Sacred or Secret?

Well, that’s an interesting way to phrase it, and I saw it that way in a book I picked up at my local Barnes and Noble this evening.  The book, by Christopher Penczak, is called The Magick of Reiki.  I’m not really sure if I’d recommend it yet, as I’ve only gotten through the first little bit, but its definitely been an interesting read so far.  Within the book, Mr. Penczak makes a very good point: Does there have to be one way or the other?

I think, yes, to a point.  My high priest believes the same way.  The truth is, that if you speak of complicated astrophysics to a child of five, they will go, “oooh, pretty!”  but not have a damn clue what you’re talking about.  I believe some things which are sacred should be kept secret, and here’s why:

Energy and Spiritual Mechanics

Referring to my previous post, you’ll see that my general concept of energy is that it is used to cause change.  Now, of course, it follows, that the process is a two way street.  If energy is applied to something, then that energy will change that something.  If the energy of attention is applied to the concept of some spiritual theory, it follows that, however slight, the concept will undergo change.

Just like the gossip game, as something is passed on, it gets transformed.  You can see it with the Wiccan Rede.  Everyone adopts a concept and finds some way to make it special.  If you google “Wiccan Rede” you will find many, many different versions.  They may have one word changed, or perhaps a misplaced comma, or may be entirely different than the one I have posted.   Unfortunately, some of the meaning is lost in translation.

This is not to say that change is bad, it is necessary and natural.  However, being able to choose and control that change is an ability which we all have.  Concerning those things which are sacred to us and we offer our respect towards, it seems silly to tell just anyone who may go on to speak of the concept lightly or malformed to another.

Transfer of Karmic Responsibility

Each and every person that posts or types or writers or teaches someone anything has a karmic responsibility regarding how that student uses that knowledge.  “Knowledge is power” they all say.  If I teach a student the theory of basic energy, there is nothing to say that they can’t somehow use that theory and piss off the powers that be.  Ultimately, that responsibility does fall, to a certain extent, on me.

Fluffy Bunnies and Dumbasses

Who actually wants a thirteen year old going around with bread and wine proclaiming the body and blood of Christ?  Who wants someone else walking around yelling “an it harm none do what ye will!” as they run naked through the mall parking lot?  Similarly, you don’t want someone chanting the Lesser Summoning Ritual of your religion to see what pops up.  Coined fluffy bunnies and weekend witches by the general wiccan community, people like this are the ones that drive a religion or a tradition into the mainstream societies – in a bad sort of way.

Unfortunately, there tends to be an opening up of the door in this modern age.  In fact, that’s what pretty much every one is trying to do, along the way to peace and spiritual enlightenment: share what they know.

The Transition

So, I’ve determined that its best for some bits of knowledge to be sacred and secret.  Is there anything that can be sacred and NOT secret?  Absolutely.  Look at the bible, or the qu-ran, or the torah.  These are just as sacred AND exposed to the public.  I think Christianity really got into the whole distribution-of-knowledge thing, and everyone else had to rush to catch up.

The Wiccan Rede is sacred to Wiccans, and it is also the first thing that we point newcomers towards.  That or a Scott Cunningham book.

I guess I’m not really coming to a conclusion here.  In the end, its best if your tradition has standards.  I’m not going to bring out my Book of Shadows to show Christians for amusement.  Not that they could read it.  Due to the internet, perhaps unfortunately, things like the rede and the charge, theban and Gardner’s rites are all under public scrutiny.  For those of us who believe in the dogma of “Know and be silent”, we’re forced to create our own ceremonies, and rituals, and those of historic function are used as a basis, nothing more and nothing less.  But is it not time for improvement?

To know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent – these come to mind on this topic.  Yet, here I am, speaking to you, the general internet user, about magic.  Would I be making my spiritual ancestors proud?

I believe so.

Sacred or secret?  A little bit of both is best, I think.

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Where does magic come from?

Magic.  That thing which is inherent to witchcraft.  And other religions.  I suppose I should already rephrase my question, because magic is the process.  Energy is the materials.  Where does energy come from, then?

Well, to delve briefly into physics…

Forces are exerted to change the acceleration, a, of an object, m.  Work, then, is when forces move an object, m, through a distance, d.  Work is also the change in kinetic energy.  Change in kinetic energy can be measured by the relationship between mass and velocity.

So, in conclusion, if you’ve never taken physics, the physics definition of energy is something that moves an object through a distance.  Spiritually, and I am taking a leap here, we can assume that energy is something that causes something to move, or change.  Even if you don’t agree with me, don’t worry.  I’m not using this definition for anything controversial….yet.

Magic is the process by which change occurs.  Energy is the substance that causes that change.  So, theoretically, if you could remove the process by which energy is used, you could eliminate magic.

