LESSONS IN MAGICK: When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left

Left

image source

“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

image source

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

image source

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

Lessons in Magick: This Crooked Path

Mud

Image: Roberta Tocco

“No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections. Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads.”

Deepak Chopra

This topic has been on my mind for months now, and the memo pad in my phone is building up with all the blog ideas I have—along with pieces of poems, rituals, herbal remedies, chapters for the books, and all sorts of random bits of my brain.

It’s about time I sat down and got some of this energy out.

I used to perform word alchemy every day, I would literally get anxiety if I hadn’t written by 9am—it was madness in its purest form.

I would force myself to sit down and write, get the words out, even if the execution wasn’t flawless (and in an Artist’s eyes, it never is—flawless, I mean).

We pick apart everything we do, everything we birth because it is part of us and nothing that came from something so flawed could ever be perfect.

That is why we create, after all, because we see the flaws in ourselves and are able to paint with the blood of our wounds.

I create because I am cracked—because I have been broken down and risen from the ashes innumerous times. I create because I am a survivor and have stories to tell. I create because life has caused some blows that left me with two choices: React or Channel.

The former was how I handled things many years ago, in what seems like another life; the latter being what saved my life. The latter is what gave me the wisdom to understand that rage has a place.

Channeling that rage is what gave me purpose.

The path I took to get here has been bumpy, full of twists and turns, unexpected situations and more pain, and tears than I dare (or care to) recall. But, it has been a path of great reward and I wouldn’t change any of it for anything in this world.

I have learned about my Ancestral roots; I have learned about the Gods and how they impact our lives as Archetypes and actual deities; I have learned about and come to respect the variety of Spirits that exist beyond the veil; I have learned about the power of Shadow and the grueling work required to incorporate that into my whole; I have learned the power of plants, and the Spirts they possess; I have learned that I am my greatest weapon, ally, and tool.

I have learned all of this and so, so much more because I chose to forge my own path; because the Universe left me with no other option.

As many of you know I am a Luciferian, which is the Philosophy I hold but I am a Traditional Witch by Craft and Practice (Trad Witch).

Traditional Witch/Witchcraft is an umbrella term used to identify a large group of Witches. The practices vary from Witch to Witch because Trad Witchcraft leaves a lot of room for personal interpretation—which is why I believe it is the most obvious path to take.

Conversely, this reason is exactly why so many people avoid it altogether: it’s too broad.

But, it’s also not at the same time; it’s a Soul calling.

I walk this path because it’s full of wonder and peril, it’s both thrilling and shocking,  comforting but brand new; I walk this path because it forces me to face my wild nature, and become one with it.  I walk this path because the lessons to be learned are limitless.

I walk this path because it let’s me create my own roots.

I am sure the vastness of Trad Witchcraft had something to do with the reasoning for it being called the Crooked Path.

You could put three Trad Witches in a room together, ask them all the same questions and the answers will vary—sometimes (often) greatly—between each of them.

For example, there are many Trad Witches I know that equate RHP with light or white, and LHP with dark or black. Saying, “I need both hands to practice Magick”—which IS true but that is not what RHP and LHP are.

You can’t tell someone how to believe though.

I think RHP and LHP being PHILOSOPHIES is wayyy too often confused with the concept of duality, and being a ‘Gray Witch’—or someone who uses both “White” and “Black” Magick (I say it in quotes because Magick is neither black or white but everything).

The point of this blog is, there are many reasons why Trad Witches find this path, and we each carry such different ideas about what it is to be a Witch.

That part is really important, too because it shows (proves) that Witchcraft is NOT one size fits all, it was never intended to be, and there is no one way to your end destination.

It’s okay to take detours, it’s okay to get lost—in fact, I encourage getting lost, and hopping off your path for a little while and seeing what else is out there.

Collect what resonates, honor and leave what doesn’t; create your belief, create your tradition, create your Craft.

Life is about adventure, right?

Well, so is Witchcraft.

The whole topic brings to mind that damn quote which has haunted me for years from Life of Pi that I have mentioned before: “Faith is a house with many rooms.”

Witchcraft is also a house with many rooms, and many roads that lead to it—

Most of which are Crooked,

The best kind of road there is.

RIGHT HAND PATH AND LEFT HAND PATH: The Contrast of Belief

Michal Mozolewski

Image: Michel Mozolewski

“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!”

