Cultural Appropriation, Political Correctness, & Harm

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When accusations of cultural appropriation back fire!

Note: This is from an American perspective and is about American politics. I am not going to touch many international politics.

This is a discussion I think the internet needs to have because, apparently, the internet cannot pick and choose their battles real well, which is extending to real life. I am not here to call out specific person or tell them how to do things. You’re allowed to do whatever you wish. I am allowed to criticize you, in that regard. I cannot tell you what to do. But I do want to talk about cultural appropriation; when it is “acceptable” and when it is not. Basically, as stated earlier “picking and choosing your battles”.

So far, online and irl, I have seen people call others out citing “cultural appropriation”. They seem to aggressively take such a stance that they got a Taco stand business to go under in Portland recently, because it was ran by a pair of white ladies and that did offend some sensibilities. But I have also seen, first hand story on Tumblr, about the lady above, to what I assume her adviser is probably a white person, (because the young lady with her fair skin was what they call “white passing”.) and couldn’t possibly have a connection to India. This cultural appropriation thing has become all about race, when it should not be.

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A Victoria’s Secret model being offensive

First of all, I’d like to point out that culture and race are entirely different things. Race is supposed to be biological, and most people judge based on phenotype, which are those obvious details such as skin color. However, per anthropology, this is incorrect. You cannot simply tell someone’s origins on this planet based on phenotype. Skin color can totally lie to you. (As I said by that girl who is from India.) Growing up in Oklahoma where the five great tribes are at, I can personally attest to seeing Native friends that have blonde hair and blue eyes, on more than one occasion. (I also know some people who are Native and very light skinned.) Maybe it’s because they mixed with Caucasians, but you know what, I don’t care and their tribes usually do not either. Most “race” ideals by the general public are completely socio-cultural. Races tend to be construed as ethnic groups, by members of a certain culture, to have a biological basis, even when they may not.

So, where does this leave culture? Culture, as it turns out, is completely learned behaviors. Culture is symbolic. Culture is shared. Cultures are integrated and patterned systems. Culture is not from an individual, but members of a group. And culture can even be adaptive and maladaptive. Yep, culture is not biological. It never has been “race based”, despite what many would have you believe. Some cultures may require you to have a biological background the same as them, but a good chunk of them do not. I noticed that at least, with Americans, they cannot see that culture is separated from race.

While I am at it I need to point out that a sub-culture is not the same as regular culture. A sub-culture uses different symbols, patterns, and traditions associated with particular groups “in the same complex society” as my textbook adequately notes. That is to say sub-cultures still have an element of conformity to the main culture they deviated from. A good example would be the LGBT various sub-cultures. Cultural appropriation doesn’t usually refer to these types of cultures, so we are going to skip them as well, since they are technically part of the majority culture.

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Ancient Sumerian picture of the goddess Inanna in her descent into the underworld – ex. of “dead culture”

Cultural appropriation also does not refer to dead cultures. Dead cultures are on whole other level. I have seen some Heathens and pagans, of the reconstructionist persuasion usually, try to control others by shouting cultural appropriation at them when they get curious about a certain dead culture. But really, it’s hard to offend that which is gone. On this note, I need to point out two divisions in anthropology; 1. Cultural anthropology, the study of living cultures. 2. Archaeology, the study of dead cultures. Whenever anthropology seriously uses ‘cultural appropriation’, it is never in reference to dead cultures.

What cultural appropriation does refer to, is when a majority culture borrows, steals, capitalizes on, and/or misrepresents a minority culture. (Usually disregarding the symbolism all together.) One of the best examples, that was even taken seriously by anthropology for awhile, is Carlos Castaneda. (Seems like a lot of people have no clue who he is.) The most popular example of this is that model I posted above, which many attack constantly. In many Native traditions, those headpieces are sacred. It would be improper therefore, to assume this as a fashion trend given the history of Native peoples in America not even being allowed to practice their own indigenous religions until the 1970’s and many being forced to Christianity. (Although, there are some Natives who still don’t care about models.)

