All Beliefs are Welcome Here!
I am nearly finished reading DJ Conway's A Witch's Guide to Astral Realms. Honestly, I wish I had never bought this book. It is not without some amount of useful information, but in the mean time, it is filled with a silly, petty use of pronouns, (her/him and she/he instead of he/she or him/her, or just saying "them") nearly constant sexist references, and, considering the writing style, leaves me seriously wondering how much first-hand knowledge and experience the author actually has; that she didn't just read or plagiarize from someone else. Also, the book is poorly written and if anything, really just serves more as a vehicle for the author's opinion of the topic, rather than more of a how-to of the topic, if not outright putting out some agenda.
Dj Conway makes it very obvious, her hatred of men. The pronouns thing, I really could just let go, because that's really not a big deal; but nearly every example she gives on how to try out the techniques, involves a cheating husband. She even talks about her first marriage and how much of a living hell it was, and how controlling her mother was, right up until she died. She also does not waste an opportunity to praise achievements by women in the absence of men, such as more than occasionally mentioning about an Amazonian-like society, man free, that supposedly had preserved peace for over 1500 years, in some part of the world that few if any real historical sources would likely back up. Now Conway, I'm sorry that you reacted negatively to situations that you chose to put yourself in, but a real writer tends to write more responsibly and professionally, and leaves out personal agendas from any book that is a how-to on astral projection and/or witchcraft. (or should I have said "or/and" ?)
I am not as familiar with Silver Ravenwolf's work, but I hear from others that she is criticized for some/many of the same things that Conway is criticized for. I want to be clear, this is not a discussion to rip on women or femininism; there are some very good female authors out there, Dion Fortune, Doreen Virtue, Michelle Belanger, Freya Aswynn, etc. that write responsibly and well, and leave their own personal antisocial issues out of books that are intended to help people learn in a positive way about witchcraft, Paganism, or energy work; because that is the point.
Keeping these things in mind, I have a question for all the Dianics and Pagan feminists out there...
What is your opinion of Ravenwolf, Conway, and the other authors I mentioned?
Before anyone else mentions it, I really don't care if me using the word "lesbian" offends anyone. I use the term loosely, learn to take a joke. I figured it was less offensive than "bull-dyke"
My understanding of the definition it is the same name. ?????????? Let me know if I am incorrect plz, I had enough with negative ppl for the past 72 hrs that I have been up.
Pagan Luv I've wrote an article about it. You might like that. It touches the etymology briefly.
Even though some academics and for the sake of my article consider Lilitu and Lilith synonymous there is stark differences between the myths from Judaism to Mesopotamia.
To your first argument. Yes society has been mostly fudalistic in nature for the last 2,000 years. Yes women of a higher stature were able to abuse both men and women below herself. Your attempt to use the order of a fudalistic society as an argument that society hasn't been "all about men" does not seem to mesh for me. While there were a noted few women that were able to make their own decisions in historical societies around the world, by enlarge men of the same rank as a woman were always able to override the woman's decisions. Thus I would still say that society has been mostly about men until recently.
Second argument about my statement "all I have to say is well now you know what we've been putting up with our entire lives just because we are female." I did not intend for this statement to come off as 'nana nana boo boo...etc' in manner. What I was trying to convey is that there is something to be said for having to endure the experience of being discriminated because of your gender alone. I think it is hard for a white male in our society to comprehend due to lack of experience of discrimination all together. By enlarge it is white males that femanistic attitudes are trying to curb, minority males are (in some aspects) just bystandards that are having to deal with the fallout of the argument. It is unfortunate that things have to swing so far to the other side. Society has a tendency to over correct it's self. However, I personally believe that the worst of the push for gender equality is over...and really it wasn't as bad as it could have been....I mean think about the civil war and or desegregation.
What does male discrimination teach? It teaches men why discrimination is stupid. Most of the time experience is the best teacher. Eventually men will rally under the stupidity enforced upon them in the name of equality and put an end to it. (Just like people have been crying out to end things like affirmative action in the last 5 to 10 years. Affirmative action doesn't make things fair or equal, but I do believe it was neccessary to help make our society less discrimanatory towards people of a variety of ethnical backgrounds.) It can be reasonably argued that affirmative action is no longer needed and it will still take a number of years before it is discarded from law. None of any of this is fair, but I would argue that the process is less violent than most AND effective in creating an enviorment that is more tolerant of diversity in ethnicity and gender.
Your last argument. I think I some what answered this in my above response. However, I believe I made mention to a Newton's Cradle in the post you are quoting from. We will know when things are even (or even enough) when all the balls quit moving. When people see the injustices committed upon them as a mere inconvience and not worth putting up a huge fight about. If men are so upset about the rules it is up to them to rally and make their case. I see a need for it, I'd be willing to stand up with them against the stupidity, but they have to be tired of it enough to start the action.
