Sunday, November 5, 2017

Aleister Crowley, Some Things you Might Want to Know

Magician and Thelemite, Aleister Crowley
Aleister Crowley

A note from the author of this piece: those who know me from my Facebook page, will not be at all surprised to read these words - that if I could find a way to traverse back in time, that I'd loved to have loved him, even if for a short while... 
~ Jude


A Concise Beginners Introduction to 'The Beast,' Aleister Crowley

by Jude (Joodhe)

He was born Edward Alexander Crowley, on October 12, 1875; died on December 1st, 1947. He was born in Leamington Spa, England, and died at Hastings England (72 years of age).

Crowley (pronounced as, crow [as in the bird] - ley) was a great magician, and due to the great contributions he made to magick, may have been the greatest magician of our times. There are many detrimental claims made concerning Crowley, which could be because he existed in a time in history where religion and behaving a certain way was necessary to fit in, far more so than it is today. His father was heir to a brewing fortune, and was also an evangelist for a Christian Fundamentalist religious organization, known as the Plymouth Brethren. Crowley had no interest in Christianity and turned away from it to pursue his own path. He was university educated (Cambridge); and through his years could call himself many things, including a mountaineer, a prolific writer, a painter, a poet, a teacher, a visionary, a chess player, a hedonist, an occultist, and a ceremonial magician.

Crowley referred to himself as 'The Beast 666,' which was him adopting and embracing a slur his mother applied to him when young. She felt that as he rejected Christianity, that he was influenced by the Devil. As for his birth name, he did not like it and changed it, as for one thing he was looking for a name that met his requisite. In his words: "I had read in some book or other that the most favourable name for becoming famous was one consisting of a dactyl followed by a spondee, as at the end of a hexameter: like Jeremy Taylor." The name 'Aleister Crowley' fit the bill, and Aleister as well, is Gaelic for Alexander; he was Irish after all.

Crowley was bisexual, with his primary preference being men, with he adopting the submissive role. For a while he lived in a partnership with a male by the name of Herbert Charles Pollitt, whom he loved dearly. However, the differences between them in matters of faith ultimately caused them to part ways, as Pollitt had little to no interest in Western esotericism.

Crowley in Golden Dawn robe
Crowley in Golden Dawn robe

Crowley became a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1898, and that's where he learnt ceremonial magick, tarot, alchemy, astrology, qabalah, and other hermetic subjects. It was he himself that appended a k to the word magic, in order to differentiate works from those conducted by a stage magician. There, by the way, is great significance in that Crowley affixed the k onto magic. Within doing so he brought the numerical value of the word to eleven. And as well there are eleven words in "do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." No mere accident, this is an example of the particular and thorough man and deep thinker that Crowley indeed was. His aim was to standardly create correspondences, and so he did.

Crowley ultimately was ousted from the Golden Dawn; it has been said that the reason was that W.B. Yeats was the primary one that pushed for it to happen, as he found Crowley's approach to magick offended his own, and also deemed his behavior to be immoral. A bit of poetic injustice going on there, it seems. Thereafter A.C. spent time in Asia, where he learnt yoga, and also and mysticism from an Oriental perspective; he felt these things added great value to the magick he had till then practiced.

He created the faith 'Thelema,' of which the principal tenet is a phrase already touched upon - "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. [Love is the law, love under will.]" He considered himself to be the prophet that would guide humanity into the Aeon of Horus. While married to his wife Rose, that he'd wed in 1903, he travelled to Egypt; and while there he wrote 'The Book of the Law,' or 'Liber AL vel Legis,' which is the sacred book of Thelema.

In 1906 he started a branch of the Great White Brotherhood, named the Astron Argon, or Silver Star. A few years thereafter he joined a German Freemasons group, called Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). The organization was deeply steeped in magickal activity, and after a while Crowley became (disputably) the top man there. Some say that him becoming top man was opposed by many, and caused a rift and subsequent separation. But under him they were led to regard Thelemic tenets, and as well they disengaged from the Freemasons, thus women were no longer barred from joining.

Inspiration of a sort was provided to William Somerset Maughan, who with the character Oliver Haddo, portrayed Crowley in his 1908 novel 'The Magician.' By 1914 A.C. was having his first bouts with financial distress, as he spend his money extravagantly and had been abusing drugs.

Crowley, circa 1912
A.C. in ceremonial robe, 1912

In 1929 Crowley wed again, this time to Maria Sanchez de Miramar, to whom he would still be married to at the time of his death. Into the mid thirties he was facing far more severe financial issues, and he ended up filing bankruptcy. Though he continued to bring in royalties from some of his better known works, such as 'The Book of Thoth,' and 'Diary of a Drug Fiend'; his addiction ate the funds up and he ended up living in a rooming house. For the record, the concept for his Thoth tarot deck was extracted from his Book of Thoth, the artwork was produced by Lady Frieda Harris.

At times throughout his life since becoming a heroin user, Crowley tried to kick the habit; and thus he could regather himself enough to get some degree of new foothold from time to time, and this happened yet again in the forties. It was in the mid forties that he acquired a male secretary by the name of Kenneth Grant. He had not the money to pay him and thus Grant's wage was the knowledge provided. Grant went on to become not only a Thelemite and a ceremonial magician, but also the co-founder (along with his wife) of 'the Typhonian Ordo Templi Orientis' (TOTO); the name was changed in 2011 just prior to Grant's death, to become 'the Typhonian Order.'

Aleister, lived out the final days of his life as a poor man in a rooming house. During his life he was for the main part publicly despised, and was appreciated and/or followed by relatively few. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:
"Crowley considered himself to be one of the outstanding figures of his time. The historian Ronald Hutton stated that in Crowley's youth, he was 'a self-indulgent and flamboyant young man' who 'set about a deliberate flouting and provocation of social and religious norms', while being shielded from an 'outraged public opinion' by his inherited wealth. Hutton also described Crowley as having both an 'unappeasable desire' to take control of any organisation that he belonged to, and 'a tendency to quarrel savagely' with those who challenged him. Crowley biographer Martin Booth asserted that Crowley was 'self-confident, brash, eccentric, egotistic, highly intelligent, arrogant, witty, wealthy, and, when it suited him, cruel'. Similarly, Richard Spence noted that Crowley was 'capable of immense physical and emotional cruelty'. Biographer Lawrence Sutin noted that Crowley exhibited 'courage, skill, dauntless energy, and remarkable focus of will' while at the same time showing a 'blind arrogance, petty fits of bile, [and] contempt for the abilities of his fellow men'. The Thelemite Lon Milo DuQuette noted that Crowley 'was by no means perfect' and 'often alienated those who loved him dearest.'"
unicursal hexagram
The unicursal hexagram, the symbol of Thelema, can be drawn without lifting the pen, thus the name

After his death though, he became famous, especially amongst darker flavoured entertainers, such as Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne. The very mention of his name creates rifts of polarity - people tend to love or hate the man. To some like me, he will be regarded as one of the greatest, not only magicians that ever lived, but also one of the greatest authors and greatest men; but some feel that his hedonistic lifestyle, drug abuse, and lack of moral standing, are reason enough cast disdain thickly onto the volumes of knowledge and wisdom he imparted and onto the effect inspiration wise that his life had on so many posthumously.

