Why join anything?

I have friends… don’t snigger! I do too!… I have friends who are very sincere witches and magical practitioners but who cannot for the life of them understand why covens are generally initiatory (I do know some covens are working circles but to make certain commitments to each other as a working team), nor can they understand my motivation for “joining in”. I think the phrase “joining in” is what is most interesting here because there is a sense of entering into something, even if one’s coven, circle or temple/lodge is of the utmost super secret squire variety, people being social creatures tend to sense something. Of course we may not wish to be part of something but it can still smart when you find out you weren’t being invited in the first place. Of course I have tried explaining that it is a personal decision made for personal reasons. I have also tried to be as honest as I can in stating I have no earthly idea why I have frequently had this compulsion. Prior to my initiation into Gardnerian Craft and even in to MOAA I frequently donned my sensible hat (the metaphorical kind, cause y’all know I’m not sensible hat wearing type) and told myself my practice of magic isn’t contingent upon joining a group nor is my sense of personal ethics and philosophy/spirituality. Heck, even my friendship with members of these traditions wasn’t contingent upon my joining in. So why apply/join?

My Motivations

btg-oneplayerPsychologically I could analyse myself and state that I have a pathological fear of being alone. I spent most of my formative years being “billy no mates” on the school play group to the point that I was suicidal from the age of 8-12 years of age. I would literally go in to my local church and pray the gay away, pray for my family to be spared by me dying. I wanted death. I must have been praying quite hard because I had my first in a series of experiences with the Sacred Feminine, of course I hadn’t a clue what this was. Christians would call this presence the Holy Spirit, rightly or wrongly the Holy Spirit has been linked to the Goddess through the Shekinah. I was raised Catholic and so this idea that the Holy Spirit may come and help me martyr myself wasn’t completely alien. I did try to take matters in my hand more than once when the bullying was at it’s worst but this experience stopped me. Continuing the psycho-babble I could state that because I was not ordered to join the seminary or immediately find the Goddess (or Wicca) this promise of better times to come was more than likely my own self-preservation kicking in. I was 13 and moving house with my family and frankly, aside from weird occurrences in my youth, magic wasn’t real. God and or the Gods were not something occupying my mind all that much. Given my experiences in primary school I was resolved not to be a “joiner” in secondary school either. Rejection from people scared the living crap out of me. I was slowly leaving behind wishing to die and learning to do things I just wasn’t ready to join in anything. Then…

BOOM!!!

Puberty really sunk it’s claws in. I knew before puberty came in that I liked guys more than girls but now the whole conversation in school seemed to take on more of an edge. People were prone to telling me my orientation before I even knew I could be different from the mainstream so now what was I going to do. Christianity didn’t really seem to be sex positive at all but in terms of being gay then much like culture as a whole it tends to boil being gay down to what happens in the bedroom (or woodland, carparks, beaches, public toilets, anywhere really). I didn’t want to be socially constricted by labels. It helped that bridging the links between what had happened in my own mind from before the first guy to approach me when I was 15 was also gay and interested in witchcraft. He dabbled with witchcraft and later with drugs and it sort of came to a head when he couldn’t pursue it any more and found my interest in the Wheel of the Year and the ethics of magic a bit of an oddity. It also helped that everything I read on Neopaganism and Wicca was very LGBT positive and sex positive in attitude. I found myself entertaining the idea of being part of something with others. Unfortunately, I was 16 and no self-respecting coven was going to take me on even if I could approach one. The Internet didn’t really offer up much for Ireland at the time and WitchVox Ireland listings seemed to be an eternity away from me. I also developed epilepsy around this time period as well. So “coming out” (yuk expression), developing a new, clandestine spirituality and also discovering sex was intense. Paganism offered a roadmap for all of these plus something for my own sense of individuality.

Social Pagan – that’s me!

