Know your enemy

In the past few days, I’ve noticed online a rather huge buzz about witches and magic users of all kinds coming together on the 13th of this month to work magic against the militant organization of thugs in Africa known as Boko Haram. While I agree that their actions are atrocious; and while I also agree that all the killing in Africa should get at least as much attention from the press as the Super Bowl or Donald Trump’s choice to repeat profanities shouted by his fans; I also think it would be a good idea, before Pagans around the world get pumped up on a chance to unleash energetic hell against Boko Haram, for everyone to understand that the governments of that region – to include that of Cameroon, who authorized the use of witchcraft against Boko Haram in the first place – often act just as atrociously against their own people as do the militant thugs they are fighting.

I would offer these two articles as a place to start getting to know these governments better, to perhaps take into consideration while allowing or causing your energy to be channeled into a working that has itself shown signs of having become sensationalized, even by our own Pagan media. The first is from Mail & Guardian Africa, pointing toward abuses by the governments of both Nigeria and Cameroon. The second article comes from Human Rights Watch, and is a 2015 report focusing on 2014 violence in Nigeria.

I do not raise this topic in any way to suggest that what is happening in Africa should not be halted. I do not suggest that what is happening in Africa is not atrocious and sickening. I am not trying to dilute the need for actions focused around bringing an end to the violence in Africa or anywhere else. I am however wary of jumping on a bandwagon at the behest of a government that has itself come under criticism for brutal actions against its own people. I see this as supporting Stalin to hold off Hitler. Would I pray to the gods to bring peace to Africa? Yes – more accurately, I would do so again, as I have already been doing this. Would I send my own energy to work on people in Africa? Yes – but not against anyone, as I cannot honestly say I know enough about all the powers involved in the conflicts there to take sides – I would instead send energy to try to promote peace and harmony. I would not attempt this on a day set aside because it seemed astrologically to be the most ruinous day for anyone in particular – that is not how I promote peace. It was a reaction to watching a video of Nigerian military personnel slitting the throats of Boko Haram militants, one right after the next, and dropping them in a mass grave that caused me to post my essay, On Relative Being, to the Internet. This article is about connection of beliefs, and was the best I could do at the moment to channel the outrage I felt at such a callous disregard for life.

In the end, we all make our own choices about our ethics when it comes to working with energy and the gods. I do not presume to remove that choice from a single person. I do however feel moved, in light of the sensationalism that seems to surround this issue, to suggest taking a really good look at everyone involved in the situation, and making your choice as informed as possible.

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10 responses to “Know your enemy

  1. People are just looking for legal ‘moral’ ways to hurt other people to prove their powers to themselves and the one they are trying to impress! You want to hurt people, you don’t need a reason or a mission. :P That’s my humble opinion!

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    • I think there are certainly some people who fit that description. There are others who simply gravitate toward whatever popular sentiment seems to consider the ‘right’ thing to do for the moment. There are some who have a ton of passion and are looking for a cause to channel that passion toward. And there are of course those who have researched this issue completely, disagree with everything I wrote in this post, and have their own opinion that they consider as thought-out as I do mine. There are also plenty of Pagans who have no intention of directing harmful intentions toward anyone, and would rather try to strengthen the cause of peace.

      The thing is, with magic as with anything else we do, I think the important thing is to be aware of what ends our actions ultimately serve. Hatred and a lust for power and recognition are what fuel groups like Boko Haram, as well as abusive government regimes. My hope with the article I posted here is that readers might have a voice calling them to consider how channeling anger and outrage at hate-driven groups actually helps to solve the problem. I saw this as a chance to encourage Pagans thinking of participating in this energy working to be very clear about the ends they wanted their actions to ultimately serve. The victims in this struggle are already caught in a crossfire between two aggressive forces … my question is: how does adding a third aggressive force help those who need it, while quelling the hatred that is at the root of these problems?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You know, I agree… to me, magick is about self transformation in order to make things happen.Sometimes I feel that magick workers feel entitled to “do” something or feel holier than thou. It annoys me that some people think they could influence, disarm or harm other being. This is being caught in Ego SO MUCH that they cannot possibly be taken seriously.

        Not every action needs a reaction.

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  2. I want to dismiss it as a publicity stunt, but that would take away from the gravity of your expressed desire for a more harmonious solution. I wholeheartedly support your plan. I think that if energy work is being used, it should have occurred to these individuals before now and conducted in relative privacy. It’s like attending to the symptom and not to the disease.

    One thing I’ve learned about “evil” is that it is not always obvious, aggressive or even self aware. I’ve seen people damaged for a lifetime by the relatively small actions of others. Things like neglecting to take responsibility for one’s choices; refusing to use facts to formulate an opinion; even refusing to assert one’s rights. These things are evil. But who prays for the damaged boys and girls, some of whom will grow up to do the best they can with crippled souls?

