Cause change in your inner world, create magick in the outer world

The other day I covered why personal development is important to magick. Next step in the series: how causing change in your inner world enables you to be a more magickally efficacious magician or witch.

Magick is more than simple rote spells, lighting candles, or chanting weird shit under a full moon. All of these things are meant to jog your unconscious mind and connect with sources of power outside of yourself that will help you to fulfill your goal. I have a magickal mentor who once told me that “magick is about making a connection.” This is entirely too true.

In this instance, YOU are the vessel, and your unconscious mind is a more powerful tool than you could ever hope or dream of. You literally have the power to do anything you want. Maybe not EVERYTHING, but anything. But that’s a topic for a whole other blog post. If you are not a clear and effective channel, all you will receive is static. If you have a crappy cell phone that’s constantly disconnecting on you, running slowly, and is buggy forget about checking your email or browsing the Internet. In short…don’t be a crappy cell phone.

Causing change in your inner world is about removing the static. It’s about clearing up the internal blocks, limiting beliefs, and unconscious ideas holding you back from achieving your deepest desires and dreams. It’s about eliminating the negative voices which are holding you back so you can finally hear the still, small, quiet voice within you which can tell you EXACTLY what you need to do, where you need to go, and who you want to be.

That voice is what helps you to take inspired action, connect with your higher self, HGA, the Force, God, gods, Divine, Flying Spaghetti Monster, or what-have-you. Trusting that voice is vital, but first you have to make sure you can hear it.

Next blog post in the series: How to clear the static and blocks preventing you from performing magick.

 

Need help with any of this stuff? Think you could use a life coach whom you can actually talk to about magick and various other esoterica and help you with your own magick? I’m here. Contact me anytime for a session or a free consultation.

Initiation, Mystery Schools, the True Self, and the False Persona

After many years of belonging to several groups, at some point I slowly began to pair down my involvement in a number of groups I belong to and have belonged to in the past. It’s pretty clear that really there’s only one esoteric initiatory organization and one local spiritual group that I wish to focus my attention on, and everything else is additional stress, aggravation, responsibilities, and drama that I really don’t need.

I hate to phrase things like that, but it’s true. I can’t comprehend why people collect orders and certificates like some people collect baseball cards. I joined to genuinely learn about new things and traditions and therefore grow as a person, and find that joining orders just to get extra titles on your esoteric resume to be not only an utter waste of time–but positively sacrilegious and disingenuous to the organizations you joined by ignoring their teachings and discarding them in favor solely of titles in order to get your ego stroked.If I wanted my ego stroked, I would’ve stayed a dogmatic Greek reconstructionist and on top of the damned Ionic column where people wanted me to be.

Or better yet, start that Greek mystery school which I am still utterly and completely unqualified to begin as both initiator of others and the current itself. I suppose I could’ve done what one person initially attempted to do, which was to lift the Golden Dawn wholesale and “Greekify” gestures which have their origins in Freemasonry and without comprehending their original context have no meaning, an atrocity which would’ve been akin to doing “plug and play” of deities into some other religion and culture’s ritual. But I have both my pride and my good taste, and have refrained from making such poor judgments–with or without the Z documents and Cipher manuscripts.

It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to see such Hellenic mystery schools begin; it’s just that I think that it takes a heck of a lot more than a single person to start up such an endeavor. I’m also not entirely certain that’s really what I’m meant to do with my life at this point. If you disagree, take it up with Hekate and Hermes since they basically own my ass these days in addition to my other patron deities. I gotta be in charge of Who I Am and not What People Want Me To Be.

And speaking of which…. In conversations with two separate people on the same day I initially composed this blog post–two people who are completely and utterly different from each other in most respects and I think have yet to even meet or talk to each other, mind you–the same topic came up: each of them had taken on a false persona which they had aspired to their whole lives but later realized that it was not only what they weren’t looking for, but in fact the persona was holding them back from being their deepest and truest self. Once they let go off that shiny mask, they went through utter hell only to determine that it was a blessing. They needed to be their truest self in order to be deeply and genuinely happy, and to spiritually, mentally, emotionally–and even physically–progress as people. I am watching one of them continue that struggle. I think we all do at some point, and sometimes more often than not. I think that may just be part of life.

I can honestly say that without a doubt, I did the exact same thing. I am not proud of the amount of hiding I did from myself and from others on who I really am. But I am neither a special snowflake nor a perfected individual. So before people go “OMGS! You’re kicking people in the head!” please note that I spend WAY more time kicking myself in the head to try and kick someone else in the head. With one leg already poised and in action, I would fall flat on my ass. If your own head has been kicked upon reading any of my posts, kindly examine the foot that hit you and make sure first that it is not already attached to your ankle. After all, it is hardly my fault that you have failed to comprehend¬†Ti Kwan Leep.

