Feedback From “Sessiomagus”

The Sessiomagus article was apparently not that interesting, as I got little resonse from it.   Witchvox was reluctant to publish it for some time as well, which may have been an indication of a lack of quality or appeal.  Looking back, it probably wasn’t the best think I could have written, although I think the topic was important enough to warrant writing about.  Perhaps there are more sessiomagi in my target audience than I thought, or perhaps too many readers felt I was attacking magical scholarship in general (as one respondent did).  I suppose there is little use speculating on it.  Someday I may re-write the article — we’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m working on another essay, which will be about self-identification in neo-pagan groups.  It will most likely be a while until it’s done, though, since school has started again and this semester is looking to be a doozy.  Check back for updates, if you be so inclined.

Wow, can I relate to this article! I just recently found myself in an
time-wasting email debate with one such individual.
He had posted a comment on one of the WV stories. I liked his comment
and emailed a compliment, and mentioned a little of my own experiences
about the subject of the story. Instead of having the social graces to
simply thank me for my comment, he launched into a tome that was
sanctimonius, self-congratulatory, overbearing in its tone, and about how his
view was somehow “more advanced” than mine, etc. ad nauseam. Needless
to say, I was offended (and said so) , mostly at the incredible
self-importance he displayed, despite the fact that he never even got into the
meat of the philosophies he was quoting from! I’m not even sure that he
was knowledgable in these areas; his replies were mostly non-sequiturs.
I asked him repeatedly to never mind the instructive attitude and to
talk to me in a rational manner. He was either unwilling or unable to do
so. I now believe that this person was a species of psychic vampire;
the kind that gets you all fired up at his insulting attitude and feeds
off the anger he has produced. When I finally realized this, I told him
I would not be replying to his emails and then blocked his email
address. Let him feed on someone else!


Hmm, while I respect your opinion, I must wonder what brought you to
write such an essay as the one you wrote. Your words have such a bitter
harshness to them that I am left to wonder if there is an underlying
bigotry in them. Yes, while I agree there are those who are
and also delusional, there are also many forms of ‘Witch’, some of whom
practice magic and others who do not. It is like saying one who is not
a hereditary Witch, is not a true Witch. You denegrate your own kind
with your words. To my view, the very essence of our path as Witches is
individual freedom and the ability to seek knowledge from any and all
venues. Why is it a bad thing if one does not choose to put this into
magical practice? If there is respect, honor, and humility, what is
to judge, unless you are predisposed to judgment and bigotry.

I mean no disrespect to your opinions. I respect your right to believe
as you do, but I can not say that I agree with it. But you did put your
views on Witchvox, which opened the door to this debate, I suppose.
These are simply mine.

I ment no intrusion or insult. I wish you the best. Brightest


Dear Misuchi,

I would like to thank you for your interest in my article.

I am a bit curious, however, about the nature of your criticism.  I re-read my essay carefully, and the bitterness you spoke of was not apparent to me.  Perhaps it is a problem of the limitations of the print medium, which does not allow for the subtleties of verbal communication that I mentally fill in when I read my own writing, but perhaps not.

Your implication of bigotry confuses me.  Your analogy of hereitary versus non-hereditary witchcraft falls a bit flat, and I don’t really understand what you meant to intimate to me.  Are you implying that my essay “discriminates” against witches who don’t practice magic?  If so, you’ve missed the whole point of my essay, which is not about those who don’t practice magic, but those who don’t yet pretend to be experts on it.  Collecting knowledge is admirable, as I said in my article, but there is a certain point where first-hand experience trumps abstract theory — abstract theory untempered by experience is of little worth.

I would again refer you back to my essay and the definition of the Armchair Magician is given.  You seem to assume that I am refering to any witch who does not practice practical magic, when I explicitly define my mark, an in fact do not mention witchcraft or any religious trandtion at all.  My entire focus is on people who present an unearned air of expertise, which is a phenomenon that can be found in an technical field.  How criticising those who practice such pretension is unjustly judgemental or bigotted is beyond me.

You open your message to me with multiple qualifications and an implication of bigotry, and I what what underlying attitudes you have which lead to such assumptions.  You seemed to take issue with the critical nature of my essay, tossing around words such as “bigotry,” “harshness,” and “judgemental,” and I can’t help but wonder what makes you so intolerant of honest criticism.  Even your criticism of my essay was laced with qualifiers and apologizers, which you included in an apparent effort to spare my feelings, but which made it feel that you were afraid to stand firmly behind your own position, as if you were reluctant to offer a criticism at all.  I can’t help but feel that a distaste for criticism of others featured priminently in your arguments against my essay.

I honestly can’t help but feel that there was some kind disparity between what I was attempting to convey and what you read into my article.  If I am mistaken, then I apologize for my presumption, but it seems that your criticisms address points that miss the thrust of my essay.

Best Wishes,

Chirotus Infinitum

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