Sy Calaelen


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The Start and the End |#Thelema + New Website

I’ll be back and writing again in a few months, but I’m dealing with a lot right now which is why I have disappeared from the internet for my own safety.

Other than that, there is an exciting website under way hosted by writer, hypnotist and magician Dillon Andrews (@DillonAndrews). I’ll be writing there in the future (@SyCalaelen), but be sure to check it out at: http://www.thestartandtheend.com/

Topics will range from discussions on the arts, modern magick and psychology. It’s still new and much more will come.

Our links:

Twitter: @TheSATEdotcom

Facebook: The Start and the End

GoodReads Group: Magick and Occult Books

 

Sy Calaelen


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So, things have developed | Private Thelemite Update

I’m currently planning on new videos. I’ve been away for so long due to my university studies, but now that I’m finished and also having a week off before I’m bogged down with work over the summer I thought I would just let you folks know that I’m still here. I’ve been busy blogging and writing posts for my other blogs and I’m sorting out a small profile for another few websites whose editors have been asking for written pieces from me. Things were crazy hectic over the last academic year, but I enjoyed it for what it was. As for my spiritual side I had to slow down. A few things popped up which unfortunately no Thelemic text could help me with, which also lead to my understanding of the term and the various people I have interacted with over that period. I gave myself a chance to slow down and re-evaluate what I had already knew. Considering my last post and the great advice I received from my friends, and that knowledge of knowing what I was fighting against, I stopped, took a breath and continued on. I was also learning tons from my critical theory classes, so I was able to revisit psychological and political criticism and apply those to my understanding of Thelema in the modern world, and my own practices. I was growing, but in a separate pond than other magick practitioners and Thelemites.

The Hermit within

I’ve mentioned before, and will always continue to push the notion that people who practice magick should see themselves as magicians and hermits. They need to realise that they stand alone, they need to push themselves, and build a personal practice by themselves. It’s wonderful to meet people from various areas within the magick community but if you feel a sense of achievement which reveals that your current teachings need to evolve then don’t fight it, evolve. It is how you grow and become an outstanding magician. The only downfall is the inevitable loneliness that sometimes comes with it. I have found it helpful to discuss the odd topic with Mr Vamp, Mr Darcy and my other close friends in the last few years. You have to remember that I taught myself magick from the age of 11 so basic magick etc got old quick for me. I’ve taught myself and I feel great about that. The last few weeks have been quite the eye opener and I’m still trying to figure what it all means, though I have rough idea. It started with dreams and thoughts of Djehuty/Thoth constantly putting me in situations where I had no control, and the anxiety from those dreams would only dissipate once I let myself stop being so frantic and concentrated on some small physical deed, like controlling the breath or physically letting go of something. I had to apply psychological interpretation to my dreams to understand what my subconscious was trying to tell me. As usual, when your ego is scared of some major change it can skew your vision of the waking world, which for me lead to the confusion between my disciplined magick practices vs. my university studies. There were a lot things going on at the time and one major theme was not knowing where to set my sights for the future.

Djehuty is also known as father time, he knows the future of every single being before birth. The annoying yet educational feature with this is that you can go to him and ask about the future and he won’t tell you anything. He keeps his mouth shut to teach you a lesson, and because you shouldn’t keep your head in the future if you have no grasp on the present – in alchemical terms, there is not such thing as time. Take note that these teachings are Ancient Egyptian in nature, not the Orientalised version. I allowed his dreams to come and teach me some vital lessons as the changes occurred. Lately the general anxiety of not knowing what my future entails as far as my career choices and love life go are not so troubling, to cause issue with my studies anyway. At the same time I’ve allowed myself to focus on my studies and in doing so my practice became a lot easier to fit around my schedule – bear in mind all of it is magick, the practice and my studies. I was able to meditate, do mantra, banish and do ritual whenever, I just had to remind myself of the freedom. At the same time my spirituality had quite the impact on the physical self. I’m a fitness lover, and yoga fan, and I’m still a newish vegan. Other religious texts and teachings, especially those from outside of Thelema always insist that having a healthy lifestyle is key to a healthy magickal life. As with Thelema and the definition of magick I figured I would apply the spiritual mind to those aspects too. The definition of magick, with the “k” as below:

I. Definition MAGICK is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. –p. 126, Liber ABA

Crowley later gives an example that writing the introduction to Magick in Theory and Practice in Liber ABA is an act of magick in conformity with his Will, to teach and he acknowledges the tools in which he instilled his magick in at the time being the pen and paper. Crowley also gave other examples of what magick is, such as opening a door. For me the same could be said of what I do to keep my mind and body as balanced physically, mentally and spiritually – it becomes my Thelema. So I started providing small examples of my vegan dishes and fitness upkeep with an expected low understanding from folks. Most folks still consider magick as purely to do with spells and rituals. I’ve discovered that this is not so anymore.

