“In the true religion there is no sect, therefore take heed that thou blaspheme not the name by which another knoweth his God; for if thou do this thing in Jupiter thou wilt blaspheme יהוה and in Osiris יהשוה. Ask and ye shall have! Seek, and ye shall find! Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!” – Verse 21, Liber Librae sub figura XXX
As I mentioned before, in my last post, I did not like the idea of white-washing other spiritual and cultural practices. When I was much younger, I didn’t mind reading about how to make other practices conform to the ideal that was set out. Bear in mind, this was at a time when Wicca or Neo-Wicca was mixed with an awful lot of theories and ideas, without much reference to the original roots – as if it was the inventor of such ideas. Writers’ would just write up their own experiences, which was fine, without letting the reader know where they learnt particular practices. You had to really dig to find authors who lead you to reputable sources like Cunningham, Valiente or Buckland. It still didn’t give me enough insight into how I would incorporate the other philosophical practices I was trying to study at the time.
Buddhism and yoga became the physical aspects of my practices, if you will. With Buddhism I didn’t need to buy a Westernised version of a mantra, or a Westernised Buddha statue in order to have him within the circle with me. The other aspect of Buddhism which did not fit, surrounded the notion that Buddha was a man, merely a teacher. He wasn’t a deity of any kind, so he wouldn’t be allowed to sit on the male side of the pillar, but he could sit somewhere at the side for aesthetic purposes. [Note: – Actually, now that I’m writing this, I’m honestly quite shocked – “aesthetic purposes”. Yes, as some nice people are aware, I am beating myself up, but I need to in order to feel purified. I ask myself, “to what end?” Why did I do this?] I was lucky in some way, knowing that I could listen to my gut feeling and research outside of the given texts. Why had I felt so keen on only celebrating the finer symbols in life? Why didn’t I just ignore the inner feelings of wanting to follow the trends? If they weren’t going to benefit my spiritual growth in any way, then I would just enjoy the knowledge and reap those benefits instead.
I delved deeper into unknown territory, but I felt safe in the knowledge that it was a place I was supposed to go. I had to learn about breathing techniques, yoga, effective circle casting, daily regimens, divination, history and the like outside of the Wiccan world. Wicca is a great place to start a life of study, but only if you have the intent of learning one form of magick without staying too long. If you want a lifelong process of soul working, and the ability to become enlightened then stick with witchcraft. Like I’ve said over and over, witchcraft is a practice, not a religion, so it become a big part of your personal life; you live it, it lives with you, and the benefit of just being a witch is knowing you don’t have restrictions. I felt, being different, I could love myself more by not conforming to one ideal. I had always been drawn to the Classical pantheons, and knowing their history, there wasn’t much if any discrimination on the grounds of your sexual orientation or colour. Back in those days, they didn’t pay much mind to it. I stuck with those paths and immediately felt a sense of relief, plus I could put all of my occult knowledge to good use and formulate a spiritual life of my own – which I later realised to be Thelema! Who knew?!
The purpose of living a spiritual life is to discover new things, but if one path seems to run out of road, what do you do? Do you go back and start all over again? Do you decide on setting up a homestead where the track has stopped? Or do you become a traveller, intent on finding other sources to bring back? For me, I was and still am a traveller, but I follow my heart’s desire with respect and awe, remembering to learn what I can and following the most important aspects. I won’t go out of my way to white-wash other religions because they don’t suit my own, I will respect them as they are and leave it there. If it doesn’t feel right, I listen to my gut. At the same time, as a blogger and vlogger I feel obliged to let young and impressionable people know what experiences I have gone through so they don’t end up chasing their own tails like I did.
An example of doing your thing comes from a friend of mine, who followed Wicca religiously like I did. He practises a form of Hellenism, but found in his early days he often had to view his deities the way Wiccan teachers and books had taught him. He felt his deities were being supressed in some way, being limited to particular functions within the practice and theoretical circle. He didn’t like the idea of limiting Aphrodite to the label of “Goddess of love”, as she had shown him things beyond that. Nor did he fully understand the logic behind mixing pantheons based on those limitations and stereotypes. Being Greek himself, he found Wicca incompatible with his culture, history and practices so he gave up after three years. Maybe Wicca is just limited to mostly one cultural ideal?
I’ve spoken to a few Thelemites, but mostly Mr Vamp about how the word “Obeah” is mentioned in the Book of the Law, and he quickly showed me other sources. For those of you aren’t aware Obeah is a form of magick practice in the Caribbean, mostly Jamaica. Last time I checked, Crowley had never been to the Caribbean, nor did he know much about it, but his guide Aiwass knew all there was to know about magick and the New Aeon, while giving Crowley his vision – but the thing that really stood out was the fact that there is a great emphasis on the human condition, and the freedom of being an individual without judgement. I wasn’t about to force myself to keep my soul from singing, just to suit my old books and later the YouTube community, like it says in Liber AL vel Legis, verse 41 “The word of Sin is Restriction!” – Mr Vamp reminded me of Calypso from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, she is an Obeah woman.
Most of the areas of my path were centuries old, with thousands of years of knowledge and freedom. Old thoughts and ideas have been developed and practised since, with a few key figures making this seemingly secret knowledge more accessible in their time, and ours. A lot of this life changing knowledge unfortunately falls outside of Wicca, and it takes one in a hundred to brave it outside the circle – and realise they haven’t fallen into some treacherous pit of annihilation, but a world full of incomprehensible beauty. I have found areas within this path of mine to follow even most basic of common sense, and a rigid back bone. It doesn’t matter where you come from, or the Gods you choose to work with, there is always plenty of space, essays and love for them. Like Crowley said above, “Ask and ye shall have! Seek, and ye shall find! Knock, and it shall be opened unto you!” Crowley is a prime example of this technical ideal, as he and friends put together one of the ultimate’s in correspondence charts for magick, Liber 777. Whatever deity, herb, Thoth card or I Ching etc. that you want to use with your own personal magick, you will find other effective tools within it. Whatever it is you want to explore, be aware that magick is a science, you are supposed to theories and experiment, whilst deciding what is important for you as an individual. If it doesn’t make sense, don’t do it. If there is something you want to try and learn, without practising, then that’s totally down to you. Thankfully, I’m able to just pick where I left off as far as occult magick and study is concerned, as there is more than enough room within Thelema. Don’t take any less than what you are.
Would you tell her to keep the get up, but limit things to particular ideals? Or would you just let her be the free witch she is?