Drama, Douche-baggery, and Defensive Magick

Week 8 of PBP: For my second D post I was going to follow a few trends – but decided against it. I could have written volumes about depression – how it affects my spirituality, my belief, even the Gods and Goddesses I honor are somewhat related to my experiences with depression and self-destruction. However, I’m not sure I could be as eloquent as some other posts. (See Hippy Jersey Devil) Additionally, Saturday the 18th was the birthday of my best friend who died four and a half years ago – I considered writing about death in a way to honor her. I suppose I could also again here talk about self-destruction in general on that one… but I decide to save the that for another day. Instead, I thought perhaps a lighter topic may be better. So, I give you… defensive magick and a rant about my own experiences with local pagan communities and drama. (My apologies for anyone offended by the D-word, I like alliteration.)

Sometimes the Pagan community has a certain reputation for being full of drama. I wish I could say this has not been my experience, but it describes my experience in Pagan communities. When I was younger, I belonged to a local group for about two years and then it imploded – over drama. However this drama turned into a “witch war.” Yes, people actually cast spells to harm each other over basically, some rumors. I was burned on pagan communities.

I did join another group, this time a loosely organized paranormal investigative group. Well let me explain, the Husband joined the group, I did not. I did however take part in the family things and support him. That’s how I ended up going to their convention: which I’m going to call Dramacon. Immediately upon arrival, we discovered drama was afoot with the leader. Despite some less than flattering first impressions, I tried to be friendly with her for the sake of the Husband. However, once things got moving the first order on her agenda was to badmouth a leader of another group coming from a few hours away. Next, unbeknownst to me, was an agenda to “expose” a local respected pagan leader as sleazy kind of guy. She suggestively baited him, then twisted what happened into a slightly rape-y story she repeated to anyone who would listen. This was just the beginning, less than twelve hours in. I have zero tolerance for drama. I cannot allow myself to be around this kind of behavior and I refuse to be a part of it. Unfortunately, I was there supporting the Husband and being a good cheerleader. I did not leave because I did not want to be seen as a “bad wife” who can’t “be there for her man.” I stayed and held my tongue. We left together when he had his fill of being taken advantage of and the bad vibes throughly soured his impression of the occult community.

Not all witches and pagans are drama queens – but I do think we have more than our fair share.  So Drama seems tied to pagan communities and I hate it. I think this is an unacceptable way for grown adults to act, not to mention outright unprofessional in a con setting. My yoga practice is important to me, but this is one time I am most grateful for it. I started studying yoga around the same time as I began to learn about paganism and I have always seamlessly blended the Eightfold Path into my spirituality. When I witness drama like this I am constantly reminded of right thoughts, right words, and right actions and how they relate to honor. As a pagan I feel I am on a somewhat honor-bound path. My gods and goddess are not going to punish me for every infraction, and they do not have the time or inclination to police my behavior. That is MY responsibility and only I will be the one who cares about it. My thoughts, words and actions create my destiny – not the gods. My deities are only as involved in this as guides. So, for me, the drama pervasive in pagan communities is especially troubling. I want relationships with other pagans but I cannot be comfortable in this kind of hostile environment. I don’t want that kind of Karma or Wyrd, whichever term you prefer. If I associate with all the drama queens, I am making it my Wyrd.

Mind your thoughts, they become words.
Mind your words, they become actions.
Mind your actions, they become habits.
Mind your habits, they become your character.
Mind your character, it becomes your destiny.

