Expectation and Experience

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Inner Journey, Pagan Blog Project 2014, Pagan Perspectives
Tags: , , , , , ,

Witches are people tooHollywood has a lot to answer for. In movies Witches are portrayed in many lights, from morally corrupt, violent or mentally unstable individuals, to trendy teenagers and glamorous, powerful people. A few nuggets of wisdom and near truth may appear, but as a general rule the perception of Witchcraft in film is a far cry from the experiences of Witchcraft in day to day life. You know why? Because it is fantasy. It is fiction. It has little to do with everyday people living their spiritual truth.

However these kind of portrayals are pervasive. The concept of quick fix magic and incredible power can, and does, attract people into Witchcraft… which is where expectation meets experience. I can no longer count the occasions that I have challenged the expectations of a magical quick fix with the reality of hard work and understanding. Witchcraft is a practice. It involves practice. It involves research, reflection, honesty and hard work. The work is not power over others, the work is power within ourselves. It is not in changing the will and actions of others, it is in changing our own perceptions, patterns, actions and abilities. It is not in changing the world at the wave of a wand, it is in changing ourselves one day at a time. It is not throwing a stone and standing back to watch the ripples; it is in understanding that we are the stone, we are the water and we are the ripples.

Having expectations is perfectly normal, but those expectations will not always be met. This in itself is a rich learning experience. By reflecting upon the expectations we hold and how we respond to the challenges or disappointment of unmet expectations, we can better understand ourselves – and to know ourselves is to explore our own mystery. This is the reality behind the fantasy. There is wonder and wisdom, transformation and magic in each person’s life… it simply is not accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack and eye candy special effects.

Be honest in your expectations and remain open to the wonder of experience. Practice and reflect, do and be. You may just find that your experiences then surpass all your expectations.

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

  1. Inga Leonora says:

    Ah! I enjoyed this. Resounding “YES!” I had a similar conversation after the premier of the U.S. serious ‘American Horror Story: Coven’, which I didn’t have much time for. If half of us could set thing on fire with our eyes, or move things about the room with a flick of our hand ‘Charmed’-style, the world we be an entirely different place. I’ve never met a witch so deluded. It would be nice to see a drama centred around real withcraft, a portrayal of intelligent, passionate, thoughtful people who stood on the cliff, hands aloft screaming into the storm front, or communing with the small things alone in nature, performing food magic in the kitchen for a fiend in emotional need. Being progressive little revolutionaries marching and drumming for equality. Garnering that real power, in themselves, and strengthening community and fostering creativity. But really, such things might be poor viewing, for the most part it really is an unseen craft. So much of the work is spent in isolation, solitude, meditation, and the book work and reading! I can see it now! Ep 24; Witch spends day online reading blogs, grimoires and books, and talking to friends researching herblore for obscure plant… Before meditating with plant for an hour or so. Riveting to watch I’m sure. Lol! Inevitably though, that word, “witch” does set a tone, a mood, and expectation. Witch can be irritating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would watch a movie like that! 🙂
      The only way to remove the tone of fantasy from Witchcraft is to have a few movies that do not centre around Witchcraft, but where some of the characters are Witches. A family drama where a protagonist is a Witch would allow the focus to remain on the story whilst normalising the practice of Witchcraft – in the same way we accept a Christian character seeking solace in a Church, we would learn to accept a character seeking solace in the woods without expecting levitation and sparks flying from fingertips. It is like movies portraying every Buddhist as a shaven headed monk that lives in a remote mountain temple, or like the media implying that every Muslim is a radical extremist or terrorist – it creates an expectation within the viewing masses that is difficult to reconcile with normal everyday experience. I was recently asked about my Pagan perspective and the person questioning me said “But you wouldn’t call yourself a Witch, would you?” I answered “Actually, yes I would – although my definition of Witch and your definition of Witch are probably a little different.” Unrealistic expectations dramatically alter the definition of a word that to many is held as sacred and empowering.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Inga Leonora says:

        Haha! I think I would be watching that movie too. 🙂 The same can be said for any single minority at all. We’re really only a decade or so into mainstream LBGTQI characters on TV (and then only the LBG bit), and even then they can still be full of negative stereotypes. I guess we have to be thankful for the democratisation of the media and keep on blogging! At least until the definition of the word “witch” is properly represented by those who identify as one.


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