I've been a solo practitioner of magick since I was a kid, almost 20 years ago now. (wow, that makes me feel old!) I've remained solo mostly because my interests are kind of all over the map and I don't adhere to any one system, like you might find in covens, lodges, etc.
I'm always looking to learn some new things and have found some great resources on here already. Kudos to everyone who has added to the site!
I have a pretty giant Occult eBook collection that I have collected over years, so feel free to message me if you are looking for something and I'll help if I can!
Oh, and if anyone is a memeber if theoccult.bz and willing to throw me an invite, that would surely be some good karma on your part! lol... and greatly appreciated.
Hi Cinnamon_Grrl. I'm also an eclectic solo practitioner - and I LOVE cinnamon!. Nice to meet you. :-)
I tend to have the same issues and I have never taken anyone's word 100%. I consider Crowley to be one of many prophets of a new age, but there are certainly ideas of his I am not so fond of and take with a grain of salt. It's healthy to doubt, otherwise we are blind followers of a personality and not following our own paths.
Also, as solo-ers it's easy to get swept up in worrying about if you're "doing it right." So a long time ago I decided to just do what felt right. It's easier said than done, but once I began constructing my own meditations, rituals, spells, etc., things started to turn for the better. I had more success, was happier, and felt a stronger connection to the work.
So my advice is simple, read everything you can get your hands on and only do what feels right. There are grains of truth in everything. Take lots of notes on stuff that feels important and meaningful to you. Then you can build around those concepts.
I also sat on the sidelines of Enochian magic for quite a while. Evoking is damn scary looking in from the outside. Plus, you read all kinds of stories about magicians getting an Angelic bitch slap now and again for summoning them for the wrong reasons. Still there's something that pulls us on, right? Something about it "feels right". Our higher selves telling us to proceed..
There was one book that laid out Enochian concepts in simple terms (as simple as this topic can get) and it helped me to then move on and understand the older, more involved literature. It's called "Enochian Magic for Beginners" by Donald Tyson. I've found that of all the topics I've read, this one can be the driest. But his book was interesting and held my attention. Plus I actually learned stuff. That's important.
I think it's the curse of the solo practitioner to always feel "in-between", neither here nor there. After all, there are no rules, no guiding hand, no mandatory subjects, no knowledge we are expected to know to pass on to the next grade, and we are most often our own teachers. It's tough on us when we don't quite "get" something. There's no one to turn to who can lay it out in terms we understand. All we have is books and the words of people we don't know and who don't know us.
Now I'm just feeling sorry for myself. haha!
So, it's too big to attach here, but I have a copy of the book I mentioned in .pdf if you are interested. I can email it to you if you want to message me with your address.I have some other related materials as well.
It should be stated that Enochian magic practically requires a working knowledge of the Qabalah, Astrology, geomancy, tarot, among other subjects. I myself still use much caution. These are powerful forces at work and as with any form of magic you will certainly be opening up some doors if you begin working with them.
Sorry, I had to throw that disclaimer in there. =)
So, I hope I helped a bit. Everyone is so different, so I refrain from telling anyone what to do specifically. But I believe we all find our way eventually. It'll become clear, just keep with it!
"I have great difficulty in taking someone's say so as the truth just because they say so"
"I have never taken anyone's word 100%"
I feel exactly the same way. I have to do everything alone and come to all conclusions myself. Otherwise they mean nothing. I've been told it's probably part of my 'trust issue' - which I certainly can't deny exists; but I actually think it's the right way to go about life - and, especially, the esoteric.
I have that Donald Tyson book somewhere, but I've never used Enochian Magic. I might dig it out and read a bit tonight.
Hi Clyde, and nice to meet you. :-)
Absolutely. I find it terrifying that so many people feel they need a book or guru/guide to tell them the 'truth'. And the commercially-driven 'New Age' is only making matters worse. Even very intelligent people - and perhaps especially those who are 'educated' due to being taught to rely on others' academic research(?) - rely on what Buddha said rather than think for themselves. I guess it's a symptom of a dumbed-down society...
Again, I totally agree. There seems to be a huge rush to be a guru/teacher and devise your own system/philosophy, or create your own religion. I imagine ego plays a key role in all this. I find it really interesting that most people who start on the spiritual path decide to become healers within about six months. I wonder why? To distract them from their own inner work, perhaps?
And the answer, at least IMO, is balance. Research, experience, compare, discuss, and see what makes sense to you or works for you at this time. The age of a book or tradition doesn't necessarily equal authenticity; but, then again, most new material is regurgitated anyway.
It's results that count, though being a psychology student, I constantly question my own personal experiences and their causes.
*lol* - I think the trust issue exists to a certain extent (because of various life circumstances), but I'm certainly thankful for it. ;-)
Thank-you! I'm not sure if there's already a thread for this conversation either, but I don't think Cinnamon_Grrl will mind us chatting here (please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong CG!).
