I have fond memories of the countless hours I poured into content for this website during October-December of 2020. It was such an obsession and I was working hard towards the goal of being ready to teach online tarot classes. I had eight decks selected for the year to really focus on. Tarot Esoterica podcasts were going to happen every week. Esoteric Tarot Lessons were going to happen twice a month.
The really good news is that I haven’t lost my passion for esoteric tarot. I’m still spending quite a bit of time reading, writing, and listening to others about tarot-based topics every day. There has just been a couple of big changes.
For two months, I’ve been going to the gym/swimming pool on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. This is a 3 hour outing. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ve been going to the dermatology clinic downtown for UV light therapy in a big tank. This is a 2-3 hour outing. I’ve lost weight, I’ve shrunk a clothes size, I’m in better physical health.
I’ve also weathered through a complete depression side of my normal Bipolar 2 cycle in weeks vs. months this spring. I’ve dealt with some unexpected arthritic pain developing in my wrists, gotten a beautiful King Charles Cavalier spaniel named Sissy, and managed to keep up (mostly) with daily social media on Twitter (as the Loracular), Facebook (as Laurel to ~100 friends and family). There have been consistent posts from me at both Cult of Tarot and Tarot,Tea & Me – including a personal journal at CoT devoted to deep delving into Qabalistic Tarot by doing some critical analysis of specific authors and texts so far, but paving the way to start writing up something major of my own.
What I haven’t been doing is teaching tarot in lesson format to others. I’ve also really slowed down on getting Tarot Esoterica episodes written, recorded, and posted. Those morning hours now devoted to being out of the house are one of the biggest factors to that. Tarot Esoterica #14 script has been written for over a week but I just haven’t found a good window to record it, when I have the quiet, privacy, and spoons all at the same time to make it happen.
My current plan, however, is to make a huge push over the next 28 days to get a lot of Tarot Esoterica done and finish off the series specifically on Eliphas Levi’s Doctrine & Rituals of High Magic done dramatically fast, starting with some heavy lifting on it tomorrow.
And then, rather than tackling Wirth or Waite or Crowley, I’m going to instead jump to Dion Fortune and the Mystical Qabalah and then modern authors who’ve published books on Qabalistic tarot since the 1980s forward.
The Pride Tarot articles are going to end with the Major Arcana. Blog posts on more general tarot-flavored esoterica and psychoterica are going to become much more consistent come June.
At least that is the plan for now! I will take a look at things again around Samhain and make adjustments from there.
A month ago, snowstorms hit the US hard. What happened in Texas was a tragic failing of infrastructure due to greed and short-sightedness. Here in the Puget Sound, we simply shut down for a day or two as is the norm for snow/ice in the Seattle metro area. We don’t get it very often and its safer and saner to just wait it out when possible. This time that was easy.
But the cold and snow brought with it some serious fibromyalgia and arthritis/joint issues for me. I’ve never really been the same since. However, I just successfully completed the end of 2 WEEKS of going to the gym/swimming pool. I’ve been losing weight, I’ve been active outside the house, I’ve lost my fear/anxiety over using public transportation and I’ve been seeing the Law Of Attraction successfully at work in my life which fits with having recently completed listened to Mitch Horowitz’s The Miracle Club: How Thoughts Become Reality.
I have mixed opinions about the Law of Attraction and “New Thought” in general and have skimmed enough of conversations to see where the controversy lies for me. I’m so anti-Guru Grifting, people making exploitive profits as life coaches/authors/seminar leaders. I don’t consider Mitch Horowitz one at all. He’s just a talented magician and author who I eagerly read on Medium and I found his take on magic and magical thinking to fit very well with mine.
But running across that picture I posted above hit hard today. I know several people who are in fact keeping themselves sick/depressed through toxic though. I know several others who are actively seeking transformative change like me. Most people I know are in between.
I do believe there is something to the Law of Attraction, quite a bit actually. Its something I will write more about in the future. I am discovering in my own life that I’m calling to me all kinds of amazing but overwhelming things and I’m having to slow myself down as a content creator because I’ve got opportunities that didn’t exist a month ago to get myself swimming and medical treatment for some conditions I’ve been struggling with for decades. Spending 3-4 hours out of the house 5 days a week is exhausting in mostly good ways. Everything I’m doing while I’m out there? I ~asked~ the universe to provide for me and to make affordable and it did. But it sure means less time at my computer, reading and writing.
