Much of the Training Days I was having with my Hairy-Pagan friend came to a grinding halt of late, this has been due to college work and pressure mounting up but about two months ago or more now, I had call to drop by again and we took the lack of a rushed day to go over some techniques.
We performed some Japanese mantras which involved some Japanese mudras, this naturally lead to the some work on stances and posturing from a magical and body-language perspective. Unbeknownst to my Hairy-Pagan friend I was already making connections between a game I would play at the “Lunacy Games” at the Grove of Sinann, this game was emulating the posture of one of the stories in Irish myth wherein one of the heroes must enter a particular and peculiar stance in order to counter a poet’s challenge from a rival poet-warrior. At the Grove of Sinann this is called “Druid’s Stance” and involves a group of people standing on one leg, covering one eye and pointing in the distance (as always points for creativity abound at the Grove!) a difficult enough feat if you lack balance like I do but remember cheating creatively is considered a must.
We’d worked on mudras as extensions of altering states of mind before this and posturing was something that I’d experienced within the Assumption of Godforms subconsciously before now and what Hairy-Pagan was attempting to do was to raise this from subconscious to the conscious mind more so. Within modern witchcraft and magic assumption of godforms and drawing down deities gets covered a lot but what’s not discussed is how to handle the process. These forms and deities speak on a certain level to us based on our own innate understanding. As the story above unfolds apparently disparaging aspects to the characterisation of the individuals begins to cause the reader to wonder how all will work well together. This is problematic because it is working together, whether one comes to magic as a seeker, a magician, a witch or a mystic or what-have-you there are facets of a person’s being that either remain intra-personal to them and therefore untouchable to the gurus, teachers and so on around them.
I was reminded recently by Nick Farrell that the Triple Goddess of Maiden, Mother and Crone is actually quite a new godform. I’ve had issues with faceted godforms before because although they do exist culturally they tend to get butchered with people moving them around and we can of course blame colonialism and modernity for this lead-up to consumerism but in reality we’ve always been intrigued by the new and different. It doesn’t make dealing with aspects of the Self any easier. I was asked recently too whether I thought ceremonial magic was stronger than lower forms of magic such as witchcraft and my brain nearly melted! I just never considered it like that to be honest but as I thought about it I realised the expression to magic is multifaceted for many reasons mostly based on external factors around people’s ideological and religious developments at that time.
Now just in case you thought I was lacking a point, Triple Goddesses and Double-headed Gods are very popular motifs from classical periods in history and because of this it’s often how we as practitioners of modern magic learn to apply magic such as emulating the poet-warrior’s stance or adopting magical positions during ritual to test spiritual beings – there is power in presence and being present is one of the major challenges for many esoteric types.
I’ll be more succinct, most of us tend to spend ages chasing psychism down, looking for ways or techniques to see using the Sight and so there can, on occasion be a disconnect between the mental (psychic) and the physical perceptions of any space one is occupying. Factoring in the work on psychism and godform assumption its unsurprising that many people are concerned about a person’s individual psyche coming back out from it. Many of the Western Mystery Traditions work from a mystery-based mythos for self-exploration and discovery along the way, this isn’t of much concern for witches or magicians not working from godform assumption techniques but perhaps working within framework of spirit possession. This may be starting to sound like the run of the mill rant on “Victorian insecurities” around magic and Gods vs Godforms but there is something to slow down that discussion and look at disparaging elements to one’s own mind before we get into the nitty-gritty of whether a god or spirit is trying to take you over.
We weren’t so articulated during the training sessions as we found ourselves speaking in metaphor a bit as you can imagine. The image that ended up being created in my mind’s eye was that of elements of my own personality that lend themselves to form ideas of wise sages building structures for the next generation, strong warriors made clever by their ingenuity and young people full of notions of grandeur of heroes feats yet to come. Reconciling all of these ideas can prove difficult for many people as people seem eager to don particular guises during their daily and magical lives often separating the two of them. Given that I post under the handle “Abhainn” and have pseudonyms for most of my online interactions with magical and pagan groups I’m really not admonishing the act but making sure that the reason is clear can keep one’s self-understanding clearer.