‘THINK on THESE THINGS’ for March 2nd

‘THINK on THESE THINGS’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler

In the frantic search for something that has meaning to life, we have a tendency to do a thing simply because everyone else is doing it. It becomes a “thing,” a fad that must be done to keep on the inside circle. There’s little originality, little thought, but a lot of following along in beaten paths.

It is a mistaken idea to believe that all I see with my eyes and the limits of my thinking are the limits of the world. There is a tremendously interesting world out there never before investigated, and I am an individual like no one else.

It is quite marvelous to break through the shell of the middling and to discover the ability to see and feel, and to hear more keenly. Suddenly, I can feel more kindly, not because of who I am on this earth, but because I’m a child of God.

I can see more color, more light, more vision because I’m not being shown, I’m discovering. My world is no longer based on passing fancies, but on the lasting built slowly within me, with love

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Available online! ‘Cherokee Feast of Days’
By Joyce Sequichie Hifler.

Visit her web site to purchase the wonderful books by Joyce as gifts for yourself or for loved ones……and also for those who don’t have access to the Internet: http://www.hifler.com
Click Here to Buy her books at Amazon.com

Elder’s Meditation of the Day
By White Bison, Inc., an American Indian-owned nonprofit organization. Order their many products from their web site: http://www.whitebison.org

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 2

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 2

“.the voice and the heart are not working together.”

–Barney Bush, SHAWNEE

We can say any words we want with our voice but we cannot hide the true meaning and the true spirit behind the words. The true meaning is always understood. The voice is heard in the physical world, but the meaning is transmitted in the spiritual world. If our voice says one thing but the heart is saying something else, it’s the something else that is heard. It is said that the truth will set you free. Reaching the truth means your voice and your words will be in alignment with the heart.

Great Spirit, let my tongue, speak the truth today.

March 2 – Daily Feast

March 2 – Daily Feast

“I have a right!” Only, says a wise sage, if you accept the responsibility that goes with it. We have a right to be full-fledged people of dignity and decency and respect, as long as we are decent and respectful to those around us. The right for a good life belongs to all of us – as long as we value it, work for it, and keep it good. We have a right to speak our minds, but we have to know the tremendous responsibility of words. We have a right to cultivate our spiritual preferences and to see them bear fruit in every good thing. It is our right to be who we are without the burden of regret and resentment. But we have to remember that our rights are limited to where our rights end – and another person’s rights begin.

~ These were not our ways. We kept the laws we made and lived our religion. We have never been able to understand the white man, who fools nobody but himself. ~

PLENTY COUPS,1848

‘A Cherokee Feast of Days’, by Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Daily Motivator for March 2nd – Wrap your love

Wrap your love

Let each thing that happens plant a seed within your spirit. Then nurture  that seed so it bears positive, valuable fruit.

Instead of letting a certain occurrence stir up judgment, let it stir up  love. Wrap your love around whatever happens, and make it into something  good.

From joy, from pain, from pleasure, from disappointment, you can move in a  positive direction. It’s a choice you can make each day that will surely improve  each tomorrow.

There is much in life to love, and your love has a character all its own. Use  each moment, each incident, each circumstance as an opportunity to express that  love in your unique way.

Wrap your love around life, no matter what life may offer. Wrap your love  around life, and you’ll make life better in countless ways.

Your love can lift the world higher. Wrap your love around it all, and see  how good it can get.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily OM for March 2nd – Floating Amidst The Stars

Floating Amidst The Stars
Stargazing Meditation

 

Since the beginning of time, humans have gazed at the stars in the night sky with awe, seeking in their luminosity everything from answers to inspiration to guidance. We have emerged from our contemplations with stories of gods and goddesses, maps of the universe, astrology, astronomy, math, and art. We have worshipped, wondered, and even projected ourselves out into space in an attempt to understand their magical essence. We know more now than we ever have about what those celestial lights are, how far away they reside, and what will happen to them over time, but facts and information are still no substitute for experiencing them yourself.

Gazing at the stars is no doubt one of the earliest forms of meditation practiced by human beings, and it is readily available to this day. If you live in a city, you may have a hard time seeing the stars, but a short drive can take you far enough beyond the city lights to reveal their glory. If you live in a rural setting, all you have to do is wait for the sun to set and the night to settle to get the show of your life, every night. If you make a habit of it, you will begin to know the seasonal changes of the night sky, deepening your connection to the earth and the universe in which you live.

One of the best ways to stargaze is to lie down on a blanket so that your body can fully relax. This position allows your breath to move easily through your tranquil  as you settle down into the earth, connecting your consciousness to the sky. As you look deeply into its vastness, allowing your awareness to alternate between the pinpoints of light and the blue-black space that holds them, your breath expands and contracts your body, just as the universe expands and contracts to its own eternal rhythm. You may feel as if you are floating amidst the stars or that they are raining down upon you. You may feel peacefulness, joy, and connectedness, or any of a full range of emotions. Simply to breathe, experiencing the wonder of this universe and your place within it.

The Daily OM

 

The Nature of Black and White Magick

The Nature of Black and White Magick

Author:   Gentle Deer Lion Tamer   

Let me begin with the premise that all magickal operation is identical. The energy used in “Black Magic” is the exact same energy used in “White Magic”. It is not the kind of energy or the source of the energy used that separates one form of magick from another, but rather, it is the intent (the specified outcome) of the magick as programmed by the practitioner that determines the black or white aspect of the magick.