Another problem is faux shamans, which in my opinion, are more dangerous to their living cultures than a model with a bad fashion choice. Natives even got together and made a website spelling at the dangers of these frauds to the general populace. I feel like these New Age frauds are far more harmful than a fashion model, but I have absolutely never seen anyone who gets offended by appropriation, in the social justice blog sphere, ever call or point them out. (Except actual Natives.) No, instead I see more people bitch and moan about fashion, or people eating ethnic food. (Trust me, they are not really killing the cultures with that.)

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Food for thought

Cultural assimilation, the opposite, is not the same. This is when the minority culture assimilates with the majority culture. They may do this to fit in, and thus this is not what people define as appropriation. So, this comparison does not work.

Sometimes the lines between cultural diffusion (borrowing/exchange) and cultural appropriation, and even cultural appreciation blur. Even among the tribes, they can disagree about what constitutes actual cultural appropriation. And so do anthropologists, who do not seem to see cultural appropriation as this black and white issue, where it is all bad. It’s more like a gray issue.

We must keep in mind that cultures have and will not ever exist in vacuum and that cultural purity retention can have downsides. The biggest downside I have seen is how accusations of cultural appropriation have suddenly turned into these ideas of racial segregation and cultural purity, under new guises of being “progressive”. There we need to stop and think.

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Now, for examples of “cultural appropriation”, that benefited said culture… We have Japan. Foreigners have literally saved the kimono market. People actually cater to them. Many Japanese people do not care at all about cultural appropriation, they invite foreigners to participate in the culture. It is actually encouraged to do so.

Some may argue that this is not “cultural appropriation” because Japan did this to themselves. Back in 2015, however, protesters took it upon themselves to lecture actual Japanese  people about sharing their culture and inviting the West to participate. (Including wearing kimonos.) Being that it was “appropriation” to do so, and therefore also wrong. (And also racist.)

This reminds me of when the majority people would claim to speak for minority groups, claim to represent them. When the minority groups were perfectly capable of speaking for themselves, and called out the majority for misrepresenting them. Why should we control people in such a manner when we are supposedly “helping” them? Doesn’t this sound like we’re pushing our cultural values and outlook on them? I think it’s awfully pretentious to always know what minority groups want, because there are definitely minority groups who just don’t care about cultural appropriation.

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The idea of POC vs white, also needs to be addressed quickly. This is a very American thing. The world is not represented by white vs everyone else. But Americans keep acting like it is. For example, in China, the majority is completely Han Chinese. China has about 55 ethnicities that are NOT Han Chinese. Whites are a minority in their culture, so the argument simply does not work.

Context is important and especially important in the controversial gray area topics such as cultural appropriation. It is perfectly fine to be eclectic in religious or spiritual practices, but know what you’re doing at least. It’s fine to learn a language, culture, dress style, and food. If you’re confused about it, you can always take the advice of my professor in anthropology: “If you want to appropriate, get it from a culture where no one cares about appropriation [in said culture] or else try a dead culture.”

References, besides the links:

Anthropology: Appreciating Human Diversity (4th edition) by C.Kottak

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New altar statues

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Shiva and ma Durga. Unfortunately I need to clean and thus rearrange my altar to make it more proper.

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Hinduism within me

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Kali maa, the devi of time

Been doing a lot of contemplating and learning about myself. Something I believe I missed doing in my early 20’s due to religion. I definitely consider myself an Indo-Pagan and I have been looking into Wicca again. I am more of eclectic witch though, always have been.

Before I did Aztec reconstructionism, in my early 20’s, I was drawn to Hinduism. (I had read Mahayana Buddhist texts and Buddhism came from there.) I started worshiping Kali maa on the side. I did this for about a decade. Even as an Aztec person.

