LESSONS IN MAGICK: When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left

Left

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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.”

Robert Frost

I am a walker of the Left Hand Path and my Philosophy is Luciferianism, but I also consider myself to be a deeply Spiritual person.

People seem shocked, almost offended when I discuss how Spiritual I am, and how much that Spirituality shapes myself, my life and my Magick; sometimes maybe even more so than my Luciferian Philosophy.

For me, the two ideologies are not mutually exclusive, and this is important for people to understand; usually when they think of LHP practitioners they automatically think of Satanists who can’t control their mouths and are trolls online (I would doubt if some of these fine examples of Satanism are in fact Satanist at all).

There are many Philosophies on the LHP other than Luciferianism and Satanism, this is another key point.

Just like Witches, there is no “one way” for those of us who walk the LHP to practice, or look, or live for that matter; we are all individuals with our own lives, desires, goals, and ideas of how the world (and our world) works.

Part of the allure of this path is that we can make it whatever we want it to be.

I have long incorporated aspects of Hinduism into my Magick, and daily practices of ritual and life; Meditation, and Yoga are just some of the ways that Eastern Philosophy and tradition have influenced me.

I have discovered the power of herbal teas, plant allies and vegetarianism along my journey because of their important roles in Ayurvedic traditions and Chinese Medicine.

Tai Chi has also been paramount in battling anxiety, agoraphobia and chronic pain; not to mention it teaches me how to be both soft and strong; something society tells us is impossible.

As much as I strive for individual sovereignty I am aware of the collective conscious and unconscious; the concepts of duality and polarity, too. I am also well versed in the idea of oneness, or unity (though I sometimes struggle with being part of the whole because it feels at times that it totally negates the validity of my individual experience.)

Because I am Spiritual I find myself running along side an array of people, and I am open and accepting to everyone I meet, mostly because of the utter fascination I have for all beliefs, especially ones different than mine.

I can’t say I have been met with this same acceptance though.

In many Spiritual circles being a Witch is hit or miss—meaning, you don’t know if you will be accepted until the moment arrives. The kinds of Witches accepted are usually Wiccan, or the RHP “love and light, healer only” type and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of Witch or practice, but it’s not the only way.

Once people within the Spiritual, less Witchy communities hear that I am a Luciferian they kinda just shut me out and dismiss me; I don’t know why it still shocks me, but it does, every single time it happens.

On the flip side I find many within the LHP community who think I am too Spiritual, or “not Luciferian enough” and they, too dismiss me.

The resistance and backlash that I have faced is one of the main reasons I am so open with my beliefs but also why I felt it necessary to start NR; there was no place that would accept me, so I created that place.

As an outsider to these communities I am blessed with the gift of perspective, and from my perspective all I see is irony.

How are these Spiritual folks teaching aka picking and choosing which lessons suit their own agenda and narrative of Buddhism (as just one example) but don’t understand how at the bare bones of it all Buddhism is, in many regards, a LHP Philosophy, or at least a dual Philosophy?

I know that Buddhists don’t believe in an individual self, which goes against the core teachings of most LHP traditions: Self-Deification.

Let’s put that aside for a minute though.

The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism are: the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. (Note: Suffering also known as Dukkha.)

Buddhism is about understanding suffering which is how I would describe the human condition: we are meant to suffer for only through suffering do we fully understand.

Only through experience do we know.

Those of us who walk the LHP don’t want any books of “holy words” telling us how to live our lives, or fear mongering; we want/need to experience life, the highs and lows, for ourselves.

Isn’t that why we chose the path less traveled and one of most reward?

We want and need to experience all that is earthly, taboo, macabre and carnal.

Ripple

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One last point about Buddhism, they believe in Karma, and Karmic debt but Karma merely means action.

Buddhists tend to believe that Karma is NOT preordained fate, or destiny but more about the actions we carry out in this life, and how in the long run they can affect us.

I know, many of you are thinking, well isn’t that consequence?

No.

Are we on the LHP free from consequence?

No.

We believe we are free from Divine Retribution, which is not the same as consequence.

Consequence is a Universal Law attached to no God, Goddess or Deity; it’s cause and effect. Think of it like I do, Newton’s Third Law.

An excerpt from one of the links at the bottom says, “If you lie, steal and kill it will eventually bring about unhappiness”.

Well, isn’t this true for anyone who has any kind of moral conscience?

The LHP is not a lack of moral conscience, but more so the idea that we are able to calibrate our morality how we see fit as individuals.

Also, how are these Spiritual folks teaching about Hinduism but negating the fact that every Deity in the Pantheon has two sides (or more), one of Shadow and one of Light to be whole?

For example, Kali is the dark side, and/or wrathful side of Parvarti; who both represent the Feminine Divine Principle known as Shakti.

Other stories tell of Kali being birthed from Durga, regardless she is darkness and justified rage embodied.

