Solitary Life

I’ve gone back forth over the idea of either joining a group or continuing to practice on my own, and I’m trying to look at the pros and cons of both to make the wisest decision. By nature, I’m a solitary person. I’m typically very reserved, quiet, I can often get lost in my own thoughts until an outsider notices and reels me back to solid ground, and since I was a kid I’ve always had a hard time fitting into groups. Whether it be at school, church, or even just within my neighborhood, I’ve always been the odd one out. As an adult now, I’ve got a wonderful partner who loves and supports me, and I’ve got at least one close friend who I can always count on, so I’m definitely not alone in the world, but definitely a loner in spirit.

I’m very active in my spiritual studies and my interest in the occult could be borderline obsession, so logically it would make sense to find a community of others to discuss ideas with and make some friends. I’ve attempted to join a couple of local pagan groups, but my search so far has not been the least beneficial to me in any way. Now, I realize I may sound a little selfish and I’m very aware of my naturally judgmental attitude towards strangers, but I question why I should even bother anymore.

I have attended two different groups and I have also met with two individuals from those groups outside the circle setting. The groups themselves seem to share some common characteristics between them, one of them being the way nobody seems to have a clear understanding of why they’re there. I have a pretty good idea of the general direction of my path, even if it changes over time, and it was frustrating to not have anyone that would hold an intelligent conversation on any occult subject. At the time, I was focused primarily on Wicca, which comprised the majority of the attendees, but my knowledge and experience seemed to have no relevance among them. I made a reference to ‘The Kybalion’ to someone, which in my opinion is a crucial read for any serious occult student of the western tradition (including Wicca), but my comment fell on deaf ears and nobody even seemed open to other sources aside from Scott Cunningham or Christopher Penczak. Now I’m in no way trying to elevate myself above anyone else, and I can’t judge someone for not having a knowledge of that book, but I simply use that as an example to how alienated I felt among these self-proclaimed “experienced” and “mature” pagans. I guess I held too high of expectations that couldn’t be met, at no fault of the group, but at the same time I’m not going to waste my time. One other thing I’d like to mention about these particular groups I attended, are the people I decided to meet outside the group setting. The first one claimed to be a witch for 9 years, and upon visiting his home i was shown his magick room full of trinkets and herbs galore. We became pretty good friends and I thought for the first time, I finally found someone who I connected with and who could teach me anything I wanted to know. I was so wrong. The focus began to change from spiritual to physical very fast, and I got very uncomfortable with the friendship before distancing myself from him.

I’m obviously pointing out all the negative experiences I’ve had, and I can’t say they were completely bad, but I just feel like it’s time to accept this solitary path for what it is. I’m sure that there are great communities out there consisting of knowledgable occultists; I feel like YouTube and the blogging community have some amazing people, and so maybe this is where I should focus my energies. Magic is such a deeply personal thing for me, in ways I can’t even put into words, so it truly frightens me to think of opening up that intimate part of myself to others. The irony of the internet is it’s a place where the whole world can see you, but you can also be the most discreet by only sharing what you want. In the future I hope to share more of myself through writing, and maybe someday soon create my own youtube videos (eeek!), but one step at a time to get me where I’m going.

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New Revelations

Since this recent holiday season I’ve had a renewed interest in Jesus and how all the things I learned growing up in church relate to me now. There’s no doubt my previous convictions have changed and morphed as my life has taken many different turns, and I’m feeling it’s about time I revisit those convictions of my past to try and gain a new understanding of them with the knowledge I’ve gained since. Until recently, when studying magick I would get very uneasy when I came across discussions dealing with any Judeo-Christian themes, such as Qabala, Ceremonial Magick, and the works of famous occultists like Dion Fortune. Slowly my views are changing to a more open perspective that embraces spirituality as a whole, and by dealing with my hang ups of the past I’m able to find the truths that are found even within Christianity. There have been a few sources that have inspired me to loosen up a little and let the universe teach me what it may. The one that had the most profound effect was The Cosmic Shekinah by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine. This book took everything that I thought I knew about the Bible and scrambled it all up and placed it neatly back in my head, much to my surprise as like I’ve said, I wasn’t keen on letting Christianity leak back into my newfound pagan beliefs. This book and other works that I’ve come across have helped me to see that once you look beyond the face of Christianity, and get to the heart of where all these teachings fit into the development of mankind as a whole, there are many great truths to be found.