There is one thing Crowley took a public beating over, and I found the topic distasteful, thus chose to simply quote from a Wikipedia page where I found a concise paragraph on it:
"Professing to be of Irish ancestry and a supporter of Irish independence from Great Britain, Crowley began to espouse support for Germany in their war against Britain. He became involved in New York's pro-German movement, and in January 1915 German spy George Sylvester Viereck employed him as a writer for his propagandist paper, The Fatherland, which was dedicated to keeping the US neutral in the conflict. In later years, detractors denounced Crowley as a traitor to Britain for this action. In reality, Crowley was a double agent, working for the British intelligence services to infiltrate and undermine Germany's operation in New York. Many of his articles in The Fatherland were hyperbolic, for instance comparing Kaiser Wilhelm II to Jesus Christ; in July 1915 he orchestrated a publicity stunt – reported on by The New York Times – in which he declared independence for Ireland in front of the Statue of Liberty; the real intention was to make the German lobby appear ridiculous in the eyes of the American public. It has been argued that he encouraged the German Navy to destroy the Lusitania, informing them that it would ensure the US stayed out of the war, while in reality hoping that it would bring the US into the war on Britain's side."

...and all I have to add to the last thought presented, is that no one is perfect...


Aleister, as already mentioned, was a prolific writer, and amongst his works are the ones found here: List of Aleister Crowley Works (Wikipedia)
and here: Crowley at Dark Books

References:
Wikipedia on Crowley
Crowley on Encyclopedia.com
The Ordo Templi Orientis Phenomenon on Crowley

Related Reading on our Blog:
To Mega Therion
The Virgin & the Whore
The Serpent Gate: To Meta ophion (a tarot resource)

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Joodhe, no Longer of the Right Hand Path... (and What is LHP?)

From Here on in this Blog will Include Some LHP Content


In the updated blog description some of you will have noticed that there is now a reference to LHP, which is short for Left Hand Path. Many will know what that means, what it is, and others will not. It is not simple to explain, because to some degree it is subjective; its description is sure to vary depending up on who you ask. To simplify, most correctly put, those who journey the Left Hand Path are Satanists, Luciferians, Demonolators, and atheists. The term Right Hand Path generally refers to Christianity, and also to most Pagan faiths.

The reason that this blog will from here on in at times have posts relative to the Left Hand Path, is because me, this blog author, has recently begun her journey of the Left Hand Path. This is not a post of confession or me wanting to discuss my own faith, but is simply a prep for what is to come. In society at large, those of LHP faiths are still commonly largely rebuked. And that's simply too bad, because in this new age of spirit, people are free to be who they are and whatever they are. That includes me and you both.

One thing that many who're unfamiliar with LHP faiths don't commonly understand, is that while the  Christian versions of the Devil, Satan, and Lucifer are malevolent beings, to those of the LHP that are theistic, Satan and Lucifer are not Devils at all, but are benevolent gods. As a Luciferian, I myself have met Satan, and he is noble, kind and compassionate, and wise, so very wise. He is always there to guide me.

I know some will not like that I have made this one change in my blog content, and that's just a part of growing and changing, that I'll have to accept. I do however ask that if it bothers you on any level, to try to keep your mind open and see, that light and dark cannot exist without one another. It's true to say that if you take your flashlight and shine it into the light, you cannot see its beam. So for light to exist, darkness also needs to exist. Such is the very nature of our universe. Nothing exists without a contrast, polarities exist in all things. As above, so below. As within, so without. There is nothing but dichotomy, polarity, contrast, and balance. So then, for light to exist in harmony, it must exist beside darkness.

With that said, welcome to the new face and personality of my blog, which amongst all other matters metaphysical, is also now LHP.

This blog's Webmaster,
Joodhe (Jude)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Intervention: People and their Demons

demon
Demon. Source: Pixabay


Protecting People from the Harm of Demons, or from Themselves?


by Joodhe (Jude)

A few weeks ago on Facebook I put up a post; it issued a thank you to the people that had over time sent individuals to me, that were in need of help in extricating themselves from situations where they felt they were being attacked by demons. When the post was published, one of my Facebook friends posted a question, that read: "I read a quote somewhere and right now I cannot find it. Basically it said many people think they are conjuring demons but most often what they call forth is a malevolent spirit that attaches itself to them. They didn't cast a circle or they played with magick without respect and it bit them. I find in my studies and works demons don't mess with idiots unless they deliberately disrespect them."

Now what was not delved into within that thread, is that I do not fully agree with the concept that "most people call forth attachments," because I have not monitored how enough people do their magick, nor do I know the results that would occur if they would standardly do their magick without protection. Anyone writer would be presumptuous to make such a statement. I do however agree that demons react unfavorably when disrespected.

The truth is that though it is standardly recommended to use protection, the greatest protection in any instance including magick, is in what you allow yourself to believe. If you believe that you are protected and are dealing exclusively with the entities you wish to summon, then that's what your experience will be. Period.

demoness
Ethereal blue demoness. Source: Pixabay


Anyway, back to the thought at hand, which is the comment posed; my response was: "People commonly talk about 'facing one's demons.'" And the term is apropos, because demons can show people how ignorant they are, and in that way are an invaluable tool. One lesson demons seem to be in a hurry to give people, is that if they are feared they will give the person in question good reason to fear them. That's why some of the attacks are so aggressive, because the person under attack lets their fear increase as the attack increases, and the whole thing just keeps snowballing.

All they have to do is reach out to that demon and accept them in peace - just chill and accept. When they do there is never any further issue. This after the individual has often spent significant money elsewhere."

And I elaborated with an additional blurb that said: "I agree with you, that people who do not know proper magickal procedure should not be working in magick, more so when their vibration frequency is low, and anyone can hit a time when theirs is low, so yes, adequate protection is necessary." Within this article it has previously been explained how I feel about protection in magick - to control the mind is all that's required. And this comment at first glance seems to contradict that. But it would be unwise for me to recommend anyone not use protection. We are the knowledge keepers, and the highest quality information must be given to those that do not know, and from there their path can be wrought.

In response to my comment, the person I was speaking to said: "Facing one's demons to me is a metaphor for facing my inner conflicts, the demons in my own head that hold the roots to the issues that cause me to fear and hold me back, like my Christian upbringing. Not actual demons. Those I have met (demons) have been only willing to help once asked. They never forced themselves on me. Rather that they revealed they were available and waited for me to come to them. Infinite love and patience was shown as I took my time facing my fears and finding my way."

demon
Celestial demonic entity. Source: Pixabay


And in response I elaborated on my initial remark thusly: "Yes, I agree with you that facing one's demons would standardly be used in a context as you describe. I used it as a parallel to offer that one's 'inner demons' exist to urge them to seek harmony, as actual demons work in a very similar way. Whatever they are attacking a person for, is directly relevant to the individual under attack; and in saying this I mean that in no instance is a demon going to attack a person for absolutely no reason.

At the very least, if they have been sent to attack and the person on the receiving end fears demons, then that person's lesson becomes to learn not to fear demons. In learning not to fear demons the attack ends, and this is absolute."

My Facebook friend responded:
"Food for thought...
So is it actual demons attacking or is it our fear manifesting demons through the projection of those fears?
If what we believe is what we bring forth are we not therefore creating our own 'demons'?"

Then back to me responding with: "I will say this... there is a strong parallel between spirits and servitors. Servitors are created for a certain purpose, or when sentient are created with a tendency towards having certain traits and abilities. Spirits are after energies of beings that once lived, and entities are living energy beings. And it could be said that spirits are mutable, as are entities and immortals. When I say they are mutable I mean that they are in ways affected by our thoughts. And while servitors are created, the others are not. If I give examples of how they may be affected by thought, this thread could go on forever, so I'll leave it at that.