That’s where defensive magick comes in. While the BEST defense is to not tolerate this kind of behavior, sometimes things happen. I know the Wiccans out there are thinking “but the rede says harm none,” this is where I point out, I’m not Wiccan. I do not practice Wicca, I practice a more traditional and sometimes darker, crooked path. I do what I must or to quote Crowley “Do what thou will.” Now, when I met the already called out drama queen, one of the biggest red flags that immediately went up was a story she told about a man flirting with her at the local pagan pride day and how he cast something against her because she wouldn’t go out with him; so she cast something in retaliation. Red flag! This kind of thing almost always makes me think I don’t want to be involved or even friends with someone, but the Husband didn’t have the same reaction. At the time I told her in no uncertain terms I did not agree with that practice: I do not cast spells against others. I think casting against someone who didn’t date you or in retaliation for something is foolish and not honorable at all. Later, when the Husband voiced my concerns about the way she conducted herself at Dramacon, she  led both of us to believe she was going to try to cast something against me. To “protect” herself from me. In times like these, you may need to use defensive magick. (Like I said I don’t condone or want to encourage casting against others. In real life though, I do what’s necessary.)

No matter what your moral and ethical standards are, there will always be foolish or outright bad people. A good defense is always the best offense, and I would recommend everyone in the magical communities learn to properly shield yourself. For those who are especially sensitive, it may help to have a protection amulet or charged item on your person for protection. A few traditional routes are sprigs of rue, charged amulets, and rune carvings. These can be worn or carried for protection. Also some useful stones for protection are rubies,  garnets, jet, and my personal favorite is lapis (this is a personal thing for me I think though). Another stone I find particularly protective and powerful, especially in these situations, is the sapphire. Sapphires are my birthstones and most birthstones are at least somewhat protective and defensive for those under their alignment. When you make an amulet or charm, be sure to use correct intention and charge this object as you would any other spell, just because you (or a loved one) will carry this item doesn’t mean you should be lax in charging it. A well-made amulet can be passed from one person to another without losing any potency.

Another good defensive action is warding and shielding your personal space. You can do this many ways, but I’m going to talk about my personal favorite. I find strategically placed witches bottles to be effective in guarding my house from negative energies. I often keep witch bottles for general protection near doorways (it is possible to make them attractive enough to slip seamlessly into any decor). In addition to general protection bottles, I keep a special witch bottle on my vanity or in my closet for my own personal protection as well: your closet, which holds your clothes, represents how others see you. The witch bottle I have formulated for my closet protects my reputation and how others see me as well.  In times like the ones I have described, you may what to make a witch bottle specifically for defensive and karmic-return. Such a witch bottle would be best to keep near your bed or in an area that you are often un-guarded like a bedroom.

Defensive Witch Bottle:
First, find a pretty bottle – perhaps one you might not mind sitting out in the open or you always may hide it. Be sure you throughly clean the bottle and any objects you are putting it – both physically to avoid strange molds and ickiness and energetically. I recommend salt water or fire/smoke purification.
Second, find and charge a stone or crystal: for karmic retribution and defense I like to use rubies and jet. I always place the stones at the bottom of the bottle. Next, place herbs or other items (maybe a personal item or hair) in the bottle to align it to a certain person if desired. Then fill bottle with herbs or other objects. If you are using a charged oil, I always fill the oil last. Herbs and other items to use in a defensive witch bottle:
Juniper Berries
shreds of broken glass (to catch spirits or fetches and tear them, also sparkles are supposed to distract negative spirits)
Iron nails (traditionally used as protection from spirits and fetches)
Aconite or Wolfsbane (handle with care – I am not recommending a novice herbalist handle this the other two will work more than fine)
Dog hair (taken from his brush, my dog is extremely protective of me and I wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t have an energetic or magickal relationship with the animal)
When you have finished charging and assembling the bottle, I usually do this during a dark moon to bring out hidden energies and hidden threats, you can cork or seal the bottle with wax. I usually use wax and carve or stamp a protective sign into the wax. You may also adore your bottle with symbols of protect and runes if you so wish. Make it yours, the more energy and thought you put into it the more powerful it will be. This is the same process if you want to make a small bottle amulet to wear.


