Realizations and Contemplations

I was reading Jung and the Lost Gospels ( S.A. Hoeller) the other night, chapter 6, Errant Wisdom~The Myth of Sophia ; Introduction: Gnosis,Metaphor and Myth.
I had one of those ‘moments’. You know, the type that cause an almost audible ‘click’ of recognition.
In the craft we did rituals to celebrate the Sabbats, and there are rituals to bring about desires/magic, but it just really didn’t work for me. It felt more like dress up. It was fun, and sometimes I got a real feeling of energy (possibly from dancing in circles while chanting… kind of a head rush), but because I did not feel a real call to a particular pair of deities, I had a hard time visualizing who it was I was invoking and why.
When I decided to find out where our rituals came from, I realized that much of what we do is from the origin of hermetic societies. In fact, it is so similar that I would say it’s in many ways like a ‘Reader’s Digest Condensed Version’.
I had always wondered why we had the female represented on the left of the altar, usually by a black candle (north side when altar faces east) and the male represented on the right side of the altar, usually by a white candle (south side when altar faces east). Then, saw some Golden Dawn and O.T.O temple pictures in a book that showed two pillars. One mainly black to the North of the altar, and one mainly white to the South of the altar. And I learned that the Pillar of Severity was Feminine, North, Black…. and learned that the Pillar of Mercy was Masculine, South, White. Hmm… as a friend of mine pointed out, the Wiccan altar is akin to a ‘Temple on a Table’ (Hermetic Temple). Also interesting is that in Wicca we are instructed always to do a banishing earth pentagram . Is this why it was called ‘Earth Based?’ Anyone can read an abundance of literature on ceremonial magic, and see that the Banishing and Invoking Earth pentagram is in part the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram. But rather than calling on the Angelic Beings of the Higher Realms, and invoking the different names of the Divine, we call upon the earthly elements, and their earthly-realm gaurdians…It’s like all Craft rituals were done in the realm of Malkuth. It makes sense when one realizes that many of the things witches do in ritual is material based magic. Love, money, health, etc. All things on an earthly plane. Celebration of the seasons – also earth based. I understand now why I felt that I was not transcending. I was rooting myself in only an earthly realm, using earthly symbols and literal interpretation of those symbols.
At one point, about a year or two ago, I started to see the wheel of the year as reflections of my inner self. I no longer saw myself as looking at the elements in a literal sense, but rather instead how they triggered the reaction of those aspects of me which they related to.It was just something not really taught in the books I read as a beginner, and for some reason, although we are TAUGHT (and I understood) the correspondences, I really did not internalize it as an ‘as above so below’. If you look at how the Craft is taught to people, it really lacks the structure of the same Hermetic Societies who originally constructed these things into the rituals they are. Perhaps because Gardner had this information as ‘fragmented’, in his own words. Bits from here, other bits from there. It LOOKED nice, it was FUN, and even provided an arena for personal exploration in a possibly more relaxed atmosphere than the Hermetic societies. A Ceremonial Magic ‘Light’….. so to speak. But also lacking was a real sense of ‘WHAT is this for?’
Even at Hermetic.com in fact, it lists Gardnerian Witchcraft as an offshoot of the Golden Dawn. G.D. and other Hermetic Societies look at these rituals as a way of Trascendence. A way of connecting oneself to their higher-self , becoming ‘More human than human’ (much more than that really, but I don’t have the knowledge or time at the moment to really get into what it’s all about) Much has been written about how much or how little of Gardnerian Wicca was based on information from Crowley, and from Gardner’s association with the O.T.O. So it makes sense that so much of Gardner’s rituals sound like a simpler version of Ceremonial Magic However, at the time of starting my Witch’s path, I didn’t know this. I had no knowledge of Ceremonial Magic, and instead thought I was following a Religion of Olde. A Goddess Religion. Love, and Peace, and Gaia etc etc….
When I found that I needed more than that path could provide, and started looking into Gnosticism, I found two deities that I had ‘known’ all along, but was not aware of in a concious sense. Sophia and Jesus. And when they are given a place on my altar, in my ‘Temple on a Table’, and I love them within myself, as well as in the realm in which they dwell (as within, so without), it brings about a WHOLE new relationship with the Divine.
Wow, what a ramble this has turned into. I have no idea if it will even make it off my wordpad and onto the blog.
Anyhow… to sum it up. I fell in love with the ritual of the Craft, but wasn’t sure why. I knew there was something deeper in it calling me. I could not identify with the Pagan deities, but I knew there was a meaning behind it all. I felt like I was playing dress up and role playing, without realizing why (other than celebration of the seasons) we were really making such a big deal of it all. A nice ritual without a real understanding of why things were the way they were.
Then I learned about Gnosticism, and then I began reading about Qabalah, and hermetics…. the Pillars of Severity and Mercy, the Inner as the Outer. And finally, about WHY ritual plays such an import and profound part of becoming one with the Divine. With Gnosis. It’s not just about paying homage to your Goddess and God on the altar. It is about reliving an experience. As so wonderfully put (in my opinion) below, by +Stephan A. Hoeller:

