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Mourning My Pagan Past is Making Me Angry

This will be a super weird post, as it’s something I haven’t thought about too thoroughly. However, it does revolve around my personal education as a magician and Thelemite. More than ever, it’s a lifelong lesson I know I must endure, and it’s a very personal one at that. These last few posts have seen me looking at my past as I’m currently analysing what has happened. I guess I’m preparing myself for an in depth chapter of my life, which I feel will be part of the making of my character.

Most people come to a point in life when they’ve made a positive, and drastic change to their lifestyle and their beliefs especially. I am no exception to that prevailing device. When I made the decision to stop being Christian and Jewish I was young and didn’t mind. The transition was fairly easy, looking back. I was a preteen with a big ambition, a big heart and a love for something more than what I was brought up to believe. I knew something bigger was out there, I just didn’t know what. It was around that tender age that my God complex and base philosophical ideals started to show signs of development. G-d was something more.

When. I found witchcraft everything seemed fine. Sure, I had to keep my books and tools a total secret but that’s all part of the journey. Later came Wicca, and I made a nice comfy seat inside the broom closet. I learnt a lot about the general basics of witchcraft, and learnt the observances and religious ideals from Wicca. Again, my deep roots within philosophy and questioning were quite apparent, and soon I found the roadblocks and hypocrisy within a free religion that revealed no freedom, and it didn’t teach me about ascension – don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely path, but I hated staying in one place and blaming myself for it.

The denial and the pressure to conform to an ideal that wasn’t actually ideal made life difficult. I wanted to be part of something true, as I made a ton of friends, but for me it wasn’t something that sat well within my heart. I put all my intentions into the universe and it replied by sending me down other paths whilst continuing to carry the Wiccan flag. This continued until the occult made herself known, and especially until I found Thelema.

The transition I’ve gone through in the last year has meant I have seen and experienced things I had never thought truly possible. The philosophy of Thelema, Hermeticism and such alike have really shaken my foundation. It’s good to have the odd shake once in a while – it really forces you to stop and just smell the coffee. I found I would ask myself each week what I believed and why. Some of my occult ad pagan buddies found my new found home quite intriguing, and thus I felt I could open up. Some have actually requested titles I have enjoyed, and I have been generous in recommending all kinds of material around Thelema and the occult. A few friends have actually turned to Thelema as it serves as a foolproof philosophy that instills freedom, rigidity and a truly personal connection to the universe. There is a goal to not only achieve, but it also shows a lot of people the truth about who they are. Maybe I’m wrong, but without Thelema I wouldn’t have reached the plateau I have.

I’m unable to fully accept the amount of anger that grew once I began studying harder. The unfulfilled and empty wishes. In fact, I stopped performing spells years back, and stuck with ritualised formulas instead. I’ll probably make space to perform small spells in the future… Maybe not. My transition was mostly positive, but boy I felt like I screwed myself terribly during my “denial days”. To this day I’m still weary of practices from my past, especially as such practices are on the rise. My toughest life lesson is following Liber LXXVII so wholeheartedly. At first glance it looks so easy, and once explained makes a whole lot of sense, but the more I look at it the more my past rears it’s ugly head.

Is that normal? To feel disdain toward the unfulfilling elements of my past? I’m shocked by how angry I am toward it all. I assume it’s some kind of purge? I have this annoying trait which means I want to help everyone – I know I can’t. But the idea of just letting someone fall without even attempting to help them bothers me. I’m a big softie! People are free to do as they please, especially if they are happy as they are. I have no right to show them any other way. It’s how their life is supposed to run. Sometimes that’s a great reminder to just stay out, but sometimes it’s a painful thing to watch.

It’s a lifelong lesson all right. I guess what I’m trying to point out also, is the fact that you must stay rigid even when you feel utterly sour and useless. Sometimes you have to “lay back and just let people walk all over you as it’s their Will,” as one friend wrote me recently (thank you). When do you stand up for yourself, without shoving your beliefs down their neck? It’s all rather complex and simple all at the same time.

That’s all I can think if right now, but I am thinking about how to approach the very sensitive issue of Wicca from a Thelemic point of view without offending all Wiccans’ or pagans. Maybe that’s another ponder post for the future.

I haven’t been making a great deal of sense with my musings or theories. I just hope I figure it all out soon!


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Magickal Items I’m Taking to University

As I’m trying to tie up the loose ends on my university supplies, stationary and halls items, it occurred to me I hadn’t drawn up a list of Magickal tools I’ll need. I can’t take everything, and there are a lot of books I will have to leave behind until Yule. I will only take the most important items, also noting that I may buy other items when I’m there as well. What items would you take with you? I’ve asked a few folks over the past few weeks, and the responses have been diverse. I’ve had time to think and thought I’d share this written mishmash of ideas! It’s been a long time coming!