… that might not be such a terrible thing though, in terms of the alchemy of my personal Great Work. So long as I don’t lose focus and momentum and things continue to unfold on this website and with the podcast and such. That is the biggest risk right now. One of my worst flaws is following a single passion obsessively to the detriment of the other aspects/interests in my life.
Words cast spells. I need to keep my words sincere and directed towards positive change in me and mine.
Mage the Ascension is one of the World of Darkness TTRPGs which helped shaped the paradigm of 25-35 year old me well beyond roleplaying. There was a great deal about it that I didn’t enjoy about MtA when sitting around a table, dicing with friends or typing in-character posts inside a roleplaying chat room. However, when it came to applying its metaphors and arcane theorycraft to how magick actually worked? Some of it was pretty good, I thought at the time. I still do.
One of the most useful things that MtA teaches about the efficacy of magick – aka the success in creating your intended effect through the application of True Will upon a situation via a personalized rite or ritual- is your success in overcoming Consensus.
MtA is just a game about mage politics and hubris in a reality that can be much more definitively shaped by True Will than our actual one. However, it uses Consensus as a gatekeeper over what the PCs and NPCs can successfully accomplish.
Mages know that all humans shape the world with their wills, but Sleepers do so unconsciously – reality is what the majority of people believe it to be. For any individual willworker to work magic, he must force his belief on the world, fighting the billions of minds whose beliefs shape the Consensus. – White Wolf Wiki
There is a lot of nuance to The Consensus and there’s a war over it going on in the United States these days. A war that looks like it is only going to become more vicious and brutal from here. It wouldn’t be wrong, in fact, to use the MtA factions as a metaphor for #BLM and QAnon as examples. Just about every ideological truth of one is repudiated by the other and both are fighting hard to seize control of the Consensus. Alt-Left and Alt-Right are convinced that the leaders of the opposing side are fascists who will destroy everything sacred and precious. Everyone outside of their own paradigm is either crazy or simply calculatingly exploitive.
I’m pretty biased myself towards #BLM and a world where a progressive, humanitarian, environmentally-sustaining ideology becomes the Consensus. I find it daunting as a psychoteric magician to apply rituals and workings towards this cause. I also feel a Calling from something beyond my own singular consciousness to do so. However, I think the most practical and successful way to create magickal change is to focus on the macrocosm vs. the microcosm. When your own Self is what you are throwing into the alchemical crucible and putting through all the stages of tempering into a Magnum Opus, you have a whole more control over the environment. The only “believers” you have to get into agreed ideology are the dwellers in your own psyche.
However, that is a whole lot harder than it sounds.
One of my favorite new spelunkers of the psyche is Anne over at ThirdEve. who wrote a very good article on Jung’s Model of the Psyche a few years ago. One of the big takeaways from it is:
“The Self can only be seen through images we call archetypes such as hero, king, queen, wise old man, orphan, savior, divine couple, etc. in dreams, myths, fairytales, and the like. When a person is at an impasse developmentally, it is through trying to break through to the hidden life of the unconscious that she may find the way to her true Self.”
One of my personal truths is that within the self we don’t have a singular archetype to draw on, but at least sixteen of them (The MBTI archetypes). Then there are our individualized inner demons, qlippothic or shadow archetypes that serve the Adversary Within. This would create 32 archetypal voices in my personal paradigm for the psyche: gasp just like there are 32 paths of Wisdom in QBL philosophy!
If you view your inner Self as a chorus of competing spin doctors, each wanting to establish dominance over what you feel and how you behave? You can appreciate why, even magicians and mystics, have so much challenge in making meaningful, sustainable self-change. One of the benefits of being a life-long “gamer”, however, is that attacking challenges and seeking creative solutions is sure a lot of fun.
Jung’s theory of psychological or personality types attempts to categorize people in terms of their primary mode of psychological functioning. I like the definition of psychological functioning being a person’s ability to make and achieve goals and it covers individual mental/emotional wellness, social skills, beliefs and behavior. There are sixteen personality types created by the MBTI questionnaire which I think can be very aptly applied to the sixteen court cards. The ~specific conventional names~ for these 16 personality archetypes don’t necessarily suit my tastes, especially for every deck I work with. But taking the general traits applied to each personality archetype and applying them to the Court Cards with whatever relateable archetype name best suits seems to be an incredibly powerful psychoteric tool.
