Dispatches from the Stupid Age

The Guardian has an article about the resurgence of witchcraft in the days of Trump.

Does any of this sound sane to you?

But the old, dark power – the choice to worship something other than patriarchy’s gods, to reject and read backward the narratives of the dominant culture – was still there. The Trump administration represented a breaking point for many women. After decades in which sophisticated thinkers dismissed patriarchy as simplistic or irrelevant, it was revealed to be alive, well and out for blood – the ethos which still ruled the US government and defined, or ended, countless women’s lives...

…The witch lives between dark and daylight, the safely settled village and the wild unknown of the woods beyond. The backlash years of the early 21st century revealed to many women something we had always suspected: we had never belonged to that daylight world. We had tried; we had worked; we had been loyal to the rules and values of society as we knew it. But, no matter how far we thought we had come, or how often our mothers told us we could do anything, we still lived within a system that used female bodies as grist to maintain male rule. In the story that patriarchy told about itself, we were always going to be the villains. And if that was the case, we might as well make some magic out of it.

If the village didn’t want us, we might as well head out into the woods.

There is a fire on the horizon. You can see it burning, out on the edges of the world. The violence we have survived can be our guide to what needs to change. The fire that burned the witches can be the fire that lights our way. Our power is waiting for us, out in forbidden spaces, beyond the world of men. Step forward and claim it. Step forward into the boundless and female dark.

I once read an article in which the neo-pagan author spoke of hexes and black magic as being extremely dangerous to the practitioner, doing damage not only to the target, but also to the one preforming the spell. This, apparently, is what makes the spell powerful: the fact that the one preforming the spell is willing to bring equal pain upon himself to see the other suffer. Without this willingness to suffer, the spell does not work, as there is no skin in the game, and no cosmic balance achieved. That neo-pagan author, whatever his kooky beliefs, is not mentally ill: he is able to make a measured judgement about his beliefs and the surround them with a serious ethic. He might be wrong, but he isn’t crazy or immature.

The writer of the Guardian article, not so much. It sounds instead like the rantings of a feeble mind retreating from the reality that… a piggish Republican won the 2016 election rather than a piggish Democrat’s wife. Believe it or not, so far there have been no massacres of women, and the bodies of those women who may have died of natural causes these last couple of years have not, to my knowledge, been ground up to grist anyone’s system.



  1. How in the world did you end up in the lifestyle section?

    1. A series of bad decisions.

  2. To answer your question: No. The article doesn’t seem sane.

    Emotionalism (irrationality) is on the rise. That was worrisome to previous generations. Our generation is not merely unconcerned but celebrates mindlessness as virtuous.

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