Hermetic, sexuality

Reactions Against Sexuality and Sex in Spirituality

I was going through some of my Voice Notes, reminding myself of things I’d wanted to explore a bit more. One of them was a reaction to the concept of sacred sexuality in the various Hermetic orders. Specifically, I was listening to a podcast with David Griffith and his Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn on the concept of Sacred Sexuality. This is a podcast available to the public, which is how I got my hands on it.

In his podcast, he was very careful to use the term “sexual polarity” throughout, and he flat out said that sexuality does indeed play a part in the Hermetic traditions.

There are those who became enraged by this admission, decided to interpret it through their own biases lens and immediately jumped on their little white horses to tilt at the windmills in righteous indignation.

What struck me most in listening to both sides of this argument is they while one speaks of sexUALITY and sexUAL polarity, the other is speaking about SEX. At no point whatsoever did Griffith even remotely imply whipping out body parts of any sort, yet this is exactly what the accusations and reactionaries were focusing on.

Huh. So when one is talking about the energy of creation and the desire for pleasure and/or union, the other is focused on the specific physical act. Talk about being in different stadiums!

Here’s a quote from my voice notes that I really like (I actually used the word ‘kerfuffle’ in this note. hahaha!).

Are you being offended by the concept of sexuality as a set of ideas being worked with (a tool), or as a physical act? Because these are not the same things. At all.

What’s interesting to me is the knee-jerk interpretation that one IS the other. Of course they are not, but that there is no distinction in the minds of those who condemn all aspects of sexuality and sex as having any role whatsoever in true spirituality is the part I find most fascinating. Tragic, but fascinating. I think ultimately what’s being objected to so violently is indeed the idea of anything even remotely connected with sex in any form or degree being used to further spiritual growth and development.

There are many different hooked chains that tie into why this association is so anathema to some. One of those is the duality between body and spirit, earth and heaven. All things ‘earth’ are ‘bad’, with sex being among the most vile. It makes no difference whether or not it’s sexUALITY or sex itself – it’s still *whispers* seeeeex. Either way, those are earthly and have no place at all in spiritual traditions.

Of course, for those who are not dualists, this set of associations is mindboggling and literally makes no sense at all. I think: “Purple, because aliens don’t wear hats.” If you’re familiar with this joke, you’ll understand exactly what I mean.

tumblr_m8ktvfqhx51rvtp6ro1_500

I’m not at all sure exactly how to approach solving this problem, but by rephrasing the objections in terms which are less on-the-side and more direct, then the conversation might actually progress somehow. Maybe.

 

About the Featured Image: A drawing of the scene in the original Hellraiser movie. The artist is Jason Flowers and you can find this image here. I chose this one image because this is how I view the effects of negatively associating earth anything and spirit. We are earth based creatures, and villainizing anything physical just tears us apart one piece at a time.

Standard
Hermetic, Magick

Reassessing Memorization as a Tool

Talked about the master Masons and the sorcerer I live with. We were talking about the importance of memorizing, or rather they were and I was listening. I’ve personally never really felt the need to memorize things word-for-word.

But I’m not a mason, nor am I a ritualist. That said, I do have memorized the QC and LBRP. That’s about it.

So I’m listening to this and one person mentions how memorization helps with contextual understanding. I ask what specifically does he mean by this. He answers. Oh, very interesting. Ok. Then she elaborates, throwing in how much of a difference the feeling of the ritual is when it’s memorized. She knows I’ve memorized LBRP, so she references that one specifically.

*zing* I wake up now – I have a dog in this fight! Hell yes, there’s a night and day difference in the ritual when it’s memorized versus being read. It took me perhaps a week to have it memorized, and once it was memorized, that’s when the real work with it began. And boy did it start speaking to me. It was about a month in before I was relaxed enough that I could do it without really focusing on what I was saying and instead focus on the energy I wanted to invoke. In a flash the entire elemental structure downloaded and opened up, like a club over the head.

Now the context comes back in. Because I have it memorized, any time any aspect of it is mentioned I can connect these two things – building a larger framework. So instead of just one bubble, I have two, then three. It’s like each ritual is a piece of a puzzle – the more pieces I have, the more of the picture I can try to understand. But I haven’t memorized them, VERBATIM, then I miss things. I overlook details because I am unaware of them.