Several different tarot authors including Mary K. Greer and Janet Riley have created systems that associate the 16 MBTI Personality types with the 16 Court cards. Each authors system does it a little differently. The system I use for matching was created by Linda Gail Walters who tragically died before her book Realms of Personality: The Jungian Personalities of the Tarot Courts was complete enough to be published. I work off a copy of an article she had published on her website circa 2012. Her website is down but it and this article are still available via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. I have merely taken Linda’s work and adopted it into my own, finding her associations more compatible with how I do them than the work of others such as Mary K. Greer and Janet Riley who have published their own systems for matching the Court Cards and the MBTI Personality Archetypes.
I get the naming conventions for the MBTI Personality Archetypes used below from 16Personalities.com with one exception; I call ISTJ by The Analyst, not The Logistician.
Carl Jung introduced the concept of The Shadow as an element of human psyche. He taught that The Shadow consists of those parts of ourselves we subconsciously choose to repress or hide. We begin this process of stashing them under our metaphorical bed in childhood but they aren’t gone, only condemned to an internal netherworld where they shapeshift and become what I call our inner demons. Adversarial to our wellness, our inner demons- when left unacknowledged and untempered- surreptitiously turn us into own worst enemy. I will be writing a lot more about inner demons and how to successfully temper them throughout 2021.
Shadow Work is a collection of psychoteric techniques to temper The Shadow into a form where all those inner demons are discovered and slowly infused into a more sustainable, authentic, realistic self-perception and personality.
One of the popular Shadow Work techniques is using self-analyzing writing prompts to write in a daily journal. One of the people that I enjoy following on Twitter, Ashley N. Jackson@iamshwee published her own Shadow Work 31 Day Journal last month. I told her that I would use it myself (I’m now at Day 120 of keeping an active Tarot Journal- my longest success at that) for all 31 days, starting on Sunday the 17th. My weeks start on Sundays, end on Saturdays for completely personalized reasons 🙂
The 31 Days of Shadow Work Calendar
While the work itself is private, I’m going to list the Thoth tarot cards I drew each day in association with each of those prompts 🙂
Day One: Am I in love with illusions and fantasies or truths & realities?The High Priestess (Upright)
Day Two: Have I forgiven myself for my flaws, failures, and limitations?The Tower
Day Three: Do I live mostly in the past, present or future?Page of Swords (Reversed)
Day Four: Am I afraid of being alone? If so, what am I avoiding in myself? 8 of Swords Interference
Day Five: Do I easily allow myself to be happy or does it take a lot to make me happy? The Magus
Day Six: When I make a mistake, do I accept it or do I heavily judge and criticize myself?Knight of Wands
Day Seven: Do I tend to overload myself with other people’s burdens/pain?Queen of Swords
Thoughts So Far
Incorporating a daily Shadow Work prompt into my morning journaling fit in smoothly. I liked the way it provided a topic for me to write about. It was a perfect format for me to incorporate my personal card for the day into (which is separate from the one I do on Twitter for the Twitch streamer community).
I found the choice of topics (Love, Self-Love, Mindful, Solitude, Happiness, etc.,) to be interesting. If/when I make a calendar of my own, I would probably create just seven that would be in association with the classic planets + days of the week. This is just the occultist geek in me; there’s nothing wrong with the broader range of them that Ashley picked.
The questions themselves were well-scripted to be useful for a wide audience. I think they’d be perfect for someone who was just getting their first taste in doing shadow work journaling. I found myself on certain days using them as a launch pad for a deeper, harder question. For example, I absolutely let myself be happy and it doesn’t take a lot to put me there- and if that was true in 2020 despite the pandemic and everything else? Then I expect 2021 to be even more so (it is so far). But I was able to take that question and write about my gratitude to the life circumstances and special people that have brought above average happiness into my life over the last 2-3 years.
So I can say that so far? This 31 Day Shadow Work Calendar has been a rewarding experience. Best of all, it gave me the opportunity to delve a little into something psychoteric and blissfully apolitical for this blog, which I’m thrilled about. The days since the Inauguration have been so wonderfully normalizing. I want this trend to continue.
It has been a sad day for me. I got the news that Storm Constantine died yesterday after suffering from a long illness. She was someone I liked very much and who very much Found Herself at a -much- younger age than I did. Even if I was ambivalent about the Wraethu books in general, I loved how they explored sexuality and gender. I thought of Storm as part of my own generation (she’s a bit older than I realized) and certainly part of my “tribe”.
This is why I’m really glad that today’s random article from Medium was the 3 days old “The Neuroscience of Hate” by Dana G. Smith. It brushes on why I would consider someone I’d fallen out of touch with and even painfully forgotten about over the chaos of what was 2018-2020+ for me still part of my tribe.