Sometimes however, we ALL need to give ourselves a good kick in the head. The point of alchemy is to realize who you really, truly are underneath all of that crap and bullshit by discarding it and everything else that is holding you back (the Black Work) and then exalt your best qualities and gain new good qualities (the White Work) so that you can unify with your Divine Genius and HGA (the Red Work).

Some head-kicking will happen as a result of spiritual alchemy. That’s GOOD. It means that you realize that you’ve done wrong and can do better–think of it as empowering yourself to recognize what you can achieve versus what you are achieving, and know that it’s Ok To Fuck Up As Long As You Realize That You Did, Learn, and Make Up For It. At the same time however, don’t spend so much time kicking yourself in the head that you’re not able to put your feet forward.

If you need some guidance on putting those feet forward, you know where to find me.

The vital importance of personal development to magick

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I’ve touched upon this in various blog posts, but decided to dedicate one especially for this topic. Hell, I may be doing a series of these. It’s that important of a topic.

Personal development is a vital part of any magician or witch. You cannot even think to begin to learn how to handle magick without it. So much of magick depends upon your thoughts, feelings, and unconscious, and the best way to harness and develop that is through personal growth and development.

Why is this? Well, let’s start off with the definition of magick.

“Magick is the art and science of causing change in conformity to will.” – Aleister Crowley

Say what you will about the man, but Crowley was right on target here. My other favorite definition is as follows:

“Magick is about poking at reality with a stick, learning from the results, and using it for useful purposes.” – Scarlet Magdalene

…but I may be biased.

Okay, you may be nodding your head at this point and going, “Yeah, yeah, okay, so?” Well, then, let’s move on to the definition of will. It’s strongly connected with the idea of desires and wishes. Do you know what yours truly are? Do you know what would make you deeply, truly happy and fulfill your life’s purpose?

A surprising number of people have no idea. They just know that they are unhappy and feel powerless to control those circumstances. They think that if they turn to esoteric arts, they will make their lives better and happier and that it would give them the power that they need.

Unfortunately becoming a magician or witch isn’t like Harry Potter; you aren’t instantly imbued with some mystical powers by merely being given a wand or through some sort of blessing. Empowerment comes from within. You cannot cause change in your outer world without first causing change in your inner.

Next blog post: How causing change in your inner world enables you to do magick in the outer. Stay tuned!

 

In the meantime, if you’re a magician/witch or aspiring to be and could use some pointers in eliminating obstacles to getting your magick working, please feel free to give a free consultation with a try to see if I could be of help to you.

“Think globally, act locally”

A lot of people are of the belief (rightly so) that to change the world, first you must change yourself.
While this is true, at what point is your self-introspection and evolution so self-absorbed to the point where you are no longer helping to change the world? At what point do you think people use the excuse of “I’m not perfect enough” to not help out others?

Some additional thoughts: I have wondered from time to time how often my quest to perfect and transform myself has made me oblivious to the needs and feelings of friends and family. I sometimes wonder whether or not I spend too much time navel-gazing and not enough time being of service in my community, or taking the time just to call my parents and say hello.

At what point do you need to sequester yourself, and when does one realize that it’s time to come out and be in the world?

What TO look for in an esoteric order

Recently I posted a list of red flags to look for in esoteric orders, as in, what NOT to look for.
Today I will post a things to actually look for. Peachy, huh? Emphasis on the positive!Here we go!

  1. Leaders who willingly admit that they don’t know something. Hey, that’s awesome! No one knows everything, and I like those who are in a position to teach and/or lead and are willing to admit shortcomings.
  2. Friendly group egregore. In short, people who get along, act like family, and not just a bunch of whiny kids all trying to get grade badges.
  3. Groups that demonstrate fruits of their labors. Are their members and/or leaders writing books? Blogging?
  4. Leaders who have patience with newbies. Hey, we were all Neophytes once, right? If you get beaten up with responses like “That information is above your GRADE, Frater/Soror!!!” (depending on the tone, obviously) and make you feel like an idiot for asking questions, that’s not a good teacher. Go for the ones who have patience. Go for ones who will say things to you like “The reason why we don’t teach that above your grade/degree level is due both to relevance to the initiation and a desire not to overwhelm you with too much information” but won’t be afraid to answer your questions the best they can.
  5. Which leads me to…
  6. Leaders who have a sense of humor about themselves, their path, and the group. Yes, maintaining the group is important. The path is important. Everyone’s important. Just don’t take yourself or anything too seriously. Laughter is good!
  7. Leaders who aren’t afraid of differences of opinion, and encourage questioning of authority. Debates are NOT the same thing as arguing.
Feel free to add anything I’ve missed. I’ve tried to stay away from any one type of group, path, tradition, or teaching in this list.

