Just Lorelei. She’s hosting the Sheen-orcism at her witchcraft emporium Crow Haven Corner.

So what will you do Sunday, Loreliei?

“Sacrifice him,” deadpanned the witch, who was immediately chastised by her conjuring colleague Christian Day.

“We’re going to use high ritual and high magic to give him all the help he needs,” declared Christian.

I'm thinking that Loreliei's initial response there was the truth. Christian is just more media savvy and realized that it wouldn't play well in a news story. How do I know? Well, for one thing, "hexes" usually aren't considered "help" in modern parlance.


Now let me see - last I checked the word "warlock" was derived from "oathbreaker" and rings like nails on a chalkboard to actual witches. The term does not mean "male witch" as it is commonly used in Disney productions, paranormal television series, and Julian Sands movies. But apparently these three individuals have embraced the term. To me this suggests they're a bunch of publicity seekers with no magical powers at all - but let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Apparently they think hexing somebody for using a term that most witches don't even identify with is completely reasonable.

Salem’s sorcerers have their cloaks in a twist ever since Sheen, in an interview with “Today,” said CBS had “picked a fight with a warlock.” Day, a self-proclaimed warlock and the owner of Hex, an “Olde World Witchery” shop, said Charlie seems to be confusing warlocks with warlords.

“Just because the word contains ‘war’ doesn’t mean a warlock is a warrior and that’s how Charlie Sheen used it,” Day told the Track. “I respect his passion to save his career, but don’t do it on the backs of witches.”

Or at least on the backs of TV and movie witches. Could these people possibly be serious? With all the other bizarre stuff Sheen said in the same interview there's no way anyone could possibly confuse him with a real witch. "Tiger blood?" "Adonis DNA?" Come on!

“We are not negative people,” added Day, whose Facebook friends went wild when they heard Sheen use the “W” word. “Witches and warlocks protect and bind people from harming other people and seek justice. We have nothing to do with battles over money and power.”

But apparently they're incredibly concerned with the word choices of a celebrity who could very well be battling mental illness, to the point that they think hexing him over it is a good idea. Nice. Maybe if they spent more time using their spells to amass money and power they wouldn't be doing stupid crap like this.

Aleister Crowley once wrote that a big part of "Do what thou wilt" meant "mind your own business." These folks could take a lesson there from the Beast 666, keeping in mind that he was considered the "wickedest man in the world." Until they do it seems to me that they have no business practicing magick of any sort.

molester

Silly

GOOGLE OF WICCA

attention whore

Twilight

Insluting

EGO

Specitical

Fiction

EGO

Charlie Sheen and the Warlocks of Salem

Charlie Sheen and the Warlocks of Salem

Sounds like a bad B movie, doesn’t it? I had planned to write a post today about Heroic values and someone who is embracing those values to change their life. It was a story of hope, inspiration and the good things that people on the liminal edges of Paganism are doing. Well, you’re getting that tomorrow, because I clicked onto Facebook today to find Christian Day has weighed in on the Charlie Sheen meltdown with that paragon of journalism: TMZ.

Click the pic to see the AV Club's Charlie Sheen warlock photo contest. It's the only funny thing I've found today.

Straight off: I don’t know Christian Day. We’re connected on Facebook and I’ve only ever heard good things about him and his work. My opinion of him has always been vaguely favorable and I have always wanted to visit his shop in Salem. His reclamation of the word “Warlock” is unusual but that’s his business not mine.

Yet I’m seriously disturbed by his decision to talk to TMZ because a celebrity in the midst of a public meltdown said something weird that included the word warlock. Here’s the audio(relevant bit starts at 11:30 mark):

From this audio clip I can’t tell if Christian is upset because he’s expressing his “awesomeness”, or as he would say it “gnarlyness”, by calling himself a “vatican assassin warlock”, which is apparently due to a weird rumor about Sheen that he has chosen to embrace. He’s using the word with pride, much in the same way he says he has tigerblood and he is “winning” despite publicly losing everything.

Did Sheen say warlocks were bad? Did he say they were shady, sketchy people? Did he really say anything negative? Nope. He adopted the word as a a Dungeons and Dragons-like addition to his vocabulary of WINNING!

So why is Christian upset? Because his going to TMZ in a state of indignation resembles the type of publicity stunts that have caused many of us to distance ourselves from folks like Kevin Carlyon. His story in TMZ does our community no good. We derive no benefit from it. This story hurts the Pagan community while increasing Christian’s flash and pizazz. Maybe Christian wants to be Occult Advisor to the Stars! Yet he’s effectively alienated a large number of folks who would have supported him prior to this shenanigan.

Something I heard several times from Reconstructionists, Heathens and other folks at PantheaCon and afterwards is that they don’t identify as Pagan because there is so much in the Pagan community they want to distance themselves from. I’m an oddball in my particular tradition for identifying as both Pagan and Wiccan, because many folks in my trad shun anything Pagan because they don’t want to be associated with the nonsense that sometimes falls under that name.

Personally, I’ve witnessed a lot of nonsense over the years, but this morning seeing the press having a field day with Christian’s TMZ story, I felt my soul withdraw. I don’t want to be associated with this three ring circus. Creating a media circus that doesn’t serve our community, but actually undoes all the good work we’ve done with mainstream media is totally innappropriate. Christian’s Facebook page is all full of exultation from himself and his fans, and he obviously has no clue what kind of damage he’s done.

It’s going to take me some time to work through my anger and disappointment. How can I be a cheerleader of a broad inclusive Pan-Pagan community when this entire story makes my flesh crawl?

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