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.
Began Lesson 2 in “Learning Ritual Magic” with much excitement about the next stage and all the new assignments to be accomplished, and now just a few days later I’m struggling even to wake up early to perform my morning meditations. The enthusiasm definitely wears off fast when you’re dragging your body along and your mind screams in agony because it would rather be checking Facebook and YouTube in the morning instead of performing the Qabalistic Cross. John Michael Greer, being very aware of these symptoms, addresses the issue immediately at the beginning of Lesson 2 in the book, attributing it to the fear of change that we hold inside. This fear being personified by the Watcher at the Threshold. I’ve become very familiar with this entity throughout my studies, but it’s important that I face it and continue to push through til the end. I have experienced many positive effects as well, so I have faith that this is helping me and guiding me into the place I need to be.
I’m about two weeks into my practice using “Learning Ritual Magic” by John Michael Greer and I’m feeling confident that Hermetic magic is the right direction for me to be heading in. I’ve read many “lesson plan” books that teach things step by step, and I haven’t been able to find one that I can stick to until now. I really enjoy the approach that Greer takes to learning magic, by teaching the essential basics and allowing you to develop the rest. I appreciate his requirement of reading at least three other recommended occult books while working through his study program. Two of the books being “The Mystical Qabalah” by Dion Fortune and “The Tree of Life” by Israel Regardie, which I have already begun to devour!
I’m one more day from beginning lesson 2, and I’m pretty proud of myself for not jumping ahead before completing the two weeks of practicing lesson 1 (which in the past has been my biggest challenge when reading other study books lol). Lesson 1 has basically consisted of a daily relaxation and concentration exercise, and beginning a journal to record everything. The simplicity of these very short exercises can be misleading, as I’ve had noticeable effects in my daily life. I’m excited to begin the next lesson!