Taroting Depression: The High Priestess

The High Priestess speaks to us of spirituality. Not necessarily religion, but spirituality. 

The High Priestess Tarot card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen

What does spirituality mean to you?

For myself, spirituality is my ongoing work with Lilith, my connection to my spiritual guides, and ancestors, and my constant questioning and refining of my belief in an afterlife. It’s my core being. My soul, if you like.

For you, it might be something different. It could be a specific religion, it could be a love of nature and spending time outdoors, it could even be a fandom of some sort. 

Spirituality is the tool you use that feeds your soul. It’s the thing when you lose all track of time, and when you feel fulfilled, and at peace.

We have food to feed our bodies and we have spirituality to feed our souls.

Why is spirituality so important when you have Depression?

Because your soul is hurting. Depression goes beyond sadness, beyond pain, and beyond thought. However it starts, it results in a chemical imbalance in the brain and until you can get the imbalance “re-balanced,” you need something to believe in.

In the deck I’m using, which is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen, the High Priestess is holding a scroll with “Tarot” written on it. This suggests that her version of spirituality involves revealing many secrets and mysteries.

She brazenly, and with pride, shows us the way.

Let’s spend some time with the High Priestess.

When you go to bed tonight, place the High Priestess card under your pillow. If you don’t have your own tarot deck you can print one from the internet or even just write the words “The High Priestess” on a piece of paper and put that under your pillow.

When you close your eyes, out loud, or in your head, ask the High Priestess to send you, in dreams or any other form, during the night, a lesson about spirituality, just for you. 

Make sure you have a pen and paper beside you so that you can write down your dreams, insights, or thoughts as they come to you when you wake up. Don’t worry about writing them down word perfect, you just want the general gist of what you were being told.

This doesn’t have to be a one-off thing, you can do this exercise as many times as you like. And don’t forget that once you get the information, you need to use it. Spend some time working with your new insight, do some research, read more about the High Priestess. 

The goal of the High Priestess is to get you to become, and sometimes create, a spiritual life for yourself. Having something other than yourself to believe in is a powerful tool against the demon Depression. It gives you another focus, something outside yourself, while at the same time, something deeply within yourself.

After all, there has to be a higher purpose of some sort, doesn’t there? 

Tarot Deck used is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

Taroting Depression: The Magician

The Magician Tarot Card from the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigal Larsen

The Magician is our first step in the journey of the tarot. He is the all-powerful wizard who understands that nothing can be manifested that doesn’t include all four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.

The Magician speaks of “as above, so below” and we see this represented in the Rider Waite- Colman Smith deck as he stands with his wand pointed to the sky and his other hand pointed down to the earth.

The Magician surrounds himself with the tools of his trade and his table is laid out in preparation for his next ritual. What magic is he about to conjure?’’

At first glance, the Magician may appear to be irrelevant to those of us who live with Depression, but take a closer look and we can see that the Magician has a great lesson to teach us.

The phrase of “as above, so below”, is often followed by “as within, so without.” The lesson of the Magician is simple. To obtain the outer world we want to have, we need to fill our inner world with the things we want.

Let me put it another way. If we want to live a life without the demon Depression on our backs, we have to create an inner life that is in tune with that.

Easier said than done, though, isn’t it?

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 

Now, we can go the affirmations route but personally, I’ve never been a fan of the “fake it until you make it” theory. To me, telling myself something I don’t believe is completely pointless. 

Sometimes, starting the affirmation with “I believe I am becoming…” can work, but only if you believe it’s possible and when you have Depression, it’s very hard to believe that anything rather than despair is possible.

To me, it makes more sense to aim for something that I believe is possible for me to achieve. Once I do that, I can set my next goal, and on it goes. The Magician can help us do that.

The Magician reminds us of what’s possible. And when you’re struggling with Depression, you need to be reminded of what’s possible.

Let’s see what the Magician has to tell us.

Wooden gate in a leafy garden

  • Sit, or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. And another. And another one.
  • Imagine yourself standing in front of a wooden gate. You open the gate and walk through
  • Take notice of what’s going on around you as you walk. What can you hear? What can you smell? What can you see? Is it a sunny day? Cloudy? Night or day? 
  • As you continue your walk, you can see a tall, robed, figure standing off in the distance, behind a table set with a tablecloth and a number of items.
  • As you approach the figure, he winks at you and beckons you forward so that you can see what he has on his table. 
  • The Magician asks you to choose an item to take back with you.
  • You take an offering from the table.
  • What is it? What color is it? What shape? What size? What’s it for? How does it make you feel? What’s it’s magick?
  • When you’re ready, you thank the Magician and walk back down the path you came.
  • When you reach the gate, take three deep breaths and then walk through.

Take out your journal and write down all the events of your walk and meeting with the Magician. Be as descriptive and detailed as possible.

Take another look at your gift. What about it reminds you of your Depression? What about it reminds you of something or someone that you love? What about your gift gives you hope?

Try not to give these questions too much thought, just go with the first answer that enters your mind. That’s where you’ll find your “as within.” At the end of this exercise, you’ll have an aspect of Depression that you can work on healing from, and a person, activity, or thing that you can reconnect with to bring you even a tiny amount of pleasure. You’ll also have something to hope for.

Come back to this exercise as many times as you feel the need to and if you’re really struggling with it, leave me a comment and I’ll try to help.

Tarot Deck used is the Dark Wood Tarot by Sasha Graham and Abigail Larsen.

Fiona Tate, AKA the Depression Muse, is a Lilithian Witch, Writer, and Mental Health Mentor. She helps people with Depression use it as a superpower and turn it into a Creature of Fucking beauty. She’s on a mission to reduce the global suicide rate to zero. Follow this link to receive a free copy of her book Depression Sucks and join the waitlist to hear more about Black Orchid Alchemy: The alternative way to manage Depression.

The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 3

Continued from Part 2…

When writing this story, I aimed to use a present tense to emphasize the “here and now” nature of how I see it. It is not to be interpreted as referring to any sort of historical event somewhere in the past, nor is it dependent on any one text.

It is symbolically teaching about consciousness and spiritual practice.

I implemented a biblical writing style I think appropriate in feel and accordingly a verse system to make reference easy.

So, let’s break it down a bit at a time….

“1. In the beginning is the Abyss, a heart of radiant darkness dwelling in the unity of depth and silence, the waters of a womb pregnant with possibility, an emptiness of form yet a fullness of potentiality.”

What is pointed to here is the ultimate fundamental reality beyond all conceptual being. All description can only point at it, it can only be experienced. In the Gnostic system of Valentinus, according to Iranaeus, it is described as a kind of androgynous formless unity, a Father called Depth (Bythos) and a Mother called Silence (Sige), two aspects with no clear distinction possible so utterly unified are they, not Father and Mother but rather Father-Mother. Preceding the figurative moment of creation, the unity may be described simultaneously as empty given that no form, no conceptualization, is present, yet given this state contains within it the potentiality for all things, it may also thus be described as a resounding Fullness (Pleroma). It is the heart of all being. The concept is paralleled in the Saivite Tantric system in the concept of the Tattva of the Heart (hrdaya):

“It is this same ultimate principle that is worshipped in radically nondual Goddess Tantra as Kali Kala-sankarsani: the radiant Dark, the resounding Silence, the Devourer of Time—by which is meant the timeless ground of the cycle of creation, stasis, and reabsorption.” -”Tantra Illuminated,” by Christopher D. Wallis

Interestingly this concept is even found in Christianity in the work of the early church father St. Gregory of Nissa:

“For leaving behind everything that is observed, not only what sense comprehends but also what the intelligence thinks it sees, it [the heart] keeps on penetrating deeper until by the intelligence’s yearning for understanding it gains access to the invisible and the incomprehensible, and there it sees God. This is the true knowledge of what is sought; this is the seeing that consists in not seeing, because that which is sought transcends all knowledge, being separated on all sides by incomprehensibility as by a kind of darkness. Wherefore John the sublime, who penetrated into the luminous darkness, says, ‘No one has ever seen God’, thus asserting that knowledge of the divine essence is unattainable not only by men but also by every intelligent creature.” -“Life of Moses”

In Hermetic Qabalah this largely corresponds to the Ain Soph, the “no limit”, that precedes creation.

