Here’s one of those things I don’t talk much about: I am a psychic contaminant.

This little feature of my make-up isn’t my fault in the sense that I didn’t do anything deliberate to make myself this way. I woke up like this (no, really; I did). Nonetheless, it is an important part of what makes me tick, energetically and spiritually speaking.

Being a psychic contaminant has some particular effects on how I interact with the world, especially in spiritual, magickal, and religious circles. On a purely physical level I simply have to take precautions not to get my blood on things; other fluids are also treated with caution to a varying degree. Hair is less of a problem and so far I haven’t noticed any contamination leaking on to the things I make for other people (so you’re still safe to buy things from me! The books are dangerous in their own right, but that’s just because they’re books. You understand).

Being a psychic contaminant means that I am deliberately careful about situations that have anything to do with energy work, deeper spiritual operations, magickal workings, and so forth. Even worship-oriented rituals can be a problem. With a very few exceptions, the people running the ritual simply can’t give informed consent to the impact that I will potentially have on their work and on the aftermath. The only ethical solution is for me not to participate. This limits things like membership and participation in most magickal and spiritual groups, as well as things like simply showing up and doing ritual and magick with other people.

(That said, I nearly never *wish* to do these things with people unless I happen to know them fairly well and feel comfortable with the way they work. A friend of mine says she’d rather fuck a room full of strangers before doing ritual with them and I can’t say that I feel dissimilarly. Ritual – for worship or magick – is a very intimate, very sacred space for me. My emotions rise up fast and hard and I have experiences in ritual that I simply don’t wish to share with strangers. I desire emotional privacy; I especially desire emotional privacy with my gods are concerned. I feel entitled to this privacy and I believe that others are entitled to it, too. I sometimes get a little upset at myself for *not* participating in more rituals locally or at events – shouldn’t I want to show my affection for the High Ones? Shouldn’t I want to share space with my fellow worshipers and celebrants? Well, yes; these are very special things but I have to remind myself that I would never question someone else’s dedication to the High Ones simply because they didn’t participate in some ritual or other, so why am I holding myself to a different standard? Why am I so willing to grant others the space for emotional privacy when I criticize myself for craving this? I must remind myself to be gentle, very gentle, with this sort of judgment. Moving on.)

I don’t use this contaminating characteristic to bother other people or to disrupt what they’re doing. I could, I suppose, and there might be a time when such a thing would be justified, but I prefer problem solving through empathy, compassion, and forgiveness first. Nonetheless, this isn’t something that I can control – or if I can, I don’t really know how to. Avoidance is my best solution. And no, shielding and wards don’t seem to have any effect on this characteristic, either.

See, I do very occasionally participate in various rituals. I attend a local Gnostic Mass semi-regularly. The Thelemic current is strong enough that it seems to mute my particular brand of contamination. The currents of well-established traditions seem a little more compatible with the level of contamination I bring; plus, in the case of Gnostic Mass, I’m not doing anything except attending as a member of the congregation.

And sometimes – well, sometimes I forget. It happens. It happens and when it does I’m always reminded that contamination is a potentially dangerous characteristic. Sometimes I think that it won’t matter. Sometimes I think, nah – I can’t possibly be that potent.

There’s no way to tell, though; you can only observe the effects and wonder about what precisely brought it all about.

It’s never my fault – not exactly. I do have to remember to be careful. I just don’t know my own strength.


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