Thursday, 25 March 2010

Blinded by the radiance of the Stang

Recent events have bought me to an important conclusion that I feel I should share.
I guess, that like everyone who is upon a journey of discovery , there are times when we all fail to realise that what we are doing may be compromised or doomed to failure.
Sometimes our species determination will make us pursue an act even though we know of its futility.
This relates once more to aspects in all worlds, from the ritual doomed to achieve nothing, to trying to fix a motorcar using parts of a washing machine (unless you are repairing a Skoda), the tenacity of our race often means that we fail to know when to stop and say "hold on, enough is enough".
This is not the same ethic as "this is too hard , I cant be bothered" no, that is not an admirable quality, this relates to our refusal to admit that we will fail knowing so, and our willingness to pursue that inevitable failure.
Of course , for the most tenacious among us this determination occasionally pays off, there by further fueling our future delusions.
I am not suggesting that we stop this behaviour as it is the way we evolve and learn, only that we trust our senses, one hundred percent, if the voice in the head is saying this wont work, listen to it, I am not suggesting that you walk away from the problem only that you start to look at it from another perspective.

Everyone has walked into a meeting ,gathering , moot or party at some point in their life, doomed by the feeling that "this is pointless, being here serves no purpose", yet failing to walk away " well, that was a waste of time", this is not always the fault of others either, the being in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong frame of mind, any number of factors can be an influence.

A ritual gathering, circle cast invocations are made, the group goes through all the usual actions, but there is no presence, that feeling, the one that is mentioned so rarely, that I truly believe there are a lot of writers and occultists who have never experienced it(almost like you should feel guilty for admitting it, and a subject for further discussion), the one that equates to a kind of fear, the sensation that you are in that place and being observed, is not there.
How often do we as people persist with the event, failing to admit that this ritual will not work and is futile, afraid to change the form or shape, this is how it must be done!
If it is failing, STOP, I know you may have travelled to be together, just try something else, close the compass and go down the pub, cuveen another time, after working out what the issues are.
It might be someone is distracted through illness or something other, it may be as I will get to shortly that this person is emotionally to close to the situation involved in the work.
This also applies to working alone, I felt had this happen in both circumstances, and have myself on occasion failed to walk away, like admitting I was failing in the task, only to discover a few hours, days or weeks later that another path was the correct one to take, horrified at the idea of coming home early and having to admit when asked " how did you feel that went" that I had in some way failed, I find that most of the time these days I feel the confidence to just go back to the lab and start again when dealing with the familiar.

There are also those times when we do need to persist, the truth can be hidden amongst the wreckage,the true mysteries require tenacity to acquire the correct keys, so with all three eyes wide open we make our judgements,this is really the point I am endeavouring to make here, the importance of stubbornness over apathy and at which point do we give up and change course.

However, when it comes to certain more unfamiliar things I fail.
Tarot is something I use, but rarely, it takes a long time for me, as I am not as instinctive with it as I would like to be, I appreciate the value and depth that it brings and enjoy it, yet have not really studied it as an occult science.
I do a reading for myself only rarely and a yearly spread once a year, this years was encouraging and has given me the impetus to do more, T asked me to do a reading for her, the answer should have been NO,but in my arrogance I agreed.
I am too close to the situation, the reading was floored as I could not honestly be objective, putting my own paranoid delusions on to a quite healthy forecast, my interpretation was clouded by my own feelings of how this should fit in with my reading, T is the closest person in my life and my soul twin, the only person in this world and the next that I should not be divining for.

So, after half a day of storming round the house I eventually realised my error, and was able to be more objective, tying in her reading with mine, bearing in mind the way we are and not just my perception of it, and learning that objectivity does not really apply between T and I.

all is now well and the future looks interesting, in the house of the Cunning man.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Not the old school spanking club

Group work then, where do you start?
Firstly by quantifying what is meant by "group work".
What I am not talking about is ritual prancing around someones house stark naked, spanking each other and having or simulating a sexual act in the name of any deity.
What I am referring to is an act of magick ,using a group of people to raise power and energy where it is difficult or better than working alone.The goal here is not worship but to achieve a means of change, of actual usable energy that is used to perform a task, Shock horror this is even possible to do if you have a group created from different faiths, there is nothing in the rule book that states a Christian cant practice witchcraft as we have no rulebook, their own Good book might disagree but if you look hard enough.Our previous village vicar had more wild magic about her than a lot of "pagans"I have met, always felt she was kind of batting for the other side on that one, my sister in law is much the same, each to their own though.

