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Author Topic: Caitlin Matthews  (Read 589 times)

rocquelaire

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Caitlin Matthews
« on: March 24, 2021, 10:17:49 am »
Hi all,

I received Caitlin Matthew's 'The Psychic Protection Handbook' as a gift a while back. I was flicking through it the other day, feeling in need of a bit of cleansing and protection, and I came across a pretty troubling passage. Does anyone have any experience of her work? Is it worth ignoring that section and looking at the rest or should I just ditch the book all together?

Thanks,
Rocquelaire

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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2021, 09:08:19 pm »
I received Caitlin Matthew's 'The Psychic Protection Handbook' as a gift a while back. I was flicking through it the other day, feeling in need of a bit of cleansing and protection, and I came across a pretty troubling passage. Does anyone have any experience of her work? Is it worth ignoring that section and looking at the rest or should I just ditch the book all together?

I've read several books by Caitlin and her husband and have found them to be pretty good. I haven't read the book in question, however.
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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 11:43:56 am »
Hi all,

I received Caitlin Matthew's 'The Psychic Protection Handbook' as a gift a while back. I was flicking through it the other day, feeling in need of a bit of cleansing and protection, and I came across a pretty troubling passage. Does anyone have any experience of her work? Is it worth ignoring that section and looking at the rest or should I just ditch the book all together?

Thanks,
Rocquelaire
In general, I like her work on Celtic spirituality (though it's been a while since I've read it), especially her Celtic Devotional, which is a model I really like. Her book on reading Lenormand is very good. And she, herself, is pretty cool from what I can tell on Facebook (been FB friends for years).

But I can't speak to the book you mentioned.

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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2021, 04:34:01 am »
Hi all,

I received Caitlin Matthew's 'The Psychic Protection Handbook' as a gift a while back. I was flicking through it the other day, feeling in need of a bit of cleansing and protection, and I came across a pretty troubling passage. Does anyone have any experience of her work? Is it worth ignoring that section and looking at the rest or should I just ditch the book all together?

I was looking at the book a while ago, wondering if to get it as I am currently reading up o many viewpoints. Now you got me curious as to what would be so troubling.  :o

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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2021, 10:06:01 am »
I was looking at the book a while ago, wondering if to get it as I am currently reading up o many viewpoints. Now you got me curious as to what would be so troubling.  :o

I'm curious, too.  I had a twinge of a negative feeling when I first saw the thread like I remembered this person did something bad but couldn't place it, however at least a quick search doesn't come up with any particular controversy that I can find.

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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 02:04:15 pm »
I'm curious, too.  I had a twinge of a negative feeling when I first saw the thread like I remembered this person did something bad but couldn't place it, however at least a quick search doesn't come up with any particular controversy that I can find.
Fwiw, I've been following her a long time and I'm not aware of any problematic events involving her (which isn't to say there couldn't be). I like her work that I've read. I certainly haven't read everything she's published. She's pretty prolific.

I don't think there are any authors I agree with 100%, though.


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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 03:23:52 pm »
Fwiw, I've been following her a long time and I'm not aware of any problematic events involving her (which isn't to say there couldn't be). I like her work that I've read. I certainly haven't read everything she's published. She's pretty prolific.

I don't think there are any authors I agree with 100%, though.


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There are probably never going to be authors we agree with 100%. The paragraph that put me off read as victim blaming to me, but it’s entirely possible that I’m being overly sensitive.

I think I’ll read the rest of the book and just take that section with a pinch of salt.

Thanks all!


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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2021, 04:36:17 pm »
There are probably never going to be authors we agree with 100%. The paragraph that put me off read as victim blaming to me, but it’s entirely possible that I’m being overly sensitive.

I think I’ll read the rest of the book and just take that section with a pinch of salt.

With that context, I'd personally file it in "This is a book that's 16 years old, we as a society have shifted a *lot* in that time about how we talk about a bunch of things (including victim blaming)

(You see similar legit concerns with Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear, for example, which comes out of a combo of his own experiences as a child with his mother being abused (so sort of complicated to untangle) and the fact that how we talk about some of this has improved a lot since the book came out. A lot of people I know now give a "ignore the one chapter that gets into victim blaming, the rest of it is still great" codicils now.)

I think with protection work, it's also especially complicated, because yes, one of the steps may very well be "If there's a pattern to how you're getting into situations where you need protection, and the consistent factor is you, look at what's going on there."

That is legitimately sort of hard to write about well (i.e. you're writing one-to-many to an unknown audience of a wide range of experiences and past choices), and may well be a thing where "This is a good time to talk to a therapist/professional about patterns that you want to change" is worth some time and energy. But it can be tricky to differentiate that from "you made bad choices, so what you get is your fault." when what the author really means is more like "If you want to change this thing, there are some options that may well help, here's some stuff you can try."

Also, if you are regularly reading books and only disagreeing with a paragraph here or there, we're making very different reading decisions! I basically always assume I'm going to disagree with at least a third of whatever I'm reading (even when it's pretty well-backed up by formal research evidence.) A lot of times, it's more like "I'm not sure about 50+% of this book, but the remaining bit has some really useful stuff..." 

I've found that the skill of "hold this thing in my head without committing to whether it's useful/reliable/a good idea" is one of my key reading skills.

Fairly often, I'll read something that hits me wrong, but then I'll get a paragraph or two (or a chapter or two) further on, and I'll go "Oh, okay, I see why you went at it this way." (Again, I don't always agree, but I can see the logic of where they got that, or are going with the idea.) And that makes it a lot easier to figure out which bits will be useful for me to put into practice, and which are not applicable to what I want to do (and when it comes to ritual and magical practice, "Can I figure out how to use the useful bits without removing necessary underpinning..")
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Re: Caitlin Matthews
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2021, 01:20:51 pm »
Fwiw, I've been following her a long time and I'm not aware of any problematic events involving her (which isn't to say there couldn't be).

The most controversial thing I know of about Caitlin Matthews is that some hardline Celtic Recons get their undies in a bunch about her stuff not being The True Celtic WayTM. Granted, some of her (and John Matthews's and R.J. Stewart's) early material didn't distinguish itself as 'revival' or 'neoPagan' rather than 'recon', but that was before Celtic Recon was a Thing. (They might not have taken up making that distinction as soon as they arguably should have; I'm not certain - but I'm pretty sure there's at least a bit of 'recon pissing contest', and the insistence of some recons on denying that anything exists in the - huge - space between 'historically rigorous' and 'watered-down Wicca with knotwork', involved.)

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