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When I enable answers on a post, remember if you ask a question in return there’s no way for me to respond. You’re welcome to ask me a question via tumblr.
I understand the tumblr publishing checklist. Do you?
I don’t think of chaos as a type of magick. This is not ‘the magick of chaos’, so perhaps the name shouldn’t be the focus for an understanding. Chaos Magick Theory (which is not the same as Chaos Magick, but is related) addresses probabilities and some chaotes consider [the] Universe to be stochastic while others consider life to be chaotic (chaos mathematics is not about randomness), and so magickal outcomes (especially massive ones) are sensitive to initial conditions.
Austin Spare to Kenneth Grant, “Zos Speaks!”
I chuckled out-loud when I read this, considering it’s coming from AOS!
(Oh I know; every wise man and woman in the world finds AOS’ writings plain and clear, yeah yeah, I get it; I’m stupid.)
Not to scale; no proportions should be inferred.
Dave Evans, in his thesis cum book ‘The History of British Magick After Crowley’ examines how difficult it is to discover how many active practicing magick users there may be in Great Britain. I don’t recommend the first half of the book at all.
As said, even though there might be between 16,000 and 136,000 Pagans and Neo-Pagans in GB, don’t extrapolate numbers (as if you could with such a wide margin) from my circles. My Venn diagram is just to follow Mr. Evans’ thoughts as he explained the difficulties in defining and measuring occult practices.
Mr. Evans seems to suggest that all Magickians are Occults (but some prefer the term ‘Esotericist’) but not all Occultists are Magickians. Some Magickians are Pagan, some Magickians are Witches as well, and some are Pagan Magickian Witches.
Now that I’ve gone through this exercise, I don’t find any value in it. What do I know now that I didn’t before?
These two terms might be used interchangeably by some, and if you’re instructed to ‘ground yourself’ during a rite it may not matter if you, instead, ‘centre yourself’.
I suggest that grounding is a process of connecting with the Earth / reality / environment in a way that sheds miasmic feelings and energies; establishing healthy polarised flow.
In contrast, I suggest that centring (or centering for non-British readers) is a process of acknowledging your place in [the] Universe / wider environment and your own sovereignty in a way that lets go of extraneous thoughts, feelings and energies; establishing a pressured yet unbound identity.
In magick, doesn’t our preparation before a rite and any initial meditation ground and centre us?
When I was learning Rogerian counselling, we started group work by sitting quietly, and each recognising the thoughts and emotions we had brought to the circle out loud. It wasn’t about repression, it was about expression, and letting go (for a time).
Recently, I was talking to a group of counsellors and before I was invited to lead the day’s activities (it was an away day, and I was the guest speaker) we were asked to spend a quiet minute to ‘arrive’. After the long journey to Buckfast Abbey and the hustle and bustle of meeting and greeting so many acquaintances and strangers, this minute of silence to quell the internal monologues and irrelevant minutiae was invaluable.
The transitional, interstitial or liminal periods between one activity / mindset and another are so very important to our psychology, not only to magickians who are, of course, edge walkers.
Next time you meet a friend, start a project, or return to an activity, ask yourself if you’re ready. Have you arrived? Might you ground or centre yourself for a minute?
These modern Japanese interpretations are very evocative, and help me reconsider my thoughts on the 72 demons. I’ve only worked with a few directly, but with these images I feel it’s easier to be attracted to working with more of them.
As a chaos mage, I’m happy to inculcate belief in age-old dæmons, gods and thought-forms when appropriate and useful.
I’ve been a sole practitioner all my life. There was a time when I worked with three others to call the quarters, and there was a time when I taught would-be magick users, but they rarely got past the first few sessions of meditation and meetings with the Elemental Kings n Queens. I should have taught them sigils, shields, glamours and candle magick straight off, but I was too full of pride to give them shortcuts, and too wound up by ‘teen witch’ spell books to teach such cantrips.
I once joined a certain order, a certain society, but it was all ‘pamphlets by mail’ and I couldn’t afford the travel to the temple and I didn’t renew my subscription.
I wanted and want to join The Pact / IOT, but they require a magickal diary that contains six month’s of unbroken entries. I have never achieved an unbroken chain of entries. I write, I record and I experiment, but there are always weeks or months when I write nothing, even if I’m practicing rituals. You might think I write a lot on Tumblr, but in my day job I write even more - often two or three thousand words each day. So I haven’t maintained an unbroken diary, and so there’s little point applying to the IOT. They must believe, and perhaps rightly so, that if a person cannot commit to their own studies then they won’t do much within the order.
I might whine that I perform, practice, experience and live my magick, and that I have years and years of written work as evidence of my progress, set-backs and changes.
I’ve been a lone student for all my life; if I don’t join a working group or magickal order, I won’t experience what it means. Experience. I shouldn’t decide that it’s ‘not for me’ or ‘not useful’ before embracing such an experience. It’s OK to leave after a few years (usually).
I’ve recently wondered about joining a more esoteric order, something in red perhaps, to extend my praxis and to understand cultus. I feel I need to sort my thoughts on theism and spirit work first though.
I’m imagining setting up a working group; it could blossom into a [dis]order if it so desires. I’m imagining setting it up in real life (this post isn’t about online work or connections) around the end of the year, perhaps around the 21st or 22nd. I have ideas about working arrangements, purpose and creeds.