Presto!

I read a lot of blogs, articles, and books on various magical topics. One of the things that keeps me going back is whether or not the author is “real”. An author may have the best writing style, discuss topics that are important to a lot of people, but if they fail to add the realities of life — our struggles, our pain — readers can grow disenchanted quickly. This is my personal experience anyway. It’s like starting a new relationship. In the beginning, there is excitement, joy, and we can generally let everyday life roll off our shoulders like rain. Then, as the relationship begins to settle, the obstacles of life are still there…waiting. I see this as “normal”, if there even is a such thing. It is much the same way with magic.

I have met quite a few people who have what I would consider unrealistic expectations about what can be accomplished through practice. They often get high at the idea of what they are reading. They can read a book, go through the steps, and then expect the earth to stand still when they clap their hands. What they fail to understand, or perhaps don’t want to acknowledge, is that the art of magic is a lifelong process. You cannot simply read a book and then call yourself an adept. Well, you could, but that doesn’t do you any good, nor does it help anybody who might seek your advice!

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned through magic is that in order for my practice to evolve, I too must evolve. It is my Will that creates change after all. And if I sit back, expecting the Universe to bow before me, I’m going to be in for a big shock! Magical development takes dedication, countless hours of experimentation, working and re-working rituals, and although we may come to a place where we feel that we are ahead of it all, there is also the factor of change to consider. To be successful, we have to work really hard. This is part of life, and it’s also what it takes to ascend. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.

There seems to be a belief among many practitioners that as magicians we are devoid of our human aspects. This is yet another example of how to trip yourself going down a mountainside. Whether people want to admit it or not, we are human and we experience the human condition in various ways. Magic alone will not cure the mind, body, and soul. There must be a balance. We are going to experience pain, illness, depression, and a variety of other conditions. Mental health itself is of great importance. With that being said, if you have a chemical imbalance or a history with depression, this is something that is part of your existence. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging we have issues and that we’re human. I have struggled with depression for most of my life and I went through that mindset of being void of my humanness. It didn’t “cure” me, and it certainly didn’t stop me from going through the same cycles of depression. There is no magic trick where you wave your wand over the top hat and presto the rabbit appears. It is what it is.

Our ability to work through such concerns will benefit us later during our practice. The act of creating and maintaining our sacred space as well as finding ways to keep ourselves motivated to forge ahead will also help us learn better methods of dealing with life’s problems. Nobody, no matter how spotless their social media profiles may try to paint them, is perfect. Nobody knows every answer. You are responsible for your own path, progress, and evolution. Look deep within yourself and acknowledge those inner demons — embrace them, work with them, and keep flowing!

I very rarely recommend books, but if you, like me, have a history of depression and would like to explore the topic in terms of the occult, I highly recommend Sol Tenebrarum: The Occult Study of Melancholy,” by Asenath Mason. Here is a portion of the book’s description from the back of this amazing book:

“This book is concentrated around the traditional view of melancholy and its interpretations in ancient and modern history of the Western esotericism. It attempts to translate ancient concepts into contemporary context and rediscovers melancholy as the central part of occult philosophy, representing the most critical stages of ecstasy, lycanthropy, acedia, spiritual journeys, into the Underworld, inspired insanity, Dark Night of the Soul, Saturnian contemplation, qliphotic initiations, and the mystical meaning of the Black Sun — these are only a few themes from this fascinating book.”

Ascension

I have been doing a considerable amount of magical workings within the scope of the Atlantean Trident the last couple of months. I was first introduced to the Atlantean Trident through the writings of Mark Alan Smith in his books “Queen of Hell” and “The Red King”. I have not yet had the pleasure of reading the third book in the series, “The Scorpion God”, yet I am confident that once read, the knowledge therein will be life changing in the same way that the other two books were.

As I was enveloped in the power of these tomes, I also participated in a public project with the Temple of the Ascending Flame which was centered around the Atlantean Trident — Hecate, Lucifer, and Belial. I wrote in a previous post about how awe-inspiring and spiritually moving this work was for me. Since completing the project, I have continued working with Hecate and Lucifer, feeling myself ascending toward more formal work and deeper connections.

It had been many years since I had an active altar. Many of you know that I have spent quite a bit of the last ten years immersed in research and study of the Left-hand Path with an atheistic view. While my previous Pagan ties served as a good introduction into some mysteries of the Craft, it was the Dark Flame of Lucifer that I know to have guided me through the act of tearing myself down, stripping away the damage of the Christian church, and illuminating the way back to the primal craft of old.

