I wrote this up in a fit of emoness and self-pity, which is uncommon for me (I attribute it to the fast and recent question-and-answer quest I’ve been on lately). Although I held off on posting about it last night, I’ve decided to go through it, clean it up, and post my thoughts. It’s been a growing concern/irritant for me as of late, anyhow, but whatever. My blog, my rules, yada yada. I beg you, dear reader, to forgive this rare outburst of angst.
“You’re on the right path. You’re doing the right thing.”
Not gonna lie, this gets really old after being told it time and time again no matter where I look. When I ask about whether I’m doing something right, or if I’m doing the right thing for myself and my life, I get told this. From spirits in conjurations, from divination readings I do with geomancy, from readings from my sister with Tarot. I suppose I should be happy that I’m doing the right thing and the thing right, especially when so many people I see and read about are so far from it, but it’s not that assuring when more than half of what I do feels like flailing around in the dark.
My astral sight and hearing sucks, and even using my astral vortex ring I’ve got a hellish time doing what feels like much in the astral plane. Conjurations using my current setup and means put me in contact with the spirits, but only what seems like barely; nothing overwhelming, just small whispers in the back of my mind, with maybe a very faint fuzzy outline in the crystal when I look really hard. I still feel like I have a hard time speaking things with intent, and the results of other people seem fantastic and mythic compared to the oft-paltry things I experience. I mean, I do the Work, or I try to, but it feels like I’m severely impaired in doing so, even though every observer, present or distant, seems to claim the exact opposite. And, to an extent, they’re right. The oils, weapons, and instruments I consecrate work and work very well, with their power very noticeable rooms away. The spirits I call are heard by people who can hear as well. The rituals I develop often provide astounding results for other people.
That said, it feels like I’m working a graphing calculator with no knowledge of how or why it works. I don’t know the mathematical formulae and programs running the thing, so I can’t really see how results are obtained from a given function. I don’t know how the wires, processor, or other hardware are set up, so I can’t really grok how the results are communicated or processed. That’s what it often feels like to me doing the Work: flailing around in the dark, doing things but with the most vague notions of how and why, if I have any notion at all. I feel like a little kid or something wielding these instruments of the Art, sometimes exceedingly powerful ones, with only the barest of glimmers of notions how to properly use them or even what I could use them for, much less how to apply them using other tools to do something even more complex. The only real occult skill I feel comfortable in is geomancy, and for all its worldly helpfulness, it’s hardly theurgical.
Even then, though, if it’s true that I am on the right track, doing the right stuff, doing it right, and with no further explanation, then I suppose I don’t really need to know what or how, so long as I’m doing it and doing it well. As far as I can ascertain, and this might be a pretty hubris-laden joke on myself to say, I’m here in this world to do magic. That sounds awesome, and it kinda makes sense, since most of my life has geared me for studying this stuff as well as giving me the resources to focus on it as freely as I want to and far more than some I know. I’m hoping, very desperately hoping, that once I obtain K&CHGA I’ll be able to ask some questions and figure out the big Whats, Whys, and Hows of my life. Apparently, I’m on the right track and doing the right things to obtain that, too; I know K&CHGA is supposed to take a while for most people, but I can’t overstate how much I want it now so I can start figuring things out, as well as figure out new things, like direction and purpose. It’s incredibly frustrating when details of your life, purpose, and direction are almost cruelly hidden from you, keeping you in the dark about what to do next, when that’s what you really want to know.
Sigh. Maybe I should take a hint from my natal horoscope and really focus on the lesson taught by a North Node in Pisces and a South Node in Virgo: “go with the flow, stop overthinking things, let go and go, don’t overjudge, relax, set priorities according to usefulness not theory”.
Okay, that’s my emo self-pitying rant. Back to Work.
Oh, gods, yes!