About Pixie

I'm just your average 20-something trying to figure it out. I am also a theologian, yogi, witch, pagan, dirty hippie, activist (progressive politics), feminist, knitter, environmentalist, and friend. I've also been accused of being a hipster - I am not sure about that. I am sometimes happy to be Gen Y (go Harry Potter) and most of the time confused (seriously guys... ) by everyone else. My hobbies including knitting (and maybe crochet), quilting, recycling, cooking, writing, reading, and biking. I'm finishing up a masters in public policy and when I worked worked in political nonprofits as an activist.
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13 Responses to Drama, Douche-baggery, and Defensive Magick

  1. Brilliant!
    I absolutely love your ideas for witch-bottles. I am really impressed by the symbolism of keeping them in your closet; is that traditional for witch-bottles or did you think of that yourself? Either way, it makes for an excellent blog entry.

    On the note of drama; there is plenty of drama in the Pagan community, sure. But there is plenty of drama everywhere (I’m gay AND Pagan, and I used to perform in cabarets with a celebrity impersonator. Imagine.)
    Sometimes it becomes unavoidable, at least in small doses. Obviously I am not saying to submit to the drama and jump in, but you can’t let yourself become a total recluse and avoid the community completely. Well, you can, but do you reeeally want to? DramaCon did seem a little bit excessive, to be sure, but I wouldn’t put a pass on the entire community.

    One thing I have noticed (and I am going to phrase this as carefully as possible, because I don’t want to sound like I am talking about you…I’m generalizing) is that a lot of the most dramatic people in any community say things like “Oh goodness, I hate drama! Keep that garbage away from me! Like, did you hear about…” Nobody considers their own drama, “drama”. For them it is a real, emotional, physical problem. Everyone else’s is drama-for-drama’s-sake, theirs is a reeeal problem. It’s like people who say “I’m just honest” as a cop-out for being catty, or adding ‘Just kidding’ to the end of an insult so they can ‘get away with it’. Sometimes people need to pause and seriously reflect on how non-judgmental, reactionary, or dramatic they are being, because they are accidentally stoking someone’s drama indirectly (or even directly!)

    I often talk with my friends about their “sphere of influence”. It is the small sphere of your life, and the things contained within it are the things you -directly- influence at any given moment. It is bigger than your bubble of personal space, but refers to the problems you can deal with directly, yourself. How is your energy being spent? Are you using it to directly affect things in your sphere of influence (which will cause ripple effects that may influence outside your sphere), or are you playing some dramatic game of broken telephone to influence something in Africa? The hard part about Pagans is that we are trained to believe our sphere of influence is nearly infinite, and most of our tactics are indirect (spell-casting)…so we are prone to over-reaching our boundaries and causing drama.

    I could go on… but, I think this comment has gone long enough. Again, great post! I’m looking forward to your future PBP posts!

  2. Pixie says:

    Thanks for the reply: Hehe for those reasons I wasn’t going to write about drama but it was a D so… Also, I kind of thought my first few entries sounded too text-booky. On the placement of witch bottles in the closet I made that up based on feng shui associations… I find a lot of placements and things I use fang shui correspondences. I’m not going to say you have to, but it makes intuitive sense to me especially on the things like closets and mirrors can be used to focus on how people perceive you/reputation. (This also helps me stay motivated to keep my closet clean…)

    But yes, I agree generally the people who complain about the drama are people who are creating it. Um, for me personally I think I had a tendency to try “not to judge” folks and ended up being involved in way more drama than I care to deal with. I don’t know – with the Dramacon situation I definitely did not set up the kind of boundaries I usually do/need to. Like, I admit it, but when I meet a particular psychotic kind of drama queen I do completely avoid that person. My ex was a magnet for a particular kind of manipulative psycho-bitch (I think this may have had to do with not reading social cues due to Aspergers?) and I used to try to avoid them/not be involved and then he’d start to fall into their drama and start hating people: so I’d try to point out things like “everyone’s human, etc.” but it was like living in a reality show. I really don’t know how they found him but I swear, he was a magnet. I now probably have too strict of boundaries but I’m ok with that for awhile anyway.
    I kind of hope if I moved to a larger city the Pagan communities might get better? I have found the more scholarly subgroups less drama-prone, but my city isn’t quite big enough to have many of those. Or maybe it comes with age – I’m hoping but Dramacon left me wondering about that theory.

