Humble yourself in the arms of the WildYou gotta lay down low andHumble yourself in the arms of the WildGotta ask Her what She knows...- A Reclaiming Witchcamp Chant
In the Witchcraft circles I frequent online, in spite of the caliber of the company there, I keep hearing mention of the pernicious notion of "spiritual evolution." It's a remaining vestige of Newagism that needs to be stomped out to the last spark.
Let's get something straight about evolution, biological or otherwise: it has no arrow, no inherently positive direction. That is part of the myth of progress that permeates modernism and that is destroying the ecology of the planet. Part of that myth is that constant improvement is necessary, and that socially a corollary is that we need to improve ourselves, hence the burgeoning market in self-help books and lectures.
So to counter this prevailing wind of opinion and zeitgeist, I propose something much more real and anti-Utopian: DEvolutionary Witchcraft.
In my philosophy of Devolutionary Witchcraft, human beings do not need improvement at all. In fact to be a Devolutionary Witch, it is necessary to drop the notion of spiritual progress, of any progress at all.
A Devolutionary Witch gets back to basics of direct perception and observation of Nature. She doesn't need to get anywhere to achieve anything, stillness in the outdoors and opening up to the Wild fill her with everything she could ever need.
A Devolutionary Witch discards hierarchy in all its forms. She is embedded in the world, not on top of it, and has nowhere further to climb to. Right here right now is all he needs. The Sun, the Moon, the Plant People and Animal People, the Rock People and the Water and Wind People, they are all brothers and sisters. Partners, allies, and teachers.
There are people on this planet, like the San or the Kouri, or various Indians in Amazonia, who totally belie the notion that any improvement at all is ever necessary. They come into the world naked and leave it naked, and have every need fulfilled by their social network and by the Earth and Sky. They are the most conservative people on the planet and it has served them well for untold thousands of years beyond the mere 10K years of agricultural civilization.
In Devolutionary Witchcraft, the Witch abandons any idea of linear progress or achievement and returns to circular space, circular time, attuned to the birth, dying, and endless renewal of the Earth.
There are no degrees or titles in Devolutionary Witchcraft. There is no recognition at all, other than an individual recognition of a directly experienced intimacy with all of Nature. Or the recognition of Kin in the eyes of another being, human and non-human.
A Devolutionary Witch Rewilds.... and restores himself to the primal state of mind that is the birthright of all human beings.
Our culture is dominated by the myths of the Hero: the one who journeys, fights, struggles, conquers, overcomes, achieves.
In Devolutionary Witchcraft, there is no journey, no struggle, no achievements, no advancements, no fights, nothing to conquer or overcome. All that is unnecessary and part of the civilizational perspective that is killing everything.
Isn't there work to do? Well, there is the activity necessary for living life -- gathering or hunting food, creating shelter, sustaining personal relationships. That is all activity that feeds the circle, not the imaginary ascending line.
"This all sounds really boring."
Only if you aren't paying attention. And that -- paying attention -- is the first skill of Devolutionary Witchcraft.