After this conversation, I’m looking at my beginning work again, thinking of ways I can work to memorize things. I don’t have much time to read, and when I do I’m brain dead and want to real fluff and sex, not something serious. What to do? I think my iPhone Voice Notes might come to the rescue in the form of a “say along” recording. I can play it in the car and say it within myself. *off to find my microphone*

Standard
Hermetic, Magick, Personal Growth

The Kernel of Doubt

I am a horribly undisciplined individual. Exceedingly so. That said, I live with two exceedingly disciplined people. You know the type of person that can actually keep a promise to themselves. They are both Masons of differing traditions. One has recently joined a magickal order in addition, so she has the growing perspective of knowing masonry and now GD-based Hermeticism. Me? I’ve played and piddled around with both for … decades. Nothing beyond bare bones basics to show for it.

*sigh*

Can’t blame nobody but me own lazy self. That and fear. I know for a fact that every single system I “play around with” very quickly starts netting real results. And the moment those results become something I can point to as success… I hear my mother’s voice. “That’s dangerous. You’ll get hurt if you keep going.”

I was 20 and working very hard to develop my ability to perceive and work with energy – and doing damn well too! I discovered I have a very solid connection to life force energy. I came home one night, all excited, and approached my mom – who has always been a huge ally when it comes to metaphysical studies. So I sat down with her, focused, and reached out to touch her arm with one finger. I imagined energy pouring into my crown chakra, down my arm and into her. After a moment, she sucked in a harsh breath, pulled her arm away while rubbing at the spot that I had touched her. Another moment passed and she says, very earnestly “That’s dangerous. You’ll get hurt if you keep going.”

Introducing the Kernel of Doubt into my heart. I have learned that when it comes to Spiritual Authority, even the tiniest teensiest Kernel of Doubt is enough to unravel everything.

Now, that Kernel of Doubt is my mother’s voice. My ally’s voice. The voice of my lifelong guide and champion telling me to stop, to be afraid of the potential. And so … I stop. I am afraid of the potential. And I am angry at myself for being afraid.

  • Tarot cards come to life and explain themselves in detail.
  • I typically immediately recognize people I’ve known before – maybe not details, but I *know* them.
  • Automatic writing was fun too
  • Dimensional guides show up in my dreams and tutor me.
  • I know when someone is going to die of an illness – that’s particularly painful to know.
  • Plants grow when and where I tell them to.
  • I can banish a god from my house if I deem it necessary.

And yet I am afraid. Too afraid to do more than dip my toe in this pond, that pool, this lake, that ocean. Dabble*dabble*play*splash. But don’t swim. Don’t ever, for the love of all that’s Holy, dare to swim. I might drown.

I also might frickin’ swim.

But my housemates aren’t afraid. And they have accomplished things in the personal alchemy department. While I? Nothing.

Standard
Personal Growth, Rant, Spirituality

The Test is Simple

I have what I have discovered is a relatively unique perspective of the Divine.

Bear in mind, I did not grow up in a religious household. Rather, I grew up in a family fractured and damaged by religious convictions that spanned three generations I know about. From my mother’s father’s mother (catch that?) calling her own grandchildren bastards because she refused to recognize the marriage of her son to my grandmother, to my father’s father’s mother’s (catch that?) outright ostracizing my father from the family because he didn’t marry in the church she approved of. Not that I mind that last part… heh. But yes, a lot of anger and hatred and hurt caused by religion. It’s little wonder that I began to violently reject it in all its forms as a young teen. It took me about 30 years to work through most of that ancestral shit and now I can see that religion does offer many positives as well. Unfortunately, it’s the abuses and the negatives that are screaming right now.

Despite this, I consider myself very spiritual in terms of seeking personal contact with Divine in whatever form I’m capable of handling it. I know from first hand experience that the Divine will seek me on whatever level and in whatever form I’m capable of handling at the moment — provided that my heart is open! Not even the Divine can reach a closed heart – because a closed heart will refuse to hear. As a result of this search and experiences in addition to my own soul perspectives, I have some ideas that leave me baffled when others use Divine as an excuse for hatred, disempowerment and oppression.

