The Alpha Dogs of Magick

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.
What’s wrong with so-called spiritual people that they have to be so competitive about their “gifts”? If you think human dynamics are a little insane, imagine what it’s like with magickal people—the manipulations can increase exponentially.

Flying By Night novelA woman I know well is a gifted psychic, moreso than she realizes. She recently had some ugliness aimed her way by some Alpha Dogs of Magick, and I’m feeling a little guilty because I unwittingly introduced the Alpha Dogs to her. I like getting people together who have different gifts and seeing them learn from each other and hone their talents. Admittedly, I get a lot out of it. I learn from it and it’s fulfilling for me to coordinate such efforts.

This particular woman hasn’t been “trained” through a degree program or mentored from a “big” witch. Her gift is a family legacy and she learned it privately, only occasionally letting it out of the box and always seeming surprised at the results. I introduced her to some community leaders and watched her shake her head repeatedly at their prognostications. She didn’t mean it disrespectfully, but she saw things they didn’t…or couldn’t…and when they inquired about what she saw, she told them.

Big mistake. They began doing work to bind her.

Why? Honestly? It’s hard for me to grasp, but I’m told it’s jealousy. I’ve heard it from the Alpha Dogs themselves. How dare someone without all their years of training have an ability they do not? Not only that, but when they tried to flaunt gifts they didn’t have, she called them down on it. In a nice way.

Looking back, I didn’t even realize that her dissenting opinion was so inflammatory to them. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not a “visual” person when it comes to magick…although that’s apparently changing. I’m okay with the fact that there are skills and talents that I don’t have because I have others that are also important, just different. It never crossed my mind to be jealous of this woman’s immense talent, so I never considered anyone else would have a problem with it either or that they would try to do her harm because of it.

Maybe I’m lucky or oblivious that I’ve not had much experience with this myself. At least, not until recently. The first time I was ever blindsided by a talent-turf-war, I had gotten a flash of a problem a very gifted psychic acquaintance was having. I was deeply concerned about the flash of insight and contacted him immediately to let him know I’d gotten a flash on him and was there anything I could do? I already knew that there was and I could give him the contact he needed. Though he admitted the problem to a mutual friend several months later, he was extremely angry with me. Not that the problem was a secret or that I’d seen something he didn’t want seen, but that I’d seen something at all. He let me know that he was the psychic, not me. I never considered it a competition, but he was so stingy about being the only one who had that particular talent when we met for a workshop and his words were so cutting that I’ve really had nothing else to say to him since.

Now I begin to notice how ego effects these gifts. The gifts make the recipient “special,” not just in the eyes of the Gods but in the eyes of others, including and especially other magickal people. It sets them higher in the hierarchy of importance. So they have to guard their talents, protect their turf, and challenge anyone who comes close.

Why? If all our gifts come from the same place, why all the competition? And why, certainly among “spiritual” people, must we sink so low in our self-esteem that we must do intentional damage to be perceived as the Alpha Dogs of Magick?