I have never really subscribed to the idea that all things happen for a reason, yet I can say that I know that the many crossroads I have come to and the choices of roads I have traveled are indeed connected and have led me to the place I am now. Hecate, my first interaction with a Goddess, has never been far from me. Hecate’s Torches burn bright as Lucifer illuminates my way ahead.

The dark moon approaches and I grow more magically charged as I prepare myself for the formal rite of Initiation with Hecate. May Her Torches light your way!

Reborn

I recently took a short respite from my Internet life as part of a necessary personal and spiritual evaluation of myself, my goals, and my progress. As expected, I was met with many challenges, and as a result, I am making changes. Chaos has a way of pushing us into the fire to force change if we aren’t reading, or downright ignoring the signs. Change is necessary for evolution, and most times, at least for me, that change is preceded by the destructive forces of chaos.

Along my ever winding path to gain spiritual knowledge, I can look back and remember how the very word “chaos” brought such negative responses from some Pagans. Chaos was originally explained to me as a force that I should never work with as it is dangerous and can lead to bad things. Although I have long since come to understand that chaos is natural and part of every aspect of our lives, I can’t help but revisit how my fear of unleashing an uncontrollable force and what that could potentially mean in my life kept me from exploring chaos in-depth. Ironically, there are still many people who see chaos as a negative force, and who fail to see that chaos is part of our lives whether we accept it or not. To all the nature worshipers out there — you can’t escape chaos! And why would you want to anyway?

Spiritually speaking, I’ve spent the last few years with the intention of moving forward, yet I have been stuck in the hamster wheel of fear. Intention is good and all, but it does you no good unless you follow through. I’m not perfect, and although my academic studies of the Occult have broadened drastically over the years, it is ultimately my lack of movement that had me running in that hamster wheel, running, running, and going nowhere!

A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Steve Davies as members of The Order of Apep, Michael Kelly‘s order based on his amazing writings on the Draconian current. Steve and I struck up a conversation and became fast friends. Together, we have been working on a Draconian work that will be submitted to Michael for a future book collaboration he’s working on (more details to come!).

As Steve and I began with simple ideas, sharing experiences, and drawing upon those traditions and writers, like Michael, who have influenced us, our workings became more dynamic, slowly moving through me as if guided by some divine intervention. In essence, the magick involved with our work became as a new initiation for me, and through this initiation came the familiar elements of the cycle of death and rebirth. So, as you see, my sabbatical, although short, was quite powerful, literally pushing me into spiritual transformation.

I had spent many years embracing Anton LaVey’s philosophy of the atheistic practitioner. The psychodrama became my ritual, and for a while, I had broken away from any form of deity worship. I have great respect for LaVey, noting that The Satanic Bible alone was such a pivotal part of my departure from closed-minded Paganism. That being said, LaVey’s work is brilliant and I still feel connected to it, however, the desire — the pull — to a connection with a spiritual Being became necessary for me. I fought it tooth and nail. I talked my way around it. I did nothing but dig a deeper hole into stagnation.

Prior to walking away from Paganism, the deity I held closest was Hecate. I had stopped believing in coincidence, but I could not deny that there was an energy pulling me to participate in an open magickal project hosted by Asenath Mason and the Temple of Ascending Flame. I emailed for the information about the project and was pleased to say that Hecate was a large piece of the working. Coincidence? No!

Using the work Steve and I had been putting together with the Temple of Ascending Flame project opened doors long closed to me. Not only were the workings incredible, I reconnected with Hecate, with that part of myself that felt Hecate, knew Her presence, and welcomed the warmth of Her embrace. It was a very powerful spiritual experience for me. And spiritually speaking, I overcame an obstacle that had been part of the reason I lay spiritually stagnate for so long. Hail Hecate!

The ability to allow myself permission to worship, to have faith, and to revere those deities, especially Hecate, has also allowed me to open myself further to the Draconian and Luciferian currents. I have eliminated so many people from my life — not because they necessarily did anything wrong, but because it is necessary for my spiritual and personal expansion. I am reborn, renewed, and have no need of many of my previous distractions.

With the renewed sense of spiritual purpose, my blog is also renewed with a new look, a new energy, and more stimulating content going forward. Enjoy!

Hail Hecate!