Sy Calaelen


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Juggling Spirituality is Hard at the Moment

I’m going to admit something I have kept a secret for a long time: I’m struggling at university and struggling spiritually. I have left the odd hints here and there about how busy I am, and how unconfident I am of late. University is an experience unlike anything I had hoped to experience, but it has also taught me how to organise my life more effectively. My problem is juggling it all, and the fact that writing academically has knocked my confidence so much that I cannot bring myself to write anything or upload new content. It has been quite the struggle even though I try to stay positive in/with the things I do publish. I am a nutty kind of person, dealing with general mental issues and trying to learn how to socialise. At the moment it’s all rather too much but I am trying to hold it all together the best I can.

 

As some of you know I’m a second year university student studying English literature which combines history, philosophy, weird algebra styled formulas, basic linguistics, tons of research, writing and reading. I love the course, on paper. I love attending my lectures, seminars and workshops. I also really love the teaching style from some of my lecturers, who are very inspiring and incredibly helpful. Starting the second year I knew it was going to be harder, and a lot was going to be considered as far as timetabling, scheduling and keeping up with the reading lists each week. I had to prioritise how and what I was going to study, and how to write effective essays. I hadn’t banked on how difficult academic writing was going to be but I have been learning all kinds of tips along the way. The annoying thing is coming to the realisation and acceptance that the one talent I had held onto and honed in on was my writing and I was proven to be awful at it. Being shown and told that I don’t know how to write has been heart-breaking and causing a lot of anxiety for me. I’m not sure how or what I’m missing but I wish I could flick a switch and be truly amazing.

 

I’ve had to start all over again which has meant that my detailed journal entries in my book of conjurations has dwindled. I make sure to write every week without fail, but I don’t go into detail in fear that I’ll not understand my own thoughts later on when I do my six monthly catch up. I do however try to remain positive in my thinking and my actions. Every act is an act of magick after all, so retraining my mind has been the most important thing for me right now. I make sure to pull tarot cards a few times a week, and I meditate at least once and I’ve even started seeing my exercise routines to be a form of magick – diet and exercise is key to maintaining a healthy temple. I know that sounds weird but I’ve never been one who leads two lives. A lot of magick practitioners do lead two lives and that is fine, but for me I like knowing that anything I do, read, watch or take part in is a form of spiritual education or attainment. I allow myself to see magick everywhere, but in doing so I also allow myself to be human in times when the world feels shaky or when the ground is crumbling beneath my feet.

 

Juggling a spiritual life has been something I’ve worked hard at for a long, long time. It has also been my own thing, in the sense that it was something I created and it suited me. I’ve spent so long being solitary, and a slightly shorter time hearing about and learning from other magick practitioners, and it has been great. I’ve built up a world that was indestructible and fit me and my understanding of the world perfectly. Of late I haven’t been able to talk to other like-minded individuals, and the ones I have tried to have a general chat with are equally as busy so I retreat into my shell and don’t bother. There have been a few folks however who get access to who I am offline and they have shaken up my world so much that I no longer feel confident in the things I had spent so much time and effort building for myself. Just like my writing they don’t see how pushing me here and prodding me there is causing even more of a rift. I feel as though I’m being told what to do instead of just being accepted and left to my own devices. I’ve always been an inquisitive person, but I could never learn to do the things I did if I wasn’t given a chance, and at the same time I would never dream of trying to change someone else’s path unless they were genuinely doing something wrong or harmful to themselves or other people. I’m again crippled and at a loss. Do I continue to trust myself as I have done for so long, or do I learn not to for the sake of being accepted and moulded into something else? How do I cope with it all?

 

I don’t have an awful lot of time, especially as I thought I’d try to be clever and get as much reading done as possible during term 1. The workload is hefty and somehow, each week I manage to complete everything. I cram daily and on average manage a good 5 hours sleep. The unfortunate thing is knowing my daily rituals have lacked so much. I know I have stressed in the past that something like Liber Resh takes 5 minutes, but back then I didn’t realise how long 5 minutes can be. During my first year I was able to do Resh easily, but this year it has been very bad and I accept that. Our average reading time each week is 40 hours, minus research time and classes, so assuming I can just fit certain tasks into particular hours is impossible. One novel for one of my classes will take an average of 12 hours to read fully and I can’t slot that into “Wednesday reading”, times that by 2 for the remaining 3 classes. Do you see my issue?