Spirits are already in existence (so we don't create them), as are entities and immortals. But yes, demons react to fear, and as already discussed on another thread we know that right from spirits to immortals, energy beings will change how they appear according to what a person believes, and also the characteristics they have can change and their natures can change. So while we do not create them, we fuel them with our thoughts in certain ways. Some people as you know get very showy displays in the presence of faeries and/or angels, while others get nothing. Some consistently get attachments while others get none, and some get attacked by demons while the next person may be attacked on a low level or even perhaps not at all (when demons are sent to attack I mean).

Many work with demons and never ever have a problem with one, while another cannot control them at all or cannot work in harmony with them. This is because people manage these spirits by their thoughts and beliefs.

**I initially neglected to say that I drew the parallel between servitors and these other beings, because when a servitor is created, it is created entirely by the powers of the mind, from the ground up. Whereas the effect of the mind on other energy beings is added on after, to the essence of what they already were. But in both instances what is going on in the mind holds much power."

The response I got from the friend engaging me was: "Talk about a rabbit hole..."

And thereafter the chat  was lighthearted and faded away into nothingness. A very interesting conversation if there ever was one - evocative to spirit keepers, spirit conjurers, and to magick practitioners at least. There's only one thing I feel compelled to add - that when I say that if a person can control their thoughts that they will not be afflicted with attachments; there is one instance where it is not so...

When a person's thoughts have been negative long enough it brings their vibrational frequency down; down low enough that even if they choose to change their beliefs at that period in time, attachments will not immediately leave. And in my days working to alleviate people of such attachments and attacks, this was a problem. Because they would say things such as "but I changed my beliefs and I am still suffering..."; and this would be relatively uncommon, but because of how people identify themselves through conveying their thoughts, it was simple to predict who would be most likely to say such a thing... I could set my watch by it, pretty much.

So I would describe them the process, how they would have to regularly smudge, meditate, cleanse their aura, and listen to frequency raising binaural beats. And as sure as the sun shines, that's the point when I'd never hear from them again. Why? Because in instances when I bothered to check past that point, they hadn't bothered to follow the necessary steps to upgrade their vibration. And that was their business entirely - it's the choice they made.

For the record, I no longer help people rid themselves of demonic attacks and entity attachments, for the aforementioned reason. They primarily remain with people that cannot or will not take all necessary steps to eradicate their problem, in which case it becomes clear that they in fact do not want to cure the very problem they sought my help in dealing with. My time is far too precious for that; but I do feel for those who can no longer access my help due to this conflict of interest. However, if I knew that someone seriously needed my help and was prepared to do as necessary, surely I'd be there for them.

Where are the Tarot & Various Other Articles that were on this Blog?

All tarot card meaning posts have been unpublished


All of the tarot card definitions as well as some other articles have been removed from my blog. It was necessary for me to do that due to my predicament; let me explain...

I had been trying to update the court card descriptions, but kept running into the same scenario - that each time I made time to work on one post, either something else came up that needed dealing with, or another matter of importance had to wait because I was doing that. It became a long running issue, and was stressful. In the end I took time to mull it over, and for so many reasons felt that the tarot definitions should go...

First, as stated I don't have time to update them. As well, when it comes to business, I have another magician (another besides me, of course) that's joined my store, and now must focus on more important matters. It was with this in mind that I decided to go in and clear out all posts that I felt needed to go, to give me absolute peace of mind in moving forth. My absolute focus must be placed upon my magick, my store, and my promotions. Not to mention that I have a thriving FB community, and that also needs to be overseen.

So that's the whole sordid story, I'm afraid, and that's why over 120 articles were unpublished yesterday. If there comes a time when I am freer to address updating them, then that's going to happen. If not, so be it.

Thanks so much for understanding

Jude

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Putting the Tarot's Star in Context: Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

The Thoth Star card
Crowley/Harris, Thoth "The Star" tarot card


Quite Telling of Each other - The Tarot's Star Card and this Astrological Age


by Race MoChridhe

The Star is, unquestionably, one of the best-loved cards in the Tarot. Across multiple decks, it is routinely voted “most beautiful”, and I have yet to meet the reader who does not breathe a sigh of relief upon seeing it, taking comfort in its traditional meanings of peace, inspiration, guidance, and hope.

Hope, however, is a complicated thing. The name of the infamous Pandora originally meant “all-giving”, and it appears that the earliest version of her tale cast her as a goddess bringing humanity a jar of blessings. The Greek poet Hesiod, however, reinterpreted her as “all-gifted”—a divinely crafted seductress whose irresistible charms led man to ruin when she opened a jar (“box” is a Renaissance mistranslation) of curses from the gods, unleashing pestilence upon the world and leaving only hope inside. Interpreters have argued over the story’s end for 2500 years. Why was hope left at the bottom of the jar? Did the jar seal hope off from humanity or prevent its flying away, so that humanity might keep it? Most importantly, is hope a blessing that empowers us to endure the jar’s myriad of evils, or is it a curse—a false hope that only increases our torments?

Our world today certainly seems to have more of this latter kind of hope than it does of the former. The hope of our time has best been described as a vague “progress-ism” which assumes that, despite all setbacks, the natural trajectory of all science and scholarship, all politics and economics, even all spirituality and morality, is “up” or “forward” (with the relative direction of these terms being defined by whichever demagogue happens to suit the moment). To the adherents of this unusual ideology—unknown anywhere in the world before the Renaissance and anywhere outside Europe before the “Enlightenment”—the Star’s traditional association with the sign of Aquarius seems the consummation of hope. The incoming Age of Aquarius, held by a majority of astrologers to have begun sometime in the 20th century, is widely held to be, in the words of the musical Hair, a time of “Harmony and understanding / Sympathy and trust abounding / No more falsehoods or derisions / Golden living dreams of visions / Mystic crystal revelation / And the mind’s true liberation”. This is to put something of a gloss on the raw data, however.

More soberly expressed, the common attributes of the Aquarian Age are usually given as some variant of this list: electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealism, modernization, nervous disorders, rebellion, nonconformity, philanthropy, humanity. The dire implications of some of these, such as nervous disorders, are already evident enough to require no further comment. Many of Aquarius’ more insidious elements, however, have not yet come to be commonly recognized.

The Piscean Age was a time of deep feeling (as befits a water sign). Life was, in consequence, intensely personal. In the West, the family was the dominant social institution, the economy and the bulk of social services were in the hands of local guilds and church institutions, and political power was mediated by bonds of personal loyalty. It was also, in keeping with the mutable and dual nature of the sign, a period in which human beings were understood as bridging the spiritual and the material worlds. For this reason, political thought was largely dyarchic, seeing both the spiritual and temporal authorities as working best when in balance with one another.

The Star, tarot
Rider Waite Smith, "The Star" tarot card

As the copious efforts of medieval copyists to preserve ancient literature attest, even the Pagan and Christian inheritances of Western culture were reconciled in a view well summarized by Nicolás Gómez Dávila, who wrote that “Paganism is the other Old Testament of the Church”. The Piscean world strove to balance the vaultingly universal with the intensely personal, the transcendentally spiritual with the avowedly worldly, and faithfulness to the past with authenticity in the present. It left us the great cathedrals and the romances of the troubadours by which to pass judgement on its efforts.

