Okay, the Yule article that Azzerac wrote for Witchvox has received a bit of mail, only one negative, but it was from someone that seems bound and determined to be offended by everything.
Someone asked me awhile ago why I do what I do, as far as the shop goes. I want to get one thing straight, for the record. I don't hate Wiccans. Never have, never will.
The reason Azzerac and I started Lodestone & Lady's Mantle was as a direct response against the vast majority of metaphysical stores. They all stock the same Made-In-China, by child slave labor, plastic statues, diluted essential oils, fragrance (fake) oils marked as essential, inaccurately reproduced formulas, and stones that are unethically mined.
The height of New Age hypocrysy is blowing up the side of a mountain so that you can have a Power Crystal to "heal yourself" and "heal the Earth".
Not to mention the herbs. Old, overpriced, and the common practice of brown-for-brown, green-for-green among many spiritual suppliers. A green herb is substituted and sold in place of a more expensive green herb, etc. A lot of dragon's blood I've seen on the market is dyed frankincense or copal, depending on whats cheaper during a given season. Many shops justify this by saying that it is the belief of the practitioner that does the work, not the herb. If that were the case, why should anyone go to the trouble of purchasing herbs at all?
We started the shop out of respect to magical practitioners, because we, as magical practitioners, were sick of the same Azure Green junk. Instead of the same, rehashed (and frequently plagiarized) information, we write original, in depth, born from experience, not Llewellyn.
Formulas are researched, tested, refined, and tested again before they ever reach our shelves. Herbs are organic, fresh, and exactly what they say they are.
Stones are gathered ethically, with no harm to enviroment, or humanity.
Ritual tools are as unique as the practitioner who uses them.
Wiccans and Occultists are creative people. How many people in your community make beautiful magical crafts, whether its dipping candles, making soap, sewing their own robes, or forging gorgeous knives and jewelry?
The person offended by the article didn't want his worldview of Paganism shaken. He has written to us, twice, to scold us for not writing happy "feel-good" articles (yes, he actually said that). While some may want to believe that the status quo is acceptable, that everything is perfect, happy and shiny, and will bite anyone that tells them otherwise, I think its an insult to the intelligence of my spiritual family.
It's honestly disheartening to see people behave this way. But if we wrote the pandering, simpering, feel-good articles, it would be like handing candy out to shut up a screaming kid.
I know advanced practitioners are sick of this kind of behavior within the community. Thats one reason why so many experienced practitioners have retreated from the community, because nearly every event becomes a political "I'm more damaged than you" fest.
In short, I love you guys :)