4/29/06

Beltain 2006: Erotic & Sensual Life



As you have read in the lesson that I posted, there's alot more to the erotic and sensual then sex. You may wonder how this little post is going to relate to that matter. You may even wonder why I chose to put a flower on here.

I love roses. The scent of them is one of the most wonderful that I personally can think of. It always lifts my heart. They're my favorite flower. This particular picture is visually stunning, I love how the photographer composed it. It draws your eye to the center of the picture. It's visually balanced and has a dramatic quality. It is also a simple, classic portriat of a blossom. I'm not generally a fan of the more avant garde modes of art.

It's a source of sensual delight and eros. Joseph Campbell, the famed mythographer, stated that the most effective way to live an authentic life was to follow our bliss. I've yet to find a better peice of advice in my years of study. It was ironic that his little aphorisim was one of the first things that I learned on this path, not the Rede or the Law of Three.

I try to live each day following my bliss and living a genuine life. Some days I'm more successful then others, but I continue to try. That said, one last bit of bliss for you.

Robert Herrick's poem: To the Virgins
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.

Working With Shadows

Just a moment ago, I posted in here Timothy Roderick's excellent shadow mask meditation. It is an excellent object lesson in how "dark" magic is not all evil. Dark magic deals with the hidden things, it is the true occult art. Mr. Roderick is not the only person to refer to the shadow aspect of our selves.

A wise witch will always strive to accomplish one of the exhortations that is reputed to have been at the temple of the oracle of Delphi: Know Thyself. This includes knowing the parts of yourself that you are not comfortable with, confronting the lies you tell yourself about who you are, and recognizing all the elements of the past that influence you. In the same respect, we will also work to accomplish this axiom's advised goal: Physician, heal thyself.

The shadow self is the elements of who we are that we repress and strive to forget they exist. We may try to hide from our latent fear of thunderstorms or that horrible and terrifying memory of the car accident we were in as a child. These things carry forward through time if they are not addressed and incorporated into our psyche. The latent fear of thunderstorms may develop into a phobia. The terrifying memory may turn into major problems learning how to drive. Either way, the hidden things will make their presence known.

Why do they make their presence known? Because they are a part of you and until you can accept and move forward with that fact, you will struggle with it. The goal of witchcraft is to be healthy and wise, to become a self-actualized person in control of their life. Magic is but a tool. Psychology, proper diet and exercize, and herbalisim are other tools that are available to a witch to accomplish these goals. It is the state of harmony that results from a healthy spirit and psyche that brings us into communion with the Gods because that harmony results from recognizing the divine in ourselves.

I have flashes of it and I'm filled with a mixture of awe and fright at times by that. But it's the times where it is as natural as breathing that I strive for. When I can recognize my union with the Gods, my intrinsic value, and all the other important things about myself, I will perhaps then be willing to say that I am wise. Until then, I'm still a student learning. I may be helping others along the way, but I still am learning as well.

Shadow Mask Meditation

This meditation is from Timothy Rodreck's book Dark Moon Mysteries. Please note, our shadow masks are the aspects of ourselves that we have built up to separate ourselves from our more "negative" or our shadow side. Through working with them, we will learn to assimiliate and incorporate our shadow sides into ourselves and thus become healthier and more empowered.

Close your eyes and imagine a soft white glow is forming at your feet. It begins to swierl upward and it forms a protective shell around you. It lifts you up and takes you on a journey to the core of your being. The misty glow sets you down and dissipates to reveal a marble staircase that spirals downward. The light is very dim along the walls of the staircase and you can't see all thw ay to the bottom, but you know that this is a place into which you must venture.

You begin down the staircase and you notice is spirals in a counterclock wise direction. The light in the staircase comes from candles burning in small niches along the walls. The staircase walls are made of smooth cold marble that you occasonally touch as you continue your journey downward. As you work your way down the stirs, notice on the walls there are occasionally sigils, magical symbols formed out of metal and embedded into the stone walls. These are the symbols of your shadow masks. Take note of which ever one is most prominent. This is the symbol for your primary shadow mask.

Reach up and touch the symbol fo your primary shadow mask and you'll find it comes loose from the wall. As you hold it, you can feel the cold weight of the metal symbol in your hands and you can see it from all sides. Hold onto the symbol as you continue down the stairs. When you reach the bottom, you find before you a large door. You try the door but it is locked. Look at the keyhole and you find that it is shaped like the symbol in your hands. Slip the metal symbol into the hole and you find the door unlocks and opens.