“Experience turned into myth and myth turned inward as psychological self-knowledge: such is the grand movement of Gnosis on the plane of psychic reality. Yet, there is still a third component, which allows the myth to descend from the purely psychological to the material level of manifestation where it may impress not only the intuitive, thinking and feeling functions but also the function of sensation. This third element is valid ritual, possessing true meaning, which becomes the dramatization or “playing out” of the myth in plain view of the senses. The considerable concern of the Gnostics with sacramental ritual attests to the important role played by the ritualization of myth in the above-noted movement of Gnosis. It is also here in the nature of this movement of Gnosis that we may graphically apprehend the great difference separating such mainstream traditions as Judaism, non-Gnostic Christianity, and Islam, on the one hand from the alternative tradition of Gnosticism on the other.
The tendency of the mainstream traditions is to turn the initial experience into dogma and commandment through the intermediary agency of historically interpreted holy scriptures, which usually appear as stories with a moral. The tendency of the alternative tradition is to move from initial experience to an expression of the experience in myth, and from there to the ritual playing out of the myth into fully perceptible physical manifestation, from whence proceeds the withdrawal of the images into the Self, thus opening the way to original and primal experience once more.”
-+Stephan A. Hoeller:Jung and the Lost Gospels , p102-103.

Well, that’s about enough writing for today!

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>A Myth

>From the Divine~

The Divine is beautiful, strong, eternal.

The Divine is life and death, male, female, spirit and soul.

The Divine is all of us.

The Myth:

In the beginning, there was the Divine One. Love in it’s purest form.

In order to increase in strength, the Divine took two aspects of itself, male and female, and sent them outward to the universe, to the earth upon which we dwell.

She became the earth and the water.

He became the air and the fire.

She became Goddess. He became God.

They are called by many names. They are The Great Mother and Father,Lord and Lady, Goddess and Horned God, as well as a myriad of names given to them by different people from different places at different times.

The Goddess manifested herself through the all that grows from the earth and waters. She receives her warmth from the air from God , and God also moves her from below, as the fires under her.

God is apparent in his solar form, which he governs. This heats the earth and helps Her life to spring forth. Goddess is apparent as the lunar form, which she governs. She uses the moon to move her waters and to create mystery. Her coolness helps to temper the heat from the sun.

Goddess instills in us emotions and ideas, and God helps to propel those, to bring those thoughts into action.

Reflections:

Sometimes for some people, Goddess is not as evident as God because she is everywhere. She is everything we walk on, eat, touch and feel…she is SO present that often mankind has neglected to remember her. It is easy to recognize God …we look to the sky above and see the sun…we forget that it is HER which we stand on to see this.

As we envision our Lord and Lady, as we create them in physical form in our mind, we are able to direct love and admiration and respect toward them. When we send them this love, it goes straight to the Divine. Which strengthens the Divine and in turn strengthens us.