The Age of Aquarius can only be understood by contrast, because this close to its inception, its qualities are less absolute values than they are movements relative to the Piscean order. It is a time of rationalization and abstract intellect (as befits an air sign), in which the arts have decayed and spirituality has become scorned. It claims to care deeply for “humanity”, but exhibits no patience with the particularity and diversity of flesh-and-blood human beings, presiding over the most rapid and violent extinctions of languages, religions, and folkways in human history. It has desacralized the family, broken the guilds, and usurped the personal loyalties that once gave security and meaning to human life, replacing them with a vast, impersonal bureaucracy that regards its subjects as so much human livestock, devoid of any need or aspiration beyond being dry and well fed.

The Aquarian narrowing of human vision to the purely intellectual has prized rationality and efficiency over the sacrality and aesthetic of traditional craft, and thereby devalued the working woman and man. It is in the attempted remedies to this crisis that the astrologically “fixed” nature of Aquarius has become most apparent. In place of the Piscean reverence for human heritage and humility before nature (human and otherwise), which promoted a certain measure of flexibility in the thinking of that time, the Aquarian world believes itself the culmination of history and proclaims itself lord over a dead universe, imagining that all problems can be resolved by an ever more intense exploitation of the natural world and by the rigidly universalistic enforcement of materialist values and ideals that, in their reductivism, are regarded as immutable laws of nature. Chief among these is mass democracy—the conversion of organic communities into atomized electorates, the replacement of local leadership by the “will of the people” on an abstracted national scale, the reimagining of responsibilities to others as rights for oneself—a sickness peddled as a cure.

Such Aquarian traits as flight and humanitarianism have thus not found their expression, as the writers of Hair were still able to hope in a swelling of human unity, at the vision of the earth from space, but instead have come upon the plane of manifestation as relentless bombing campaigns against Iraq, Libya, Syria, and a dozen other nations in a quixotic bid to rain freedom down in shell casings. If the reader thinks this vision unduly pessimistic, she may consider for herself whether as much of the Age of Aquarius as she has experienced answers better to the promises of Hair or to the predictions of the Australian astrologer Robert Ziller, who has suggested that “the Pisces world… will be replaced in the Aquarian Age by a world ruled by secretive, power-hungry elites seeking absolute power over others… knowledge in the Aquarian Age will only be valued for its ability to win wars… knowledge and science will be abused… the Aquarian Age will be a Dark Age in which religion is considered offensive” (“The Use of Archetypes in Prediction,” The FAA Journal 32.3, September 2002, pp: 37–53).

There is a certain sense, then, in which the hope offered by the Star is a curse—a false hope that the evils of pollution can be fixed by more industry, or that the evils of political instability can be cured by further regime change—follies that have their more personal reflections in readings for clients who are taking out loans for a Ph.D. because their Master’s degree in the same subject was unemployable, or who are thinking of having a baby to fix their broken marriage. In the sequence of the major arcana, the Star is followed directly by the Moon—a card traditionally associated with fear, illusion, and bewilderment. Joan Bunning writes of this transition that, “his [the Fool’s] bliss [coming from the Star] makes him vulnerable to the illusions of the Moon. … In his dreamy condition, the Fool is susceptible to fantasy, distortion, and a false picture of the truth.”

As I look at the Star amidst the failures of progress-ism, however, I find myself paradoxically inspired by another kind of hope—the hope that is implicit in despair. It is a truism of pop psychology that people do not change until it becomes too painful to stay the same. It is only when the Fool is well and truly lost in the moonlight that he realizes that the Star has not guided him, and only then that he can turn from it and begin to perceive that what appeared as darkness while he was striving toward the unobtainable light of a far-off sun, is in fact the reflected light of his own proper star. Once he turns his vision from the Star to the Moon, he finds the Moon transfigured, in his new and deeper spiritual perception, into the Sun.

Such is the epiphany of one who moves back from the big city to her small hometown, or who stops chasing some dream job upon realizing that he can find contentment in the career to which fortune has led him. Perhaps someday it will also be the epiphany of a world that turns its back on industrialism and mass politics, and douses its electric lights so that it can, once more, behold a blanket of real stars.

*****

llustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright ©1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

RWS image is a Wikimedia file from a 1909 deck originally scanned by Holly Voley http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/

Thoth image copyright (c) US Games Systems Inc.; AGMuller; O.T.O.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Draught of Lethe: Further Reflections on the Goetic Demon Kings (Part II)


Goetia spirit Vine's seal
Viné's seal


The Primary Message of the Goetic Demon Kings :: Know Yourself


by Race MoChridhe

In my last article, we examined the strange afterlife of the Goetia’s demon kings, focusing on their uptake in contemporary popular culture as a form of entertainment. We gave less attention to the reasons for their survival as objects of occult working, and it is this which we now consider.

As I observed before, most of us have forgotten the great demonologies that it once obsessed scholars to compile; and the magickal arts that commanded their denizens, have passed for the greater part into oblivion. The preservation of some small portion of both by a diverse panoply of occultists, sorcières, and Satanists is a testament to a much more powerful and pervasive form of forgetting, however.

In Greek—the great theurgical language of the West—the word for truth is aletheia, which literally means “un-forgetfulness” (sharing a common root with the river Lethe in Hades, which erased the memories of the shades [spirits of the dead] who drank from it). This is because, in common with many other systems of esoteric and mystical teaching the world over, the ancient Greeks held that the soul, on some very deep level, retained the knowledge of all things from its once blessed state of union with divinity, but became forgetful of them upon entering the plane of physical manifestation. This teaching is expressed very clearly in Islam, where the story of Adam and Eve is told not as a tale of disobedience and rebellion, but as one of forgetfulness, where the primordial couple eats of the fruit because they are not mindful of God’s command.

The concept of forgetfulness is less foregrounded in Christianity, but implicitly present, as St. Paul’s writings make clear that all human beings are mystically united as one in Christ (Romans 12:5; Galatians 3:28)—an idea to which Jesus alludes many times in the Gospels, such as in John 15:5, to which we shall shortly return. To the extent that Christ dwells within us, and that we “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 2:5) such that God is in us all (Ephesians 4:16), all knowledge belongs to us by birthright, and it is only by the forgetfulness of our earthly existence that we do not remember.

In surveying the lists of the Goetia’s demons, who promise many and varied rewards to their summoners, it is therefore striking that the most common—indeed, nearly ubiquitous—promise is knowledge. The king known as Paimon (or Paimonia, or Pymon, depending on source) is an excellent example. He comes from his house in the northwest with a great roaring voice atop his dromedary. He is lovely of aspect, but does not offer his summoner comeliness.

Paimon
Paimon

He wears a precious crown, but does not offer riches. He is escorted by a swelling retinue of infernal musicians, but does not promise cheer. He commands two hundred legions, and may be accompanied by captains commanding yet more, but it is not power for which his aid is sought. Instead, he is evoked as a teacher of all manner of arts, philosophies, and sciences—able to divulge each kind of understanding, from the mysteries of the natural world to the nature of the mind. It is in this last that the point comes home most forcefully that he has been evoked precisely to learn what, in truth, we should know already within ourselves.

In Filianic lore, the Daughter of Eternity (a figure cognate in many ways to Christ, or the Shekhinah, or a Bodhisattva) is accosted by a host of demons who taunt and threaten Her. When their threats do not avail, they seek to tempt Her, offering to deliver the whole world into Her power, but She responds simply, “How shall you give to Me that which is Mine?” (Mythos 4:9) One thinks of the king called Beleth (or Bilet, Bileth, Byleth), who was legendarily invoked by Noah’s son Ham to help him write a treatise on mathematics.