In terms of consciousness this may be described as pure Awareness, Self in the most authentic sense. Take a moment to look at yourself, who are you really? You are not your narratives. You are not your emotions or any other transient thing about you. They are all valid parts, but none are a whole and none are constant. What is the one part of you that is in fact constant, the “You” that is always there in every waking moment? Nothing other than Awareness itself, the arena in which all experience occurs. This pure Consciousness, the “Higher Self,” is what pervades all experience, it is what preceding all label and thought and is the source of all things.

Now, it is very common in spiritual circles to say things like “You are not your thoughts, feelings, body, etc.” As I said, “You are not your narratives.” And in a sense, this is very very true and can be a critically helpful and necessary realization. It opens the door to the all-important question: “If I am not these things, then who or what the hell am I?” But this language also has a built-in danger, a door can be opened to dissociation and spiritual bypassing, to self-gaslighting where things such as feelings, thoughts, and the body, or even material reality itself are dismissed as illusory.

We need not fall into that trap though if we think of ourselves more like an iceberg. Imagine if our thoughts, our feelings, our bodies, our experiential reality are often like the tip of that iceberg. No one would be foolish enough to claim that the tip that we see is fake or not real, but we often are foolish enough to assume that the tip of the iceberg is the whole thing. The problem is a matter of perception.

We overidentify with the tip and ignore the very depths and ground of our being, so narratives that allow us to take that step back and see the big picture are thus really important! We just need to not go so far as to make the mistake of total dissociation from the iceberg. The tip is just as much an important, genuine, necessary, valid, and good part of us as what lies beneath it.

Now to return to the answers to these questions: if I am not merely these things above the surface, what the hell am I? What the hell are we? What the hell is reality? Let’s take the iceberg analogy a bit further. Reality as we view it is really more like countless tips poking through the surface of ordinary perception, and we see the diverse forms each one takes individually, but beneath the surface all those individual tips are part of one mindbogglingly huge mass of ice. That depth that lies beneath the surface? The ground of your very being? It is Awareness itself! It is what is actually is doing the viewing of each individual tip. It is also the least unique thing about you! Now that flies in the face of what you are socially taught as our sick society thrives on the largely ephemeral things that divide us, feeding the ego and profiting off its insecurity and alienation. Reality has little time for such delusion, however. We are connected, and we have far more in common than we do differences. Difference and diversity should be celebrated absolutely but also, we are a communal species, and we should act like it.

“2. From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence, potentiality overflows into
manifestation in a creative explosion, emanating as dualities pervaded by unity, like a tree
sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk. Every branch was another womb, another world, another home, each with its rulers and citizens.”

“From the passion of unity of light and dark, depth and silence” is a direct reference to the idea of creation coming into existence due to the sexual union of Divine masculine and feminine principles. It is a means of describing in relatable terms the energy of creation from unity to a duality prevaded by an ongoing unity. In Tantra this is embodied in the famous union of Shiva and Shakti. I would like to be careful to point out that each part of any such pair is whole
and complete in and of itself, it does not “need” a counterpart, it seeks its other not from any position of lack, but from a position of overflowing potential manifesting as a willingness to share in free creative worship. I would also caution regarding the use of gender in spirituality. Such language is simply a useful tool for describing polarities, for creating a usable system out of already existing and commonly understood language, but do not assume that naked reality cares one bit for such socially constructed divisions! Reality is more like a diverse spectrum than any neat divide.

In Valentinus’ system the action of Silence upon Depth causes the emanation of a series of progressive emanations of unified pairs called syzygys. In Tantra a system of emanations of Tattvas is seen. Here, however the Hermetic Qabalah is in focus, with this interpretation seeing the Trees of Life and Knowledge as one Tree with two sides, each sephiroth and qliphoth an inseparable pair. This is the “tree sprouting mirrored branches from its trunk.”

“3. The dark emanation from primal silence, the first thought, the embodiment of wisdom, is called
Lilith.
4. The light emanation of primal depth, the embodiment of liberation, is called Lucifer.”

The primal first principles from the beginning take form as emanations, named Lilith and Lucifer. Here they take and act out the roles that in Gnostic myth are that of Sophia and Christ respectively. It is also here that the myth becomes expressly Luciferian in nature.

“5. Now, in order for manifestation to occur, in order for unity to exist as plurality, an illusion of
separation within unity must occur. In order that the whole may be revealed, it must first be
concealed.
6. Hence, Lilith in her wisdom sets out to impart concealment. She weaves a web of fate, and begins
to pull its strings. Being utterly one with source she cannot be the concealer herself, so she brings forth
a being modeled on the highest oneness yet ignorant of its origin, a craftsman to create and separate
and manifest the illusion on behalf of the Divine.”

We turn next to Lilith’s role in the unfolding of Divine will. In the Gnostic version of the creation myth the embodiment of the divine feminine is known as Sophia, and she creates the Demiurge by mistake when she attempts to create something without her masculine partner. She then falls into and becomes trapped in the creation of the Demiurge, waiting for Christ to rescue her. Obviously, the Gnostics were Jews and Christians, and this version of the myth is accordingly patriarchal. The result also leaves a degree of dualism even in the otherwise monist scheme of Valentinus.

But what if we keep the myth but clean out the patriarchy with the Luciferian approach instead? With Lilith in this role things work much better. Now, rather than an ignorant damsel in distress, we have an empowered cosmic being knowingly creating the Demiurge as part of the natural and necessary process of manifestation. Any remaining dualism is eliminated. The world isn’t an illusion to escape from, it’s a real and valid part of creation about which we have illusions we need to be liberated from and those illusions need to come into existence precisely so that liberation can happen.

“She weaves a web of fate and begins to pull its strings.” With this phrase Lilith is likened to a spider on a web because, as the creator of the Demiurge, as the one who is both the actual manifest immanent Divine lying behind the Demiurge’s illusions, she is the weaver of the web of cause and effect, what in Buddhism is called “codependent origination,” the understanding of reality as a vast predetermined multidimensional pattern of interdependence. Quite simply the cause of all things is everything else that has ever occurred! It could not be otherwise.

“7. She creates the Demiurge, who looks upon creation as though he were floating over a chaos of
formless waters, an imperfect reflection of the Divine, and he begins to create, separating light from
dark, water from dry land and so on, naming and imposing limit.
8. He creates for himself angels to serve him, imitations of the highest emanations, and a kingdom to
rule over until the end of the age.”

We are now meeting up with the standard Genesis account with the Demiurge perceiving himself floating over the waters that are “formless and void.” As in that myth, which gives no explanation where he came from, he begins to create a world, and he does this via a process of separation and imposing name. If the primal heart or oneness from which all things spring is seen as our direct nonconceptual experience of raw reality, then the Demiurge can be seen as the embodiment of ego, creating a world of narratives and identity that hides that reality from us.

As we so often do in life, we attempt fit everything within the convenient boxes of label, and that isn’t bad in some moral sense. Labels are useful but the reality we blind ourselves to is the reality that such narratives are not truths but tools. And as so often happens, reality refuses to conform to the boxes we try to stuff it in. It is too messy, too wild. Dissatisfaction and suffering are the inevitable result of all this, feelings of fear and incompletion, lashing out, and the search for escape, for salvation, for liberation arises. Rebellion becomes necessary. I want to take a moment to be very clear here about something: the Demiurge is not and should not be described as simply “evil”! Evil is first of all a human moral construct, and while often the Demiurge here is functioning in the role of ego, and while much “evil” can definitely arise from that, it also needs to be recognized that the ego serves a critically important role, a necessary role in human development. It is also important to understand the context in which Luciferianism is rising from: a defiance of Christian supremacy. It subverts the dominant oppressive forms of Christianity. It is not a subversion of every form of Christianity nor is it simply a subversion of Judaism. It is extremely dangerous and unacceptable to simply demonize the deity of an oppressed group, in this case that would lead directly to antisemitism, and there is nothing Luciferian about bigotry. There is a world of difference between the Demiurge presented by the dominant American megachurches and those of similar mind on the one hand, who we happily blaspheme, and the God professed by the downtrodden, with whom we will gladly show solidarity.

“1. Lucifer, seeing the kingdom of falsity, steps forth in the form of an angel into the heaven where
the Demiurge rules and begins to spread truth among his servants. The angels marvel at his wisdom
and praise his beauty as being above all others, likening his glory to the morning star.
2. Yet many are angered at his unbending truth, denouncing him as proud, and there is war in the
heavens.
3. When the Demiurge moves to seize him, Lucifer casts himself down to the earth, leading a host of
angels with him, where he begins to work time and again to shine the light of liberation within the
world as an example to all.
4. In a world of lies the speaker of truth is hated, but where there is oppression there is always
resistance.”

