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?