OK, I get pretty clear spirit communications. I have a pretty good dialog with most of the angels I’ve spoken to, and I’ve spoken to a lot. But the Astral Realm? Pffft. Can’t get there from here. Lucid dreaming? Not so much. Astral projection…? Nope. Still here. Still sitting right where I was an hour ago. Can’t move without moving the body. Argh.
the ritual work is great. The making stuff is great. The improved skills as an artist and sketcher? Thrilling. Very pleased, yo. But if another person tells me how important the internal work is, and how that’s the really critical stuff… argh. I think it’s Steve Martin to Rick Moranis, as Martin the con man explains to Moranis how to attract notice, and turns him on to wearing really good suits, “sometimes you have to change from the outside in!”
I THINK that’s what we’re doing. But I couldn’t swear to it. And given the craziness that’s breaking out all around me these days, while affecting my own internal experience not at all… I have to wonder. Was my life always like this? Or am I peculiarly unaffected by the “drama lamas” these days? Or, are these crazy events (affecting other people) the outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual graces I’ve sought in my elemental initiations?
Don’t have an answer for you, man. Barely understand how the ritual tech really works, either. Just know that it is… unless it isn’t.
None of this is probably helpful.
*pats on the back.* You aren’t alone on that complaint. :)
Something my Sifu tells my class often is that we cannot rush the training. We cannot choose when we finally attain or master certain skills. All we have is the assurance that if we practice long enough with consistent mindful effort then the skill will come.
If you slack too much, nothing will change. That’s not your problem though. Pushing too hard or lusting for the end result of the training will cause all manner of problems that are just as bad as laziness. Frustration and anger at the speed of your progress will only slow you down and make you lose focus.
I do understand your frustration well though. I feel like I’m being pulled somewhere but I have no clue where. I just gotta have faith that I’m being pulled in the right direction. Sometimes I feel like I’m being called to teach or to dive in and fix my friend’s problems and I pull back. I don’t feel ready for that level of executive meddling yet!
Dude, I so feel you on this. Some of my results are spectacular … others are painfully mediocre. Very, very often I find myself feeling like I’m running in circles. New paths turn out to double back and put me where I started, often with nothing to show for my efforts but a long count of wasted hours and maybe a funny story. (Though, as a writer, that funny story is sometimes worth more than genuine wisdom.)
The big lesson of Heartland Pagan Festival was “Good show on getting involved. Now get more involved.” Gee, thanks, universe. Although it sounds like a platitude, in times like this I remind myself that it is the journey that matters, not the destination.
Good luck, man.
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You hack, you know how it is. If something isn’t working for you, do something else! It sounds retarded but there is enough wiggle room in the systems to make changes and still feel confident about it. I can throw runes like the best of them but I suck at tarot. Same with evocation – it works, but it works almost at random for me and I can’t trust it to be nearly as reliable as I would like. Mix it up a bit and see what comes out. ;)
well, hmmm, first of all I told lol’ed because my south node is in pisces and my north node is in virgo. how funny.
but yeah, I know how you feel. Having recently finished some training where my teacher amazing psychically perceptive, I felt kinda sad and a bit jealous. So I asked some people and poked around and actually found some methods that will help me develop my senses more, as alot of info out there is “Just have faith and believe and it will grow” and I am just not that patient.
and maybe the question is wrong. Is it about only being on the right path or doing the right thing? or is it about the results you want to see in the path. You are always on the right path until you can see all the steps laid out before you, then you have fallen from the path because someone has taken control of you and is telling you where to go, whether that someone be angels, demons, humans or what have you. So long as you have some mystery before you, you are going the right way.
Damn dude. Hmm, what to say. Well. You’re never going to know everything. That is just the flat out truth. The key is to be content in what you can do now, but continually striving to learn more.
Be happy about what you know, and what you plan on achieving, And just have fun with it!!
I get this. I get this a lot, actually. I’m a perfectionist at heart, so I really need to have a goal so I can work my ass off to achieve it. There are a lot of occult practices I might be great at, but I don’t see the point piddling around experimenting if it doesn’t serve some purpose. Which of course is the hardest thing to divine (in any sense).
So no, you’re not alone in your angst ;-)
I honestly didn’t expect this post to get so many comments, both here and offline. I really appreciate your thoughts here, guys, even if I feel bad about posting this (nobody really wants to hear another person’s whining, as far as I see it). You all are awesome, and your thoughts here rock and definitely give me something to chew on. Thank you, all!