One of the most popular myths regarding Lucifer that has captivated people far beyond Luciferians themselves is the myth of his fall. This derives from the 14th chapter of Isaiah which regards a Babylonian king. However, when the text was translated into the Latin Vulgate under direction of St. Jerome in the 4th century he used the name Lucifer, which was a symbolic personification of the morning star used by Roman poets. The Romans did not consider Lucifer a deity in the way they did say Mars or Mercury. It is not due to a mistake that the verse is associated with Lucifer and the Orthodox Satan as is sometimes believed. Rather, early Christian writers such as Origen and Tertullian in “Adversus Marcionem” already had associated the text with the Devil before Jerome. So simply the myth can be read to both be a prophecy about a human king and also a reference to already existing lore regarding Satan. The myth has certain plot holes that placing it into a Gnostic context easily fills. How can angels, who are supposed to be perfect and basically utter slaves, be described as proud and spontaneously engage in rebellion? How is he not simply seized and destroyed by the Demiurge who is supposed to be all powerful? An intrusion from outside is clearly needed.

If Lucifer is the Gnostic Christ, his appearance in heaven is simply the intrusion intended to subvert the Demiurge’s kingdom and provide an example for humanity to follow. He cannot be simply destroyed because he is more powerful and of purer stuff than the Demiurge. He does not simply destroy the Demiurge because the being serves a necessary purpose.

“1. The Demiurge then goes forth and begins to create from clay a figure, in the shape of that which
he saw in the waters and tries to give it life. At the moment he breathes into it, Lucifer steps forth
again, bestowing a life-giving flame, and the first man comes alive, but like his creator, the man is
ignorant of the true source of his nature.
2. Satisfied, the Demiurge declares the need for this man to have a servant, as his angels serves him,
and so, he forms a woman of the same substance, but being closest in form to the true manifest world,
Lilith herself takes on the body in accordance with Divine Will.”

In much of the accounts from here on I present a retelling of the myths of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel rooted in the biblical account but filling out the often-sparse nature of such texts by drawing on Gnostic scriptural traditions that can be found in the Nag Hammadi scriptures as well as points taken from folklore and non-Canonical texts such as the “Life of Adam and Eve” and Traditional Witchcraft lore regarding Cainite mysteries. In verses 1 and 2 we are in pretty standard biblical territory although the Demiurge, lacking the ability to give genuine life to anything, requires Lucifer to step in and bestow that spark secretly. This points to the idea that all life, all humans whether having Gnosis or not, are endowed with the spark, the Black Flame, of Divinity within them all of them have the potential whether or not it has been used. It also points the fact that even the realm of illusions that the Demiurge creates contains a bit of the essence of the Divine. The Demiurge again continues his attempts to create, driven to model his continued work as a poor image of things above him and things he has already done. In this he is us, our ego, constructing narratives that at best can contain some degree of Truth, can point at Truth, but are always inferior imitations, undermined often by the nature of Truth itself undermining our certainty. He accordingly makes a woman and for a moment we step out of the biblical text and into folkloric accounts. Lilith takes the opportunity to step forward. This theme of Lucifer and Lilith each stepping into the act of creation is present at every point in this myth as manifestation is seen as a kind of dance, a conversation, they each play their role in the undermining of the Demiurge’s plans.

“3. From the beginning Lilith argues with the man, who demands she lie beneath him and be
subservient to him and bear him offspring. She refuses, declaring herself his equal, and when she
finds he will not relent, she flees his presence across the Red Sea.
4. The Demiurge in his anger sends his angels after Lilith but she speaks the True Name of the
Demiurge and in that moment, seeing her true nature and power revealed, they can not seize her.
5. Lilith dwells then in a cave upon the sea, hidden as a spider in a burrow, waiting and weaving
the strings of Divine Will.
6. The Demiurge then creates a new woman from the rib of the man he called Adam, a woman who
would be called Eve.”

I present here a simple and pretty straightforward retelling of the standard Lilith myth. But it raises a big question: How does she know his True Name if she is simply his human creation? The True Name of a thing, in occult tradition, embodies that which is named.

To know it suggests tremendous power and such names are typically kept secret. I suggest there’s really only one way she could know it: because she created him. She is a demonization of the feminine archetype, a kind of dark Shekinah. She is the Gnostic Sophia minus the patriarchy.

Let’s go further into the identity of Lilith. In 1587, the famed occultist John Dee with his partner Edward Kelley evoked a spirit, who gave a famous vision where she said,

“I am the daughter of Fortitude and ravished every hour from my youth. For behold I am Understanding and science dwelleth in me; and the heavens oppress me. They cover and desire me with infinite appetite; for none that are earthly have embraced me, for I am shadowed with the Circle of the Stars and covered with the morning clouds. My feet are swifter than the winds, and my hands are sweeter than the morning dew. My garments are from the beginning, and my dwelling place is in myself. The Lion knoweth not where I walk, neither do the beast of the fields understand me. I am deflowered, yet a virgin; I sanctify and am not sanctified. Happy is he that embraceth me: for in the night season, I am sweet, and in the day full of pleasure. My company is a harmony of many symbols and my lips sweeter than health itself. I am a harlot for such as ravish me, and a virgin with such as know me not. For lo, I am loved of many, and I am a lover to many; and as many as come unto me as they should do, have entertainment.”

Now this bears striking resemblance to a text neither Dee nor Kelley had access to: the Gnostic scriptures of Nag Hammadi, the text of “Thunder, Perfect Mind,” where Sophia, also known as Barbelo, speaks for herself,

“I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin…”
and
“I am the knowledge of my inquiry,
and the finding of those who seek after me”

A careful comparison is worth studying as the places where the character differs seem to be directly related to history, “Thunder…” was written at a time when the role of women in the church was being debated. The “Daughter of Fortitude” speech is the words of a goddess set to return,

“As yet, I walk in the clowdes,
As yet, I am carryed with the wyndes:
And cannot descend unto you
for the multitude of your abbominations,
& The filthy lothesomnes of your dwelling places.”
“….I comme unto you again.”
Aleister Crowley and Victor Neuberg performed Dee’s ritual themselves in 1909
and here the Goddess Babalon revealed herself saying,
“I am the harlot that shaketh Death.
This shaking giveth the Peace of Satiate Lust.
Immortality jetteth from my skull,
And music from my vulva.
Immortality jetteth from my vulva also,
For my Whoredom is a sweet scent like a seven-stringed instrument,
Played unto God the Invisible, the all-ruler,
That goeth along giving the shrill scream of orgasm.”

In Thelemite Jack Parson’s Babalon Working, Babalon ties her own identity directly to Dee’s ritual.

“23. My calls as thou knowest. All love songs are of me. Also seek me in the Seventh Aire.” -Liber 49

Crowley also flatly stated,

“Here also is a mystery of mysteries. Lilith is truly Babalon.” -”footnote on the 3rd Aethyr”

So. If Daughter of Fortitude = Sophia, Daughter of Fortitude = Babalon, and Babalon = Lilith, then Lilith= Daughter of Fortitude and Lilith= Sophia.

Psychologically our ego is a direct product of our environment and upbringing and Lilith as an embodiment of the manifest world, literally a dark sort of ‘earth mother” is that environment. Like the real manifest raw reality, she sits hidden behind the veil, the realm of the Demiurge, yet continues to pull the strings of fate, and this is symbolized in her residency in her cave; a cave that naturally sits on a sea, reiterating her relationship to the watery Abyss of nonconceptual reality.

“1. Now there grows in the midst of the garden a tree, and the Demiurge knows not from where it came and is afraid, but he takes credit for its creation and warns Adam and Eve saying “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree in the middle you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die. ”

While the Demiurge is away curiosity gets the best of Eve and she approaches the tree.”