These five steps include; desire, intent, alignment, ritual and expectation. Intent is the steering wheel of the magickal operation. It is the aspect of the magickal operation that actually “programs” or dictates how the expected outcome of the magick will come into manifestation, exactly what the magick is to do, the manner in which it will be accomplished (if required), and what is to transpire at the completion of the magick (how the energy used in the magick will be dissipated at the conclusion of the work).

So, lets look at the difference between “Black” and “White” magick.

In this world, my disincarnate mentors told me, there are Two Great Laws of Interaction. These Two Great Laws constitute the basis by which we can easily discern “Black Magic” from “White Magick”, and the corresponding creation of “karma” (the eternal negative consequences of our mortal behavior) when eternal laws are broken. The Two Great Laws state:

1. You shall not deliberately, maliciously, with forethought and intent, injure another on any level or plane of mortal association – mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. This law also includes murder.

2. You shall not deliberately, maliciously, with forethought and intent, deprive another of their “free agency” (the right and ability to make decisions relating to the path and destiny of one’s life).

Although you may at times do things, which inadvertently violate one of these laws, the lack of deliberation, malice, and intent negates the karmic aspect. In the case of inadvertent violations, this is called “experience”. We are all here to experience life and its associated trials and difficulties, most of which we either bring upon someone or ourselves creates for us. That’s just part of life, and necessary to our growth and evolution.

Only when the specified conditions of deliberate, malicious intent with forethought stated in the Two Great Laws is violated have we crossed the line, and eternal consequences and retribution are mandated.

There are, of course, always natural consequences to the decisions that we make. That again is part of our mortal learning process, but natural consequences do not have eternal ramifications. Natural consequences are contained within this mortal experience and are here to teach us the lessons inherent in mortality.

When we pass beyond the bounds of this lifetime, we take the knowledge and wisdom of our experiences with us, and hopefully, leave the highly charged emotional aspects of the experience behind. It is, however, this highly charged emotional aspect of the experience that imprints the experience within our memory and makes it a lasting part of our life.

Using the Two Great Laws as our guide, can we say that “White Magic” is any magickal operation that does not violate either of the Two Great Laws and that “Black Magic” is any magickal operation that does violate either of the Two Great Laws? Simply put, yes. However, let’s look at this further.

In Central and South America, there are three broad categories of sorcerers. These three broad categories broken down into their individual components may make our study much easier. The first category is called “curandera” or “curandero”, depending on the gender, and means “curer” (healer). This is an individual trained in healing and other magickal operations frequently referred to as “white magick”.

The second category is that of “bruja” or “brujo”. This is someone known to practice the “black arts”, or what is perceived as the negative use of magick. This sorcerer is usually widely known and feared. He/she specializes in death, disease and misfortune. In some areas of the world, and within certain cultures, this practice can be very widespread.

The final category is that of “shaman”. A shaman is essentially a bridge between the “currandera” and the “bruja”. The shaman is equally versed in the white and black arts, and understands that the basis of all magickal operation is identical. It is the practitioner that determines the course and outcome of his/her work.

The shaman knows that greatest source of available power for magickal operation resides in the dark side of human nature. Like the “bruja”, the shaman has walked the deep, dark depths of his/her soul and has confronted his/her own demons. His/her reality has been systematically destroyed and rebuilt upon an entirely different foundation.

The shaman knows that balance is the key to power and magick, and that balance requires that the shaman be able to walk equally as far into the darkness as into the light. The shaman, unlike the curandera or the bruja, is willing to cross the line between black and white, at will, without reservation or hesitation to keep the balance. Like the “Heyoka” of Oglala (what most non-Native Americans refer to as the Sioux Indians) tradition, the shaman is the sliding balance of power on the scale of Light and Dark.

CASE STUDY

Many years ago I had a friend who had a “VooDoo” doll brought to her to be destroyed. The doll was found in a drawer buried under a pile of towels in the beauty parlor of a young woman recently and suddenly deceased. The relatives, unaware of the nature of the doll, thought it was strangely unique and grotesquely fascinating, and took it home, where it found its new home on the nightstand next to the master bed.

As the story was related to me, over the next several months, the husband suffered a heart attack, the family was involved in multiple automobile accidents, and the general atmosphere of the home and the owners’ lives had taken a very dark and dismal turn. The couple finally traced the origin of their disasters back to about the time the doll was brought home. The doll was then passed to another relative with equally dismal results. And so it went until it was finally brought to my friend to be disempowered and destroyed.

This may be a classic case of “black magick”, in that it may constitute the misuse of negative magickal power, or there may be circumstances in the lives of the victims and the perpetrator of which we are unaware. Either way, it will serve as an excellent case study for our purposes. Two things are very apparent about the creator of this doll.

The first is that whoever created and empowered this doll was ready, willing and able to do so with deadly precision. The second is that the Creator of this doll either intended to hurt as many people as possible, perhaps as an act of terrorism, or this was very sloppy workmanship in the doll’s programming, because at the conclusion of its mission, presumably to kill the beauty salon owner, the doll was not programmed to realize its work was accomplished and dissipate the energy. It continued to exercise its program on anyone who unwittingly came into its presence.

No Master Sorcerer would leave such a blatant error. This was either a deliberate act of uncontained terrorism or the work of a proficient but sloppy sorcerer.

Magick is an art. Like the great masters of any field, every Master Sorcerer has an identifiable signature on his work. Meticulous workmanship is the hallmark of a Master, and his signature commands respect. One does not have to be a Master Sorcerer to practice magick, however, anyone who does must be prepared for the consequences of their creations.

So, is every use of magick to produce death, disease, or misfortune an act of “Black Magick”? Absolutely not! In our society, is every homicide a murder? Absolutely not!