I like your triangle. I have to admit I'be been pretty bad regarding keeping a journal, and I've not considered using images instead ('tis a good idea!). I used to keep a detailed tarot diary, and I also recorded readings for friends, along with notes, but other than that I've been pretty lazy.
I'm also useless in classes when it comes to meditations and inner journeys. I just can't relax and spend the whole time wondering what everyone else is up to.
Ooh, I just had a little breakthrough... Now I have a genuine reason to thank those 'bad' folk who made me so distrustful! :-D
I have started journals in the past; it's just that I don't maintain them. I've had my eye on a beautiful, handmade leather book of shadows with a tree of life carving on the front for ages - it has high quality paper that lasts hundreds of years! But I've promised myself I'm not buying it until I know I'm committed to filling it in regularly.
I tend to wander on and off the path, so to speak. I have four children, and each of the three youngest caused me to take time out for a while. Also, since the youngest was born, I've been studying, running a bead & jewellery business and learning to develop websites.
I tend to get engrossed in one thing to the detriment of everything else, so I'm trying to divide my time more equally between work, the kids, my inner life, studying, decorating (which seems to be never-ending!), and my partner... but I'm really struggling.
I've spoken to several people who've said the same thing about group meditations. Perhaps they're a waste of time for most people? I used to have a routine when my eldest two were very young. For years I practised yoga and meditated while they were at school, but I stopped once I met my new partner and fell pregnant again. Since then I've been unable to get back into a regular pattern. I'm working on it...
I'll take a look at the new image.
"At least half of my motivation there is to help me know what it is that I think that I think."
That's what I love most about forums. :-) None of my friends/family share my interests except one, so talking and listening to different people, comparing ideas and experiences, really helps me in that way too. Sometimes I change my beliefs as a result, and other times the discussion confirms my original thoughts. It's all good, either way.
It's funny that we all have issues with "keeping journals" and keeping track of experiences. For a long time, since I was a teen, I would print materials & stick them in binders that were filled with unorganized snippets of remembered dreams, written spells/ prayers, important thoughts, divinations, etc. But I never was able to keep a consistent record of the work and would sometimes go months without adding to it.
Well, recently I began typing up some older stuff and decided that instead of using a notebook, I'd make word documents from now on. So it's a couple months later now and I have a fully functioning eBookofShadows, haha. My boyfriend commented that it's not quite as romantic as having a leather bound book, but honestly, I've had them, and let's face it, it's hard to make changes to a book like that. And I am quite happy with the conversion.
Everything is finally getting organized! I have topic folders filled with corresponding web links, documents, eBooks, charts, and pictures. If I really feel the need to print something I can. Instead of having mountains of papers that get battered and ripped to rifle through, I access all my info in seconds. It's quite nice.
Another great thing about it is if I have to travel with it all I have to do is put it on a flash drive, or even burn it to CD. Beats carrying around 50 lbs. of papers and books.
Of course not everything has an electronic equivalent, and I wouldn't substitute some of my materials regardless. But giving a lot of that stuff it's new home felt respectful. So much of it was buried by time (and dust!) and wasn't getting the proper attention. The whole process of converting and organizing was spiritual in itself. All in all, a good idea on my part (if I do say so myself, hehe) and a great experience.
I kept a general thoughts/feelings diary religiously as a teenager, but both my parents read it so I eventually stopped. My Grandma even bought me one with a lock, but they obviously searched and found the key. Talk about invasion of privacy!
I set up a private Ning site (the EsotericOnline site is also run on Ning) a year or so ago, when they were still free, using it as a cross between a journal and a storage base for information and links. I'd have to pay a monthly to access it now, but I may pay once and transfer everything to an Office OneNote folder.
I think you'd like OneNote. It saves automatically and you can add new pages, sections and notebooks as you wish. I already use it to store info (you can copy and paste images as well as text, just like Word), but I hadn't considered using it as a journal. Thanks for the inspiration!
The leather-bound book is definitely 'romantic'. It's a wonderful idea if your children or grandchildren are likely to want to read it, but I doubt my boys will be interested, perhaps with the exception one who talks about things the others don't. And I agree that stuff in physical form is often hidden or damaged - I have to stack my books 2-3 rows thick on my bookshelf, and I often forget I own the ones I can't see!
My problem is that I've always loved books. I'm getting a Kindle for Christmas and often read Kindle fiction titles on my PC, but there are certain books I feel I should own in real book-form, and I don't think that will change.
'Seek - for the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.'
'Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven and all other things will be added.'
Every split second... this HERE and NOW this ever present is heaven... we are in heaven....
fully grasp this and seeking will be no more.
Difficult to describe the Indescribable.
The beauty to life is the individual/personal experience of Life. It has infinite expressions.
The Divine Comedy or the magical mystery tour, Doors of perception, Heaven and hell. Entrance for mad men only - the fee.. your mind. ( hie-hie... sorry but this creature has reach A way-out.)