We are all part of the Divine. We are created by divinity. When we send love to the Divine through the manifestation of the God and Goddess, we are sending love to ourselves. When we invision our Lord and Lady in the form we are comfortable with, it is easier for us to communicate with them and therefore communicate with the divine.

We can even take the energy we send to our Lord and Lady and use it to direct at an intention we have in order to create change for ourselves. As in magic..

God and Goddess are in us all. When we honour them, we honour ourselves.

When we honour the earth, and the air and the fire and water, we honour those spiritual characteristics of ourselves. We build the divinity within.

Just something I wrote a while ago, not too long before I discovered Gnosticism.
For me now, I realize that the Supernal Mother, whom I could never name before has always been Sophia for me. Christ, the Logos, as the Supernal Father. Both emanated from the Great Divine. The Pleroma.

So much discontent

In an age that offers us so much, there sure is a lot of dissatisfaction. I’m not old comparitively speaking, but I do remember the dial phone, and the novelty of the microwave and the first VCR’s. Wired remotes for tv’s with switches rather than buttons…I remember cordless phones that cost hundreds of dollars with foot long antennae. Cartoons only on in the mornings, Mon-Saturday, and then on Sundays we were stuck watching old Robin Hood and Spiderman.
So much has progressed.
Yet it seems that it has only fed our hunger for more.
I was reading in Stephen Hoeller’s Gnosticism today about our addiction for knowlege. The Information Age.
It got me to thinking about something else that I had been contemplating for some time.
We get online and have access to so much information, and misinformation. This (mis)information is so easy to come by. You can pick one topic that you want to find out more about, Google it, and come up with thousands of places on the net that can offer you almost as many different definitions, and opinions.
I am thankful for the internet, because I do not think I would have found myself where I am if I had not had the good chance to stumble upon some great sites that introduced me to people I would have not likely met up with by coincidence alone. Living in an area that I am, there is not a huge opportunity to meet others who are interested in Gnosticism.
I have met others, asked questions, been given helpful guidance, learned about the Nag Hammadi, and much more.
However, it has also taken the place in many circumstances of good old fashioned ‘Get out there and figure it out!’
The internet has also become a place for people to rally together and really get the Anti ‘this’ or Pro’this’ messages out.
This brings me to my next thought. Us and Them. Pro and Anti.
Often I feel like they are both on the same side.
It isn’t the cause itself. Obviously there are many situations where this has been needed. Lobbying for children’s safety, gay rights, race equality, etc., is all very necessary. But it goes a bit further.
Let’s take for example the H1N1. I won’t share my personal opinion here, because it doesn’t matter.
Pro- vaccine people feel they are making the right choice.
Anti-vaccine people feel they are making the right choice.
We will assume that they have spent time reading internet sites on this matter.
People that don’t research it, and just go ahead and do or don’t vaccinate without the label Pro or Anti probably aren’t the ones who sat on the net reading and debating it all. I am referring here to those who label themselves.
Pro vaccine people think that the Anti vaccine people are just giving in to the fear mongering and conspiracy theorists online.
Anti vaccine people think that the Pro people are just blindly following the hidden agenda by our corrupt governments.
Yes, this is much over generalizing, but I’m only trying to make a point with this. I did not conduct a poll or anything.
Being for or against can take it’s toll on friendships, or can stop new ones from arising. Both parties are SURE that they are correct and both parties can back up their claims by simply adding a link to a site within their message or email. Or both parties can print out literature from sites showing statistics that will further their own convictions.
This is not limited to H1N1, but expands to include many other controversies.
I can’t help but feel, as I said earlier, that both sides are governed by the same figurehead.
That which governs our world of illusions.Our mythical Demiurge. The System.
When people feel torn this way or that, they are left weakened. Or, if they already have formed a strong pro or anti stance, they often feel an obsessive need to enlighten everyone else. Focus gets turned away from our inner spiritual self and instead gets directed at this world of form, trying to right wrongs and change opinions.
In small doses, this is ok. But if we let it become who we are, we lose ourselves.
It reminds me of a passage that I was refamiliarized with today when reading Hoeller’s Gnosticism. In The Apocalypse of Peter, at Jesus’ crucifixion Peter says to Jesus “Lord, no one is looking at thee.” Jesus replies, “I have told you:Leave the blind alone”.
Is it so hard to look past all of the discontent, and controversy and remain true to our destiny? Not to ignore it, but to acknowledge it and move on?
Is the end of suffering not more about transcending this world of form?
We do what we can do to add beauty and love to the world around us,starting from square one. Our Self. But when it begins to turn into a battle of Us and Them, Pro and Con, For and Against, it seems that at that point, we have already lost. For by then we are caught up in the whirlwind of this realm, and swept away from our path.
As usual, only my own opinion, and not a reflection of Gnostics in general. I am not a voice for Gnosticism. Just a voice for myself, and the journey that this Self is on.