One of the prime functions of the negative use of magick in primitive settings was the use of death, disease and misfortune directed against hostile neighbors and invaders as an accepted means of self-defense. Does the use of negative magick for self-defense purposes appear to violate the Two Great Laws? Yes, there is malice, forethought and intent to kill, injure or otherwise incapacitate another.

Malice is defined as the desire to harm another. Forethought is defined as “deliberate, with planning before hand”. And intent is defined as the aim or the goal of one’s actions. However, this is where the difference lies.

When someone comes against us, as the aggressor, with intent to harm, kill, or take away our free agency, they have broken the Law and we have every right to use any means at or disposal, including magick, to defend ourselves and all that is within the bounds of our stewardship, as long as we are not the aggressors.

Therefore, we can now see that the use of lethal magick does not necessarily constitute “black magic”.

By process of elimination, we can now define “black magic” as the unprovoked, aggressive use of negative magick. Negative magick can be defined as any act of magick that violates one or both of the Two Great Laws, the result of which will incur karmic debt. I believe this to be the best definition of “black magick” that I am aware of, taking into consideration all the possible complexities and ramifications.

So why would anyone want to practice black magick?

As a universal aspect of human nature, greed and power seem to rule the list of mortal weaknesses. The strong dominate the weak, bringing them into physical or psychological bondage, forcing their allegiance and cooperation to whatever end is desired.

To accomplish this, there does not seem to be any greater instrument of bondage than the fear generated from the use or apparent use of the supernatural, and thus, magick.

One of the most powerful lessons I learned in my studies with Medicine people among Native Americans is that it does not matter what reality may truly be. If the people believe it is real or they can be convinced that it is real, it is real. Again, our individual illusion of reality prevails.

So, to the medicine people, sorcerers, shamans and witches of the world, illusion is everything. This is not to negate what they truly are capable of.

Many of you will remember the highly successful psychic surgeon in the Philippines, who, when subjected to Western scrutiny, was found to be using chicken fat and raw meat in place of human malignant tumors. But to his patients, convinced of his skill and supernatural ability, this surgeon had a successful recovery rate second to none. Why? Because he successfully altered his patients’ illusion of reality about their medical condition so completely that the fabric of reality was altered in conformity to the patients’ belief.

Let me repeat that one more time; HE SUCCESSFULLY ALTERED HIS PATIENTS’ ILLUSION OF REALITY ABOUT THEIR MEDICAL CONDITION SO COMPLETELY THAT THE FABRIC OF REALITY WAS ALTERED IN CONFORMITY TO THE PATIENTS’ BELIEF.

Believe it or not, there it is. Your illusion of reality is your reality, and your illusion of reality, when coupled with consistent belief and strong emotion, can alter the fabric of reality. How did we originally define magick? The ability of a mortal human to alter the fabric of reality in conformity with and in proportion to will and intent. I had a great deal to learn while working with Chief Two Trees in North Carolina, when I failed to truly grasp the power of a person’s belief system to change reality. Fortunately for me, I stayed on came away wiser than most.

THOUGHT FORMS, POPPETS AND BRAINWASHING

Now that we have finally defined “black magic”, how does it work?

Method Number One: Some forms of black magic are nothing more than an effective form of brainwashing. For instance, I, being the powerful sorcerer, instill within your illusion of reality that, should you ever disobey my rules, you will immediately be struck blind. If I, like the psychic surgeon, can create such a total belief, and you knowing break one of my rules, the mental and psychological stress of that knowledge can and will produce the desired effect.

However, it is your reaction to my suggestion that caused the blindness, not any direct action on my part. This is the power of the voodoo death curse – whether someone has actually had the death chant sung on him or her, or whether a person just believes it is so, the end result is usually the same.

Method Number Two: This method actually requires the sorcerer to perform magick and is usually used in situations where insufficient time or contact prevents brainwashing. This method requires the creation of a manifest thought form. In other words, the sorcerer stirs himself/herself into a frenzy of anger and hatred, and then focuses that power into the creation of an etheric being of the same nature.

Once the manifest thought form takes shape, it is programmed with the exact specifications of the magickal operation. This includes whom to strike, how to strike, what to strike with, and at the completion of the magickal operation, the manner in which the manifest thought form would be returned to its former state. In my experience, the programming is primarily accomplished through emotionally charged visualization. Once all the preparations are complete, and only then, the manifest thought form is sent on its way.

It is at this point that a master sorcerer will initiate additional magickal work to protect himself/herself from the possibility that the entity might somehow be returned to its creator to execute its malicious task there. When every possibility and contingency have been accounted for and covered, the sorcerer bides his time, possibly continuing to fuel the fire as required.

Method Number Three: This is basically the same as Method Number Two, except that the manifest thought form is projected into a physical object, any physical object. In the case of our earlier study, the physical object is a grotesque doll, most probably a doll whose image is used each time this individual’s magic is performed, such that, this doll is the “business card” of this sorcerer.

The next step in this process is to plant this physical object inconspicuously in the immediate presence of the victim. This aspect of physical presence in the victim’s immediate proximity is based on the belief that the physical object can more effectively hold and retain the focus of the power right under the victim’s nose, all the while, executing its program.

The individual who practices “black magick”, bringing pain and misfortune to others, is every bit as cold, calculating and eminently capable as any “hit man”. These individuals are feared and respected wherever they work, for very good reason. The use or threat of black magic against you or anyone you know is not a threat to be taken lightly. But these individuals are not infallible or immune to their own magick.

I am personally aware of one individual who became the victim of his own evil deeds. Should you ever believe yourself or another to be the intended victim of black magic, history has shown that your disbelief in their “religion”, “black magic” or the sorcerer’s individual capabilities will not shield you from the intended effects.

