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My Pagan Past | To What End?

The post I wrote titled ‘Mourning My Pagan Past is Making Me Angry’ was tough for me to write. At the same time it brought back feelings of anger toward my personal experiences as a lone student behind a glass wall. Sadly, a lot of people who had read it felt I had offended them because my experiences were valid to me and not them. Somehow they felt I was being incredibly horrid because I have chosen a well-deserved path for myself. Let me make myself a little clearer, it’s MY path, and I need to do what is true for ME; I am not trying to convert anyone, just sharing my experiences and promulgating the Law.

I have written this post over and over, trying to figure out how to put my discoveries across. Obviously there are an awful lot of sensitive people out there, and they don’t stop and think about what it is they could be saying to me. Yes, I learnt witchcraft, and in some ways I still see myself using witchcraft in the future, and yes I finally graduated from the field of Wicca and I’m much happier. That is something people cannot seem to understand. Folks genuinely believe there is no existence beyond Wicca, nor do they feel that anything outside Wicca is right. The sad thing is, a lot of Neo-pagans today left Christianity for that same judgemental attitude. I also try to be one of the few occult practitioners who is trying to put the importance of words on the map, for example, witchcraft is a craft, and Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is used by any religion or non-religious person(s).

If you found a better cooking method, based on methods from a bygone era, wouldn’t you follow those methods? Like keeping the tradition of cooking with your grandmothers recipe, rather than following a popular trend based on cooking from a box?

Folks have moaned in the past that Thelema is a new concept, sure. Aleister Crowley merely made it accessible for magick students. If you research Thelema itself, the philosophy goes as far back as ‘Gargantuan’ by Rabelais – at least from what I have read. It’s probably a whole lot older. The thing that I love most about my path is that I’m learning new things, having more physical experiences and I’m able to put all the amazing lessons I’ve learnt from witchcraft and the occult to good use.

I don’t feel like a stranger or someone who is odd. I still follow ancient Egyptian ideals with a Qabalah flow, whereas when I was practising Egyptian Wicca I had to make sure I turned Egyptian symbols into Wiccan ones. I would celebrate Wiccan holidays every year, with Wiccan symbols, but remember to make the Egyptian symbols comply. I didn’t feel comfortable. Why only two deities when all are a part of your very being? Why frown on things outside the circle when I hadn’t explored them? I was always a curious child, and I’ve always listened to my gut.

Why hadn’t there been more emphasis on modern ideals set on old symbols outside of western new age practices? It was a learning curve, and I was happy to do all the research and conversions for my own practices, which eventually lead me to just doing my own thing. When I would research particular symbols, the idea of the Universe, ascension and a solid philosophy with goal, I couldn’t find very much. Like most religions Wicca was based on much older practices, but unlike most, Wicca was diluted. The idea of casting a circle wasn’t a Wiccan concept, but when I researched various ways it could be done, I found them to be more in-depth, and they held symbols that I could never find within the confines of Wicca or Neo-Wicca. I didn’t mind. It annoyed me that I preached so highly about this path, yet in the long run it wouldn’t serve anything for my soul. I did my daily devotions – to what end? Discipline? I already had that. I wasn’t sure. I just didn’t fit the mould.

I recently tried to Wiccan-ise Thelemic holidays and failed. I just felt I wasn’t meant to. I have recently decided on not doing that anymore. A few people have stepped forward and given me their ideas and tips of how to combine Wicca with Thelema, but I prefer not to. If Wicca is based on Thelema, minus the other colours (other cultures and their practices) and sexuality freedoms (orientation and freedom), then I personally don’t feel the need to mix the two. I will happily practice witchcraft and the occult, but to my own ends, with a goal to work toward.

I experience and understand things unique to me, and others like me. I’m quite happy on my path. Lonely, but quite happy. If the universe wants me to grieve the process of moving onto the next chapter, then I will. It’s a process I have come to realise as life. I feel safe going into something considered the unknown, because it’s known to me and that’s all that counts. If I were to teach my child magick, I would teach them witchcraft and allow them to find the religious or spiritual path they choose to combine with it themselves.

I choose to live my life this way, and if it upsets you or you think terribly about me then that’s your prerogative. I’m working toward my True Will, and it’s a one seated vehicle. These feelings will not cease.

93s

In LVX 93, 93/93


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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!