First off, Kudos to Lisa Jade for a great response to “Atheopagan” and all-around loathsome cretan Mark Green’s assertion that “Show me a Pagan who makes their living solely off their religion, and I’ll show you a modern-day medicine show barker.” Do read her article linked in this post.Secondly, since I’m sure he’s extending Pagan to Witches, Hoodoo practitioners, and other magical folk, Mark Green can go to hell. Witchcraft is an ancient path and has always had aspects that were both priesthood and career. The relationship of the professional Witch is as old as recorded history, with notables like the Witch of Endor and Circe holding place as those who live their lives fully and proudly as magical practitioners.
While I honor every Witch who faces the mundane of the 9 – 5 and I don’t believe this devaluates their magic, and we professional Witches certainly engage in many mundane activities, the path of the professional Witch affords us the ability to practice our ways far more unfettered by the needs of career. It also aids in our civil rights as we can be seen, much like the priests of other faiths, as dedicated, committed, full-time practitioners of our committed path and so it earns us a level of respect in the community.
There is also an inherent racism in Mark Green’s missive in the sense that many people of African descent are exploring Hoodoo as a full-time practice to help others in their community. Are they also “medicine show barkers” or are they people of color reclaiming the magic that lives in their blood?
Every profession has its frauds. The trope of the sleazy used car salesman is nearly as old as the archetype of the Witch. There will always be people who ply their trade with malice in their hearts. This does not invalidate any career, certainly not Witchcraft, Hoodoo and other magical practices. Practicing Witchcraft and magic full time do not define a scam artist. One’s lack of ethics does. And in all professions, one’s reputation for success should define their appeal. And, as has long been said about any purchase, caveat emptor: let the buyer beware.
Mark Green has an obvious bias in that he believes in neither magic nor Gods or spirits. He, John Halstead, and everyone like them—including those who continue to prop them up, should get get out of the magical community as they’re an insult to those among us who keep the flames of magic burning.