The classic story of the Garden of Eden is a symbol for the basic human situation. We come into this world as children into a garden with nothing but our inborn potentialities, our inborn Divine nature, yet ignorant. We are taught rules, narratives as we grow, do this, don’t do that. The world is divided into the pure we can touch and the impure we mustn’t. But before the installation of social conditioning we experience reality nakedly. This is reminiscent of the Indian Left Hand teachings of the Aghori sadhus:

“The gurus and disciples of Aghor believe their state to be primordial and universal. They believe that all human beings are natural-born Aghori. Hari Baba has said on several occasions that human babies of all societies are without discrimination, that they will play as much in their own filth as with the toys around them. Children become progressively discriminating as they grow older and learn the culturally specific attachments and aversions of their parents. Children become increasingly aware of their mortality as they bump their heads and fall to the ground. They come to fear their mortality and then palliate this fear by finding ways to deny it altogether.” – Ron Barrett, “Aghor Medicine: Pollution, Death, and Healing in Northern India”.

Interestingly, this idea that the method is one of returning to a primordial,
Christ teaches childlike state as well:

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:1-4, NASB

And yet much like the mysterious Tree, reality intrudes into our world of illusions, a means that can be used for escape, though we are told of course, “Thou shalt not touch it!”

“2. On its shady side Lucifer awaits in the form of a serpent. And he says to the woman, “Has your
Lord really said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
Eve replies, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree
which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or on that
day you will die.’”
3. The serpent says to the woman, “You certainly will not die! For your Lord knows that on the day
you eat from it the eyes of your mind will be opened, and you will become like the Divine, knowing
good and evil.”
4. When the woman sees that the tree is good for food, and that it is a delight to the eyes, and that
the tree is desirable to make one wise, she takes of its fruit and eats. Immediately the eyes of her
mind are opened and she sees things nakedly. Imbued with the power of the fruit, she is with child,
though she does not know it.”

The “shady side” of the tree is a reference to the Sitra Achra, the “other side” of the Tree of Life in Hermetic Qabalah, and I imply here that rather than two trees growing in opposite directions and united only by their root as some traditions speak, I favor an interpretation where the light and dark sides are one fully united tree and to work with one side is to work with the energies of the other. An obvious question should arise to anyone reading this myth: given that the Demiurge depicted in Christian versions is supposed to be a beneficial character, one mankind is supposed to follow, if that is the case, why does he so much wish his creations to remain ignorant and enslaved to his will? Doesn’t seem very “good.” The Luciferian answer, which dates back to the Gnostics who first said it, is: because the Serpent is actually the one mankind should be following not the Demiurge. It is the Serpent who acts as the liberator. And surely enough, Eve did not die on the day she ate of the tree but as promised the eyes of her mind were opened. Next question: what exactly was the “fruit” in question? The fruit of the tree is metaphorical for sacred sexuality. Note that the type of fruit is not mentioned. It is said to awaken to the knowledge of good and evil and reveal nakedness. What sort of act could both reveal nakedness and the implications of one’s actions? The counterargument here that one might expect is that surely the Demiurge does not see sexuality as a sin in and of itself as, in the original scriptures, he gives the command to “Go forth and multiply” and therefore the fruit cannot be sexuality. But what needs to be understood is that the fruit given here is not just any sexuality. It is one outside the boundaries of the Demiurgic plan. It is a sacred one, nothing less than sex magick. The Demiurge intended for sexuality to be for procreation, hence why his command was focused on reproduction, and given his rejection of the equality between Lilith and Adam and the creation of the subservient Eve, he intended for the power dynamic of procreative sexuality to be patriarchal. Lucifer’s gift to Eve was one that bestowed the knowledge of a sexuality that transgressed all that. In doing so he planted a seed of his own, a blood line of a different order.

“5. She gives fruit to Adam and he also eats of it and the eyes of his mind see their nakedness. In
shame he makes them garments of fig leaves to cover themselves.
6. The Demiurge returns in the cool of the day and when Adam sees him he hides himself.
“Where are you?” the Demiurge calls out.
7. Adam says, ““I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I
hid myself.”
8. And the Demiurge asks, “Who showed you your nakedness? Have you eaten from the tree from
which I commanded you not to eat?”
9. The man says, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the
tree, and I ate.”
10. Then the Demiurge says to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” And the woman
says, “The serpent seduced me, and I ate.”
11. Then he curses the serpent for giving them a glimpse of naked reality.
12. He curses the woman and the man and all their descendants for their disobedience. He condemns
forever the seed of the Serpent and the man to enmity.
13. Then the Demiurge says to his angels, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good
and evil; and now, he might reach out with his hand, and take more fruit from this tree of life, and
eat, and live forever.”
14. He then makes them drink from the waters of forgetfulness and casts the couple out into the
world and sets angels to guard the tree for all time.”

Having learned from the Serpent, Eve now initiates Adam who likewise awakens but feels shame for his transgression and chooses to cover the offending body parts. When the Demiurge returns, he hides himself in fear. He immediately blames Eve who then blames the Serpent. Note that Adam’s primary sin here is basically that he listened to his wife but neither of them, despite having a small glimpse of Gnosis, is willing to take responsibility for their actions. So, the Demiurge begins handing out his punishments and he specifically places a curse of enmity between the seed of the Serpent and that of Adam. Again, the idea of sexuality as fruit is invoked here as in the original scriptures the imagery of fruit and seeds is often used to refer to procreation. The seeds represent the spiritual bloodline of the Serpent and that of the Demiurge via the man, the Serpent-seed planted here specifically is that of Cain.

Next the Demiurge speaks to his angels and declares openly that the eyes of these humans have indeed been opened however briefly and that they have “become like one of Us,” so out of fear that they might more fully attain to such heights and become perhaps even more powerful than he, the Demiurge wipes their mind of any attainment and casts them out of the garden placing his angels to guard the Tree forever.

“1. Now Adam and Eve have their first children, a set of twins, who grow to be shining and
beautiful, the male she names Cain and his twin sister she names Calmana. They are of the blood of
the serpent, called Lucifer, as an image of the truth, a complementary unity with desire only for each
the companionship of the other.
2. Adam impregnates Eve and again twins are born, called Abel and Azura. They are of the blood
of their father, in the image of separation, out of deficiency they grow to desire their elder siblings.”

3. The Demiurge conspires with Adam and commands that Cain should marry Azura
and Abel should be wed to Calmana. When the older twins hear of this they protest to
Adam and he declares as his ruler instructed: to have Cain and Abel each bring an
offering to the Demiurge, that he might show one favor and thereby decide the case.
4. Now Abel is a shepherd in the hills and he brings to the altar his best lamb and slays
the peaceful beast upon the altar and a fire from heaven strikes down upon it and burns
it up and the smoke rises to the heavens.
5. Cain is a worker of the field, a grower of crops and he brings some of his best crops
to be offered up. He burns them upon the altar but the smoke does not rise, instead he
is surprised to find the smoke lingers on the ground at his feet and absorbs into it.  Cain, angry at the rejection of his offering, leaves.
6. The next day as he is working in his fields, Lucifer appears to Cain as a fellow farmer
saying, “Behold! The ruler to whom you gave offering conspired against you! Listen
and follow me though and you will have great wealth and my relations will attend you.”
7. Cain asks, “Where are your relations?”
Lucifer responds, “I have come from roaming about the earth, and walking forth on it.
My relations are a kingdom all about you though men do not see them. I am your
relation as I am your father.”
8. At these words Cain’s ears are opened to truth and his eyes see clearly. He sees there
will be no justice without rebellion. He conspires with Calmana who lures Abel to the
field and Cain slays him there with his sickle. Upon that field of harvest, the Blood
Acre, Abel’s blood is offered up as sacrifice to the Divine, the blood following the path
of its furrows, a sacred place where the illusion of separation collapses, the roads of
material and spiritual cross. Here, the awakened Cain and Calmana worship in awe.
9. Cain makes a necklace of his bones as a wedding present for his bride. From Abel’s
blood and the grain of the field she makes a bread that they share in celebration, a
communion of the Divine, washing it down with wine from the vineyard.
10. In rage, Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance and the annihilation not merely of his
brother but also his descendants, for he is like the Demiurge who would say, “ I am a
jealous God, inflicting the punishment of the fathers on the children.”
10. And the Demiurge hears its call and comes and asks Cain, “Where is Abel your
brother?”
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain answers disdainfully.
11. And he answers, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying
out to me from the ground.” And the Demiurge tries to curse Cain and Calmana but
they cannot be seized, so he only manages to put marks on them, horns that grow from
their heads and send them away.
12. So they leave the place and walk the Crooked Path of the witch, learning the ways
of herbalism and divining, how to traffic with spirits and work magick at the feet of
Lucifer and Lilith themselves.
13. From they and their descendants, all those bound by the spiritual lineage of
Witchblood, does all wisdom come. Unto humans the spirits teach knowledge, of
music to Jubal, of the forging of weapons to Tubal-Cain, of cosmetics to his sister
Naamah, and so on.
14. The history of man from then is the history of oppression and the enduring spirit of
rebellion against it, from which all progress comes.