Over time, my views, quite independently, based on my experiences became more and more inline with Hinduism. I always revered Kali even not active in puja, she always had a shrine in my house, and she was always dear to me. I was always speaking good of her. I love her dearly. I also always believed in reincarnation and thinks of the nature of Hinduism without always knowing it.

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Kali ma with a third eye open

I spent seven years in the Aztec religion. Seven long years, that I feel robbed me of myself and my life by that religion. My experiences with many, *not all*, of those teteo (Aztec word for “gods”. Singular “teotl”.) was definitely terrible. One of the biggest problems I had, wasn’t just the lack of support from the community and problems with the attitudes they had which scarred me for life when I was a kid, but also as time went by, me and the Aztec gods didn’t just grow apart, my whole ideology clashed with theirs!

I just couldn’t be that mean, prude, and sacrificial. I could no longer support the slavery system the religion called for. I could no longer be that anti-human. I hated the ideas of cultural purity imposed (Though some Aztec gods don’t really give a f*** from what I seen on that issue.) and I hated how not-very-progressive the religion was.  And I really dislike their prude attitudes towards sex. (Yeah, that’s a thing in that religion. Even down to stoning people for adultery!)

Increasingly, because of my indulgence in Japanese pop-culture, (Shintoism has something to do with Hinduism in history) I could not let go of the Hindu cosmology. It is still used in much Japanese fiction and lore. And it totally fit my UPG! Everything I experienced. Yet the teteo would not have it, would not see it my way. I was a liar and delusional. I did not feel these gods were ever on my side and a lot of them just seemed to insult me. (They seemed to take other peoples’ side in debates, and then later, years later, apologized. It was too little, too late by then.) I feel like they contributed to my mental illness, in so many ways. But I want to make it clear, not every teotl made me feel this way. However, enough of them did to make me leave the religion permanently. (Also, due to scholarship, which other Aztec recons figured out eventually too, the religion never actually died. It merged with Christianity. I am not a Christian, I was raised one, and I don’t want *that* back.)

I was distressed in that religion. People were not as nice to me as they are now. I stopped believing in love. I believed in harsh things and hostility, because the world seemed hostile to me and I was hostile back. I was really losing it. Eventually I left Houston, after destroying my altar and I left the entire Aztec thing behind me.

I asked what religion made me the happiest, I thought it was Wicca and I have been seeking it, too. (The proper initiated way.) However, despite my eclectic witch leanings in my magickal practice, I believe I am thoroughly Hindu. (I still consider myself a pagan because of my magickal experiences and practices.) Specifically, Shakti Hindu and Tantra, which almost fits my exact beliefs I developed almost entirely outside of Hinduism. I cannot go back. (I don’t think Shiva will let me be Wiccan, too. But we’ll see what happens.)  Especially after the Aztec religion caused me to lose family and friends.

I tried a few religions, this is all I tried; Buddhism, Hinduism, Neo-Wicca/eclectic paganism, and the Aztec one–that’s it. (Note: This is over a period of years. Aztec religion was my longest “pagan” religion. I am not a religious butterfly either, contrary to the sentiments other recons say about this. Trying out religions =/= a bad thing. Find yourself and your place!) Nothing else. I can’t say I “tried” Christianity per se, because I was heavily brought up into it with family almost to the point of total indoctrination. Buddhism and Hinduism are not really that far apart, in many respects. Some Hindus even consider Buddhists merely an off shoot.

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Wicca lasted a few years until I got mad at all the bad history, this was my teenage years. (A lot of pagans start out as Neo-Wiccans.) Buddhist philosophy always influenced me during that time. Hinduism was exactly where I was heading until the Aztec gods bombarded me just because I like to study religion. I thought that was what was right for me, but it ended up being worse than Christianity for me. Kali maa was always there though, she never left me and I still have her statue from a decade ago when I was confused about my direction in life before the Aztec thing.