Some things just aren’t Thelemic, or are they?

Apart from psychoanalysing my dreams and also tarot, a deity has also made himself known in my life. He is a deity I learnt about in the various stories from my Jewish and Seventh Day Adventist upbringing. He was never really touched upon much on the Christian side, but still, I forgot all about him until he started showing up. I started asking Thelemites if they could point me in the right direction of Thelemic texts that mention him but nothing came up. I was pointed in the direction of non-Thelemic concepts however, which I had previously looked up which were to do with the Qliphoth. Crowley had something say on those, but nothing in detail about this particular deity. I had to look up other information to satisfy my understanding. I continued to banish anyway, even though I wasn’t fully sure of why Moloch was coming to me. For those not in the know, Moloch is a God who you sacrifice your first born to. I’m child free so I didn’t understand how this theme would come up in my life. As I studied a little further it became apparent that I needed to undergo another lesson in letting go of my original understanding of Thelema due to the many Thelemites I had previously met. Their positions and understanding of Thelema no longer was something I was willing to try and apply to my practices. It just reminded me of the many spiritual people I had met who spend their whole lives searching for something that has always been there. They get old and lay on their death beds wondering if they lead a good spiritual life, reading, practising and regurgitating the old over and over learning very little and ignoring the outside world in the process, and that thought freaked me out. However, that statement does not describe the small number of Thelemites who seem to stay quiet and are at peace in their practices. These folks are quiet and prefer to only talk to like-minded individuals who are also living life in conformity with their Divine Will. In other words, they don’t follow trends and are free of political, egoistic and narcissistic behaviour and the over-zealous fundamentalist attitude that is rife within all spiritual communities, not just Thelema. I think I have learnt more from these silent folks than others, and I like their type of living.

At some point I would like to sit down and discuss with people the notion of what is Thelemic and what isn’t, and who says so. Purely to hear the replies.

Djehuty, Anpu, Moloch and the Hermit all symbolise the change I need to go through again. Or rather the return to a path without strings. I got so caught up trying to meet as many Thelemites, and trying to discuss ideas and phenomena the same way I do with my main Thelemic friends, that I saw the major culture differences and in so I felt that I found the reason why so many people eventually leave particular orders and the spiritual movement. Djehuty taught me to stop and live in the moment. The Hermit and Anpu reminded me that life is tough and I will persevere regardless. Moloch reminded me to let go of the Capitalist nature of the modern occult world. I’m a well practised magician and that needs to come first always. There’s a divide. Thelema, like many religions, is based on other religions and religious practices. However, if you come into the Thelemic world with a wealth of knowledge then studying Thelemic texts will be insightful, yet you will always know if you want something deeper you go elsewhere. Thelema will point you in the right direction and it is up to you to go in that direction and work on your Great Work, or like many magick practitioners you can sit within the circle and refuse to go out and smell the roses. Either way, as long as you are aware of what you are doing and how you do it, it is all Thelema. I see magick in exercise etc. It’s all magick. It’s all Thelema. However, I gather tons of knowledge from other sources, but their methods are what I would call magick. Since Thelema is based on other practices and theories, then Thelema too is magick. For me, I’m just a magician who happens to be inspired by all kinds of magick. It took me a while to get back to this place, and I’m grateful for it.

So here’s the thing: I will still say I practice my own version of magick. I am an occultist who is inspired and educated by so much, especially subjects outside Thelemic thought. However, even though I won’t openly say I am a Thelemite anymore, rather opting for magician, I am practising magick that is line with my Will and Divine Will regardless of other strings and labels. I’ve been told in the past that I can’t be a true Thelemite because I openly practice Buddhism, yoga, mantra, I still enjoy dipping into my childhood religions and drawing conclusions on them. At the end of the day, Crowley did his thing and felt he couldn’t work with a lot of stuff. At the same time he experimented, the way other Thelemites ought to. Just because he hated Buddhism based on his own experiences, does not mean that those observances are applicable 100 years later. I have found something incredible, and it’s for me and me alone.