Friedrich Nietzsche

I shared an article on the page about accepting the Gray in Magick; accepting that Magick and life are not black or white but a balance of all things; I agree with that point, in fact, I agree with most of the article, but one part I do not agree with is that you can walk both the RHP and the LHP.

This isn’t about right and wrong, either, this is about what is.

For those who are unfamiliar: RHP= Right Hand Path and LHP= Left Hand Path.

A gentlemen commented how he didn’t agree with being able to walk both paths and I replied in agreement. Whew, did a shit storm erupt!

The onslaught of comments didn’t stop for 10 hours and it was not until the 9th hour that I totally lost my shit and surrendered after having stated my point in about 40 different ways to no avail.

Only later to be called a Masochist for putting myself through such pain. The truth in that statement…

The main point I need to make is that I am not trying to tell anyone how to practice or believe, and during the discussion yesterday people kept bringing that up insinuating that’s what I was doing.

If you are familiar with me and/or the page then you know my feelings were hurt because that is not who I am as a person; I am not one to impose anything, especially belief, on to another.

Thank the Gods for my good ol’ Capricorn Rising/Taurus Moon because when those aspects kicked in all the fucks I gave seemed to disappear right out the window.

To put it bluntly, the paths are mutually exclusive and if you say they are not then that’s a clear indicator that you understand neither.

Let’s see how many people get offended over that.

I do hope in the middle of being offended you take the time to read the links I have provided from many perspectives about the differences between the paths.

I cannot express how important this is: Left does not equal Dark and Right does not equal Light.

I believe that each path has aspects of both Light and Dark, as they should in order to be balanced; the paths themselves are not two halves to a whole though.

I don’t know when this happened, why it happened, or even how it happened, but it just isn’t the case. I know, I know, historically speaking the Right hand was always pure and the Left un-pure, but that is a weak argument to make in this debate and context.

This is the biggest point of confusion because people have come to associate the Spectrum of Magick with Personal Philosophy.

I know plenty of Luciferians who also define themselves as Witches and they do not practice what many would consider “Dark Magick”.

Conversely, I know many self-proclaimed Lightworkers who have summoned all 72 Goetia Daemons, and have zero moral compass; probably a poor example because clearly these kids have that definition misconstrued as well but, I think you get my point.

Light and Dark are part of the bigger whole, I agree BUT in my opinion RHP and LHP not only contradict each other, the end goal of each is entirely different.

One is about the individual and one about the collective.

I used the example of “one cannot be a Luciferian and a Wiccan” and I stand by that. The core beliefs of each do not allow for the other to exist.

Just like you cannot be a Satanist Christian, or an Atheist Muslim; you cannot walk both of these paths.

Please don’t get me started on TMP or “The Middle Path” because in my opinion that is a cop out on choosing a set goal and destination. And, to clarify TMP is not Gray Witchcraft and I *really* wish people would also stop associating the two.

As people were stating their case in the comments and how they believe one can be both, I sat in amazement wondering how the fuck this happened.

I found an answer in one of the links provided at the bottom and here is the excerpt that helped me understand, perhaps, where some of you were coming from. The part where the Author brings up the Tree of Life is what I am referring to:

“Given the history of the terminology, I see the main difference between RHP and LHP as being simply one of relative social respectability, both within the Pagan/occult scene and in society at large. Wiccans and Wiccanesque Pagans are RHP because they dominate the Pagan/occult scene. And Christian occultists are RHP because of their identification with the most popular religion in the world at large. On the other hand, “LHP” was a label claimed by some of the more marginalized groups, in an attempt to turn their very marginalization into a badge of honor.

“Another difference is that RHPers tend to believe in some sort of automatic cosmic moral law enforcement (e.g. the “Threefold Law”), whereas LHPers tend to believe that justice happens only insofar as people make it happen.

“Another difference is that LHPers tend to be fonder of “dark” imagery, whereas RHPers tend to be fonder of “white light” imagery.

“And another difference, of course, is that LHPers tend to be more individualistic — at least in theory. Self-described LHPers typically define the difference between LHP and RHP in terms of individualism.

“But most of these differences, especially that last one, are only relative. For example, Wicca is considered RHP, but the Wiccan Rede (“‘An it harm none, do what ye will”) is pretty individualistic for the most part. Unlike most traditional religions, Wicca does not prescribe an elaborate set of social norms. The only norm is “harm none” (admittedly not an easy rule to follow, if you really think about it).