I sincerely apologize to anyone I ever offended or was unnecessarily mean to in my Aztec days. I was completely wrong. You didn’t deserve it. I was having issues with the religion, home, finances, school, and family. I do not ever want to be that condescending and rude again. (Except to my enemies and those who deserve it!!! Haha.)

Beware of any religion that says it’s the only way, but also beware of any religion that does not practice peace! Buddha was right on that one! And if a religion distresses you more than makes you happy, leave it. Don’t waste years of your life, like I did.

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My Hindu-Pagan Path

Source: My Hindu-Pagan Path

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Fetch/Nahualli & Dream Working

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A witch leading animals from Puella Magica Madoka

Introduction:

Warning: long post

I made this as a thread on a forum. I only posted it in one place and I gave it some thought that it may be helpful to my witchy and shamanistic friends. If you’re into any kind of magical workings that involve dreaming and the otherworld, this post is for you. It’s based on my own experiences, experiences of others whom have told me, and some cultural things that helped me on my own path. It does have a overall Hindu cosmological scheme. But I see no reason why someone couldn’t utilize it anyway. It’s pretty much a FAQ/Guide thingy. It will also aide in interpreting dreams.

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An esbat being performed

I am fairly knowledgeable in dream working and using the nahualli, or fetch as my Nordic friend has called it. I wanted to make this thread so I could share my experiences and knowledge with people, and coach them on it if need be. Me and a friend ran the academic sources (Mine from the Aztec side of things, hence the term “nahualli” or nah-wah-lee, as it is said in Nahuatl, and him for the Nordic side of things. In his case he uses the term “fetch”.)

Notes: Nagualism is the modern terminology for it in Mexico, and nagual is the modern word for it. You may remember it from people who write about Toltecs and Carlos Castenada. For this thread, I am going to use a combination of academia from what I have gathered and experiences to help people. (Since we have many threads asking for help against dream invaders. I may talk a little about my magic system here as well.)

As stated before me and a friend compared notes and the Aztec version and the Nordic is pretty much the same with different terms. I would go out on a limb and say this is a form on shamanism. Now, I am not as knowledgeable about Nordic systems, but I believe this system here throughout is utilized by many different cultures. All with unique terms for what they experience, which is pretty much the same.

In classical Nahuatl, the language spoken by the Aztecs, “nahualli” also meant sorcerer. But we aren’t going to refer to it in this manner because we have English words denoting the difference. The other meaning of the word, the one we are using in this thread, has not an English equivalent. A fetch or nahualli is an animal that shares your soul with you. This is quite different from a familiar which may just be an animal who works with you, or a spirit animal/totem which is an animal who is there to help you learn.

For modern witches in Mexico, this spirit animal is usually coyote. Another thing, I don’t know if I ever met anyone who is offended if you use the term “nahualli” if this is your preferred term. I have used it for years and no one calls me out for it. I doubt modern Nahuatl speakers care.

Another big note, this concerns more of a cultural specification, is that modern shamans or curendos as they are called, and brujas in Mexico are trained. They have a lineage based system similar to trad Wicca. I am untrained, but I have read enough ethnographic material and had over a decade of experiences to help. So, let’s get started, shall we?

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By Benjamin La Combe

              What is a fetch/nahualli/nagual?

The fetch/nahualli is an animal that shares your soul with you. Everyone has one. Even the gods have nahuallis; The Aztec god,Tezcatlipoca’s main nahualli is a jaguar for example. They can be anywhere from ducks to eels, to all sorts of strange animals. Some people can use theirs to fly, even. You see, in the dream world, you can turn into yournahualli and do all sorts of magical things.

The nahualli connected to your soul is very important and has to do with symbology, your nature, and your personality. It is a part of you. This is why you have to protect it from the mal-intent who want to “steal” it. This is why many rural people do not reveal their main nahuallis to anyone. For myself, I am not scared of others and have enough protection to make sure I am safe, so I do not mind revealing mine.