In LVX and NOX, Em Hotep!


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Young, Female, Thelemite | Babalon and Me, Part 2

Babalon - Scarlet Woman

Babalon – Scarlet Woman

 

What does Babalon represent? How do I sing her praises, as it were, and what makes her stand out in my understanding of Thelema? From my own notes and ideas on this glorious Being I have come to a personal understanding of who she is. Whilst Thelema is a new path for me, and seeing how other women and men within this community have bonded together, I wanted to document my struggles with understanding my own femininity and skin, at least for this year anyway. For now I thought I would share the second part of my theory, which briefly outlines how I’ve come to know Her by knowing myself on a physical and mental (emotionally subjective) level.

One thing that does get me, which may come across as just a general moan, but when one reads about Babalon without reading the texts and digesting the information, people assume she represents just sex. I mean look at the image for this post, and then type in her name into Google or something and you’ll see sexual images of a naked lady, or members of the current red-headed brigade. All beautiful, all artistically powerful and thought provoking, but on a literal scale, it’s just naked women. I like to assume I have the eyes of a culture fan, someone who appreciates and understands art, so I don’t see anything pornographic in her. I see erotica on a small level, but I see what it she represents – liberation. The unfortunate issue with the lack of understanding symbology often means that people who are interested in Thelema, or new to it assume all female Thelemites’ are whores, which is totally untrue. Plus, on a personal note the word “whore” is getting old, and I genuinely do not care if I meet someone who loves a lot of sex, I love a lot of books. One fella commented on a photo asking if he were to become a Thelemite, would it mean he’d have women eagerly lining up to have coitus with him. My personal answer would be no (sorry pal, most of us ladies enjoy sex as we are liberated through Babalon, but our spidey-senses go crazy when a sleaze approaches *mic drop*). There is so much more to Her than her cup, and so much more to Thelema than just sex. I have yet to discover the other aspect of her personality as the Scarlet Woman (physical vessel as if were).

Babalon, with her most common understanding is the personification of the “liberated woman.” She represents that inner fire we are told to quell and control from a young age. Many, if not all popular religions don’t like the idea of change, or anything that could cause individualism. Those are seen as blasphemy and fearful. If a woman wants to write, let her write. If she wants more than one lover, let her. If a person, or woman, wants to delve into a deep passion that causes them happiness without harming another, let them. Why should they be stopped? These are the sort of questions and ideas I have written down on various pages when I rant about spending a few minutes with her. I know I have a passion for certain things in life, and I intend on running toward them, and at the same time I am coming into myself as I grow and that’s important.

When folks read and study texts concerning the other titles she is given such as “whore”, it causes a slight confusion. Why would you want to awaken that side of your mind if being open and liberated is frowned upon in today’s society? The names and words used to describe would make most people shudder with shock, and if given the chance to read something like Liber Samekh it would surely leave a horrid and bitter taste in the mouth – if you do read that book try not to go for the literal written words, try and ask yourself things like, “What do certain words actually mean?”. From my personal musings on this subject I have come to realise that politics and the philosophy of controlling female empowerment and behaviour was and still is a predominant ideology. Girls are taught from a young age how to live and behave, and anyone outside that is instantly labelled a “rebel”, “strange” or “whore” for preferring to listen to themselves instead. We are taught that the natural and uncontrollable elements of nature should be kept behind the curtains. I aim to continue listen to my intuition, that gut feeling, those almost inaudible whispers from my HGA, as well as being the curious individual I am. It shouldn’t have to take Babalon to show you that the most crude elements of societal expectations and magick to see how ridiculous it all truly is. Ra-Hoor help us if someone discovers they actually enjoy something as natural and frowned upon as masturbation. We are taught to dislike the natural elements of our body, and Babalon represents how we should stop contradicting ourselves, after all we are human. We are humans living a natural and spiritual experience. I acknowledge this, and like to share it with her.