“So, to use any one of the above differences as a definition of LHP and RHP is a vast oversimplification of the paths categorized.

“Some people have defined LHP and RHP in terms of pillars of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. According to this definition, LHPers emphasize the energies of the left pillar (the “pillar of severity”), whereas RHPers emphasize the energies of the right pillar (the “pillar of mercy”).

“However, if defined this way, neither the LHP nor the RHP can possibly be a balanced path. Obviously, the only sensible option would be a middle path. In order for LHP and RHP both to be viable paths, neither one of them should be defined in a way that excludes the possibility of balance.”

I do not agree with everything quoted above so let me be clear about that; I just like to research all points of view, and then deliver them to you.

My opinion on the subject has long been formed.

One of the commentators said that she was using the terms as verbs instead of nouns but they ARE nouns. They ARE terms used to define or identify ourselves, or group of people.

Example: I am a Luciferian Witch who incorporates Rootwork into her Magick.

A Luciferian is what I am (Luciferianism being a LHP Philosophy), what I do is something else entirely; though it should always align with my Luciferian way of living or else I am simply a hypocrite.

And, just because I practice Rootwork does not automatically make me a Vodouisant/Vodou Practitioner.

As mentioned above, I am first and foremost a Luciferian; my mentality is always in line with Self Deification, free thinking, rebellion, going against the status quo and questioning everything.

I have stated many times in the past that I don’t want any of you to think like me just for the sake of it, I want to evoke thought; I don’t want a bunch of readers who yes me to death and agree with me on all points; I rather enjoy our differences, and I love learning about different practices.

This discussion of RHP vs. LHP is one that comes up so often and I have tackled it on the page directly, but never in a blog, and I know I didn’t do this topic justice but something had to be said and further resources provided.

Resources:

http://theisticsatanism.com/pagan/LHPvsRHP.html

http://www.detoxorcist.com/left-hand-path-and-right-hand-path.html

http://gnosticwarrior.com/difference-between-the-left-and-right.html

(This link is provided so that you may read further about individuation):

http://www.cgjungny.org/d/d_mythpsyche.html

Lessons in Magick: Common Misconceptions of the Craft, Part One

Courtney Brooke Hall

Image: Courtney Brooke Hall

“Indubitably, Magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgement and practice than in any other branch of physics.”

Aleister Crowley


I am an observer by nature, I find that people watching is one of my favorite things to do, and human behavior is something that has fascinated me since I can remember; I always wanted to know what made people tick, and why—the why being most important to me.

My observations of life, and of people have carried over onto my spiritual path, one that because of my writing offers a wide variety of people for me to analyze, watch, and learn from. Seeing how my roots are in Social Media my playground has become a bottomless melting pot of sorts that I freely stir at will when a new subject is needed, or wanted.

Sounds kinda creepy, huh?

I want to know why people act and think, believe and perceive the way they do; I like to know what makes people laugh because you can tell SO much about someone by what they find funny. I want to know what has caused them to form their personal Philosophy, and I love to get into people’s heads. I think everyone is so much more fascinating than I am, leading their colorful lives full of comedy and tragedy.

An epiphany has just come to me as I write this: I like to people watch because it keeps me at a distance, and stops me from forming any real connection.

Shit.

Swerving away from that let me get to my point, because I observe so much, and I interact so much via my pages, I pick up thought patterns and it is in these thought patterns that I have been able to find a few common, very common might I say, misconceptions about the Craft. This is not only coming from outsiders, but from our Sisters and Brothers, too.

I am going to try and address these two issues in my own way (saving two more common issues for a later post) and I may not get it all correct but this is my standpoint on subjects that no one has ever really put out there. It is my intention to start conversation, or at least trigger thought, while cleaning up some of the muck in regards to definitions, labels, and our community.

Here we go…

Can you be Right Hand Path and Left Hand Path at the same time? This question comes quite frequently and it was recently brought back up when someone asked what I thought about “Luciferian Masons”. I laughed. I have said this next line more than I would like to in recent weeks but it must be said again, I come from a long line of Masons and Eastern Stars, recently inheriting a ritual book from 1943 that I am so proud, and blessed to have. I don’t claim to know everything about Masonry because, well, I am not a Mason, no matter what runs in my blood. I do know one thing and that is, Masonry is a form of Gnosticism, therefore it is RHP.