History has also shown that your particular religious association, beliefs, or faithfulness will not protect you. These misconceptions actually add to the effectiveness of the sorcerers work. By virtue of your false sense of immunity, and the elapsed time it takes to realize your error, the effects may already be working.

Black magick is very much like cancer. If you contracted cancer, disbelief in the cancer will not save your life, neither will your religious associations, beliefs, or faithfulness. It has been my experience that the actual victims of black magick usually have some knowledge that a potentially hostile situation exists, that the opposition may escalate the confrontation, and that by tradition or desperation they may resort to unorthodox measures.

Awareness is the key to survival in this life. Awareness is the key to dealing with black magic. You must arm yourself with all the knowledge possible and seek immediate expert assistance. Like cancer, time and expert help are critical. People just don’t want to believe or accept that they have cancer, so frequently by the time they take action, it is too late.

I do not personally practice black magic, although, I will not hesitate to meet force with force. I have, however, been called upon many times over the past ten years to assist others who have become the target of etheric terrorism and black magic. I sincerely hope that the information presented here was both understandable as well as useful.

Love and Blessings,

Dale

Gentle Deer Lion Tamer

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Footnotes:
Magick, White and Black Magick

The Mysteries and Esoteric Witchcraft

The Mysteries and Esoteric Witchcraft

Author:   Rhys Chisnall   

“The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. He to whom the emotion is a stranger: whom no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their primitive forms- this knowledge, this feeling, is at the centre of true religion.” – Albert Einstein

One of the hardest aspects of the esoteric initiatory Witchcraft to write about, or even communicate, is its strong mystery aspect. Yet, in my opinion, it is one of the most important things that distinguish it from New Age and Popular Wicca/Witchcraft. By its very nature the mystical aspects of Witchcraft are a thoroughly subjective experience and as such any cursory and brief exploration such as this article or any other in print are going to be subjective and inadequate.

“Second hand mysticism has generally an unsatisfactory experience, since if these notions are not the driving force of our life, are not the pulse beat of our heart or are not personally integrated into our whole, then they are empty gestures. Then they are devoid of meaning similar to reading a literary criticism rather than reading the poem itself. The mystical experience is immediate not vicarious or deputed” (Armstrong 1999)

The mysteries need to be experienced, and they cannot be explained in everyday language, hence the need for the metaphors of myth and the communication of the experiences through the metaphors of symbols and ritual. The religious commentator, theologian and mystic Karen Armstrong said that.

“There is a linguistic connection between the three words, myth, mysticism and mystery. All derive from the Greek verb musterion: to close the eyes or the mouth”. (Armstrong 1999)

There are many roads to the mysteries and the mystical experience. As Prof Joseph Campbell (the late expert in comparative mythology) quotes from the Rig Veda, “Truth is one, but the sages speak of it by many names.” He also tells the story of an interfaith conference set up between Shinto and Catholicism. He was struck at how the priests of Catholicism and Shinto found it difficult to find a commonality or a common religious language to communicate with each other, but the monks and nuns of each religion could. This was because the priests were concerned with holding up their metaphors, their myths, symbols and rituals as ends in themselves, whereas the monks and nuns had moved beyond the metaphors to the experience of the sacred and the divine itself. They were not stuck with believing that the metaphors were the reality and the end goal. They had gone past the virgin birth, the resurrection, and even God, to find a community in the mysteries and mystical experience that were shared by their Shinto counterparts. As Campbell said, “Religion is misinterpreted myth”

The Armenian-Greek esoteric philosopher and practitioner G. I. Gurdjieff suggested that there were four paths to the mysteries. The first three, the way of the fakir, the way of the yogi (nothing to do with picnic baskets) and the way of the monk are mostly eastern ways to experience the mysteries and represent the three disciplines of the mind, the body and contemplation. These three paths are typical of the Eastern Mystery tradition in that they all involve a withdrawal from society and the world.

The fourth way is ‘the way of the hearth’. It is the way of the Western Mystery Tradition of which esoteric initiatory Witchcraft along with Hermeticism, Qabbalah, mystical Christianity and Sufism are parts. It is the way of being fully integrated with the world, identifying with the universe and with life and not attempting to escape from it (with the notable exception of Gnosticism) . It is seeing no separation between humanity, nature and the divine.

To my mind esoteric initiatory Witchcraft liturgy and ritual are full of mystical language, myth and metaphor. For example within Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witchcraft there are phrases such as, “there is no part of us that is not of the god.” And of course the classic mysteries phrase of the Charge of the Goddess, “If that which thou seeketh, thou findest not within thee, you will never find it without thee.” These and other parts of Witchcraft ritual (not to mention many of the techniques used in ritual to help induce these kinds of states of mind) , strongly suggest the mysteries and mystical experience. The myths of esoteric initiatory Witchcraft point to the internal experience of the mysteries within the individual Witch, relating them to the cosmos, designed to take us beyond mere religion to the direct experience of numinous, divinity and the sacred. The systems, techniques and processes of esoteric Craft, to my mind, seem designed to take us beyond ourselves, and the sum of the parts of the tradition itself, into personal transformation and a new awareness.

