As I have mentioned several times, I am currently undergoing a study of ceremonial magic using Christopher Penczak’s High Temple of Witchcraft as a framework. My plan had been to devote, as the program intends, a single year to the study: August 2011 to July 2012. I say I have been using Penczak as a framework because, as I will discuss in an upcoming in-depth review, the subject is too large, too complex, and too varied for one author alone to convey.
Not quite ten days ago, I talked about moving on from my month of Yesod(Moon) to Hod(Mercury). Since then, however, I have received numerous signals (both from my body and from my guides) that I need to slow down. Maintaining a daily practice is getting harder, not easier, despite the fact that I have been doing this for almost four months. There was the whole thing where my altar imploded. My dreams are getting harder to remember, despite journaling and ritual work. And, most tellingly, I am having more trouble achieving a trance state than I have in years.
Are the stresses and pressures of mortal life a factor in this? Of course. But I have just finished a week of break followed by the lowest-workload week I’ve had since the beginning of the semester. And into that empty space, rather than enlightenment, a wellspring of issues that I haven’t been dealing with properly have bubbled up.
So, rather than power through and set myself up for failure, I’m going to back off, go over what I’ve already learned. I’m going to focus on consolidating my gains, and keeping my life in order as the semester winds to a close.
It becomes increasingly clear to me why ceremonial magic of the sort exemplified by the Golden Dawn has long and largely been the purview of a wealthy elite, and the full-time artists they patronized.
It also becomes increasingly clear to me that the Kabalistic magic of the Golden Dawn and their contemporaries—of Regardie and Crowley and Fortune; the sort which Penczak oversimplifies—represents a much smaller portion of ceremonial magic than I ever realized. I had heard of Agrippa before beginning this study, but I didn’t know who he was. I hadn’t heard of the Greek Magical Papyri. I had no idea how much actual Hellenistic and Roman magic actually survived to this day; as such, I had little idea of its pervasive influence.
I will continue to work my way through the exercises of the High Temple. However flawed, the framework is adequate for my purposes. I’ve already learned an amazing amount, and I will see this through to the end. But getting through it in just a year? Ahaaahahahah. Fuck no.
I reserve my senseless enthusiasm for sex, drugs, and rock&roll. I try to approach my magic with a proper sense of prudence and awe.