Skeletor is LoveFor a while I was content with meeting other teen pagans and Wiccans but I found most of them to be dabblers and usually there was a distinct dichotomy between them – either they were all “love & light” or “I am Skeletor – Master of Darkness!”. I was lucky because I met up with a social group for occultists through a forum called, Occult Ireland. We had social meet-ups once a month in Dublin and I got to meet with practitioners of Enochian magic, Sinti Family Tradition of witchcraft, eclectic witches, Gnostics, Thelemites and we managed to attend some group rituals as well. I attended a few other Pagan Moots as I was a pagan at the time too and I was starting to live more openly among friends and family. Through some of the aforementioned traditions and approaches I slowly became for confident in the practical side of paganism and witchcraft. But I felt like I was avoiding some major aspects to the work of magic by not accepting a structured approach. Everything was still overly reliant on books and websites and so the words of a solitary ritual didn’t seem to go as deeply as I would have liked. I knew I was prone to being more psychically sensitive than I was letting on and I wanted to work to understand this side of me more and how it may enrich my life.

So I come to a Path!

I applied to an online correspondence course for the Hermetic Sanctuary of Ma’at (now closed), which oddly coincided with another of the Occult Ireland members joining too. So we established a study group to help us find others who may be interested in eventually being initiated into the Golden Dawn tradition. The idea was that we’d all help one another along the way. People come and go at this stage – though at the time I felt that some were pushed away unduly by other members of the group. Myself and the initial founding member of the study group applied to one order in the UK – he was accepted but I wasn’t. This false start seemed to hold meaning too because another Golden Dawn order was forming which would become the Magical Order of the Aurora Aurea (MOAA). Now, while I was hanging around all the magicians and ceremonialists I never really counted myself as one of them because they often seemed to be rather pretentious (not my lot they were loverly, of course!) but I felt compelled to do this. There was something in MOAA for me and because I wasn’t inherently a ceremonial magician I had no background reading on the Golden Dawn system nor had I any idea why some thought their Order better. G:.D:. lineage arguments went way over my head, still do if I’m honest about it. I already thought some of the so-called “witch wars” on the pagan scene were a bit naff over lineage but I had no easy routes of access to Wicca and thought I could learn something in MOAA that might help me. wp333 Golden Dawn I suppose if you wanted to continue the amateur psychoanalysis the G:.D:. offered a centred praxis that was less routed in some issues around polarity that I’d started to develop (see A Note to Traditionalists) namely I was upset at the prospect that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*+ people may not have been as accepted as I’d thought in Wicca but moreso that this had been so widely adopted by non-Wiccan groups too. In the dialogue from the post I made a number of errors – namely I confused my own points but also that I failed to really consider what the difference was between “being traditionalist” and being a member of a Tradition. A “Traditionalist” may be someone who comes from a traditional background and wish to preserve the practices of this background for others to utilise. They are not necessarily the one you need to rebuke for being conventional and guilty of idealising the past. The other type of “Traditionalist” is the one who picks up a book – occasionally a duly copied Book of Shadows (BOS) or their Order papers – but more often than not they are the type to see a book as a living tome something to be adhered to. The latter will read the printed word while the former will look for notes in the marginalia for clues to how one may experience the ritual or rite in the now. Dividing the two is a bit of a red-herring on my part because once you are initiated into a Tradition everyone is a member of that Tradition.

Short and Sweet: Follow the Rules!

Over of MOTO, Peregrin has posted his advice to any neophytes / novices / apprentices, which was to follow the teachings or curriculum of their respective traditions. Now Peregrin’s argument is much more comprehensive than I can give due credit to here so please do pop over so we can continue on! (I’ll grant ye a few mins leave!) So basically skipping ahead is a bad idea in Peregrin’s view. Now I have to be honest I’m never going to advise someone to read ahead prior to an initiation. I didn’t do this for any of my grade advancements in MOAA nor did I read leaked copies of 1° Initiation into Gardnerian Craft (I did read the Farrar’s Initiation ceremony years ago). I truly believe my experiences were much more special to me because of it. I wasn’t trying to make educated guesses at what was coming next and much more routed in the now. My comment on Peregrin’s Facebook post was this:

I think there is some conflation between reading and praxis. I understand why there is confusion between the two because for many seekers the written word is their introduction to praxis – in short they learn on a very rudimentary level that the words are alive and contain a codified power. To my mind there is little wrong with reading ahead as it is the experiential understanding of the now in ritual work that brings it all together.

