Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Random pagan and metaphysical thoughts

Random pagan and metaphysical thoughts

Last Wednesday, I watched a television program called ‘Paranormal Witness’ on Syfy, which I regularly watch. An episode called ‘The Coven’. From the episode description: A family moves into a home that locals tell them was once the location for a coven of Witches, the family experiences activity they believe was caused by the rituals the Witches performed. A family rented a big house in what at least appeared to be a rural area of Greenville, South Carolina.

I believe that this was likely one situation where the negative portrayal was legitimate. There are people who are only interested in two aspects of the old religion, dabbling in magic for power, and looking for attention. In the ancient world, 99% of the people were only cultural adherents of it, and the work of metaphysical science was left only to high initiates. Therefore, I think certain Christians are correct when they say that magic isn’t for children.

This past Sunday I watched the season premiere (‘On the Road: Philadelphia’) of ‘Long Island Medium’ on The Learning Channel. I was familiar with what the show was about, even though I had not watched it before. I viewed it to review it here, and it was exactly as I thought. It’s a program about a "medium" named Theresa Caputo who supposedly can connect with the souls of dead relatives of those whom she is giving a reading for. Theresa Caputo sure looks the part of the quintessential reality star. That personality, and oh that great hair! Near the end of the program, I think I had it pretty well figured out.

She has many critics who claim that she is using a fraudulent system called “the cold reading act,” in which a clever and observant person can tell you things about yourself using only whatever clues they can find and perceive. I have seen this cold reading, and it’s true. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t true mediums, but only that people can be fooled out of the shoes, which happened to supposedly strong skeptics in this episode.

Souls of the departed rarely stick around. They overwhelmingly move on. According to Theresa Caputo, they never leave! Her “act” couldn’t possibly be true in my opinion. I believe that her trick is that she has some psychic ability, and she mixes that with any clues and clever guesses. All she has to do is mention one or two things that she may legitimately pick up on, and the person becomes an instant believer.

In her mind, she may tell herself that she is comforting the person; therefore she’s doing a good thing. There could be some of that, but it’s really exploitation of that person’s emotions. With Amy Allan (‘The Dead Files’), I do think she has a special gift. However, they go into hotbeds of activity. In other words, maybe out of a thousand houses, maybe one or two has some activity.. and something more like one-in-ten-thousand may have something that needs to be dealt with. ‘Long Island Medium’ turns the whole metaphysical study into a jackassy activity, therefore helping to hold back this important area of science.

Also this past Sunday, I watched the premiere of another program to look at here. The ‘Witches of East End’ on Lifetime network. It’s been a popular theme, the portrayal of modern “witches,” and portraying them in a cutesy-magical-sexy manner.. and with so much drama! That’s fine for entertainment and ratings, but aren’t people who supposedly work with energy supposed to have a bit of a handle on things? It’s seems a contradiction to me that certain Wiccans can on one hand say the they’re just like other people, then flock to this program which completely alters their imagination of who they are.

The program is about a centuries-old witch, played by Julia Ormond, who is cursed to keep having the same two daughters over and over again, but keeps losing them at a young age. This time around she tries to protect them from their inherent abilities so they may life a long life. They live in a great old house, and seem to exist along the fringes of high society. There’s the whole mix of magic, romance, and drama. I don’t feel quite comfortable giving it a thumbs up or down. It’s a program designed to be more suited for women. I mean, sure, it’s entertaining enough; but it makes a mockery of an ancient spiritual tradition in which a few select women wielded tremendous power in society. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

I remember when I was about thirteen, there was a family of what seemed to have been “witches” living on the edge of town. When we rode our bikes past their home, sometimes we would see the women wearing long black dresses, usually with red or purple mixed in. They were a curiosity to be sure. This was long before there was any undercurrent of this being popular. They had some elements of symbolism in their large front yard, but it wasn’t anything over-the-top Wiccan.

They seemed to not want to be bothered… which is in total contradiction to the “look at me!” attitude of some Wiccans today. We treated them well, and especially in that more judgmental atmosphere. In other words, they were not made fun of or harassed in any way. They were merely….. a curiosity. Despite the different dress, they carried themselves with dignity. To us… that counted.

A few days ago, while shopping at the Bargain Market, I saw a brand of beer called “Witch Hunt – Spiced Harvest Ale” by Bridgeport. “Witch Hunt?” Can you imagine the reaction if you took the name of other religions or traditions and casually put it in front of HUNT?? Is a “witch hunt” supposed to be as subtle as a “fox hunt?"


October 10 Addition:

Yesterday evening had anther two programs that I wanted to add here. One was the premiere of the third season ('Coven') of 'American Horror Story' on FX network. Staring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, and Angela Bassett; it's similar to 'Witches of East End', mixing violence, sex, and magic. It also reflects a very dark portrayal, including numerous murders. Set in New Orleans, apparently this series will include VooDoo practice.

Later on the Syfy network was the movie 'Witchville' (Syfy 2010). I don't think a lot of people take Syfy moves really seriously, but to make a long story short, the plot was the complete reversal of historical reality. The "witches" were mass murderers, were "of the devil," and had to be destroyed, etc. I watched it, and it seemed like a fairly benign little movie.... but, changing history 180 degrees? Ahh... the killers from Earth-based spirituality! I guess we learn something new every day. The entire movie can be viewed here.


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