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Author Topic: What do you think of "super witches"?  (Read 12366 times)
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« Topic Start: April 14, 2011, 01:00:31 am »

A couple of days ago I (briefly) joined another pagan forum. I saw a thread on that forum with the same theme as a thread we have here. The theme is, "what is your specialty", magic-wise. Most people here posted things like "I'm pretty good at Tarot", or, "I communicate well with stones and I can use herbs well in magic."

The responses on the other forum, though, suggested a coven of highly trained super witches lived there. Their responses went something like this:
"My money spells have earned over $20,000, I can control the weather, and I'm an expert in 5 types of divination."
"I can talk to electricity and I can do super realistic glamors... I can even change the color of my hair any time I want!"
"I've cursed 3 people, and all of them died within 2 months. I can kill plants and small animals just by touching them. I once sent bad energy at a girl I didn't like and she got so sick she had to leave school for the rest of the year."
"I don't know, all the gods just seem to love me. They give me whatever I ask for. I can pray to any god and I'll get whatever I want."

When it comes to self-styled "super witches", what do you think of them? When people make incredible claims about their magical abilities, are you more inclined to write them off or believe them? Do you think some people do indeed have powers like this? Have you ever met anyone in real life (not on the Interwebs) that claimed these abilities? Have you ever seen anyone prove talents such as this?

I am inclined to write people like that off, but then again, I'm singularly solitary.
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« Reply #1: April 14, 2011, 01:06:08 am »

A couple of days ago I (briefly) joined another pagan forum. I saw a thread on that forum with the same theme as a thread we have here. The theme is, "what is your specialty", magic-wise. Most people here posted things like "I'm pretty good at Tarot", or, "I communicate well with stones and I can use herbs well in magic."

The responses on the other forum, though, suggested a coven of highly trained super witches lived there. Their responses went something like this:
"My money spells have earned over $20,000, I can control the weather, and I'm an expert in 5 types of divination."
"I can talk to electricity and I can do super realistic glamors... I can even change the color of my hair any time I want!"
"I've cursed 3 people, and all of them died within 2 months. I can kill plants and small animals just by touching them. I once sent bad energy at a girl I didn't like and she got so sick she had to leave school for the rest of the year."
"I don't know, all the gods just seem to love me. They give me whatever I ask for. I can pray to any god and I'll get whatever I want."

When it comes to self-styled "super witches", what do you think of them? When people make incredible claims about their magical abilities, are you more inclined to write them off or believe them? Do you think some people do indeed have powers like this? Have you ever met anyone in real life (not on the Interwebs) that claimed these abilities? Have you ever seen anyone prove talents such as this?

I am inclined to write people like that off, but then again, I'm singularly solitary.

I personally think that people like you describe are either delusional or making it all up.
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« Reply #2: April 14, 2011, 01:17:22 am »

I personally think that people like you describe are either delusional or making it all up.

Or fourteen years old.

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« Reply #3: April 14, 2011, 01:23:24 am »


When it comes to self-styled "super witches", what do you think of them? When people make incredible claims about their magical abilities, are you more inclined to write them off or believe them? Do you think some people do indeed have powers like this? Have you ever met anyone in real life (not on the Interwebs) that claimed these abilities? Have you ever seen anyone prove talents such as this?

I am inclined to write people like that off, but then again, I'm singularly solitary.

My personal take is if there were anyone really that powerful, s/he wouldn't advertise the fact. 

I have run across a couple of people that claimed to have incredible powers, but when they were challenged to prove it, could not.

As far as having the power to change my hair color any time I want to... I used to do that back when Miss Clairol and I were close personal friends.javascript:void(0);
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« Reply #4: April 14, 2011, 01:29:42 am »

My personal take is if there were anyone really that powerful, s/he wouldn't advertise the fact. 

I have run across a couple of people that claimed to have incredible powers, but when they were challenged to prove it, could not.

As far as having the power to change my hair color any time I want to... I used to do that back when Miss Clairol and I were close personal friends.javascript:void(0);

The one thing I noticed was that on the thread, nobody challenged anyone else. You see all auras, spirits, and energy plain as day? You once summoned a prince of hell? Fantastic, we have no reason to doubt you. Everyone assumed everyone else was being honest... either that, or they were all caught up in the same delusion.
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« Reply #5: April 14, 2011, 01:40:51 am »

A couple of days ago I (briefly) joined another pagan forum. I saw a thread on that forum with the same theme as a thread we have here. The theme is, "what is your specialty", magic-wise. Most people here posted things like "I'm pretty good at Tarot", or, "I communicate well with stones and I can use herbs well in magic."

The responses on the other forum, though, suggested a coven of highly trained super witches lived there. Their responses went something like this:
"My money spells have earned over $20,000, I can control the weather, and I'm an expert in 5 types of divination."
"I can talk to electricity and I can do super realistic glamors... I can even change the color of my hair any time I want!"
"I've cursed 3 people, and all of them died within 2 months. I can kill plants and small animals just by touching them. I once sent bad energy at a girl I didn't like and she got so sick she had to leave school for the rest of the year."
"I don't know, all the gods just seem to love me. They give me whatever I ask for. I can pray to any god and I'll get whatever I want."