As a witch working alone there are times when it is near impossible to achieve the greater works, it should be a prerequisite of the craft to work Magick with others, as only when you do this can you really feel the powers and possibilities flowing, alone you get used to your own power and occasionally fail to feel it , when working with a partner or larger group there are energies not under your personal control, spinning and flowing, being a part of this is more powerful than any mind altering substance (I talk from experience here).
In some ways, the magick we raise as individuals is amplified by the group, we also give more of ourselves than we would otherwise in the hedonistic sense of wanting to be a bigger part of this act.
When working as a partnership (ideally male and female), the ultimate goals of balance are achieved, I personally have never obtained the levels working alone that I have achieved working with T, the old adage that two do the work of three is also true in the occult world.
I am not putting down the solitary workers of this world , as I myself work this way most of the time, I am also not degrading the sexual magicks as this does create power, although perhaps between two loving partners more so, even the use of pharmaceuticals can facilitate great acts of Magickal prowess, I am only suggesting that working pure magick within a group is an enjoyable and enlightening experience, not to mention balance, male and female together, fire and water.
We are not Baphomet yet we are, together in cohesive group we can at least start to attain the sacred balance and unite the duality of man and woman

Creating a group, there is a sore point, where do you begin, advertise and you are inundated by the most unsuitable people, hide the word and the word becomes lost.Seeking to join another is difficult and usurping another is inadvisable, friendships can stretch and relationships ruined.
It must never be a prerequisite that all in the group are friends, as with all working situations, this is desirable but ultimately not necessary, it is possible to achieve esoteric workings together and only that, friendship often springs from this however.
Absolute trust is the key, often obtained through oath, you must be sure that as you fall there will be someone to catch you, or at least break your fall, you will be bearing your soul as will the others and the oath must stand ,all for one and one for all as the musketeers would say, not every man for himself.

should you be clothed or "skyclad", there is no inherent sacredness in either, none is above the other, I only know that as a pagan I prefer to witch it up out of doors and rarely is naked an option in this land, besides if clothing hampers your magickal abilities you are laking something much greater.
As to robes, well I can see the point of this, the cuveen or coven is united by the fact that those members wear the same (communism through ritual), there is anonymity in the group and adhesion achieved, any hierarchy in the group can be easily symbolised with a mask or simple adornment where needed, but again this might be something a new working group can do once it has achieved cohesion and harmony, it would be a shame if everyone made black robes then found out later red would have been more appropriate.
On that note there are many I have met in the past who might do well to wear beige cloaks and robes instead of the embroidered black and purple numbers they wear currently if you know what I mean.

I guess my penultimate point is a hard one(although not in the gardnarian sense), where do you work?
Alone it is always possible to find somewhere, but in a group this is an undertaking, real Magick requires concentration and should not be disturbed or interfered with by the uninitiated, not to mention the fact that this might disturb the disturber as it were, this all but cuts out the more popular ancient sites these days, to be disturbed by roving troop of velvet clad Daleks, head torches a blaze mid a sea of plastic flowers in the middle of a rite, well, lets not go there today.
We are lucky here, the moors are full of depressions in the ground due to the old mine workings, you can be near the ancient sites and have some privacy, private land is and will always be another issue.

The final sermon of the day is this, organise.
Meet regularly before your cuveen work and discuss what is needed, it may be that nothing is required but always discuss beforehand, nothing worse than a case of "what do we do now" and let us be honest here, as a people we are not the best at organising our selves,organising a group of witches was once described to me as being like trying to herd cats, I like to feel that is because of our Independence.


Saturday, 13 March 2010

Wax, clay and mud, Blood, spit and toenails

It is so easy to get caught up in grand ideas, so appropriate for the journeying witch to seek out the great problems of the world, as the individual becomes more magickaly capable, the small, seemingly unimportant matters are easily passed by and forgotten, the great Magicks of helping to avert some huge disaster overshadow the small personal issues within our lives.

This is of enormous importance however, if we continue to ignore the small things in favour of the large we will only end up in the centre of an huge pile of seemingly small and insignificant issues, often in the form of an enormous marauding creature, it is at this point that it becomes harder to deal with, its like a builder trying to build a house on top of an unstable pile of rubble, it cant really work, This is not another magickal housekeeping lecture but it does relate somewhat.

These problems can also be affected in another way.

Often in trying to solve a problem, the individual tasked will overlook the simple forms of the craft in favour of the grander, sometimes over complicating a simple solution; again I speak from personal experience, hours of performing some futile act when something far simpler was staring me in the face.

Dealing with the small things in life can regularly teach us an insight that other wise seems to pass on.

