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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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Where There Shouldn’t Be Walls | My Pagan Past

“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?

Calypso, from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. An Obeah woman.

Calypso, from the Pirates of the Caribbean films. An Obeah woman.

In LVX


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Angelic and Planetary Hours [Png]

You should be able to click and save each of the images below. I will go through a quick run down soon explaining them in a little more detail. For now, enjoy my badly edited video here.

sunday-monday

tuesday-wednesday

thursday-friday

saturday

They are handy for your Book of Conjurations, Book of Shadows or almanacs.

Sy, x


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The Privacy of Magick

It’s something I’ve always noticed when meeting other pagans, the privacy of ones magick and learning. It’s lovely to hear that this person is a Druid, that one is a chaos magician and those folks are Wiccans. There is a deeply diverse set of ideas being practiced, so much so we not only lean on a strong foundation, but continue to fuel our own culture of magick. One of the main tenants of magick is The Four Powers of the Sphinx highly emphasised by Eliphas Levi, “to Know, to Will, to Dare and to Keep Silent,” which engraves the ideal that your magick is personal (for the Will) and intimate so you should keep silent on some areas, but happily discuss others with other Magickal folks to forward your learning.

I’m one of those individuals who keeps quiet on personal and intimate aspects of my Magickal performances and its journey. In fact, up until last August the only people I felt good enough to divulge in my secrets with could be counted on one hand, excluding the thumb. I didn’t like to open up too much because of how I was conditioned. When I met my first coven, (a very silly group of teenagers who didn’t take magick seriously, as they all tried to mirror the character of Nancy from The Craft), I suddenly felt the need to keep my practices to myself. Anytime I showed them my first Book of Shadows, they would either copy what I had, or moan that I was getting this wrong, and that wrong (when in fact I hadn’t because I hand copied most of my information from various books and authors). I was around the tender age of 13 so you can imagine the blow to my self esteem, and over time I stopped sharing my ideas with people. I developed a sense of intimacy as the years went on, due to the complexity and purity of my various contact rituals with elements of deity. At the same time I developed a feeling of insecurity and paranoia about what other people may say about my practice, so much so I used to get very defensive if someone tried to point out a flaw they had, when it was mirrored through me. Let me give you a small example…

I was chatting away with a guy a few years back. Hardcore Celtic pagan practitioner and very proud of his ancestry from the Anglo Saxons. I was quite deep into my practice of Egyptian, Roman and Greek paganism. I also started reading up and teaching myself about the philosophies of alchemy, Hermeticism and occult beliefs. Whenever this man and I would catchup over coffee he would go on and on and on about his beliefs. Whenever I gave what replies I could about how I would practice something different, and inform him I respected his views as they were all similar, he would be quick to jump down my throat and say that my beliefs were wrong. In fact, on one occasion he demanded I never study Crowley as he, like many still do, thought that it would be dangerous, wrong and that I wouldn’t be ready. What he didn’t know was I already started studying Crowley informally, little by little and I was quite happy. You can imagine what happened in that coffee shop that day, with him putting me down and telling me what to do. I flipped. I became very defensive and told him off, stating how everyone has their own journey to walk, by themselves. Just because he wasn’t adept enough to move onto or understand Crowley, didn’t mean I wasn’t.

That’s where the privacy element also comes in. With the Internet you can meet lots of like minded people, and discuss any area that intrigues you. I find, which is almost coincidental, that people keep their mouths shut in fear of subtle persecution for being a tiny bit different. Maybe that’s me? Or do you see it too? I still get defensive today, especially when I’ve practiced things most haven’t. At the moment the most prevalent subject in my practice is Buddhism. Buddhism is incredibly misunderstood, so much so even it’s many followers get their paths wrong. Whilst I’m a solitary Thelemite, I still catch up on Tonglen practice and honour Vajrayogini, including Buddhist mysticism/magick. Most Thelemites cannot, and will not discuss Buddhism because Crowley said its crap. If Crowley was alive today and looked at Buddhism properly I’m sure he would retract his ideas, like he did years before he died when he bad mouthed the Jewish folks. The times have changed…

I will run to the defence of the Universe, the deities and my HGA. I may do things differently, believe slightly different philosophies but they are what make me who I am. At the same time, you’re practices are moulded just for you too, and the closest I’ll get to your practices is if I think you have something I can learn. I love to learn!