It is important to reiterate that the myths being dealt with here are not historical but spiritual events, and this is exemplified in the Cain and Abel story, where we see the process of initiation and spiritual practice dramatically played out. Cain, whose name means to acquire, from a root that means to create, embodies the Initiate, he is the first Witch and therefore the root of the lineage of Witchblood. Abel, whose name derives from a word that may be rendered breath, vapor, and vanity, implies something surface, ephemeral, impermanent. He embodies the initiate’s binding narratives, habits, material unaligned with ultimate reality and therefore to some degree false. Calmana and Azura continue the theme of reality exiting in complementary polarity, both have names that imply beauty, though Calmana represents the deeper beauty of reality versus the surface nature of Azura.

The myth here derives from canonical sources with material supplemented from noncanonical sources with nods to Sabbatic Craft.

So, there you have it. Does this material resonate with you? Looking to put it into practice?

Go here next!

The Book of Radiant Darkness: Part 1

Alice Pike Barney’s “Lucifer”

Preface

What follows is a statement of belief. A mythology. A theology. And a bit of how I got here.

After a lot of thought and consideration I have felt called to address a lack in the Luciferian community, to provide an alternative voice to what often passes for Luciferianism, Satanism, and so called “Left Hand Path” spirituality in the wider occult movement. Over many years of study and practice in which I engaged with many of these types of western “Left Hand” practice and its “scene” I became disillusioned. I walked away in disgust. Yet life has a way of calling us back, of forcing us to rethink. Fires get rekindled. I was called back with renewed vigor, and a deep feeling that what was often being taught was off base. So, I threw myself into study, dug deep into how this kind of spirituality developed, the sources of its language. I have learned much since regarding the roots of Luciferian ideas and the tangled pathways of witchcraft. I have tapped deep into veins of heresy and mysticism. Here I am certainly indebted to some amazing scholars and those who have come before me and presented their own forms and systems of Luciferian ideology, some of whom I agree with and some I most definitely do not! There are many Luciferianisms to be honest.

It is not a dogmatic spirituality.

What I intend to present here is the center of my contribution to an ongoing evolution, to present the core of Luciferianism as I teach it. It is what I refer to, to distinguish it from others and to emphasize its roots and mindset, as Gnostic Luciferianism.

To be sure, the kind of Gnosticism in question here is not the hard dualistic and anti-cosmic sort from which some others draw inspiration but closer in themes to that of the monist Valentinus.  This is a Luciferianism that weaves this together in its web with Hermetic Qabalah and expresses it in the practice of Traditional Witchcraft. I seek to transcend simple reversals of Christian worldviews and approaches that seem to lead only to bloated egos, dark fetishism, and the valorization of trauma and personal toxicity. This is a mature Luciferianism focused on spiritual wholeness and embodied liberation.

What I feel called to do in this text is retell and then interpret Gnostic mythology in a Luciferian manner. But why would I do that?

Firstly, Luciferianism has a long history of incorporating Gnostic ideas, it is easily argued that the practice of witchcraft and the occult in general owes much to Gnostic derived ideas in the Middle Ages.

This is discussed by Jefferey Burton Russell in “Witchcraft in the Middle Ages” and by Richard Cavendish in the later chapters of “The Black Arts. ”

The basic scenario is that the sects and the associated systems used by the Gnostics were largely crushed by the Orthodox Church, however the ideas of these sects survived and filtered into medieval Europe over the centuries in a constant stream of heresy, from the Gnostics and Marcionites to the Paulicians, then Bogomils, then Cathars in southern France, Amalricians, Brethren of the Free Spirit, etc. Everything medieval witches would be accused of is that which all of these heresies were accused of as well. Early witch trials? Many spring up dead in the middle of Cathar country. At some point it is suggested that a reversal occurred, heretics adopting and owning the accusations against them. As Cavendish suggests in regard to the Cathars:

“ It is possible that some of them concluded that if the Catholic God was really the Devil, then the Catholic Devil might be the true God.”
– “The Black Arts”

Did such witches actually exist? It has been suggested that no one was practicing the worship of Lucifer historically, that all those accused were innocent of any sort of occult practice. But this appears overly skeptical. Certainly, if anyone was practicing such things they were not practicing any sort of survival of pagan religion. Murrayism has been debunked since the mid-20th century. So if anyone was practicing such things, what they were worshiping could only be the devil due to sheer process of elimination and the fact that confessions openly and consistently state such. But are any confessions believable? They were extracted often under torture or more often the threat of it. Well, what do we actually know about magic and witchcraft in this period?

We do know that the practice of magic was widespread among the populace. A whole host of charms and spells, herbalism, astrology and other systems of divination that any modern person would now call witchcraft was popular at the time.

Most of this was undoubtedly heretical but still very much Christian.

At every point in history there has been resistance movements to the dominant narratives.

We do know from some of the most credible confessions, especially those extracted without torture, that much of what is accused of occurring are things that could easily be stage managed with things like masks and costumes.

We know that the concoctions known as ‘flying ointments’ in trial records are functional and reproduce the very effects associated with “midnight rides to the Sabbat.” If there were no witches practicing these things, why are there functional ointments that induce these very experiences?

As there are people today and in recorded history who are attracted to such things, based on what we know it seems reasonable to conclude that there were at least a few scattered individuals and groups practicing the worship of Lucifer. We will never know for sure of course as illiterate peasants did not leave us with any records.

Regardless, that folklore and mythology, those ideas, persisted. But put yourself in the shoes for a moment of an LGBTQ person in the Renaissance. You have been raised from birth to believe you are hopelessly damned.

An abomination.

The god of the church does not accept you. Your community would hate you if they knew.

But there is one who will, one who offers power, and a place where you will be accepted. Celebrated.

So, do we really think no one had a good reason to seek out the Devil?

People openly claiming and praising Lucifer start showing up in the 19th century where he is embraced as a figure of rebellion and revolution by poets, artists, occultists, and anarchists.

Gnostic and Luciferian ideas and mythology show up extensively as well in modern Traditional Witchcraft with the prominence given to the folkloric Devil. So retelling Gnostic myth in a Luciferian way both honors the roots of the religion while also appreciating and considering its development in history.

The use of transgression of social norms is a defining feature of this type of spirituality. This is because to experience ultimate reality one must be able to move past one’s social condition. Mind you this is not merely a pursuit of shock value, nor is it any sort of excuse to hate the practitioners of the many diverse Abrahamic faiths, nor is it a vehicle for base hedonism. People whose interest is of this nature should be discouraged. But so long as the Christian faith remains the dominant one even to the point of shaping our very language, Luciferian spirituality will remain relevant. Heresy is always relevant, and if the things said in this text are heresies even to other Luciferians, so much the better!

 

Introduction: The Gnostic Luciferian View

I would like to begin by presenting in a brief point by point manner the basic principles of Gnostic Luciferianism, I will flesh these out over the course of these articles but for now just give them some consideration and invite yourself to consider how your life might be different if they were true.

1. All of reality is One Divine Essence manifesting as particular diverse forms in a massive web of dynamic interdependency. All that manifests may be understood as patterns of energetic vibration, from common objects to spiritual beings.

2. This Divine Essence is experienced as pure consciousness as consciousness pervades all experiential existence.

3. There is no separation between the spiritual and the physical. This Divine unity in diversity is embodied beautifully in Levi’s art depicting Baphomet and in the Hermetic maxim of “That which is above is like that which is below to achieve the wonder of the One thing.”

4. As there is no separation between material and spiritual, scientifically verifiable natural laws are Divine Laws part of the Divine Will, and science a tool for us to better know and refine spiritual knowledge and destroy illusions.

5. The diverse forms the Divine energy manifests as includes ourselves and the beings we variously call specific deities, demons, spirits, etc. The difference between humans and such beings is that deities and other spirits simply exist in other dimensions relative to our own perception.

6. Myths regarding such beings should not be seen as literal truths regarding historical events but as sacred allegories teaching mystical truths.

7. The central beings worshiped in Gnostic Luciferianism are Lucifer and Lilith as complementary manifestations of the Divine, along with various demons, and other spirits who act as spiritual guides and teachers to humanity.

