As you may have guessed I’ve joined the Pagan Blog Project 2013. I’ve been cribbing for a while now that I’m not blogging enough and so my plan is to work with the suggestions from the Pagan Blog Project and get posting at least once a week. Now I may make an occasional ad hoc post in between as the mood strikes me and I will be focusing on a bi-monthly post for my blog on Yeats and the Golden Dawn, The Poet Reflected. As one can imagine this is a loft series of ambitions for 2013 given my lack of follow-through in previous incarnations of my blogs. Well, to be honest all my blogs are now with WordPress making logging in much more accessible. I’m also teaming with ideas too so I need to be near a PC or laptop now to keep the momentum going. In my mind’s eye the ad hoc posts will be responses to “hot topics” around the GD blogosophere. In regard to the PBP 2013 I’ve missed the first three topics. I am, however, in time for the second release of “B” and my subject shall be a return to Basics.
Back to Basics
This is quite topical for me at the moment as last night I found myself ruminating on some “bad habits” in my Craft practices I’d picked up. Namely, I’m speaking of not really tiding up my Altar or putting away my ritual items while I’m not working with them. This lack of reverence for my ritual items wasn’t borne of idleness alone but that I have limited storage space and my earlier rationale was that in keeping everything to hand I would use them more. In the early days of my Craft studies I read copious amounts of material recommending that the Neophyte Witch store away her [his] items to keep them away from prying eyes. Typically, I don’t have very many people in my room – I’m fully aware I make for a dull gayer, thank you! – so I’ve never had to worry too much but lately our flat has become the ‘hub’ for all our friends dropping in and staying the night. You might be thinking, “whats this got to do with your tools and items? Surely you don’t vacate your room?” and you’d be right but my college work means I’m away at lot and my housemate and I watch each other’s spaces and have let friends stay the night.
Another issue presenting itself is clutter can trigger my epilepsy as I let things mount up and need to clean. Furthermore, with so much clutter its hard to focus my ritual practices. Long time readers of this blog and its previous incarnations will be aware that I’m both a Witch and a Magician and I try hard not to conflate the two practices. While they complement one another well they are distinct and fulfil different functions in my life.
In a vlog post Ahneke Greystone made reference to dormant stages of items left on the Altar between ritual workings. This idea fascinated me and worked wonders when I wasn’t owing space to others. One of the basic principles of magic is the idea that change is the only constant and we often operate in cycles at least in our human psyche. It would seem that after the inward spiral period of the Winter period a new phase is in need of being brought into effect for myself personally.
Last night was a busy night for me headwise as random ideas presented themselves. I would like to create a servitor in which the household spirit or elemental may reside and use to communicate with me. My housemate and I don’t live in the best of locations, now its not the worst but this desire to declutter and restructure my room and personal ritual space reminded me of to be mindful of the space I’m resident in. When first moved in I performed a number of LBRPs to cleanse the space but our neighbours have changed in months since then and yikes can I hear it ALL! This desire to get more practical again means I need to look at how my room is organised on a basic level of psychology.
As another lesson in basics; I have returned to personal journaling after a lapse in it and this as renewed my focus on magical journaling too. I have a plethora of chants and songs (I don’t sing but they can be recited) now whhich I could write up and make use of. As my MA work will progress I will be writing copious amounts of notes and planning articles too so getting my head space in order makes undeniable sense. Anyone who’s worked magic for a long period of time is likely to tell you how journals and reviewing them gives perspective, indeed as I draft this entry author and magician Nick Farrell posted his thoughts on learning processes in reading Golden Dawn based material. Personally, I have tended to rewrite material given to me by other magicians and witches into a handwritten piece as a means to study in more detail. After completeing a trial run of his workshop on Tarot and the Golden Dawn I found myself writing new material into a Divination Journal and reviewing some readings I’d neglected and being surprised at their accuracy.
Increasingly, its been a series of similar but distinct small and basic rediscoveries that have lead to me realising that the great and high magic only comes with stable foundations. Do I need to go into the freakishly bizarre sleep patterns of most people I know lately? If so, let me say its been affecting me too as lists of things to do creep up with no focus.
So what’s this diatribe all about? Basics is a biteen on the nebulous side isn’t it? Well, it is and as as been seen I’ve only deemed it appropriate to discuss my own side of things. With the basics we can begin to explore semiotic and symbolic relationships to our personal cosmologies, from there we move beyond a superficial understanding and hopefully learn that symbols can be “played” with. Altars can have various layouts and reflections, tools can lie in dormancy or they can be placed in the proverbial “tabernacle”. The effect of one method over another can only be measured by the Witch or Magician in question.