The practice of gatekeeping is frowned upon by a lot of people–outsiders. It’s also a practice that has been around as long as people have had secrets, so probably around as long as humans have been around. Of course when applied to magick, gatekeeping took a little bit longer to take root but it’s still been around for an incredibly long time.
From schools that only accepted young men with outstanding academics, to high in the mountains retreats where everyone shared blood, and modern day orders, cults, and groups of friends, gatekeeping has always been practiced in the occult.
Yes, it can be very annoying when we’re trying to gain insight into something. But is gatekeeping itself an “evil,” practice, one that promotes class distinctions, a simple barrier between family and “other,” an attempt at keeping people from hard earned secrets, and/or something else entirely?
Yesterday someone asked me for something specific and I said I wasn’t planning on handing it out. I was called a gatekeeper. For not giving out a (type of/specific) rite this person demanded. I responded with the following,
Would you call keeping nana’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe in the family gatekeeping?
This person could have looked online and found any number of rituals and/or ritual suggestions. This person chose to demand something from me I’ve put a lot of energy and effort into if we’re going to count my whole fucking magick background and everything I’ve done regarding this specific type of magick. I cannot imagine how not handing out personal rites is “gatekeeping.”
Doesn’t that word apply to entire practices? Entire groups of people who do not want to hand out their secrets and practices to the public, or any outsiders? Doesn’t that word imply I’ve either attained something absolutely amazing or that I run a damn cult/order/religion/etc.?
So…What is gatekeeping, what does it mean to you and what is your view on it?
(I find it pretty reasonable actually, though frustrating.)