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csdotn
02 December 2008 @ 02:27 pm
I find myself cruising the nets looking for the perfect athame. I railed against tools of the witching trade for the longest time (but not the tools of alchemy - possibly because I have a fetish for kitchen gadgets and test tubes count, right?). Well, perhaps "railed against" isn't quite right, but I certainly felt as though I no longer required such things as cast iron cauldrons, athames, runes - all of it. I had gone past that point. Well, I've now gone so far past that point that I'm right back where I started. (This means it's working.)

A knife is the most important tool of the trade. You must respect it and it must respect you. It is to be used for cutting whatever needs to be cut. It should not be double-edged. I use the word "athame" loosely, because I do not abide by the rules that govern fundamentalist neo-pagans who will insist that to be a proper athame, a knife must never be used to chop anything to bits. What rubbish. But I digress. The point is that if I'm going to start gathering tools again, the knife is where I want to start.

I do still have my old athame, I forged the blade myself and affixed it to an owl claw rescued from an ex who did not deserve to have it. I beaded the hilt, consecrated the thing and used it religiously (ha!) for years, until I retired it. Sadly, that knife is on another continent. I don't know when I'll see it again, but I would like to. I don't know if I would use it again. I am not that person now.

One wonders if, because one put so much time, effort and soul into the creation of one's first athame (of which there will never be another to equal it), should one now throw caution to the wind and purchase a flashy pre-made knife? All black-hilted with a shiny, steel blade? Should one get down with their inner goth, so to speak?

Oh Ebay. You do make an old witch think.
 
 
csdotn
14 November 2008 @ 12:09 pm
It was a nice, quiet season until just recently. It has come through the grapevine that someone believes I am magickally attacking them.

To which I can only say, good grief.

Actually I can say a bit more than that, which is why I'm blogging this here. For all of my years of involvement in magick, I have "attacked" someone once and that was a neo-nazi twat who I simply removed from my turf with a little help from a friend. Okay, "simply removed" is a bit of an understatement, but that's not the point. Magick is a lovely tool, but aside from this one exception, if I have a problem with someone I am far more likely to knock on their door and have it out with them in person than I am to use more nefarious ways to get my point across. Magick is questionable, you can never be entirely certain of who is doing what. If I have a problem with someone, I don't want there to be any question that is it *I* who has that problem. Little creeping neophytes should not blame their personal demons on me.
 
 
csdotn
16 October 2008 @ 07:17 am
It has been a busy couple of weeks. I was one of the hundred and some people attending the Thelemic Symposium in Oxford this month, an event which certainly inspired some rethinking of the present and pondering of the future.

JSK was by far the best speaker and the only one who seemed to keep to his point. That is not to diminish the others, however. They were all interesting characters and I enjoyed listening to their stories. I made some excellent connections with people I hope will, over time, become friends and even working partners where magick is concerned.

The event also provided a nice cross-section of the magickal community here. I was not born on this island and this was the first dip of my toe into it. I was pleased.

Unrelated, but worth a mention for future reference:

My husband, bless him, noted the other day that I bring everything into the personal realm when we are discussing magick and etc. He is right. I do go a bit over the top with the old "as without, so within" thing. But hey, what else can we know for certain except ourselves, and some of us haven't even got that far yet. But, this is something I should work on. The whole rest of the world, lovely husband included, really can't be interested in my own process of self-revealing. I'm still learning to keep silent and all that.

In other exciting news, I've recently read an email by a respected magician on breaking the rules. I am apparently not alone in some of my thinking, but I won't get into the details as the email wasn't meant for the masses. Though I doubt anyone but me will ever read this blog, one never knows.