Here is my comprehensive list of spiritual items I might be taking:

Tarot
I am only taking two of my thirty decks. The “Lo Scarabeo Tarot” and Crowley’s “Thoth Tarot”. The Lo Scarabeo tarot is a modern merging of three of the worlds most popular tarot, with beautiful Italian illustration and simple symbols. It’s a deck that is comprised of the Rider-Waite, Tarot de Marseilles and Thoth. I use this deck as one of my daily/weekly tools for personal divination. It may come in handy with a few students too. As for my beloved Thoth deck, it’s only used for the odd reading, meditation and Qabalah study.

Books
As far as books are concerned, they have been the main area of interest and inquiry. Partly because they are tomes of knowledge and I will miss them if they aren’t around for me to study from. Mostly because the house I’ll be leaving them in is heaven for the ignorant and closed minded – I would die if my aunt decided to hide or destroy them, like a few of my old ritual items from times past.

My original plan was to take the smaller version of Liber ABA – Regardie’s “Gems…” As it includes everything I need to know in a more immediate fashion, but I’m just too attached to my blue baby. So below is a small list of a few important books I’m taking, baring in mind I can change them every three months or so until I get my own place the following year.

▪Liber ABA
▪Liber AL vel Legis (I have so many copies of this bible, I really wouldn’t mind if it got lost! I have 8 now; excluding the printed copies within other publications)
▪Gems from the Equinox
▪Garden of Pomegranates
▪Middle Pillar
▪The Tree of Life
▪The Golden Dawn
▪The Complete Works of Aleister Crowley vol. I-III

Journals
All of my journals are coming with me! I write in them so damn much I’m already about to start my next brand new Moleskine for Conjurations and thoughts. Write! And write often folks!

▪Book of Conjurations
▪Book of Thoth
▪Book of Horus
▪Main journal

Ritual Items
Now, I don’t know all the rules of my halls yet so I’m not risking candles, my dagger or wands etc. however, I shall take a particular number of altar cloths to create scared space, and possibly a statue or two. I’ve moved from the stage of having a statue to represent deity in order to worship it, as my view of deity is that of the New Æon. I will also have a small vase with a fake red rose – hayfever issues.

Miscellaneous and Pagan Items
I will take a few crystals to keep balance, and my pink yoga mat! If there is a yoga class at the gym then I’ll be going, if not I’ll find one somewhere in the city – need to keep toned and spiritually connected yo’!

Music will be on my iPad, iPhone and laptop, which will range from the beautiful Deva Premal and Maya Fiennes right up to Beethoven, Demdike Stare and Rammstein. I have quite an eclectic taste in music, but rock is in my blood 😛

I’m sure there is much more I could take, but I will see. My travel altar items need a massive reshape too!

Like I said, what would you take with you and why? So many people have so many different paths and experiences, and differing reasons for particular items. What keeps you spiritually connected? Let me know below.

In LVX 93, 93/93

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Regardie’s Four Adorations | My Regimen

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Taken from Israel Regardie’s ‘One Year Manual

I have been practising this simple ritual for almost a month now, and so far it has kept me within a disciplined regimen. This is a more relaxed variation of Liber Resh vel Helios, which is the magickal attainment of the sun and Universe. You are supposed to carry out Resh at particular times during the course of the day, starting at dawn. You can find Resh times by finding the times when the sun is just dawning, at its highest point in the sky (around midday/noon), at sunset/evening and lastly when the sun is at its lowest point (around midnight). You can find the times on Google or at this Resh link, as each day the times may differ. Due to my hectic schedule, and the terrible onslaught of more unorganised work schedules I have to commit to the Four Adorations until September. Hopefully this may help you in some way. End each incantation with the sign of silence, which is the index finger over the mouth.

As far as ablutions and salutations are needed, refer to Liber O, others are given to you by a teacher as I found, but I’m not 100% on that either (Gosh I am amazing right?). I have written in red, the number for that relates to the pictures required for each adoration. (I may have this wrong, as I haven’t asked anyone for confirmation yet!)

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In former great ages, man realized intuitively his relationship to nature and to the living universe in which he lived and was a part. He felt his unity with all the elements. In the fullness of his life he worshipped the Sun as a visible symbol of the unknown God in whom we live and move and have our being. It is axiomatic that light is life and both are dependent upon the Sun — which thus becomes a vital symbol of God.