    Perhaps this coven should start with their parents. Then, perhaps, the effects will trickle down through a generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To me, it is a matter of logic: I disapprove of something going on, something about as negative as negative gets; therefore I do not respond to it with negative energy of my own. Responding with my own negative energy would only succeed if I were able to be more negative than what I seek to overcome. This simply isn’t my way.

      As for the Pagan-based media that put the call out for this action, I’m still shaking my head at the lack of responsibility involved in ‘calling all Pagans’ to take part in a worldwide curse event in such a way that people new to energy work might have felt the urge to make a mistake in order to jump on the bandwagon.

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  3. Most people like their politics to be very simple with bad guys and good guys . They often don’t have an understanding of how the geographical nationstates in Africa were created by the colonialists , not from the organic grouping of different tribal people . When the colonialist pull out, it’s something similar to what we saw with Yugoslavia . That was a forced nationstate geographically as well with groups that had nothing in common . The government of Nigeria has about 50% on the take from Shell Oil , multinational corporations have in a way replaced the colonialist governments.

    Before getting involved with anything you have to understand the reason for the problem and how many variations of gray there are . Magic is a lot like medicine , there’s no reason to treat a group of people like a disease to kill as if that will bring harmony . We have several layers of oppression and pain uniting both sides when we pull back and look at the situations . They are not allowed to destroy their land to make money even Indo-European’s did that to them and became very wealthy . There’s just so many layers of injustice that the global South faces.

    Recognizing that both sides are incredibly traumatized from hundreds of years of colonialism and slavery and then being forced into a political system that is not organic in extreme poverty where your traditional enemies also live , and you have multinational corporations bribing everyone , it’s linked to so many different horrific periods of time including exploitation today , and you can’t really looking at the big picture say somebody is evil , because the situation is one that most of us could not possibly imagine living , on either side .

    There are similar but nowhere near the scale problems in the Native American nations as well , how do you sort out who you are nation is and have it be fair when everybody is sick and hungry and traumatized and you don’t have much power .

    Being outsiders without much of an understanding of the situation thinking that they can somehow solve the problem is too much of the top down arrogance of colonization again . Like we have to decide how it should turn out by using magic instead of weapons or withholding food? As a community worker the first thing you learn is to find out what the community itself wants .

    So my prayers would be for the long term traumatization to be healed and that somehow all of that pain and anger and grief is transformed into energy for solutions that are harmonious and organic from people , not from outsiders . That’s been Africa’s problem for so long: outsiders controlling and manipulating it. I don’t know what the solution is but I support it already. Maybe there will have to be the boundaries of nations redesigned to fit the kingdoms that were already there . That’s how Europe organically became nations out of tribes. Africa had its own working system with many many many kingdoms , so many different cultures and languages , and the colonialists ignored all of that in grabbing whatever land they could, separating some tribes and putting some kingdoms that had been enemies for centuries together .

    I would want Africa to heal and re-create itself in its own image because the colonial borders are one of the main reasons for all of the wars in Africa .

    If people are not going to study the history that created a problem , how did they know what the problem even is? I don’t have any problem with putting violence on ice or binding it as a temporary measure but eventually all of these things will keep coming up until they’re dealt with and I’d rather support the very messy work of Africa re-creating Africa so there is more overt peace.

    However all of those nations even if they redo the boundaries are going to get along as well as European nations at best and I have seen quite a lot of covert violence that is systemic and institutionalized in Europe , there are human rights violations all over Europe . I guess what people can hope for is for Africa to have the same level of nationalistic hatred as a lot of Europeans have towards other Europeans .

    But obviously we are talking about a massacre that is televised so it’s going to trigger a lot of people into wanting to stop it because that’s what human beings hopefully normally feel when they see atrocity . I don’t think it has anything to do with magical workers having an ego unless people who join the United Nations peacekeeping forces are doing it out of ego or people working at nonprofit jobs making very little money helping women get out of domestic violent situations people doing it out of ego or people who donate money to any charity as someone who does it out ofn ego .

    People genuinely want to stop the atrocities that they see , unfortunately there are the same atrocities going on everywhere that are not being televised or all over Facebook. Remember Haiti, after the earthquake and everybody was talking about Haiti all the time and I have family who lives and works there and they were really disgusted by it because they knew in six months nobody would care about Haiti .

    One problem though I have with energy workers/ magic workers is that they often assume they know what the energy needed is and they don’t. After the nuclear meltdown in Japan people were sending Reiki energy which is so hot! Reiki destroys me, I hate it , I’m not at all wired for it , so a lot of these people have a very “one-size-fits-all ” attitude and how do they know that the energy they’re sending is helpful ? The same with any magic . I think it really has to be open ended for the traumas to heal and the people to be able to come together and solve these problems and have an Africa run by Africans that is supported, not undermined and controlled. And when there are out right atrocities , I don’t see any problem with magic that slams on the brakes but that’s like taking an aspirin when you have cancer .

    You can’t just remove war , you have to remove the conditions that caused war.

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