One is about perspective. Of those Gods who are also THE CREATOR of it all, this is a being who is supposed to be omniscient and omnipotent. If this God sees everything, and can do everything, exactly why are we here? The idea that we were made to worship these creators strikes me as … small. I think: Really? *raised eyebrow* A god that big and powerful needs me to sing praises for the duration of my life? *blinks* *thinks of Stargate: SG1’s season with the Ori* I’ll be blunt here: the Divine is not that Narcissistic. In fact, I would pretty much expect that a creator capable of making this entire multiverse with all the dimensions and potentials and lives and intricacies… Yeah, I expect a much bigger reason than that.

I hear my family saying “god hates this” or “god hates that” and I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying “No, YOU hate this and that, and are using god as an excuse to justify it.” THAT would not go over well at family reunions, let me tell you. Me to my family: if the god that you believe created everything also created the thing you hate, I’m going to assume that – given just how all-seeing this creator is – there is a purpose, a reason, for that thing you hate to be here. Personally, I trust in the Divine’s vision to know more than I do. Just because I can’t wrap my head around something doesn’t mean that the Divine can’t either. Hell, I have difficulty thinking from an Executive’s perspective, and most people have no clue there even IS such a thing. If I have difficulty with that, who the heck am I to proclaim anything of creation as being something god hates??

So yes, I think the Divine has a degree of perspective so far beyond what I’m capable of seeing and understanding that it’s my default setting to accept the diversity of humanity and life in general as being intentional and purposeful. Even if or when I can not for the life of me see it.

The other idea that has persisted since I was little is that the Divine asks us to be more than we think we are. I have long said:

The test is simple. Given any choice, the one that challenges me to grow and become more than I think I’m capable of … that is the one that the Divine is hoping I’ll take.

Back to my family’s “god hates this…” stuff. I keep thinking: the test is simple. Is hating that thing challenging me to grow beyond what I believe myself capable of? Or it is giving me permission to remain small, insular and isolated? If the answer is the latter, than the statement is not of the goodly Divine origin — and I don’t give a shit where that statement is dredged up from. The stamp of “source material” does not automatically mean any statement is above reproach. Apply the test. Empowerment, unity and growth? Or disempowerment, division and destruction/stagnation? If the first, guess who’s saying it? If the latter, guess which OTHER one is saying it?

Today I was thinking about all of this and something came out of my mouth that brought me up short.

If this God sees everything, and can do everything, exactly why are we here? Divine created humans with our capacity to grow and explore and create for a reason. With our capacity to understand and question creation itself for a reason. Right now we’re collectively being confronted with both choices in the test – empower or disempower. Grow or be stunted. Right now, we’re being tested on a global scale because the internet has made it painfully clear We are One, even as We are Many. Divine did not create humanity to bow and scrape and fawn over the majesty of it or to slaughter anyone who isn’t bowing and scraping appropriately. It created humanity with the hope that maybe someday we’d be courageous enough to be worthy companions.

 

About the Featured Image: A now-famous picture and story in which the matador realized the bull was not fighting back, and instead of being the hero as he expected he was instead the villain, torturing this animal. In short, he had an attack of pure humanity.

Standard
Earth, Hermetic, Magick

Let’s be Clear about the Objectives, Shall We?

Going to an event tomorrow to promote my business. Been focused on that and haven’t had a lot of time for writing or study, but I did catch the latest episode from my virtual temple. The topic: scrying, though their definition of scrying is not what I typically think of. Typically, I think of “spying remotely” but here they mean astral traveling to a specific location.

The speaker was good, but as usual he left out the fundamentals. At least, I think of them as the fundamentals. By this, I mean: Why study this? Why practice this? What is its purpose?

Now I’m a teacher at heart and often find myself in that role regardless of the situation. So here in the class is the instructor leaving out something which is so basic – as least, I think so. I ask that question. I pretty much have a good idea of what the answer is, but I want it stated. No assumptions. I want to know what YOUR take on why this particular practice is included in your curriculum of hermetic studies.

The answer I get? Paraphrased: it’s waking you up the existence of the inner planes. …. solar body … lunar body … more levels of reality than we can see …

By now, my eyebrow is raised and I’m thinking: Really? You’re going with this abstract, high-level, non-specific answer and honestly think you’ve addressed the question?