“One version relates to when the warrior goddess Durga, who had ten arms each carrying a weapon and who rode a lion or tiger in battle, fought with Mahishasura (or Mahisa), the buffalo demon. Durga became so enraged that her anger burst from her forehead in the form of Kali. Once born, the black goddess went wild and ate all the demons she came across, stringing their heads on a chain which she wore around her neck. It seemed impossible to calm Kali’s bloody attacks, which now extended to any wrongdoers, and both people and gods were at a loss what to do. Fortunately, the mighty Shiva stopped Kali’s destructive rampage by lying down in her path, and when the goddess realized just who she was standing on, she finally calmed down. From this story it’s explained Kali’s association with battlegrounds and areas where cremation is carried out.

“In another version of the goddess’ birth, Kali appeared when Parvati shed her dark skin which then became Kali, hence one of her names is Kaushika (the Sheath), whilst Parvati is left as Gauri (the Fair One). This story emphasizes Kali’s blackness which is symbolic of eternal darkness and which has the potential to both destroy and create.” Source

The last line is most important, for me: “This story emphasizes Kali’s blackness which is symbolic with eternal darkness and which has the potential to both destroy and create.”

She is both Monster and Mother, as we all should be, as we all are.

Those who cannot curse, cannot cure.

Those who cannot create, cannot destroy.

Duality

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Instead of teaching only love and light, or only death and darkness, maybe we should be focused on discussing both; realizing we are all both.

There is no escaping it.

We also have an entire group of people, in both the Spiritual and Witch communities that no matter how many times it’s addressed, they equate dark to black and light to white; Magick itself is a spectrum.

Both LHP and RHP have dark and light aspects to them that have nothing to do with the form of Magick you practice, or the Philosophy you hold; in my opinion, you must be able to stand in the dark if you want to stand in the light—balance is our goal, no matter what our path is.

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.” C.G Jung

You can’t build up one aspect of yourself while completely demeaning the other, opposite yet parallel aspect; you can’t romanticize one, and demonize the other; you can’t favor one while suppressing (even denying) the other.

That is why any path that does not allow room for my whole self to exist; a Self that’s full of shadows, darkness and light is no path for me.

The LHP is the obvious path to attain my goal of enlightenment.

Dare I say, it’s the one true path.

All other paths serve their purpose but in my opinion, they also serve watered down bullshit.

I have been told my whole life to water myself down, to lessen my potency, to take up less space; I am unwilling to follow a path that tells/demands/commands me to do the same.

I am darkness, I am light, I am shadow, and all that’s in between.

I refuse to be anything other than everything.

Resources:

http://www.pbs.org/edens/thailand/buddhism.htm

https://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/15227975

https://thebuddhistcentre.com/text/four-noble-truths

East Meets West: How Eastern Philosophy Influences the Left Hand Path

Melania Brescia

Image: Melania Brescia

“I was dead, then alive.

Weeping, then laughing.

The power of love came into me,

and I became fierce like a lion,

then tender like the evening star.”

Rumi

I have admired Eastern Philosophy, and been intrigued with Eastern culture and traditions since I can remember.

My draw to the East began through music.

I was in the band when I was a kid and I played the French Horn, I was ashamed to be the only girl “among the horns” as I used to say, now the metaphor makes me laugh.

For little girls it was the clarinet, or the flute, even the violin that was “supposed” to be the instrument of choice, not that I have ever liked gender roles to begin with, nor am I that good at living up to someone else’s expectations, I decided to go for an instrument that nobody wanted.

We had a really eccentric, vibrant music teacher and I had an even more eccentric private teacher; I think he takes top spot for eccentricities in one human being. One day my music teacher played a piece of music, I have never been able to find it since, and in the background was an Indian flute.

That noise, that Divine sound triggered something in the depths of my soul that changed the entire course of my life.

The Indian Flute is an instrument used by Indigenous people all over the world, primarily made of various woods (depending on geographic location) and with various numbers of holes, usually 7, it is a Sacred instrument, with a truly resonating sound.

One specific flute is known as the Bansuri which originates from Southeast Asia and is associated with Krishna; the same flute depicted in most Buddhist paintings around 100 CE. Krishna of course is “a Hindu deity, worshipped across many traditions of Hinduism in a variety of different perspectives. Krishna is recognized as the complete and eighth avatar of the God Vishnu or as the Supreme God in own right.

“Often described and portrayed as an infant eating butter, a young boy playing a flute as in the Bhagavata Purana, a young man along with Radha or as an elder giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita. The stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions. They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero, and the Supreme Being.”

His name originates from the Sanskrit word “Kṛṣṇa, which is primarily an adjective meaning “black”, “dark” or “dark blue”. The waning moon is called Krishna Paksha, relating to the adjective meaning “darkening”. Sometimes it is also translated as “all-attractive”, according to members of the Hare Krishna movement.”

Music has played a huge role in my life, and it plays a huge role in spirituality as many deities teach us, from Krishna and his flute to Pan with a flute of his own, Archangel Gabriel and his horn, or even Bast with her love of music; it seems that music is the Universal language we all so desperately have been seeking.

