Sy Calaelen

Dancing Beyond the Circle | My Pagan Past

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My pagan past hasn’t been all bad, in fact it has been amazing. I have pushed myself to go beyond places I always heard were bad. Thelema and the occult being two examples. We are conditioned from a young age, to what is correct and what isn’t. If you analyse the impact the New Age has had on people, you will find a pool of mixed experiences, but a lot of those experiences seem to follow the trend of conforming, and to another degree “aesthetic purposes”. These days I look at myself and feel good just being myself. Being free, being open and being proud of how far I have pushed myself. Things that seemed hard to begin with are now second nature, and I’ve benefitted hugely. Hard work is one area I found easy, and it also played a big part in the decision of leaving my Wicca days behind.

I used to fight with myself, when conversing with other Wiccans or Pagan practitioners, about how they chose to study. They studied the same things I did, but they never had the same annoying thoughts. They never questioned how or why. They didn’t need to worry about any of that stuff. Neither did a few folks I knew understand the concept of becoming aware of your inner voice; that gut feeling. That voice would insist on particular subjects, when I browsed books shops. Other times, like now, I would be writing something about my day, or the ritual I had performed and the words would just flow from my mind, as if being put there by Muses. Why hadn’t anybody else ever come forward about these experiences too? I started to meet other folks who said they understood me, but unfortunately they hadn’t. On those grounds alone I would say it was the individuals that annoyed me, not the religion. These people gave the religion a bad name in my eyes. I just had to get used to the idea that the only solid friend I could trust with my personal education was that gut feeling aka the HGA. (Have I Known All Along?)

So I put in the hard work, whoop! Where was it all going to lead me? Was there an end sight? Actually, for the first time in my life I found that goal, and now I have a new one. On top of that, I know there is so much more for me to discover. Below are excerpts from Equinox Vol. 4 No. 1, which detail the importance of study. Now don’t get me wrong, not everyone likes the study, nor do they see the point in studying, but that is just down to their individual preferences. I love to study, and I love to share my experiences – like I said, I’m a hard worker, and I strive for the absolute best. I hope in some way that this text will give you a slightly different insight into your own magickal study, but if it doesn’t then at least you have the knowledge:

Essay on Occultism - Equinox Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 1-4

Essay on Occultism – Equinox Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 1-4

 

Essay on Occultism - Equinox Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 1-4

Essay on Occultism – Equinox Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 1-4

I must admit, I choices I made were based on ideals I hadn’t really thought about. As time went on, with my spirituality deepening, I found a sense of realism and understanding, in fact a whole lot more than what was available. Around the time I went back to practising general witchcraft, I noticed the bigger picture. It was as if I had seen a tiny rip in the fabric, just flapping in the wind, as if beckoning me to rip it apart. Let’s just say I ripped at it, and slowly the world it revealed was full of beauty, power and knowledge – a kind of Eden. Amongst the thorny bushes, there would be a cornucopia of rare flowers, and I knew I would have to work my way through the thorns with bare hands. I didn’t mind. I’m a hard worker, with a keen soul and devoted heart. This is what I feel is missing from underdeveloped practices like Wicca – there aren’t goals to work toward. From my own experiences, I was running around in circles, just spending my time bowing down for the sake of habit. Then there would be days when I read the exact same thing, just written by another person, and quite happily digested it without question. It was a case of the blind leading the blind.

I remember reading my old books and coming across passages dedicated to slamming the occult, and things beyond the circle. At the same time, I came across these attitudes on the internet. All kinds of people would slam the serious practitioners for thinking differently. These days I get the odd comment, or email from someone who has read my blog or watched one of videos who will try to put me down for following a system that is thousands of years old, but only made available in the last century by Crowley. People want a quick fix, so they find false teachers and follow them, only to realise after a lot of energy has gone, that they were duped. They eventually find their way back to the people they originally thought less of, or look at spiritual subjects with a new eye. Everyone must follow a path set for them, but how they choose to follow it is a choice only they can make.

When I joined the YouTube community, I had experiences with socialising I had never gone through. I won’t go into too much detail, as I have done a lot in the past! I had worked out what the trends were, and stayed well away. I looked up to people, who I considered to be normal humans like me, but with better understanding on certain subjects. I also found a lot of others, who unfortunately continue to gas, who did a lot of talking, and never shared their own experiences – considering half of the folks who vlogged after a well-known vlogger went on a huge break, were only there for subscriber numbers, and not quality. I saw the shallowness of these people and quickly decided to just keep doing my thing, regardless of how boring my videos were. I didn’t care about the quantity, I only cared about documenting my progress for my own memory. Even today, I haven’t vlogged in ages because I’m busy being a university student, and being a Thelema student. I hate the idea of ever becoming an armchair magician, which is why I don’t vlog or write unless I have successfully experimented, or experienced something. Sadly, people like me are ignored and often over-looked due to our raw love of magick. We don’t like quick fixes, we love to endure the hard work and ordeals, because we know exactly what we will gain – truth, balance and another step on the ladder of transcendence. Those are qualities you can only find outside the New Age phenomenon. Then again, that’s just my opinion.

The amount of people I have met who left Wicca and other New Age formations behind for something deeper, truer and purer is astonishing! They learnt what they needed to, and moved up a class. I’m doing that too; experimenting, and increasing my knowledge pool. I needed to go through those days, in order to find out what I do not want in my future. It was one ordeal after another, but they have been worth it. In some big way, I feel great knowing my hard work paid off, and my persistence to stay afloat meant I was able to find absolute balance. I’m more confident because of it, and I can look in the mirror and smile at myself. It’s great.

Mourning is over (for now).

LVX 93s

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Author: Sy Calaelen

Sy Calaelen is a British writer, blogger and Youtube vlogger, though she isn't filming at the moment. English literature graduate and future social work graduate. Both sites will focus on literary reviews, book lists, comic books and nerd chat, writing and novel tips, and discussions in magick, paganism and the occult. A mixture of everything from her. Reach out on social media from Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, GoodReads, and Pinterest.

4 thoughts on “Dancing Beyond the Circle | My Pagan Past

  1. I’m beginning to see neo-paganism as a cry for attention from people who want a religion that stands out from the mainstream but yet still conforms to the “do as we say” mentality of the religions left behind. And I don’t say that to put anyone down, as I continue to hold pagan concepts dear to my heart, but it just seems to be this way for the majority. I’m also following your example of stepping out of the circle and letting my inner voice guide me to truth. Sy, you are a pioneer in my eyes and are always an inspiration. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Diana Rajchel » Perhaps I’m the Pagan Rip Van Winkle

  3. I’ve only just found you a few days ago Sy (through a random video search on flower infusions, lol), but I have to say – I’m really glad I did! I’m slowly working my way through the articles here and the vids on youtube, but I’m really enjoying what I’ve come across thus far. I love that you’ve documented your progress (and kept it up; many of others I come across delete their older videos). It’s refreshing to find another practitioner that really questions the sort of thing that we tend to be spoon fed, and follows her own intuition and path even though it winds out of what some would call “the norm” of new age/paganism/any other label you want to insert here. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Thelemic Culture Update: November & December 2013 | 2nd Century Thelema

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