Goetia spirit Beleth
Beleth


The grimoires tell us that he is of terrible aspect, and will seek to frighten his summoner, who must maintain the steel will to strike a triangle with a hazel wand and command Beleth to enter it. Often enough, Beleth refuses, in which case our terrified magician must rehearse again the extensive list of threats attached to his conjurations, at which point Beleth will become obedient, provided that the evoker also pay the homage due to one holding the rank of king, show utmost respect, and hold a silver ring against his own face in imitation of the deference shown in hell to the demonic prince Amaymon.

What are we to make of this near schizophrenic fusion of arrogance and obsequiousness—of command and contrition? It is the pitiful usage of one who has gone to a loan shark to borrow his own inheritance, or apprenticed himself to an abusive master to learn the teachings of a book that he, himself, has authored. To be “in thrall to the Devil” has come, in our culture, to sound of melodrama and superstition, but it becomes rather more intelligible when we imagine the occultist, whose innermost being is one with the Source of all Creation, alternately beckoning and bowing to Beleth to ask the secrets of the cosmos and we recall, with eyes fixed upon that sad sight, Kant’s definition of enlightenment as the “release from self-induced tutelage”.

It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the authors of these grimoires were simply too ignorant of perennial metaphysics to realize the absurdity of the scene. On the contrary, the grimoires—like all other literary inheritances from the ancient world—have come to us primarily through churchmen, who were the preservers of both the texts and their arts throughout the Middle Ages.

We noted last time the Book of Abramelin the Mage, which taught the art of summoning demons for the purpose of overcoming and banishing them. Other books were less obvious in their intent, offering instead warnings by their contents. This is most clearly seen in the case of the king named Viné, who, like so many others, “answereth of things hidden”. Viné’s name is, indeed, etymologically derived from Latin vinea, meaning vine. In rehearsing the New Testament’s many assertions of human unity with the divine nature I alluded briefly to John 15:5, which those who won school awards for scripture knowledge will recognize as the famous saying of Jesus to the Apostles that “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Goetia spirit Viné
Viné

Viné’s symbology systematically alludes to and opposes that of Jesus. Viné appears in the form of a lion, which both alludes to the lion as symbol of the lineage of Solomon (and hence the ancestry of Jesus, cf. Matthew 1:6–16) and implicitly opposes Jesus’ symbolism as the lamb (John 1:29) through reference to Isaiah 11:6. Viné rides a horse, opposing Jesus’ riding of the donkey on Palm Sunday (John 12:14). He builds large towers, opposing God’s casting down of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:8), and he makes waters choppy or stormy, in contrast to Jesus’ calming of the storm on the waters (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39; Luke 8:24). The originator of this depiction thus established his demon king as the antithesis of Christ, but it would be simplistic of us to read this merely as a stock portrayal of unholiness.

In the context of the purposes for which Viné is summoned, it would seem that the author of his description wanted us to be confronted, as starkly as possible, with the realisation that we are seeking outside ourselves a knowledge that, in truth, lies within, and that in doing so we conform ourselves to a twisted image that reflects our forgetting of the image in which we are made.

Wherever the summoning of demons finds a new lease on life, we may thus be sure that it owes less to preserving the memory of ancient arts, and more to forgetting an ancient wisdom. In the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus instructs His disciples, saying: “[T]he kingdom is inside of you… When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.” (Thomas 3)

What the Goetia and all like grimoires teach us is not how to call demons out of hell, but how to recognize that, if we have allowed ourselves to become the poverty of our own ignorance, hell is precisely where we are.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Strange Afterlife of Goetic Demon Kings (Part I)

Goetic demon king Baal
Goetic Demon King Baal (Bael)


The Last Great Conjurers (Touching Upon the Topic of Demon Kings)



by Race MoChridhe

Arts, like humans, are tenacious; they will find ways to survive. Most people think of classical music for example, as being something static and preserved. But in truth, orchestral composition is very much a dynamic and living art form, constantly budding with new work that the old masters would recognize as being akin to their own. It simply went where most of us don’t think to look for it; what were once symphonic suites are now film scores. Evocation is an art like this. The word itself is Latin—evocare—literally meaning to call out or to call forth.

Referred to rituals of the Roman army illustrate that they induced the tutelary deity of a city to abandon it and leave it a prey to Roman conquest. Generally, the god or goddess in question would be lured out with offers of a new, grander temple or more lavish festivals and devotions in the Roman occupation, in order to forestall any bad feelings that might arise if the existing temple or other sacred sites were to be damaged or plundered. During the late Empire, there were few new cities left to conquer in the wake of the victorious Roman legions, and few believers in tutelary deities left in the wake of victorious Christian missionaries, and so the art of evocation reinvented itself.

Goetic Demon king Asmodeus
Goetic Demon King Asmodeus (Asmoday)

In the new hybrid of Christianity and nostalgic imperium that came to be called Christendom, the evoker’s art stopped calling gods out of cities and began calling angels out of heaven and, more controversially, demons out of hell. Both, reputedly, could offer knowledge, wealth, and power to those equipped to command them. In the high middle ages, this equipment consisted primarily of pure intent and the favor of God, without which no spell or incantation was believed to avail. By the early Renaissance, however, the success of the scientific method and the emerging discipline of mechanical engineering inspired a renewal of the ancient magical belief that a ritual performed correctly will get results regardless of such niceties as unblemished hearts and lives of prayer.

The printing press thus, in more ways than one, brought forth a profusion of mass-produced demonological reference books and grimoires from the late 1400s on, intended to aid the aspiring evoker in his chosen work. Bafflingly contradictory and routinely plagiarized, these works fell out of popular favor after the enthusiasm for witch hunting died down in the early 18th century. Though they continued to circulate and to find admirers, evocation became an increasingly arcane hobby that left the realm of county fair cunningfolk and back alley fortune tellers to move into French salons and upscale London apartments.

There, these works were studied, cultivated, and systematized first by the Rosicrucians and then by the para-Masonic magical orders such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. To the extent that most of what contemporary people know about evocation, is owed to this tradition, and particularly to the work of MacGregor Mathers in translating the Lesser Key of Solomon—commonly known as the Goetia—and of Aleister Crowley in publishing it with his own additions, which included an ingenious treatise redefining evocation for the modern age, and presenting it as a tool for making contact with the deeper aspects of one’s own psyche.

Goetic demon king Belial and some followers (woodcarving)
Goetic Demon King Belial and some of his followers


Though it is still the case that most people have never read even the Goetia—now undoubtedly the most commonly circulated and cited grimoire—a surprising number know the names of some of the demons it describes, because, where orchestral music found its niche in Hollywood, evocation found a home in video games. The chief demons listed in the Goetia—the Goetic “demon kings”—star in games that are now household names. Baal, Azmodeus, and Belial all figure in Blizzard’s Diablo series, the most recent installment of which has sold 30 million copies to become the ninth best selling video game of all time. Twenty-two demons from the Lesser Key appear in the Final Fantasy franchise, which has branched out from video games to include television, film, and radio productions, in addition to comics and novelizations.

The Goetia presents techniques for summoning demons in order to command them, as King Solomon legendarily did to build his Temple. Another early modern grimoire (in which Crowley was also greatly interested), The Book of Abramelin the Mage, gives summoning instructions not in order to command demons, but to overcome and banish them so that the magician, cathartically freed of their influence, might draw nearer to God.

