I’m feeling tired and frazzled, but content. Conferences are always academically energizing for me. They’re good for my ego, mostly, but it’s also great to interact with scholars that I respect and potentially make some new friends. My paper was well-received and I feel that I responded to all of my questions very well. FSU is on my list of potential Ph.D. programs, and it was great to actually see the campus and meet some of the professors.
Not a lot going on, otherwise. I haven’t posted much of substance to YouTube in the last several days. I’ve watched with some bewilderment as the popular topic in the community lately seems to be “dark witchcraft,” whatever that is. I get where these folks are coming from, I think. What I don’t understand is why there needs to be yet another label for something that I think is inherent to witchcraft already. To call rites and rituals that somehow pertain to death “dark” seems to me to place a value judgement on them and automatically draws a comparison that I don’t think is helpful. I don’t see why death is any “darker” than any other human experience (if you ask me, childbirth and parenthood are way scarier, and definitely grosser).
People die. People suffer. Witches sometimes talk to dead people. A lot of us collect skulls and other dead bits. Cemeteries can be powerful places. Blood can be a powerful ritual additive. Pain can be a source of power. So what? If that makes me “dark,” then it’s news to me. That’s just part of being a witch, as far as I’m concerned.
What I will say, since I’m on the subject, is that it annoys me when these “dark witches” describe themselves in direct contrast to Wiccans, who are supposedly “focused on light, love, and the positive.” Like being Wiccan is a bad thing. I can understand why someone with only a superficial understanding of Wicca–gained primarily from the Barnes & Noble “New Age” section and YouTube–would think that Wiccans are all about kittens and moonbeams (both of which are admittedly awesome), but this is simply erroneous. Wicca is fundamentally about sex and death. And lots of both. Maybe Scott Cunningham’s version of Wicca doesn’t include scourging, magic involving blood, or work with the dead, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t part of Wicca.
I think what some people are calling “dark” is really just self-awareness. To quote The Princess Bride, “Life is pain. Anyone who says different is selling something.”