I’m a student of English Literature so believe me when I say my issues are not with the written form. Far from it I plan to make a living from this because I believe in literature and it’s potency in our lives. But even comparative literature students have to stop and note that even though a written text may be adapted to film or television there are now two versions providing two different experiences to the consumer. Anyone that has been to a Shakespearean play will experience that no two productions of Romeo & Juliet are the same. This becomes true for ritual drama or the drama of ritual as well. When others from a Tradition or group join you the synchronisation produces something of an altered state. There are of course levels to which how structured the rite may be as well all developing a new experience. My HP friend, for my 1° Initiation helped me to expand on my own understanding of breathing control and meditation practices before my initiation which helped to train me into the now. In MOAA we have our own teachings on breathing before ritual too all designed to help us focus and bring our awareness into the Temple. Some groups use pathworkings to develop on to the experience of travelling or journeying somewhere – I can only assume that this is to mentally carry the individual(s) along in a sense of now-ness. I’m not sure what I make of Peregrin’s ideas concerning “fallout” from progressing beyond certain levels. Certainly there is to be expected a natural pull and push as one tries to adopt new information or perspectives and to work on ourselves. In his Hermetic Tablet article “Dark Gods”, Nick Farrell comments on the motif of the Dweller of the Threshold which was first espoused by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton in his fictional work. Farrell notes that this was a fictionalised description of an event the protagonist Zanoni informs us warns magicians who try to progress too quickly. The experience is a strangely horrendous one yet belies a sense of the ages as well. I can’t say that I have necessarily experienced a Dweller on any sort of a Threshold but I can, as a literary student, see how such a description could explain some of the internalised experience of falling short. There appears to be all this wonderful information presented in archaic grimoires and modern day tomes. Heck most of it is on the net now. All you have to do is assimilate it into your sphere of sensation. Well maybe not “all” you have to do because the how you do this obviously has a part to play in it. As Peregrin discusses the tripartite system of First (Outer), Second (Inner) and Third Order one has to acknowledge that the process of assimilation can be different for different people. Orders and schools of magical practice encode their teachings in the workings they do so that the intellectual material doesn’t just remain a cerebral experience for people with a superficial level of change.

Another Way?

On the subject of “Why joining” some may argue that the tripartite systems of the Golden Dawn and Wicca are not the only approaches as the mentor-apprentice system had been in use previously for many generations and through many approaches to magic. Of course this resolves some of the issues with people politics that creeps in but mentors are likely to advise students on reading material and so the temptation is to read ahead and with this being the social media age seekers are going to go online and see things too. Then again if Bulwer-Lytton can experience the Dweller back in the 1800s maybe it has little to do with systems and traditions of any variety and more to do the student themselves.

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Sharrow on SpunOut

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C: Cyberhenge: Real, Imagined and Virtual

This week’s blog post is on the letter ‘C’ and concerns itself with the online culture and in particular they cyberhenge. The reason for this post comes from a very interesting dialogue on Facebook following a recent post, titled; Techno-pagan: Social Media. The aforementioned post spurned much chagrin amongst commentators on my personal Facebook and personally I believe a lot of their comments had to do with some of the buzz words I used in the article, namely the idea of the “technopagan” and “cyberhenges”. For those not in the know; these were very popular ideas during the zenith of the internet in the mid-to-late 90s. There is, even now, a plethora of advice for neophyte witches and pagans wishing to incorporate their PCs and laptops as virtual temple spaces. If we were born in the 14th Century and asked to live in a monastery we might have the same ideas concerning language and writing as a sacred duty but our virtual spaces are just as secular as they are sanctified through enlightening conversations which bring about personal gnosis and understanding. If you read over my post I was using the terms technopagan and cyberhenge rather glibly as a means to illustrate how when the terms were first employed they were a niche for those disconnected from a community and peer support system but that more and more of us are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks.