When it comes to self-styled "super witches", what do you think of them? When people make incredible claims about their magical abilities, are you more inclined to write them off or believe them? Do you think some people do indeed have powers like this? Have you ever met anyone in real life (not on the Interwebs) that claimed these abilities? Have you ever seen anyone prove talents such as this?

I am inclined to write people like that off, but then again, I'm singularly solitary.

WHat exactly was the name of this other forum. Might be interesting to go there for entertainment purposes. Smiley
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« Reply #6: April 14, 2011, 01:43:50 am »

When it comes to self-styled "super witches", what do you think of them? When people make incredible claims about their magical abilities, are you more inclined to write them off or believe them? Do you think some people do indeed have powers like this? Have you ever met anyone in real life (not on the Interwebs) that claimed these abilities? Have you ever seen anyone prove talents such as this?

I tend to be pretty cynical about people claiming such things online because a) people who can do such things generally do not hang about online talking about how they can do them, they're off doing other things and b) the perennial "people can say anything online, proof is trickier" aspect.

(I am also deeply cynical of anyone who claims to meditate or do ritual for hours a day while having a very active online life, a full-time job, or children, never mind all three, unless they're clear they're using a very specific definition of same. I am more prone to take people seriously about psychic abilities, if they're at all plausible, because that's less of a "Why are you hanging out talking to us here instead of doing Amazing Stuff?" thing, because for so many people, the psychic stuff comes, wallops over the head with new info and goes away again.)

In general, though, I read, raise an eyebrow, and look to see what their behavior over time is. Sometimes, those same people turn out to have the most interesting gaps in their knowledge (ok, there's a huge variety of ways to do things, but if someone knows *none* of the common ones in the community, but keeps saying stuff that, say, shows up in pop-culture forms, I'm more likely to think they're making stuff up.)

I particularly keep an eye out for inconsistencies.

For example, way back when I taught my first Seeker-level class, we had three people come in: someone who was interested in the classes, and the couple she'd been doing some work with. (They were from a fair distance out of our area, so she was trying to decide if it was worth driving down. They said they came along to see how we did things.)

The woman in the couple made a moderate fuss about how she'd been a HPS for umpty years, had been doing Very Meaningful Effective Things in her coven, she was Tremendously Powerful and Far-Seeing, etc. etc. etc. (Me, I grew up with a father who was a professor: I recognised the equivalent to academic posturing without thinking about it, made polite noises, and got on with the planned material.)

So, we get through the first class, which includes talking a bit about sources that the people have found useful and not useful. And also includes a 10 question quiz, as a way to get a feel for someone's general level of knowledge. A couple of things are things that even well-read people might get wrong, if they didn't have a pretty broad knowledge base in several directions, a couple are things that anyone who has done even very intro reading should get right, and the rest of the questions are somewhere in the middle. (Questions are multiple choice.)

We start going through those, and the woman in the couple ... well, she'd made noises about having read *all* the books that we mentioned (and then some, of course.) And how she'd just been reading [whatever] the other day. And yet, said things like "What's an athame?" (which was in said books.)

About this point, I blinked at her again, and explained a bit, framing it in a way that I hope the prospective student could pick up was a "Oh, you don't know that this thing? Well, it's in [relevant book], I think chapter [whatever]. I know it's on the lefthand side of the page, near the bottom, there's an illustration of Y."  And watched her get quieter and quieter.

On the whole, I was glad they didn't come back (and I haven't seen any of them since), but I do sort of wish I'd thought to follow up by email with the student.

But in general, stuff I look out for:

- If they say they've read something (multiple times), but don't recognise material that's in it, that's a problem.

- If they say they are Uber-Witch, and then turn around and ask something really basic - well, there are sometimes reasons for this, but it makes me pay much closer attention. Do they seem to be living a life consistent with their spiritual and religious values?

- What might they get out of that claim? Some people want adulation and attention. Personally, that's mostly not where I want to spend my time and energy. I want to spend it with the people who don't need to convince me how amazing they are (either because they're so amazing they don't need to advertise, or because they're very committed to "Hey, some stuff I'm great at, some stuff not so much, wanna hang out and talk about it more?") Tends to be a much more productive interaction than listening to someone about how amazingly wonderful they are.

- And finally, of course, what kind of evidence is there for it? (If you look at the people claiming "The Gods give me everything I need." it's amazing how, if you go and dig back in archives, or read them for a few months, how often you'll find, somewhere in there, them claiming that nothing ever goes right, or they can never do anything right, or whatever else. In other words, they're human, not blessed - or cursed - by the persistent oversight of the Gods in their life. I feel sorry for the ones who are obviously just trying to get through life, but have a lot less patience for the ones who use it as a way to get attention or prestige within a particular community.)  
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« Reply #7: April 14, 2011, 01:59:27 am »

The one thing I noticed was that on the thread, nobody challenged anyone else. You see all auras, spirits, and energy plain as day? You once summoned a prince of hell? Fantastic, we have no reason to doubt you. Everyone assumed everyone else was being honest... either that, or they were all caught up in the same delusion.

