17 September 2008

Secret Lives of Women: Occult

If you've never watched the WE (Women's Entertainment) show Secret Lives of Women you should really give it a try as it's a fascinating look at lifestyles that most people don't know much about. They've done episodes on body modification, polygamists cults, plastic surgery addicts, phobias, BDSMers, cutters and many other so-called "minority" groups.

I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at the treatment witchcraft and Wicca received from their recent episode that dealt with women in the occult. There were three women featured on this episode: a Wiccan witch, a Satanic witch and a self-proclaimed vampire. (I say "self-proclaimed" because I'm not sure I buy the whole otherkin philosophy. I'm not saying it's BS, I'm just saying I don't understand it even though I've read about it on more than one occasion. I just can't quite get my head wrapped around it.)

The Wiccan witch featured in the episodes was, of course, from California and had the immense good fortune to practice at a local and beautiful Goddess temple. (I'm so jealous! If there was something like that around here it would be burned to the ground before it was even used!) The pentagram, directions and elements were clearly explained as was the ideals of "perfect love and perfect trust". Also stressed was the reverence for nature and the feminine. A group ritual was highlighted as was a small, personal money spell which I thought was interesting as it entailed burning a check.

The treatment of the Satanic witch was pretty good too. That said, I'm not an expert on Satanism so I could be wrong. A fairly decent explanation of the principles was featured that included the idea of not wasting one's love on someone who doesn't deserve it. Also filmed was a Satanic witchcraft ritual which struck me as being very similar to other forms of witchcraft rituals, especially the use of the bell and the sword.

The segments about the vampires and otherkins was somewhat lacking as it didn't clearly explain the difference between, for instance, a psi-vampire and a sanguine vampire. There was, however, an effort made to stress that only willing donors are bled and only sterile, single-use blades are used to draw blood. Also included was a bit about wood alcohol and play fire which, while interesting, seemed kinda weird being attached to the vampire segments. Again, I'm not very knowledgeable about vampirism and otherkin so I could be wrong but I thought the presentation of the lifestyle was pretty good.

Overall, I'd say the treatment of the occult by Secret Lives of Women was the best I've ever seen on TV. It wasn't sensationalized, it wasn't flashy and filled with cheesy graphics or Vincent Price-like scary narration. There wasn't a lot of flashing lights, images of smoky, moonlit deals with the devil or stupid sound effects like wolves howling or banshees screaming. It was just a good, honest and straightforward look at three women involved with the occult. If you have the chance I recommend catching it on WE.


Griffin said...

Hmm, we don't get that in the UK and are too cynical to believe in vampires, even when fascinated by them. Still, that Bram Stoker's got a lot to answer for, eh?

Livia Indica said...

Yeah, you're right. I can't help but wonder how much of this whole vampire and otherkin thing is just in peoples heads. That said, there does seem to be some real biological factors involved with vampirism, like lower heart rate and blood pressure and sensitivity to light and such. I don't know, I just can't make up my mind about it.

Griffin said...

I wonder myself how much is psychosomatic or brought on with the power of the mind. Tho' possibly the only person qualified to investigate vampires is a certain Buffy. I'm not going near 'em. I'm allergic to fangs entering my body!

Princess Haiku said...

Hi Livia,
I saw your link on Marion's blog and stopped to visit. I like what you are doing in here a lot. Great posts.