 

I just know I’ll be back on track after my graduation in 2016. For now, it is merely a case of juggling the tiny bit of a spiritual life that I have, university workloads and trying to maintain my sanity. Not being able to do the one thing I held so dearly has caused so much secret anguish, terror and anxiety that it is holding me back. I’m not yet sure what to do, and people know I don’t talk about my problems. The negativity, the loneliness, the stress and those annoying colourful ideas that cross my mind demanding my attention stop me in my tracks. When I do grab the odd few minutes outside of studying and spiritual practice I like to do general human things and upload random selfies (which many have complained about, but I won’t stop because I do those pictures for me and my incredibly low self-esteem, which actually is healing my mind a little), cook a few times a week, squeeze in a couple newspaper articles or Tumblr and Tweet things I find interesting. To me this all makes me feel happy, and that happiness gives me the little push I need to get up and study a little more. I’m struggling hard for something major goal in the future; I don’t know what it will be but I want something I can say I worked hard by myself to attain, something that cannot be taken from me, something of my own doing.

 

Will I look back on my life and be proud of myself? Yes. Would I be able to remember the times of boredom that struck when I had successfully completed essays or copious amounts of research? Yes. Social life? Nope, I’m not one for socialising as I genuinely don’t know how to be sociable and likeable.  I’m in a weird place at the moment. I will try and get back on track at some unknown point, but for now I will have to allow myself to be a regular, not-so-magickal human for a while.

 

Fingers crossed, Sy

93, 93/93

'8 Mile' - Life is a struggle


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The Importance of Disciplining Myself During Dark Times

“To all applicants it prescribes study; definite, hard study. The same kind of study as is asked for of those who would be doctors, lawyers, engineers, soldiers or even cab-drivers.” – Aleister Crowley, ‘Equinox Vol. 4 No. 1’

Putting myself through an almost rigorous, self-taught method of practice has pushed me further than I ever thought I would go. If someone told me I’d be the woman I am now when I was younger I probably would have laughed. I remember daydreaming as a child about one day donning a ritual cloak casting a circle for some powerful conjuration. I wasn’t sure if any of that would, or could ever be true. Pushing myself from the tender age of twelve, I have carved out my own niche within the world of magick, and the discipline can be both rewarding, and a comfort in dark times. There is a joy with having discipline, especially when taking myself away from my online endeavours, and the negativity it tends to generate. I would be lost without discipline, so here’s my reasoning on why it has been a life saver in the last few weeks, especially with still being new to Thelema and combining it to what I already know and practice.

Like most children I had after school activities to attend in order to keep an active lifestyle, and to push my intelligence further. I wasn’t the smartest child at school, but the intelligence I did have didn’t meet any of the goals expected of me. I was labelled a creative child, which meant I learnt things at a slightly slower pace than most, and I had to attend various extracurricular activities so I could continue being interested in my schooling. I was first inducted into a private language school to learn French from the age of 6 two days a week after my normal school days, and I continued to speak it fluently for many years after. I was taught to read and write from before I started school, alongside dance, elocution and good grammar. I guess, looking back, I’ve always had a big brain, but I’ve only ever been interested in practical subjects which meant whatever I learnt stayed locked up. In a way the discipline and structure I was taught became second nature. I applied this same structure toward most other activities, including my desire to educate myself on the teachings of mysticism and magick.

It’s a well-known fact that if you’re passionate about a particular subject you tend to excel in it. It could be anything from gardening, or having a talent for cooking. For me it’s the study of magick, literature and philosophy. Any time I have a few moments to myself I make sure I immerse myself in reading and practice. I like referring to the above quote to remind myself of the hard work I’ve put myself through. The unfortunate thing with allowing the public to see a tiny proportion of who I am, and letting them know about my practices has come at a price. I’m often reminded how lonely living on this path can be, even though I have a small number of friends and a couple best friends who know exactly what it’s like to be on a level where you’re on the outside due to not living up to the expected norms of other practitioners. This doesn’t hold me back though. I look back on my life so far and I’m happy about the places I’ve been with my study. I’m constantly growing, constantly developing new techniques for myself and correcting my mistakes. It’s all about that push, and that structure.