I know there are some who say that Mason’s true deity is Lucifer, out of misunderstanding and fear mongering (the Christian Devil Archetype), or that they believe Jesus Christ of the Bible to be Lucifer, while others claim it is the Baphomet; unless you have actually read THEIR text and not something off the internet, you will never really know that answer, and that is why Masonry is so secretive, and why so many lies surround the group.  People really just don’t know.

One truth remains though, they are Right Hand Path.

Luciferianism is an Esoteric Philosophy that falls on the Left Hand Path; no matter how you want to make these two fit together, no matter how you claim to be “more awake than the rest” or “see the bigger picture” when it comes to these two paths, they are mutually exclusive.

To put it simply:

You cannot be dominant, and submissive at the same time; you either are Left Hand Path or you are not, there is no duality in terms of these two Philosophies.

When I have explained this before people brought up the fact that I am a theist, and I am, but I do not worship. I do not look to my deities for answers, or problem solving, I do not look to them for issues that I can readily solve myself if I just go deep enough within. Have I called on deities and powers from beyond for help? Yes, as a Witch it is part of my Magick, but I do not worship these deities, I offer items to them and barter, when the deed is done they go back, and that is that.

Those who follow the RHP, worship. Those who follow the LHP, do not.

Both paths are equally important, and one does not trump the other but please for all that is holy and unholy, can we get them straight?

The idea of Karma vs. Free Will: This is an extremely gray area and one that sparks many heated debates whenever it is brought up. I can only speak from my perspective, and many of you will probably not agree with me, fun thing about that is, you don’t have to.

I do not believe in the Western idea of Karma which is, “what goes around comes around”. I think history has completely butchered and bastardized the word.

Let us define the Eastern idea of Karma, you know, where the word originates. I will link you to the full article at the bottom.

“Karma means action, means “to do”. Immediately we have an indication that the real meaning of karma is not fate because karma is action. It is dynamic. But it is more than simply action because it is not mechanical action. It is not unconscious or involuntary action. It is intentional, conscious, deliberate, willful action. How is it that this intentional, will action conditions or determines our situation? It is because every action must have a reaction, an effect. This truth has been expressed in regard to the physical universe by the great physicist Newton who formulated the law which states that every action must have an equal and opposite reaction. In the moral sphere of conscious actions, we have a counterpart to the physical law of action and reaction, the law that every intentional, will action must have its effect. This is why we sometimes speak either of Karma-Vipaka, intentional action and its ripened effect, or we speak of Karma-Phala, intentional action and its fruit. It is when we speak of intentional action together with its effect or fruit that we speak of the Law of Karma.”

Could one not take this definition and say, my will is for this outcome to happen, and if said action (your willful intent) causes said reaction (result) is that not Karma? Where does it say that the effects will COME BACK TO YOU, or effect anyone or anything negatively?

It does not.

So you see Karma in this definition IS Free Will.

Free Will being the idea that we govern ourselves, and have individual sovereignty thus we make our own decisions, we have willful intent. (See definition of Karma again)

When dealing with some forms of Magick (Wicca, specifically) it became a rule that one must not take over another’s Free Will, but in some instances, is that not all Magick is?

I do not agree with casting a Love Spell directly on someone, or using Magick to force someone to make a decision in your favor, things of that nature are not within my moral compass to do. I also believe that if you feed into the idea of Karma (Western style) then you must subscribe also to the idea of some omniscient being whom is dishing out retribution, and I do not follow that theory.

When we hex, compel with truth/glamour spells, or do binding spells, we are in fact taking away free will.

Example: You wish to bind someone from acting in a specific manner, from being in your life, or from doing harm to themselves/you, whomever. Well, if that person wishes to do those things, and your Magick stops them, then you have taken away their free will.

Make sense?

While the Western form of Karma and Free Will cannot co-exist, the true definition of Karma and Free Will can because in actuality, they are one in the same.

I want our community to be the best we can be, full of knowledge, understanding and compassion for our Sistren and Brethren, but that cannot happen if we do not open dialogue about issues that plague us, and do nothing but hinder our growth on a personal, and collective level.

Blessed are the Witches.

Link to read more about Eastern Karma, and source for referenced definition of Karma:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma1.htm