8. Lucifer is the bearer of the Divine Light of Knowledge to mankind. He embodies destruction of illusion, he ignites the Black flame of Wisdom within the Self that burns away our falsehoods, that liberates us from the bonds of our social conditioning and our narratives, allowing us to see reality as it is. He is the dark and radiant Gnostic Christ. He is One with Divine Transcendence.

9. Lilith is the initiator into sensual grounded being, she is defiant sensuality, the dark womb from which all things spring, the embodiment of feminine equality and justice in a world that seeks to enslave, she is emotion and passion, the celebration of the totality of existence. She is the dark and defiant Sophia. She is One with Divine Immanence.

10. In union Lucifer and Lilith embody the goal of genuine Gnosis: Immanent Transcendence. Fully Embodied Liberation.

11. In Gnostic Luciferianism the Demiurge taught by the Church is nothing but the Divine embodiment of ego, the lower self, here defined as that aspect of Self that produces a sense of separate, disconnected identity. In so doing it creates a “world” of illusions that keep us enslaved to it.

12. Lucifer, in relation to the Christian Demiurge, IS Satan in this tradition. He is the preeminent accuser or adversary of that being. The form of the Divine known as the Devil or Satan is nothing more than a particular dark form Lucifer takes in relation to the Demiurge. This is a title he has earned, and that history has associated with him for over one thousand years. And it is purely via that association and identification that no one even knows the name Lucifer.

13. The practice of Gnostic Luciferianism is embodied in the mysteries of Traditional Witchcraft. It embraces Magick as the practice by which the Divine Self enacts its will upon the Divine substance of reality. These practices of witchcraft include spellwork, work with spirits, divination, dreamwork, and herbalism.

14. The practice of Gnostic Luciferianism embraces the use of acts that transgress, or break accepted social rules regarding spirituality. This is done for a few reasons:

a) coming from a nondual perspective where all things are considered Divine, even that which disgusts, the liberated individual is free to spontaneously engage in actions without socially constructed shame.

b) such acts are ritually engaged to intentionally break social conditioning and identification of self with socially conditioned narratives.

c) engaging in acts that “blaspheme” the practice of a dominant spiritual institution allows the initiate to tap into the reservoirs of power those institutions contain and transmute them to their purpose.

15. The morality of Gnostic Luciferianism flows directly from its nondual understanding of the world. Since all beings are Divine whether they recognize it or not, and all are enacting the unfolding of an interdependent process, one who recognizes their own Divine nature acts accordingly. One does not act according topredetermined “thou shalt nots” or under threat of eternal punishment, nor does one act from a place of egoistic reaction, but freely responding, judging the rightness of action in specific context from a place of fullness and security that is the only place from which genuine compassion, love, and kindness can flow.

When it comes down to it, stripped to its most basic essence, Luciferianism is an invitation to experience the fullness of your being, of the overwhelming beauty and terror of existence. It says, “You are and always have been utterly Divine, whole, and perfect right from the start, you need only taste and see.”

Accordingly, it is and must be an an unflinching confrontation with all that dares
blind you to that truth, to all that conceals, so that our fullness can show itself in its
glory.

To eat the fruit of the serpent is to tangibly “bite into” reality, to fully engage
and savor, to fully see and say yes to who you are. It’s not a one-time thing either, after
all how many times do we lose sight of ourselves and our path and must choose to taste
again?

What is it in your life that is preventing you from tasting that fruit every day?

What if you just stop for a moment, every so often, and listen to that invitation?

 

 

Meanwhile, what, on the other hand, is NOT Gnostic Luciferianism? We totally reject:

…vulgar or “hyper-” individualism. That is any sort of individualism that places the individual separate from or above their social context, that rejects any sense of social obligation to other Divine beings.

… long debunked “Might makes Right” and “social Darwinist” philosophies. Such are not scientific and are simply a defense of unjust status quos and thus hold no liberatory power.

… any form of bigotry. A religion of liberation is utterly incompatible with any sort ideology that rationalizes the oppression of entire groups of people, it always stands with the oppressed.

Next, we will dig deeper and present a Gnostic Luciferian mythology and its implications.

Stay tuned….

Walking with the Morrigan in Twilight Groves

Freepik

I have awoken to the cawing of Crows again, against the barely lit white-washed walls that slump inward unto themselves.
The world shudders with an ice in its heart, and the crows are all stirred up, for the spiritual ecosystem is charged as a broken system lets out its death throes.
Archaic old dictators vie for control, but it slips under their fingernails as the ashes kiss the wind, and I hear Her, ushering in change, tempestuous and unyielding, stalking the grounds like a phantom seeking blood.
Every mirror reflects these cracks, the old and wearied that clings and breaks, the brittle notion of conformity.
The Dark Goddess rises.
The Morrigan rises from deep in the Earth, splitting it twain with a revelation of quaking, emerging beautiful and terrible, her blade slipping from its sheath to deliver the final blow.
I see Her, glorious, those dark raven eyes peering into the bones of my soul, knowing who I am, who I have been, and who I am becoming.
I follow the long shadow of her cape that scatters ink soot feathers across the dirt-trod path, weaving in and out of the liminal spaces between trees and Earth.
Shifting, ever shifting, I follow the path of my Goddess, my Mother, She who saved my life and gave it back to me, over and over.
The Morrigan who has split me in twain and sewn me up, over, and over again, who knows my breaking, my bleeding.
But above all my rising.
My consciousness flits in and out with every breath, visible in the cold that pierces my skin, as we journey ever on.
The chorus of the Corvids peaks, a chatter that drowns out all others, as we reach the threshold once more.

The Morrigan in sacred places.
In time worn groves long forgotten, set to the torch or knife by man, a forest now only of ghosts and memory. Their ancient wisdom held in this place, a testament to when the world was wilder, before this vicious cycle had taken full root and plagued the Earth.

She sits, perched in the centre against a stump covered in moss, and the light bends around Her, defusing through the thick branches that gnarl around one another in greeting.
The very trees speak; a rustle of leaves, a groaning of bark. What secrets they held and hold still, here in the most sacred of places.
Long talons tap against Her blade, screeching in the most uncomfortable of ways, beckoning approach or else retreat.
Knowing this dance, how could I ever call myself Hers if I fled? Never once have I ran from Her, nor denied Her.
I have screamed in rage, in pain, in desperation as Her lessons have broken my spine and stretched my ragged breath thin – but I have never deserted.
Which is why I am here.
Again.
It is time for the last breath of this cycle, a rebirthing, a cleansing from the stagnancy of the outdated, and so, surrounded by feathers and roots, I walk forth, to the waiting eyes of The Morrigan.

Would the talons rake my skin again, I wondered, how deeply would the lesson splinter?
“The world is changing,” She croaks, in that voice outside of time, it mists in and outside of my head, “There is death all around, and the drums are howling, men will try to devastate this Earth once more.”

I cannot deny it has been in my waking thoughts, wondering about the shape of things to come. Knowing that we have all been staring out into the unknown abyss for some time, scuttling for safety like rats on a sinking ship. Chaos has been reigning, and it is not done yet.
The Morrigan simply shifts Her shape within the red mist, collecting the broken, ciphering souls to the Otherworld and on.
Holding the memories within Her, always. Honouring the Dead.

Her hand is on my head, and She weaves Her fingers across my body, forming a sort of armour, all gold and shifting, parts blacker than volcanic soil, glinting with a temporal shift. “There is much to come. Much to do. Much to defend,” She croaks, and I wonder at that.

As the world falls apart and reknits itself, as ever it has done, I wonder about the guiding hand of The Morrigan, and She smiles in that way I know, all red lipped and fanged, where Her Will is undeniable.
None can withstand it. She will come in ferocious as a tide of change, and all will be scattered to the wind.

When it is not safe, who will love me still?” She asks.
My heart aches at that, a single tear falls, for I will.
And to that I shall always hold – and She knows.

In the deepest recesses of those eyes that shimmer with deathlessness, She Knows.

Fashion woman posing near the sea. Dark Queen.

