Expect More From the Community

[Originally written over a year ago, I have no idea if I actually posted this anywhere. Found it on the HD tonight and thought I’d put it up.]

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For the most part, the magick community is no longer about following ones spiritual path. It’s not even about dressing up like everyday is renfair and prancing around while extolling the benefits of fanatic feminism. It’s about money and power now. And those of us who are seeking aid from the community and those of us who wish to help are suffering for it. The mundane’s have commandeered our leadership positions.

As an example, me and some friends went around to the various metaphysical stores in the area to see if any of them would help us advertise for a local meet-up group we were putting together. All but one turned us down. The reason given was that they hold paid classes and workshops, and our free offering would be competing with them, and they don’t want to help their customers find any outlet for their spiritual advancement outside of the store. Then, of course, they expect us to pay $300 for a crystal ball I can get for less than $30 at the flea market.

I’ve been to some of the free classes being offered around town, and I’ve found them lacking. And the students seem to want something more than what’s offered. I’ve volunteered to help with these groups and teach these classes. I’ve been given excuses like these people won’t do any kind of work, or they’re not very advanced, ect. And the moment I say that doesn’t matter, I’m then told no because these people shouldn’t be taught anything worthwhile period.

I go to the different groups out here, and sometimes some of the people in the group start to respect me more than the group leaders. I don’t claim titles, and I don’t brag, so I can only assume they made a judgement call based on their own criteria. In any case, a lot of the times I end up being kicked out of the group, and then people start spreading rumors about me being chaotic and dangerous, usually because I told someone something real.

So I start my own group, with friends of course, and then certain leaders in the community start trying to make us out to be the villain. Now we’re ‘competing’ with them. I wasn’t aware that non-profit spiritual groups were in competition. I wasn’t aware that there was something immoral about offering better things than other groups can for free.

The point of all of this rambling is, things are pretty screwed up out there. The other point is that it’s everyone’s problem, and it’s everyone’s fault. People in the magick community need to stop supporting these people.

Almost anything you can find in a magick store you can find somewhere else (flea market, weapon shop, bookstore), and usually at a much lower price. And the online stores usually have a much better selection. So before you make purchases at a store, find out what they’re doing to help the local community. Do they, or would they be willing to, put up a billboard so local groups can post events? Would they be willing to pass out flyers or business cards to support a local non-profit group? Are they offering any free services to the magick community? Spend your money at the stores that are actually doing something for the community. As for the other ones, there’s really no point in having an overpriced store that offers nothing else in return.

And if the people running the group you’re working with aren’t giving you what you want, go somewhere else. You deserve to get something out of a group. Also don’t be afraid to question the leader’s abilities or credentials. And don’t be afraid to question their mental stability either. Or their control over members.

Does the group leader not allow members to attend functions outside of the group? Do they not allow group members to attend functions of certain groups or talk with certain people? Are they known to have uncontrolled emotional outbursts? Do they try to control the personal lives of members? Do they act as if they’re infallible? Do they become upset when someone corrects them? These aren’t things that good leaders won’t do, these are things that adequate leaders won’t do. This is the bare minimum of what should be required.

And if you can’t find a group that doesn’t do this, then start your own. Please, start your own. We need good groups led by competent people.

And we all need to be honest, to be confrontational, and to bring things out in the open. Too many of the leaders are lying about their background, titles, accomplishments, teachers, education, past actions, ect., openly and in front of people who know the truth, and yet no one bothers to correct them. Instead they’re allowed to carry on, and abuse a whole new set of people who don’t yet know better. It needs to stop. These people need to be stood up to, and when they lie, it needs to be corrected.

2 Responses to Expect More From the Community

  1. C0mette says:

    Kudos – Well said! I narrow-mindedly suspected this was happening “just in my community”. Thanks for sharing your news about this common trend among retailers. Caveat emptor! ~C.

  2. Rob says:

    The stores are really a place for people of like-minded spiritual views to come together, for people to come in contact with those who can teach and guide them, and as a hub to share information within the local community. In a way, the magick shops are really like our form of a church. If a shop fails to meet these duties and give back to the local community, I don’t really see a reason to shop there. Like I said, I can get everything they have from the Internet with better selections and better prices. Meanwhile if any of the local stores were community spots, I’d make it a habit of going there at least once a week and hanging out for a while (and I’m horrible with controlling impulse buys).

    I’m also upset with the magick shops trading their shelf space for mundane items. For example a shop out here has one cabinet dedicated to religious/spiritual statuary, and three cabinets dedicated to statues of wizards and dragons fighting, has a larger selection of gay/lesbian lifestyle books than metaphysical/religious books in store, and has over fifty kinds of mood rings and only four kinds of essential oils in stock. There’s nothing wrong with selling these things, but based on the name of the store this isn’t the crap I’m going in there to buy. It’s like going into a store that sells movies and finding out that over half the store has been dedicated to cat products, which actually happened to a store out here and I have no clue how it’s managed to stay in business for over ten years now. But all of this is really another subject alltogether.

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