Being in the shamanic world, I find that there are a lot of times that people who think that they are spiritual or are exploring spirituality or even think that they are experts in the field do some really silly things. I wrote about some of the contradictions around this that can become quite toxic in my blog titled “I Call B.S.” Here I want to cover a few things that I did not include in that entry.
Often I am called on to come help clear the energy of a space that has been “haunted”. I don’t really care much about whether or not someone believes in that stuff, and it is not my job to convince them in any way. So when I arrive it is really important to not have a naysayer there. The negativity that they produce can create more of an issue than the haunting itself. I am all for healthy skepticism. I do not, however, appreciate intentional disruption when I am trying to do my job.
There are also those who, after a space has been cleared, decide that they want to “monitor” the situation on their own. They pull out their handy little cell phones, put them on the camera mode and then go around the house calling out to the spirit realm to “show themselves” if they are there. People. THAT IS CALLED AN INVITATION. You bet your tooshie that they will show up! STOP THAT. What you are doing is the same as posting on social media that you are gonna have a house party, because your house just got cleaned and is all sparkly, and that EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO COME IS INVITED. *shakes head at the stupidity*.
Something that is not a very politically correct view is the one I have on “cultural appropriation”. This has gone so far that it has become moronic. If someone resonates with a spiritual practice that they were not raised in, then they do need to be able to explore that practice anyway. Banishing them from that practice based upon their origins is, in fact, discriminatory…even IF they are what is viewed as “entitled”. One’s view of someone does not make that someone what that view is. It is your own preconceived notion that does that.
Case in point: I once had a coffee date with a friend. To that coffee date I was wearing my Ankh and a ring with the Eye of Horus on it. My friend looked up and saw someone that she knew and said hi to her. This person invited herself to sit at our table and have a coffee with us. Neither my friend nor myself actually minded that at first. But then, this person looks at my Ankh and starts in on me about how a MAN does not have the right to wear something that is of the Goddess. I told her that the Ankh is not exclusive to feminine based spirituality. She loses that argument quickly and then looks at my ring. She then starts in on how I am appropriating a culture that is not mine. Now, this was before that term “cultural appropriation” even became popular. So I asked her to explain exactly what she meant by that. She did in very aggressive terms. When she was done I said to her, “Well, this could definitely be said about someone perhaps such as yourself, but it does not apply in this instance because my heritage is inclusive of Egyptian.” She tried to tell me I was lying. I laughed at her and told her that her assuming that I am not Egyptian based upon the fair colouring of my skin was actually quite racist of her. She got angry and left the table. My friend apologised for her friend’s very poor behaviour. I told her that she had noting to apologise for because it was not her, but her friend who chose to be such an aggressive tool.
We cannot just assume that because anyone is a particular colour that they have a particular spiritual path. We cannot assume that anyone based upon gender is of a particular spiritual path. I have heard, for example, of spiritual gatherings of women who have completely segregated and even belittled their trans sisters. This is deplorable behaviour for anyone who considers themselves spiritual in any way. If a woman chooses to honour a particular god or goddess, so be it. If a man chooses to honour a particular god or goddess, so be it. There is no one on this little blue planet who has any authority over that, no matter how grandiose they think themselves to be.
Each and every spiritual practice will have its own little spin on how things are done and why they are done that way. That is all fine and good. There is no one practice that is more right than the others. We have to remember that spirituality is very much like a penis. It is all fine and good to have one, to be proud of it, and to share it with anyone who is actually interested; but go waving that thing around in someone’s face uninvited and there is going to be trouble.
I think that we have to recognise that we all have a very long way yet to go in terms of actual constructive dialogue on issues around spirituality. Until those conversations can actually happen and until everyone actually feels safe in conversing about it, we are no further along than we were thousands of years ago. We have to use our heads and actually be willing to see the bridges that definitely exist between one spiritual practice and another. We don’t have to burn those bridges. Bridges are used to help connect all. And when that connection is destroyed, then there are sometimes years of healing that become necessary. If the bridges are honoured and respected then years of trauma can be neutralised. But in order to do so, we have to use our heads.