Thursday, July 17, 2008

And, the other post I had intended to make (Pre-Revenge of the Weeded)

I finished the curriculum in “Learning Ritual Magic” in June. By the end, it was nearly full time work. DH, in fact, commented that he didn't have that kind of time, day after day, to dedicate to such a program. I agreed, and thanked him prettily (I hope!) for the opportunity. At the same time, I knew that it wasn't the kind of effort that I could keep up for long-it was only the fact that I knew there was an end point that allowed me to do it.

At the beginning of this month, just after the New Moon, I performed the Self-Initiation ritual from the appendix of the book. (I had help with the astrological timing of the ritual from some one who choked at the idea of “self” initiation-but that is what JM Greer calls it, and I was working with his text. However, self initiation or self dedication, the help with the timing was greatly appreciated.)

I think that it’s fair to say that I was completely blown away by the intensity of the ritual. Surprised. Floored. Shocked. Amazed. There was some serious Presence in my presence (or maybe it was the other way around?) Hours later, when DH came home, I still wasn't fully grounded-that didn't happen until the next day, with the full-blown poison ivy symptoms.

Since then, I've suffered from (in addition to the poison ivy, and the side effects from the medications) a sense of let down, loss and “now what?” Probably a perfectly normal set of reactions. After the Full Moon, I will start the work of figuring out the”now what” and the “what next.”

I am also going to get started on that pile of books, waiting to be read. RO was highly amused by my describing the pile as being as tall as I am. (being somewhat vertically challenged, it is possible to stack the books up to my height, they totter, but the tower holds.) Well, that was old news, Brother Red, there is a second pile now.


Brother Red said...

I understand, Lavanah. A 3'8" pile of books can be really intimidating. ;-)

Regarding the sense of let down, loss, and "now what..."

In my opinion, that's exactly what you should be feeling. After getting K&CHGA, after the initial WOW!!! wore off a bit and I started regular conversations, I felt like "That's it?" a lot. I spent all this time thinking I'd be instantly enlightened, materially wealthy, and somehow magickally powerful. Everything would make sense in ways it hadn't before, I thought, but instead, life was the same, I had an invisible friend, and now I could conjure demons. Big deal.

So yeah, I know what you mean. I think part of our mystical voyage is learning that most of the hype about the benefits of the Great Work are written by people who stood to make a profit or a comfortable living if they could convince wealthy patrons that they could turn lead into gold, or heal all illnesses if they had more money for research, a nice lab, and steady meals. They hoped they were right, but most of the Alchemists were pitching an unproven idea. No one had the Stone, but everyone claimed to know how to make it, even though no one knew what the original blinds were supposed to mean.

The point is, wild speculation has overblown our expectations. After accomplishing an amazing initiation, you're left saying, "Now what?"

"Now what" is the right question. The answer that I've found most meaningful over the last few years is "Whatever I want." Not in a selfish way, because getting to the point where I am finally able to talk to a Spirit changed me. Each conversation I've had with the spirits has changed me. The things I want now are helpful, and constructive, mostly.

At the same time though, now that you've had a spiritual initiation, it won't be long before you find ample opportunities to use what you've learned to help people. Take the steps that come with the level you've attained, and you'll find your destiny is working itself out in your daily life. You'll cast out demons, conjure healing spirits, make talismans, and a whole world of other things that will come one at a time.

And you'll take care of your kids and husband and garden, read stacks of books taller than you, and all that stuff too. Your "initiation" is the "initiation" of a continuing process, the beginning, the start of a new set of journeys. It's not as big of a deal as you may have expected (if you were like me), but you'll find that it was a very big deal in ways that were unexpected, I think.

Lavanah said...

Very funny. I'll have you know that if I stand on my toes, I can be 5 feet tall!

Seriously, though, I thought about not writing a post about the initation. So many times, I've read of peoples initiations and either the writing becomes incoherent or preposterous in an attempt to put the experience into words. (Either that or the whole experience was a bust, and the review suggests that its all rubbish)

Brother Red said...

Are you worried that the thing was a bust and the review makes it seem so? I don't think you should, personally. The Poison Ivy incident is a proof that something happened. Based on that alone, I'd deduce that you performed a rite that initiated you into Tiphareth. The first thing that happens is the Scourge in the GD, and Crowley talks about it a bit in Wake World as crawling in through a small hole and having the skin scraped off your back. These are the little clues that an initiation is working that no one mentions, it seems. "Hey, by the way, this is going to freaking hurt..."

Lavanah said...

No, that wasn't what I meant, I've no doubt at all about the reality of what I experienced. I was referring to other peoples accounts of their experiences; the accounts tend to either be incoherent in the attempt to explain what has to be experienced, or it is the accounting of a non-event, which leads the person writing (not me!) to think that its all crap.

Having the skin scraped off your back? Oh yeah, and your front, and your limbs...but that explains a couple of the dreams I had afterwards, as well.