I suppose I should pause again for a moment.  I am writing this post because a not-so-close friend to me came to me with a problem concerning that he was being targeted and bound by witch hunters and dark magic user.  I asked what a witch hunter was, since witchcraft is legal in the United States of America, and he told me that a witch hunter was someone who aimed to separate the soul from the body and destroy either to get the energy.  He said that if your soul got taken, you’d feel empty and wouldn’t be able to use magic.

For those experienced crafters, I’m sure you’ve had many experiences of this sort (mine, not his).  I am not writing off the possibility that there was someone intending him harm, simply assuming that it is primarily a him-focused thing, and not a situation where people were actually pursuing him.  In any case, I found it extremely disturbing that he told me that there were people who could stop me from using magic, and therefore, stop connecting with the gods.

…No one can take away my relationship with the divine.

After all, to be someone who manipulates energy to achieve results, you have to at least understand a little bit of what you’re doing.  If you’re using magic, then you’ve accepted that you are in control of your own destiny.  You’ve also accepted that changes will happen.  And doubtless, you’ve accepted the idea that, although not everyone may be conscious of the fact that they can use this ability, they do have it.

So do people who don’t know they have this ability get it taken away too?  What if they suddenly discover magic and want to play?  They can’t because someone took it in their sleep fifteen years ago?  Why don’t these witch hunters prey on babies?

You can use magic without a concept of religion.  But, personally, I believe that everything in this universe is an aspect of the Divine.  The personified Gods I speak to and work with are faces of that Divine force.  I, too, am Divine.

How can something take away what is inherently a part of me?

It amazes me how easily someone will call themselves a Wiccan, and in the process, forget that the Gods they worship are present?  Do you think a divine being would ever let its devout worshiper be removed from their place of comfort and power?

Magic is the process by which to create change.  It follows then, that what I do when I, as a woman and a priestess, draw down the moon or take some other aspect of the Goddess into me, is magic.  I am creating personal change.  It may be, for the most skeptic, a slight emotional change or a slide into self-willed euphoria, but it is still a change.

No one human being can take away my ability to stand with my two feet upon the earth, the sun shining down onto my smiling face, the wind softly whispering through my long hair, my arms raised in worship, connected to the Lady Earth and her partner, Father Sky.  That warmth, that feeling of home, that *right*ness that ensues…

I am not saying that someone/thing who wished you malicious intent could not cloud your ability to be centered and focused and therefore, by proxy, inhibit your ability to feel that divine presence, or mute your confidence.  But no one can downright eliminate your ability to connect with the divine.  If anything, it is your willpower, your magic which will overcome those hardships.

*End Rant*

Blessed Be!

Yule, Imbolc, and Renewal

Well guys, happy New Year! For those of you that took a look at yourself last year and went, “Next year, something’s going to change.”, I encourage you to try my method of goals. I begin on Samhain, usually, but you can begin any time.

Pick several different categories of goals for yourself. For me, the categories are physical, mental, and spiritual. Physical usually relates to my health and well being, my strength, and the things I do. Mental usually relates to contemplation of problems that require logic, or some other form of reasoning. And spiritual relates to those things which I can do on a daily, weekly, or some other routine basis, to bring me closer to the divine.

I really like the system that I’ve worked out – the checkpoints are evenly spaced, far enough away to get work done, but close enough together not to forget. The Wheel of the Year falls this year:

Samhain (Oct 31 07), Yule (Dec 20 07), Imbolc (Feb 2 08), Ostara (Mar 20 08), Beltane (May 1 08), Litha (Jun 20 08), Lammas (Aug 1 08), Mabon (Sep 22 08) and Samhain(again) (Oct 31 08).

So. I pick 2 or 3 goals for each category, and I lay out tables. What is my ultimate goal? This does not have to be a quantified goal, it can simply be an idea. But then, I ask the next question: How can I measure this goal’s success?

I then divide the year up as above and for each goal, I take some time to figure out the appropriate checkpoints. One of my goals this year is to run competetively or bike competitively. I decided the best way to prepare myself for this is to start running a mile a day, or 7 miles a week. So, I began attempting to run one mile a week until Yule. Now, I’m trying to run two miles a week. At Imbolc, I will up it even more. In addition, I’m training my legs for bicycling also, adding weight training, squats, spinning, etc.

At each checkpoint, I check my progress. If the goals are measured weekly, then I try to take time each week to write it down.

Remember, New Years Resolutions only fail because they are vague. Or out of our grasps. Resolutions in themselves, are working magic. You say something’s going to happen, and then it does. And just like magic, if you chant your ready-made off of the internet words to get more money, and then never look for a job opportunity or take one when it comes up…it won’t work.

Keep in mind, especially, you New Years Resolution-ers. Imbolc is that first sparkle of sun, that time when the light finally overcomes the darkness. Any contemplation you need to do, DO it, *now*. Because from Imbolc to Mabon, that’s the time for action.

Make your family, your friends, your gods proud.

Blessed Be!