THE SECOND REDE – THE WEB OF LIFE
There shall ye assemble, ye who are fain to learn all sorcery, yet
have not won its deepest secrets; to these shall I teach things that
are as yet unknown.
Moondaughter taught us that the act of creation did not end when the Lady gave birth to the universe. Energy continuously generated by the loving union of the
Lord and Lady still radiates to every being, linking all things together in a
According to Moondaughter, however, individual beings do not receive this energy
in isolation; it is through the web of relationships between beings that all
share in the energy of life. These relationships determine the character of
every being, and so by changing these relationships, we can change reality.
Changing relationships was the kind of magic Moondaughter most often recommended
to her students, especially in the early months of training when the focus was
upon changing the self. She urged her students to take conscious control of
their relationships with thoughtforms, and to make a magical act of their
interaction with others.
Thus she might advise a student troubled by self-doubt to cut off interaction
with doubts and thus deprive such thoughts of their energy. Or she might advise
a student to overcome dislike of a fellow student by making a magical ritual of
treating the other as a friend.
The psychological effects of such techniques are obvious — and not without
their dangers. But the effects of Moondaughter’s techniques were magical as well
as psychological, and under Moondaughter’s gentle guidance, students kept both
their magic and their psychology in balance.
For Moondaughter, the magic of psychological and interpersonal relationships was
just one example of a set of principles which equally applied to the
interdependence of the ecosystem and the invisible energies that we call magic.
In every case influencing the relevant relationships can cause change.
The Dangers of Magic
Moondaughter taught, however, that to exercise such influence one must oneself
enter into relationship with that which one would change. Since every
relationship alters for good or ill each being who is a party to it, every
spell, for better or worse, is a spell of self-transformation.
We were taught that in order to enter into a relationship with an other, we must
have certain elements in common with the other, and those common elements become
the initial basis of the relationship. I know of no magical system which does
not include operations which have the purpose of creating within the operator
herself those elements possessed by that force which she wishes to call upon, in
order that the resulting relationship will be strong enough to produce a
manifestation on the physical plane.
Since all beings are children of the same Parents, there is no other with whom
one has absolutely nothing in common, but the character of the relationship will
be influenced by the particular commonalties which exist. During the
relationship the two beings share elements, and so that commonalty which is the
basis of the relationship tends to expand.
Obviously this makes intercourse with demonic entities prohibitively costly, but
Moondaughter taught that the same principle is at work in physical world
relationships as well. Relationships, esoteric or mundane, change us.
Moondaughter’s tradition, rooted as it was in rural life, made little use of the
more complex props and associations of ceremonial magic. Nevertheless, it seems
to me that her teachings on relationships explain well why ceremonialists should
make use of such associations.
Enhancing a working with the proper color, the proper incense, the proper day
and time, and a hundred other such correspondences increases the common elements
which form the basis of the worker’s link to the object of the ritual, and
greatly increases the worker’s link to the egregore of whichever tradition which
has handed down those particular associations. Likewise, Moondaughter’s
understanding of relationships would explain why clippings of hair or
fingernails, photographs, or objects closely associated with a person or place
could add power to a working.
Moondaughter’s tradition, however, made almost no use of such things. I believe
that, if I had been wise enough to question her about this, she would have said
that the Web of Life already connects us to every other being, and that the most
important common elements in any magical working are wholly within oneself.