Ascending Practices

I am living a more productive magical life now than I have since high school, when – haphazard as it was – I was practicing nearly every day. I was almost this consistent in St. Louis – the only thing that took up more of my tiny studio apartment than my altar was my writing desk – but I was by myself, and meditation and house wards only get you so far.

My friend Chirotus invited me to help him start a magical study group about eighteen months ago. The premise was that we, as experienced and competent magicians of wildly different schools of thought, could learn a great deal from each-other by starting back at the basics. We started meeting monthly, practicing aura viewings and energy awareness, elemental conjurations (one month for each element), spent a couple months on personal shielding, and are back to aura viewings. At Samhain we started celebrating the Sabbats together, and will have celebrated half the year come Beltane. We have recently started meeting twice a month.

2020 has been the year that I’ve finally started keeping comprehensive magical journals. I’m not quite up to every day or every exercise, but I’m getting there. The things this does for my clarity and recollection are astounding. Why did I think journaling was too dorky for words? Oh, right. I was 19.

Over the course of the last semester I’ve started doing yoga every week or two. If you’ve never done an hour of meditative breathing combined with moderately strenuous physical activity, allow me a moment to highly recommend it. Last year I was doing three traditional Western work-outs a week (45-65 minutes) combined with meditative breathing. I need to get back on that: never in my life had I felt better physically.

I’ve started a daily tarot practice over the last two months. I still need to write about my thirty days of Rider-Waite. I’m twenty days into the Crowley Thoth, and while it will never be my primary, I already know I’m going to need to put in a second thirty (at least) before I can move onto another deck. My most significant insight from this so far was best put by Aradia: “You think doing daily readings will change your life, but it won’t. You still have the kinds of day you’ve always had.”

Last Beltane, I performed a formal Dedication for the first time, and at Heartland Pagan Festival, I gave up the magical name I’ve been using since I was sixteen years old. I have, at last, chosen a new name, and this year at Heartland, I’ll finally undergo a rite of initiation.

My aura sight, my tarot reading, and my clairsentience are as clear as they have ever been. My energy work is almost as potent as I remember it being in high school, just before I gave myself the migraines, and it’s a hard to say that I don’t just know so much more now than I did then that I’m just judging myself on a much harsher scale: I’ve been on spiritual journeys that I could not have even imagined then.

I think these things may actually count as progress. Evolution. Maybe even ascension.

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