Dance, and expression through movement have also been crucial on my path, though I keep that personal to me because I use it as a form of meditation; both music and dance help me de-stress, find my center, and ground back to my reality when the outside world causes me to lose focus of Self.

Eastern Philosophy has taught me a lot, and when people see my collection of Buddhas, or my various Hindu trinkets they seem confused. I am questioned, a lot, on how these mystical traditions play their role on the Left Hand Path, and Luciferianism.

I would like to explain how I see them meeting in the middle, or at least, how they meet in the middle for me.

Seek your own truth, as I have.

The first most notable influence on my path is Rumi: a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic. If you are unfamiliar with Sufism it is the mystical sect of Islam, also a sect synonymous with the twirling Dervishes also known as Sufi Whirling, or Spinning; a form of active meditation referred to as Sama.

Rumi believed that through the act of whirling (spinning in a choreographed motion) you view the world differently, losing natural coordination along with perception of reality, you find rhythm in the spin thus you are able to find your center. Rumi believed that God is in all of us, and exists in our center, he believed to commune with God during these sessions. In this context God can be a term for an omniscient power, or an umbrella term for ‘the Divine’.

The dance itself “is a customary dance performed within the Sema, or worship ceremony, through which dervishes (also called semazens, from Persian سماعزن) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. This is sought through abandoning one’s nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one’s body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun.

“As explained by Sufis:

“In the symbolism of the Sema ritual, the semazen’s camel’s hair hat (sikke) represents the tombstone of the ego; his wide, white skirt (tennure) represents the ego’s shroud. By removing his black cloak (hırka), he is spiritually reborn to the truth. At the beginning of the Sema, by holding his arms crosswise, the semazen appears to represent the number one, thus testifying to God’s unity. While whirling, his arms are open: his right arm is directed to the sky, ready to receive God’s beneficence; his left hand, upon which his eyes are fastened, is turned toward the earth. The semazen conveys God’s spiritual gift to those who are witnessing the Sema. Revolving from right to left around the heart, the semazen embraces all humanity with love. The human being has been created with love in order to love. Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi says, “All loves are a bridge to Divine love. Yet, those who have not had a taste of it do not know!”

How I personally connect this to my own Philosophy is the idea that God, the Divine, the Source, whatever name we use, that energy is already inside of us and through the act of meditation, in this case active meditation, we are allowed access to that Source. Dance is something that I find freedom in, I find my inner voice when my body moves in unison with sound.

Dervishes are not strictly Muslim, either, in fact, they accept people of all faiths, and genders to partake in their tradition. Many who wish to become Whirling Dervishes will make a pilgrimage to Rumi’s tomb in Turkey, and actually perform right there. An experience described by many as “life altering”.

Rumi himself said:

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.”

Dance to your own music, find your own rhythm and find your God, for you are it.

Another Eastern tradition that many would not think fits into the Left Hand Path Philosophy is Buddhism, specifically the path of the Shaolin Monks.

Buddhist’s traditionally believe that no one can save you except yourself; they do not seek answers from a higher power as most are in fact Non-theistic, not the same as Atheistic as they do acknowledge a power outside themselves, they do not seek that power though. They believe that going within is the only way to enlightenment, and their most important lesson: letting go.

There are various subcategories but the two main branches are Theravada (“The School of the Elders”) and Mahayana (“The Great Vehicle”). All branches of Buddhism wish to attain the ultimate goal which is total enlightenment and a blending of the physical body, with the mind.

Shaolin Monks practice a branch of Buddhism that dates back 1,500 years and the primary purpose of the Monks creation were to protect the Emperor.

The Monks themselves are notorious for their feats that defy all logic and reason, and especially known for their Kung Fu mastery.

This group, like the twirling Dervishes, performs active meditation in the form of Kung Fu, and as stated by a Shaolin Monk himself “is not about defeating your enemy, but finding inner stillness amidst the chaos of battle.”

The goal of most Monks is to swear off material possessions, live a life of humility, and compassion, and to release all mental and physical limitations placed on the body. The Monks believe that only they can free themselves of the inner demons that haunt them, and the release, control, and manipulation of energy or ‘Chi’ is how they fight these demons, before the demons defeat them. They believe if you do not release what haunts you, you will become what you run from.

The primary teachings of Rumi, the twirling Dervishes, and Buddhism are that we hold the keys to open all the doors necessary on our path. They teach us that everything we seek is inside of us already, all we have to do is start to look.

Hinduism is another Eastern Philosophy that deserves to be mentioned, even if you are not a theist, and take the stories as metaphors only, how glorious those tales are. Why we are not teaching the future generations enlightened trains of thought that will open their mind, and allow them to fulfill their full potential is beyond me; why we continue to spread Monotheism is also beyond me.

There is no God that can save you from yourself, only you can do that and that is the most important lesson of all, no matter what Philosophy you follow.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bansuri

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dervish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufi_whirling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaolin_Monastery