 In native thought there are 3 tiers of animals:

1. Common tier. Those commonly seen, such as cows or horses. (These are thought to be “commoner type people”. Though I disagree a bit of the social system here, more on that later.)

2. Mid tier. These animals are occasionally seen by humans. Coyote is a good example of this ideal. They represent the “middle class”. But as with all animals are highly important to the scheme of things.

3. Top tier, which are animals rarely seen by people who represent the leaders or nobility. Animals such as puma, or bear could be said to be this. Usually large wild animals, but not always. In Mexico, the highest of all animals and the lord that rules them all is the jaguar which is sacred to many people there. Sorcerers with jaguar nahualli are also feared because there is a chance they could be “evil”, likened to Tezcatlipoca the god of nahualli.

One of the biggest bits of information though, is that people can have more than one nahualli. They do so by obtained the animal through ritual consumption, (Hunting and killing it, then eating it.) stealing someone else’s, or being given one as a gift from the gods or another being. But these other nahualli they obtained will never share their soul with that person like their main nahualli does that they were born with. (The other nahualli will be connected to you in spirit though and you can turn into them.) Remember this, as it is very important to remember if you plan on getting more than one. Tezcatlipoca, has four nahualli including a turkey and a feathered coyote, but they are not the ones he was born with like the jaguar, Tepeyollotl.

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Elephant trunk snake

                                 How do I find out what my fetch or nahualli is?

This will take some time and will occur in the dream world. For myself, I asked the Irish goddess Badb for help back when I did not know what a “nahualli” actually was. She revealed it anyway. But if you are an atheist and not willing to believe in helpful archetypes, what good will that do?

To know your nahualli you must be attempting to get to know what it is through the dream world. You will turn into that animal, and it will feel like you physically turned into it. You’ll know. You may have to ask the spirits for help, but it is entirely possible to find it by yourself. You may also turn to “surface” magick, or magick done outside of the other world of dreams for help. Meditations and trances would help.

A word of advice, your fetch may not be the animal you think it is. It is not the animal you are “most attracted” to. It’s usually an animal you like but did not expect. I did not expect mine at all, but I do love it.

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                                   Why should I discover my animal power?

Your fetch is going to be what you use in your dream workings and in the other world, including traversing. (More on the other worlds later.) If you are a bird or bat, flying is very advantageous, you can travel great distances in a short amount of time. You probably heard of old European legends of witches turning into bats, owls, or creatures of the night. If you want to obtain a flying nahualli because you are a ground type of animal or water type, do not worry! You can definitely obtain one as I mentioned the methods above.

Another thing is the powerful symbology behind the nahualli and it’s senses. For example, a coyote person would be a trickster and very cunning. They may have a good sense of smell. An owl person would be associated with the underworld, death, and have super excellent hearing on top of the good nocturnal eye sight. (Contrary to popular belief, owls’ strongest sense is hearing.) A jaguar person would be very stealthy and be a natural at sorcery. When you discover your animal, it is good to take it upon yourself to look up world mythology and symbology on the creature. Also, it may be good to see what its biological advantages are. Remember, no matter how small, even a mouse is important in the scheme of things.

You may also use your nahualli to escape from enemies or attack them. If you are an animal such as a bear or a goat, it may be easy to attack other people or non-human spirits in that realm. If you are a tiny mouse it is good to use this form to escape. Some words to the wise, common animals are great nahuallis and stronger than most people give them credit for. Since they are commonly seen it is easy to trick other beings in the other world with them more often than rarer animals such as owls. Stealth plays a part in most animals’ lives and for their survival. Unless your animal is something like a bear, you may want to devise tactics on how to attack, hide, or run away from enemies.

The best reason though, is through your fetch you can find out more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

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A commission. Copyrighted by “Lolita-Artz”.

  Please, explain the “dream working” & the “other world”?