Without discipline I have no idea where I would be now, and it’s a comfort. I have often thought that maybe I would have given up on the magick life around the age of 14 or 16 when I was going through seriously hard times. Even the other day when I caught wind of my online bits and bobs being criticised by members of the larger community – who are supposed to help struggling people, rather than privatising their hatred – I felt the need to make my regime even more prominent as I headed toward another brick wall. Discipline means to apply stoic thought, keep your head down and keep working – everything else doesn’t matter as it is out of your control, especially if you have no hand in it – or if you do, accept that you have put it out there. You can’t make a river flow backwards.

Discipline leads to freedom as they say (or at least my old music headmistress used to constantly say to her students), and you cannot see the greatness in something you’ve created unless you put the work in – and sometimes it is needed regardless of whether you enjoy the subject or not (think school). I yearn for that feeling of peace, that freedom, and I’ve been lucky enough to know what those little moments are like when I completed something I’ve worked on for a while. I cannot tell you the peace I felt when I performed my first LBRP properly. Or the time I did all three parts of the four part Liber Resh, and immediately went into the LBRP after weeks of not having done so due to experiencing a depressive low. The relief, the excitement of knowing that I hadn’t forgotten one step filled me with such an overwhelming emotion that I fell to the floor in a flood of tears. I still have it. I know I have what it takes to keep going. I wrote up the events from that day the following morning, as the midnight Resh made me super knackered, but I remember flicking through the back pages and noticing I still made sure to keep my reading diary updated, though I hadn’t updated it in a while. I’m usually vigilant in keeping my journals up to date, especially as I will develop all kinds of knowledge that I’ll need to stay in constant flow with, and because I collect Moleskine journals and they are bloody pricey.

Even if it something as small as updating my journal, performing Liber Resh vel Helios, or doing yoga, I make sure to keep the routine going. If magick is already in you, and of magick flows all around, then every single thing you do is, and must be a magickal act. I’m aware of my own magick, and aware of the tiny effects it has within. It’s the feeling I guess, of knowing I’m being rewarded for my own work. Everyone should feel the excitement of doing their own work. It’s great! I’m not entirely sure what it means to be modern magician, but I’m getting there as a friend has pointed out in our conversations (Love ya Mr Vamp). It’s good to know I’m not far off. My enthusiasm and discipline have also meant I’ve made a few new friends who are willing to help me whenever I’m lost. To me it’s all passion.

But like I’ve stressed enough, I have found that continuing the need to carry out my regime means throwing myself in head first with making sure I fully understand the theory and practice of other rituals, philosophies and general theorising. Instead of allowing myself to wallow and feel crap about how my hard work is under fire for being that little bit daring. Discipline has kept me in shape, and it has helped me deal with this low period, even if it has been a slow comeback.

I need to continue staying focused, I’m not giving up on years of knowledge and practice just yet – even if that means erasing parts of my online works.

Through L.L.L.L.L.

93s

Made by an Awesome Buddy

Made by an Awesome Buddy


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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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Day 1 | University Early Bird

I’m not sure how often I’ll blog about my experience, but it’s worth noting how I feel in the hope that someone may find my future advice worthwhile. I also hope my little adventures will end up as random vlogs on my rather dead channel, HarlequinDays, or Sylva Calaelen (according to Google). At the moment this post is just a list of stuff I did, in order to remember. After a week I should be able to go into more details – on my other blog. Today is Day 4, and I am sitting here with a terrible headache, due to waking up too early.

Day 1

Friday 20th September

Arrived, safe and well. My mum, aunt and younger siblings came with me, but before any of the help got into action my aunt decided to start screaming for no reason (actually she kept knocking on all the wrong doors, and blamed me). Mum, whom I inherit my anxiety from, kept panicking over little things. First it was my new storage boxes, “What are you putting in these?!” Then it was the mattress on the bed, “Clean it with your wipes! It’s so small… oh dear… So small!”, at which point I had to remind her it was a single bed, but alas she was worried about when I have a guest to stay at weekend. “How is he going to fit? You said he was tall!” she yelped about 15 times, all whilst ripping off plastic and sorting my beauty supplies, and shouting for the babes to stop play fighting. I just went quiet – I’m telling you, if I could show you all how red my face felt at that moment… Then, without pause she swiftly moved onto the next small issue; hangers.