Game designers, like film directors and Aleister Crowley, are psychological adepts who work their magic by understanding just a little more than the average person does of what lurks in the recesses of every person’s mind. Perhaps quite unaware, millions of people who will never open the Goetia but who have started up their computers to summon its great demon kings to battle, have spent their time more profitably than we may have even thought... as what they have done is they've cornered, banished and slain their demon kings, in ways that others in real life have had to work far harder to do.

Part II

Friday, June 30, 2017

Ulexite, Healing and Metaphysical Properties

Ulexite
Ulexite; a Wikimedia file, CC by SA 3.0. Attribution: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com


What is Ulexite?


Ulexite... it has a neat name, and is commonly referred to as the "TV stone".  It can be clear, white, or somewhere in between. This stone is somewhat unusual in that there are naturally occurring fibers within it that conduct light fiber optically.


Metaphysical Properties


Its energies are suitable to program for assistance in connecting with spirit guides, angelic beings, those from other locations within our universe; and also our own higher self. Ulexite enhances creativity through boosting the imagination; as well this stone will allow you to clearly pick up life lessons and other messages that lie hidden within daily circumstance.

Like so many, you may be working to heighten your psychic awareness. Keeping a piece under your pillow when at sleep and on or close to your brow chakra during meditation sessions, will help you on your way. The energies within it have a strong clearing effect mentally, physically, and spiritually; and therefore it creates harmony between all three aspects of being. Its light transporting properties send the divine energy of light to where it needs to be.

When experiencing complexity or facing problems at work or in any area of life, ulexite holds the potential to guide you to find solutions. As well it promotes understanding, this as its energies transfer subliminal communications. When you can sense what someone is feeling, it's simpler for you to relate to them.


Herkimer Diamond on Amazon


Disclaimer: You should consult your health and/or mental health professional before using any alternative healing methods. This article does not suggest otherwise.


Healing Properties


As it works with the pineal and crown chakra centers, it provides healing to all conditions located in the head; this including eyesight and hearing problems, and it alleviates headache pain as well. When feeling fatigued, this stone bearing the properties of light can offer you an energy boost.


With Psychic Awareness


Like all "eye" or otherwise optical stones, such as hawk's eye and tiger's eye, ulexite can assist us to develop our psychic vision. This crystal type supports psychic vision over distance in two ways. First off, we can use it to see more distantly into time; and/or we can use it to more effectively conduct remote viewing sessions, which are often perceived over great distance by land or space. Here I will take the time to acknowledge that many remote viewing practitioners do not consider the skill to be psychic in nature.

More on its properties as a seer stone, is that it helps us to better read the energies of others and "see" the purposes they may have in mind for us. It is said to support the rest of the clair senses beyond that of clairvoyance as well. At times we need more insight into issues of self, and this stone can assist there too.


Optical Qualities


Articles describing the parallel between this mineral's properties and a TV are plentiful; the most common description goes like this: when placed upon printed matter, looking through it, the writing underneath appears to be at the surface of the stone, similar to the way that a TV screen presents an image.

But there is a different description for the TV-like phenomenon as well: this is a crystal type that is not see-through but from one angle. Place it on top of writing (or something else that's easily distinguishable); and when looking through it in the direction of the grain, you can see the text through this otherwise non-see-through stone.

Notice that with the second description, there's no mention of what you see appearing to be close to the surface. Now that doesn't seem so extraordinary, but on the other hand, a non-transparent stone is passing an image through, so maybe it is after all. TV-like? Who knows, it shows an image, that's TV-like, isn't it? This second explanation of its properties makes more sense to me though, as it's in line with my own experience. But with that said, I'd like to add that though I have a piece packed away somewhere, I did not test it to make sure that it was ulexite and not satin spar selenite, commonly sold in its place.

In 1991 it was presented in the Journal of Geological Education, that when you hold a piece of polished ulexite to your eye and look towards a source of light, you'll see concentric circles of light (G. Donald Garlick and W. Barclay Kamb).


Where is it Mined?


Ulexite is mined from a borax mine in Boron, California.


Care and Maintenance


Don't cleanse in water, as it will melt; this is what makes this mineral unsuitable to use as a gemstone.

 

Chakras


This crystal type is relative to the pineal, or brow chakra, and secondarily the crown chakra. Due to it having primarily white or no coloring and a high vibration frequency, it relates to all chakras to some degree.


Summary


The properties of ulexite, generally speaking enhance intuitive and psychic awareness, and also promote wisdom, discretion and better judgement. As already touched upon, this stone will lead you to better understand others. And of course it works the other way around as well, others will better understand you when you carry some with you.

When working with such high energy stones, it's a good idea to use a grounding stone. Either of black tourmaline or black obsidian is recommended, as they offer strong psychic protection on top of grounding. Using protection is wise when making psychic connections, lest your own vibration not be suitably high enough to connect exclusively with light beings at any given time.

Oh, and if you want a piece of this mineral, do some research and know what you are buying; some say that satin spar gypsum is often sold as ulexite.


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Friday, May 26, 2017

Basic Hints: Enabling Your Body to Heal Spiritually

balance and harmony

Body, Mind, and Spirit: Basic Points in Staying Healthy


by Joodhe

In theory you can heal your body through healing your spirit. Yes, of course you can, but it sounds daunting... wouldn't that be a long and arduous process? Well, it depends on how much work needs be done to energetically set you right. And once you are set right, naturally some ongoing maintenance will be required.

Now let's take a look at things we can do to help cleanse, center, harmonize and heal. It's both the small things and the large things that will make a difference. And even considering how redundant it sounds, as with all kinds of remedial processes we must actually follow through with our plans, not just make them. The suggestions I offer are not all metaphysical solutions, but some are. Proper healing methods will address you holistically - in body, mind and spirit. With these things in mind, here are things you can do to help regain or establish overall health and to promote healing:

Eat healthier foods. As cliche as it may sound, body is a temple, right?

Stop eating GMOs, and consider going vegetarian or vegan. GMOs wreak havoc upon your physical body. And meat carries the energy of a dead animal's carcass. We do not want or need these things.

Drink more water. Our bodies are primarily water; this only makes sense.

Stop drinking coffee. Not only does it make you edgy, recent research suggests that it dumbs you down as well.

sound healing

Do daily ritual cleansings. Here are a few suggestions for cleansing methods:

  • Take a selenite stick or palm stone, rub it across your entire body. 
  • Cleanse yourself with smudge. 
  • Sit in the sun.
  • Sit in the moonlight.
  • Soak in the tub, have a shower, or go swimming. Soaking in sea salt is especially good. Putting a bowl full of non soluble crystals in your bathtub is beneficial as well - whichever ones you feel serve you best. 

Ground, ground ground. Holding negative energies inside of you will create destruction and disease within your body, mind, and spirit. Grounding will release it.

Meditate. Meditation provides you a strong connection to the oneness, and allows you to understand and know all that you need to, in order to simply go with the flow of your highest aspect of being.

Work to balance and open your third eye and crown chakras. When facing less stress you'll be healthier. When your third eye and crown chakras are working optimally you'll find solutions and you'll find the best path in all things by going with your intuition.

Socialize. No man or woman is an island. If they are something is dreadfully wrong. We are connected to infinite intelligence and wisdom, to opportunities and networks, and to all the solutions that the universe will ever deliver us when we have friends. Without them we are off the grid in a sense.