All is relatively quiet here on the home front. Not too many bats in the belfry, only that blasted agent of the adversary pissing in the back garden. Oh well. Keeps me on my toes.
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csdotn
25 September 2008 @ 12:00 pm
There is a phrase out there that has recently been doing my head in. It is "do magick", as "I'm going to do some magick tonight" or "you don't do magick". I believe what people really mean when they say this is more along the lines of "perform ritual magick". I really do wish users of the English language would learn to qualify their statements, or to be more specific, but in the end I think the problem lies with me. There seems to be a language barrier, or a barrier in comprehension on my part. I do take things spoken and written very literally. I believe the conscious use of language is a very real method of creating and maintaining reality and so one should seriously attend to their words, but that is a post for another day. So, when someone says "do magick" in any context I am left confused because in my world, "doing magick" can mean anything from breathing to casting a circle.

"Magick, in the broadest sense, is any act designed to cause intentional change." (Crowley, Magick, Book 4 p.127)

Stolen from wiki.

Magick, in my humble and possibly ill-informed opinion, is the conscious art of being. Or the art of being conscious - or of being consciously. Causing intentional change with every act. Living with intent and awareness, that sort of thing. Every minute I am alive I am "doing magick" (hee - that really is a good way to express it), you see, so to separate it into something that one goes off and does upon occasion seems very odd.

Crowley calls magick an act. I call it an art. Acting is an art, so I think he and I, at least, are on the same page. I could be wrong.

Magick has a tendency to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, those of us who deal in it. Or perhaps we just learn how to see it everywhere. Either way, it is there. You can't separate it after you've been with it for so long. Everything is a direct communication from god to my soul, and vice versa.

As I said, the problem is in how I interpret the phrase "doing magick". I come at it from my own angle, and I think the rest of the magical population has their own angle and it seems vastly different from mine. [Well, there is one place on earth where my angle is shared by other "magicians", although they would be horrified to be alluded to as such. By the holy men and women, I'll say, within my father's culture. And that is all I'll say about them or that, except to add that I often wonder if my confusion is because my understanding of magick was deeply influenced by my time spent within my father's culture, which is not Western as Western Magicians understand these things at all. There are vastly different attitudes at work toward certain things. Perhaps that is my great divide.]

I have no intention of changing, mind you. My life would lose something that I am not prepared to see go. I am content to specify my own intentions clearly - I'm going to go conjure, cast, concoct, call and channel. I'm going to use the ouija board to talk to old Uncle Phil. I'm going to dry these herbs. I'm going to go consecrate this water. I'm going to go see what the ephemeris has to say. I'm going to go have a chat with Lucifer, see you in a bit. I am not going to go do magick. I already am. I find it curious when people suggest that someone doesn't "do magick" just because they are not waving their arms around every day. Magick existed long before human pomp and ceremony.

Despite my long-windedness, this is not meant to be a dissertation on magick. This is part of my ongoing attempt to figure out just what the fuck people mean when they express certain combinations of words. I sometimes wonder if they know what they mean. But it is also interesting stuff to ponder, and I do know how one could think of doing magick and doing the laundry, for example, as two separate things. I know the day-clerk/night-sorceror syndrome very well and I think for some it can add a hint of glamour to the whole affair. And in that case I would call it an affair, as opposed to a marriage. Perhaps that style of magician works best when creating and maintaining that distinction. I don't know, but I'd like to. I would just like to know what people are talking about half of the time. In this, I imagine, I am not alone.
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csdotn
15 September 2008 @ 08:56 am
I did not salt the earth. That would be bad form. I am nice.

There are silly spikes in the aethers, I can feel the bats stirring and the spirits are truly restless but it's been relatively steady around here. I've got tons of thoughts to record on my latest reading material, but that's not going to happen today. I need salt, a cauldron and a spearmint plant. Silver polish would be good as well. Being well-prepared is key.
 
 
 
csdotn
04 September 2008 @ 10:59 am
Excuse me while I salt the fucking earth.
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csdotn
29 August 2008 @ 09:30 am
As per usual, I believe I have put my foot in it again. I wrote to one of the few magicians I respect yesterday and, in retrospect, I am sure I was off the hook. This is fine, it happens. Recently I've gone through an ordeal I fondly dubbed Ordeal 0. Part of this ordeal had to do with accepting my nature, without fail or fault, and hey, I do put my foot in it. That's me.

