Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Saturn in Virgo Calls Bullshit on The Secret/Law of Attraction Phenomenon

The following featured entry was originally written and published by Willow on her weblog, Willow's Web Astrology. She was born after a tornado during the Via Combusta.

(Here's one last purge of old Piscean energy as Venus, Mars and the Moon sit on the final degree of the zodiac. By the time you've had your first cup of coffee tomorrow morning, the Moon and Mars will be in Aries. By the wee hours Friday morning, Venus will be in Aries, too...)

As one of my forays into the world of the New Age movement, I worked at a New Age wellness centre in Calgary a few years ago (for a split second) that preached "wholistic health" (yes, they spelled it with a "w"). At that time, most of the people there were over the moon for The Secret and fervently promoted the crap out of it, day in, day out. They had regular screenings of the low budget video and had a 20-year-old "Belief Repatterning Practitioner" at the ready to cleanse you of your "negative beliefs." (For about $80 per session or so...should only need three to six sessions!)

When I wouldn't submit to a "belief repatterning session," the owner of the business whipped out the New Age passo aggro in record time, telling me she was sorry I wasn't "open to new modalities" but she hoped that one day I would be. She also snuck a snide little dig in there about my unfortunate "inability to manifest." God. What a fucking hack.

That dissenting view was the beginning of the end for Willow at "Love and Light Central."

The thing I couldn't get behind then (one of the many things) was the absolute lack of any sociological context involved in the promotion and application of these ideas. The large majority of people who bought and/or provided services in that place were middle to upper-middle class, urban, white people (or identified with that group).

So to have them saying..."Oh, people in bad situations are choosing it for themselves. They're keeping themselves there due to their negative thinking, etc. My life is great! I've manifested everything I ever wanted because I know how to apply the law of attraction 'positively.'" That just didn't fly with me. And still doesn't.

These people seemed to have absolutely zero understanding of their own societal context (privileged urban white folks - even the hippie lookin' motherfuckers) or of the influence of systemic roots related to human conditions. There was no understanding of any kind of interconnection between/among conditions, either. Ie. that an owner might be rich because his labourers are poor. He is rich because of a power structure that allows him to reap the benefits of the labour and effort of other people, not because he "manifested his abundance" magically.

So you know that brand new Escalade you're patting yourself on the back for "manifesting?" Well, think about all the people who actually made that Escalade happen. There were the workers in the factories shaping the raw materials. Then the people in the auto plants who built the thing. These people do manual labour day in and day out (and many have been laid off at this point). There are the truck drivers who loaded 'er up and drove the thing to the car dealership...hopping themselves up on speed so they can meet their mileage quota. There are the guys out working on rigs being hurt and killed to drill oil to run the thing...drinking themselves silly to get through another -20 day of work in the winter. There are soldiers fighting and dying (and killing, of course) for access to Middle Eastern oil to run that big bitch. And there are women who are expected to somehow emotionally deal with the results of all this and prop their husbands/boyfriends up for another day or week or year of this stuff...while raising kids and holding down jobs of their own. Then there is the damage to Mama Earth that running these big luxury vehicles causes.

Point being, there's a lot going on with this whole "manifestation" process that people don't see, regardless of what it is they're "manifesting." And the disconnect from it fuels all the thinking that it just magically appears one day. Sorry, but you success stories are being propped up at every turn by people who are getting the fuzzier end of the lollipop. Pluto in Capricorn ruled by Saturn in Virgo knows this stuff.

Following this application of The Secret's ideology, it doesn't matter if you're a poor black kid born into drug-and-violence infested projects...or if you're a female born into Taliban-ruled Afghanistan...or if you're a rural farmer treated like a labour slave your entire life who has to leave school at 13 to work...or whatever the circumstances an individual struggles with. If your life is difficult or depressing, it's the workings of your negative thoughts and you are somehow choosing this life for yourself because you alone are "creating your reality" and you alone are responsible for changing things. If you were more positive and knew how to "manifest," you would be one of the success stories, instead of the failure that you are.

There's little to no concept that the deck might be stacked against. Or that it might not be solely about figuring out how to "successfully" work the same old structures, capitalizing on a bad situation for your own personal gain. Or that it might be of collective responsibility to improve conditions for all people. That THAT is the real meaning of holistic health, not just eating overpriced organic food, recycling and having a colonic flush once a month. If you refuse to look at social justice issues, if you refuse to look at the social systems/structures that aid in determining who is a winner and who is a loser (and the collective beliefs holding those systems/structures in place), you're missing the point. Because those are things that need to be improved to actually create a real, meaningful holistic health.

As long as the New Age movement is happy to make its coin treating the symptoms of a sick culture, it's just capitalizing on a bad situation.

And it's just a group of navel-gazing privileged people patting themselves on the backs for being so damned successful and enlightened.

It was actually funny because that New Age business owner was a perfect example of the lack of understanding of the owner-worker sociological context. She was a person who brought new people into the fold, milked them for their talent, energy and ideas and then, once they became an ego threat to her, turfed them from the organization. All the while glorying about what a visionary success she and her business were.

Again...using and abusing other people to manifest your Grand Success is a total load. But as long as the Emperess has no clothes and no one will speak up about it, it continues.

Well, you know what? The Emperess has no clothes. She's naked as a fucking jaybird. :)

I decided recently, after a 1.5 year hiatus, to start posting again on an astrology message board.

Within two days of being back, I had received e-mails from three different people promoting The Secret and the so-called law of attraction to me. Of course, they don't come right out and say this. They tell me they are offering to "check my perceptions" or some such drivel.

So I was thinking, wtf? Three years later, The Secret still has this much sway?

Within a day, I see ads plastered all over the website for Beyond the Secret. Oh, yay!! The Secret has a sequel. Well, blessed day.

From what I can surmise, the original created so many people blaming themselves for their "inabilities to manifest" and so much depression over their "inability to create the exact reality they desired" (not to mention being blamed by those shiny, happy people who DO know how to create their every desire...mostly through social privilege) that they are now shlepping a sequel with the premise: Oh, um, yeah. About that instant manifestation thing. Well...it helps if you have a plan to get your every desire! And let us show you that plan...for another $29.95 or whatever the video/book is going for...or after sitting through yet another seminar.

So now the shame spiral created by the original has an "antidote." haha Uhhh...yeah. And if that doesn't work, never fear!

**The Secret - $29.95
**Beyond the Secret - $29.95
**One Last Secret - $29.95
**Seriously, This is the Last Secret - $29.95
**Oops! We Forgot About This Secret... - $29.95
**OK. Really. This is the Final Secret - $29.95
**Wow. This is Getting Embarassing, But This Is REALLY the Last Secret - $29.95

Have your credit card ready, folks, and we'll show you how to manifest a huge bill...almost instantly!!

And I'll say here...this is not to say that there aren't people who have benefitted from this stuff. But man oh man...the misapplication and abuse of this ideology I have seen! And it continues...

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