Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Martial Magick

I have been thinking about how my experiences with the martials arts has affected my magickal work and vice versa.  The karate school I trained in did not focus on the philosophy or the spiritual aspects of the way as much as they did on the mental and physical.  It was as if they didn't know what to say or just weren't spiritually minded people.  You were given titles of the classic books if you wanted to persue that aspect further.  We didn't meditate in the dojo though. 

On the other hand, I integrated much of the magickal lessons I had been struggling with while I was in the dojo.  Shadow boxing, learning perseverence in the face of not being able to control my body or quiet my mind.  These lessons that I needed for my magickal training I integrated during karate sessions. 

My husband came to the martial arts first in a much more traditional school.  Once he had experienced the Western way, he then switched over to discover what the Western world's magickal tradition was all about. 

We both use skills that we learned both in martial training as well as magickal training simultaneously now.  I don't think about where the stance, breathing technique, or energy manipulation technique was learned from.  How I use both Western and Eastern techniques are about the tools being used and the techniques.  This is similar to how shamanism techiques are utilized in Pagan practices for the most part as well. 

I will have to insert a caveat that I am not a "harm none" aka the Wiccan rede kinda gal.  The Thelemic tenent of "Do what thou Will be the whole of the law, Love under Will" works a lot better for me.  I believe in self defense and strength.  I don't believe in neutering myself magickally by tying my hands or my power or physically.  If my person, home, or family were threatened, you better believe I'd fight to protect them. Its also worth noting that the Wiccan tools were commonly called weapons in classic occult literature.  My lifestyle and martial philosophies have to fit with my magickal beliefs and practices as well.  I don't believe in the watering down of magick, ritual, and practice to make it more sanitized for the publishing industries or the masses. 
I look to the next few years, as I plan my personal training program.  It seems that several people are interested in persuing Tai Chi or similar practice as well in an effort to keep their energetic, physical, martial, and magickal skills keen.  One informs the other, so I cannot ignore this piece of my training, however it fits in. 

I am choosing to no longer participate in hard martial forms.  My body has already suffered permanent injuries from these practicies and I am not interested in further head injuries, etc.  I need my body to last for me! 

Maybe tai chi it is?

1 comment:

  1. I have struggled with these issues as well. My training too lacked a spiritual side in an entirely blatant way. However, the practice for me was nevertheless instantaneously spiritual. It's something that I knew right away would forever be a part of my life. What I didn't expect though was the deterioration of my physical body. So, at some point I was forced to examine whether or not the practice of martial arts actually served me at all. I too came to the conclusion that a soft style would be the preferable path. And, as you know I do intend to explore the path of Tai Chi as well. But is this the whole of the solution? I know for myself that I would miss if nothing else the feeling that I am ever ready to defend myself if need be. There comes a confidence in ones ability to take on anything when a regular sparing practice is maintained. However, what has mostly always appealed to me about sparing was the mental aspect of it. I liken it to the game of chess in that it is a means to form advance strategies, thinking steps ahead, a way of spotting opportunities and instantly acting as well as developing the skill of reading the intentions and the physical cues of another person. But, the thing that I now realize is that this can be done without ripping each others heads off. I too am committed to protecting my body and bringing it gently into my older years. I used to think it was cool to spar without equipment. I used to think it was cool to leave the dojo bloodied. I'm over that. I have recently started my own class and hope to improve upon the style that I have now attained rank in by adding spirituality and subtracting brutality. As in all things I have found in my life, balance is always the best Way.