Taking Back My Mind
Over the past year, my focus in sorcery has shifted a bit inward. At this point I'm living comfortably, pursuing goals, and in general doing this thing we call life. Along with that, I've felt the need to deepen my efforts at exploring and ruling my own mind. About mid-way through 2015, I signed up for a course by Jason Miller called “Take Back Your Mind”.
Billing it as 6 months of live mind training, Jason starts with a foundation of regular meditation but builds on it with different methods of it. On top of this, he gives different teachings relating to the mind which allows one to free themselves of the mind's hindrances. It was beneficial to me, and the teachings involved will be carried forward in my daily life. Good stuff!
Previously in my practices, I had these times where I worked with Hekate, but I only went so far with it. In some ways, I'm inept at working closely with a deity without becoming a devotee. A new course by Jason is quickly changing that.
Born from his own work with Hekate, this course teaches various arcana specific to Hekate. Having practiced within this course daily since it's beginning at the end of November 2015, I can definitely say that the ceiling I reached in working with Her has been broken for me. The thing is, Hekate was never a Goddess I felt drawn to years ago. She always left me cold, and I never worked with her. My experiences with her in the past few years, especially in the past month or so, have blown all that away.
The course is still in its early stages, and we have been working on building its foundation and learning to work with it in a more closed way (ie working it by itself versus take it and working it into our pre-existing practices). Yet already I've picked up on some very interesting ways to work with Hekate and draw closer to Her.
One interesting part has been getting to know Her individually. To me she comes off as a rather down-to-earth personality, seemingly a bit stern, but with a cool compassion. She'll call you on your bullshit as needed, but there is also a calm, subtle compassion to her. I almost liken it to that tough friend who will tell you that, yes, you're an idiot about certain things at times, but then again so is everyone, and while that's no excuse, the world's not ending and you will get there.
One direction that Hekate has led me in my interactons with Her has supported that inward focus I have moved into. Specifically, She keeps pointing to the unknown parts of my psyche, urging me in her own way to plumb those depths and put what I find there to rest.
To this end, I have started working with the material in Tsultrim Allione's “Feeding Your Demons”. In it, Allione outlines a method of working with one's “Inner Demons”, or those complexes, problems, and blockages which impact us negatively, and even those to which we aspire. The goal, as I understand it so far, is to break the hold these things have on you to allow you to live more mindfully and free. Honestly, I think we all have these things, these “demons” which plague us or otherwise trip us up. In this case, they are not demons in the literal sense. Though they can involve things outside of ourselves, the focus is on the personal connection to these things and how they affect us.
For instance, I have depression. I've had it for a very long time, and at this point I'd consider it chronic. I've been in therapy, and have worked therapy self-care about it, for years now. In “Feeding Your Demons”, my depression is one of my demons. I brought up Allione's book with my therapist during one of our previous sessions, and she was wholly supportive of working with my depression in this way.
What the method in Allione's book boils down to is “conjuring” one of your inner demons, finding out what it wants, then what it truly needs, and then finding out how it would feel if it got what it needs. And then? You give it exactly that by mentally transforming your own body into a nectar full of what it needs. The demon consumes this nectar, and eventually transforms.
I could see some folks seeing this practice -personifying and “communicating” with aspects of our own psyches- as unhealthy. But leaving aside the examples which litter Allione's book, I've noticed the opposite effect, and my own therapist agreed. Sometimes it can be helpful to address these issues as if they were their own beings.
It's been interesting so far.
A Connection Between Outer And Inner
I see a parellel here with practical magic in this, because working magic on external issues can be wondrous! Magic as a tool for manifesting external change can be that one thing that tips the scales in life to turn things around. I know, I've lived it. At the same time, sometimes the part that needs to change are things within your own mind and heart before you can go further with the external change.
In the Strategic Sorcery course, at one point Jason gives this run-down on the relationship between theurgy and thaumaturgy. Basically, the thaumaturgy helps resolve issues in life, allowing for more personal growth. As that personal growth and enlightenment progresses, so does one's ability to manifest external change. One feeds into the other, strengthening it.
I see a similar thing with this inner demon work. My focus has not by any means shifted exclusively to inner work. But, I will admit, it's nice to be able to work sorcerous methods to help facilitate personal change more directly than working with external forces and hoping it will happen.
That's all for now. Happy ensorcelling, readers!