Suddenly I understand my husband’s frustration when he asks me “but WHY do you want to be a whole and complete human? What does that MEAN?” I’ve always answered in very abstract, remote concepts which were so high-level and so removed from everyday, practical, applicable reality that they were useless. Huh. Interesting.

While I understood the teacher’s answer, I imagine how I’d receive that if I’m a complete newbie. It would mean nothing to me but gobbledygook – it’s too high level and ‘out there’. Here’s what I was looking for, but whether it is correct or not is unknown.

  1. You’re learning this so that you can have the practice of focusing your will, your visualization process in a directed and intentionally specific way. It’s building mental stamina.
  2. You’re learning this so that you can begin to discern the difference between pure flights of fancy and actual travel to the inner planes. I can explain it until the cows come home, but this is a mystery that you have to experience for yourself to truly comprehend. Once comprehension starts, we’ll expand on that.
  3. You’re learning this so that you get a working knowledge of the inner planes. More specifically, that you gain the experience to go where you intend to go. Deliberately going to specific destinations when you intend to do so.

See. Those are real answers, solid and grounded right here in everyday life. Not sure if any of these actually apply to this particular topic, but that is more along the lines of what I was expecting. I’ve mentioned this before in one of my posts on the importance of Earth first and the danger of getting too in-your-head (ie air), and one of those dangers is being unable to connect the idea with the ground on which you want to build. Both the teacher and the moderator of this class are far more learned than I am on this topic, but perhaps that’s where my “give me the whys and the underpinnings” approach can really help solidify things. Right now I look around and see a bunch of beautiful castles … floating.

 

About the featured image: Ignacio Font’s “A Season in Hell” drawing. It’s abstract art that had me saying “what the hell is this supposed to mean?” despite what could be construed as a fairly clear  title.

 

Standard
Hall of Mirrors, Personal Growth, Rant

Dreams and Illusions

I’m on way home from the gym, damn near bursting with new ideas or insights that I wanted to explore here. Damn if I can remember a single one of them now. *sigh*

Dream recall isn’t going so well. Mainly because I’m not trying as hard as I should be, and the moment I use “should” … that’s a red flag. It’s a clearly visible red flashing neon sign that says “My heart isn’t in this, but my head thinks it runs the show and won’t listen to me.”

Armed with this awareness, I ask myself “So why isn’t my heart into remembering my dreams like I used to be?” The answer is there, a quiet little murmur which admits “I don’t like the messages.” Well. You know what? Tough titties. The fact that I don’t like the messages, that I’d rather stick my metaphorical fingers in my ears and chant lalalala while pretending that I never got said messages, that’s a cop out and it means those messages are vital and need to be heard.

Note that “hearing” something is NOT the same thing as “doing” something. I can say “yeah, yeah, I hear you, message received. Still ain’t doin’ nuthin’ about it right now. Sit tight.” To which the dream self can raise an eyebrow and then start upping the ante OR give a nod and return to business as usual, knowing that honestly the message was actively received.

Maybe I think if I can pretend I didn’t get them, then I can pretend that the dream self will definitely continue to be relatively benign about the messages. heh. More fool, me.

Today, for example. I woke up remembering very clearly two distinct dreams, both of which were a little on the disturbing side. Rather than write them down or review them, I actively said “I’ll check my Township” and then “I’ll check my Facebook” and “oh, look, now I need to get a shower” and after the shower, shucky darn, I ‘forgot’ those pesky disturbing dreams. *phew*

Dream self, she is not amused.

At least I’m getting better about honestly recognizing these moments, catching my own emotional run-arounds of avoidance. I’m really good at those.

What’s truly fascinating is that this insight into myself has allowed me to see some of the people geographically closest to me in a different light as well. Hubby was talking about being secure in the knowledge that the house was being well looked after now that I’m not the one doing it anymore, to which I raise an eyebrow but say nothing. I’m thinking “are you fuckin’ blind?? Do you not look above eye level? Nothing above eye level has been dusted in months. Have you tried touching your piano? It’s so covered in wax that I know for a fact that it’s being dusted with polish. And don’t get me started on the vacuum which is literally so full that it can’t hold any more and yet continues to be used.” This is when it hit me. He’s in a fantasy world, and he’s enjoying the fantasy. As long as the fantasy is active, he can literally overlook all of this stuff.

