As of the time of writing this, I have 17 listings on the Witches’ Voice (including my profile and website profile). I have almost 100,000 page views between them all. Since the beginning of this year, I have had about 1500 page views at this site (and that number is going up as I write more consistently). I’m not a very high traffic writer at this point, considering the time frames involved, but I’m not doing so bad for some random guy in Kansas who dabbles in the occult and occasionally puts together a short written piece pontificating about something or other. I have some regular followers, have gotten mostly positive feedback on my published articles, and have had people request to use my materials for their own personal or group work.
That’s a pretty good feeling.
I had a discussion with my significant other last night about tarot reading. She reads to help other people. That is the primary reason she does readings: to give others guidance and insight. She implied that other readers do reading for people because they are trying to prove how capable they are, or want the public recognition, or crave power.
I told her I do all of those.
It’s a really good feeling to be able to help someone through a tarot reading. But sometimes that emotional attachment gets in the way. Sometimes I do tarot reading because I’m just curious. Sometimes I do them to see if I can sort through a complicated situation. Sometimes I want to grasp the larger pattern of life. Sometimes I am trying to impress someone, and I want recognition for my skills. Sometimes I want the power.
Replace “tarot reading” with “magical work” and it says a lot about me, I guess.
I’ve been doing some elemental work over the past year, and while a lot of it involves identifying and manipulating certain types of energy, some of it is also a kind of weight training, so that I can evoke or summon larger amounts of energy without burning myself out. I’m building my power levels up, and I’m doing it so that I can have more power.
In today’s day and age, power has a very bad reputation. It is associated with corruption and oppression, and saying that you crave power is often taken as admission that you crave those things as well. Well, it’s not. Okay, it might be, but it doesn’t have to be.
Power allows you to take action. Amassing power simply means that you have more options to take actions you see desire. The problem comes when you start taking large scale actions that affect other people that may not understand what you’re doing, or who may desire actions with opposing results or goals to what you are doing. And if you are able to undertake an action and people who wish to oppose you cannot stop you, than you have an unpleasant situation. And if you are able to undertake actions that compel others to take actions they do not wish to, then you have a situation of oppression (or you’re a politician).
But amassing power in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can widen your options. And getting a taste of power can help you acclimate to it, so that you are responsible enough to use it properly without hurting others or yourself. Take this potentially politically charged example: a gun represents power. If you take gun safety classes, keep it properly and securely stored, and train carefully with it, it has the potential to help you in a time of dire need. But if you neglect those things, you run the risk of hurting yourself or others. Cultivating power with mindfulness of its danger can help you handle it more effectively and less dangerously when you actually encounter a large amount of it.
And this is one reason I’ve been practicing handling high levels of magical and elemental power. I’ve been in a few situations where I was overwhelmed, and if I encounter a similar situation in the future, I’d like to be able to handle it without hurting myself.
And this brings me back to recognition. Recognition is a kind of power. It carries flavors of charisma and feeds the ego (which is itself much maligned, but that’s another story …), and it feels good. I like to be recognized. Or rather, I like my work to be recognized. It is satisfying to create something useful to others and have them appreciate you for producing it. It inspires you to produce more. Which can be useful to more people.
And that usefulness inspires you to do more and grander things, which may give you experience to try new things. In short, you take actions you may not have previously been comfortable with. Your power increases. and others may benefit.
And no, I’m not fishing for compliments about my work (although I never mind it that much). I might be mulling over my idea to venture into the video world a bit to much, but I think that illustrates some other issues relating to recognition. It can also make you vulnerable. If people don’t find your work useful or interesting, or oppose it for other reasons, that recognition, instead of being a source of power, can reduce your power. It can limit your actions.
So I tread cautiously. My work has stood on its own, and I have gotten a small amount of positive recognition. But now I ponder exposing myself to more recognition, and that exposure will involve personal as well as “professional” recognition. And it may well involve a level of recognition I am not used to. (Who noticed I’ve been getting more personal in the topics I’ve been writing about?)
I like to be recognized for my talents. I like to be powerful enough to use and share those talents. It may be time to see how much I can handle.