As I’ve whined on both blogs a few times, I’m a very late bloomer, and I currently love and hate it. Whilst most people were having sex, flirting their way around a parking lot or having deep conversations over popular media trends my head was in books, writing or studying film, literature and magick. Whilst most pagan and occult folks were neck deep in drumming songs for meditation or performing sex magick with lovers, I was deepening my understanding of tarot and my position in the Universe. I will happily and openly admit I fear social situations and most people in general, so you can imagine the latter half of the last 26 years were spent in therapy and my house (thank god for the internet). It wasn’t until I started studying sex magick and Thelema two years back that I really had to stop and really listen to my body. I had to make the decision to start getting to know it better, on my own, before trusting anyone else. For those in the know, I have also managed to combine the whole “survivor mentality” to understanding my own liberation too, and it’s been quite rewarding. Trying to connect myself with the goddess was going to be a hard task, but I was determined to be with her.

Since then I haven’t done a great deal. Every now and then I’ll write up commentaries that relate to the first two texts I’d really studied in my early days, Liber Cheth vel Vallum Abiegni and Of Our Babalon, and of the The Beast whereon She Rideth. I’ve written the odd commentary on particular verses for my journal, and I like to keep my knowledge going when studying the Thoth Tarot. It’s important to me to keep studying the history of her existence, but also to read about how she was represented as the Scarlet Woman for ritual. When I’m not studying I like to assimilate my femininity with hers. I dedicate time with my yoni to her, and her other forms (Sekhmet and Nuit – just general female facets of the Universe) by drawing talismans or sigils in the air, or on my body, or visualising them when I’m in the heat of the moment, and finish by thanking myself. Like I mentioned in the previous post, She is in me, I in her, and so these precious moments remind me of her power on a smaller scale, and that makes me a whore of the Universe too.

I’ve only ever planned my ideal rituals, with her imagery as part of their makeup, but I have yet to meet someone who’ll love me the way I love myself. Until that day arrives I will continue to liberate myself mentally, physically and sexually. I won’t learn to feel the fire of freedom until I do. As for learning how to actually have sex, that’s for the other blog.

Sy


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Young, Female, Thelemite | Babalon and Me, Part 1

There are so many areas of politics that do not allow the female body to be seen, let alone worshipped, or her spirit honoured without some sort of advisory warning (#FreeTheNipple anyone?). So imagine an even smaller world within pagan and occult circles where such matters are seen equally, so long as it adheres to the guidelines set by modern beauty politics; light objectification of the female body (only ever between skinny and fat, never the inbetweens or “skinny-fat” like myself), European beauty standards on all levels of looks and personality (Isis is favoured because she is a mother, but make sure to cut out any major traits that simulate her with Egypt and Africa, and stick with lightening her skin tone, and definitely no Sekhmet because she’s wild and clearly “black”). But like most modern spiritual paths and religions, honouring the female, and obviously honouring myself, is slowly becoming accepted and expected. People are slowly coming to understand the true notion of duality, in nature, ourselves and in spiritual beings (deities, elements, nature etc). With the way people are being influenced daily it will be a while before a large number of us actually put duality into practice. So Babalon then? Where does she fit into my life? And how open can I be about my love for her? Let me think.

Babalon is Our Lady. She is a spirit, a force, an energy etc. something limitless and outside of time. Think of her as the female version of “God”. His equal, his counterpart, himself as a woman, the calm at the base of a fire, and the fuel at the same time. She is everything. She is in everything. She is half of one. In my head she represents the inner animalism and desire of the psyche. Think of the Thoth tarot, Atu XI Lust, that is her. She rides on the back of the seven-headed beast from Revelations (you can totally be a Christian Thelemite, trust me it’s a lot easier than you think), holding her Cup (there are many connotations of what the cup symbolises, but we shall stick with the womb and creation). She is the culmination of all human behaviour, good and bad, and she is freedom personified. See why she’s so highly celebrated amongst Thelemites?

If you remind yourself of Liber AL vel Legis, with the popular verse “there is no god but man,” one could easily assimilate the notion that if God is around, inside and outside of us, then so are other beings like Babalon. Babalon is, to me anyway, the personification of our psyches’ regardless of gender. She captures the Zeitgeist of ritual, and that warm and electric feeling when you’re on your own honouring yourself. She is that sacred place centred on the body, the yoni, that fire that draws on the linga.