So what are mysticism and the mysteries? According to the psychologist Lawrence Le Shan, “Mysticism from a historical and psychological viewpoint, is the search for and experience of the relationship of the individual himself (herself) and the totality that makes up the universe.” (LeShan 1974)

Karen Armstrong agrees when she writes, “Mystics have long claimed that he [God] is a subjective experience, mysteriously experienced in the ‘Ground of Being’…………..they claim that he did not really exist and it is better to call him No-thing”. (Armstrong 1999)

As such the mysteries go way beyond the dogmas, metaphors and systems that have been inspired by them. The techniques and participating within the metaphors of myth, relating it to the self and personal transformation give the practitioner a direct and vivid experience of a unity with a ‘different order of reality’, or perhaps, an expanded order of reality of which they are a part- unified with. They experience eternity within a second, being and non-being, beauty and horror but with no contradiction, no duality, no difference between sacred and profane. In essence the experience is indescribable expect through the language of metaphor, which sadly is mistaken for reality and an end in itself. The effect of these experiences is an inner alchemy, personal transformation- life and indeed you are never the same again.

Campbell hints at this when he says, “But the ultimate mystical goal is to be united with one’s god. With that the duality is transcended and forms disappear. There is nobody there, no god, no you. Your mind, going past all concepts, has dissolved in identification with the ground of your being”. (Campbell 1988)

Now sadly for the bit that people don’t like. The path to the mysteries is not an easy one. Rather it is one that requires hard work, commitment and dedication; it is not for people looking for instant results or an escape from reality. The starting point on the road to the mysteries and esoteric Witchcraft has got to be that of a coping adult, as Joanne Pearson reports in her essay Assumed Affinities (the difference between Initiatory Wicca- specifically Gardnerian and Alexandrian- and New Age spiritualities) .

“In the questionnaire, mentioned at the start of this chapter, none of the hundred (Gardnerian/Alexandrian) Wiccans who responded indicated that they had become involved in Wicca because ‘their life was not working’, and supplementary fieldwork does not indicate that these Wiccans assume there lives or the lives of other Wiccans are, or were Dysfunctional.” (Pearson 1998)

The Witch Dr. Dave Bracey confirms the difficulties and hard work of pursuing the mysteries when he says, “The mysteries are not easy to apprehend. It requires long training, usually with a spiritual guide or facilitator, and a considerable investment of time. This is not something that has much appeal to many in our present day society, conditioned as it is with fast cars, fast food, fast solutions and instant gratification and speedy communication. The mysteries do not arrive ready made and pre-packaged. They cannot be experienced as quickly as the instant high of the new age. But neither does the (esoteric initiatory) Witch’s ‘awareness’ wane, as does the let-down that so often eventuates when the newness of the ‘reborn’ convert fades to be left with the forms and structures of religion which so often become ends in themselves.” (Bracey 2001)

Like much else in life things that are of value are often thing that require a lot of hard work. Saying that though, there are circumstances where mystical experience arises quite spontaneously in some people. This may be down to horrific or beautiful situations, which invoke tremendously strong emotions within individuals that lead them to having an experience of the mysteries.

I am sure that there are many, many people who are perfectly happy practising their religion of non-initiatory exoteric Wicca and Witchcraft and good luck to them, each to their own. I am sure that people get a great deal of spiritual fulfillment from them. So just to reiterate so there is no confusion, esoteric initiatory Witchcraft is not better than New Age and Popular Wicca. It is just different, with different aims, philosophies and purposes and practices. So if the mysteries are not for you, then please feel free to ignore this article, remember that this is only one way and there are many others.

I shall finish with another quote from Dr. Bracey as he talks about the relationship between the mysteries and Craft. “So the mysteries are not for all, but is the way of (esoteric initiatory) Witches. We who ride beyond the ordinary, rejecting the supernatural in favour of the supra-natural, and who are aware of the relationship of the part to the whole.” (Bracey 2001)

_____________________________________

Footnotes:
Campbell, J, (1988) , ‘The Power of Myth’, Doubleday
Campbell, J, (1959) , ‘The Mask of God (Primitive mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology and Creative Mythology) ’, Condor
Campbell, J, (1949) , ‘The Hero with a Thousand faces’, Princetown University Press
Campbell, J, (2001) , ‘Thou art that, transforming religious metaphors’, Joseph Cambell Foundation
Campbell, J, (2004) , ‘Pathways to Bliss, Mythology and Personal Transformation’, Joseph Campbell Foundation
Crowley, V, (1989) , ’ Wicca the old Religion in the New Age’, Aquarian Press
Armstrong, K, (1999) , ’ A History of God’, Vintage
Armstrong, K, (2005) , ‘A Short History of Myth’, Cannongate
Pearosn, J, Roberts, R, Samuel, G, (1998) , ‘Nature Religion Today’, Edinburgh University Press
Pearson, J, (2007) , ‘Wicca and the Christian Heritage (Ritual, Sex and magic) , Routledge
Fortune, D, (1935) , ‘The Mystical Qabalah’, Aquarian
Hutton, R, (2003) , ‘Witches, Druids, and King Arthur, Oxford University Press
Heselton, P, (1995) , ‘Secret Places of the Goddess’, Capal Ban
Underhill, E, (1993) , ‘Mysticism’, Oneworld
Lamond, F, (1997) , ‘Religion without Beliefs’, Janus
Lamond, F, (2004) , ‘Fifty Years of Wicca’, Green magic
LeShan, L, (1974) , ‘How to Meditate’, Turnstone
Bracey, D, (2001) , ‘A Personal View of God’, TNW

The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!

The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!

Author:   Pallas 

I’m not entirely sure when it began, but I can tell you I am more than aware of its great effect on me at this point. I would love to believe that this perspective is merely the result of some overlooked detail or misinterpreted lesson somewhere. But I don’t believe it’s that simple. No, I may have to concede that this position is rather the result of a final acceptance or firmer grasp of those same lessons I once questioned.