Storm Constantine published her first novel when I was 18; by the time Wraethu was gathering a cult following among the goth & LGBT communities (there were fewer letters in our queer alphabet soup back then), I was deeply involved in the Puget Sound goth & LGBT communities. In my own fictional m/m writing, one of my protagonists had the first name Storm. The other had the surname Constantine. This was merely synchronicity but it made my brain focus sharper on any conversation or article or bookstand that had her name on it. My brain claimed those names and it claimed her and Wraethu was not exactly ~right~ for me, but I sure as hell was going to defend it against people detracting on her explorations into alternative sexualities and defend Storm and all she represented as an author from conservative sensibilities.
The same way Joe Biden was someone I didn’t identify as part of “mine” during his time as Vice President but after everything he’s endured from the ex-Potus and the Alt-Right, after he’s shown himself to be “presidential” in how my mind translates that word, in everything from his relationship with Dr. Jill Biden and his sons (living and dead) to his struggles with a stutter to his rescue dog Major to him being a biker, not a golfer… I have come to more than respecting my new-POTUS. I ~love~ him. Because he makes me think of West Wing the tv show. What I see when I look and hear him (which is perception-based and subjective) is a career politician with some checkered events in his past that I. as his supporter can brush off as “he’s grown up since then. He’s evolved.”
And I hope that is true. I will certainly be judging him by his actions and maybe that is the difference between someone with my character traits and someone in MAGA/QAnon. I might be ignorant of what someone has actually done or not done and I might believe things about their actions that aren’t true. But when I see any human being speak in the way that I’ve witnessed people like Donald Trump, Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Sen Josh Hawley, I don’t care what political party they belong to.
Being an actual Democratic Socialist and happy to claim the title of Antifa since I’m Anti-Fascism, I get annoyed at Alt-Right mislabeling anyone in the Democratic party as those things. I also get annoyed at people lumping everyone loyal to the GOP as MAGA/QAnon. Most people in my country are not DemSoc/Antifa — or MAGA/QAnon. They’re in the long, wide spectrum between.
My side has not attempted to kidnap and do Very Bad Things to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last October or killed two police officers and threatened the lives of countless people in the Capitol one week ago. My side believes that capitalism is inherently incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity. The other side believes that black people being treated as people as important as them is incompatible with the values of freedom, equality and solidarity. The other side… embraces the kind of hate-based totalitarian ideology that IS terribly, shockingly, like what I understand of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.
Reading Smith’s article was hard. It didn’t make me more angry at MAGA/QAnon than I already am. The only people who make me angrier at MAGA/QAnon on any given day than I am when I start reading the news or scrolling Twitter is a member of that ideology opening their mouth and attempting to communicate. I’m sure that what I have to say has the same effect on them.
But if hate can and should be defined as “Hate is a mixing of both intense dislike with moral contempt and disgust…” do I hate them?
… I don’t want to. Because I brand myself as anti-Hate. I have an extreme dislike for their behavior, their attitude, and what I hear them say. And I do get completely disgusted by fervently self-proclaimed Christians who have absolutely no adherence to the social conventions that Jesus in those four gospels espoused in just about everything he had to say.. Those conventions, you see, were about giving away your excess stuff and putting taking care of the less fortunate as a priority, healing the sick, protecting marginalized people from angry mobs, lobbying against corruption in Church and State… you know, all that wacky humanitarian stuff.
Trump is a qlipothic-aspected psychoteric magician. Qlipothic is magic for malicious and selfish purposes and calling it black magic is bad form. Its been too long and rough a day to talk about the Qlipoth tonight. Just know that they are a kabbalistic concept to explain why there is evil.
Smith wrote, “Finally, hearing hate speech, like the kind spouted by President Donald Trump, can increase prejudice toward an out-group and even prime the brain for violent actions.” She goes on to quote Arizona State University psychologist Arthur Glenberg who wrote in an article for The Conversation“Words themselves are enough to trigger simulations in motor, perceptual and emotional neural systems. Your brain creates a sense of being there: The motor system is primed for action and the emotional system motivates those actions.”
It is also to late to get into the metaphysics of language but I wrote some stuff for Tarot Esoterica episode 4 that I am going to shamelessly steal before the exhaustion wins.