My early awakening around who god was, and how it was to be perceived often centred around the pagan notion of the goddess —hence why the gods were ever present, my brain was clearly trying to teach me a model to apply equally later on. For years I could never connect myself with the goddess properly (according to the popular guidelines of separating humans from gods), but I had always been lucky in honouring her in my own private way. To me understanding the goddess meant understanding that I was also a goddess, a concept at the time that seemed kind of comforting and yet so otherworldly. I did not like the idea of separating genders nor separating the gods from who I was. Whilst most pagans would dance around a flowery circle screaming and singing the name of various goddesses, I was practising kundalini yoga by myself, I was teaching myself how to be more of a woman, and I was also enjoying loving myself. I wasn’t part of the group and I knew deep down that for the rest of my life I was never going to be. I learned to love myself by understanding the goddess and god.

But to add another theory, whilst women have a cup (with which we must fill or exercise often), men also have half of that mentally. How can you honour the god by ignoring that side of yourself? Same as how can you honour the goddess if you ignore that side too? Remember, Nuit cannot function without Hadit, and vice versa. (Just a theory guys, at this stage in my two year Thelemic career I am bound to fuck up!) Maybe then, that’s the reason why I’m such a weird kind of woman, on a quest to find love. I know it sounds strange or super juvenile but I want a linga to join my yoni someday, but for now Babalon is reminding me that I already have that push and that confidence I need to open up and love myself, by myself or with a partner. Bearing in mind Babalon is not all about sex or sexual activity, but more about the desires and the knowledge, and the freedoms that you wish to know, from the inside.

Imagine my surprise, after falling in love with Thelema when all of my “unconventional/clearly-not-part-of-the-circle-gang” practices were celebrated and allowed regardless of ethnicity and gender. Sure there’s Crowley and his annoying habit of being once being human (he’s a dead human now folks) with his likes and dislikes, his contradictory racism, and his secret love of painting black prostitutes when frequenting America (as far as I know only one painting remains out of the collection that he did), but there is more to Thelema than just the man who reminded us of this path. (Background information: Crowley didn’t quite invent Thelema, as it’s always been there for centuries, but he was responsible for ironing out the kinks and tying up loose ends). It’s such a lovely notion to think that even though I am “out-of-the-loop” within Thelemic circles, that some of my friends do remind me that I have Babalon inside too (you know who are, and I love you for that too). I have fallen for something that I see myself in, even if it’s under the surface.

Thelema has solidified my personal growth, whether it be through Liber AL vel Legis, Liber Oz or honouring Hadit and Nuit, or the other many things out there. Speaking with all kinds of women from the Thelemic world I have found two modes of thought: 1) Your gender doesn’t matter so much, Her inspiration lives within everyone and she reminds us of that drive to keep pursuing our dreams and desires, and 2) Even though you don’t fit current ideals, Balalon is there to be worshipped in all Her forms, regardless of her popular images. Honour her by honouring yourself. I know I definitely don’t fit Old Æon beauty ideals, let alone political ones, but within the Current flow I know I am Babalon, she is me, we are god, and so are you.

In nomine Babalon. As above, so below.

Sy

Babalon

Babalon – MisterChuck tagged me in this photo I was so pleased. I don’t feel left out within Thelema – not too much anyway.


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Hiding Magick in Plain Sight, Through the Power of Nature and the Self

There have been numerous attempts at reconnecting with nature, and seeing nature as part of our physicality/psyche, especially when understanding the self and the power of knowledge by allowing our own nature to teach us. The unfortunate rise of dominant religions have forced millions of old religious ideologies to disappear, only to be brought back, more predominantly during the Industrial Revolution. With physics, biology, philosophy and medicine developing into something far greater, and the ongoing feud between religion and science, only a famous few sought the power of Nature in times of need, creativity and devotion. Some people, as I will detail in another essay, hid their ‘pagan and hermetic’ philosophies’ in plain sight, going as far back as medieval Britain, the Renaissance and the period of the Enlightenment. A few poets took a particular interest in writing about Nature as a separate entity, with an emotional tie to every individual who ever lived. William Wordsworth is one prominent writer who often described nature as his lover and teacher, and as I will detail below, his judge. Seeing nature for what is, seeking the emotional power one perceives from it, allowed people to realise their own ambitions once again, as we will see.