It still feels too early in the journey to accept this but I can find no alternative. It is not for lack of trying. I have walked, talked, sat, stood, danced and droned (or droned at) on and on amongst circles, rites, rituals and prayer groups, all the while adhering to the idea that more that just energy is the reason we gather. Many times, these events have been sources of joy and knowledge and sometimes they have been unfortunate reminders that not everyone is drawn to these rites and ways in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.

The years passed have proved that the fewer, friendlier hearts have forged smaller, but no less potent circles. This has been an immense relief in the face of those typical and oft expected periods of hardship, doubt and darkness. More so, they have proven firm foundation as the community at large began to deteriorate into an almost unrecognizable mess of bizarre merchants and pompous characters, each more intent on passing off their wares or promoting their own myth than sharing any wisdom either might afford.

Far be it from me to run, pin in hand, at anyone’s claims of power or insight. But I will not accept a community that offers more story than substance and/or more merchandise than magic! Enough already! These folks who spend more time memorizing their price lists and family trees over their roles in the ritual have spoiled the gatherings.

The rise and reform of our worship — those concepts and principals that defy any one definition or dogma — are universal. But our implementation of them as our own is still very new; yet we allow them to be too easily and quickly twisted and distorted into foreign models that are often depicted as ‘individual interpretations’ when in fact they are concealed self-serving methodologies that restrict and submit members to newly invented absolute truths. The freedom and open nature of our ideology has allowed such practices and their authors to discard the roots and resources of the past to better validate and sanction these new watered down traditions that seem to promote an even greater divide amongst the community.

The most common means used by this sort sets out a unique name for the path, fills it with unfamiliar rites, titles, and liturgy; that completely disconnects it from any semblance of its former practice-all the while sanctifying itself and its stories of origin, authenticity and authority above all others. To preserve these invented standards, the participants who qualify for these mysteries are instructed to neglect or out right ignore the ways of others, especially any of those circles, covens or groups that advocate open dialogue concerning their authorities and the proposed practices.

While independent experience and interpretation are valuable assets, we must accept that too much emphasis on eclecticism is a sure route to discord. With no respect for custom or moderation, any gathering results in a vast collection of so called masters and high clergypersons with no interest in growth or communion-only recognition and praise. It’s maddening! While I do not ask or expect for conformity or mindless participation from those drawn by the path’s liberty-I do believe some collaboration is in order for us to find any semblance of permanence or continued viability. Otherwise this immoderate forum of spiritual beliefs and experiences is like to become further distorted and ultimately lost to a culture and society that turns to it for structure and discipline.

But even as I write this the cries for my judgment and criticism are sounding off somewhere. This too has become the common practice, discredit, dismiss and despise any contrary opinion that dare call the liberal nature of today’s spiritual community into question. Ha! I could care less. I call no title, lineage nor affiliation to legitimize my position. The sources I rely on for the sake of this rant are my own personal experiences and my own reasoning. In fact, these words are more an outcry FOR my brothers and sisters rather than directed AT any of them.

I have so found little consistency and synchronicity amongst the countless groups that now name themselves as our own. Many of them show no sign of any of our earlier philosophies or methods. They make no mention of Elders or pioneers whose names go hand in hand with the very reason our philosophies and practices continue to persist! I cite this only because though names alone may not yield much pertinence, acknowledgment and respect for the works and efforts of those persons are critical for our continued progress. Yes, history in any form is subjective, but the lessons gleamed from it are precious and vital to our works. Instead of recognizing this practicality, many would refute and undermine any wisdom or merit we might take from it. Willingly and blindly accepting such a proposition is self-deluding and self-destructive.

Truly, the underlying concept of any spiritual form is liberation-but structure and discipline are necessary tools to navigate oneself to such a purpose. Once again, I do not demand conformity! Rather I offer and suggest a renewed effort towards compromise and collaboration. Without some measure of this, all we can expect to raise is a ruckus. A rising, diverse and uncontrolled horde of energies that, with no medium or model, are more like to conflict and disperse than anything else. You all know of what I write! Anyone who has bothered to go this far knows the difference of such experiences. We know, energy-like music, like fluid, like breath-requires some pattern and consistency with which to take shape and perform.

Despite these commonplace and obvious facts, I have found the community at large continues to abandon any efforts to coalesce or collaborate. Indeed, even public rituals are littered with superficial cooperation and eventual patronization and criticism. Much of which is born on an overflowing abundance of information and so called ‘secrets’ that are now bestowed by downloads and virtual initiations rather than mentors or self-discovery. The technological world now imposes more authority on magic and its practitioners than the Natural world. What sense is this?

Now every website offers THE Book of Shadows, a list of initiations and titles along with ‘great power and intuition’ after a simple 6-12 week course at a ‘nominal’ fee. Never mind Nature, simply refresh your browser for your next enlightening experience and level of ascension. You are three clicks away from attaining your title as Third Level High Priest of Atlantis (by way of Avalon, of course) . Multiply this by any figure and we arrive at a collection of people-each claiming and declaring some grand esteem and authority over the next-able to stand in the circle but completely unable to commune with the others present there.

There we go.

Well, here I am. Mantle, cloak and divine lineage rejected. Cut off from a large majority of my own community, aside from a handful of other pilgrims who found one another along the path. Neither grandiose towards nor dismissive of the others, but definitely cynical and disenfranchised. I’m left questioning, with so many scrambling to erect their own traditions and serve their own agendas: what real intention can there be to grow, share and restore the Lady, the Lord and the Land?

The Proper Timing for Magick

The Proper Timing for Magick

Author:   Taliesin McKnight   

Timing is one of the most important things to consider when doing magick. Astrology can be likened to a great cosmic clock. It reflects the cycles and rhythms of nature. The proper alignment of the stars, the sun, the moon, and the planets should all be taken into consideration. Does this sound complex? I assure you it is not as complicated as it may sound. In fact, this may reduced to two things: the days of the week and the cycles of the moon.

