Revenge

Alright, alright. I did my bit on forgiveness, so for my Pagan Blog Project post (this week is R), I’ve decided to balance things out with a little revenge.

If, like The Bad Witch, you were raised in an Evangelical home, you were taught to leave room for wrath by letting the God of Israel take His vengeance on our (His) enemies. When I was young, I had a pretty good inkling about this concept and it terrified me to think of an almighty deity comin’-for t’smite folks. The phrase, “Vengeance is Mine,” boomed in my psyche like the first stage of a rocket blast: incinerating everything within reach. While Brother Preacherman taught us that it meant to “Let it Be,” that God would deal with our human foes and wrongdoers, it was not our place to take a life for a life, he made it clear that anything God could do was far worse than the .45 Sister Choirlady carried in her giant purse.[1]

I was never taught a fluffy sort of “Love and Light” when it came to divine justice and vengeance. And I sure don’t teach it. Why folks would misunderstand my stance as docile is beyond me. What have I ever said that could lead one to believe that I was a “softie”? Kind and generous, sure. But kindness and generosity are not “soft.” Like forgiveness, being charitable is hard-as-hell. So, “Love and Light”? Let me give it to you as The Bad Witch sees it.

Love for me is hard-edged, penetrative, all-powerful. Love, rather like Judge Dread, is The Law. All you need is Love – because guess what? Love is invincible. Not flowers and rainbows and kittens love – that’s a juvenile idea of love. Love, rather, is the glue of Pure Will where the entire universe unites. It can only be found in relation to the True Self and is antithetical to anything egotistical.

Likewise, Light is illuminating – but in a way that is exposing. Light is also penetrative and intense. Irradiating. Igniting. This isn’t the soft production lighting suitable for Blanche DuBoise. If you are going to embrace True Light, you have to be brave enough to stand in the sun with no makeup on while your crow’s feet furrow and your cellulite’s a jigglin’.

Fuzzy candle light on a date? No problem. In my spirituality? No thanks.

Given that this is my take on “Love” and “Light,” it makes sense that my ideas about divine judgment would be a little hard-edged too. If not a little “dark.”

Nevertheless, I haven’t take the mantle of The Bad Witch for nothing. My whole project with this blog is to warn you about some Pagan potholes and help you sidestep them a little bit. So if you are out for vengeance, pull up a chair, I got some ‘splaining to do.

I must admit that I do like it when the gods step in and say, “Sit down, honey, I got this.” I’m not such a control freak that I don’t mind handing over the reins to a vengeance goddess now and again. Have at it, I say. Typically, they take over when I have shown myself entirely incompetent in the revenge arena or when I’m blissfully oblivious to others’ wrongdoings. It’s nice to have someone else do the “dirty” work, but sometimes, a little action is due on our parts. I mean, we don’t go around spitting Chew John Root at every chimp who throws poop at us. (Or do we?) And we don’t go around jinxing every numbnut who Tweets something snarky about us. Sometimes it’s not universally important that the dipsmith who sent messages to everyone on Facebook in an effort to try to blacklist us get her comeuppance (right away). Sometimes those petty things only matter in this realm – where the stick-figure humans live – the realm of ego.

But we also aren’t expected to play dead and let Wyrd and Karma exact all of the justice when something real happens.

Of course we’ve talked about how to go about checking and rechecking and rerechecking for Justified Work. Especially when we’ve been dangerously wronged. But what do you do if you simply cannot rise to your Higher Self, get aboard the True Love Boat, actively forgive, or make room for wrath and let the Creator exact vengeance? Sometimes we just succumb to our baser human desires for revenge.

And we just can’t help it.

Well, we can, be we obstinately don’t want to.

Or we impulsively can’t make ourselves sit on our magical hands.[2]

In true Bad Witch style, I have found a loophole.

One day while thinking about what my Higher Self would like to do to that sleezy sonofagun if my Higher Self could just get my hands around that ugly waddle of a neck for just five . . .

No, wait. Let me try again.

One day I was considering where salvation might lie for that nasty stinking lying sham of a human  . . .

Hokay, (breathe) try again . . .

After each attempt at tolerance ended in a fit of anger, I finally splurted[3] out: “If only I hadn’t seen a glimmer her Higher Self, I’d be alright with watching her wallow in the mud like a swine! Knowing that she could be better, pisses me the eff off!”

