As I mentioned in my previous blog and video am continuing my discussion on blindness from a general sense and sharing my perspective on the subject. In this post and video linked below, I would like to discuss two other misconceptions related to being blind or visually impaired. I am also relating each one to my practice after discussing the topic. I hope in doing so I can raise awareness and help others learn about blindness and visual impairment in addition to how this correlate to a Pagan and Witchcraft practice. Keep in mind, this is all from my own point of view.
You Do Not have to change the language you use when talking to a person who is blind:
One of the most common idea surrounding blindness and visual impairment relates to language. Often, people believe that they must use different words around us when they refer to things like TV, fashion, or just anything. For example, often people do not want to use the words “See, watch, or even blind.” I understand that for some people they may believe they are being offensive but I personally and many of my friends do not become offended when using any of these terms. Similarly, regarding my point in my previous video, different degrees of blindness exist and even for someone who is totally blind using the word see is perfectly fine. Further, on the same point, speak to us in normal tones we are blind not hard of hearing, or anything related to it. Some people may be, but it is good to just talk to us normally. So, if you are talking to a friend or someone about TV it is perfectly acceptable to say, “Have you seen or watched Squid Game?” This is just one example of a show that came to mind as I wrote this. Both points correlate to my practice in two main ways. Firstly, language used in Witchcraft and Paganism are often visual in nature in some instances. For example, in most guided meditations, visualization exercises, and energy work practices visual references are made to imagining a White Light, visualizing a forest, or something else entirely. I have more about color, but the point here is that those references are fine for most people with blindness or visual impairment. If someone does not fully understand something, then you could relate to a different sense in the meditation or visualization such as touch, hearing, or smell. Finally, do not be afraid to use these types of language just ask the person If they are in a group, attending a public event, or the person may bring it up regarding what is expected. I use color magick regularly with my limited vision, in addition to several visualization practices. I just work with more than one sense such as seeing the light in my case, touching a tree, and smelling the air around me. These are just a few examples.
People who Are blind can Travel Independently:
I cannot tell you how often I get told I either do not know where I am going, or how often people expect someone to be with me. I have had countless experiences of someone thinking I am lost, confused, or that I need help. I am ok with answering questions, but please do not assume that I need help or do not know where I am or where I am going. I use a white cane; this is important to this example. I was walking towards a table carrying food, and I was nowhere near any obstacles that I would be able to hit. My cane taps one of the tables and I sit down. If my cane hits something that means it is detecting the obstacle so I can move around it and understand my environment. However, before I tapped that table and sat down long before I reached someone, I had no idea who, shouted you are going the wrong way. I asked how you know, they did not know and proceeded to ask where I was going. So, I later talked to them and explained that I did know where I was and where I was going. All this to say, ask before anything. If someone looks lost, ask them If they need anything, if they say no then that is ok. Please do not follow anyone, you may scare them. I have had this happen to me after stating that I was fine getting to where I was going. This point relates to my practice, because If I am seeking a coven or group often, they may need me to travel. So, I may need to learn various locations and educate others on how I get around. Moreover, this relates to how people do give directions related to objects when participating in rituals or magickal workings. I would need to know where something is, and how to find the location in general in addition to the object before the ritual so I do not disrupt the flow of the ritual. Finally, understanding how a person who is blind travel can also help when giving directions during the ritual such as where to face If you are calling a specific quarter, and again how to find the place for which the ritual is being held.
I hope that sharing my perspective and experiences regarding these two aspects of visual impairment and blindness helps you gain an understanding of what is it like. Also, how these relate to my practice.
As always if you have any questions or comments please comment below.
I discuss more within the video below:
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