The seven planets rule the seven days of the week. The names even derive from the planets in many different languages. In English these come from the names of the Norse planetary deities. Sunday is the day of the Sun; Monday is the day of the moon; Tuesday is the day of Tue (Mars) ; Wednesday is the day of Wodan (Mercury) ; Thursday is the day of Thor (Jupiter) ; Friday is the day of Freya (Venus) ; and Saturday is the day of Saturn. Therefore, for maximum astrological benefit, a love spell should be done on Friday, the day of Venus (planet ruling love) . In the same way, magick involving education may be done on Wednesday, which is ruled by Mercury. The planetary correspondences are as follows:

The Sun rules Sunday and is good for Success, luck, spirituality, knowledge, and healing. The moon rules on Mondays. This is a good time to do spells for intuition, dreams, astral travel, and communication with spirits. Mars rules on Tuesdays. It is a good time for effective magick involving battle, conflicts, protection, strength, overcoming adversity, and binding.

Mercury is the planet presiding over Wednesdays. This is a time for rituals for education, knowledge, divination, communication, and healing. Thursday is the day of Jupiter, and governs success, prosperity, luck, and leadership. Venus dominated on Fridays and can bring love, romance, heal relationships, and grant new friends. Saturday is governed by the baleful influence of Saturn. This planet grants protection, destruction, binding, curses, purification, and overcoming weakness.

In addition to the seven days of the week, the seven planets also rule the hours in the day. There are several different methods to calculating the planetary hours. One of these involves following the hours from sunrise to sunrise; another divides the hours between sunrise and sunset and divides them into 12 sections and the same is done for the period between sunsets. To avoid all the math and difficulty, a very simple and effective system omits this and simply uses the 24 hours from midnight to midnight. This has worked wonderfully for me and I see no reason to list the other methods. If you would like to examine other methods for calculating planetary hours, that information is readily available online or in other books on magick. For simplicity, just know that the planet for the day also rules the hour at 6 am, 1 pm, and 8 pm.

Now, to illustrate this, let us take an example. If you wanted to do a love spell, it would be a good idea to do this on Friday (the day of Venus) at 8 pm (the hour of Venus) . This acts as a magickal doorway in which the proper astrological conditions are right. In this way the magus moves with the cycles and the rhythms of nature. If one were to bind (or restrict) someone from causing harm to others, Saturday at 6 am would be a good time. The days and hours should be at least partially memorized. The easiest way to do this is to simply memorize which planets rule each day and to simply remember that the planet for that day also rules at 6 am, 1 pm, and 8 pm. In this way, it will not be necessary to look this up every time one wishes to do a spell!

The phases of the moon also have an important impact on the effectiveness of magick. The waxing (growing) phase and the full moon are good from creative magick and bringing things into your life; the waning (decreasing) phase and the new moon are used for destructive spells and getting rid of things in your life. This is the most stressed point in ritual timing in the Wiccan tradition.

The concept of moving with the phases of the moon is very ancient and is found in many different cultures. This can be seen as a more important element in timing than anything else. It is much better to go with the phases of the moon on the wrong day than to do it on the right day of the week and the wrong lunar phase. This aspect of magickal timing should not be over-looked. The full and new moons are peaks of the creative and destructive cycles. The mid-way points (the half moons during increase and decrease) are also times of great magickal power.

The last aspect of ritual timing is the moon sign. The moon passes through the 12 signs of the zodiac, remaining in each sign only for a few days. This is not as important a consideration as the other 2 timing concerns. Nonetheless, this can lend power to rituals and spells. When the moon is in an Earth sign (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) are good for financial concerns; when the sign is in an Air sign (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) are ideal for education and spells consistent with the characteristics of the element of Air. When the sign is in a Water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) it is a great time for spells that are connected to the Element of water and to emotions, artistry, and relationships; While the moon is in a Fire sign (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) it is a good time to do rituals of a fiery nature.

The individual characteristics of the sign (rather than just the element) should also be considered. This is not a very important aspect to magickal timing, so don’t stress too much over it. As I said before, though, utilizing this can only help and never hinder!

There are other lesser aspects to astrological timing. These would include the weather and the current Sun sign. The reason Sun signs are rarely considered is not so much that it is a weak influence, but rather that it is not practical to wait months just to do a spell, when it will probably no longer even be needed or be too late. This could also be a great aid if followed.

Weather is an issue as well. Storms are usually great for magick because it is a time of great elemental power. Furthermore, if one is doing a ritual involving the Sun, this should be done during the day and when it is sunny. One would assume this would go without saying. On the contrary, however, many people fail to recognize this simple concept. After all, it is only common sense. Thus, weather and the Sun sign can lend a lot of extra power to spells, if you would only harness that power with the use of correct ritual timing.

Now that this has all been laid down and explained, let us take another example to make sure these concepts are well understood. Let us say that someone is looking for a new job and decides to do some magick to help the job search. The moon should be waxing (this is for bringing things into your life) and the spell may be done on a Thursday (the day of Jupiter) at 1 pm (the hour of Jupiter) on a cloudy day because Jupiter is a sky god. The moon should also be in the sign of Capricorn. This would be an extremely good time for such a spell. The conditions are perfect.

