Magick for the Real World

One couple's dream of being the change they want to see in the world.



The Symbolism of the Scorpion

There are very few references to scorpions in mythology or modern symbolism books.  I have no good theories on why this would be the case, but many of my searches for information on the scorpion have been in vain.  In response to this lack of information, I’m going to post my thoughts and personal symbols for the scorpion as well as the little information I’ve found.

In every case that I’ve found, the scorpion has represented the death that comes unsuspecting.  It does not attack with ferociousness like a tiger or bear, but instead dances around its enemy, drawing their attention to its pincers while it slowly draws near enough for the fatal strike from its tail.  This teaches us the value of the never letting your enemy know the true danger until it is too late.

On the other hand, there is no cruelty in the scorpion.  It is simple, emotionless, and deadly at the same time.  Cold-blooded simplicity at its finest.  The scorpion will fight, kill, and then devour any rival scorpions and even their mates.  They teach us that we are alone in the world, and that it is often best to rid the world of competitors.  Unlike people though, this is not done through hate or distrust, simply the cold knowing that all competitors can turn around and destroy you if you do not destroy them first.

Strangely, they are one of the only “bugs” that cares for its young.  As soon as the eggs hatch, the baby scorpions climb up on the mother’s back and completely cover her.  She then protects them until their first molting.  This cold-blooded killer knows that it must protect her young from the world until they are ready to fight their own battles.  She knows that in this world, there is no mercy to be had, even for the young.

The scorpion represents death in its most simple sense.  It represents the world in its harshest most destructive nature, and yet with a very protective nature.  Crowley integrated the scorpion into his Death card in the Thoth Tarot, along with the serpent and eagle, the other two pieces of Scorpio.

In the Ritual of the Portal, an initiatory ritual of the Golden Dawn, it is said that

“The Scorpion is the emblem of ruthless destruction; the Snake is the mixed and deceptive nature, serving alike for good and evil; the Eagle is the higher and Divine Nature, yet to be found herein, the Alchemical Eagle of distillation, the Renewer of life. As it is said:–’Thy youth shall be renewed like the Eagles.’”

There are many parts of the Golden Dawn that I disagree with, but on this series of transformations I agree.  It is necessary to learn the destructive nature of the scorpion before you can learn the trans-formative nature of the snake who can travel between the upper and lower world.

This post is not about this Golden Dawn ritual and so I will not go deeply into it, I was simply showing yet another example of the symbolism of the scorpion.  If there is any interest in this topic, I would have no problem writing about it in more detail.


I’m Tired of Repetitiveness, Send Me Something New

As I look at my magickal bookshelf for something to look back on, to give me more insight, or just something to randomly give me something to think about during a road trip, I get depressed. There’s not much on there that really makes me think, “Wow, that’s a really unique idea. I think I’m going to put that into practice.” Maybe it’s the fact that every facet of these books has been explored and reiterated back to me over and over again throughout my random website searches. Maybe it’s the fact that I spend too much time at the computer reading “advanced” discussion boards. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve read through most of the books that I own. Or maybe it’s that there has been so few revolutionary thoughts in the past few decades that I haven’t heard of the books that they’re in or the people who’ve come up with them.

How many different books does a person have to buy to finally come up with something noteworthy? Yes, I have most of the Crowley library in hard copy or on the computer, and yes I have perused them to my heart’s content, but they have been rehashed over and over again. I know that they hold a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, and quality knowledge at that, enough in fact, to keep someone busy for a decade at least. I’m just looking for something new, something that hasn’t been rehashed. I started with Cunningham’s work (as many people do) and quickly realized there wasn’t much in the way of substance there. I worked through a lot of the Golden Dawn stuff and though there’s a lot of substance there, I simply do not feel completely happy with all of their thoughts and ideas. I’ve gone through much of the original Wiccan thoughts and ideas and have found them to be lacking in many places. I could go on and on about the books and the ideas that I’ve explored and though they are worthwhile studies and practices to pursue, I am tired of them. I want something new.

