I have found great freedom in the precept, "Other people's opinions of you are none of your business." This kind of liberation is the key to peace of mind. As a person living at the crossroads of Fat, queer and nonbinary identity, disability, mental-illness, weirdness, and poverty, I have learned that I can't give any fucks about what other people think of me, that I can't be constantly chasing acceptance from others, that I can't give any fucks if I am successful or "cool". To emphasize Jack Halberstam's work, I embrace the cultural failure that I embody. This is freedom.
Our culture doesn't teach us to value wisdom, and it's not something most people seek. We're taught to seek success, acceptance, material wealth, and comfort. But wisdom is found only in following your passions; it is pursued in the transformation of your suffering into something you can endure and move through. This is where Art comes from as well.
We can invoke the friction of our suffering to make us greater than we were, reclaiming our power from those who have taken it forcibly from us or those to whom we gave it away. This very process of friction is how a pearl is created.
To be true to myself, I must embrace my wholeness. I must follow my passions, become vulnerable with those whom I share love, and transform my own suffering into compassion for myself and the world. The word compassion actually means "to suffer with." I can use my own experience of oppression and personal suffering as a tool to empathize with the suffering and oppression of others that I do not directly experience myself.
Robert Cochrane, the late former Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain and traditional witch, said that we must be a part of this living world, not apart from it. I take this, personally, to mean that we must have our hands in this human mess.
For me, my compassion tells me that I need to do something, to fight for the Land and fight against oppression. If I call myself a witch, I must be willing to stand with all those in the past for whom that word was a brand of cultural failure. I am moved to help fight against the systems of oppression and disenfranchisement and work against the powerful wealthy elite whose corporate machinery is despoiling the Earth.
A witch cannot be idle. We only still and silence ourselves to know which way the Flow is going, then we must rejoin it. Indeed, many of us are swept up in its happenings as much as we choose to act.
To merely seek success, acceptance by those enrapt in the values of the Marketplace world (which to a degree is all of us, for we must all eat), or pure comfort is to remain idle, to be fooled by fools. My Magister Gabriel Carrillo once told me, "a witchcraft that doesn't directly challenge and subvert mainstream values and mores is no witchcraft." The powers that be want us dead if we are of no use to them, and to make workers into slaves to keep their creepy machinery going until all has been swallowed up into their greedy gullets.
So, I don't wish to be "cool" (cold!). I am not above it all. I am a witch. I cannot give a FUCK! I endeavor to burn with the Witchfire. To reveal the truth of who and what I am.
Watch it move my Hand, see it in my Eye. The time is now. It has always ever been NOW.