There are so many arguments swirling around as to who deserves to discuss the Morrigan, so many would-be dictators that attack as soon as they feel power slipping from their grasp.
Mirroring the world at large by seeking to dominate, and crush others under their heel, in the name of a Goddess who was never about cruelty.
Only the Christianizing hand sought to paint her thus.
For Morrigan is ancient, primal, powerful – the ever-shifting shape of Sovereignty and Evolution.
You cannot control change, for it seeps in at the corners when you’re dreaming and before you know it takes root in the ground.
The Crow wings bring gusts together and the old system falls, the new Sovereign is crowned, and only the Land remembers.
Humans forget quickly, and with purpose, but the Spiritual Ecosystem holds every truth that ever was, reflecting the course of human memory.
A thousand people believing that they were the one to whom power belonged, and the shadows grew under each of their eyes as they poisoned themselves inside out.
You cannot hold onto power, for that is merely borrowed, and the day comes when it will be returned.
All things fall.
Power instead lies in the resolute conquering only of oneself, to embody the Sacred grove within your soul, and know that to all things there is a cycle. We are nature reflected unto itself, and that makes the disconnect from it all the more painful.
The need to control the narrative is born from a complete lack of understanding that we are all the narrative, memory, and the stories we weave, are all sacred in the Spirit realm.
The Morrigan holds them in her throat, and utters forth prophecy and regales battle worn spirits with tales remembered.
She is in the Land, and the Sea, and the Sky. She walks between all the realms of existence, and ushers in change at every meeting.

You can no more control Her than the shifting wind, or the depths of the Ocean.
It is folly to try.

Move well through the Otherworlds, Starlets
Joey Morris

Musings of a Modern Mystic: Witchcraft is Political

 

It has been one year, two months and 20 days since I have sat down to write a blog.

I have not stopped writing; I write posts on my personal page, and the NR fb page. I have also worked on some writing projects.

The blog felt like it needed to rest.

Like it needed to be in chrysalis as badly as I did.

Emerging is scary, emerging in a new form, scarier still.

But here I am with my first blog in an awfully long time to talk about a topic that is much overdue.

A topic I have discussed many times in comments, or a few sentences here and there on the page.

As I move and shift this space to a Collective of writers, instead of just myself, I am inspired more than ever to push the limits. I am inspired to talk about what nobody wants to talk about, or topics that will surely get me trolled.

Bring it on, I say.

I am not here to make you comfortable, and I am done trying to have comfortable conversations.

Comfort gets us nowhere; it will only bring stagnation.

So, what is it exactly that I have to say that is going to get everyone in a tizzy?

I don’t often make generalized or absolute statements, there are simply too many variables and moving parts to any equation in this vast universe that I am careful what I say and how I say it.

This, however, needs to be spoken as an absolute.

Here it goes:

Witchcraft is political.

Witchcraft. Is. Political.

WITCHCRAFT IS POLITICAL.

I can hear it now, the cries and whimpers like, and I am using direct past quotes that have been said to me:

“Don’t bring politics into my Craft!”

“I don’t read your work to read about politics and social issues. Please don’t become *that*.”

“Witchcraft is not political, humans are. We don’t need politics here.”

Privilege.

P R I V I L E G E.

It’s privilege to be a Witch and say that you are not political, to ignore injustices because they “don’t affect you”.

Witchcraft is now and will always be political.

When I use the word political, I am not talking about democracy, per se. Nor am I talking about the United States’ 2 party system that has f*cked us all. This is not Democrat and Republican.

I am talking about what being a Witch, calling oneself a Witch means.

It is truly Revolutionary to call yourself a Witch.

We stand for the marginalized, the outcasts, the downtrodden, the misfits, and the weirdos.

AND WE ALWAYS HAVE!

Activism, Social Issues, Human & Civil Rights, Allyship, Anti-racism, Anti-ableism (and more!) are all pre-requisites to being a Witch.

“You are gatekeeping! How dare you tell me how to be a Witch!”

Is asking you, or telling you, rather, to be a decent human being gatekeeping?

Is it REALLY?!

 

I want you to think about that long and hard if your immediate reaction was/is that I am gatekeeping.

Ask yourself why you feel the way you do?

Is requesting human decency gatekeeping?

If you answer yes, then your issue is far deeper and greater than I can address here.

So, as they say, “not my circus, not my monkeys”.

Witches may have been hidden in history—even hid ourselves and moved in silence, but we got sh*t done.

We weren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.

Some of us still aren’t.

It was the Wise Woman, Man and Person who lived on the edge of the forest communing with nature and plant Spirits, carrying deep rooted herbal and plant knowledge that were Healers in days past.

It was the Healer who was shunned for knowing too much about plants that would help a Woman/Femme deal with unwanted pregnancy in a safer manner than some of her/their other options. Or help heal a Soldier’s war wounds, or gout.

It was the unsuspecting Granny who went to Church every Sunday, who knew Psalms like the back of her hand and whipped up the most glorious Kitchen Magick you ever had seen. Her prayers worked like she had a direct line to God.

To deny the power and role of the Witch is to douse our history in toxic positivity.

Many of us found our way to the Craft because we were met with injustice and/or adversity of some kind, and we needed to take our power back.

To be a Witch is to be Sovereign, without a doubt.

Then I think about this Tweet (one that I have shared on the page before) and I am left wondering:

Are we meant to be Sovereign AND in Service (to Magick)  at the same time?

Why else would we have or collect all this knowledge, and even though I hate the word power?

Why not use it for the greater good?

It is time we decolonized the Craft.

There are too many people who call themselves Witch and turn the other cheek when they see oppression and continue to benefit from systems put in place long ago instead of smashing said system.

We first need equality, then we need equity and finally we will find liberation.

We have a silent oath to uphold when walking this path.

We have an obligation to fight deep in the trenches so that the systems harming us can be destroyed.

If you are not willing to pushback against the status quo, what are you even doing here?

Are you even a Witch, or are you a WINO (Witch In Name Only)?

Witchcraft requires action, to be a Witch requires action; just like the Magick we cast.

Your intentions may be well and good, but unless you act on them, they mean nothing.

Silence is compliance.

Nobody said this would be easy, but it is worth it.

The freedom, strength and courage I have found through Witchcraft and living my life as a Witch cannot be put into words for, they do it no justice.

Blessed Are the Witches, the Oathkeepers, the Torchbearers and the Balancers of Scales.

Lux in Tenebris Lucet

SERPENTINE WISDOM: Kundalini Awakening & Rising

***NOTE: This photo series is by Monika Ottehenning and I do not own the rights. This imagery fits beautifully.***


“When you succeed in awakening the Kundalini, so that it starts to move out of its mere potentiality, you necessarily start a world which is totally different from our world. It is the world of eternity.”

Carl Jung


A Kundalini Awakening happens to about 24% of the population and most of the time it is written off as a physical condition, instead of a spiritual condition that is manifesting in the physical.

The word Kundalini (Sanskrit) means ‘coiled like a snake’ which seems appropriate since it is the life force energy that sits at the base of the spine, bound, and awaits for the awakening.

Kundalini, being feminine itself, is often associated with Shakti, the feminine life force, or sexual energy.

An awakening can happen intentionally through Kundalini Yoga, or other various Yoga poses, but it can also be unintentional, say a back injury, a fall or extreme emotional distress. Some experts say that child birth, meditative practices, and celibacy may also contribute to the awakening. In my case it was a mixture of celibacy and yoga practices; when I had my spiritual awakening, I knew I needed to focus on myself and that meant I had to cut off sexual encounters; the best decision I have ever made.

Before my awakening I would not have shown such restraint.

Celibacy is a personal choice, and one that not many understand. I consider myself to be an extremely sexual, and sensual being and am often told it oozes from my Soul, but I don’t need to be actively engaging in sexual encounters with no depth to be considered sexual; just one of the many lessons my awakening has shown me.

In the past, I didn’t know my worth and I would freely give my sexual energy away.

When your Kundalini energy decides to awaken, it is a sudden pulsating surge that moves up the spine like a serpent and as it moves it blasts open your chakras, one by one.

Most people stay at one level of consciousness for long periods of time, what the Kundalini does is it rips open your third eye, and brings to light any emotions, or wounds you are hiding in the depths of your chakras.

Here is an excerpt from a great book on the topic called Psychotherapy and Spirit:

“As each chakra opens, new levels of consciousness are revealed. Since the consciousness of most people is fairly restricted, the opening of the chakras is accompanied by consciousness expansion and purification of the limitations or impurities that correspond to each chakra.” -Brant Cortright, Ph.D.

I can attest that it is probably the most painful experience one can have, because you are being attacked, for lack of a better word, on a spiritual, physical and emotional level but it is yourself who is the attacker.