If you have found yourself alone in your life - do what you can to begin reconnecting socially. It is of utmost importance; if not it's highly likely that you'll face ongoing life obstacles. How is the universe going to get help to you without a social circle? Yes, there are some that can thrive outside of society's bounds, but they are extremely rare. To live without connections one would have to be very connected to the universe in other ways. I've noticed that those that do so successfully often work the land, as if their connection to the Earth itself is key; and/or they meditate regularly, and have a direct connection to the universe as a whole in that sense.

Stay positive minded. Remain aware that everything you do and say will not only build the world around you, but will also adjust your health accordingly to the energy frequency range you reside within.

Listen. Listen to the unhearable. When doing nothing, listen to the universe. This helps you find solutions in life that you would otherwise miss.

Listen more. Listen to all of those frequency and singing bowl recordings that were designed to raise your frequency vibrational rate. You know, the ones you often see on YouTube, book mark and leave sit indefinitely waiting.

Listen to music. Whether you realize it or not, music is very healing.

Relax, and also get enough rest and sleep.

Walk outside. It's one way of connecting with nature.

Work outside. Garden, mow the lawn, paint the fence. In doing so you are grounding, and connecting with the earth as well.

Meditate in the woods. Meditating in a concentrated natural setting as such, does wonders for the soul.

Feel appreciation. Appreciate all things, especially things we often take for granted. You have a roof over your head, good food to eat, hopefully good friends. Go outside and see green grass, the beauty of a bird, or a cloud that looks like something familiar to you. A cat that looks happy to see you even. There are reasons everywhere, to be thankful.

Pay attention to synchronicity. It may not be easily identifiable as a healing thing, but you know, knowing that we are far from alone in this world and universe, enables us to feel empowered. Allow yourself if you haven't already, to tune into the fact that as an obstacle presents, immediately an opportunity arises to solve your problem (but one example of synchronicity). Once you've opened your mind to see it, your perspective will be forever changed. If it (solutions presenting) isn't happening it is because you've closed your mind somehow, and that's a sign you have work to do!

As stated though, the above is not the only example of synchronicity. All of the universe, past present and future is going on now. This means that at any time YOU have the power to make decisions that affect you positively or negatively from here on in - it's your choice. Your power lies entirely in your hands, which is a healthy belief to hold.

Avoid EMFs. If you must be exposed to them, consider drinking a glass or two of water a day with a teaspoon of baking soda in it, as it helps your body release some degree of EMF toxicity.

Stay away from negative people and toxic interactions. If you can't remove them from your circle or leave theirs, acknowledge how you feel interacting with them and be willing to accept those feelings for what they are. Once you have briefly processed your feelings, let them go, don't stew in them.

Avoid participating in negativism. Sometimes we might find ourselves caught up in an interaction where someone is making fun of a person or is taking a potshot. And when we don't know how to react or have been socially conditioned to participate ("everyone does it!"), it's hard to completely stop. However, this is not harmless, and becomes more harmful to a person as they ascend. Here's how I arrive at that conclusion: As we ascend we are given lessons. It is assumed as with all lessons, that the more advanced we get the more knowledgeable we become on the topic, and the more proficient we become at making good judgments.

So we become meditators, healers, counselors, and so on and so forth. And then we go to the coffee shop and get pulled into a convo where people are verbally picking on Joe Blow? Let's get real, hey? Most of us learn not to do this pretty fast; but if we don't immediately pick up on this lesson, as we ascend the lessons we get not to do it become stronger in progression.

So do what you can to stay healthy in body, mind, and spirit... really, as a good life is all about that.

Blessings

_____________

By the way, I didn't write every single hint of this type that could be mentioned, nor could I. Thus if you have suggestions, by all means leave them in the comments section!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Advice for an Unsexy, Work-Filled Beltane

The National Library of Wales by Wikimedia Commons. By CC 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.


Regarding Beltane Traditions


by Race MoChridhe

Spring, sometimes, is a long time coming.
I have lived in the fertile, sheltered valleys of Oregon, where Imbolc brings the first shoots of bulbs from the soil and daffodils come up as readily as snowdrops. I have lived in the great temperate woodlands of Minnesota, where the astronomical and botanical aspects of spring coincide, and the equinox mists the tips of long bare branches in a haze of green. I have lived too on the subarctic tundras of Alaska, where snow is thick on the ground even as Beltane approaches and what was for the ancient Irish the beginning of summer, is instead the first faint glimmer of spring.

What all these places have in common, however, is that both religious and secular observances of Beltane/May Day (which, although closely related, are technically distinct traditions) are virtually extinct. I was an adult making my first studies of the Pagan community before I ever saw an actual maypole (known to me previously only from scattered references in Edwardian stories) or witnessed anyone light a bonfire. I grew up with a handy father, however, who took advantage of the first pleasant days of the year to involve me in pouring new concrete steps for the patio, re-staining the fence, or planting trees. Ever since then, this time has brought a memory of energy to my hands and a desire to see will into action, idea into actuality. I also grew up at the end of the Cold War, and so, while I have had to work at my relationship with observances of Beltane and May Day, the arrival of International Workers’ Day is felt in my bones.

At first, these two takes on the season—giant-phallic-pole-in-the-middle-of-the-village May Day and giant-phallic-rockets-in-the-middle-of-Red-Square May Day—seem very different. All cultures, however, form their beliefs and rituals on patterns woven by a universal fabric, and these two traditions are, in fact, closely intertwined.

May blossom, the common hawthorn flower; Crataegus monogyna. Ceridwen, 
by Wikimedia Commons CC by SA 2.0

For the ancients, Beltane was a celebration of fertility, and modern Paganism has presented this most often in the Wiccan image of the marriage of the Lord and Lady, whose union begets the abundance of summer life. Yet who has been fruitful and multiplied without tilling the earth from which they were taken, and eating by the sweat of their brow? The sweet, sweaty trysts following the maypole dance have become so clichéd that double entendres hardly register in the Pagan community anymore, and every year about this time one sees a flood of articles reassuring both single Pagans and parents of small children that it is possible to mark the first of May in an entirely celibate fashion. These pieces generally have much to say of fun spring-greeting activities, but offer little meaning to the holiday aside from sanitized metaphors of the same primal themes—fertility rites worked with garden trowels instead of athames. It is in looking to the traditions of the labor movement that we can make deeper meaning of the day, because they remind us to look not just at the planted seed, but at the digging hands.

The moment our focus shifts in this way, we begin to see that the work is not just a metaphor for fertility, but a spiritual principle whole unto itself—one distinct in nature but alike in dignity. By the same inexorable logic that brought Pagan and Socialist May Day into being at this same point on the Year’s Wheel, the Roman Catholic Church appointed 1 May as the feast day of St. Joseph, patron saint of workers, and there is something profoundly beautiful amidst the fleshly tangle of Pagan Beltane in glancing through a church window to see Joseph celebrated for performing the work of being Jesus’ father even though he was not biologically so.

As Dorothy Sayers once sagely observed, the first and most essential thing which we can know of divinity is the act of creation, by which the ideas of the divine mind are given substance and expression in the worlds. Though we may figure this act, as Wicca generally does, in the terms of biological fertility, it is more fundamentally an illumination of the unformed by form—an actualization of potential, a bringing forth of dream into reality. The spirit-drunken post-maypole frenzy and the spirit-sober consummation of the handfasting are, in the end, just as much metaphors as are the various “replacement” activities of the yearly round of consolation articles—activities which are, in some ways, actually a step closer to the reality, for all that they are consist more of art and less of instinct.