The room is cold and quite dark, except for a single point of illumination across the room. The light comes from a mask that hangs on the far wall. Go over to it and look at it. As you look at it, you notice it is well in reach, so you take it down and examine it. On the inside of it there is a name, take note of it. After you have examined it, put the mask on and ask it the following questions, pausing between them to hear the answer:

How do I resolve this shadow mask?
What do I have to learn from this shadow mask?
What does this shadow mask keep me from accomplishing?

When all of your questions have been answered, place the mask back on the wall. You exit the door and after it closes you take the symbol back. You begin to ascend the steps and you can place the symbol on the wall at any place. The symbol will set itself into the marble. You continue up the steps, moving more quickly this time and emerge to the misty light. The light envelops you and returns you to your body.

Quoted from: Dark Moon Mysteries by Timothy Roderick.

4/11/06

Ostara 2006: Seeds of Change

Ostara, the Spring Equinox, the time of the first planting of the year.

Among the meditative subjects that we have about us this time of year are:

Planting and germination of seeds
Fertility of animals
Birth of those concieved in the autumn


For the meditative subject today, I am using the planting and germination of seeds. As you will find, I draw much of my inspiration from science and the natural world around me. I tend to blame this upon the environment I was raised in. If you look at the science of seed planting and germination, you find that there are several definative stages that the plant moves through as it develops from a seed to a mature plant, like corn or a mighty oak tree.

You look at the link above and you will see that a biologist has taken apart a seed and given you an interesting look at it. You can see the beginnings of the plant in that seed. Now, you're probably asking, how does this relate to me? And how does it relate to witchcraft, the Spring Equinox or anything else?



I find alot of hope in the above image. No matter what happens, the seeds will grow and spring will come to the world. Down in Louisiana, where the hurricaines have left still a dramatic amount of devistation on the cities and towns, plants are growing and blooming. In fireblasted regions of the world, plants are growing.



No matter what happens in our lives, there are always new beginnings. We can choose to start anew. It is a great act of courage, but it is also a natural act. After all, seeds commit great acts of courage to cease being seeds and grow into the plants they are destined to be.

Blessed be.

Witch's Rede & Law of Three

Two of the foundational concepts of modern witchcraft are:

The Witch's/Wiccan Rede: Do what you will and harm none.

The Law of Three: That which you do will return to you threefold.

Almost every single publically available book on witchcraft in it's many different forms will present these two statements as part of the moral code of the craft. Many people take offense to the idea that these two statements are the core concepts, but it seems to be the case from an anthropological standpoint, so I will leave the argument as it is. The matter of traditions vs. popular witchcraft will be discussed at another time.

Returning to the primary target of my typing tonight... the witch's rede and the law of three are important concepts. Though they are frequently misinterpreted. I am presenting this discussion on the topic to help clarify the confusion surrounding these points.

The witch's rede does not permit one to harm themselves. You are a person, you are *some one* and thus protected by the clause preventing harm. Self-defense, however, is not prohibited either. In-action when some one is striving to harm you is acquiescing. You are agreeing to be harmed because you are not putting up any argument or fight to prevent it. If you don't protect yourself, chances are extremely low that some one else will protect you.

Thus, I present the modified version of the Witch's Rede:
Do what you will and harm none, unless it is in defense. When you act in defense, always mind the law of three.

Now, I've done my best to restrain the false archaic quality that many others would affect as they present these statements, but I couldn't help it in the last clause above. You'll see why. First, let me explain that pesky little thing, the law of three.

Some people say very plainly, the law of three is a karmic law. What is a karmic law: it states that all of our actions will return to us in some fashion at a later time. Thus, if you help some one later on down the road, some one else will help you. It's a fairly simple concept. We then add the concept that it will return some multiple of three. Now does this mean that if you proverbially strike some one in the face that at a later time you will be hit in the face three times? Will it be thirty times? Or perhaps three hundred times?

When I was initially practicing the craft, I had a little difficulty with this concept. Then it came to me that it isn't the number of times an action of yours returns to you. It's not even the degree by which it returns to you, it is merely the fact that it does return and it will manifest in different fashions.

Imagine, if you will, that you throw a stone into a still pool of water. The action is throwing the stone in the water. The first return to you is the initial effect of the action; the stone falls into the water. The second return to you is the second effect of the action: the first wave created by the disturbance of the stone's falling. The third return is the long term effects of the action; reflection of that wave off of other surfaces at the edge of the pool. Now, you can extend this analogy out and devise many, many more implications and count the proverbial waves and the effects of the proverbial waves in that pool. I think, however, the three waves demonstrate my vision clearly.

In summary:
We are free to act in any fashion. Our actions must not harm others or ourselves. We always need to remember our actions have consequences and be responcible for them.

Blessed Be.

4/4/06

test

test.. this is only a test. :p If it were a real post, I'd actually care about what I was typing.