That got me to thinking about our relationship and I realized that is what had been bothering me – I had been enmeshed in his fantasy vision of the world. And he’s so angry at me now because I shattered the fantasy by proving to be merely human. Once an illusion is shattered, that’s it. Game over. So he’s got the “perfect relationship” on one side, which has me in stitches because I can see exactly the freight train bearing down the tracks while he’s skipping around thinking it’s a lovely meadow. On the other hand he’s got “the albatross who does nothing but weight him down and take his money” which has me agog because, again, I can see the reality and I’m not bothering to enlighten him. I am left in a quandary because in some respects, this man’s insight and acumen is genius — unless he’s emotionally attached. Then his vision is clouded with how he wants it to be, rather than how it is.

Damn. Of course, given any new insight I must first check in with myself. “Is this a projection? Is this actually my own shit that I’m throwing off onto someone else so that I don’t have to carry it?” This means pulling out my Hall of Mirrors checklist.

Is there a strong emotional reaction to the idea as it has been presented? *thinks* No. I’m not angry or accusatory, or enamored. It’s just an observation based on over a decade of association. I’m more surprised and disappointed with myself that I didn’t recognize it sooner.

Well. No more questions needed. This perspective does not appear to be a projection. You may proceed.

Ok. What now? How can I broach this topic? People generally don’t like their illusions shattered. Oh shit, especially when those illusions are what enables function. How … dysfunctional. Wow. So if I try to “free” him from the illusions, I suspect he’s just going to be even angrier at me. He’s already angry because our illusion shattered – from his perspective. I’ve seen him, warts and all, all along … ok, except for the illusion vision. That I didn’t have a name for but I felt something was off.

By now I’m totally rambling, and I still can’t remember the specific thoughts I had in the car on the way home tonight. *sigh* I’m sure they were awesome. *LOL*

I don’t want to remember my dreams because they might reveal something which will shatter my illusions.

*walks away laughing*

Standard
Archetypes, Hall of Mirrors, Personal Growth

A Knight Revealed

I have a curious habit, or tendency, or trait, whatever, that I wish I could harness for use for myself. Occasionally, my friends have gotten themselves involved with abusive relationships. Some are emotional, others physical and emotional, etc. There are many types of abuse. For some reason, the abuser tends to not like me. Tells my friend that “that woman has to go” because “she’s a bad influence” or some such. Namely, I encourage personal empowerment at every turn. That’s a particularly foul trait if someone is trying to gain a stranglehold of power over someone that I’m friends with.

In one case, I actively recognized what was going on but also actively recognized that if I pushed this here, now … then in the years ahead when my friend truly needed me, she would not believe I’d be there for her. So I stood back and closed my eyes, praying that my friend would wake up. Knowing there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop it. I made sure to stay in touch, but not so much that ire was raised and hands were forced. Fortunately, she did wake … 20+ years later. But she woke up. And she called me. Not as a first line or anything, but still, she called me and I work long distance to support her, to encourage her personal strength and glorious spirit. Now she sees that her soon-to-be-ex-husband actively tried to get her to stop being friends with me, and she now recalls all the bad things he had to say.

Now I have another friend who’s controlling spouse also does not like me. Huzzah! Well, for me. Not for him. He has to deal with it day-to-day, and like a steady drip of water torture that type of behavior slowly wears down even the most stalwart of rocks.

But I am left to wonder … why in the hell can’t I bring that into my own life? My own abuser just finally decided I was a horrible person because I refused to change every behavior I had to accommodate her and that meant I’m just an inconsiderate person who constantly attacks her. *gives side eye* What’s utterly hysterical to me is that this person has literally never even remotely seen me angry. I don’t think there are too many people who have. A couple days ago I was looking up something for the cost and blurted out incredulously “you have got to be fucking kidding me?!” She ran in all wide-eyed and asked why I was so pissed. “Honey, that wasn’t mad. You’ve never seen me mad.” After 6 years and a lot of emotional abuse later, I’ve never gotten mad. Huh. Forget the whole ‘attacking constantly’ crap. My brain literally just doesn’t work that way. But anyway, because I’m such a horrible person who refused to re-order my entire personality to suit her need to control everything, I’m a terrible person and she has now emotionally disengaged from me.