OK, I didn’t say “eff.”

That particular day, I also happened to be discussing 1984 with The Bad Son.

And it occurred to me: Room 101, The Worst Thing in the World.

If the worst punishment is that which we fear most, and if the best carnal vengeance is success, then perhaps the best sacred vengeance is the enlightenment we’ve eluded longest. Hard, cold, naked Love and Light.

Follow me on this currently vague epiphany. If someone is acting a jackass, then they aren’t living up to their potential. The best thing you can do to/for them is curse them with the qualities of their Higher Being. Best to curse them with the quality that would cause the most disruption in their day-to-day jackassery. And that way, you don’t get any shitstorm on your new boots. That way, if The Law of Return finds you and wants to toss a little sompthin’-sompthin’ your way, what you get in return is your own best qualities; even if you have to grow into them, it’s not a bad thing.

So if your particular jackass is someone who is a vicious taker who exploits people, he’d have a real hoot if his heart were to open to love and understanding all of a sudden. A manipulative focker would find herself having some funtimes if she were to, quite suddenly, develop deep insight into how her actions affect others. If your particular jackass is a monomaniacal and power-hungry fear-monger, a little compassion and empathy might be a good scourge. The unethical dirtbag at work who consistently gets away with it, might have a blast with a strong moral compass. Maybe a keen memory as well.

Kinda like giving Angel his soul.

You might try: humility, integrity, generosity, scrupulousness, conscientiousness, hell – you might even try sobriety!

Just think about it. Anyone that is just such a twat as I’ve described would be forced to cease and desist their destructive behaviors; this works out for you. The stick-figure ego-person would  inevitably dissolve. This works out for everyone. But while they are on the road to redemption, they will suffer during that process. Ergo, we have our vengeance. We get revenge all while having acted according to our best selves. Plus we are spinning Wyrd into our own fabric that will end only in our own enlightenment and elevation.[4] It’s like the end of every John Hughes movie.

Damn fine loophole, don’t you think?

Feel free to curse me with a little time-management and household organization, please.

Blessings, Quarks, and 93 –

The Bad Witch

This post is part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . .    The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet” (http://paganblogproject/).


[1] It makes sense that he would primarily preach non-violence – specifically non-murder – from the pulpit; it was gangland Chicago and our congregation was not, I repeat *not* um, unaffiliated – we’ll go with “unaffiliated.” Most of the shite I saw in my comin’-up years I saw in relationship to Church. The word “sanctuary” carries a lot of meaning for me. In a very Victor Hugo sort of way.

[2] Been there. Glad to admit it. I’m also glad to admit that the shitstorm fallout of all that human fury was a sight to behold. It doesn’t make doing the right thing any easier when doing the wrong thing is so freaking gratifying, does it?

[3] It’s another Bad Momma word. I think it’s spit + blurted.

[4] And like I said, this might be accompanied by some growing pains too, but that’s actually desirable.

Megaera (Take 2)

This is a bit of a reblog. Having gotten off track of too many healthy projects, I find I’m lagging. Keeping my commitment to this Blog Project is part of reclaiming my Better Self. Almost all of this is unaltered from the original. I’ve changed some tense to have it make sense as something that happened about ten weeks ago.

At the end of May, I was tapped on the shoulder and reminded to look at the Furies (or Erinyes) particularly Megaera.[1] At the time, I couldn’t figure out what an ancient Greek chthonic energy wanted with me, but I think my hunches were good.

You see, at the time, The Bad Witch had made a new Witch friend and wasn’t really sure what to think of it all. I wasn’t sure if there was just a lot of bumbling going on or if this person was intentionally acting like a twat. So, like I do, I put together a little reveal spell that went a little something like this (given that X = intentional twattary):

If X = yes, then Y: If X = no, then Z. If, however, X = only sort-of, than Y/10+2.

Well, I got an awful lot of Y. If you want the long story of what happened there, see “Hell Hath No Fury.” How I sometimes hate being right.

It’s almost as if She was just waiting in the wings for me to ask. Worn out with chronic BS, but still trying to “keep the peace,” I cried out, “Somebody, help me make this twattery stop!” And, who answered? Megaera.