Cyberhenge, Douglas E. Cowan (2007)
Cyberhenge, Douglas E. Cowan (2007)

In his work, Cyberhenge (2007), Douglas E. Cowan offers an in-depth study of modern pagan paradigms as they are presented in online discourses. I won’t hold Cowan up as the luminary of modern pagan studies as there are some limitations in his work, such as; the author limiting to virtual experiences akin to Role-Playing Games (RPGs) when even LARPing has become a thing now. Furthermore, as I review some of his findings I realise that many of the groups he cited were self-described as being virtual covens or temples, there simply wasn’t a counter-balance to his hypothesis. Furthermore, it didn’t seem to fit with my own studies of the movement of new media technology and how individuals and groups are utilising them. Naturally in the run up to my Final Year Project this was very disheartening because new media had become such a pivotal point in my life – both as a pagan and a student.

In his article, Paganism: The Real, the Imagined and the Virtual (Issue 13: Imbolg 2013) for Brigid’s Fire Magazine, Dominic Hodson discusses his views on virtuality in modern paganism going into some deeper personal accounts for us. Hodson puts it to the reader that Second Life enables modern pagans to transverse social barriers as agoraphobia or even socio-phobia (18) and asks the question if those of us who have social media presences aren’t just living through those now? Second Life offers a virtual experience of life unlike any other but the guiding principles of connectivity at one’s fingertips and plugging into a hyper-reality is, indeed, ingrained in modern pagan thought. Okay, so there are some of the attractions, what are the drawbacks? Well as Hodson puts it modern paganism has meeting in person as a spiritual journey at the heart of it (18). Indeed as he puts it,

“And it is safer and less expensive to meet online than it is in the real world; travel costs are increasing all the time and especially in Ireland, …Or would it then not be the adventure of  a lifetime every time you wanted to visit a fellow pagan in the wilds of the countryside?” (18).

So now I’m wondering if the virtual world or the cyberhenge was initially all about making connections to people of “like mind” then perhaps the tool or mechanism for reaching out to others is being overused? I’ve heard it said from a few Witches and Magicians of my acquaintance that people just aren’t traveling for initiation anymore. That they feel as though the Work is accessible online and one simply can navigate through a labyrinth of successive “gurus” online with the handle, “PixieFlora-Meadowsweet”.

Personally, I’m partial to meeting in person. Not only am I a social creature but the face-to-face interaction enables me to consider questions I’d not otherwise be able to rehearse with a virtual avatar. I’ve used modern technology to connect with others and share ideas so I’m not adverse to Second Life or even using virtual spaces as a mode of connection but eventually there are issues such as tapping into the egregore of the Tradition as another mode to learn from. In my time online and interacting with others I’ve often strove to be coherent and make sense without being overpowering with people. The problem with online interactions is that you just don’t know a person’s writing strengths and often when you do its a matter of style that gets critiqued.

In the post Techno-pagan: Social Media, I commended Orfhlaith Robin from Musings of a Young Irish Witch for her engagement with social media and for some enjoyable interviews. The post received some harsh criticism from some other blogger friends of mine on Facebook – (oddly enough my post on here had inspired me to do a round-up and review of all my blogging friends and promote them, guess thats off the cards now!) – who felt that Orfhlaith’s posts should contain “more content”. This is of course a fair statement from people who are looking for something that relates to themselves for that personal gnosis I mentioned earlier. However, I’m a firm believer in constructive criticism – if one must give negative feedback make sure its constructive! For instance, one comment from Irish blogger Frater Docet Umbra stated that his tastes in content has evolved over time and the implication being that one’s tastes became more sophisticated. Naturally, I cannot concur with this idea since in my view the nature of the content one writes doesn’t evolve but the WAY one writes does. There is a distinction which few writers and bloggers make. I have the height of respect for Frater D∴U∴ and what he writes but from an Irish pagan perspective I do disagree with some of the modern, inspired stuff he writes on.

Orfhlaith is big enough and bauld enough to fighter her own corner, so its not my intention to do any such thing but to illustrate how social media and the writing process can work to develop a person’s ideas into a working thesis. We have a long held belief that writing and publishing is fixed in its point but such is not the way of writing. Its actually quite flexible and fluid. Indeed even as I type this now Nick Farrell if re-editing is seminal piece Making Talismans and aims to re-title it Magical Imagination: The Keys to Magic (Cynthia Caton, Brigid’s Fire: Imbolg 2013, 28).