New Salve

Today I had fun with herbs 😀

I  made a wonderful salve for wounds. (some salves, such as those with comfrey or arnica, can not be used on broken skin). This salve has the healing, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-biotical properties of St. John’s Wort, Goldenseal, Myrrh,& Plantain. Good to have on hand for cuts, scrapes, anything that breaks the skin.The ingredients have properties which disinfect and help heal.

Tomorrow’s salve is St.John’s & Comfrey for bruises, sprains, superficial burns, blisters, (non broken), mild dermatitis. Comfrey is known to draw out inflammation and St.John’s is said to work wonderfully on almost all skin troubles. (of course, if you have allergies to these herbs, don’t use them)

I got the labels made up today.. typed them out one handed while Demetrio fussed and fidgeted. I sure hope they’re ok! lol

I also had to make up new business cards with the .com addy and new email.

I’m so tired. I think I’m going to have a granola bar then try to snooze a bit before Demetrio wakes up to nurse.

I will post pictures of the new salves tomorrow.

Blessings!

Saturday Morning

A nice, lazy rainy day.

I woke up feeling quite positive and cheery this morning. Perhaps the lack of sleep making me giddy?

I really like Saturdays because Friday, although Akashik is home from work, he is busy doing the StupidStore shop, and whatever else needs to be done outside the home. Saturday is a true ‘at your own pace’ kind of day. Work is still two days away, no rush to get work/school clothes washed… no planning lunches . Akashik can play with Dante all day, allowing me time to enjoy one on one time with our little Demetrio.

I planted some Safflowers on Thursday, and our Calendula is growing so nicely in the egg carton on our window sill. The falling rain allows me to sit and daydream about gardening without having to actually DO any of it. lol… I can just plan, and think. I want to grow beans, tomatoes, peas, perhaps zucchini? I want to do mainly container growing to help reduce the chance of the cats using the soil as a litterbox.

Our calendula will be in containers most definitely. I use the calendula in my salves . Our Angelica is already getting quite bushy. It seems to have ignored the fact that a dusting of snow had fell only recently.

I really feel the energy of the earth.

Presence of the Lady in the rain that falls and in the quickening of life all around.

I feel the presence of the Lord in the lengthening days, the warmth in the air.

I have always loved the two changes in the year- light into dark at Autumn… the dark into light in Spring. The outward spiral is in full swing, and I’m feeling particularly caught up in it today.

Now, I’m off to eat some bacon!

The Wheel of the Year & Magickal Workings of the Elements

When discussing the relation of the cardinal directions to the

elements in regards to magickal workings, it is important first to

discuss the elements themselves and their relative properties.

The following elemental properties are generally accepted as being

correct in the Wiccan community with likely personal variations,

additions, or omissions.

Earth

Earth is thought to represent that which is stable, dependable

physical and solid. It relates to abundance, wealth, and prosperity.

If one is wanting to bring financial gain their way, they may use the

element of Earth to help bring this about. Earth is also considered

The Great Mother.