Dream working is the type of magic that you work in the otherworlds. The otherworlds are worlds you can usually get to, though not all, through astral projecting and dreaming which is a form of this projection. There are many other worlds. Most traditions honor the earth, heavens, and underworld. With the latter two being places you obtain through dreaming.

Some layers of the heavens or certain worlds cannot be accessed even by some of the most skilled. They may be home to the gods, spirits, or another type of other worldly being such as the asura. There are layers of reality in all, and the invisible plane known as the “astral plane” inhabits all other worlds, including here.

It is thought that the beast form or nahualli of higher being such as gods reside in the astral sphere when they are not turned into theirs. Attacking some beings there could result in their deaths if you are strong enough. (Though I would only advise to do that against malevolent beings that prey on people such as the asura/mazoku.) Attacking a human on the astral plane could result in making them crazy or mentally unstable, but rarely death. This is because the spiritual beings born without bodies are tied with their mental projections of themselves on our plane of existence when they manifest and in the other worlds when “physically” manifesting, since we have physical bodies it is a different set of rules for us. Thus, it is not as important to us when we are attacked astrally, but if attacked physically we get wounded horribly or die. It is the opposite for them. (And yes, you will meet at least one entity that preys on someone when you are dream working.)

It is important to note all the other worlds are connected to this main one and it’s reality. What you do in your dream has a lasting effect on physical reality in the here and now. IN the other worlds, time and physical limits are not as bound, you may be able to do things that would be physically impossible to do in “real” life. The other worlds, at least the basic ones, are world of ideas and the spiritual beings born without physical bodies have a lot do to with ideas because it helps make them who they are.

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Ishtar in her descent into the underworld. Human worshiped flank the top, while underworldly creature flank the bottom.

    What do I need to know to start getting to work on dream working?

There is many ways to get into dream working. This includes through trances or meditations, guided and not. Sleep is the more preferred method. Also, may include psycho-active drugs but I do not condone this method here. (Just mentioning it as a lot of tribal “shamans” use those things to travel.) Sometimes long trance rituals can take places to help which include many potentially dangerous things such as sleep deprivation, inducing extreme pain, or fasting for example. (Also, not saying this is necessary.) My most preferred method however, is just before you go to sleep and right before you just wake up. Important point is that the only dreams you remember are the ones you wake up from! :o

You need to protect yourself in the dream world and out. You may have to do rituals outside before you dream to help you do things or protect yourself. Sympathetic magick is extremely good for this. Say you may have problems with possession, while a house usually symbolizes your body when dreaming. Try making a circle of salt around your abode. This may also help if you are attacked a lot mentally by a dream invader. (Salt is very good to use for purification and protection against otherworldly beings.)

A big thing you need to know is how to ascertain different types of dreams. A lot of this is entirely experience based, but you will still have mundane dreams that are not real important even when you have begun your dream working journey.
There are 3 types of dreams:

1. Purely psychological. Everyone has these dreams and they are entirely you. They may be important to figuring yourself out or maybe just a manifestation of fears such as losing all your teeth. They vary in importance to you.

2. A mix of the supernatural and psychological. This dreams will at least be pseudo-important and are probably some of the most common types you will encounter when you start your journey. They may have symbols in them that are important to you and only you, but they may also contain things such as your nahualli or Loki or another deity.

3. Purely supernatural. This is the good stuff, when you start dreaming of places you have never been. You may converse with gods or the fae. But you will be in some place you could never possibly conjured up. You may even dream of places like heaven or more likely the underworld.

Keep a dream journal by your bed, if you are having trouble remembering. This can really help because dream working gives you a lot of information in the form of “puzzle pieces” that you cannot always remember. You will be able to see what is going on by recording it. You will be able to see the bigger picture.