This is only the second time something like this has happened to me. The first time, I told you about Hestia. Let me (re)tell you a little about my friend, Meg.[2]

This is Meg kicking some bee-hind on the North Frieze of The Pergamon Altar

The Furies or Erinyes were a lot like Dexter Morgan in that they punished those who got away with murder. If you committed a crime and somehow weaseled your way out of justice, the Erinyes found out. A victim of cosmic injustice[3] could ask for an intervention. I’m told that one of their particular pet-peeves was matri/patricide[4] but one might also land on the Erinyes’ naughty-list by oath-breaking, ingratitude, unfilial conduct, general disrespect to others, manipulations that challenge the “order of things” (I see this as accomplished by magically overstepping ones’ bounds), callousness, and breaking the laws of hospitality.

Yea, that all pisses me the hell off too. So, basically, they are good Heathens like me.

I’ve also learned that Megaera, as well as her two sisters, Alecto, and Tisiphone are “impartial and impersonal” which makes them excellent judges who are not swayed by doe-eyed pleas for “understanding” or weepy apologies which are nothing more than devious machinations. I kinda like that about them as I have seen too many human-folks taken in by Oscar-class manipulators. Their lack of naiveté makes them easier to respect than humans whose yearnings stand in between them and Truth.

I also like it that they hound malefactors like an English Pointer on a blood trail until the offenders are either driven mad (with guilt) and/or die of illness or disease (if they refuse to admit their guilt). Another thing I like is that the wrath of the Erinyes is unrelenting. It can only be placated through atonement. In other words, if you’ve effed up, you have to fix it. You can’t just let it go and say: “Oh, well. That bell can’t be unrung,” “It’s out there; I can’t take it back,” or “I can’t do anything about that now,” or “Sure, I’ve diss-ed you to others but I can’t change what they think of you based on my having repeatedly and relentlessly having slandered your name with my innovative distortions.” Meg has made it perfectly clear to me that denying responsibility won’t fly with her and her sisters.

Oh, and they do fly.

When she first showed up, I couldn’t imagine what the personification of a “jealous woman” was doing on my doorstep. Then I realized: both gratitude and envy are motivated by memory. There’s more in the original about this. You can also read a whole post about Jealousy.

Then, I got it. Megaera is not one who encourages jealousy, she is one who punishes people who commit crimes in the name of jealousy. I’m slow, I know. This isn’t my pantheon, folks. I’m learning as they show up.

So then I had a good laugh. Somebody wants my life? I can’t think of any justice better than to let them have it. I want to watch someone with a constitution that allows such jealousy try to keep the ground under them. Seeing as jealousy usually results from arrogance and greed, resources would run short before Vanity was satisfied. I want to watch the person who needs constant encouragement as they forego all external validations (while simultaneously fighting mendacious adversaries) and dig deep inside themselves to recognize that all they are getting is the pleasure of having “done the right thing.”

Read my thoughts about how having a scapegoat (like a Bad Witch) helps ailing communities get stronger through the “mimetic cycle of violence” at the root of human culture.[5]

In less than three months since first contact, Meg has cordoned off the most exasperating figures from my life before I had a chance to get tangled in chasing another B’Rabby and B’Booky tale. At the time, I thought I could just keep my eyes open and keep myself safe; fortunately, I had a support system that knew better and saw to my safety in spite of my meddling.

Blessings, Quarks, & 93

The Bad Witch

[1] Like many other cultures’ personification of “Fate,” the Furies are three women: Alecto the unceasing, Tisiphone the avenging, and Megaera, the jealous.

[2] Pardon me darlin’ if I get a little Norn on your pretty stola, it’s what I know.

[3] I always reckoned cosmic injustice was a possibility but my belief-system involving Wyrd kept me from being convinced. I’m starting to change my mind.

[4] This isn’t unique; every culture, including Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Leviticus, have a bit to say about all this too.

[5] And if you are wondering how TBW get tangled up in so many different relationships, let me clarify: it’s the same damned one.

 

This post is (make up work for) part of a year-long project. Rowan Pendragon’s The Pagan Blog Project; “a way to spend a full year dedicating time each week very specifically to studying, reflecting, and sharing . . . .    The project consists of a single blog post each week posted on prompt that will focus on a letter of the alphabet” (http://paganblogproject.com/).