When was the last time you felt a knot of defence grow in your gut? Do you ever feel like you can only open up about certain subjects with certain people, or anyone you meet?

Magick is private due to those tenants above, but because magick is so personal, as its pumps through your blood, you have to defend it often. Thankfully, my blog is my main area of sharing. I can write tiny elements of intimacy and be happy knowing someone will either agree, or disagree.

Sy x


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Alternative Witch | Liber Oz Love

42. …So with thy all; thou hast no right but to do thy will.
43. Do that, and no other shall say nay.
44. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose, delivered from the lust of result, is every way perfect.

Liber AL 1:42-44

I’m growing up! Or at least my memory is finally kicking into gear with my Thelema studies. Yay me! If there are any particular areas I expect people to keep an eye on when studying, its Liber Oz and Liber AL vel Legis. I don’t think you have to be a Thelemite as such to study and accept them. Most people who practice a form of Western esotericism and understand many of the philosophies, ideologies and practices are probably Thelemites and don’t even know it! That will be another video or post!

Liber Oz is a declaration; a solidified form of belief in oneself and a set of maxims from The Book of the Law. Live by these simple statements and see your world view change. Or at least, my world view has changed. I have recently been reading Liber Oz again, and making similar comparisons with the Blue Equinox. Not only have I started to look at magick and my life, from the point of view of the sun, but I know I must do something with myself to elevate from Malkuth up to God head. I feel like I have a purpose to fulfil; I’m not sure what just yet, but I’m going in the right direction. Everything just falls into place, the way things are supposed to. I guess, I knew things would work out, but my anxieties kept holding me back. My ego held me back also, and now I know I’m on the right track I need only to stand tall and keep my back bone rigid.

I had the intention to talk about how bad experiences within the pagan community have lead me to be the strong individual I am now, but I thought I would take a noble route instead. Have you ever sat and evaluated your life, looking for answers as to why certain folks treat you badly, knowing you haven’t done anything wrong? When you look at your life and see all the wonderful, and the bad things that have happened you suddenly realise your intelligence intimidates people. Ultimately, its their problem with you. I must say, giggling as I do, I am actually taking pride knowing I have ambition and I am actually doing something about it. Finally!

Unfortunately one area I can’t change is my skin colour. For the first time in a long time I have come across a pagan path that does not allow racism. According to Liber Oz, every man should have an opinion, and feel free to express it, but if you read between the lines it clearly states that you shouldn’t be a douche: “Every man and every woman is a star.” Regardless of colour, creed or root. (Somehow those are pretty much the same words…). On more than one occasion I have received numerous emails and comments on my videos about the fact that I shouldn’t be practising magick (Celtic, Wicca and Norse) because I’m not white enough. At the same time, when looking at me no one would ever know of my multicultural DNA, which unfortunately warrants hate mail from Africans and African Americans for not being African enough. To be honest, I am alive and well so I don’t care. I wasn’t born in the USA or Africa; I was born in the Caribbean and grew up in lower middle class Britain. The funny thing is, no matter how many times people have told me to stop following their paths, I try to listen, but the Gods have other ideas. Let me tell you one short story.

A number of years ago, when I was getting into Wicca and Celtic and Norse mythology, I did a cheeky spell asking any God to come to me and guide me (I have since updated that contact ritual for different deities, spirits and such). I started working with quite a few male deities over the following months. Cernunnos and Pan stayed with me, alongside two others. These two others were Odin and Thor; and to this day I have never told anyone of our antics and lessons. I learnt so much from them all, and thanked them often. I can remember back to when I used to daydream over images of Thor when I was a tiny child at school, so he’s always been part of my active life for as long as forever. It wasn’t until I joined a few pagan networking sites and opened up about my love for the Northern traditions that I was faced with an awful lot of racism and hostility. I quickly learnt to ignore my dreams and hid my runes so I would never open up any more hurt for myself. Something deep down kept urging to me keep the Futhark close, and keep Thor and Odin alive in a secret and small way, otherwise I would experience bad luck. Lo and behold, I ended up having a rough time until began to listen again. Every time I listened to the Gods, and put my trust in them I felt good. I learnt to put trust in myself and stand up for myself. I made the decision early on that I only had myself to rely on, and as much as I love seeing and hearing other peoples views, I have mine and I shouldn’t be afraid to share them. I shall do what I wilt, as long as I uphold the ethical and moral laws that govern the Universe.

