Monday, May 19, 2008

Towards A Devolutionary Witchcraft

Humble yourself in the arms of the Wild
You gotta lay down low and
Humble yourself in the arms of the Wild
Gotta 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.

Sex Passion

Power Pride

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.


William C said...

Thanks! I immediately thought of Devo. the de-evolution concept is what they were all about, although I think that it was maybe an afterthought, because it seemed to me at the time that they were ripping on the muzac company devol. But whatever... ;)

Have you cross posted? This is a topic that I think many folks would be up for debating or considering this. Diane Stein is also an elder who leans in this direction in many of her writings. It has been ages since I have read any of her work and at the time, I didn't grasp what she was conveying, it was so foreign to the whole wicca mindset, but regardless,the seeds were planted. She speaks much of the need to let go of the idea that balance is the goal to strive for, and if I recall, she put up a strong argument that really unsettled me at the time.

Well, anyhow. this is good. Thanks for sharing.

Mike Rock said...

Thanks Chakra! Feel free to stir the pot by posting the link anywhere you see a need. :-)

Liberty said...

Thank you so much for this article!,

I read this at an opportune time (love synchronicity ;-)

I feel that any system that has hierarchy has the underlying message that we are not enough until we reach the top level.

I also feel rules in spiritual systems undermine a strong sense of self because the underlying message is, "You can't make good decisions about your path so look to others to tell you what to do."

I am solitary because of this though I do dip into existing systems and listen carefully with my heart to hear which bits work for me. And which parts simply make my spirit sing (like chants :)

Thanks again :-)

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