‘Unaffordable’ by Khaled Kashkari
Update to post:
It would appear that this post has struck a chord, and not surprisingly, those who have the most to lose are complaining the loudest. Long may it continue. If not profiting from my tradition and selling unneeded kitsch to the masses makes me ‘self-righteous’, so be it. I’ve been called a lot worse, and am frankly honoured to have been mentioned as an oppositional voice to this endless consumer nightmare and constant promotion of useless goods which are produced more for the benefit of the money-hungry seller than the magical/spiritual needs of the buyer. Thanks for that guys. You know who you are …Now, on to our discussion:
What’s In Your Wallet? The Big Pagan Sellout
It’s cool to be Pagan right now. Being so makes one hip, edgy, a demi-anarchist. It would also, from all accounts, make one financially prosperous. I am talking about the ‘The Big Sell Out’; the ‘Pagan for Profit’ mentality that has taken over our computers, our lives and most sadly, our traditions, paths and beliefs.
Type ‘Pagan’ into your web browser and you will be bombarded with hundreds upon hundreds of sites offering to sell you everything from amethyst studded wands to faux zebra-skin mojo bags. We have purveyors of ‘safe’ flying ointments (they were never meant to be SAFE), herbal remedies for body and soul, spells for every occasion and ailment, tarot divinations, (“Call in the next 10 minutes and I’ll throw in a complimentary astrological reading”), and such illogical and unusable wastes of the Earth Mother and Her resources as to be shameful.
We have stones, chalices, fetishes, potions and poppets – wands, robes, cloths and parchments. If I see one more advertisement for a goddamn psychic reading or lemon-based herbal enchantment in a nylon sachet, I am going to cut my own throat.
Pretty ‘witch’ balls, decorative brooms, sparkly Goddess earrings, ‘road-kill’ animal skins dressed up as shamanistic ‘Spirit animals’, ornately embroidered robes, Life Coaches and Paypal donation buttons. Ahhh. Yep, there’s true power there. Gotta be. It’s new, has pretty packaging and the advertisement said so.
I would expect such behaviour from Christians. The church has always been a big proponent of riches (even though their own scriptures and Founder denounce it; please see Mark 10:23-25: English Standard Version (ESV).
23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”).
The Catholic Church is one of the world’s richest organizations, worth literally untold billions. According to some sources, the Pope, as head of this conglomerate, is the wealthiest individual on the planet.
From this mindset, I would expect a sellout. From a movement supposedly started by an illiterate, desperately poor carpenter, that has devoured the world and left millions in spiritual slavery and poverty, yet, ironically, is worth billions (some say too many to count), from THIS type of institution, I would expect a sellout.
Call me old-fashioned or old school, but I remember growing up with people who lived in mobile homes in the New Mexico desert who would be considered destitute by today’s standards. They worked outside; they grew their own herbs. They made their own tools for their Craft. They believed that actually making the magical item yourself added to the power. They would never consider ‘buying’ it from an internet ‘witch’.
The intent of the Worker was transferred bit by bit to the item being created. It was useless to buy something someone else had made for a ‘magical’ working. It had to have THEIR web strand embedded in it. To change and influence our own individual reality, our OWN essence and our ‘own thread’ of being needs to be inherent in our tools. Not a stranger’s. To buy our spirituality or magical props is the lazy man’s way of Crafting. It is also the weakest way.
These people I grew up with and around, worked with their hands and hearts out of devotion to the Old Ways and the Old Gods. They had no forums, no internet chat rooms, no glitz. There were no Facebook pages where they could ask mindless and mundane questions to people as ignorant as themselves on the other side of the monitor. No ‘Twitter’ updates, no books, no videos, no donation buttons, no Tumblr posts. Nothing. It was them and them alone, with the Spirits and Gods they conjured.
They followed their intuition. They talked to the Spirits and were guided by THEM, not by some red-eyed, well-dressed, over-fed ‘witch’ who got her information from brightly illustrated books and the latest episode of ‘Charmed”.
They worked with what was available. They didn’t have ‘two-day delivery with a Prime membership’. They had to get outside, in the sun and dirt, making talismans out of adobe mud, infused with grasses, rocks and the Power of the Shaman. They spent time with themselves and with the Ancients. They chanted, they prayed, their bodies swayed in time with the Universe. The blood flowed and the magic thundered. It didn’t cost a dime.
This is not to equate spirituality versus prosperity. It is rather, to show the GREED, and uncontrollable appetite of the eternally hungry and fat internet marketers in comparison to those who seek help, encouragement, education and enlightenment. I don’t think I’m better, I think I’m wiser. Do I love money? Yes. Will I do anything to get it? No!
To me, these internet predators are nothing more than nasty, rabid whores – selling their bodies, voices, words and unusable talismans to the unwary, weak and uneducated. For the most part, they are diseased, illiterate in the Way and hopeful that their own grandiose ideas of themselves will cover their innate magical and spiritual weakness.
I realize I am being harsh. We all need money to live. I get that. In fact, truth be told, I am probably one of the most money hungry people you will ever have the unfortunate distinction of meeting. But I will say one thing; I have never made a penny off of my Path, nor do I ever intend to do so. My dad told me it was wrong to do this. He said that what ‘was given by the Spirits and the Gods should not be sold. To do so was to trivialize the Power, to monetize it. To do so was to weaken the Gift and to make it a thing of men, not of the Divine’.
I personally think that is why the Pagan sellout is such a success. Most are weak. Their rituals dry, tasteless and rote, their spells ineffective and paltry. I imagine most people think, “If I buy that wand, or that ointment, or the newest deck of Tarot cards, or hire some Life Coach from Amazon, I will be stronger. If I have the newest planetary hours program for my computer, I can cast more effective spells”. Sorry folks. That isn’t how it works.
You want to be more powerful? You want to rock the world with your magic? Here’s an idea; get the hell away from computer, from the TV, from the cell phone, from PEOPLE, from the internet in general.
Shut your mouth, shut your wallet and sit in silence in the dark. Fast. Pray. Meditate. Talk to plants, talk to the Gods, talk to the Spirits. Stop buying into the hype that you need newer and better ‘things’ to be a Worker. You don’t. You don’t need ‘life coaches’ and road kill finds.
You need dedication, discipline and that burning lust in your heart that will turn you insane.
When you start babbling incoherently to yourself, when you start seeing ‘Things’ that others can’t, when you start feeling ‘Presences’ that others don’t, when you see the Cosmic Web behind every living thing and when you speak to a stone and have it speak back, you will know. You have surpassed the sellout. You have become your own life coach, your own shaman. Why buy from the desperate?
All you need to be a great Worker is your Gods, your Spirits, your Heart and most importantly, a burning, all-consuming Lust for the Unseen. The rest will follow…the tools will be available for the Great Ones will see to it that you have what you need. And your needs are much less than you imagine.
Just you, the Universe and the Ancient Ones. Get out and start traversing the stars. And guess what? You can leave your wallet at home.
Image: Khaled Kashkari - http://khalllody.deviantart.com/gallery/?q=sale#/d1v2cgt
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