Saturday, October 25, 2014


Certain segments of the pagan community are really into 'psychic' powers and abilities - and by that I mean things like telekinesis, levitation, controlling fire with their mind, and whatever else - and it's very odd that so many of these people are just totally unquestioning about the claims others might make. Someone says they can levitate objects, and everyone else is just unquestioningly like, wow, cool. It's just accepted, and that's just completely bizarre to me.

I think sometimes the justification for this becomes "I believe in weird things, so I can't judge someone else for believing something weird," but I really don't think that flies with a claim like "I can control fire!" That's not a belief, it's not a spiritual practice, it's something that would actually be able to be demonstrated if the person could actually do it.

Once a person making such a claim did send me a link to a video of them showing their power. It was a video that was a few minutes long where they were sitting in front of a lit candle, and they had their hands on either side of the candle, and the candle was... flickering. I said to them that I didn't see anything unusual, and they said the candle was flickering even though there was no draft in the room, and they were causing that flickering with their mind.

Which is, of course, not how candles work. Even if one was absolutely sure that there was not even the slightest movement of air in a room (which can be quite hard to achieve, actually), candles still flicker as they burn because as the wax melts down, sometimes it hits small bubbles in the wax, or slight impurities, the melting of the wax itself, or there might be a slight curve in the wick, and of course the candle itself can create air currents because it's creating heat in the air which rises, and is replaced by the cooler air of the room.

How do I know that's why candles flicker? Because I spent about three minutes on Google. I find it very, very problematic that this person skipped that step and went right to "I have psychic powers," and wanting to know how she could strengthen them. Granted, they were a bit younger, but it's troubling that this section of the community seems to encourage these ideas of what power is, that you can read about these powers online and in books, and it's just not questioned like it should be.

And I know, going back to the an earlier point, that certainly there is someone out there who says, well, how can you judge these people when you believe in weird things like Greek Gods and nature spirits?! I can't prove these entities exist, I know that, but at the same time I'm not saying someone else should believe what I do, or that there shouldn't be skepticism around such beliefs... but the thing is, a lot of these claims of powers could be easily proven, and again, people just seem to skip that. It's almost like they think being skeptical would be rude or unsupportive, but in all honesty there is nothing wrong with a bit of skepticism. Unquestioningly accepting everything is going to come back to burn you at some point. Questioning outlandish claims is perfectly okay, and more than that it's a perfectly healthy thing to do.

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