Remember that you can meet other magick users in the other worlds as well that you may meet, some of them are far from friendly. Using elemental magick and incantations to defend yourself is a good idea because it manifests like Hollywood magick. For example, one can easily call forth the light spirits to leave a dream or simply light a place in the darkness of their dream. Or use spirits of literal darkness to conceal yourself besides your nahualli. (These elemental spirits are low beings and are not generally that intelligent, but they can make things for you. It’s a concept of animism.)

Also, reflective surfaces, particularly mirrors and water, are portals to the other worlds in the other worlds and beyond. You do best to keep that in mind as some spirits can use the same surfaces as portals. (This is especially handy if you have a haunting.)

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Three witches by Gardner

          Dream invaders, evil spirits, and the like?

Well, I gave outlines earlier about this sort of stuff such as sympathetic magick, as cited above, using elements, or elemental spirits, and the like, I need to talk about the different kinds of yokai. (The Japanese word for mysterious supernatural beings or phemonea.) By yokai I am using more generally here and not using it specifically to Japanese folklore. There are so many different otherworldly beings to encounter it is tiring to classify them all and probably impossible because they are diverse. However, yokai is the appropriate term for that which is unclassifiable and seems similar to the modern usage of the word fae or faeries. Either term will suffice, it’s a matter of preference.

For the ones with more conclusive terms with have different kinds. I am only putting out the most commonly encountered for the purpose of this thread.

1. Monsters/Mazoku/Asura(Possibly Jotun), these guys do not have much concern for the goodness of mankind and actually see us humans as prey. They hate “good” things such as logic, justice, courage, valor, love, etc. This is because these beings were formed, from chaos, as anti-thesises to the gods who represent more positive ideals. (As above, so below, eh?) It is also because these entities feed on the energy generated from negative emotions, so they look to make humans suffer. They tend to have one or more form, but their beast or monster form, as in their “real selves” reside in the astral plane and will be invisible to humans. The mental projection however, which usually can take the form of an animal, person, or thing, will not be. Usually for most of them, something will be “off” in their imitations. Especially, if pretending to be human. Such as their behavior will be extremely off to be a human.

The higher ranking or more powerful a mazoku, the harder it will be to tell if they are human or whatever they are imitating or not. The most powerful mazoku (s) being able to mimic gods and to be the most dangerous to humans. However, I would not worry about these ones so much, because there is not much most people can do about them. (The gods must take care of that thing.) They usually own the lower ranking mazoku in a master/follower relationship and are not commonly seen, because they are the type of mazoku to start wars with the gods and such, and have more important things to do then bother a few humans. (I.e. the opposite of the evangelical Satan archetype.) High ranking mazoku usually have territory in certain underworlds in the otherworld.

Most dream workers only need to concern themselves with low ranking mazoku, who prey on individuals and are much more personal, and cause chaos in the humans’ lives both in and out the otherworlds. All mazoku are heavily connected to the otherworlds. It is possible to fully exterminate a lower ranking mazoku via the other world. They are weak against magic from the gods, from high ranking mazoku, or astral magick.

They can also be defeated by sheer willpower if the will of a person is greater than the mazoku’s they can be harmed. Likewise, they are weak against positive emotions and particularly disdain logic from my experience. (Healthy skepticism really helps in fighting them.) As mazoku are the opposites of holy spirits and gods, they are typically trickster spirits. If gods have a trickster god or two for every pantheon, then mazoku are almost entirely made up of trickster spirits with one or two actually being blunt. They are also very much associated with uncleanliness and “unholiness”.

While I prefer the Japanese “mazoku”, when I encountered them and tried to identify them they made known themselves as “monster” which is a broad term that can refer to anything that looks scary and unnatural. “Mazoku” is more specific since it was invented as the Japanese term for the Asura of Hinduism. “Ma” means “demon” or “evil” and “zoku” means “race” or “clan”. The mazoku are definitely monsters, their beast forms represent that, but they are only a certain type of monster.