Disconnected

I hate days when I wake up with all intentions to have a great day, then I sit down in front of my altar only to find I’m all alone. I can’t understand my Tarot cards, my mind becomes so scattered I can’t even meditate, and I reach out to the gods only to find that nobody is answering. What do you do in those moments? I’ve grown up enough to know that it’s not that my cards are “broken” or the gods have turned there backs on me, it’s just their way of waking me up a bit. I get so comfortable in my everyday life, and I’m so blessed, but comfort can be such a dangerous thing when living a magickal life. Comfort makes us vulnerable, relaxed, and we definitely let our guard down. No, I’m not saying we don’t need to relax every so often, I’ll be the first to say I love just chilling out, but I should be grateful to know the universe keeps me in check and lets me know when its time to get back to business. So instead of getting down on myself for feeling disconnected, I can be reassured that I’m doing something right, and the gods are making sure I continue to grow.

The Witch’s Pyramid

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Originally written in my journal on Jan. 12, 2012, when I was just a few months along on this path:

Beginning at “To Know,” this is a charge to learn, to understand why you live the way you do, and why you believe the things you do. Many people are going to question my path and I need to be knowledgeable of it. Only a fool follows blindly. And this is a path that treasures knowledge as the seed of power. Once you know, you can dare to follow. What “To Dare” means to me is making a conscious decision to apply what you know to your life. In my own life I feel like I’ve reached this stage, but it takes courage to dare. It takes guts, and a drive to live as a witch. No more passive attitude that lets the days pass by. It’s time to grasp each moment and treasure it. If it’s a bad moment, question the lessons to be learned. If it’s a happy and positive experience, dare to have an attitude of thanksgiving towards the God and Goddess.Thank them continually for the blessings in your life. Even in those bad moments, be thankful for the lessons you’ve learned. Once you dare to live your life as a witch, you can begin “to will” for change. You begin to see the world in a different light and you begin to will this new found power towards making a better life for yourself and those around you. Walking as a witch, you feel the connection with the universe and your will begins to align with the energies around you. I believe that our will is a gift and that to will harm on any other creature is to defile not only that gift, but also the Source that bestowed it. When we connect with the universe the seed of energy planted within us begins to grow and develop, as does our divine will. As we feed our energies back into the world we create a cycle of giving and receiving that creates change. This is magick. Will is energy. And in doing magick, it is essential that we remain silent. I feel this is so because our conscious mind directly speaks through our mouths. When we speak, our words carry vibrations that have a direct effect on the environment around us. Our conscious minds are not able to fully grasp the energies of magick, as we are usually focused on the mundane. It is when we silence our conscious mind and begin to listen with our spirit that we begin to attune with those energies. As a witch, learning to listen with your spirit allows you “to go,” and to ascend to a higher level of living. A life of power, of love and light, and to achieve a perfect balance with the universe. Ultimately this leads to the perfection of ourselves within the Source, and through many lifetimes, becoming one with the All. And until that perfection is attained, the spiral continues… 

 

Why labels?

In trying to decide what to write about, I’ve decided to bring up the topic that usually comes up first in most pagan conversations.. labels. “What path do you follow?” “What do you call yourself?”  “Oh, so you’re Wiccan. Are you Gardnerian or Eclectic?” “Do you use black or white magick?” Huh??

These questions are a very small sample of the ones many of us get bombarded with when meeting new pagans, or just sharing our beliefs with those that are curious. I can honestly say that this issue of choosing labels has been the most daunting task since I first considered myself “pagan,” and have since decided it is completely irrelevant to my personal spirituality. So why bring up the topic? When I first chose to begin exploring the world of spirituality, the occult, and paganism as a whole, I was overwhelmed with the amount of religions, traditions, paths, orders, covens, practices, etc. How does one decide where they fit in and what direction to take? In many of the books that I started out reading (mainly on Wicca), the authors would say something along the lines of “what works for someone else may not work for you, so do what works for you.” Hmm, so where does this leave those of us who are trying to find a path to follow, and then upon deciding, the leaders within that path offer no guidance. This led me to much frustration and confusion when I first started out. It took some time before I realized the only true guidance would come from within. Labels are never going away, and I’m not saying that they can’t be used to identify ourselves, but the moment we decide to slap a label on a part of us, we immediately begin to feel bound to everything attributed to that label. Spirituality is something that should be free to roam and explore this vast and beautiful universe that we’re a part of. I guess my whole point is it’s fine to call yourself Wiccan, Pagan, Druid, Magician, etc., but we shouldn’t be so concerned with what we’re called, but instead what we actually are deep inside. Every human on this Earth is completely different and separate from each other, so there’s no way we fit into any one box that a label tries to put us in.