Thursday, May 30, 2013

You Didn't Sacrifice Your First Born Child.

Ever since Once Upon a Time began hitting the air-waves, there has been a nigh-limitless amount of witches, pagans, and magicians who apparently have nothing better to use to convey their messages.

As a result, this meme keeps making the rounds:

Inevitably, the tag is always added: All Magic comes with a price, Dearie! An unfortunately phrase that the character of Rumpelstiltskin makes to characters in what I consider one of the most tiresome shows to ever captivate adult and child audiences. But I hate Disney, and so of course, I also hate that show. Honestly? The only good part of the show was that character in the first season. The rest of it was a Neil Gaiman-esque magic is real! But no one believes in it! type schtick.

Aaron Leitch, a fellow I actually respect, is the latest in the line of witches, pagans, and magicians to rely on this meme to convey the message.

But you know what? It's also crap. His post is great, and so are Jason Miller and Morgan Eckstein's responses.

It is the meme that is crap. And here's why:

It is true, there is no such thing as a free lunch. (And yes, I know where that idiom comes from.) But Aaron has probably not given his first-born son to Moloch, or a tricksy fairy. And the notion of cost is weighted far differently. The 'sacrifice' or 'price' of magick comes at the cost of time:
- Time spent learning how to practice magick.
- Time spent discovering the path of least resistence when it comes to thaumaturgical goals.
- Time spent discovering that one's desires, and one's needs, are two separate things.

There are other, potentially 'spiritual', costs but getting into them would be tiresome. It comes down to this: none of you smug folks posting that stupid-ass meme have thrown your first-born child down as a down payment for anything, and utilizing a fictional character who demands just that to justify your no free lunch discourse is crap.

Find a better way of saying it. Or at the very least, find a better character to represent the idea. I don't even care if you use another Once Upon a Time character to illustrate it. But for the love of any god ever: STOP.


That is all.


V.V.F. said...

I think Gaiman's message is just the opposite. But I endorse everything endorse everything else said in this post. >.>

Scott Stenwick said...

I couldn't have said this better myself. Doing the practice itself and sticking with it is the price of magick. Everything else is a bunch of just-world-assumption nonsense.

V.V.F. said...


Morgan Eckstein said...

I have yet to watch a single minute of this show...which is why I wasn't sure where the photo came from.

Jack Faust said...

Scott: I actually think the Just-Earth hypothesis is something that needs to be tackled on that subject. Because it is exactly that sort've outlook that blinds people.

Brother Christopher said...

I've sacrificed quite a few unborn potential children. Okay probably billions. Does that count? :)

petoskystone said...

I'm with Morgan E. on this meme. I did manage to watch part of one episode during the first season. It just seemed to be a rather trite glossing of Fairy Tales into some sort of prime-time soap opera. This meme just confirms that opinion.