Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Few Thoughts on Advancing the Basics

Wait...What was that bright thing in the sky this morning?

Was that... the Sun? The actual Sun?

I'm only asking because we haven't seen the sun around here for...well, it feels like forever. It's been cold and the sky has been gray...too much like a stereotypical Winter. Everyone-including me-has cabin fever. We all want to get out and get away, which would entail climbing over the piles of snow the plow left at the curb. You risk breaking a hip or your neck on the black ice to go out there.

So instead, I have been reading...and reading...and reading...interspersed by some crocheting. At the New Year I decided I'd go back over some of the more basic ritual elements we all know (or should), and redefine them in some new way. I've been scribbling like mad in my BOS to add the 'new' stuff-
although, if the old adage holds true, there is nothing new under the sun. Or whatever that vaguely shiny thing is up there in the sky.

I always find myself shaking my head nowadays when I read the Pagan-centric stuff posted all over the Web...various factions warring over how to do things their way the "right" way, arguments over titles, degrees and pedigrees, and incessant whining about the lack of books on advanced practice....

I will take this opportunity to gently remind you (and myself) that a few short decades ago, there were no books with little crescent moons on the spines, there were few magickal systems that awarded degrees as the student progressed along the path of study (and magick wasn't spelled with the controversial 'k', thank you Mister Crowley), Witches and Pagans weren't gathering at this or that
convention to admire their ritual attire or discuss social justice...we were mostly at home, studying our Craft and making improvements and discoveries on our own after we learned the basics. There were no 200 level courses for the Craft and if you wanted to learn something else, you took up studying another form of divination or conjure. Otherwise, you practiced your personal version of the Craft until you were confident in your skills. There was no one at Barnes and Noble complaining because they didn't carry books on some obscure, arcane form of hermeticism. No one was looking for the Advanced Key of Solomon. They were home...exploring the Mysteries on their own, because teachers were far and few. I subscribe to the theory that the best teacher is the self.

Sigh. If it's so simple, then why is it so hard? Because we make it that way. We are never satisfied with what we have and want more- and better. It's human nature, I know, but discipline ( with a little common sense thrown in for good measure) would help temper the witchy wonderlust or whatever you call it.

Learn to improve on that candle spell, that prosperity spell, whatever you desire, on your own by changing the oils,the chant, even the intention you've been using...and stop looking for the advanced book where someone else tells you how to do it. We are by the very nature of our works 'doctors' and scientists. Yes, we learn from one another, but we learn from our inner selves, too. What better way to imbue something with personal energy than to deconstruct it on our own and then build it into something better? It's the journey that's the most satisfying part of the Search. So find out what works for you by doing it with your own hands. By all means, don't stop reading, just realize that the line  from the Charge of the Goddess " Whatever you seek you shall find within you" is more true a statement than you imagined. The next time you wonder where all the advanced books are, remember to look inside yourself first!

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