Ok this is going to be long so sorry to all of the readers.
The first I still disagree with your view of. You say this:
“To your first argument. Yes society has been mostly fudalistic in nature for the last 2,000 years. Yes women of a higher stature were able to abuse both men and women below herself. Your attempt to use the order of a fudalistic society as an argument that society hasn't been "all about men" does not seem to mesh for me. While there were a noted few women that were able to make their own decisions in historical societies around the world, by enlarge men of the same rank as a woman were always able to override the woman's decisions. Thus I would still say that society has been mostly about men until recently.”
Any in depth look at the historical facts will show that this conclusion is in error. There are a number of reasons for this most notably the evidence we have about the daily lives of high born women throughout the ages. For instance the daily lives of a noblewoman in Europe in the Middle Ages (MA) show they had a great deal of freedom and authority over their lives and that of others. That was independently derived from that of men in these societies (i.e. not contingent on man’s say so). For example in the MA high born women were expected to oversee the finances of the manor or estate. They also dealt the collection of rents from the tents and the supervising the farming and settle all disputes. In addition they were expected to be able to take their husbands places at all times and deal with important matters (e.g. matters of law, politics, even war). Furthermore high ranking women in Europe did have rights to wealth, education, and opportunities that were protected by social and legal customs of the time and these things could not be easily overturned by anyone male of any rank.
I also noticed when I read your post about history that you didn’t say much about the fact that poor people in these societies enjoyed a great deal of gender parity and were the majority. May I ask why?
Finally, before I move on to your other points. I just want to say that what I have outlined above is only a little piece of history and there is a great deal more that could be discussed about women’s roles throughout history. Also I want to make it clear. That what I have outlined above (i.e. the roles of noblewomen in the MA) was not the case everywhere in Europe but it was in some places and in others things were even better for women and people in general. Ultimately, what I am trying to say is that the way history has unfounded has been a mixed bag for the human race and as such neither men nor women have come out looking sparkling clean. One more thing I want to stress that it is my belief that any attempt to create some sort of grand schema to history in its entirety is ridiculous. The reason is human behaviour is chaotic and the world an immense thing that does not follow lines as simplistic as men=bad and women=good. This is a fact that we as people experience every day of lives.
Your second argument which I shale call your justification of discrimination argument (disagree with the name if you wish). The first thing you say is:
"all I have to say is well now you know what we've been putting up with our entire lives just because we are female." I did not intend for this statement to come off as 'nana nana boo boo...etc' in manner. What I was trying to convey is that there is something to be said for having to endure the experience of being discriminated because of your gender alone.”
I must say I don’t see the logic behind this type of argument. Most people realise and have realised throughout all of human history that unjust discrimination is a bad thing and people should not allow it. So I ask what new pieces of information can be extracted about gender discrimination that men did not already know? I mean I as a man can sum up my thoughts on discrimination as “IT SUCKS”. So what prevented me from knowing this beforehand? Also as I stated to you in my first response how are you going to help men understand what it feels like for women to live in this society when women are a heterogeneous group and so will all have different experiences?
“I think it is hard for a white male in our society to comprehend due to lack of experience of discrimination all together.....What does male discrimination teach? It teaches men why discrimination is stupid. Most of the time experience is the best teacher.”
(NOTE: I put the above quotes together so that it would be easier to answer).
As I stated above, since when has it been difficult for people (let alone men of any racial background) to know that mistreating another human being is wrong? I mean scientist who have conducted research on the human brain have found that moral thinking seems to actually be part of our makeup on a biological level. Also one only has look up the large number of books that have been written by male philosophers (both white and non-white) on the issue of ethics which show at least to me that males do think great deal about the morality of their actions. Furthermore history doesn’t support your claim that white men cannot understand wrong doing as history is lettered with white men and non-white men who have fought injustice many times. I mean haven’t you ever heard of William Wilberforce before? So why can’t white man comprehend injustice as well as a women when they observe it? Is it something to do with the lack melanin? Furthermore why can white women see injustice better than white men? I mean most white rich women live very sheltered lives in comparison other groups of people such as poorer black women. So why can white women be better moral agents then men?
“By enlarge it is white males that femanistic attitudes are trying to curb, minority males are (in some aspects) just bystandards that are having to deal with the fallout of the argument.”