As long as I stick to the plan, the message I received from the Gods I’ll be fine. As long as I am taught lessons, blessed and kicked into gear, I won’t let other peoples negativity get to me. To me, Liber Oz is more than a declaration, its the mapping for my True Will (or at least one element of it so far). As long as I stay within the remit of my own philosophies, it won’t matter what colour I am, what ethnicity, nationality, pagan path or gender I am; I am who I am, and according to the Gods, that’s perfect enough.

(Plus, I think its a great page to show teenagers who are dealing with depression, anxiety and peer pressure; but that’s my opinion).

Sy, 93, 93/93, x

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I Like Magick Art; Reading Beneath the Paint

Today’s quotation is from me,

It’s okay not to understand my madness, my path or magick. I don’t expect anyone to. Magick is for the soul; not a group of people trying to use one mouth. Be respectful as I have; you may learn a thing or two about your own lineage or path, like I have. Don’t point out your flaws, unless you are wanting to change your ideas (or grow). I point out my flaws because I crave to learn for myself, otherwise I’ll be chasing my tail forever. ~ Sy Calaelen

“If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Hopefully most you heard that old adage as children. Hopefully most of you understood the beauty in that gem. Hopefully most of you won’t have a freak out or start pointing fingers; just sit back, relax and smile.

I am passionate about magick and its liturgy; you know this, as I never shut up about it. I love the beauty of an image that reflects the esoteric secrets the artist was thinking about at the time. When I come across a piece of art, with blatant occult symbols all over it I like to decipher the image for myself. There are tons of images you can search for, that reveal hidden truths. Some of my favourites are part of the Hermetic arts, in which you find pictorial references to the old axiom “As above, so below; so below, as above,” (shortened) of the up facing triangle and its opposite. I have a small reference to an order of Hermeticists tattooed on my wrist with the inescapable XX. I take a great pleasure in finding these pieces as they allow me to delve deep into their secretive keep, right in front of my face.

Aside from the formidable Hermetic art, there is the mysticism found in many other works. I love constantly reading up on the chakras, meditating on them, balancing them, performing mantra with them, but the one image from the Eastern world that has taken a slightly weird seat in the west (due to the influx of watered down New Age mythos and whale music) is the Third Eye, or traditionally known as Ajna (sadly, when you look at modern versions, the Third Eye is always located where the Fifth Eye is located). The Third Eye is known for its connectivity of the mind with the universe, and also a sign of brotherhood, in the sense that the Universe/God has given you and your spiritual brothers and sisters knowledge through that point and the Fifth; but that’s more of a Western esoteric viewpoint.

The image below, is a just an example of the collection of images I have been printing and collecting for my own pagan academics. I love the exquisite detail on her face, the definition of the shadows around her and in the background. The most noticeable imagery on the piece are the horns (what does it mean symbolically to you?) And the Third Eye. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand a large quantity of pagans out there would see this image and puke, based on the fact that it looks “ugly” (as one person put it), but I also realise a lot of these folks don’t know very much about magick. You are supposed to read the image from the outside and then in; that is how you decide for yourself whether to appreciate art for arts sake or not to. Don’t make a fool of yourself by trying to point out that images like this are “weird/uncool”; take the time to appreciate that some magickal folks prefer serious practice and study, than most.

Life isn’t all dolphin sounds, light and fluffy colourful flowers. Once you see the light in the dark, you’ll see true beauty and feel true power.

Sy

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My Lesser Banishing of the Pentagram Ritual [video]

Hopefully, this will make sense =]

This is my interpretation alone, from my practices.

Sy’s Thelema Bits | LBRP Breakdown

93/93, x x