I was informed this morning that the Enochian system is a means of bringing about the apocalypse. To which I say, bring that shit on.

May as well cover all your bases. Angels and demons - how can one go wrong? This is going to prove to be a very interesting season. Again, as per usual. And it has already begun. Yesterday I strolled through the halls of the dead. They are getting restless. This morning I encountered an agent of the adversary in the back garden. I was hoping this kind of thing would hold off for a few more weeks, but alas, here we go.

I live in bat country. It doesn't get much more interesting than that.

[eta: I did not, in fact, put my foot in it. Bless!]
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csdotn
28 August 2008 @ 06:39 pm
I'm reading Ceremonial Magic & the Power of Evocation by Joseph C. Lisiewski, Ph. D. at the moment. It promises results. As do they all, really. I got to the end of chapter one and said to myself, okay, fine, let's google Dr. Lisiewski and see what results he's got from his own system, if system it be.

He's a physicist, so I thought to perhaps discover his affiliation with a university, some exciting essays perhaps or some similar thing - something to indicate that he has achieved the success he mentions is possible to achieve by way of following the instructions in his book.

I found no university affiliation, but this could mean nothing. Perhaps Lisiewski is a pseudonym. What I did find was several many links to his books and a website that looks like it was created at the dawn of the internet.

Since I am only at chapter one, I can not comment on this state of things, but it does put me off a bit. Is this another typical example of a magician saying one thing and being another? We shall see. One hopes not. Of course, the only way to really tell if this stuff works is to do it yourself, which is exactly what I intend to do.
 
 
csdotn
27 August 2008 @ 02:21 pm
It did start when I was 11. My mother had a copy of Doreen Valiente's An ABC of Witchcraft, Past and Present on her bookshelf and I read it cover to cover. Does this make me a traditional witch - a witch from a family tradition? No. It made me a kid whose mom had a book on her shelf. God, it was all so gorgeously mysterious and arcane, but it was by no means my first experience with anything occult. I'd already spent most of my 11 years living with ghosts, reading minds and generally dealing with being terrified out of my wee skull by horrendous apparitions and the occasional dead but still angry ancestor. Finding that book was a boon, I tell you, and I knew as I turned the last page that I wanted to be a warty old hag of a witch when I grew up. Pacts with the Devil? Bring it on. Familiar spirits? Hell yes. Poisons and potions? Can't get enough.

So here I am, 41 years old, still working on the warts but I'll get there. I am happy to report after all of my efforts that yes, magick does work.

The first thing I learned was that when you cast a spell on another, you have effectively cast that spell on yourself. It's the old as above, so below (or as within, so without) maxim and that guy was not wrong. It only took one error for me to realize that casting spells on others was not the way to go. Cut out the middleman, I say, and do your own head in.

So, my point in engaging in the dire arts was to fix my own position on this great, spinning ball of earth. I've not bothered with riches, but I know my Will and my place in the general scheme of things and I am incredibly happy with the results I have managed to achieve. Yet, there comes a point in every person's life (I hope) when they sit back and say what next? I've asked the question and within moments received an answer. I am bothering with riches now - not at all because I need them, but because I want them and what they can provide.

It is my understanding that the old lore instructed the magician to summon up a demon, face it down and order it to procure said riches. I've always felt this approach to be a bit supremacist and unfriendly towards the demon in question (but then I would think that since I allegedly am one). I've also never known anyone to actually procure riches by doing this stuff, but then I'm not sure I've known anyone who ever tried. The last time I did a spell for riches my grandmother died, which wasn't the problem. The problem was that by the time my inheritance actually got to me, there wasn't much left. Obviously I didn't think the spell through carefully enough. I didn't conjure up a demon, either.

I think maybe this time I should.