My own blog is far from done being re-directed to new ideas and perspectives and as I begin to sign off for the evening I’m inclined to summarise my points. I titled this piece “Cyberhenge: Real, Imagined and Virtual” because defining the real from the imagined from the virtual is a challenging concept. It requires us to discern for ourselves truth from fiction and whether fiction holds even a grain of truth or whether truth holds enough fiction. Second Life uses its own series of symbolism and iconography which the user can fashion from programable material and so it is the case with other modes of expression while online. I may be writing in English but the computer will interpret it as code enabling people to read this in other languages through translation software available on most PCs and laptops now.

B: Back to Basics

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.

Toward the inward Spiral

A Vision B, 66

In A Vision (1937) the Yeatses presented the above image by Edmund Dulacís, which depicts the 28 Masions of the Moon. Following a series of readings today I found the Tarot of ‘the Moon’ (18th Key) came to strong prominence reminding me of this image from A Vision which explores the Yeatses concept of the widening gyre and energy.

When I decided to engage with a cleansing period I noticed and pointed it out in my last blog post of the inward spiral matching to the cycles of the Wheel of the Year I was reminded of this process today in the readings which asked if I should commit to reading publicly at a charity, holistic day this Sunday.

The reading pointed toward my journey inward as a source of continued strength and inner fortitude, while looking into my studies as a source of creativity.

This will be a very interesting journey and I have no idea what I will discover about myself or within myself. Where I will ‘go’ or how exactly I will interact with this process. It is frightening and thrilling at the same time as I have creative mind that has been suppressed over the last few years as other projects and ideas took precedence.

Inward Spiral…

A vision borne, seek thy voice,
A desire for Life to rejoice,
A light to guide thyself to inner wisdom,
Balanced through and beyond Christendom.
Son of Water, Daughter of Water,
Guide me to the Magna Mater,
Muin – the path of my voice,
Ibn, am I, of Mother Earth.
Hidden Mysteries, kept from sight,
Journey forth; purging plight,
Many roads – fear not the travel along the Path, 
For weeds choke the Untrodden Way.
– Níall MacSiurtáin (06/09/2012)

Announcement: September 2012

Hi folks,

This blog has been rather quiet of late and for that I apologise. I’ve needed to focus on myself somewhat in terms of the GD practices. I’ve also been hard at work with blog posts for Fear-Draiochta where I can. With those blog posts going so well I wanted to make a few short announcements about the pacing of posts for Oibre-Mhór. Basically they’ll be slow… very slow! lol Here’s why:

Academic Study:

I will be Graduating tomorrow under the watchful gaze of the Blue (Belewe) Moon.

I’ve been accepted to a Masters by Research in English which allows me to research Yeats and the Golden Dawn. I’ll be joining the illustrious ranks of Kathleen Raine, George Mills-Harper, Margaret Mills-Harper (who will be my MA Supervisor to boot!) and many more by journeying through Yeats’ life and works to contextualise his esoteric practices in terms of his literary works.

During the summer I have been prepping for a new blog on this very subject. Hopefully it will be more academic and topic orientated than my blogspot accounts. I will link to this NEW blog at a later stage and make an announcement here so that GD magicians and scholars may follow the blog and updates and input freely if they so wish.

General Round-Up:

The Belewe Moon marks a momentous occasion in my life with the culmination of six years of hard work, but being the proverbial túathaid (witch/magician) I am I elect to see it as part of a greater whole. This year marked a lot learning curves in terms of my self-identity within the Golden Dawn system and beyond it.