No, please don’t refer me to another book written in 1905. Please don’t send me a magickal text from the 1600’s (okay, actually send it to me simply because I’d love to have it, but don’t refer me to it). Send me something new. A new idea even. Hell, I’d take a random thought that hasn’t been published by 200 Llewellyn authors, a new idea for a ritual, even a new name for a pet. Magickal journals everywhere rehash the same ideas that were brought to light by someone a century ago. Magazines and ezines take the same trash and reiterate it to me over and over again. You wonder why these magazines and ezines are failing? It’s because anyone who’s interested enough in magick and Pagan thoughts to buy a magazine or sign up for an ezine probably already knows everything written in them. I’ve been doing this stuff for almost 8 years and I’m coming up to what I think is the end of written knowledge.

There are literally thousands upon thousands of Pagan authors out there, and yet I haven’t found any books written in the past 20 years that are truly noteworthy. I take that back, there are many authors out there that have done plenty for the Pagan community in their efforts to “convert” and “get us out of the broom closet”, but I haven’t found any that are noteworthy for the people who actually understand what they’re doing. Why is that? I know that I’ve put thoughts and ideas up on this blog that haven’t ever been written about or published by anyone else because I thought of them. I didn’t reiterate something from a manuscript. I didn’t combine all of the knowledge that I’ve gained so far and put it onto the internet. Obviously, that information is already out there. What I did was think, “Hey, that’s a cool idea. Maybe I’ll put it on my blog.” Then I sat down and wrote it. The end. So why is it that I haven’t found these revolutionary thoughts everywhere? Why is it that when somebody has practiced some sort of magick for 35 years, they haven’t had those errant thoughts that change their perspectives or practices to some degree? And if they have, where are those errant thoughts stored? Did they write them down? Or were they lost, as dreams are lost?

So I challenge you, the reader to take what I say and think about it. Do you have those errant thoughts? Do you practice in some way differently than what the books say? What are those small pieces that are different? A change in the way that you make a gesture, a change in the wording, or a different type of tool that you came up with is what I’m looking for.

Morals and Ethics

I’d like to get everyone’s opinion on a somewhat controversial topic.  There’s that ever present issue with what is right when it comes to magick.  Most people simply go with the old advice of the Rule of Three or Karma.  Then there are the ones that adhere to Crowley’s only rule which was ‘Do what thou Will shall be the whole of the law.”  Remember that he means by Will, he means the true Will of the person.  He’s not simply saying do whatever you want to do.  He’s saying that you should do whatever you need to do to stay on your personal path to enlightenment, and to never stray.

I, personally, am a follower of Crowley’s laws.  Instead of trying to convince you to do things for your common man, he instead points out that becoming the best that you can be is far more important.  That doesn’t mean that you should kill people, do negative magick for no reason, or even insult people.  These things break his law quite quickly because they do not put you further on the path to finding your True Will.  They actually create road blocks by creating enemies.  On the other hand, if someone is doing something that is keeping you from becoming a better and more full you, then you should absolutely do what you need to to remove that negative influence from your life.  That doesn’t mean to kill them because, again, you are simply creating more obstacles for yourself.

On the other hand, the Rule of Three and Karma are based on a system of right and wrong.  It feels a little too reminiscent of heaven and hell style ideas.  I don’t think that there’s any reason why you can do something that is wrong if it’s your soul’s true path, yet that may mean that you have to banish someone who is continuously interferring with your life.  In the Rule of Three and Karma world, you should let the Universe take care of bringing the problems back to bite them in the ass.  In the mean time, they are interferring in your life.  Yes, you could put up protection spells, but at the same time, pushing them out of your life completely (and usually displacing them by some strange coincidence…) is usually much more effective.  Some people will argue that you won’t get bad Karma because of this, but you’re moving a person out of the area they enjoy, you could be moving a parent out of the life of his/her child, or you could be moving a teacher out of the life of a student.  You aren’t just giving someone what they deserve and protecting yourself; you’re also causing a lot of negative effects for a lot of people.  So you should be getting some bad Karma on this one.  Yet I’d do it if it was necessary, and I don’t think that I should have negative outcomes because of it.  If that’s the case, there’s negative outcomes to everything we do.

What is the big draw to the Rule of Three and Karma then?  Is it that people have experienced the effects of it?  Couldn’t that just as well be the effects of not living out your soul’s desire?  The world could be trying its hardest to push you away from these unnecessary actions that are pushing other people off of their soul’s paths as well.

So the next question is, “What’s my soul’s path then?”  I really don’t have an answer for you on that except to ask other questions, “What have you ever done that made you feel ecstatically happy?” and “What makes you want to be awake rather than be sleeping?”