Air is Yangyin and in alchemy, it is symbolized as an upright triangle with a line through the tip and given the traits of Hot and Wet. In astrology and tarot, air is associated with communication, hierarchies, information, and intellect. In my other projects, I talk a lot about psychoterica, mental alchemy and mind magic. Mystical, spiritual magic with a k comes from a place of fire. Psychoteric magic with a k comes from a place of air. They are just different sets of blocks in an occultist’s toy box just like there are these different suits of cards in a tarot deck.
For me, swords are the suit that expresses how information is transferred and when information transfer glitches and suddenly there’s a conflict either between people or within a single person’s mind. This would be a good place to talk about the Law of Mentalism but for today, I’m just going to mention it and encourage you to write it down and do some personal research.
Today, I didn’t make it to Medium. Instead, I read an article offered by a friend who listens to me babble about magick and psychoterica on my especially hyper-manic days. Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ Myth Reaches Its Catastrophic Conclusion by Paul Blumenthal is found on HuffPost which is actually more left than I like my news and commentary. I actually get my political news/commentary from The Hill, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and AllSides.
There was a specific reason this article was sent to me beyond my Rage For Democracy (and trust me, -if- it had been a Far Left group who did the same behavior on 1-6 I would call it terrorism and be just as engaged in seeing them torn asunder as a group and the perpetrators jailed). It was because this gets to the heart of Mind Magick and what can be done by a skilled Mental Magician or better still, a cabal of them.
I was -NOT- planning on going anywhere near the topic of the Trumps, MAGA/QANON with this blog. Heck, the whole reason I was waiting for 2021 to go live was to put the Trump era behind and focus on Biden-Harris USA and just stop giving the ex-Potus power by mentioning him/his name.
1-6 and the machinations before, after, and yet to come had to get in the way of my intentions. Lightning Hit The Tower. And so here I am, not at all ready to be wading forward into topics this complicated and messy. I wanted to be teaching the basics of occult philosophy in a way that fit for a 2020+ paradigm!! Helping novice tarot readers feel more confident in how to interpret cards and getting into theorycraft on self-development and interpersonal relationships, how to improve those without jumping into the consumerism of the Wellness and Pop Psychology Industry.
I was a 52 year old lady with a plan that was going to gently ease people into the topics near and dear to my heart. But no. Because I was intentionally blind to just how BAD things REALLY were. I’d spent 7 years pretty self-absorbed in my personal pain and pleasure (like most folks) and it had taken 2020 to wake me up, taken until mid September of 2020 for me to do more than watch, listen, think.
What is gut-wrenchingly important about this specific article listed above is what it has to say about political myths. Political mythology and the creation and belief in them is very psychoteric stuff. The creators of political mythologies are mental magicians. They craft a personal belief and project it in a way that it expands, person by person, to include an entire social group. As the belief expands, egregores develop. I am not sure I am capable right now of explaining what egregores are except they shape themselves accordingly to their creator’s emotional state: they take the form of what we truly love or fear- according to which state we are experiencing when we bring them into manifestation in the realm of mind-spirit.
I wasn’t even ready to start writing about mind-spirit and my take on the Qabalistic four worlds!
So…. MAGA/QAnon has a political mythology, an ideological narrative. So does #BlackLivesMatter. Political mythologies aren’t by themselves bad. Mental magicians (most of them would NEVER call themselves by this name; the most influential pundits are mental magicians by the Law of Association. What they do is a form of Mind Magick) can use their craft for activities that covered my the entire range of a human moral compass. -I- am a very altruistic mental magician and I am anti-grift and anti-excessive wealth, so I’d make a shitty celebrity or even book author. I advocate fabulously; I market poorly.
I was always Anti-Trump and what he represented as a wheeling-dealing businessman from my early adulthood on. I’m anti-billionaire. It wasn’t about him as a person, not even through his Art of the Deal era, not even during The Apprentice. And quite honestly? When he took office? I wanted to be wrong about him. But I was a little busy in 2015-2016 to fighting fibromyalgia, related health problems and the abject poverty that comes when suddenly you can’t work for a living and you are fighting the SSA system to get on SSDI. Nor could I have done anything about him and QAnon even if I wasn’t.
MAGA/QAnon had to actually perform their first overt act of terrorism for me to label them as terrorists. GOP legislators like Ted Cruz, Hawley had to step over the line of an ideology I despised to sedition against the democratically elected Biden-Harris. They all had to work together to attempt a coup on behalf of Donald Trump.