  • Imbolc: In February I made the decision in the presence of my brothers and sisters to pursue an MA by research in Yeats and the Golden Dawn. The idea had been mulling over in my mind for the previous two years but lacking an avenue to manifest. Here it did so as I’m far from one who’d wish to place Yeats as some sort of God of the G:.D:. but have felt I could bring a unique perspective to Yeatsian studies.
  • Bealtaine: Was traumatic as I was caught in the energies of Bealtaine which frankly anyone who’s done the research will attest is a time of heated discussions in Irish traditions. Its really about proclamations of ownership and disputes. For me; friends fell out and forced me to choose between the two. As my personal truth I feel that one side of this despute manipulated the situation in a very distasteful manner, which did affected my occult studies as well as my mundane studies. It would take time to sort through the aftermath of these ‘games’.
  • Summer Solstice: Before the Solstice even hit (July 8, 2012) I was issued with a notice that I was no longer a member of the newly formed, Ancient and Honourable Order of the Golden Dawn (AHOGD) Dublin Temple, nevermind a co-Chief. AHOGD was formed (ahem) following the Dublin Temple’s split from MOAA. The decision of my former co-Cheifs followed many interpersonal problems between myself and them. I won’t lie I perceived some tensions building but I was determined to focus on college work, so when the notice came I could see the situation as being as irreconcilable so I accepted their decision hoping to retain the friendship (or what was left of it) when the unthinkable happened. They forwarded a scathing and false email to the membership defaming me and breaking a contract I’d established as a paying member (when you pay dues its a legal contract). Naturally I was and am very angry about this, however, I have decided that I will follow a period of cleansing for 6 months to detox my system from these events.

These are people I was friends with and felt comfortable establishing a Temple egregore with. I am endeavouring to release with Light and Compassion.

Following this baffling series of events, I had a very informative Ogham reading from a learned friend, who made tea and offered me a chance to experience her growing Labyrinth which consists of a two circles joined by a narrow pathway the first circles a reflective pool and the second a high place – perfection! The reading reminded me of strengths learned from before and a detachment from wisdom but that the situation was very much about the honour-price (and my honour was feeling bruised especially if my ego felt like it’d been pounded by a sledgehammer and ground to dust) as I’d accepted my former co-Chiefs’ judgement to expel me so why the assault?

  • Lughnasadh: This festival calls for a time of peace and to place disputes on hiatus for a time in the Irish cycle of the Year. So with this in mind I went to visit friends in a local Grove and played games and had fun. It was just what the doctor ordered. During this month I spoke to many a learn’d person on things troubling me and came to a moment of personal gnosis. This moment made me realise that I had choices and I was in a much more powerful position than I’d realised (my friend’s Ogham reading on a ‘third-of-armament’ being validated here once more). Unconsciously I’d been defining my magical practices by those whom I’d met not by myself and so I need to look to the system of the Golden Dawn without the personalities and personas which take charge. If I want to be the self-sufficient magician I had set for myself this is how it will have to go forward.
  • Autumnal Equinox – Winter Solstice: Period of introspection and focus on my academic research which is set to be very intense. I have denied myself the chance to pursue this for long enough and I refuse to let my own issues deprive me of this goal. The aim is to facilitate the cleansing period and to re-discover my personal motivations for being part of the Golden Dawn system. By Spring 2013 (Imbolc) I hope to have completed the six months cleansing and simultaneously will have grounded myself in my Path as well as settled in to my academic work.

Departure from the Dublin Temple:

With my departure from the Dublin Temple duly announced I would like to make the request that bloggers and readers alike take the time to consider that this isn’t as amicable as I would like (I’m confident the general membership feels the same way) and so I would ask you to bare in mind that this blog post accounts for ONLY my personal experiences of the situation and others undoubtedly have theirs.

For me this has been a series of harsh lessons, most of which I have to fully engage with. I would like to thank those who have offered their support and love throughout this period of time.

Sámae ocus soillse, Abhainn

Topic ideas for Fear-Draiochta blog?

Hey folks,

I’m so sorry been off the blogosphere for so long. Life dramas and work committments. What I hope to do come Samhain (October) is begin a new series of writings for the Phases of the Moon and the Sabbats. I’m in final year of college so will be kept very busy but I hope that people will indulge me.
If theres anything you’d like to see discussed email me: abhainn@pagansineire.com or leave a comment below.
I commented on Oibre-Mhor before about upcoming dates to watch for including Dean Wilson speaking at Feile Draíochta 2011 in October, as well as the launch of the website for the Dublin Temple of MOAA, and also left a note on the state of Occult Ireland and Pagans in Eire. (see three lines here took a whole post! lol).
Also what do you think of the new layout? Seems more accessible now to me?