Having just sent off Quareia’s module five for formatting, I am taking a day off from course writing so I can tell y’all how it is going, and let you know I am still alive and kicking. The course itself seems to be taking on a life of its own and it is certainly challenging me every step of the way to ensure that what goes in is necessary, and that magical dead wood, dogma, etc is thrown out.This module, more than any so far is the one that has made me stop and think every step of the way: is this truly necessary? Is this still valid? Are we still magically head butting walls up a dead end?
Every aspect of the magical tools has had to be re examined in light of what I know, what I have experienced, what has worked, what has not, and what I have discovered over the years to be blaring magical mistakes and misunderstandings.
The result of that re examination is that lessons I had planned to write or was half way through writing had to be tossed in the bin and ones that I had not planned to write, demanded to be written. This in turn made me stop and look a lot closer at the methods and techniques I had not planned to write about, but blurted themselves out. Some of these techniques are ones that are not well known in popular magic, but are ones that draw on deep and ancient roots, and ones that I did not initially think were suitable (or even understandable) for apprentices. It was not until I got to the end of the module that it all clicked into place in my head and I had one of those…. ‘ohhhhhhh that is why’…. moments.
In some western magical styles, tools have developed into orthodoxies, have become accessories, psychologised exteriorisations, or have become the extension of the ‘magicians will’. Instead of the tools being vessels for beings which in turn work with the magician in a powerful way, they have in some areas of magic devolved into tools that allow the magician simply to wield a limited control (or even worse, just look good). That has become so much of a dogma that it has developed an endemic flaw in magic which serves only to limit the magician and ensure that the same mistakes are repeated over and over.
In Quareia, I want to move away from that and get back to the source, and yet move it forward in a way that is relevant for magicians in today’s world.
By wanting to do that, I set myself a bigger challenge than I initially realised and I was surprised by how many times I allowed magical dogma to creep in (and be subsequently tossed out), dogmas that have no real magical function: someone at some time just thought it was a good idea and we all followed along blindly.
The biggest lesson in this module, besides the actual details of the tools themselves, is for the magician to learn how to get out of the way in order for magic to flow. Over the generations with magic, it has slowly moved from being an act whereby the magician works in tandem with everything around them, to an act where the magician is in control of everything and subsequently has to do everything. It is akin to a company director firing all the staff and attempting to do all the production, packing, distribution, accounting, etc, for themselves.
This over control and isolation manifests itself as over ritualisation, particularly in respect of working with the elements and tools. Most of that aspect of magic developed in the late nineteenth century with the more active forming of groups – where there is a group, there is an audience, where there is an audience, there is always a pompous drama queen or at least a need to dramatically express ones role within the hierarchy. So everything becomes over stated, externalised, and has to have lots of additional ingredients: bells to ring, incense to burn, speeches, robes, gaudily painted tools, laurel sprigs, deity names when not needed – the list is endless.
While this is all well and common in religion, in magic it serves only to limit and clutter the magic.
Eventually this clutter, which was dressing, slowly became the orthodoxy of how magicians thought the magic worked: the real magic got lost under the weight of the dressing. To challenge such orthodoxy, is to also challenge the need for all of the dressing, which makes some magicians uncomfortable and defensive: it is heavily interwoven with the identity that the magician steps into.
But it is also important to recognise what works for people and to respect that. So this issue becomes a knife edge that has to be walked with common sense. This was the root of the issue that I was struggling with when I first started module five: how much is necessary to leave in, what needs throwing out, why, and what needs a different approach that is also affective and proven.
I came to the conclusion that it is best to train an apprentice in the roots and branches of the magic without extra dressing, and to teach them where in magic they need to step back and let other powers do their bit without interference.
Then if they wish to fully dress it in the future, that is their own choice, but will be a choice made in gnosis. They will understand what it is they are doing, why they are doing it and will not confuse the lines between what is magic and what is dressing that allows you to operate in a way that works for you.
Thanks for sharing your own processing of this work.
It being Halloween, this post got me thinking of a party I went to a party at a pagan couple’s house a few Halloween’s back. Everything was out like on a window display in a bad magical gift shop. Nice stuff, mind you. Pretty to look at. I enjoy nice things/well made object. But personally, I wouldn’t want to live in a gift shop. A house can become a temple without the outward dressing.
How much of the late 19th century magical history has gone to create lifestyle-magicians rather than helped people live a magical life?
I’ve found that even just reading the course alone has a triggering effect. You also write that observation is a tool.