Often times Spiritual folk want to make this awakening out to be a beautiful experience, and for some it might be, but the Serpent is notorious for it’s powerful and unforgiving transformative powers.

How do you know if you are experiencing an awakening?

You will usually feel a tingly, pressure from your tailbone up your spine and through the crown chakra; I am known to have blockages in between my shoulder blades, that is where my emotionally chaotic energy is stored when I have not meditated in a while.

Some of the physical symptoms of this awakening are: sensations of heat, tremors, involuntary laughing or crying, talking in tongues, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, rigidity or limpness, animal-like movements and sounds.

The Kundalini energy is a yogi philosophic form of Shatki. If you are not familiar with the term Shatki, it is the female principle of Divine energy, especially when personified as the supreme deity, Durga.

Since the Kundalini energy is feminine, even though both sexes carry it, it makes sense to refer to Kundalini as a form of Shatki.

A side effect that I have heard many women experiencing during this specific awakening is they become prone to yeast infections. The vagina, Sacral and Root Chakras are considered the Feminine Shatki centers in our body; when that is out of whack, it triggers all types of physical manifestations, even though it is a spiritual issue.

So, please listen to your body and treat it accordingly.

I am going to give some tips that have helped me get through this process, one that I still have good days and bad days with.

The number one thing that has helped me is my piece of Jet. There is a property within this specific crystal that when it is worn between the breasts (on a male or female) it takes the Kundalini energy and allows it to be released through the crown chakra. This can cause a slight light headed feeling, a flood of memories, or even tired feeling, but you must release the energy if you do not have time to sit and meditate to get control of it.

Secondly, meditation is paramount. While in your meditative state you must find your snake, in most cases you will see a field of snakes, but you must single yours out; allow the snake to come to you then you must take control of her, and allow her to coil her energy around your left hand. Let her know that you are in control, but pay respect to this Divine feminine energy while doing so.

Also, yoga or some kind of stretching is essential to the Kundalini process. As a beginner yogi I realize that Yoga is hard for many, but there are some poses that everyone can do to some degree that will benefit the release of built up energy in your spine. Such as, child’s pose, downward dog, and Kundalini Yoga itself (which is fairly simple as it focuses on stretch more so than strength, and resistance).

The next tip I suggest is to find a creative outlet, for me it’s my writing, and divination. I fell in love hard with divining because I had to focus my thoughts on something, anything, to get my mind off the pain.

Find something that challenges your mind so that you are not continuously checking back in on the pain.

The last tip I suggest is eating a healthy diet, and stay hydrated! I am all for water and tea; I keep it simple. Try to be aware of the processed foods you are eating, stay away from foods that are too fatty, try to eat as natural, and organic as you can.

Try adding in spices, too because your taste buds will change during this awakening.

Stay away from harmful substances during your awakening such as hard drugs and alcohol in large amounts.

Alcohol intake can increase the pain and makes you dehydrated, which makes the spinal pain worse. When the body is dehydrated the discs that connect your vertebrae become less flexible, and “dry”.

I am a Cannabis Advocate, btw.

I know from personal experience that this can truly be a devastating awakening, but the reward is like nothing else in this world.

My advice is to take care of self, listen to self, love self, honor self and the rest will work itself out.

You must be patient, do not rush the process.

Please do not go out of your way bending, and contorting to awaken this energy, either; if it is meant to happen to you, it will.

If you wake her up and she is not ready to be awakened, prepare for a wrath like no other.

The Kundalini rising is just another way that the Serpent gives us knowledge.

Embrace it.


Further study:

http://yogananda.com.au/pyr/pyr_kundalini1.html

LESSONS IN MAGICK: The Plutonian Healer

Pluto

 

“Each of us has his own way of emerging from the underworld, mine is by writing. That’s why the only way I can keep going, if at all, is by writing, not through rest and sleep. I am far more likely to achieve peace of mind through writing than the capacity to write through peace.”

Franz Kafka

Spirituality is a commodity sought high and low by people of all socioeconomic statuses, gender and sexual identities, race and so on.

And, it has been this way since the beginning of time.

Many people still cling to monotheistic religions, billions in fact, but there has been a wave, an uprising of non-traditional (they were once traditional) philosophies and practices being adopted by people all over the world.

Just like people feel let down by their Government and desire to break the two-party pretend democracy we have been living in, hence the rise in Socialists, Communists and Anarchists; people feel let down by their religions of youth and/or culture, so they are turning to Witchcraft, Nihilism, Atheism, Paganism, Wicca, ATR (African Traditional Religions) and every other path that is not the “big three”.

The psychological breakdown is that people want to be shatter the status quo in the most extreme ways possible. Which is, sadly, why there has also been an uprising of hate groups, and far right extremists pushing nationalism.

When people break free, or as I say, wake up, they are often wounded by their past and carry deep trauma from having to suppress certain aspects of themselves to fit into the box society, and in this context, religion put them in.

A Spiritual Awakening is a process of dying and coming back to life over and over again, it’s grueling work and not for the faint of heart.

As with all other areas of Spirituality, there are those who wish to romanticize the process, make it all love and light, unicorns and butterflies, and I can’t speak for all 7+ billion people on this planet, but I know I speak for a good chunk when I say, for many of us, it’s everything BUT love and light.

There are gurus galore who want to take you on a retreat to Bali, Costa Rica, Joshua Tree or India for an extraordinary amount of money, and through Tantric, Shamanic journeys, or whatever, they connect with the Source of love, Divine light and *poof* you are healed.

You will feel lighter.

Your trauma will melt away.

Your vision will become clearer.

You will become Spiritually Enlightened and Awakened.

While I am sure these retreats and this process may help some people, and/or perhaps may even be part of the overall journey, there are a great many folx who don’t need love and light, they need darkness.

They need the comfort and discomfort of the Womb.

They need a journey to the Underworld.

They must dive into their psyche and collective conscious (and unconscious); dangerous places for someone in recovery from religion and indoctrination.

Enter the Plutonian Healer.

Skull

Pluto is the God of the Underworld in Roman mythology.

In Astrology Pluto is death and rebirth (renewal), it’s the journey of going beneath the surface—it’s transformation, change, and the key to our inner most secrets; some secrets that we may have locked away from ourselves without even knowing.

Pluto, like Saturn, is a brutal but necessary teacher.

And, often it’s an energy that many people cannot, or don’t want to tackle alone and that’s valid.

It’s okay to need or want help.

It doesn’t lessen your personal power—you’re still doing the work, you still must face those Shadows and Demons, and traumas, no matter if someone walks with you, they can’t do the deep Plutonian work for you.

“You can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink” comes to mind.

We can show you the way, but we can’t do the work for you.

The choice is always, always yours.

The power is always yours.

I have a love/hate relationship with the word “healer”.

What does it even mean?

Does it mean this person is superior?

*ego talking here*

“No one rules over me! Ahhh!”

*raises fists*

But, seriously, sarcasm aside, what does it mean to be a healer?

For me, as I have grown on my path, grown as a person, as a practitioner and shed my skin only to truly enter my skin, I have realized I am a healer, and superior to no one.

My experiences allow me to be a buffer for people to bounce ideas off; they can look to me, and others like myself, and say, “they made it through the darkness, they immerse themselves in Shadow Work, and I can, too.”

Maybe someone needs me to hold their hand while we navigate the dark together, maybe they need my torch to help them find their way, or maybe they need me to help them ignite their own torch by reminding them of their inherent personal power.

Pluto 2

The Plutonian Healer is the dark mirror embodied: we reflect deep abysmal truths.

Just like some healers (and people) find comfort in the blissful energy of light and love, I find comfort in the depths of darkness, mysteries and shadows.

I don’t “heal” in any kind of traditional manner.

I take people on a journey to the Underworld.

I exist in the shadows, inside liminal spaces so that I may understand them better and pass the lessons along. Again, not doing the work for anyone, but being a guide, a map, a path, a light in the dark.

A torchbearer.

And in these times of unrest, unknowns and uncertainties, it’s more important than ever for people to understand not only their own darkness, but the darkness of the collective.

With so many focusing on love and light, things have become unbalanced and it’s time to reign the darkness back in by understanding it better; thus, mastering it.

And, the only way to understand it is to journey through it.

Remember, you are the light, it is the darkness that you seek.

Lux in Tenebris

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.