Fire

Fire rules passion, will, change, sexuality, energy, healing, sexual

aspects and purification. Fire is also used in magick to banish

negative habits. Fire is Masculine.

Water

Water is the element of the subconscious mind. It is used in

Purification, and also in healing, (as is Fire) but in addition , water

Deals with love and the emotions, wisdom and clarity. Water is

often used in magick for fertility, dreaming, love friendship and

psychic ability. Water is feminine.

Air

Air is the element of intellect, thoughts, communication, the

sciences and is the first step to creation. Air is used in such

magickal workings as changing certain thought patterns, improving

communications at work or creating change. If it was not for Air, we

would not exist. Air is masculine.

Now to relate this to the Wheel of the Year and the directions.

Below is a Wheel of the Year with some correspondences. This

Wheel of the year was made in order to show how the time of the

day can be used in establishing the relative ‘feel’ of the Sabbat.

Take note that where the Solstices and Equinoxes are positioned,

they lie directly above the merging of the Male/Female elements ,

whereas the Sabbats that sit at the Cardinal points are governed by

one main aspect, either male or female.

circle2crpd21
Many Witches feel that Samhain marks the beginning of the New

Year. It is the beginning of the Dark Half of the year. For this

reason, it is placed in the North. Samhain represents one of the two

times of the year that the veils between the realms of man and the

spirit realm are at their thinnest. If it were to be represented on a

clock, it would be 9:00pm. A time of the day when all has recently

darkened. The light of the descended sun offers little warmth and

encourages no growth. Sabbats themselves start at dusk, the night

before, and so does the year start at Samhain.. a relative 9:00pm.

The most evident element at this time of the year is Air. That which

Moves and creates change. The air at this time holds a definite

charge of energy. There is a spiral inward, but not in a physical

sense (as in the myths that tell of the descent into the underworld),

rather it is a spiritual journey.

As we envision the Lord of Misrule in the underworld, and no life

growing above, we can feel the masculinity of this Sabbat. Unlike

the common notion in many books such as The Witches Bible by

Janet and Stewart Farrar , or Earth Power by Scott Cunningham

(just to name a few), North does not seem to represent Earth when

put in this context with the Sabbats.

This becomes more apparent as we pass Yule (at Midnight) and

move into the East. At 3:00am. Imbolc. For although all is dark,

there is an unmistakable vibrational hum under the earth. And it

feels as it would at 3:00am. The earth is dark, but we know that the

light is just beyond the horizon of the earth. In that frame of

thought, it seems only proper that this should be the home of Earth.

After all, it is in the direction of East, and Imbolc, that the earth is

once again awakening in preparation for the new growth. In many

parts, crocuses pop up at this time, and ice begins to give way to

muddy banks, and the smell of the slowly reviving earth is

abundant. This is a time of the Goddess. It is a feminine direction,

and Earth governs not only Imbolc, but Ostara as well.

Ostara represents 6am. The light, although slight, and gentle, is

upon us. Day is beginning. The Spring Equinox feels very feminine

as well, much like Imbolc. And so it seems right to have both those

sabbats ruled by the feminine aspect of earth.

Continuing to the South, we arrive at Beltaine. Beltaine Fires, the

traditional beginning of Summer, and the marker of the beginning of

the Light Half of the year. This feels most definitely a time of the

God. A masculine time. On a clock it would represent 9:00 am.

It is directly opposite of the 9:00 pm that Samhain represents.

The height of the morning sun, the full promise of the day to come.

(or the light half of the year to come). Once again, the veils between

the realms are thin at this time. As at Samhain, Air has no physical

substance, neither does Fire in the South, at Beltaine. A time of

change, Dark passes into Light.

We then arrive at Litha, at Noon. Opposite Yule at Midnight. Much

akin to mid-day, the Sun is at its peak. Mid-summer it is called, so it

seems appropriate that it would be equal to mid-day. Although the

day light hours are at their longest at this sabbat, the sun is not

necessarily at its hottest. Much like a summer day. The sun,

although at its peak at noon, is not as scalding as it is at 3:00pm.

