“Drama everywhere, manipuli manipulah…”
I have been wanting to post about this almost since the beginning of my adventure as a blogger. For one reason or the other, I’ve put it off. In the back of my head, the worries are swirling. There is often the tendency for people I’m not talking about in these type of posts to assume it’s about them…and for the people I am referring to not get it at all. It might have been helpful to someone along the lines…or not.
Isn’t it interesting that the first people to ask/demand for help are the last ones to actually use it? And the people who truly need help and would accept any information or assistance, who would gladly listen to good advice, take it into consideration and use it are the last ones to ask? So it goes.
So it is with mild trepidation that I begin this post, hoping it doesn’t fall on blind eyes. This is another one of my theories. If you’re not familiar with the way I work, just think of it in scientific terms. I begin with a hypothesis…test and smash the helloutta it. If it survives, it moves on up to the land of theory where it will sit and be assumed true until I can prove otherwise. They’re not fact, just…well, theories.
Here goes my theory on Spirit Workers/Walkers and what have you.
There seems to be three distinct types of people involved, or claiming to be involved with Spirits. (I’m using the term Spirits here as an all-inclusive term so I don’t have to say Gods/Orishas/Lwa/Angels/Demons/Saints/Ancestors/Dead/Land Wights…etc…every single time. It’s just too long a list to include everyone!)
I’m going to tackle the worst one first. Let’s just get this out-of-the-way, okay?
The Manipulator/The Attention Whore: This type is far more prevalent on the Internet where there is the possibility of a lot more attention. These people are not now actually working with any Spirit, but fake it well Okay, some fake it better than others. This isn’t really hard to do, when cloaked behind the anonymity of the Internet. There are also some who run around in real life pretending to be contacted or mounted or horsed by this Spirit or that, but not as many. I’ve seen them…don’t get me wrong. I’ve encountered my fair share of fakers in real life.
In real life, they’re just easier to spot.
These people will often claim they have some piece of authentic knowledge and will scream louder than many who are truly in contact with Spirits. Because first…the squeaky wheel does get the grease, which is after all what they are after. Also…many of them fall into the logic that the louder they scream, the more seriously they will be taken.
Many of these will have the tendency to approach other spiritually inclined individuals with messages from their Spirits…without any provocation. After all, they have to let everyone know how special they are. And that’s what it boils down to. A deep seeded need for attention, a need to be different, a need to be important.
They very often follow the hottest fad…whichever Tradition has the most followers at any time, or the most controversial path because, again, it’s all about attention.
They’re not often alone, either. You’ll sometimes find tight-knit little groups of them. Pardon this crass expression, but circle jerks of attention whores, little cliques where they feed off their mutual dramas.
The attention-whores actually fall into two groups; the ones that simply need attention, and the ones with more nefarious motives. Because these same methods are occasionally used to get money from innocent Spiritual Workers who are on similar paths. Whether by grifting or from trying to sell dubious products or services, they will manipulate people into believing their lies. You’ve been cursed, someone’s working against you…or they’ve been cursed, someone’s working against them.
It’s just as bad when they steal your energy as it is when they steal your money. Don’t fall for it. The best advice I can give is to stay as far away as is humanly possible. This type of person will take everything you give, and never be any better for it.
The Manipulated: Paganism is no longer fluffy. Many of us now profess to be hard-polytheists, believing in individual Spirits. There isn’t a lot of training out there for us. We read and read and read but when it comes down to actually dealing with Spirits, we’re often on our own. The lore has, more often than not, been lost or at the minimum buried beneath the rubble of fallen civilizations.
We try, faithfully, to figure it all out. But there’s a moment of excitement that happens when we receive that first contact. When an entity finally contacts us, and we think our “godphones” have finally been turned on. Some of us have embraced entities without checking their references. We grab that Spirit, love that Spirit, welcome him/her/it into our lives without a second thought. Because we are now special. We just do the happy-pagan-dance and move on.
The truth is there are some not-nice Spirits out there, and some plain old lost ones.
In Spiritism, I have learned that occasionally a Spirit will be “lost.” They don’t know who they are. So when we assume that the Spirit is…fill in the blanks…they don’t honestly know that they aren’t. And they will act accordingly, allowing us to help form them into the Spirit we think they are. Maybe they can keep it up. Maybe they can’t. Eventually many of these will fail, leaving the worker with a sense of abandonment. That’s the lesser of the two evils.
The other kind of Spirit is a truly manipulative force who will lie about who they are. They will suck us into a false sense of security, even helping us out and changing our lives for the better until…
They pull the rug out from underneath. Why? Who knows. We can barely understand humans, how can we expect to understand this type of Spirit? I only know that they are out there…yes, I’ve had my run-ins with them myself. I only know that this kind of Spirit will leave a person languishing, without any Spiritual foundation, in the depths of a loss of faith that can seem unending.
And they are out there.
The third type of Spirit Worker is, of course, simply defined as neither of the above. Their Spirits are true. They walk a path, communicate with who they intend to communicate with, and are reasonably untroubled by Spiritual shenanigans. That doesn’t mean that their lives aren’t troubled. It doesn’t mean that their Spirits don’t test them or push the boundaries of their abilities. True Spirits are parental in nature…not just wanting the best for us, but wanting us to be the best we can be. So those roads are often filled with potholes, pebbles, and detours.
Yes, there are ways to determine if a Spirit is manipulative, or lost. I would assume that every Tradition actually has a way of doing this. I know mine…and there are ways to determine if a person is truly mounted in real life. (Pretty simple really, all you need is a pin…) There are also methods involving logic to ask questions of individuals that you doubt are working with Spirits at all. But I wouldn’t advise it. If you suspect that someone is up to no good, just stay away. It’s the safest route, really. Because if they’ll use spiritual matters to manipulate people, they’re not above using mental, emotional, or physical.
Again, this is all purely theoretical…and open to adjustment or even disposal at any time. I like being flexible.