In our modern scientific age of gadgets and things, with our unnatural way of life divorced from contact with the dynamic root of things, we may once more progress towards the full awareness of the source of life and love and liberty, we make ritual gestures of affirming a link between the Sun and ourselves. Upon the basis of these gestures of adoration, every act in life may be dedicated in such a way that living itself becomes sanctified and transformed.

Though God is a unity, the Sun, as a symbol of God, appears differently at each of its four daily stations — dawn, noon, sunset and midnight. Therefore an adoration is directed towards the Sun at each of these four stations.

At dawn, or upon arising, he should perform whatever abulations are customary and then turning towards the East, say audibly: (2, 3, 4 – signs of LVX: 7, 8, 9 and 10)

Hail unto Thee who art Ra in thy rising,
Even unto Thee who art Ra in thy strength,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Uprising of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in His splendour at the prow
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of the Night!

Much of the symbolism inherent in this simple adoration may be missed by the student for some considerable time. It does not matter just yet. But this should not be permitted to serve as an obstacle to daily practice, nor to deter him from adoring God in the form of the rising Sun every day of his life.

At noon, wherever he may be — at home, in the office, on the streets, or in a factory — let him adore God. It will help in some measure to bring God into his life. Face the South and say: (4)

Hail unto Thee who art Hathor in Thy triumphing,
Even unto Thee who art Hathor in Thy beauty,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Mid-course of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in His splendour at the prow,
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Morning!

At the eventide, when the Sun goes down, let him face the West and adore the Lord of the Universe in these words: (2)

Hail unto Thee, who art Tum in Thy setting,
Even unto Thee who art Tum in Thy joy,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Down-going of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in His splendour at the prow
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Day!

At midnight or upon retiring, turn to the North and say: (3)

Hail unto Thee Who art Khephra in thy hiding,
Even unto Thee who art Khephra in Thy silence,
Who travellest over the Heavens in Thy bark
At the Midnight Hour of the Sun.
Tahuti standeth in his Splendour at the prow
And Ra-Hoor abideth at the helm.
Hail unto Thee from the Abodes of Evening.

This particular practice should be made a regular part of everyday life and should be persisted in until it becomes a part of your way of life. Other exercises described here may be performed for limited or varying periods of time, but these particular Fourfold Adorations are to be integrated for all time into the daily pattern of living.

 

93, 93/93

 


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The Tree of Life | Israel Regardie

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‘The Tree of Life – An Illustrated Study in Magick’

Published: 1932

3rd Edition: 2011

By far one of my favourite books written by Regardie. He really takes the student into account and does his upmost best to educate green minds. Some of the concepts within the book are already familiar to me, others presented in a manner that made you really aware of unknown or misunderstood forces around you. This book deepens the mind so much, or at least it did me, I have had to read the book again! This time making even more notes than before.  This book is wonderful. If you own the other books I have reviewed, including one title I won’t ‘How Make and Use Talismans’ you will be surprised by how much you learn from this one man. If there is any book I would recommend to anyone first it would be this one just to kick-start your Regardie education into Magick, Hermetic Qabalah and Alchemy.

This book is fairly thick, similar to ‘A Garden of Pomegranates’ but full of astounding knowledge, but the gift Regardie has is his writing. The expressive language he uses really draws the reader in, similar to the style of Game of Thrones author G. R. R. Martin – he just sucks you in, and before you know it you’ve read most of part one. Regardie talks briefly about the difference between magick, mysticism and witchcraft, and also includes his theory of “black magick” which is a theory I fully support. There is information on deity, and how to explore them with psychology and magick, and many other subjects expected of any magician. His theorising is explored in a manner that is ideal in this day and age; lot’s of precision, and I don’t think he knew how amazing he was.

I thoroughly enjoyed this title. Lots of people have enjoyed this book too.

Mind blowing

My rating: ★★★★★

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The Middle Pillar | Israel Regardie

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‘The Middle Pillar – The Balance Between Mind and Magic’

Published: 1938

3rd Edition: 1970

 

This book puts a lot of emphasis on the meaning of magick, similar to Crowley’s theory from Book 4, and how our bodies and minds need to be clear of clutter in order to manipulate it at its best. Regardie goes into detail about psychology, fads within the world of magick and how to avoid them as a student and lots practical tips to start the process of allowing the body to start afresh, and connect with the divine. Before you learn how to perform the Middle Pillar exercise, he takes you through a few rituals and methods so you can really appreciate the ritual itself.