Within two hours I was unpacked, and only had a few items to store away. I had Hamlet playing on the TV to keep the children quiet, and they seemed to quite like it. I also noticed mum leaning on the windowsill trying hard to understand Shakespearian language (modern English folks, without the modern slang). This meant I could connect machines and have one ear free for my aunt to continue moaning about old age stuff. Halfway through Act 1 Scene 3 (when Laertes and Ophelia are having their lovely familial chat and gossiping session, before Daddy returns to make everything super awkward) it was time for them all to leave. Note, up until this point in my new chapter I hadn’t felt a thing. Not much excitement. I gave them small awkward cuddles, but saved the best hugs for my younger siblings – still, nothing. Mum couldn’t stop hugging me, which was strange because for anyone who knew us they know we don’t do hugs, let alone show affection to one another. I’m her servant when she needs one, and she’s just my anxiety inducing trigger.

I made sure to find the local corner shop, which is actually attached to my halls of residence. I also made note of a taxi numbers, and the location of shopping centres I may need on Google Maps. I pulled out my reading list for the first term and remembered I still had quite a few titles to get a hold of. If any of you have a Waterstones shop near you, make sure to reserve books online! Most shops do click ‘n reserve anyway, but believe me it saves you the hassle when you’re away in a new place. I put on season three of ‘Boardwalk Empire’, cooked up some mini pizzas and took my multivitamins. It was getting quiet. I live in a flat with four other girls and all we share is the kitchen and living room. That day, it was just me and one other girl.

I had too much stuff! Loads of cleaning products – bleach etc. Tons of loo roll, toothpaste, kitchen towels, plastic bags, sheets etc to last me a year – or the aftermath of a random nuclear war. I made sure to get everything I needed in bulk before arriving, to save me the hassle of buying them in smaller quantities for more money. I’m going to be broke, but for a reason this time. Later on, after watching the super-hot gangster Gyp Rosetti use a barmaid to shield himself from shots being fired (naked), there was a knock at my door. When I opened it, there stood a rather fashionable creature with big bold eyes. With a nervous and timid voice she told me, “I’m going back home, but I’ll be back on Sunday. Nice to meet you by the way.” Just like that, she vanished through the crack in the door. I looked around the corridor and then the sinking feeling sank in – I was alone. On my own. Oh my Buddha…

I sat on my bed and continued to watch gangsters kill each other, and smiled at the lovely Mr Sleater every time he appeared on screen (He looks like Mr Vamp, a little, for those of you demanding to know what he looks like, and he sounds the same). I just preoccupied myself by reading one of the titles I’m supposed to study, and talking to Mr Vamp. The initial fears of talking to other students kept me in my room for another 24 hours. I just studied, did my rituals and talked with Mr Vamp. I set up the simplest Thelemic altar I could find space for, and then I felt fine. I was settling in a little bit, and that was enough to fall asleep.

tinyaltar1

Tips I Value So Far:

  • Reserve stuff online to pick up during Fresher’s Week.
  • Get tickets and be prepared to meet other nervous people.
  • There is nothing wrong with bringing 50 toilet rolls.
  • Make sure to try and have one or two coloured collections of clothing and bedding so you don’t have to pay too much for laundry.
  • Look up places you’ll need to visit on a map of some kind, like shopping centres/individual shops, places to eat, food superstores and make note of the entire campus and the location of the SU Bar. Luckily for us, most universities use social networks so the university reps will be able to help you out on closed groups, or official pages.
  • EVERYONE IS NERVOUS; though some have friends or family attending the same university as you, so they may not hang out with you. Just take a deep breath and jump.

pana1

Thanks! Day 2 and 3 will come tomorrow!


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A Mad Theory About Black Magick and Malkuth

The term “black magick” has always been on my mind; what does it mean? What is considered black, and is magick truly black at times? The one thing I’ve recently taken upon myself is the understanding, and misinterpretation of language and words. In this case I will discuss two words, often mistaken as having the same meaning, “Witchcraft” and “magick”. I won’t go into my theory of each word until tomorrow, but hopefully this short post will give you an idea.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