I remember some blog post or other floating around many years ago, called something like, "You might be a fluffbunny if...."  Anyway, one of the items listed was "You don't call other people on their obviously made-up claims to Phenomenal Cosmic Powers, because you've said stuff that's just as ridiculous and don't want others calling YOU on it." 
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« Reply #8: April 14, 2011, 02:07:38 am »


Ditto what everyone else has said. 

But I have to admit I'd love to be able to talk to electricity.  How cool would that be?   Cool

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« Reply #9: April 14, 2011, 02:13:30 am »

WHat exactly was the name of this other forum. Might be interesting to go there for entertainment purposes. Smiley

I'm wary of mentioning it, because I'm sure some people here are members. From the other threads I've seen it is a decent forum. It was just that thread that was a bit... odd.
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« Reply #10: April 14, 2011, 03:25:36 am »

When it comes to self-styled "super witches", what do you think of them? When people make incredible claims about their magical abilities, are you more inclined to write them off or believe them? Do you think some people do indeed have powers like this? Have you ever met anyone in real life (not on the Interwebs) that claimed these abilities? Have you ever seen anyone prove talents such as this?

I am inclined to write people like that off, but then again, I'm singularly solitary.

I would like to buy them capes. Super Witches ought to have them, no?


But actually, you know... I DID meet a self-styled superwitch in real life. This was approximately a million years ago, when I was a teenager, and the internet wasn't as readily available to everyone. Anyway, in high school my sister, myself, and a couple of other girls hung out together doing 'witchy' stuff, which ranged from the terribly stupid to the mildly interesting. One of the girls in this group was very attention hungry, although her behaviour started off fairly tame before eventually spiraling out of control. We eventually stopped hanging out together because every time we tried to do something as simple as a guided meditation it became a huge production.

Some of her claims were:

- Her mom had a really old Book of Shadows that had been passed down from powerful witches in her family. (I kept asking to see it. I never did get to.)
- She could channel Gods easily and frequently, because they liked her better.
- Evil entities were after her, because she was OMG SO POWERFUL U GUYS
- She could see ghosts and spirits.
- She was in fact descended from Christ. (I remember after this bombshell, where she actually referred to herself as 'the last scion' I finally snapped at her, "you just watched DOGMA!!!")

Anyway, obviously it was all crap.
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« Reply #11: April 14, 2011, 03:45:16 am »


*giggles*
That reminds me of the 'Charmed' Fan page that existed a long, long time ago.
They had a subboard for the 'Charmed ones' and besides that no one wanted to be Prue, there were tons of Phoebes and Pipers and of course they all could stop time and stuff.

We went there for entertainment and a go head-desking from time to time.  Cheesy

This sounds pretty much the same.
Kids playing witch in surroundings that support their dreams.
(Only I am aware of the creepy fact that not all of those really need to be minors.)

In remembrance of that forum I was very tempted to write a non-sense answer in the mentioned thread here, like 'I can stop time and my boy friend is a whitelighter'. Wink But I could resist.  Grin
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« Reply #12: April 14, 2011, 03:57:26 am »

My personal take is if there were anyone really that powerful, s/he wouldn't advertise the fact. 

This.

Ever since I heard an old experienced midwife in a docu saying:
'Who talks a lot, knows not - who knows a lot, talks not.'
that sentence became a yardstick for me to measure folks/claims on it.

IME it turned out to be true.
The more one brags, the more unlikely it is that some of the claimed things is true.

(This does not count for people of course who prove their vast knowledge by giving elaborate explanations in the way of passing on knowledge. But that's not what we're talking about anyway. Just added to clarify. Wink)
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« Reply #13: April 14, 2011, 03:57:50 am »


How do you think I reacted when I picked my daughter up from school and one of her friends said to me' You know, I'm going to be a super powerful witch-I come into my powers on my birthday!'-she's 9! I nearly died trying not to laugh out loud! I don't know what her parents have been telling her or letting her watch, but I would love to know! Cheesy Grin Cheesy
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« Reply #14: April 14, 2011, 03:58:58 am »

How do you think I reacted when I picked my daughter up from school and one of her friends said to me' You know, I'm going to be a super powerful witch-I come into my powers on my birthday!'-she's 9! I nearly died trying not to laugh out loud! I don't know what her parents have been telling her or letting her watch, but I would love to know! Cheesy Grin Cheesy

*snort*

In days passed it was: 'When I'm grown up, I will be a princess!" Wink
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'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation. That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance. You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long. All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.' Terry Pratchett 'Lords and Ladies'

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