Moving Along

The world of magic is vast, scary, and overwhelming at times, but even in the moments of frustration when I can’t seem to figure out what’s going on, I can still marvel at the energy present all around. The seeming coincidences that are reminders that I’m still doing something right at least. In my mind I think of the purpose for all of this, and wonder why I even care. Why am I not content to accept the world the way it’s been presented to me? People around me continue on with their lives, completely oblivious to the unseen forces that affect us day after day, minute by minute. In my studies so far, it would seem that in the occult there are no innocent bystanders. Once you’re in, and you peek through the veil, there’s a call to interact and be a part of this universal force that lies lies in the unseen realm.
I said I wasn’t going to buy anymore books for a while, after being continuously disappointed by recycled Wicca books, but I’ve decided to not let those books stop me from exploring. I know there are books of true wisdom out there, that aren’t watered down new age nonsense. I love the symbolism and practices of witchcraft, but because Wicca has become the catch-all term for anybody remotely pagan who wants to practice magic, there appears to be limited resources on practicing a true path of the witch. I’ve tried and tried to be content with Wicca as a religion and a complete practice, but my intuition is guiding me beyond those boundaries. I love Wicca, and I think it’s a beautiful expression of our connection with nature, the cycle of the seasons, and our intimate connection to the Divine, yet why won’t my higher self allow me to settle? In my heart I feel like being a witch is a lot more than just drawing down the moon, doings spells for a new car or lover, or attempting to celebrate these supposedly “ancient” holidays that usually have no relevance or historical validity. I see a lot of blogs on here written by people who claim to be witches or magicians and their practice is so genuine, built from years of practical experience, not learned from some Wicca 101 book.
I’ll continue to seek and find my own path somehow, because I trust that the spirits around me will continue to guide my way, it’s just a matter of me having the wisdom to see the world as it is, not the way someone else tells me it is.

Spirit of Christmas

greenredLast night I decided it was time to start putting up decorations for the holidays, and now I’m sitting here going through my iTunes library, putting together my favorite holiday songs for the season. As I go through and listen to a lot of the classics and some more recent songs, I can’t help but get wrapped up in the spirit of the season. Cascada has a new song called “Somewhere At Christmas Time,” and the simple yet beautiful lyrics bring to mind the images we’re all familiar with. In my mind I travel back through the story many of us have learned from the time we were young, of that little child in a manger on a starry winter night. I’m not here to debate the historical accuracy of anything, because that’s beside the point, but I do want to discuss this magical spirit filled with hope and wonder that affects the world during this special time of year. Regardless of what you believe, whether you call it Yule or Christmas, or if you choose not to believe in anything at all, there is something undeniable that happens this time of year that we all feel in our hearts. It’s a lifting, a peace, a joy, a sense of happiness and celebration. I listen to these songs and relive the memories of being with family, of waking up on Christmas morning to find gifts under the tree; the smell of turkey in the oven and the glow of twinkling lights everywhere.

santaFrom the time I was born, I was taught the story of baby Jesus, and how he was born in the manger outside the inn. I could visualize the angels filling the sky with song, and the wise men travelling on camels following that bright shining star. I’m more educated now and I understand that much of the Bible is basically a mythology, but I have also learned that “myth” doesn’t mean not real. Since discovering paganism and reading the fantastical myths that many of us adopt as a religious backdrop, I look at the big picture and how these myths are real when we believe them in our hearts. I no longer follow Christianity as a religion, but do I have to be an Egyptian to believe in the myths of Osiris, or a Roman to honor Jupiter? The Christmas story is one of joy, hope, and the redeeming savior coming into the world, and to me that is what Christmas will always be about. Now as a pagan I can also celebrate the redeeming sun coming to save us from the darkness of winter, and the Horned One ruling over the harsh landscape during this time of year. I know there are many pagans who, like a light switch, just automatically try to do away with all things Christmas to replace it with Yule once they convert, but really, what is the difference? I used to be that type of person, but this year I embrace it all. I want to listen to “O Holy Night” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and celebrate the birth of the newborn king. There’s no other way to describe this season other than pure magic. It’s probably the only time of year that collectively we join together in love and good cheer, to just celebrate. It goes deeper than what religion we follow, what gods we honor, or whether we call it Yule or Christmas. As we enter into this joyous season, my hope is that others can see through these walls we put up between each other; that we allow each of our celebrations to color the world just as the lights on the tree come together under that beautiful twinkling star. So no matter what holidays you’ll be celebrating in the coming weeks… remember to just believe.

New Levels

chakrasThis is sort of a response to Sy Calaelen’s video called Magick vs. Witchcraft and for those of you who are unfamiliar with her work, she has an amazing insight into all things occult and she’s been a huge inspiration for me on my path. If you’re reading this Sy, you’re the best!

I’m currently in a state of transition. More of a shift in consciousness to be more accurate. I recently decided to put a stop to everything I was doing spiritually and just take a break. I took a weeklong vacation to spend some quality time with family and just let everything that was clogging my mind to just sort itself out, well that was the expectation. A few days after returning to work and trying to get back to normal, I began to look over my spiritual life and really see it for what it was. I looked at what I thought I believed, and the practices associated with those beliefs, and started to see that the “spiritual” person I was attempting to be was just a reflection of all the outside influences in my life. Whether direct or indirect, I was starting to see that these influences were dictating to me the path I should follow, instead of me finding who I was deep within and allowing my true self to connect. It wasn’t until I stepped back and evaluated myself that I came to realize there is something growing inside of me that is way bigger than any box I could put it in.

One of the thoughts that kept coming to mind was my idea of what witchcraft is, and how the practice relates to me. For almost two years now I have spent so much energy tirelessly studying witchcraft and Wicca, only to still feel spiritually unsatisfied. Upon my reflection of the meaning of witchcraft, I started to gain a clear picture of what it was that was holding me back. Witchcraft is a magical practice for the mundane, and its uses lend itself to finding love, gaining wealth, and basically helping to solve life’s little problems. I have no doubt that witchcraft is a powerful tool and a beneficial practice, as I have personally experienced its positive effects in my own life, but what happens when we don’t need money or a new job, and we’re happy with the love in our life, or at least content with all of these things? And this is where I was left thinking, not that I couldn’t allow witchcraft to be a part of my life, but that in order to truly grow spiritually I need to expand my horizons to greater knowledge and wisdom.

Enter in.. Hermeticism. I find it very interesting that one of the first books I ever read after starting my exploration of paganism was ‘The Kybalion.’ This book has probably affected me more than any other book I’ve read because of its simple and pure philosophies about magic, God, and the Universe. ‘The Kybalion’ is not pagan specific, and doesn’t adhere to any specific religion, but gives such a strong foundation to all hermetic philosophies. I’m now beginning to explore the world of magic as it pertains to the Western Mystery Tradition, and I feel like witchcraft was the gateway for me to dive deeper into my occult studies. Even now as I’m just beginning to step through that door, I’m gaining a better understanding of witchcraft through the eyes of magic and I can already see a lot of the influences that helped create modern Wicca. I haven’t completely left these two things behind, but they are definitely taking on a different role in my life as I venture forward into the unknown. My only goal is spiritual ascension, and I will follow the path that I need to get there with the guidance of my higher self.