    Although, I admit the zero-tolerance policy has helped with a lot of people since I am totally one of those people who will call out those “I’m just kidding” and “no disrespect but…” bullshit. I find a well toned “that was uncalled for” helps? (Okay, can you tell I worked with teenagers? I have gotten good at cutting out the catty. I just wish I were as confident as I am professionally when I was with the Husband.)

  3. Big cities won’t save you from drama, sadly. The downside is that there are more people, thus more possibility for dramatic folks. The upside, thankfully, is that there is an equally proportionate number of positive, helpful, thoughtful people with which to spend your time!

    It’s funny that you mention cutting the crap because of working with teenagers, because I often find myself doing the same thing because I work in daycares. I will often suddenly take on my ‘Teacher voice’ and insist that people pause, reflect, and then express themselves a second time, using ‘I statements’ etc, etc, etc. It’s a bit awkward at first, but very effective in these DramaCon situations. Hahaha!

    I hope that you manage to find a good group where you’ll fit in nicely and get to discuss something with meaning, without biting your tongue all the time.

  4. Lee says:

    Excellent post. My mind boggles when I witness other’s behaviours, especially when it seems to go against the very essence of the ethics which I personally hold- and I (falsely) take for granted that they should be universal within the pagan community. My personal motto is “own your shit” which derives largely from Crowley’s ‘Do what thou will’. I wish people would ‘get’ it but I’m afraid some never will 😦

  5. etain1 says:

    There will always be drama – been so since the beginning of time. It’s how you react to the drama that matters! I have taken steps to get the drama queens and energy vampires out of my life. If you have a crisis I will be there to help you, however if that crisis becomes your life and that is what you live and breath for then its time for some weeding again.

    • Pixie says:

      For me there’s a different between a friend freaking out and drama… I feel like Drama is on some level malicious. I don’t put up with that (especially not after this weekend).

  6. Sandi says:

    Great Post! I wrote about 2 drama pagans I know in during B week. I called it B is for Bullshit! Lol. Here is the link if you want to read it: http://craftsbysandi.blogspot.com/2012/01/b-is-for-bullshit.html It was funny. The difference between my drama pagans and yours is that mine didn’t try to hurt anyone but themselves via my homicidal rage. Good for you sticking by you man and holding your tongue. You area much stronger woman than I! Hugs 🙂

    • Pixie says:

      Haha… I really enjoyed your post but I can’t figure out how to comment on blogger. It keeps telling me my WP ID is invalid. I was going to comment I think we have the same ex husband. I don’t think I was strong, I feel now that holding my tongue was a mistake. I mean, like I feel morally wrong that I did not say something other than try to counter Drama Queen’s claims by pointing out that everyone human and how he acts professionally is not in relation to how he acts when you proposition him. I dunno, I have a real problem with people being malicious: and I fully admit as a feminist I will completely prefer to call it out especially when it’s a woman unfairly accusing someone of sexual impropriety. Anyway – I spent most of that weekend hiding in my room and barely concealing my contempt so… I don’t want to come off like a martyr and after that weekend, I ditched the man. It was too much, I don’t want that karma.

  7. Pingback: Dream Charms « Pagan Perspectives

  8. I can’t wait to sit down with a cup of coffee and read more of your blog. I just hopped on here after perusing through blogs on the PBP page. It must be fate because I had no idea you had mentioned my blog and I literally just finished writing a blog post for tomorrow’s PBP about the same subject. Great minds think alike. Not that I’m stawkin or anything, but I will be back with a hot mug of coffee to drink in your blog, something tells me I’m gonna get lost in it : )

  9. Pingback: In Defense of Judgement: or the problem with “no-judgement” attitudes | Pixiecraft: Adventures of Magick and Devotion

  10. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. Many thanks

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