They had to take their mythology to a new level where they have become religious extremists like ISIS. Because that is what MAGA/QAnon has involved into. Not all Muslims supported Obama bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists and extremists. Far from it! Muslim extremists committed far more terrorism and war and murder on other Muslims than non-Muslims before and after 9-11. For all I know, they still are.
I have my own mythology to weave now, my own ideological narrative to build. I want to believe that mine will be actually true but I’m going to fight that hubris. Instead, I will focus on the idea that it is based on egalitarian principles, real ones.
So today’s Medium article is “The Psychology of The Magus” by Jennifer Moore which I discovered when I was looking for a picture of Magus #3 for my collection. That is the one I happened to draw for today, synchronicitly. I wasn’t able to read as carefully as I would have liked, my brain was too racing to get my own thoughts out about The Inner Magus and True Will and Weight Loss.
I have given myself the resolution to not eat grain-based food, candy, or soda for 2021. I started by giving them all up on December 26th. Today is Day 2 of 2021. I am not throwing myself at eating X number of calories, trying to balance my Protein-Carbs-Fats or any other food alchemy at this time. The ~only~ things I’ve established for myself are:
1. No grain-based foods, no candy, no soda 2. Potatoes and Legumes are my primary starches 3. I eat as much fresh produce as I can; condiments are okay.
I don’t know how much weight I will or won’t lose. I would LOVE to drop an entire 100 lbs. by my 53rd birthday (tomorrow is my 52nd birthday) but you know what? I have not, in all the years I’ve told myself “I will lose a hundred lbs. this year” come even close. I’ve lost 20, 30, even 40 lbs. over a 12 month period but always gained at least half of it back. Most years, keeping myself between 320-340 lbs. has been my biggest accomplishment.
I’m not doing it that way this time. My weight is currently 330 lbs. I’m at my average. But in 2021, I would ~like to~ lose at least 31 lbs. and I would ~like to~ feel what it’s like to be 299 lobs again. I ~plan to~ to get off my ass at least 3 times a day and take three short walks to get in at least 5,000 steps even on bad days.
But what I AM going to do, not simply hope for and plan for? I’m going to abstain and from grain-based foods (which include all cereals and baked goods and pasta), all candy, all soda.
Because this is my Will. This is my Directed Intention that I’m being and going to continue to be magickal about: I am stating to myself and the universe that I will not eat these foods with the self-understanding that what I really mean is that I will willfully and by intention not eat these foods and if I fuck up? Then I will willfully and by intention smack myself in the head, laugh, and go right back to NOT eating these foods. I will walk a set path with grit teeth, determination, and accept my human fallibility but not define myself by it.
At the end of the day (or in this case, at the end of the year)? The point should not be “Laurel weighs less than 300 lbs for the first time in 30 years!”. That is just the pay-off I hope for. The point will be “Laurel honed her True Will and mind magick to stop eating grain-based food, candy, and soda… and as a result of that and moderate daily exercise? She lost weight.”
The point will be that I established a sandbox for shaping and strengthening my True Will in 2021. It’s that I’m making a resolution that regardless of circumstances, regardless of what events happen and how I feel-think afterward? I am not going to eat grain-based food, candy, or drink soda. Not when I’m happy and celebrating, not when I’m sad/bad/mad. I can drink juice, coffee, tea, water, milk, seltzer…anything else. I can nom on potatoes with ketchup, I can stick a spoonful of peanut butter in my mouth. I can let someone buy me a bunless hamburger with fries and ice tea when we go pick up fast food.
Because I have stated my intention and created a resolution and now I do the magick of creating the reality I want. I made this resolution and initiated this working with full knowledge that my Inner Demons will gleefully look at ways to sabotage my Inner Magus because that’s their job as my psyche-as-Adversary? (There’s some psychoteric writing for the future). The point is to Be The Magus who, like Solomon, masters the demons rather than being mastered by the demons. 2021 is going to be a Solomonic story, not a Faustian story, I have decided. I get to triumph. All it takes is me, via praxis, keeping to my resolution via True Will which I believe I can do.
My BELIEF that I. Can. Do. This. Thing and my embracing of “This is gonna be so hard some days but totally worth it and I will say this and believe this and make this my reality” is the Mind Magick. Using affirmations, rituals, tarot card readings, every tool I draw on to program my brain into consistent follow-through day by day (hour by hour on the rough days)? That’s the Craft. Because if I can say and mean and follow through on something as challenging as “no grains, no candy, no soda” for the next 364 days?
