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Punk Rock & Witchcraft Saved My Life

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Theres a ghost mice song where the singer says ‘punk rock saved my life’ and im pretty sure ive heard the phrase other places too. There are stories of alienation so great that life seemed utterly pointless and only the catharsis freedom and sense of community created by punk had the power to heal that. On the other hand, there are cases where the punk life carried many of us so far on the stormy currents of KAos that its amazing any of us survived.

These stories….stories of being beat up by cops while flying on a sheet of acid, of psychological and physical injury, of scars and terrifying journeys…..are consistent with many of the teachings of the Ordeal Path…that your ordeals are not a phase or a plot to get attention, they are sacred. Ordeal is a teacher, it illuminates and it creates inner strength, knowledge, and perspective. It also creates elders and traditions and punk is at a stage in its development where, however awkward it may be, it has no choice but to recognize the place of tradition. Youth get into trouble, its their job and its how they learn to define themselves……but with perspective and mentorship they can get into the right kind of trouble: activism and courage and positive ordeal. Punk has elders now, and that is not a bad thing. This subculture has been around for 40+ years….it is inevitable that we would form ourselves around rules. Here are some that i have encountered:

1. dont be a dick
2. dont be a fucking racist, and show accountability
3. respect consent and boundaries
4. dont fucking snitch on your comrades and loved ones

Theres nothing wrong with rules. Rebellion for its own sake with no principles to guide it creates a bunch of assholes with no respect for each other. Being crass, barbaric and unmannered is fine…but even thieves have honor. This is a hard balance….create too many rules and the rebellious individualistic spirit of punk becomes resentful….have no rules at all and theres oppression, privilege, disrespect, disregard. No rules at all and the same toxic paradigm we are all fighting…gets acted out in front of us in the behavior of people we thought we could trust.

Punk saved my life. It was a huge part of what healed the effects of ritual cult abuse. I was a childhood cult member, my dad joined the TT when i was 16 and tried to con me and my mom into joining. She refused because she knew i would run away. She went bankrupt for that. When i turned 20 i got into a toxic witch cult where i was abused any time I did what the leaders didnt like, and sometimes abused regardless. They called me a slut, irresponsible, vile, diseased. Over time I had completely lost sight of what I wanted and needed. I had been broken by authorities and hierarchies that saw me as nothing more than a pawn on a chess board and i was utterly lost.

Punk came to me as a series of brilliant fierce wounded healers in bedrooms and studio apartments and midnight forests. They left just as suddenly as they had arrived. They couldnt heal my core wound, only i could do that…but they all sent a vital message: You matter, GG. You belong. You are beautiful and what you want and need matters and you need no hierarchy to validate you. Punks were nurturing and kind to me and made a place for me. Witches were nurturing and kind to me. I found shelter and safety in punk houses and in punk bands and in punk gatherings. I found weapons and salves and shields in Radiance and Psychic Sister and Earth Magick and LadIY fest and kimya dawson songs made me want to live again and fight for a better life.

Punk saved my life. Punk healed me from the horrors of ritual cult abuse. Because at its core, this seemingly undefineable force teaches that your individual identity matters. that YOU matter. That we are all kings and queens of our own kingdoms. Our kingdoms are our bodies, our art, our music and the beautiful things we create out of the garbage of life….and there is no being on this entire planet who is our servant. We are kings and queens who need no servants, only the companionship of other kings and queens . Our sovereignty over our bodies is recognized as paramount and perfect and the only being we follow is the solidarity, love, respect and cooperation that make survival possible.

I also want to offer my deepest thanks to Madre Ayahuasca, without whom I would not exist, without whom none of this exists.

And my deepest thanks on this day to my Mistress Babalon, who takes such good care of me.

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