I’m in the proverbial broom closet. And it’s not because I’m worried about people who have wild misconceptions about paganism being equivalent to devil worship… convinced I’m shut in a dark basement, burning black tapers, chanting “Kalima, kalima!” and ripping the still beating hearts out of live poultry. I think the United States is at least slightly more progressive than that.
I believe that indulging in supernatural fantasy practices can be dangerous. I think there’s a certain stereo-type of religious people, especially those who believe in things like astrology and divination, as less than credible. Plus religion has led to countless wars, and problems like xenophobia and segregation: hell, even gays in our country are treated like second class citizens. So how could someone like myself, who sees the inherent problem with religion, support something so supernatural and not based in science?
1. Anything is possible
Scientists will claim we have an understanding of the cosmos that is vast, and this might be true, but how could it be anywhere near complete? Humans might be subatomic creatures on the back of a large Wurdang (a furry 5 legged monstrosity floating in an alien ocean near Zeekzeek) or the dream of little boy named Frank. I mean, I’m not saying like, “Oh, Neo, we’re in the Matrix, bend this spoon, I know Kung Fu!” …but I kind of am. We can’t prove this experience is 100% what we believe it is and there is a 50/50 chance of God, Santa, and the Easter Bunny all existing, or not existing, in equal proportion. Anything is possible. Magick is the science of tomorrow.
2. We’re limited by 5 traditional senses but we don’t have all the senses
Did you know there was a cat who predicted 50 deaths in a nursing home? How is that possible? There is no solid scientific explanation for that, but any number of plausible theories. But it’s not science: yet. My point is, there are senses out there that we can’t perceive, and we’re completely limited by human experience and our senses. In a good way.
3. Perception alters reality
Branches of quantum mechanics dictate that by perceiving or not perceiving, we affect the outcome of an experiment. Just take a look at The Double Slit Experiment or the concept of Schrödinger’s Cat.
4. The mind is a powerful tool
If we can convince ourselves of something, then we can make it a reality. I know, I know… this is kind of a cheesy, Anthony Robbins “motivational speaker” concept, but it’s true! If we believe something, there’s a connection to that faith, will, and positive attitude, and to our subconscious making it happen consciously. Example: Sue wants to lose weight. She believes she can do it, so her subconscious begins to affect her conscious mind. She starts to eat better and exercise more. Her belief that it will happen will affect her actions in reality.
5. The morality problem
All this “the possibilities are limitless!” and “science isn’t 100% proven! stuff is great… but then you could just believe whatever the hell you want, because it might be true, without any concern for what affect it has on you, or others. Religious people will argue you can’t have morality without religion. I’d argue all you need is empathy. Empathy isn’t a religious idea, it’s a human idea. The Wiccan Rede dictates: “Harm none,” and while this is never an absolute possibility all the time, living with this thought in mind, we tend to make choices based on how it may affect other people, or the world around us. A sensitivity to not only our own experience, but how our actions will affect others, is a great rule of morality I think we should live by.
Wicca has taught me that if I want something, I have to believe it will be a reality, and I can make it so. This optimism has made me a happier and healthier person. I bounce out of bed in the morning thinking, “Hell yeah, I can do whatever I want, because I’m a wise and empowered witch!” And it feels pretty friggin good to feel that way, if nothing else.