Strange! I thought feminism was about giving women greater choice over what direction their lives go. Now you are telling me that feminism is about restricting the freedom of individual human beings simply because of the way they look....Ok. Also you admitted in your post that there are differences between men but you still advocate that discrimination men suffer in societies should still continue and still make no distinctions. Why may I ask do you think such a thing and do you think it is moral? Furthermore you say that men who are members of minority groups (I also include poor men (of all races) in that statement even though they make up the majority of men on this planet) should accept this mistreatment....Why? Especially as you yourself have said they are not as responsible for all the mistreatment that women have had. So may I ask on their behalf why they should have more unfair treatment put upon them for something they have not done?
“It is unfortunate that things have to swing so far to the other side. Society has a tendency to over correct it's self. However, I personally believe that the worst of the push for gender equality is over...and really it wasn't as bad as it could have been.”
How do you know this process is coming to an end? I mean for all you know this process could continue for many more generations beyond the time when equality has been archived. I must say that I am inclined to believe that this process is not coming to an end but rather the opposite. That is still continuing and it is increasingly targeting every and all areas of men’s lives, not just economic or political sectors (e.g. education, health, access to welfare provision, the law, employment, family life, etc). How do you know how bad it was? Because according to your logic and I quote...”I think it is hard for a white male in our society to comprehend due to lack of experience of discrimination all together.....What does male discrimination teach? It teaches men why discrimination is stupid. Most of the time experience is the best teacher.”....So how do you know what it is like to suffer discrimination as a male when you are not a male?
[Also for all those who are interested go look up a Swedish documentary called Gender War and see the effects of this type of thinking when it has been applied to society.]
(The web link is below)
“Eventually men will rally under the stupidity enforced upon them in the name of equality and put an end to it.”
I have to say I think you are playing with fire with this type of thinking; especially with the welfare of women in the future...why? Because social policies that are enacted by governments or societies tend to outlive their usefulness history shows us this time and time again. So by establishing a social order that will unjustly target men for discrimination for no other reason except that they are men will eventually IMHO result in harming women of the future. The reason for this is when society achieves this moment of equality (that everyone will see somehow?) This social system won’t just stop it will continue beyond that point, when that happens it will become oppression, when that happens the men of the future will be fed a spoon full of hate towards the group that benefit from their suffering (i.e. women). Do you know what it is called when someone hates women....think about..... having trouble. Let me help you. The word we use is Misogyny. You see you are advocating for a social system that will lead to the creation of an entire generation of male misogynists who will hate women because of what they have suffered. This is why you are playing with fire.
“When people see the injustices committed upon them as a mere inconvience and not worth putting up a huge fight about. If men are so upset about the rules it is up to them to rally and make their case. I see a need for it, I'd be willing to stand up with them against the stupidity, but they have to be tired of it enough to start the action.”
Have you never heard of the men’s movement? It’s a very big group of men trying to tackle issues concerning men’s welfare. IF you haven’t heard I wouldn’t be shocked because every time these men come together to try in improve things for men. People come out of the wood work and attack them for it and try to silence them. And it is not just feminist who do this but other groups to. Groups that call them sexists because they are tacking things away from women even though they are not. Others call them sissies for saying things are unfair and trying to change it. These people (who are both men and women by the way) tell them to be real men and just though it out. So there are men trying to improve their circumstances but they aren’t getting a lot of help from anyone.
Sorry for the long as hell post.
"Her/him and she/he instead of he/she or him/her, or just saying 'them' ..."
I told you so and warned you before.
I prefur "individuals, them, they" being used.
Its time to get past the sexist way of thinking.
She/he-He/she is a more balenced way then just she or just he.
But theres some individuals out there who are in fact a he and a she or a she and a he.
Then theres those like myself who are androgynous.
Was there any goods on astral sex in the book!?
Amira! Nice to hear from you. Yeah, I think I remember you warning me. I had this book for a while and finally got around to reading it, before I realized what author it was, after buying it. Dumb dumb dumb. You make a good point about the she/he he/she they/them thing.
Astral sex? This is Conway we are talking about! She touches on it, but pretty much denounces it as bad and attracting negative entities, kind of thing. There is a chapter on astral lovers though, the fairy tale fluffy kind of lovers. She doesn't even go much into the how-to of astral travel, just mentions from relaxation techniques, but doesn't say much about how to work the senses, or different methods and paths to achieving the astral separation state. It's very non-technical, which leads me to question if she has ever even actually done it.
BTW my two favorites: Michelle Belanger, Freya Aswynn:D
I used to read Silver and Conways' stuff when I was a teenager and graduated from it to something more involved and informative. I guess those books were written as a platform but I never got into man hating or the whatnot. Their books I guess is there to empower women but I never got into that kind of witchcraft before...The Goddess Circle I guess its called...