It became evident during the Nineteenth Century that people should live regimented lives, according to the government, especially in the UK. This was a time of the Industrial Revolution, and people from working class, or poorer backgrounds were at the forefront of building and maintaining an empire held up by them, for the ruling classes. For a group of artists from all over Europe, and the Americas, came an influx of genius through art, music and poetry. This period is known as the Enlightenment, based on the philosophical wonders of mans’ re-connection to Nature. Nature was vast, and could over rule anyone by reminding them that man did not have control. One example comes from The Prelude, by Wordsworth, where the narrator reflects on a time where Nature was all powerful when he was hoping to laze about relaxing:

'One summer evening (led by her) I found
          A little boat tied to a willow tree
          Within a rocky cave, its usual home.
          Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in             360
          Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth
          And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice
          Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on;
          Leaving behind her still, on either side,
          Small circles glittering idly in the moon,
          Until they melted all into one track
          Of sparkling light.'

This short passage, also very well known, details the act of taking a boat out from the shore. This boat does not belong to the narrator, but small amount of guilt he feels does not bother him at all. You could say he had the intention of bringing it back, thus “borrowing” it, and also suggest he knew he had the pangs of guilt, but just didn’t care. You can interpret it in many ways, but you can agree he felt naughty. The idea of being “led by her” is the idea of Nature leading him to the shore, and out to view the stars (mentioned from the next line onwards), because he is drawn to her. Later, his awe and guilt get the better of him, and in a way so does Nature:

‘She was an elfin pinnace; lustily
          I dipped my oars into the silent lake,
          And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat
          Went heaving through the water like a swan;
          When, from behind that craggy steep till then
          The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black and huge,
          As if with voluntary power instinct,
          Upreared its head. I struck and struck again,              380
          And growing still in stature the grim shape
          Towered up between me and the stars, and still,
          For so it seemed, with purpose of its own
          And measured motion like a living thing,
          Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,
          And through the silent water stole my way
          Back to the covert of the willow tree;
          There in her mooring-place I left my bark,--
          And through the meadows homeward went, in grave
          And serious mood; but after I had seen                     390
          That spectacle, for many days, my brain
          Worked with a dim and undetermined sense
          Of unknown modes of being; o'er my thoughts
          There hung a darkness, call it solitude
          Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes
          Remained, no pleasant images of trees,
          Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields;
          But huge and mighty forms, that do not live
          Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
          By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.’

As you have just read, the power Nature has over the emotions of this young narrator caused him to flee back to the shore and run home. He is haunted by the image of the rocky hill, as if it knew what he had done. The narrator details how Nature can peer right into his soul, and pull out emotions from differing ends of the spectrum, as lust and fear/paranoia. Funny enough, the next stanza beings with, ‘Wisdom and Spirit of the universe!’ – Nature has power, and it’s a matter of recognising it, and working with it, either by science (predicting the weather etc.) or spiritually (by symbolism and philosophy).

Whilst most households during this time were predominantly Christian, this poem reflects the worship and love affair the narrator has with Nature as God. As most Romantics and the Enlightened, found the old classical philosophies about life, death and Nature incredibly inspirational. This is partly why so many classical works have remained today, as there is a valuable and shared truth behind the idea of living a life where you have total control. These ideologies were shared freely from master to student, ensuring the student would later become the master. This idea had caused problems during the destruction and adopted ideals of the pagan world in favour of controlling old religions under one, or several, titles. By taking away the basic rights to individualism, or living will, the modern religions allowed themselves the power of controlling mankind under one shared belief in an all supreme deity, who would/should be far greater than Nature. This idea of “controlling the masses” had become warped, as it was no longer about working together to defeat an enemy or entertainment, it was about actually controlling what people thought, how and who they had to worship (be it God or a priest), and the notion that thinking outside of the box was a wrong. Man slowly became disconnected to nature, and went on living without much hindrance to it, unless it was spoken of with a Christian translation – like I said, feigning the idea the Nature was weaker, and under total control by God.

