Post retrogrades and whatnot, it honestly pays to have a solid practice that works. I look at old journals, I watch the world around me, and we are always on the precipice of a potential personal or social hemorrhage. It’s despairing, and it is what it is for many reasons: Oppression of marginalized people, people of color, white supremacy, over culture religious wars and persecution by radicals; persecution by your own community for not keeping to a purism; monetary elites, capitalism (a bastard of colonialism), and now the ugly faces of nazi’s and toxic whiteness rising up.
That’s a call for medicine, possibly surgery, and ultimately transformation. That requires conscious, centered, practice. I am reminded daily how the Radical, the arcing-fire is neutral, and the moral ground upon which people stand to use it can be ambiguous, even to the user. Radical isn’t good, it’s just radicalism. The being and intention, however tight or wobbly, dictate the moral nature of the fire.
I think all of this news, media, capitulating, rage, hate, violence, floods, disasters for me is a calling into my paths with integrity, and a period of temperance as what I practice is put to the forge of life. Was it well constructed, or was it only dream, hope, or paper ideas? Does it burn and become strong, or does it burn to ash?
I am and have been connected to Buddhist practices and the Buddhas. I feel I have a good relationship with them. I work with Buddhists in magick, in sessions at home and around the area. They know me as Witch, and I know them and their practices and beliefs and we find common ground. That’s the beautiful nature of spiritual practice, and a foundation piece on community building and conflict resolution.
I sometimes encounter the assumption that the practice is only valid if it’s Yoga, or Buddhism, or some meditation + breathwork + energy work that is currently accepted as relevant = the only way.
I also encounter this purism mentality, often carried through in new age or current meme-magick, manifestation / abundance population that derives from top-down spiritualities, that the earth, desire, sensation, etc is the bottom and somewhere out there, in more pure lands is the perfected world. It’s ascension, it’s the many faces of asceticism, it’s a kind of spiritual cosmology. It’s not exactly where I am coming from. I believe the earth and the physical world is the most “spiritual” and thus the reason we are here. To say that one is more relevant than another, say gnostic, Kabbalistic or Witchcraft practices, versus Christianity is just a deeper prejudice and part of the problems we have to day; and ultimately untrue. Some are are culturally accepted as norms. They are popularized globally, and good, and they are healthy practices; and so are the magickal paths, so this can also include Witchcraft.
Because all practice is good if the practice deepens your knowledge of self, world, and the relational nature of our beings in the body of this big seeming infinity that is the Divine Femme, Goddess.
However contemplative practice has many forms and faces. Dance, movement, and dreamwork can be engaged as practice, as well other less popular forms like Divine Intoxication, Sex (sometimes we say Tantra, but the etymology of Tantra is Stretch + Loom, Groundwork, Doctrine). Look deep into the Craft of Magick, it’s all about union, just maybe not with the God/dess as you grew up with or were taught to know.
In magick my philosophy is all is magick, in Witchcraft as a Practice it is from the eye of the Raven, that we can look past the popular and through the over-culture to see many things. We can dare to tread in places where others may have been before, forgotten paths. We can know these spaces and our practice is entry into the Otherness, creating relationship in those spaces, finding kinship in diversity, and emerge with an uncommon gnosis through trance, rapture, silence, or congress with Spirit, or spirits!
I know this is my take on it, but it is the one that has emerged as I have scavenged for the truth.
Magick is everything so I call it what it is, and witchcraft is a deep practice of engagement, and not just a trend. Although I’m surely happy to see it is trending because it’s entering the overculture in big ways, and that says something about the ego of the collective.
Maybe I am digressing a little here, because Witchcraft is part of my practice; And what has come up as a point of reference in the last 3–4 weeks as how stable I have become in life’s wobbles because I continue to engage and deepen what serves.
- delving inquiry
- practice points that serve to dive and emerge
- points of reference in those journeys
- Magick! and desirable tools (desire cab be a good thing in magick, it has place, it has message, and it can be enjoyed)
- an emergent stability that comes of any dedication to path with good tools
- and how stark those without it feel and are — and I’m careful here because this can easily fall into a blame or condemnation space within oneself; that this is just observation that speaks to myself about where I am at.
- the ability to discern not judge
- the ability to own, and to call out, not blame
- and most importantly to stand in some of the machinery of the world, the tides and times, the life and dark, wax and wane, and see my path, allies, purpose…. with love.
“Practice.” You already have one, it may look like a habit. That’s a great starting place because it may have powerful and useful grooves that you can coopt into something useful. Don’t throw away, reinvent. Just know you have the ability to have one, because in some way you are already engaged, even if not consciously in the mechanic.
Take that and read, explore, engage. Go find a teacher, any teacher that is stable and healthy for you, in the tradition (old or emergent) that you desire. Engage it. Every day. And reap these and many other benefits.
Because when things wobble or go retrograde, you will need it. Because every day it will improve your successes at the life you desire and deserve. Because every day it can help you come into the real reason for your activism, truth, experience, and self-full-ness.
Because we are in a time of invention, of new paths and breaking down walls, and practice is everything if you want to make that happen.