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

Lessons in Magick: Possession vs. Oppression

caryn-drexyl

Image: Caryn Drexl

“Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don’t throw away the best of yourself.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

 

The community seems to be divided when it comes to the topic of spiritual oppression and possession; there are those who absolutely believe in possession and oppression, then there are those who think it is nothing more than religious scare tactics, or our own fear manifesting; I fall somewhere in between.

I think that we should always approach situations in life, both mundane and Magickal, with a logical mindset.

When logic fails then we can begin to wander into the realm of the supernatural or more outlandish possibilities.

Some Witch’s stub their toe, lose their job, or get into one car accident and think it’s because another Witch has attacked them or some dramatic scenario that involves an entity has a vendetta and is out to “get them”.

Sometimes bad shit just happens. I don’t believe in coincidence but I do believe in accidents and chance, both of which are entirely out of our control.

And, yes, sometimes a Spirit is pissed off and wreaking havoc; sometimes another Witch has hexed or cursed us; sometimes we curse ourselves.

A full blown spiritual possession as the Church or Hollywood describes it is not common.

I do believe in spiritual possession because not only have I seen it, I was a victim of it.

I don’t believe that a possession happens on accident or regularly; the person either opened themselves up, some form of Malefica was performed, a haunted object was involved, haunted or active land was disturbed etc.

Spiritual Possessions don’t “just happen”—it always connects to something bigger in the person’s life.

When bending the laws of nature to our will, and peaking beyond the veil we all risk ourselves to the negative affects of Magick.

Spiritual possession is the takeover of the mind and/or body by an outside force; an entirely separate entity from the host.

The goal (in most cases) being complete takeover of the Soul and unconscious mind.

The source of the Possession can come from many different places and contrary to popular belief, it’s rarely demonic in nature.

Ancestral, Land, and Familiar Spirits are some common offenders.

Spiritual oppression does not usually involve a takeover of the mind and/or body; in many cases, it appears as a string of “bad luck”, stagnation or blockages in life (work, relationships, Spiritual path, etc), becoming accident prone, a quick onset of health issues with no cause, sleep paralysis, and Aura leaks to name a few.

Unlike a possession, a Spiritual oppression is not always from an outside source and can be our Shadow Self, or even a fragmented piece of ourselves trying to get our attention.

Like possessions, oppressions can be caused by Ancestral or Familiar Spirits of whom we have, in one way or another displeased.

So, WHY do Possessions and Oppressions happen?

Well, as mentioned above it can be the very Spirits that we work with, either routinely or just once, and in some way, we have angered them, not paid our debts, or didn’t follow through with our word.

Other Sources can be, bringing a haunted object into the home or coming in direct contact with a haunted object and an attachment/transfer occurs; Magick has been cast against you or Magick cast by you backfired; displeasing Land Spirits (this can be Elementals but also human Spirits who stake claim to a piece of property that you are inhabiting).

There are obviously plenty of other examples of why possessions and oppressions happen, this is an abbreviated list.

In cases where the Shadow Self is involved the events can become traumatic, even violent and the symptoms can manifest as anything from an intense flu to psychosis; when the Shadow wants to be heard, and seen, there is not much we can do to ignore it.

HOW do you know if you are a victim of a Possession or Oppression?

This is tricky to answer because there are *so many* manifestations but some that I have witnessed personally and never seen talked about are:

Lapses in Memory, or blackouts during the day that are accompanied by erratic behavior

Impulsive behavior and/or acting out of character

Vivid night terrors where you question what is real and what is not

A string of bad luck, negative energy and thoughts

Loss of people you love; arguments, fallouts, seclusion

Loss of desire to engage in activities you otherwise truly enjoy

Inability to connect with your Spirits or the other side

Inability to use or connect to your Divination tools

(Disclaimer: In the event of a drastic change in mental and/or physical health please seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Do not under any circumstance jump to the conclusion that something is supernatural in nature before you have ruled out the medical.)

It is necessary to take precautionary measures when dealing with the Occult and Magick; this does not mean that you fear what you work with or yourself, it means that you understand what it is you are doing and calling upon.

Each Witch has their own way to practice, whether it is calling on guardian Spirits to stand watch, casting a circle of protection, or using crystals, talismans and other enchanted objects; protection should be our top priority.

Awareness of Self should be second on our list; the better we know ourselves the more likely we are to realize when something isn’t right.

Finally, trusting our tribe; this is important because the people closest to us will be the first ones to notice any change in behavior or strange happenings.

Nobody is above being a victim of possession or oppression so it’s of the upmost importance that we are prepared to deal with anything that comes our way.

It’s the definition of naïve to think we go through our Magickal life and personal Alchemical transformation with no scars or damage done; the wounds, pain, and demons are our greatest lessons and teachers.

Lessons in Magick: How to Dance with Your Shadow

Howard Schatz

Image: Howard Schatz

“I embrace my shadow self. Shadows give depth and dimension to my life. I believe in embracing my duality, in learning to let darkness and light, peacefully co-exist, as illumination.”

Jaeda DeWalt

This post is going to be a follow-up, and in this piece I will give tips on how to incorporate, or integrate your Shadow Self into your whole. As usual when I write pieces like this I want to make it clear that I am not an expert, I am simply giving tips that have helped me personally on my path. If you try something and it doesn’t work, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are doing it wrong, it means that you may need to try a different method or approach.

We are all different; we learn, see, and perceive everything differently. So it should come as no surprise that personal evolution and growth on our Magickal path will be experienced differently, too.