This book became personal for me, especially within the first few chapters of part one titled, ‘The Middle Pillar’, where I actually started questioning what I believe and what I hope to gain as a student. I have spoken to others who own the book and they have told me how good it is too. Mr. Vamp recommended this title to me and I must say how much I cherish it. Another friend told me has bought three copies in total as his precious two copies don’t look very neat anymore; a well loved book. Now, this book deals with the psychological aspects of magick, especially with Jung’s theories, and that can seem daunting to folks who aren’t familiar with these theories, but one friend did say she read this book and got the gist early on, even though I recommended this book to her back in January.

Regardie manages to be on point, honest and very blunt about his ideas, which leads you to questioning your beliefs and the systems available, even today; clearly a book written well ahead of its time.

My rating: ★★★★☆

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The Golden Dawn | Israel Regardie

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‘The Golden Dawn’

Published: 1937

6th Edition: 1989

Packed to the brim with a detailed insight into the workings and mystery that was the original Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There are so many valuable lessons in each short chapter, deep with symbolism and intrigue ranging from the various sacred alphabets and their symbolic meanings, colour scales, codes and blinds and the various rituals that are to be performed for each adept at each grade. This compendium details ceremonial magick at it’s been from the late Victorian era through the industrial right up to pre-WWII. Full of theories, instructions and notions this book will give you two things, insight into the life and thoughts of these magicians and hopefully inspiration to create your own magickal workings. Some say this book is a wonderful back bone edition that teaches you the very basics of Hermeticism theoretically and practically, but also a book that many found inaccessible. It’s up to you how you would use it. For me, I have had success with many practices and meditations I have put together myself using various tables of correspondence, and this book inspires me enough to delve deep into old mysteries, and even ancient ones too.

As for the H.O.G.D this book is great for the reader to understand their methods, and I believe a lot of the information within is still being performed and taught today by current orders. I found a lot of parallels with modern magick and witchcraft with the current authors being heavily inspired by this book and its methods. A rather chunky tome it can be a bit too bulky for your average handbag, but it is valuable. The front cover design is simple yet meaningful with the hexagram within the circle engulfed by fire and water (red and blue) – colour correspondences’ are detailed within.

There are lots of subjects that covered in each chapter, ranging from the spiritual and psychological study of tarot, Enochian magick, Qabalah, Hermeticism (obviously), Rosy Cross theory and ritual, Qabalistic Cross and the LBRP, altar set ups and much more.

I will score it a three out of five because of how amazing this collection is, but if you aren’t well versed in magick, high magick, Qabalah, Hermeticism or ceremonial magick this can put you off a little. A few folks I know have copies, but have yet to read them and one has told me he wants to cover the basics before tackling this tome. I love this book,  I have used it to create my own simple rituals, so secretly I’ll give it a personal 4.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

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Garden of Pomegranates | Israel Regardie

Garden of Pomegranates, ‘Skrying on the Tree of Life’ – exactly as it says on the tin.

Published: 1931-32

2nd Edition (edited with notes by Chic Cicero & Sandra Tabatha Cicero – Llewellyn): 1970

Garden of Pomegranates - Contents

Garden of Pomegranates – Contents

This book is theoretical, but in Regardie style he gets you thinking and putting the theory into practice. The first part of the book, titled “A Garden of Pomegranates – An outline of the Qabalah” deals with magick, Qabalah and understanding. Each chapter deals with important aspects of history, the Sephiroth and the philosophy. He also includes the odd lesson here and there on the Hebrew alphabet and the spiritual meanings behind each letter and word, considered to be important to Qabalah. You get an all round view, or introduction, to the world of Qabalah, with current editions that include pages of endnotes and further knowledge. The second part of the book, titled “Skrying on the Tree of Life” – A textbook for practical work with the Qabalah” is full of practical information with visualisations, meditations and skyring (known today as ‘pathworking’). Each of the 32 paths on the tree and the ten Sephiroth, are dealt with particular lessons to aid further understanding. He includes the spiritual aspects of various deities from Zeus, Horus, Pan, Hermes, Khamael and many others. I’m still working within lower third of the tree myself, and I am benefitting a great deal. Regardie prepares you before hand with a small list of materials you will need to start Skrying. As with part one, in which he arms you with deep knowledge, with this part the knowledge creates a spiritual understanding and reverence. A truly exciting book, and just like the back page quotation states “The Best Single Introduction to Qabalah for Magicians”.

If you are looking to understand the Qabalah, and how to apply it to your daily meditations or practice this book is ideal as a start point. It arms you with so much deeper understanding, which makes the whole experience of living as a magician or spiritual individual all the more intimate and personal.

My rating: ★★★★★

Just a little insider goodness

Just a little insider goodness