Everything else I want to accomplish is possible and probable too. But this is the sandbox and canvas for the microcosm of my Great Work for 2021. It is something I do have control over, and only I have control over, which is what makes it so useful as a sandbox. You, my readers, will get to watch as you please. While I’m doing this mental alchemical Magnum Opus (a year of abstinence from grain foods, candy and soda) for me? I am also sure that using my blog as one of the ways I hold myself accountable for thinking through and typing through this working will really, really help it happen.
Typing about my inner demons when they manifest and start cavorting about to try and sabotage my work will really help me snap my fingers and say “no” with confidence and prove that my Inner Magus is stronger.
There is most ~definitely~ some very deep delving into The Magus vs. The Devil coming in not too distant writing. Remember that I believe the entire Major Arcana is there in our psyche all the time. We are never just one card, one archetype when it comes to the zodiacal or tarot archetypes. We simply draw on certain archetypal forces and play them out in what we say-do-feel differently at different times. Educating ourselves about the archetypes and then developing the True Will and magickal prowess to intentionally manifest a specific archetype in a specific way as part of our communication-actions-feeling is the endgame. Perfection in it is an illusion. Doing it most of the time and accomplishing most of what we hope for, getting better with practice? That’s being a good magician.
I highly recommend reading it. She calls it Spiritual Bypassing, the rejection of letting yourself feel any sort of negative emotions. I am using my own verbage for it. And I don’t like the word fake. I think its just excessive, it is what happens when you create a yinyang duality out of yourself and try to banish the darkness (yin) and have only light (yang). It isn’t sustainable, not even for a little bit. You will be just as out of balance as you are when you let yourself drown in grief, fear, depression, anxiety and all those dark emotions.
Human beings need their light and their darkness. We need to let ourselves have bad moods, bad days, outrages, moments of shock and paralysis and let other people around us have them too.
Just not all the time.
Just not excessively.
UberPositivity, the stuff that too many self-identified lightworkers try to perpetuate in themselves and others? It is unsustainable and it becomes the stuff of jokes, snarks and memes by the more jaded types. UberNegativity is just as bad. And that is the point. Extremism in approach is harmful and unsustainable for us regardless which pole the gravitation is towards.
The fun (and exasperating) part of mental alchemy is learning how to temper challenge with acceptance, sorrow with joy, change with stability, chaos with order, serenity with outrage and on and on. I’m imperfect at it to be sure. But that is okay. That is the message that Vanessa Bennet is making and I’m supporting. Its okay to be not okay, as long as “not okay” isn’t the default mode.
Once again, Medium brought a Mitch Horowitz article to my attention. I was clicking it just by the title alone: “Why the Best Spiritual Practice Is the One You Invent Yourself” and only noticed afterward who the author was. I really like how he described his anarchic magick as being a cousin of the chaos magick I learned it from reading a lot of Austin Osman Spare, Peter J. Carroll and Phil Hine. There’s at least one book from each of them on my bookshelves which survived the random purges of the last seven years to drive down my paper book collection and just work with pdfs and audio books instead. I should try and re-read them in 2021.
By synchronicity, the card I drew for myself today was the Thoth deck Magus. I wasn’t planning on doing a blog post though. I spent the early afternoon writing up the script for the second episode of Tarot Esoterica after catching up in social media after a two day hiatus for Xmas Eve/Xmas Day. I figured that was enough but then Mitch Horowitz inspired me. That’s another article I really recommend to my own readers.
I’m beginning to figure out my limitations as a tarot content creator; guaranteed daily blog posts are beyond them. Daily card draws for my personal tarot journal + reading/listening to a Medium article are going to almost always happen. It might be though that only when those two things make good bed partners on the same day that I’ll be writing here in Musings & Ramblings.
One of the things that had come up as I writing the script for a 10-11 minute talk on dualism and polarity (which has a different approach than Lesson 2: The Monad And The Duality ) was the way I stumbled across The Kybalion when I was a ten year old girl. I own a different copy of that same edition .
What the hell was a copy of The Kybalion doing in the Hawley Elementary School Library in Ft. Dodge IA in 1979??? Now, I was -that- kid, that year. The introvert who did spend as much time as possible in the library rather than the playground, peering at every shelf and pulling out things that were interesting. I have only a handful of childhood memories that go back that far but I do remember book nerdy little me getting this book off a shelf and feeling amazed by the look of the cover and having no clue what it would be about? I took it to a table and started to read.