And we arrive into Lughnasahd at 3:00pm. West. Although the

daylight hours are slowly growing shorter, the sun can be relentless

at this time. It is however, a time of the Goddess, because we are

journeying inward. The sun rose over the earth in the East and is

now beginning to set into the water in the West. The first harvest is

upon us, and the blessings of the fruitful union of Lord and Lady are

abundant. Introspection is beginning. Even though the sun is still

hot, the days are shorter and soon the rains will fall.

When Fire met up with Water at Lughnasahd, the natural

consequence of Steam is produced. Hot and moist. It carries us

into 6:00pm, and Mabon, or the Autumnal Equinox.

The Autumnal Equinox, our second harvest, is a time of darkening

days. It is 6:00pm. The Spiral Inward is increasing . We reflect on

the year past. Did we do all we needed to? Did we accomplish all

that we intended?

The steamy vapour of the meeting between Fire and Water is

evaporating and rising up and turning once again to Air. At 9:00pm,

Samhain, the point at where it all started.

Now, based on the Wheel of the Year, and the positioning of the

Sabbats, it is easier to see how the elements can be worked with in

a complimentary way.

For example, Earth Magic at Imbolc or Ostara. Drawing up energy

from the earth and using that energy to focus and send our intent

into seeds which we plant into pots of soil.

If one is to recognize that the female aspect of Earth is the

governing element at this time, it can have powerful effects.

One may even use Earth Magic at this time of the year in different

Esbats as well, to further utilize the full spectrum of the feminine

Earth energy during the period from Imbolc to Ostara.

Generally the Sabbats are seen as celebratory, while the Esbats

are seen as correct for magickal workings. But the Esbats during

the certain elemental period can reflect upon the ruling element.

Earth magick at the Esbats from Imbolc-Ostara, and Fire magick at

the Esbats from Beltaine to Litha. Water Magick from Lughnasahd

to Mabon and Air Magick from Samhain to Yule.

Of course, it may be that during the period of the element of Fire,

one may feel the need to do magickal workings for money or

prospertity. This of course is thought of as being more appropriate

for Earth Magick. Green candles, etc. Well, this can still be done,

but also try to use the Fire energy, maybe banish negative luck that

is interfering with prosperity. Destroy negative thinking patterns

that are causing us to send out negative energy into the universe

and therefore possibly causing us to receive it back. Focus on

bringing about change to financial situations. Still burn a green

candle, but perhaps burn a red one as well. Pay attention to and

honour the time of year we are at.

During the elemental season of Water, if you were wanting to

increase your prosperity, rather than using Earth Magick, one can

use Water Magick to increase your psychic abilities to help make

you more aware of ways to increase your financial potential. One

could use Water Magick in a purification ritual to cleanse

themselves or rid themselves of financial burden. One could

meditate on a bowl of water, with herbs in it that are appropriate for

financial gain and invision themselves in image, in that bowl of

water, being successful, or finding money.

During the elemental season of Air, one could use Air Magick to

gain prosperity by using smoke from incense and invisioning

change of financial situation or improving our thought process so

that we may find a way out of our situation.

We can tie in our magickal workings this way to not only draw on

the energy of the element we most commonly associate with what it

is we need, but by also factoring in the sabbatical time of year.

What element is the season in? What additional correspondences

can one draw from to make this magick work?

That is where it is important to make sure that our elements work

for us with our directions. And because our directions fit in with our

Wheel of the Year and the Sabbats, it makes sense to use the

combined magickal energy of all three of these things. Wheel of the

Year, Elements and the directions.

With keeping these things in mind, our magickal workings are

bound to be even stronger. Infused with our conscious thought of

incorporating all our correspondences of Elements, Directions, and

Wheel of the Year into our Magickal workings at Esbats, our

magickal potency can soar to new

heights.