Does timing have to be followed? Of course not! In the preceding example, the job is probably needed immediately. It would be foolish to wait for the right conditions during such an emergency. Do spells whenever they are needed. However, WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT, the astrological conditions should be considered. If a spell can wait for the perfect conditions, then great. If they spell can wait a few days for the right day ruled by the proper planet, that is good too. But if the spell can’t wait that long, then do it now. The spell can be repeated when the stars, sun, and moon are aligned right if needed. The spell will still work. The point is lending extra power to your spells. That’s it.

Following the cycles and rhythms of nature is also another way of aligning oneself with the universe. In the ancient Mystery Traditions, from which magick derives, Man was seen as a reflection of the cosmos. One is moving in accordance with the universe. We are moving with the tides of nature. Can magick be done against these cycles and still be effective? Sure. But it is like swimming against a current. Why not “ride with the tide”? It may even carry you a ways if you would only let go and let the currents of the Great Mother take you. Thus, in magick we try to follow the ways of Nature. Magick is merely using Her ways.

Remember, that which separates the initiate from the vulgar is simply that the occultist is aware of the laws of the universe and uses them to his or her advantage while others do not use this power that lies in their hands.

The Path of Wisdom

The Path of Wisdom

Author:   Crick   

As I walk along an unexplored trail through the forest, I take notice that there are no obstructions in my way. There are no brambles waiting to snag me with their thorns. There are no fallen trees to stumble over. There is no wayward stream forcing me to forage across. There is only the solitude of the woods and the associated sounds of woodland life.

Above me in the branches of an old Elm tree are a couple of birds that are singing a morning duet. It is a song about joy and the happiness of life. Could this be a romantic tryst? Up ahead of me a King snake goes slithering quietly across the path. He emanates an indifference to his surroundings as he ponders solitary thoughts. Alas, a creature of stealth and mystery that one is.

In the creek that runs parallel to the path, are shiny black salamanders, gleefully enjoying the gentle currents of cool water. It glides over them, while they undulate like strands of dark grass beneath the surface of the shallow stream. Their thoughts may be minute but their existence is in tune with their surroundings.

As I pass an old Oak tree, I can see the tracks of a raccoon leading to a well-used hole situated in the base of the tree. Without a doubt, this young denizen is nestled deep within the trunk of this abiding oak, lost in a deep slumber. For a moment I wonder what it may be that she is dreaming of.

Suddenly I hear the splash of a small fish as it propels itself out of its natural environment into a momentary altered state of experience. Much like a human who has astral projected for the first time. I wonder if there is a change in its sense of reality as it briefly goes from one element to another. Or is it a fleeting experience that passes by un-noticed?

These thoughts lead me to think of my spiritual path which unlike this forest trail is fraught with obstacles placed by fellow humans. For unlike the many denizens of this quiet forest, humans do not adapt well to the environment in which they live. For as long as I can remember I have walked my personal path as an individual and yet many have been the obstacles placed before me by others who have stumbled across my path. The light glows before them but their eyes remain tightly closed.

Spiritual growth is the unique experience of each who walks such a trail and yet many are those who would insist otherwise. The mysteries of life are an experience that is related to the lessons each individual person requires to move forth. And yet there are many who will posture and claim to know the answers that are hidden from them within the mists. Fear of such unknowns spawns a false sense of arrogance and thus limits the ability to truly experience and thus find the understanding that is there for us all.

A spiritual path requires the freedom of mind and heart and the willpower and desire to achieve it. Empty words cast forth from a mass of humanity, is akin to a lonely sigh on a secluded mountaintop. No one truly hears it for there is none about to listen. For those who speak little but listen much, indeed, they will hear the whisper of wisdom as it goes quietly by like a soft springtime breeze. And yet there are many who would gladly lend their voices to the maddening din of transparent experiences, egos rising like a flock of geese, thus offering naught but another obstacle to one’s spiritual path.

We are each as different as the blades of grass that make up a vast field. Perhaps the sage approach is to listen as we each have a unique tale to tell. Though we may each walk a spiritual path our footfalls will not be exactly identical, each step along the path an experience within itself. But rather then live in synchronicity with each other, each of us striving to attain an awareness and understanding of our purpose in life, we would rather place obstacles one before the other.

And woe, are our bitter fruits, given to us by those who would choose to take shortcuts along the path of life. Such folks as these are the loudest of all who seek to place obstacles before others. And little do they care to be listening as the lessons of life present themselves to each of us whom walk this path. For such folks are spiritually apathetic and as such they continually seek the shortest route.

But as I walk along this unexplored path through the forest, I realize the parallels inherent between this woodland trail and my spiritual path. Knowing not where the shortcuts may lead, would I not prefer to follow the trail in its entirety and thus have the opportunity to absorb the experience of life as a whole?

Would I personally want to chance on missing out on important lessons that may advance my understanding of life and thus my spiritual growth by taking shortcuts? And would I choose to hide my lack of such knowledge gained through such an experience by being loud and boastful and eager to set obstacles before others who may be walking beside me? Or would I choose to be silent and let the sounds of this forest and in essence of life, make their presence known to me?

Alas, if I am to be true to the tenets of being an individual who is walking the path of life, then I can only answer for myself. I cannot pretend to be able to answer for others, for though their life experiences may be similar, they are still unique to that traveler. And the only way for me to learn from the experiences of others is to be silent and willing to listen.

Balancing one’s ego is a difficult task, but then the ego is attached to the earthbound soul and once freed from the path of humanity, it is left behind as the spirit sheds such obstacles and flies freely back home. And so as we travel our spiritual path, each individual must decide which is more important, the short-lived desires of the mundane human existence or the long-term goal of spiritual growth.

And so as I walk the last remaining yards of this forest path free of any obstacles, I know that within my heart I will continue to bypass and overcome the obstacles that my fellow humans will surely present me on the path of humanity.

Will you?