Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Traditions and magickal practice

R.O's playful jabbing at the Golden Dawn, and other Traditions got me thinking.  When we mix socially in magickal groups and meet people, a lot of assumptions are made based on what kind of magickal leaning you have.   

When I was hanging out with the OTO in 2008-2009, it was fun to learn about a different magickal school system and geek out on Qabala with people who were interested in such arcane systems.   Many times Pagans are not interested or aware of their magickal roots. One guy, after observing me for a while asked me,  "what are you?  I thought you were Wiccan, but now I'm not sure."  I laughed, enjoying the effects of the glamories I was trying that day, and told him,  "Wiccan....well, from a tradition that takes a lot from ceremonial magick and the lodge systems."

After going through a Minerval initiation and a class on Minerval symbolism, I decided that the OTO was not my thing. It didn't help that every time i attended something someone asked me, letcherously, when i would be the priestess for the Mass.  I threw myself deeply into my own Tradition, gaining a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose there. 

Now that I am no longer a member of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, I find myself, a 3rd degree, trained in a system of which I am no longer a member, from a stream of magick I can no longer access.  Yes I am Wiccan, technically.   I am much more interested in high ritual magick than I am in ecstatic witchcraft.  I have just about nothing in common with most Pagans.  I could care less that this month's full moon is on a Friday the 13th.   That smacks of superstition with no basic in magickal theory. 

Where does that leave me?  If I form a coven or lodge, then I will be starting with no lineage or informed school of magick.  That is the Pagan way, but seems to do a disservice to the initiatory mysteries from how I see it.  I could join another school, and learn a new system, but that seems unnecessary.  I also fear following any leader or system blindly or fanatically as I had done before. I have also seen what Tradition hopping does to people.  The answer is not outside of me.  It is within.  

All in all, I don't know what I want.  How do you do anything if you don't know your Will?  So far I have tried to be patient and been following my nose.  Healing takes time, self-care, and all that rot.   I know pushing too hard and too fast is actually perfectionism or a form of self-hatred.  It can also be laziness. I finish a new book proposal and decided not to submit it. I am teaching and leading Wiccan rituals but am mainly enjoying the friendship rather than the ritual or magickal engagement. I am loosing my religion is some ways. And in some ways, that particular religious path is completely over for me. 

I started this to find truth and to find peace with God.  I found that and still have it.  Magick gave me confidence and the ability to get results when I am so motivated.  I still have that too.  What I don't have is a great sense of purpose anymore. Ego death is good.  So is leaving the guilt, obligations, the oaths and oath breaking. 

What's next?  The end of desire. 


  1. What a lovely testament to one who is stepping into their own truth, without the dogma or practice of something that no longer fits, like a too-tight, out of date skirt. I went through a similar transformation, finding those like me, in a tradition that allows for creativity and expression. Being free of doctrine has allowed me to find my own truth, and to follow it with like-minded women. Are we all exactly the same? No. But, I don't need to surround myself with people exactly the same as me. In fact, I find that quite boring. Embrace what you wish. Throw out the rest. Good for you!

  2. In my limited and very personal experience, finding my way to the next step in my journey is best accomplished by throwing myself into good and valuable work.

    Some of it in the outer world -- for me, that's been chaplaincy, hospice volunteering, a little teaching of 101 stuff, taking classes in anything from painting to a new language.

    And some of it in the inner world -- for me, a plan of daily meditation (even though I haven't done it 'daily' for longer than a few days at a time), attending a series of rituals (or several different series), journaling, recording and working with my dreams.

    And some of it in the physical / bodily realm: yoga, Pilates, tai chi, massage ... something that brings me fully into body awareness on a regular basis.

    You may discover that you are right where you 'should' be, opening to the next challenge and preparing for it. You might discover a few places where your heart calls you in a direction you have been resisting (that happens to me a lot) or where 'laziness' (my word, for my experience) is a cover for 'anxiety'. Or several other possibilities, of course.

    In my experience in a long and complicated life, 'sense of purpose' waxes and wanes. Not as frequently or predictably as the moon, but definitely it has done that for me.

    Many Blessings (hmm, the typo was "blessigns") for this part of your journey.