If something I say here resonates with you, awesome, take it and allow it to help you on your path; leave the rest. You are, after all, establishing your personal Philosophy. I fully believe in breaking barriers, not sticking to labels or fitting into boxes; I think we should take pieces from many different paths and Pantheons and quite literally, form our own. Of course LHP practitioners have things in common, but when it comes down to ritual, ceremony, worship or the choice of non-worship, we are very, very different. That’s how it should be, this one-way mentality that has been the driving force behind the brainwashing of religion seems to be seeping its way into our community and it isn’t only ironic, it’s painful to watch.

I stated in one of my recent blogs that I was happy to see such a variety and abundance of articles on the Shadow Self lately and I am happy to see those articles, but a lot of them want to romanticize the Shadow and others want to completely over dramatize and it’s like, can we find a middle ground here?

The term Shadow, or Shadow Self is very popular among Esoteric and Occult circles; both RHP and LHP. I believe that a lot of us relate to the Shadow for two reasons: we either see that duality is essential or we are of the Shadows and that’s our natural state.

I believe that I am the latter, and as much as I try and strive for overall duality, it doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards for me. I seem to be all about polarity; simply one or the other, but never both at the same time. As hard as it is to integrate the Shadow into the whole, I think it may be harder to live as a Shadow. It feels like sometimes I have no identity other than this darkness that at times consumes me.

I have stated in previous posts that Carl Jung first came up with the term and Jungian Psychology is based off of his Archetypes—Shadow and Persona, Anima and Animus being the top 4 that all the others seem to branch off of. This is how I look at it any ways; it seems to help keep them all straight in my mind.

So how DO you integrate the Shadow into the whole? Well, first let me say that too much Shadow (either ignoring it or ignoring the light) can harm you spiritually, mentally and physically. Not enough Shadow will cause you to be unbalanced, vibrate too high, and you can become a doormat or dumping ground for others; sometimes we aren’t even aware it’s happening.

A big issue I see a lot of people having is that they (myself included) put Empathy and their (our) Empathic abilities above all else and it seems to rule how we live. I find myself constantly at odds internally with the Luciferian and the Healer; both screaming for different desires.

This brings me to my first tip: Establishing Boundaries. This is something that I am currently struggling with, and that is why it’s at the top of my list. Our Shadow is where our strength comes from, it’s where our ability to say “NO!” and mean it comes from; it’s where all of our fierceness, and wild resides. Jung believed our Persona was who we strive to be, and that our Shadow is our “Dark side” but I have come to see it as, our Persona is who we want the world to see us as, and our Shadow is our true Self. In my case, at least.

Having Empathy means that we literally feel what others do, so saying no can be really hard for us because not only are we feeling that they need us, but we are feeling their anger and/or sadness when we say no.

We are healers and people naturally vibrate towards those that can help them, but we can’t help everyone.

Let me repeat that, we can’t help everyone.

I mean not only in the literal sense of we can’t help everyone, some people are passed the point of help but we literally can’t help everyone. If we continuously give and give and give, we will have nothing left for ourselves. How is the Healer supposed to Heal themselves if there is nothing left?

I am a wounded Healer, but I am not willing to take on any more wounds on the account of another. I have to do what is best for me, what is best for my current state of mind, and my current desires. I owe nobody anything and neither do you.

Lay your boundaries and stick to them.

Second tip: Accept your Shadow. This doesn’t mean you have to understand it or Master it, it means that you accept you have a dark side and are willing to work with it. The faster you run, the tighter its grip becomes—stop running!

We have to accept that Life and Magick are not all light and love, butterflies and rainbows and that is okay. When we understand this we then have to get down to the nitty gritty of our Soul and dive into the Abyss and be okay with what we find.

We have to accept that some days we are going to be angry for no apparent reason, we have to accept that we are going to want revenge on those who cross us, we are going to hate, loathe and dislike people with all of our being; we have to accept all of this and more and still be able to look ourselves in the mirror.

Accepting these aspects of ourselves does not mean we become malicious people, it means that we are acknowledging this side of ourselves. Our actions dictate the type of person we are, not our thoughts.

Acceptance and Self-Awareness go hand in hand, and both are essential to integrating the Shadow Self.

When we accept we have a Shadow that is the first step on the path to knowing who we really are.

Third tip:  Create. Usually when we dive into our creative side we are able to see what our inner most thoughts, fears and desires are. This path of creativity can lead us into the Darker aspects because many Artists have heavy Shadows; creativity often comes with a heavy price: madness, chaos, solitude, introspection, introversion. All of which is part of my everyday life; blessed or cursed depends on perspective.

The creative medium does not matter, it can be woodwork, writing, painting, photography, graphic design, music composure, anything that allows the creative juices to flow and the mind wander will surely help the Shadow Self integrate into your overall being.

Fourth tip: Accept your Ego. This is a new lesson for me, and one that I was mind blown to have learned. For a long time, I believed that Ego itself was a poison and that there was no room for it on our path but I have now come to believe that if fed our Ego can become a great ally. The trick, of course, is don’t overfeed the Ego but Master it.

Just like our Shadow Self our Ego has great power, and is essential to our path and our growth. We cannot allow the Ego or the Shadow rule us or we venture into hostile and volatile territory where cockiness trumps confidence, and darkness becomes malice.

To acknowledge our Ego means that we are acknowledging our badassery, we are acknowledging our personal Power, we are acknowledging our Strength, but we are not considering ourselves to be Superior. This is the trick; this is always the trick.

We are Superior to no one, and nothing, but equal to all.

I hope my little words of wisdom help you hear the music and allow you to dance with your Shadow.