Monday, September 23, 2013

A Coke and a Smile

I just came across the last blog post by Brother Moloch titled "The Wise & the Ignorant". In it he makes some good points about the importance of communication skills to sorcery. Which is certainly something that I plan on talking about more in the future. Further in the post the following statement is what really caught my attention:

"Hoodoo is typically the Occult practice of the ignorant and superstitious. Most of the folks who practiced it back in the day were illiterate and highly superstitious. "You need to tear paper and not cut it so you can use it in Hoodoo"... really? Who is the moron that believes that shit. What, scissors too high tech for you? Or my personal favorite, "You need to use a paper or wooden match to light things with in Hoodoo"... pure horse shit. A lighter works just fine. Why? Spirits don't give a damn about matches or whether you cut/tear your paper. Hello???"

First off, it can be said that all forms of folk magic were the Occult practices of the ignorant and superstitious. Hoodoo is not alone in this fact. Also there is particular reason that scissors aren't used in making name papers, and it has nothing do with them being too high tech. I already covered that reason here. All forms of folk practice have methods that seem ridiculous to the outsider, but have a specific reason and purpose. In my opinion, most of spell casting is just superstition, rather we want to admit it or not.

1 a :  a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic              or chance, or a false conception of causation.
    b : an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God                    resulting from superstition.
2 :   a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary

When it comes to conjure, and sorcery in general, I am no purist in any sense of the word. Everyone is free to take what fits their practice and omit things that don't. But don't feel that what you have decided to keep is somehow more true or the core of what's needed to work. I take a "to each their own" mindset to sorcery, and encourage others to do the same. The fact is that little or none of what I do in my spells or rituals can be proved to be the cause of the results that I obtain. There have been some studies that show "why rituals work".  There was even a study showing  that people are more likely to trust a ritual or spell that seems more complicated, or has more steps. So it doesn't matter if if one insists on wooden matches, or not not using scissors. It's all just personal belief. My belief is that we all have the ability to influence the world around us and effect outcomes. But I can't prove that my rituals, or any one step in them are the cause, nor do I care to. Any quest to do so would more than likely be plagued by confirmation bias. While typing this I thought of the bit in Eddie Murphy's "Raw" where he recalls the story of being called up by Bill Cosby, who tells him that his act is too dirty. After talking to Cosby Murphy called Richard Pryor, and part of the conversation went like this:
"Do the people laugh when you say what you say?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Do you get paid?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Well, tell Bill I said have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up."
The point being, that the end results are what matter,  You go about achieving those results using whatever techniques you see fit, if they work for you. If anyone wants to talk trash about it you tell them that Ash said to have a Coke and a smile, and to...You know the rest.


Anonymous said...

There were a number of snarky things i was going to say about the blog post you linked. However you managed to not reduce yourself. So I will as well. I would however advise Moloch to examine the history of the Arcane and Esoteric arts which he seems to suggest he practices, he will discover Hoodoo is likely much older, and requires every bit as much skill.
Not to mention what he is doing is essentially discounting the practices handed down in all cultures everywhere by oral tradition... not a very intelligent to dismiss, at least according to anyone of even the most remote scholarly merit.

Brother Ash said...

It took me a while to compose this post, because I too had to hold back a considerable amount of snark. There was also a whole different element to his post that I opted just not to address.

Anonymous said...

The word superstition comes from a Latin root word "superstite" meaning what survives. It refers to knowledge that have remained in popular memory and which has lost its reason for being. For example, the act of passing under a ladder is considered bad luck, but do not know why, and this makes one think it's silly.

Brother Ash said...

I did not know that about the word. Certainly puts it into an interesting perspective.