I also think mazoku are extremely misidentified in Western cultures as various things. The lower ranking ones’ most common identification is Christian “demons” or “Satan”, but they are neither fallen angels nor really directly related to Satan. (Demon can also mean malevolent spirit, and they do fall under this category.) Mazoku based energy magick is good for curses and attacking or offensive endeavors, despite being impure. The type of energy they have can be amplified with negative emotions and it is good magick to use in a bind. It typically falls under “unjustifiable magick”, which is good or bad depending on the situation. God energy based magick would be it’s opposite.

2. Souls of dead people. Pretty common and probably one of the common ancient usages for dream working. You will likely meet all sorts of different people who are dead. Some may even try to employ your help. Others may attack you, depending on what type of person they were in life.

It is not your business to help everyone to pass on. Especially in the other world, where some of them may already be passed on! For the ones that do attack or act hostile, elemental magick is successful at making them leave with out decimating them. It may also be wise to purify the area. Others if they ask for your help, you must decide on a case by case basis. While still other ghosts may be friendly and help you traverse the other worlds.

3. Demons or daemons. I am not using the “demon” word here in such a way to mean “evil spirit”. But closer to it’s original usage of daemon. There are half humanish demons, such as mermaids, or the completely monstrous ones such as Lamashtu with little human characteristics. It is important here to note that daemons can be good or bad, and sometimes their origins lie in being created to serve the gods or another being, or even mazoku. It’s impossible to ascertain unless mythology is an indicator.

Tlaloc, an Aztec god, has many little spirit servants that look like him called the Tlaloque, they would be considered “demons” though people can use them in rituals or work with them as they do the sidhe. There are so many example and there are even daemons who were came from chaos or the like. As said before, they can usually be good or evil. In ancient Mesopotamia, even bad demons such as the owl spirit Lilitu, who killed babies, had good sides. (We do not know her beneficial nature to humans, we just know it existed.) You will definitely see many spirits such as these. It’s mostly trial and error, because while one daemon species may be hostile to humans in general, it may not be hostile to you.

4.Other magick users. You would be surprised how many dream workers see each other in the other world. Now dream working, can be done by anyone of any belief system. So you will see, Christians, Wiccans, Islamics, Satanists, pagans, and the like in certain parts of the other world. That being said, dream working attracts the goodand bad people. I personally, have met some vampires who would prey and pick on people in the other world. I promptly took care of them and would stop them from doing that.

There are certain vampiric people that will attack others, but they are not the only ones. There have been bad “witches” who just seem to want to cause people chaos. (Humans are fairly neutral in the scheme of things so they can go either way.) There have been people who just like to abuse their power over people. While they may not do that irl, they will certainly do it in the other world. As mentioned in the mazoku part, there is different sorts of magick you can utilize against them. But I suggest not resorting to that if you do not have to. I’d also say the most dangerous magick and their users is those who case the evil eye, and I would be wary of those people. Though I think it is rare to encounter such a user since the eye can be difficult to cast.

It would be good to learn a bit of trickery in all your endeavors in dream working in case you meet enemies such as the ones I have outlined.

Anyway, this is what I got so far. I hope someone can find it beneficial.

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R.I.P. Chris Cornell

Taking a break from pagan posts… 😦

Grunge icon and legend Chris Cornell has died at the age of 52. He died suddenly in Detroit, a rep confirmed. The cause of death is undetermined at the moment. A medical examiner will be looking into the issue.

He was one of the best vocalists of the Seattle scene, along with Layne Staley. Out of the big four, the original vocalists for Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains are all dead now… Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is now the only living original singer of these bands.

Rest in Peace Chris. Say hello to heaven.

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I really like this, but feel as though it is merely a dream.

Since the U.S. has elected a reality TV show billionaire to represent our nation, we should be no longer be able to shy away from the ignorance, violence, and frivolity that is within us. Happiness and peace in humanity seem to be in short supply. How many of us experience continuing bliss, or do we […]

via Leadership in the Kali Yuga by LaChelle Schilling —

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