I am not referring to the frivolous task of finding a trolley or a car parking space at the supermarket or other throw away gestures of the new age, but the problems that cause us difficulties, money, transport and food, a roof over our heads, love and other securities, these are things that can be solved using the simple forms of the occultists arts.

In keeping it simple the rewards are also simple, if they are deliberate well thought out solutions then the rewards will come in the same way, personal and easily received.

Like it or not, even those of us who try where possible to avoid it, rely on money, if you live in a rural location you need transport, food is grown hunted and traded but we still need even at best to buy some things, A simple charm to bring in money works well and is uncomplicated.

I can give a very recent and personal example of this.

It is my eldest daughters birthday coming up and she requires money for clothes and teenage girl stuff, so I rack my brains, as work has been slow coming forth in recent months, I took it upon myself to Craft a small charm to bring in some funds.

Just before the full moon, I took a slice from an ash stick to make a small disk, I sanded the surface to make it smooth, I then painted a symbol on the disk, something personal that could allow me to concentrate on the task, upon the rear I inscribed an appropriate charm, all the while and through all the tasks placing the energies I used into the small wooden disk, from cutting and sanding to the brush strokes and even the washing of the brushes, every act deliberate but simple in it execution.

I carried the charm with me for a couple of days then left it on the seasonal table that resides in my living space, Before the week was out I had received offer of a few hours work, then a day or two else where, there are still offers in the pipeline, a possible months work coming in,

The charm worked without foul consequence, I believe this is due to its non hasty well conceived and simple nature, together with the fact that I am more than happy to work, the usual alternative, is for money to come through the death of a family member or maybe an act of gambling (a habit that could create further issues), or increasingly through some form of compensation. Personally I would rather earn it legitimately.

We over shadow the importance of the physical things in favour of the esoteric, brush strokes upon a surface are not unalike the spiral dancing popular in Wiccan circles, Each stroke of the saw blade imparts energy to the wood.

My landlord blessed us recently with double glazing, so as a consequence I am relatively warm (anyone who knows me will know this is rare), the new windows being fitted caused some destruction to the personal nature of our house, so we performed some simple sympathetic magick , changing that energy of intrusion and destruction into one of cleansing and renewal, it worked well, spring cleaning as wind and draft literally tore through the house taking with it our old ways and leaving us with a fresher canvas to paint upon.

Of course a door charm had to be manufactured as a polyurethane door does not have the magical protection of a wooden one, interestingly, the design featured a traditional eye on one face, at the moment it was hung above the door the eye rotated to face the outside, I of course, think that appropriate however, underneath I placed another charm to bring stability to the household, this in turn faced the house.

So we should try to remember the simple magicks , wood has great power as has clay and wax, the traditional Poppet dolls of history that have become a bit of a Hollywood joke, are still one of the most effective forms of the witches art we have at our disposal, Using forms such as these are most effective for healing, they are not just for stabbing with angry teenage angst ( although they are good for that as well), wax has latent energy, as it burns away this energy can be transformed, reordered into what ever it needs to become, clay and mud have a similar if not gentler property, this is not a lesson in how to suck eggs however, so I will move along.

Simple magick, if someone has a malevolent force attached to them , make an effigy of that person , attach that unwanted force to that effigy in wax or clay form, then ritually cut it of , burn it, let it wash away in the rain, keep the rest of the poppet safe however and the person should become well, blood , nails or hair do actually make the link stronger, so if you can I recommend that you do add them to your working.

Simple working, effective and often, helps to reaffirm the connections between you and the rest of the seen and unseen world, never overlook the simple remedy in favour of the great ritual, it is important to know your limitations however, and there will be times when a group working will be more effective, that is an issue we can save for another day.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Walking the moral tightrope.