I felt it. Literally FELT the disengagement. Like an IV suddenly getting pulled out. For first time in years I could breath. I almost skipped out of the room that day, I felt so much better. It’s been a long, slow recovery energetically speaking but I realized a lot in that time. Am still realizing a lot … like what I discovered in this post.

While I encourage and actively work to help others empower themselves, I will choose to disempower myself time after time. It’s like I’m not important enough to stand up for. I’m not important enough to stick around to protect myself for. I abandon myself at the first opportunity in favor of someone else.

WTF?

I was reading today an article that said some men will actively choose the emotionally or mentally ill woman, because then she will be that much more grateful to him for “saving” her. That sounds very much like something I’ve said to myself before. And this is where understanding your own archetypes comes in handy.

I LOOOOOOVE the Knight archetype. Love him!! Love love love. While there are many faces to the knight, the one I love is the Adventurer Knight. Not too long ago I was out walking with my husband and I pointed out this totally awesome house in our neighborhood that I adore. It’s got a stone façade and turrets. Yes, turrets. It’s a house castle. Freakin’ A!! I told him I love that house and he snidely says “Of course you do; you’re a princess.” I was furious at that comment. Finally I was able to blurt out later on “no, you fucker, I love that house because it’s an amazingly defensible position and it’s stone! STONE! I love it because I’m a damn knight and knights live in and defend castles.” O.o

I’m a knight? Hell yes, I’m a knight. How could I not see it? I made my brother “joust” with me in the backyard as kids. I took off the trashcan lids, we drew out our shields and then taped them to the inside of the lid. We used bike flags as lances, and the goal was to punch through the paper and catch the plastic handle underneath, then flip the lid out of the opponents hands. I even made him “trot” across the yard, pretending we were on horses. He had no interest in this, but he gamely went along because he’s the younger brother and as the older sibling I had that power. heh. I’ve been very slowly learning the horse games for years as well. Of COURSE I’m a knight. Duh.

But a disempower knight, one who doesn’t even recognize that I am one. As is the way with un-owned archetypes, they have to be engaged through the shadow until we’re ready to bring them into the light. So I’ve been in numerous relationships with White Knight/Rescuers, another form of the disempowered knight, and in order to fulfill this arrangement I must become the Rescued, which means kneecapping myself. I actively break myself in the presence of a Rescuer Knight in order to be rescued, and it kills me every time. I look back on the emotional MESS I was before I left home over a decade ago, and I see exactly the same pattern then as I’m seeing in myself now. *Monty Python voice* “But I’m getting better.”

So why couldn’t I rescue myself? Why couldn’t I defend myself? Because I hadn’t owned the knight yet. I didn’t even know it was there. I don’t necessarily think I’m a rescuer, per se. Most people I know with the rescuer archetype will find things to be rescued, whether it’s people or animals. Me? Nope, nothing. Only that one kitten I wrote about but that was a test of a different sort, not a ‘rescue’. It also actively pisses me off that every animal is now a “rescue”. I didn’t “rescue” my dog or my cat, I adopted them. Rescue to me is something bigger than “I went to the pound and picked out an animal that would have otherwise been executed.” But maybe that’s just me. Anyhoooo…

I encourage others to empower themselves, to take control of their energy and their lives in order to fulfill the greatness they are capable of … which is what the White Knight should do. A hand up. So I can briefly be the White Knight to those who need it, and the Knight when instead they need a splash of adventure.

Lol – I am Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Not because I’m too stupid to recognize they are windmills, but because sometimes the absurd is exactly the adventure that is called for.

But a Knight all the same. A protector, a guardian, a champion for the disempowered, a seeker of adventure and personal challenges, and a voice of encouragement. I think, first, I have to learn how to be those things for myself. I have to own that I am a Knight.

 

About the Featured Image: Perfect! A spot of fun (peppermint knight, bwahahaha), a female, and totally awesome. The artist is on DeviantArt here and has the username of the-illustr8or.

 

 

 

Standard