This is, of course, not to say that the old-fashioned fertility rite is not effective, or even that it is not profound, for it can most certainly be both in the hands of a responsible practitioner. It is only to say that such rites are the first tender shoots of the Mystery, and still far from the ripeness of its fruit. The true fullness of spring, with all its rich intensity of flavors, well—that can still potentially be a long time coming.


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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Wiccan, Pagan, and Magick Wands – All You Could Want to Know

A wand
A handcrafted wand. Public domain image by Martin Brož, via Wikimedia Commons.



The Magick Wand and its Uses


by Joodhe

When it comes to Paganism, the magick wand as a tool is optional. Even at times when one would come in handy, pointing your finger towards that which you are focused upon serves the same purpose. Whether as the tool of a Pagan or a non Pagan a wand is most often made of wood. A wand may alternatively be made of other natural materials such as crystal or stone, or non-ferrous metals (such as copper, pewter, bronze, silver and gold).

The reason ferrous metals are not commonly used, is because they interfere with the ideal flow of energies during the ritual use of tools containing them. This is the same theory behind why many Wiccans/Pagans reject having ferrous screws, or in some cases any other kind of metal screws, holding their altars together.


But What if the Wand I Want isn’t Made with Natural Materials?


It would benefit one to know that a magick wand crafted from a non-natural substance can be programmed to hold the properties and energies of the natural substance of one’s choice. It’s easily done. The one stipulation is that I’d recommend you not waste your time trying this on a wand containing ferrous metal.

Let’s say you have a resin cast wand and want it to hold the properties of wood (I have done this). Cast your circle first if you standardly use one. Call on a divinity to assist you if you like, but it isn't necessary. Place the wand upon your altar and hold the intent of transforming it to wood. Firmly focus that thought upon the wand, and hold the intent until you know the task is done. Upon completion of this task you simply acknowledge closure by saying "so mote it be." Afterwards, if you called upon a divinity, say thank you and bid them farewell.

When done, pick the wand up and acknowledge the wood properties that you feel within it. For a while it is best that you repeat this affirmative action each time you see the wand to reinforce the transformation.

I know that this process works as when looking for my own wand, the only one I could find which I could relate to was a cold-cast resin Harry Potter wand! I varnished it then performed this simple ritual. It feels and works like wood and I love it!


What Exactly Does a Wand Do?


No matter what specific purpose a wand is being used for, its primary purpose is to house and direct energy. The wand in and of itself will not have any magickal power. It is what you do with it after its construction that will determine the purposes it may be used for.

Although it initially has no power of its own, your spiritual energy (power) will become one with your wand as you consecrate and charge it. Once charged, wands are most commonly used for directing energies.

There are various purposes for which one would choose to use a wand, also known as a magick wand. They are commonly used both within and outside of the Pagan and Wiccan faiths. Rather than speak from a Pagan or non Pagan viewpoint, I will do my best to cover both. From my point of view, there seems to be a lot of crossover.


A Wand Can be Used For:

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  • Directing energies: During rituals, simply pointing the wand with a given intent will direct an energy towards where it needs to go. This applies whether for witchcraft or other types of ritual usage.
  • Invoking Goddess or other spirits: A wand may be used to invoke Goddess, it may also be used to call upon various other beings in spirit. You would do this to request their knowledge or advice.
  • Healing: Any wand, whether or not it contains crystals can be used in certain kinds of healing rituals. There are many ways to direct healing energies by intent alone; a person doesn’t need to be a Reiki practitioner to heal. To concentrate healing energy on a focused area one may choose to use a wand.
  • Condensing the purpose of an amulet: In this case you have previously charged an amulet and are topping it up again by aiming the wand and focusing your intent upon the amulet to recharge it. It’s that simple. Conclude with a simple "so mote it be".
  • Drawing Symbols: A wand can be used to draw symbols, such as a pentagram or what have you either in the air or on the ground as a part of your ritual.
  • Stirring: A wand can be used to stir mixtures and blends when opportunity presents.



How to Cleanse Your Wand


The best ways to cleanse negative energies from your wand are ones that don’t involve water. If you have a wand that you know for sure could be safely cleansed by running it under flowing clean water, by all means do so. If you do not know it to be water safe, opt for smudging. Another great technique that’s quite simple, is to hold your wand up towards the sun and order the negative energy to flow into the light, then pause focused on that intent. When you can tell that the process has concluded, say "so mote it be".

You can alternatively run your wand through the smoke of incense and utter an appropriate offering of verbiage. I would say something such as – I release all negative energy from this wand to return to the light. I now bless this wand and imbue it with positive energy – so mote it be. Yet another wonderful way to cleanse your wand is to have it rest on selenite. Consider making a stand containing selenite for your wand.

Remember that once your wand is regularly being used, you will need to cleanse it frequently to remove negative and stale energies from it.


Consecrating Your Wand


You would consecrate a wand in order to make it a sacred object. Here are the instructions to do so.

A wand made out of natural, unfinished wood
A wand made out of natural, unfinished wood


How to Charge a Wand


It’s simple to charge a wand, or any other sacred object or tool. Here’s how it’s done.


What is So Mote it Be?


It’s a closure to seal in an intent. Nothing more. It is common amongst Pagans to use this particular form of verbal closure, but it is something anyone can use.


Proper Handling, Storage and Care of a Wand


A wand when not in use should be wrapped and stored in a box. Ideally the wrapping material should be natural in origin; silk works well. The box is best made of wood. Natural materials prevent the wand from being contaminated by other energies than your own. Also, keep your wand away from being handled by other people as it’s a sacred tool that should carry your energy alone.

Wood for making wands
Wood to be used in wand making


A Traditional Pagan Belief About Harvesting Wood for Your Wand


Many Pagans believe that wood to be used for a wand should be fallen as opposed to being harvested for the purpose. Others feel it’s okay to harvest the wood as long as you first ask for permission from the tree. If you choose to do this, you must remember to thank the tree for the sacrificed wood once done. Be gentle with the tree by removing as little wood as necessary for the purpose.


What Shape Works Best for a Wand?


Even though for most a straight wand works best, some choose to use some fairly bendy ones. And that’s okay too, but obviously it’s going to be somewhat awkward at times.


How Long Should a Wand Be?


It shouldn’t be longer than from your elbow to the tip of your middle finger. That said, whatever suits you is what’s best. You want it long and short enough to handle without being awkward.

There are extra-long wands used for certain purposes, they are called staffs. The proper way to fit a staff to you is to choose one as long as you are tall.


A Fun Fact


In Tarot, the wand relates to the suit of Wands.  A wand (and too the Tarot suit of Wands) corresponds with the direction South and the element of fire. That said, in some Wiccan traditions a wand (and thereby the corresponding Tarot suit) is associated with the element of air and the direction East.  In Tarot however, there are very few decks that reflect that alternative choice.


The Wand is Male


The wand is a male tool and carries a male energy. Another example of a male tool is an athame; examples of female tools are chalices and cauldrons. It’s simple to understand the difference as it is symbolic of anatomical differences between males and females. In many Wiccan traditions there is a balancing of male and female energies during rituals. For more reading related to this last paragraph, read "The Druid's Sacred Tools."


A few related YouTube videos:



For the video below, as a word of caution, when she gets to the sound charging section, prepare to turn your sound down. Though not so loud, it is somewhat irritating to hear.




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