So, I set myself a number of goals to have complete by the end of the New Year, New You project—almost exactly two weeks from today. Up until now, I have been dong a fairly good job, even if there has been some last-minute completion, but let’s check back in:
1) Finish interpreting my own natal chart. I’ve been working on it off and on for half a year, but my ego keeps getting in the way. [Hahah. No.]
2) Illustrated meditation on the Element of Earth and finish my meditation on the Element of Water. [Oh, right. I forgot about that one.]
3) Develop an outline for the new book of shadows. [Uh … been thinking about it.]
4) Transport this blog to wordpress. Blogger is getting on my nerves. I hope this won’t irritate my established readers too badly, but there are just so many technical advantages to wordpress. I wanted to use it originally, actually, but it was broken the day I decided to register my domain. [WIP. Any thoughts on improving the layout while it’s in beta?]
5) Successfully achieve astral projection. [WIP.]
6) Complete (for the purposes of my survey of ceremonial magic, though not in any larger sense) my studies of Earth/Malkuth and Moon/Yesod. [Houston, we (may) have a problem.]
With two weeks to go, I haven’t actually gotten very far on these. Ironically, this is in part because I’ve been working at the long-term master list from which it was derived from other directions. But only in part.
My natal chart has been derailed by having too much work to do. As much as astrology interests me, the fact is that it’s fairly tangential to everything, and it’s disproportionately time-consuming. Because of the degree to which I’m an amateur, I can write an A paper in the amount of time it takes me to write a D natal chart.
As far as the elemental meditations … I’d love to pretend that I’ve been too busy, or working on other things, or … But, no. I just fucking forgot about them. I should get back on them if for no reason other than that they’re fun. Also, my newly stripped-down altar needs more pretties.
The Book of Shadows thing has gotten derailed by some of the same things that have derailed my ceremonial studies as a whole. It’s not that I’m not thinking about it; it may be that I’m thinking too much about it. More on that in a bit.
Migrating the Dream to wordpress is one thing that’s actually seen some action. So is astral projection, though I doubt that I’ll managed “success” at the rate I’m going, it still counts for something. The work speaks for itself.
Finally, we come to my ceremonial studies. By one way of counting, they have ground to a complete halt: I haven’t opened Penczak’s High Temple of Witchcraft since I wrote the review, let alone made any progress through that rubric. On the other hand, I haven’t exactly been idle. I’ve been pawing through Donald Michael Kraig again, dabbled in some Israel Regardie, made myself some Mercury talismans, read the Arbatel in its (surviving) entirety, and performed the rite of the Stele of Jeu the Heiroglyphist (and a few less interesting things as well). As my ceremonial studies shift from theoretical to practical, my methods are necessarily in flux and I find myself searching for, among other things, a new rubric that isn’t hip deep in the assumption that I’ve never cast a spell before in my life (sorry Kraig) … but which doesn’t assume I already know everything, either.
Here we see a glimpse of the thing that’s hard for me: pick a thing and stick to it. It’s a large part of what’s gone wrong with my daily practice. I’m damn good at whipping it out and getting shit done. I’m not so good at keeping on top of things. This is why I take yoga classes instead of just maintaining a practice in home; after three semesters, I ought to know what I’m doing well enough to follow one of the countless routines on YouTube. This is why I’m blogging instead of doing homework or sleeping.
In theory, of course, I could continue with the Penczak psuedo-GD structure, just adding bits and pieces to compensate for his failures. Like, say, conjuring the planetary spirits using Kraig’s system in conjunction with Penczak’s visionary work, and/or making a Planetary Talisman like I did with Mercury. After all, there are a lot of things about Penczak and his system that I do like. But … I’m mad at him. Which is absurd and immature, but there you go. Also, I’ve absolutely run out of patience for his fluffy-bunny-bullshit, which essentially means that in order to use his shit I’ll have to re-write it from the ground up at which point I … may just be on to something. But it’s also somewhat beside the point, because I’m this is the means, not the ends.
The ends, the actual goal, is this: to become a more competent and well-rounded witch. To get closer to the Mysetery I can’t name, but whose call I can’t ignore. To live well, and to die well.
And what do I need to achieve those ends? Work. Every day, at least a little bit. Keep the Sabbats; mark the Moons; struggle to do something, even a little bit, every day.
Nose to the grindstone. Shoulder to the wheel.
Do the Work. Let the serpent bite its tail.