Oh yeah, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve TV.

Books…do you actually have non-Llewellyn books?

For practicality’s sake, there’s only one New Age book publishing company and this company’s name is Llewellyn.  This is the publisher that has dominated all of your local Barnes and Nobles New Age/Metaphysical section.  It’s also the publisher that’s produced such authors as Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf, D.J. Conway, Amber Wolfe, and Ted Andrews.  This publisher is the greatest corrupter/influencer of all silly teenage witches (if you’re not silly then this doesn’t apply to you), gothkids, uninformed Pagans everywhere.  For the most part, this company will publish any book that expounds on guided visualizations or the great questions “What is Paganism” and “What is Magic(k)?”.  I always figured that if I ever got hard up for cash, I’d sit down for a week and write a shitty how-to book on the intro to Paganism and would be able to pay the rent for the rest of the month.  I’m sure that this isn’t actually how being an author works, but at the same time, I do know that there is more absolute shit published by Llewellyn than any other publisher, and I think they like it that way.  Anyways, on to the point of this post:  5 books that every serious practicer of magick should own.

Magick Without Tears by Aleister Crowley
There are hundreds and probably thousands of introductory books about Magick and they all seem to be full of the same stuff.  They talk about after doing these 5 visualizations that everything in your life will change dramatically and that this is all you have to do to do Magick.  I’m not saying that visualizations aren’t important, but I am saying that an introduction to magick should have a broader range of things it introduces you to.  And this book does exactly that.  It touches on over 50 topics ranging from “What is Magick” to duality to qabalah and it does so in a very comprehensive yet short series of chapters.  This book will definitely not teach you how to DO very much Magick, but it will definitely tell you where you should go next, and I think that that’s exactly what an introductory book should do.

The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk
Okay, I’m going to start out by saying that I have not adequately perused the astrology sections of the world to make too many criticisms about any other books, but I do know that this book has helped me immensely to understand astrology and that’s simply amazing, because I originally thought of it as a very complicated art/science.  There’s actually not a lot I feel confident about saying on this subject other than the fact that I learned a good deal from this book about astrology that I’ve found to be extremely useful in my life.

The Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Agrippa
Granted, this is a Llewellyn book, but it was also written in the 16th century so it’s public domain…  Now, this book is what most of the Golden Dawn and Crowley’s OTO were based heavily on, and since these secret societies seem to be the earliest and best managed groups of modern Magick I believe that this book may have a few keys that could be extremely useful to a practicing magician.  I have not read very much of it truthfully, but I just recently found it and it should be arriving at my doorstep within the next couple days.

I also would like to speak to the fact that there really aren’t any other books that are available to the public that are as old or as comprehensive as this book is.  I’ve looked and looked for books that were written at the time of the old alchemists and magicians and have been extremely unsuccessful.  However, this book was written at that time and I’m completely excited to get a glimpse into the ideas of the time.  I’m sure that much of it will be silly and they’ll talk about diseases as spiritual issues entirely, but they had to have something right or no one would have believed that they could do Magick.

The Complete Magician’s Tables by Stephen Skinner
One of those great stereotypes for Pagans is that they love their reference books…and I’m no exception to this one.  This book is kind of an expanded Liber 777.  It’s got planetary symbolism, numerological symbolism, brief descriptions of many gods, gemstones, herbs, elemental associations, metals, the tree of life, tarot symbolisms, and many many other tables.  Half of the book is tables and half is commentary.  I really haven’t found any other book that has all of this information in a single source other than Liber 777.  Not only does this book have more information, but it also is far better organized which is a key thing when you’re talking about a reference book.

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
This book is fiction and has no true Magickal significance, but I’ve never met a person who’s life isn’t changed for the better by this book.  In truth, the story is incredibly simple.  It’s about a boy who dreams the same dream twice and goes to Egypt in search of the pyramids because in the dream he is said to find a great treasure there.  He is robbed, works at a small shop in a country he’s never been to before, falls in love, meets an Alchemist and all in search for this treasure.  This book is about the fact that life is a journey and that everyone must spend their life in search for their treasure because you can never be unhappy while searching for it.  I’ve reread this book at least 40-50 times and will continue to reread it every time my life is confusing.  Everyone should own this book and it will show you that you truly should believe in dreams whether they be while you are sleeping or while you are daydreaming.

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