Ah, dabbling. Doing anything half-hearted or basically doing something in the occult that you simply have no business in. When warning people about dabbling and how it’s not a good idea, I’m often looked at odd or folks think I’ve being over the top (yes, I’m over the top but when I tell those very same people I’m a Witch, they’ve jumped to the roof. Yes, makes perfect sound sense). I understand not everyone believes in magick, witchcraft or even the fact that different pantheons exists but still, dabbling is not a good idea.
Any Witch, Pagan, Wiccan or Occultist worth their salt will warn vehemently against dabbling. Yes, it seems harmless but so is lighting a candle and saying a few words over it but that can also be seen as witchcraft. Every Pagan book directed at teens will warn against dabbling, it isn’t smart. Even the books that I started with such as Where to Park your Broomstick by Lauren Manoy and Ellen Dugan’s book Elements of Witchcraft had a whole section on it.
Since I like being a fairly responsible columnist completely and totally aware that I have young readers as well as non-Pagan readers and newbie Pagan readers, I’m gonna say the same thing.
Dabbling – or “messing with” – usually doesn’t bode very well for folks who know less about occult and esoteric than the newbie Pagan. Here’s a little story from when I was younger of one of my friends who thought “Hey! An Ouija board. That’s interesting” – wait, no, it was his friends who thought that, my friend was staunchly Christian and not cool with it. How do I know? Because he told me as we were chatting over instant messenger. Went something like this:
Buddy: I’m havin a party at my house but I’m not there.
Me: Why not?
Buddy: One of my friends pulled out a wegie board
Me: An Ouija board? Why?
Buddy: They wanna see what they can get with it. Is it safe?
Me: Okay, even I don’t mess with Ouija boards and I’m a Witch, those things can be big trouble. It’s your house, tell ‘em to knock it off.
Buddy: Nah nah, I don’t wanna do that. It doesn’t seem bad anyways, look like an old board game. I just told them I’ll be in the kitchen while they do that stuff.
Me: Where are they doing it?
Buddy: Living room.
Me: It’s your house. And this really isn’t a good idea, you don’t know what can come through if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if I had to use one, I wouldn’t do it without a circle of some sort around me.
Me: Witch stuff. Circles are casted either with energy or salt or chalk and they’re there for protection to make sure what stays in stays in and what stays out stays out. So if you summon some weird thing, it won’t trash anything (hopefully).
Me: Wellllllll, if you’re not very strong but you get a spirit or a demon that is, that could be problematic. Let’s hope we don’t get that.
Buddy: They’re trying to summon Elvis.
The friends were really trying to summon dead folks but I gotten an IM the next day from my buddy:
Buddy: Hey, uh, Olivia?
Me: Something went wrong, didn’t it?
Buddy: It trashed my living room!
Buddy: Look, I was in the kitchen minding my own business after talking to you and then I hear all this noise in my living room and then all my friends running in to the kitchen with scratches and stuff on themselves! I think they summoned a demon or something! It wrecked my living room! Everything is everywhere!
Me: Dude, seriously? Is it still there? Wait wait. You’re Christian, have you made a prayer to Michael?
Buddy: Help me out!
Me: I have to explain to you St. Michael? Archangel Michael? Dude with flaming sword? Big name in your religion?
Buddy: No, no, I know who you’re talking about. But will it work?
Me: This is up his alley unless something changed, just ask him for protection, annnnd pray to Christ for the same thing, this is what they’re for, man! And if you know any Latin, that would help.
Me: Lord’s Prayer in Latin tends to work but I’m sure you don’t get points taken off for saying it in English, just say it.
Me: This is just to keep the demon, it doesn’t sound strong.
Buddy: They were trying to get Elvis! What the –
Me: Yeah, about that. If you don’t know what you’re doing with spirit stuff, anything is bound to pop out. And get your friends to help clean up. They made the mess, you didn’t even want that thing in your house!
Buddy: Nah, it’s fine.
Me: You’re too nice. And one more thing?
Me: Make your friends help clean up – and get new friends.
Dabbling simply can open up a big can of worms for whoever is messing around with it. I think I’ve had countless people come to me and tell me of their brief experiences with witchcraft and how it usually ended spooky or left them straight afraid of metaphysics, occult and magick, which isn’t that scary with some study.
Also, what dabbling produces: Fluffy bunnies.
For example: I can bet five bucks right now some random kid in the world right now is trying to summon Thor or Loki, both Nordic gods, simply because they saw The Avengers. Dabbling is this kid not really bothering to look up Thor or Loki’s back story and mythologies, simply and mostly going to go off what Marvel is telling them and remembering faintly somewhere that at one point in human history, these two were regarded with serious business. Thus, somewhere in this kid’s head, it’s a fantastic idea to seriously attempt to summon an actual god of Thunder and an actual god of thievery. Well, at least those two deities get along like Kenan and Kel, so there’s that but they’re definitely not for noobs, especially when one of the deities is known for being a trickster. If things go well, here’s lies a potential Asatru fluffy bunny. If things go disastrous because, well, summoning tricksters isn’t always a good idea, nor gods that like life loud, then you’ll have an unnecessarily frightened person who will shut up like a telescope and squawk like a parrot when they meet other people who do magick or anything with metaphysics or the occult. If nothing happens, that could just be one more annoying kid for Pagans to deal with (“Iiiii tried summoning Thor but he didn’t come. I guess it’s just fantasy after all. Do you really believe in that stuff?”). They’re not being patient, they’re just jumping in and without proper guidance or information, it can be problematic.
So if you’re a noob to Paganism and Witchcraft, keep researching. If you’re not interested in Paganism or Witchcraft, you just wanna see something happen, please head to the nearest exit. There’s not a lot of room for dabblers and less room for people who’ll actually put up with them.
That’s all the Black Witch for today! Next week is The Arts! and this is who is being featured next week:
- Busty Comics
- Afro-Punk Festival