This work wouldn’t be cutting edge if it wasn’t cutting off those portions of the tradition that no longer serve. That doesn’t necessarily make it fashionable, though it will have a life, which is preferable than trying to revive a putrefying corpse. (Can’t help but have a bit of my own verbal dramatics -’tis the season:)
Very Halloween vocabulary Justin! And yes you are right, observation is a major magical tool that a lot of people gloss over… thanks for the feedback!!
Greetings all, I do have difficulty with login but I made it at last, Hi there! I am really enjoying this Josephine, reading your books and this site, it all rings true, thankyou so much. Yes enough of the BS,, the kiss theory, keep it simple stupid. Lets just cut to the chase without all the nonsense. As above so below, we are that!
Light, Life, Love, Liberty and dare I say,
Do as thou will be the whole of the Law,
Love is the Law Love under will
Josephine, I”m really proud of you. The standards you’ve set for yourself are high but you manage to keep to them. Quareia is magnificent.
Thanks Julie, I do fret sometimes (im a mother with no kids at home any more…so I fret over work instead!) that I am not getting it exactly right, and I am finding I am having to re write a lot… mainly because I want to jump to more flashy bits (as they are fun to write), but then I get told off – the steps have got to be just right so that the next level sits on top properly, but is not too easy so that it doesn’t teach what needs to be taught. A fine balancing act. I am learning a lot in this process and look back now at how I used to teach in the 90’s, I cringe…. its a wonder I didn’t kill anyone.
But thanks for the feedback, but don’t let me get a big head… that would be a disaster. I need to stay in dork mode…. thats safer!!
Haha… I get that. Dork mode is my mainstay.
Hail the dork-mode (I still don’t understand how each time I’ve posted a comment this software does a weird-formatting splurge- just to make my posts look dorky… I even look at what I’ve entered to see if I entered a char or something.. not sure)… don’t want the big-head but rather the matter-of-fact
How are you? – Perfect, thank you. I’m traveling incognito. -Oh? As what are you disguised? -I am disguised as myself.
-Don’t be silly. That’s no disguise. That’s what you are. -On the contrary, it must be a very good disguise, for I see it has fooled you completely. —Sufi Mulah Nasrudin
I was triggered a memory about dork-mode, was driven to find it– finally did:
============== [not sure who wrote this, that I copied it in my notes…]
I recently heard that a geek is one who, when doing a difficult task, takes long in the beginning, perhaps even doing more work, more planning and preparation in order to ensure the work gets done right. This sets him up for doing a repetitive task successfully and efficiently.
The non-geek, on the other hand, sort of haphazardly throws together this task in order to get it done the fastest. However, this rushed slob job will prove detrimental in the long run.
============== (whether or not detrimental, more so, it becomes self-evident to others after it has been “figured-out” as if it was obvious all along).
(this from an Amazon book-review)- “Karl Popper believed that when truth is discovered meaning will take care of itself. However, since, in Popper’s view, we can never verify a general proposition, we can never be certain of its truth. There must therefore be a way of understanding what it means even though we cannot be sure of its truth.”
” Booyah” (as the phrase goes…) . for the last three wks I’d been sensing a downloading/settling, and having the thought increase (espec over the last week and a half) to drop an email- encouragement or whatever…
(just a sense I had- hoping things were well and that either you’d been ‘chewin-on’ the quest/laboring-away.. or perhaps resting and doing-else in life… either way, I had seen a couple comments by others elsewhere appreciating the work seen so far on this (Quareia)- value and all that…
let alone how transformed I’ve had my understanding… looking back at phrases I copied out here&there.. <espec re: sigils/pattern-fill as a vessel, shaped-by/shaping… a "binding" which relates to structures of personality / self .. etc.
On writing this I'll remark a sort of deja-vu sense (evaluated, but not that internal-sense of it) of when I read this particular Blog post.. some of the pictures and actual shapes of the paragraphing-layout… really triggered memories I had (of reveries and of I think dreams, perhaps even in early Vision-work, when I started on lessons back early-summer…. almost as if I was sensing this posting, but in the "seeing" sense, not in terms of content- I don't mean, but recognition (and the concepts/foundational structure issues being dealt with really seem to milestone/blockpoint here… so I send whatever Encouragement and Apprec I have to send (whatever that is worth from one not met in person)..
anyway- I ramble, as I only saw this post just now, though you wrote-posted it a bit prior.. this last week I'd been browsing to the Q-site as it kept triggering my psy-RSS (or some such hex-sensing). best wishes to you and yours, your area (and all those other Seekers reading-following here-bouts)
thanks for the feedback Gary and the encouragement. I am busy beavering away at writing..just keeping very busy..so much to do!!
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