Referring back to the understanding of the poem, and if you get a chance to read that passage (details and link below), the narrator makes a note of how Nature was, and still is, a part of his human consciousness, or psyche. The fact that a craggy hill, which doesn’t do much besides lay still and erode, has the metaphorical ability to have consciousness and peer into the narrator’s soul, suggests we humans share something with Nature. This thing can be interpreted as magick. As the narrator insists throughout the poem, he sees Nature as a temple, the lover, the teacher and as a Universal deity. Understanding then, that if the Universe (personification of the supreme deity) is a vital part of your psyche, it must then mean that we have the ability to work with, and be part of Nature because we are born with it within. It is tapping into that magick and allowing ego to teach us how to live with it, which causes so much panic and fear in the controlling environment. As long as Nature allows us to think and feel for ourselves, we will ascend from a primitive base to the stage of master.

Sy Calaelen

I will go into further details about how understanding magick, and how to use it at a later date. Thank you for taking the time to read my essay – it is only a small part of something I have been working on for some time now.

The Prelude’ – William Wordsworth, Bartleby.com (scroll down to line 357, beginning with ‘One summer evening’)

William Wordsworth


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Dancing Beyond the Circle | My Pagan Past

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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Hermeticism and Me | The Principle of Polarity

Lethe

Lethe (Photo credit: Sasha Chaitow)

“Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature, but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” — The Kybalion.

This is by far one of my favourite principles, because of its simplicity and complexity of duality, polarity and living your life through paradoxical means. This principle does not embody the idea of opposing factors that aren’t fully connected, but rather that these opposites need each other to function. They balance one another out, so in a way they are identical in nature, as mentioned above.

Exempli gratia, black and white. For the magician, black and white have highly significant connotations to ritual or qabalah. They are never seen as separate poles, as each physical pillar holds complex symbols that cannot be charged without the other. You can’t work one kind of magick, without being taught how to work another kind, you need both. The same goes for understanding both light and dark energies, as they are both needed to be understood in order to fully work one or the other. It’s lovely spending your whole life wanting nothing but the light, but you have had to experience the dark at some point in order to fully experience the light, or vice versa.

Think of polarity as a paradox: how can you truly indicate where happiness stops and anger begins? You can argue that in order to feel a shift from one emotion to the other, there is a halfway point, but there isn’t a true indicator of how and when you physically change. You merely stop yourself laughing, and then head down the other end of the pole, to anger, and vice versa. You are still on the metaphorical pole.

The principle itself presents the idea that instead of separating one thing from the other, you must realise and accept that they are in fact made of the same stuff, and they live coherently with one another. This is the beauty of old ideals, before the rise of modern religions separated good and evil. The night is always darkest before the dawn is one quotation I’ve grown up remembering. Wherever one element is, its polar (pole) opposite isn’t far away.

One way to put this into a magickal context, at least for my own study over the last decade comes from the idea of discipline. I have dedicated my life to living, and in order to do so I’ve had to make a lot of choices I wouldn’t normally like to think about doing. When I first started practicing I was doing the odd spell here and there, without really committing myself to a regular regime, and nor did I fully understand the implications of what I was doing. I was 11/12 years old after all. It took me another year, when I was 13 to stop practising spells and spend the year studying and writing. After that, I made it a personal mission to spend at least 50% of my time studying witchcraft, and 50% practising it. The benefits were amazing, and it was all down to be able to understand the physical nature of spiritual truth, and experiencing spiritual connectedness by understanding magick. I’ve stuck to that plan my whole magickal life, so you can imagine my shock when I came across the Kybalion and read this principle.

I guess all I can say about this axiom is, don’t spend your time trying to separate or runaway from something that seems wrong, especially as a lot of pagans are quick to judge those who follow “apparently” darker paths. You may need to experience the dark side once in a while in order to reap the benefits of the light. At the same time, practice and study, even when you don’t want to. If you put in the effort during those hard times, it will save you having to catch up later on, and you will be more blessed. Its polarity + common sense + discipline = ultimate flexibility.

In LVX and NOX, 93s

Past posts in the series:

I had a huge break as so much was going on at the time, and then I lost the rest of the  posts I was hoping to edit and publish. All will open in new windows.

Hermeticism and Me | The Hermetic Principles – August 2012

Hermeticism and Me | The Principle of Mentalism – August 2012

Hermeticism and Me | The Principle of Correspondence – August 2012

Hermeticism and Me | The Principle of Vibration – September 2012