Age 10 was also when I got my first AD&D books. They made a lot more sense but I pushed really really hard to understand the Kybalion and kept it as one of my “little secrets” I didn’t talk about. I had this sense that book wasn’t supposed to be THERE and hid it on a dusty back shelf nobody else would notice it. For reasons I wouldn’t be able to explain to this day, I didn’t ever try to check it out, I never mentioned it to school mates, teachers, the librarian or my parents. I’d just read it some of it during lunch period in my corner of the library whenever I could and then put it back on the shelf when it was time to go.
The Kybalion was fascinating and arcane for a school year. Then when we moved to a different neighborhood and I transferred schools, I completely forgot all about it for a really long time. Even when I discovered Wicca a couple years later, I didn’t remember anything about the Kybalion. I saw it or heard about it again after I was in college and went browsing all the used book stores in downtown Olympia WA looking for everything about tarot and the occult and ceremonial magick that I could find.
The second I saw another copy of the Kybalion though? I recognized it immediately. I immediately had a flashback of being that remembered being awe-struck and mystified (as in completely lost and bewildered) little kid trying to process its the lofty and obtuse language. That second copy has been with me for 27 years and I’ve grappled with it a dozen times.
I’d like to say that the Seven Laws of Hermetic Magic were the most influential thing I’d ever read but that’s not true. The greatest personal truth I learned about magick and being an occultist only indirectly relates. This personal truth is this:
Not all the rituals and grimoires and spellcraft in the world is going to be helpful in changing your life if your emotional intelligence and stress resilience are train wrecks. As above so below also means as below so above. Garbage in, Garbage out also means Garbage out, Garbage in. The most effective acts of magick and most effective magickal practices work from the inside outwards; magicians who de-junk and de-gunk the stuff inside their own brains to reduce their general shitheadism make the most successful practitioners. I’m not there yet, but I have the best of intentions.
“Chaos magicians sometimes see their work from a psychological perspective; my path is spiritual,” wrote Mitch Horowitz on February 13th 2019. I really love his writing. Of course, since I do see my work from a psychological perspective rather than a spiritual one, his definition makes me (possibly) a chaos magician. Except I think I’m too eclectic for even that? I’m definitely a lazy ritualist and need to improve that at least a little even if I never go back to starting my day off with the LBRP and a self-made Invocation of the Sun ritual like I did during my peak years as a tarot reader and life coach.
… on the other hand, maybe if I -did- start my day off with the LBRP and a new Invocation of the Sun ritual that fit my 2020+ sensibilities? Maybe I’d have less fibromyalgia woes. (Then again, since I think possibly I got fibromyalgia from being touched by an angel, maybe not. Wow. Now -there- is a story for this blog some day soon.)
Maybe I’d find it easier to channel my desire to drop my weight by a hundred pounds into consistent acts of True Will if I did more rituals and put all my theorycraft into more active practice. Did some praxis and kept it up, every day.
I don’t feel an urge to go looking for a god of weight loss to pray to and invoke. I’d never become that much of a ritualist or spiritualist against. There is a whole lot of psychoteric stuff in the tool box to get me from being a morbidly obese theoretical magician to being a a healthier and happier one though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually better than average in the happy department. There’s just a lot of complacency and I get the feeling I’m supposed to Do Better. Be Better. Make Better. I am pretty sure dropping 100 pounds will add years, maybe even a decade to my lifespan.
Losing a hundred pounds in 2021 would make it a whole lot easier to survive the Bad Things Ahead if we humans don’t really and truly fix the things we broke or at least get close enough that the #Galactic Federation decides we’re “good enough” to save. I am hopeful and I’d really like to be around to see what happens for at least three more decades. Losing a hundred pounds would sure help make that possible.
I’ve actually put a lot of research into diet, exercise, nutrition. Theorycraft, just theorycraft. I can’t blame everything that 2020 took away (like access to swimming pools) excuse me not losing the weight in 2016-2019. I had total access to swimming pools, exercise machines, a dietician and everything else during those three years. I knew everything back then that I know now about why a person like me should be eating a flour-free plant-centric whole food diet as much as possible. I half-assed it in 2018-2019 and used Covid-19 as an excuse eat the Standard American Diet crap food for most of 2020.
The best weight loss practice might very well be the one that I invent for myself too. So lets see just what I can accomplish between now and Christmas 2021. Let’s be a helluva good modern magician for the next 365 consistent days and use that magick to transform me into a 235 pound woman by the time I turn 53 on January 3rd, 2022.
The first condition of success in magick is purity of purpose. -Aleister Crowley