If you ask anyone within the pagan world what they consider to be black magick, many would agree it is the performance of negative witchcraft. Whilst this holds true to more nature based paths, or modern eclectic strains of pagan spiritualism, this definition is unofficial and too flexible. This is the reason why I have asked it, and pondered about it for over a decade. If a term needs constant revision, or modifying to fit a mould it clearly does not fit, then it can’t be a solid base to gain any further knowledge or understanding from. For me, I used to follow the guidelines about its definition from various authors and folks online. All, but a small few would argue over what the correct terminology is, and how their personal and spiritual view is more important than the other. Over the last few years with my shift into general witchcraft and the occult sciences my understanding of black magick has changed. My first idea followed the theory of nature being both good and bad, making sure to drop the Christian coding system of placing things into the two columns’ good and evil. I remember studying something about deities of Kemet who have a bad reputation, and the author expressed how these deities, including Kemetic demons were actually seen as vital morals for a practitioner. After a storm (bad) there is always new growth on the land (good). Good and bad are in constant flow with other; you cannot have one without the other. This was enough to help me understand the importance of Yin and Yang in nature and the Universe. I believe this is the natural flow with normal contemplation.

Lately my idea of black magick has extended even further. Magicians refer to black magick as witchcraft that is used for good or bad reasons, but that witchcraft won’t help to accomplish the Great Work. For example, a friend is sick and you perform healing witchcraft (spells) to help shift the sickly energy around her. Ask yourself, how has that taught you anything spiritual? How does that bring you closer to Kether/Universe/Godhead? At this moment in time I don’t see anything that spiritually beneficent for me? Maybe I’m just not seeing it. I’ve used witchcraft to help her magick flow properly, but that is all I recognise. I have given into the definition of the word black, and then applied it to my magick.

Black – adjective, black·er, black·est, noun, verb, adverb, adjective

1. Lacking hue and brightness; absorbing light without reflecting any of the rays composing it.

2. Characterized by absence of light; enveloped in darkness: a black night.

 

The “absence of light” and the first definition implies you need light to see through blackness. From the spectrum of magick, one must find the inner blackness to find the light – or accept the blackness in your life in order to fully appreciate the light. Witchcraft is about spells and rituals, symbols and practice, whilst magick is a type of inner yoga that resides with the soul; it is not physical. Therefore “black magick” should be categorised as non-spiritual and materialistic, whilst “black witchcraft” is the use of spells, rituals and manifesting magick for either good or bad means. Agree to disagree? It is still and undefined theory of mine… I could be wrong. The Tree of Life supports my theory.

The other day I asked this on my page, and got the following response from the ever inspiring Mr. Theli:

“I’ve been wondering recently, has anyone ever considered spells, whether they are for good health or strength, or even spells to make someone happier/sad, could be seen as “black/materialistic magic” purely on the basis that these acts don’t do anything to enlighten you?

“My point, I see Magick and witchcraft as two different tools. Magick is to empower and enlighten; witchcraft is merely a materialistic tool for everyday life (or living in Malkuth and never moving up).”

 

“93, Sy!

Let’s suppose you and I are enrolled in advanced humanities course at Gaia University entitled “Life, Health and Paradox – H303” lead by professor Raph A. El.

You’ve had some difficulty with a recent exam, so I heist the professors grade book and bump you up a grade point, just so you can keep your head above water, so to speak. Well, we both just failed the class.

This would be a brief insight as to how I believe incautious healing may be considered “black”.

Karmic lessons can be very convoluted, and intervening in another’s lessons, while of admirable intent, may in fact be theft.

Ultimately we are left with Knowledge, Understanding and Will. We use our knowledge to make our decision, then apply our will with full understanding of possible consequence, in pursuit of wisdom.

93, 93/93.”

 

It felt so good to know a few folks understood what I said, but I loved this response because he took my theory right out of my head (and he wrote it in a Crowley/Thelema manner; with the rather flowery tone in text), and managed to still touch upon Malkuth. Malkuth is the sphere or Sephirot at the base of the Tree of Life. Usually seen with four colours, the black quarter is at the very base. This Sephirot is known as the “materialistic” or “non-spiritual” centre. It’s the micro representation of the Universe, the beginning, the Bride. All magicians start their path within the sphere of Sephirot, they become the Bride as it were, face their demons (ego, animalistic urges and darkness) and marry it to become akin with Yesod, the Groom. Seeing as my magick is growing more and more Hermetic as each day passes, it only makes sense to apply my theory of “black magick” as purely non-spiritual. See my point now? Do ya? Yeah? No?