What everyone must do and know before and after joining an esoteric Order

What I’m about to post is everything I wish I knew before I had joined my first Order. I hope that it helps others.
  1. Do research on the group. Look over not just their website but talk to current and ex-members of the group. Find out why people left and what the Internet says about them. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
  2. ¬†Be wary of claims made. If they claim to be hundreds and thousands of years old with direct lineage to Jesus Christ, Apollonius of Tyana, Superman, whatever–RUN.
  3. Be wary of costs to join and remain a member. Places that charge an arm and a leg are typically more in it for making money off of the credulous than they are providing genuine spiritual teachings.

Also…if you’re already a member:

  1. If you join and discover that people talk strangely about the leaders, claim that they can “know everything about you”, are above reproach, and ask you not question to their beliefs/ideas/opinions/philosophy, that’s a red flag.
  2. If you join and they tell you who to and not to befriend, RUN.
  3. If they encourage people to not talk to people who have left their group, RUN.
  4. If they tell you certain books and traditions can’t be read or learned because the knowledge will do awful, evil things to your soul, RUN.
  5. Do they put others down for being “fluffy” or not measuring up to their standards? Do they maybe spend TOO much time talking bad about other groups?
  6. Do they spend too much time being serious and taking each other perhaps a bit too seriously?
  7. Do they frown upon mistakes and come down on you if you make any? Are you made to feel uncomfortable for having made them?
  8. Do they look older than their ages? Are they generally stressed and unhappy with their lives?
  9. Do they enter into heated debates and competition with people that appears to be less than friendly?
  10. Do they seem to be “angry” all of the time and encourage doing a lot of Mars and Saturn style workings? Ie., “battling our enemies” and engaging in “magickal/spiritual warfare”, that sort of thing?
  11. Do they scoff at people who want to try certain magicks or spiritual traditions and claim that it’s not possible or it’s too “stupid” or “a waste of time” to try?
  12. Do they encourage “not reading ahead” of your “level” and keep strict hierarchy in both social and business related settings?
  13. Do they instill fear in those who have done so, either accidentally or on purpose?
  14. Do they seem to be filled with fear and/or anger at certain sorts of traditions, knowledge, and teachings that they disagree with or is different from their own?
  15. Do they tout certain “healing rituals/prayers” for major issues like world peace or hunger, but balk at doing the same amount of healing on themselves or their fellow members?
  16. Do they list a ton of titles in their emails and in their conversations with you? Do they brag about their certificates and accomplishments a great deal? Do they seem very self-absorbed as a whole?

 

Hermetic seals, oaths, and vows of silence: sowing the seeds for dishonesty?

To dare, to know, to will…and to keep silent (or alternatively, “shut the fuck up”). We’ve all heard it, from those of us in the Western Mystery Trads, traditional witchcraft groups, British Traditional Wicca–you name it. Undoubtedly this idea of keeping seals upon hidden knowledge dates back to the concept of initiation back in ancient times with the Rites of Eleusis and the Osirian Mysteries. In short, it’s not new.

During my time in various initiatory bodies, I have seen all levels of secrecy and based on my experiences with such, and it has caused me to wonder the following: at one point are you veiling¬†too much? To what end can the secrecy reach the stage where it has become so commonplace that you are either refusing to talk about things which are either available to the public, or…worse yet…being silent about things which never, ever should be kept hidden?After my time spent in in a particular Golden Dawn group I noticed a great effort on many splinter groups formed afterwards to “maintain transparency.” That is, transparency of funds, governmental workings and other such topics which, if candid about, could help to foster and nurture trust on both ends. In fact, groups I belonged to later which have refused such a transparency and were discovered to be harboring secrets about misuse of funds and what-have-you were ones I was all too happy to leave. Having some measure of transparency is crucial for ensuring lack of abuse of power.

Organizations that lack transparency frequently abuse the power of silence and secrecy. The problem is two-fold: a) people are human and prone to being tempted by ego and greed and b) lacking a sanity and reality check from those on the “outside”, those on the “inside” wind up living very insular lives where they can lose focus, grounding, and a sense of what is right.

Knowing right from wrong doesn’t mean all initiatory secrets must be brandied about like so many strands of pearls before the Intarwebs, but I do think that secrecy is something which must be handled in moderation, treated with enough checks and balances to prevent its abuse, and also to make sure people don’t become so used to keeping things hidden that they veil matters they shouldn’t. Otherwise, people pile secrets one on top of the other, and it’s the slippery slope I’ve watched people fall down on, and hurt themselves as well others.

When you find yourself in a group so shrouded in secrecy to the point where you can no longer communicate with the outside world: your family, friends, significant others, that’s my measuring stick for When Things Have Gone Too Far. I uphold that same measuring stick for when people get into relationships also. If they cease communicating with you and/or start deliberately withholding information, something is terribly, terribly wrong. Sometimes people return from behind that curtain and at other times, they do not. All you really can do in such circumstances is pray that they realize what they’re engaged is is unhealthy.

In the end, you should go with your gut: if any organization body asks something of you which you find to be against any of your moral, civic, or spiritual obligations, you have the right to refuse, speak up, and look elsewhere for assistance with your spiritual growth and development.