Back to ethics once more.
Responsibility can extend far beyond the obvious boundaries we generally perceive, be that here or in the etherical world, if magick is real , as I believe it is , there is an enormous possibility that it obeys the laws of physics, this itself could have repercussions to the ways all magick using pagans should behave.
I guess the Law I am mainly referring to is Newtons third law "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" the other two deal with other forces that are of no real ethical concern to us at this time. We already know that Magick has an effect on a molecular level and this is how I (we) have come to understand how it works, for me belief has become hard fact, a real thing not something to be frivolous about, or indeed with.
Newtons third law also concerns the etherical and moral worlds, where the light is at its brightest the darker the shadows become, "one mans gold is another mans poison" is a metaphor only too real, especially when you consider the disposal of waste in this world, the law of Karma also seems to follow this rule traditionally.
So through supposition and experience we can at least assume that the forces of nature we call magick are subject to these rules, this of course throws up a new set of rules and moral guidelines for us that use them.
I am not talking about the thousands of people who use the title of witch here, for most of them are only worshippers at the altar and don't really practice any real "craft", although the little bits they do, often for trivial reasons, are precisely what I am considering here.
The real moral maze is for those who use and manipulate the forces of nature for what ever reasons our own ethical compasses might give, this concerns me and my wild instinctive work much more then the Wiccan coven working with rules and structure, using the systems they have in place, which I believe they are ethically sound.
The coven gathered together at the appropriate time, might perform a dance or raise a cone of power, this energy is then directed toward its goal, transferring the energies of the working group into one unified force sent to do the covens work, each individual sacrificing a little of their own energy into the whole.
Talismanic magick also works in this way, the energy of the witch making the talisman together with the physical energy used to create said work is able to be transformed into the usable magick of the talisman , she or he is then able to recharge them selves before or after the working(usually before) at which time careful consideration may be taken, the earth gives up her energy readily, it is only when we snatch and grab at it that it can misappropriated, tapping into the flow is the key not sticking your whole head in a bucket.
The need for instinctive wild magic can still be performed here , it is just not something that can be blasted out of you like a bullet without care and consideration,but providing each working is conducted with aspects of the aforementioned styles you should be OK, Making something and then breaking or destroying it in a controlled way is a good way, my wife and I once removed a blood clot from someones leg using this very method, a drawing and a ball of wax to aid aid concentration then burned on a small ritual fire, it worked almost instantaneously even though the client was ten miles away..

The moral balancing act happens when we fail to consider the sources we borrow from, it is possible to make things work with no grounding and no preparation, prayer works, but has no grounding, little acts of supermarket magic can also work with no grounding, so where does the energy come from.
The user is no longer a conduit for energy or transforming energy but is now demanding something should change, they may even believe enough to exact that change, and happen it will, right lets get to it then.
Just suppose;
Hundreds and thousands of people all praying for the safety of troops and people in the middle east, thousands of people trying to work magic to aid the suffering, some without grounding, Christians, Muslims and pagans, Buddhists and Hindus, all quiet in prayer, mostly cancelling each other out but acts of kindness nonetheless, consideration and love all the way.
Does Karma then swing round and bite us all on the leg, in its need to fill a void? could an earthquake in Haiti be the result of all this goodness? the praying world spins its head to face this new crisis (missionaries fly in from the states to steal children (from the modern home of voodoo tradition)) and bang we have another quake, this time in Chili, it would seem that Chili doesn't look poor enough for us to worry about so we will stop now.
The question I am trying to get to grips with here is , are we witnessing Karma working on a global scale? does karma discriminate against wealthy and poor( the wealthy are able to better cope with disaster so my argument is no)?

So an act of wild magic performed without consideration may well leave someone somewhere with a bit of a problem!! we should try to achieve balance in all things we do, we must be careful how we act as there may be far reaching consequences, for example it may be wrong to ignore the male aspects of nature and to honour only the feminine, this creates a kind of hate and loathing in the universe, and in no way redresses any balance for years of patriarchal subjugation, Karma may have already acted and we need to get over it, it would seem that we are ultimately winning now anyway( I use this as am example only because a young man once took his own life while at a feminist camp with his mother, the gaps you can fill in).

Historically the pagan religions of our ancestors dealt with this ethical question using blood sacrifice, transforming the life force of a living creature (man or animal) into the working energy that is magick,choosing an "appropriate victim" ensuring that an innocent wouldn't get harmed? we are of course talking about a peoples that had no science to explain the world, but still had an understanding of balance , in order to exact an act the energy equal to the goal must be sacrificed. In order to save a mans life it may have been that you had to kill one to maintain the laws of karma, or maybe two cows etc, if the earth was sick then you killed the king, there is a thought ( there are still a few royal families in this world, saving the world through regicide I like that).
We can now understand that in order to achieve an act of Craft we must first sacrifice our own physical as well as ethereal energyas well as our own time to create the force necessary through physical means, maintaining balance and letting the laws of Karma deal with the rest of the planet.

Karma states that good things will happen if you do good things, bad stuff if you do bad stuff, what if this is wrong and Karma is subject to Newtons third law, philosophically speaking consider this before you act, do good things and bad stuff might happen.....also for the wicked minded the reverse may also be true.
thought for the day, I so love this world but what a long and crooked path I follow, full of questions and potholes the council wont fix, it makes life interesting though..

Please comment as I think this is an interesting one...