I don’t mean to scare any of you, or confuse or even offend you, but I think I’ve hit something, and I need to investigate. I’ll go into my understanding of Malkuth soon! Malkuth is very personal to me at this stage in my life.

Sy, 93s


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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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Love is Innate; Physically or Not

At least to me. Bare with me, this post will be weird, but I hope I get my overall positive message across. If you assume I’m moaning and groaning then I hope you leave this page; I only ask for a rational look and some guidance, and maybe a little sympathy—a trait I have not seen in even the closest of friends.

Okay, let’s start.

Quite recently I came to the conclusion that love with another is unbalanced and quite unfair for those of us who have never truly seen its face. It’s an area I have often battled with, questioning why we are left out, or if we would ever truly feel what even fleeting love is like. Many people have complained or told me off saying I’m being silly or over thinking too much. Fair enough, I take those little pieces of advice, but can you see why I find it hard to find a sort of equilibrium? Almost everyone who I have crossed, who have shared their words of wisdom are in relationships or have been. They aren’t 24 year old loners who only have themselves to question.

I’m empathic, and sometimes I love it because I can help people or even use it for spiritual meditations, other times I hate it because other Magickal folks I know have no experience with it or witchcraft. Whilst I can be next to someone and read them, it can get me into trouble sometimes! Haha! The one thing that I would regard as a gift only a few posses, like love, is sympathy. I find it easy to read others, and decide whether I will walk in their shoes to understand them. Once you start learning, you move up from one plateau to the next and forget how to come back down once in a while. People often forget what’s its like to be alone and loveless. To be frustrated and afraid. To have a broken heart and feel neglected at times. Only a few people have been kind enough to keep me positive, but I have met others who haven’t dealt with their own issues of abandonment, but see fit to judge me. Every man and every woman is a star. We are all stars in the sky—all part of the same eternal blanket. We all have to experience things the way we are supposed to, and love is a subject I look at under a new light.

This is where I get a little spiritual and mostly positive (and maybe delusional?). I have spoken briefly about a Goddess ritual I did a while back, in which I asked the Universe to open up the Goddess within me in order to see myself in a more real and positive light. I have loved looking at myself in the mirror since, and I feel even more relaxed about my person. I am who I am, and I’m glad I’m on this journey with myself. If I need to do things for myself, I do without worrying. I guess all in all, since I performed that ritual I have felt incredible. I don’t see my innate deity, or “inner goddess/god” as an actual being, it’s more of a spark that ignites itself every now and then, reassuring me my path is exactly how it needs to be. The more I open up my mind to who I am, what I want to be and how I am to feel without regret, the more I love myself.

Descartes often argued his notion of knowledge [of God] being innate on his meditations, one example would be his ‘Trademark argument”, in which he states that God is a tradesman or carpenter who leaves his trademark on his creations. Buddha often referred to his students that the only way to be enlightened or spiritual is to look inside yourself and find your own Buddha. New Age women say one needs to do the same and find your inner God/Goddess, and that’s what I am doing. I have come close to meeting that innate being who is currently teaching me a valuable lesson. Crowley referred to this being as the HGA, now I’m not 100% on this being as I thought previously so bare with me, but the more and more I dive deeper within, the more I love and the more I learn. In a way I have found my first true love, and that’s me. I need to let go of the materialistic ideal that some guy will come along and sweep me off my feet. I don’t see Sebastian Vettel or Aurelian Rougerie running down my street anytime soon…

I’ve been in a relationship with my spiritual self since the tender age of 11 and I hadn’t realised. The great thing is, regardless of how depressed and worrisome I had been, and how I will be every so often in the future, this innate being with its lifeline to the Ultimate Ancestor/God/Universe, loves me no matter what. That’s a great feeling. I have a reason to smile and a reason to be goofy and weird. I’m loved and that is perfect. Not everyone finds love in the way books teach, or the way all your friends or the strangers around you show. Love isn’t conventional, or at least that is how I see it. Nuns find love in God or Buddha. I find love in the little part of the Universe, in me.

I have a checklist of goals I want to accomplish in life. One is academia. I’m going to keep my head down and focus, be a better witch and Thelemite and most importantly be happy with myself (even with the odd ego inflation).

I’m loving this track right now, James Blake’s new single Retrograde

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