That Mysterious Itch

Did you ever have an itch that you can’t actually find? You scratch where you think it is, but that’s not it! So then you have to randomly scratch various parts of the afflicted area until you finally find it. When you DO find it, the area really doesn’t feel like it itches at all, but weirdly enough scratching there seems to alleviate the itch.

(I’ve noticed that when I talk about this phenomenon some people know exactly what your talking about, while others are like, WTF? This leads me to believe not everyone experiences it, kind of like how some people have a gene allele that makes cilantro taste like soap, while the rest of us are like “Mmmm Cilantro”! So just humor me if you’ve never experienced it.)

Anyway, that’s how magic and spirituality is for me. I constantly have this maddening itch, this feeling that there is something I need to be doing, some practice, some bit of magic, something I’m not doing and something that I can’t even put my fingers on to scratch. So I’ve been flailing around trying to find it, trying this and that. Neither Druidry or Witchcraft alone do it. Put them both together and glue them up with some Strategic Sorcery, and the itch is brought down to to tolerable levels. Not gone completely, just merely tolerable.

This past week, though a very strange series of events that I won’t go into, I somehow become convinced I needed to start studying Hermetic Magic. Now this is out of character for me. At first glance I have no affinity for this sort of magic. I’m a bone and folk magic kind of guy. I like my magic low and “dirty”. Besides, I’m a freaking Pagan. I don’t need no stinking angels! Still, the idea would not go away, and generated a tension I’ve come to know well… the “You must do this or you will explode” kind of tension. The longer you ignore it, the more the pressure builds. So I decided to do it right and sign up for Frater R.O.’s Red Work course, because when I think of Hermetics, I think R.O.. I figure, if I don’t like it at least I’d be learning something new and stepping out of my magical comfort zone. These are not bad things.

So here I am last night, writing out angel names and seals by hand on a piece of parchment, whipping up a batch of holy water, and asking the archangels of the planets and the princes of the 4 corners of the Earth to cleanse my sphere. I’m sitting there in the circle, and you know what? The itch is gone. Mother fucking GONE. For the first time in years. There is peace and quiet, and finally total relief.

“Really” I ask myself. Hermetics makes the itch finally go away? I never would of thought of that. Is that what the itch is all about, I need to start taking up the Great Work”? I’m not really a Great Work kind of guy. Except maybe… Maybe I am?

It’s early yet, but damn. If this makes the itch go away, I’ll continue on. This throws a monkey wrench into my well established practice. I’ve always been of the “Grasp tightly but let go lightly” philosophy. Maybe this is more of a New Start ™ than I thought? I’ve got a lot of stuff to figure out now. Not sure where this will go, but I look forward to finding out.

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25 Responses to That Mysterious Itch

  1. Worsanos says:

    This is EXACTLY where I am right now. It’s actually creepy. I haven’t taken any concrete steps towards ceremonial magic except for reading, but I feel the pull. Angels are a lot more involved in my life than they should be, so I figure why not.

  2. Aubs Tea says:

    I didn’t know that about cilantro.

    I understand the magical itch, though. I’ve been feeling that overwhelming need for some time. I still haven’t found the remedy to that itch, but one day… hopefully.

    • greycatsidhe says:

      Neither did I! I guess it makes sense though since some people are more pleased by some scents and tastes than others. Very interesting…

      • Bone Druid says:

        I think it has something to do with being able to detect certain chemicals via smell that most of us don’t have the ability to smell. There are chemicals in cilantro that resemble soap, but only some people have the receptors to detect them.

    • Bone Druid says:

      Aubs Tea, I’m not sure there is ever a total remedy, but we can make it go awy for a little while. I wish you luck on finding what it is that satisfies yours!

  3. NatureAngel says:

    I totally understand. I have the same itch.
    How strange.. when I first found your blog (one incarnation of it.. O&I think? Or before, but just by a bit), I thought “We don’t have anything in common…” but for some reason that I couldn’t explain, I kept reading and following. And I don’t follow many blogs. And as time goes by I’m finding more and more alignment. I didn’t consider myself pagan when I began reading your posts. But I was. This entry blew me away. I’ve known that H is a call for me for a long time, I just didn’t know what to do with it except read. I’m still looking for something (and also considering the “angel” aspect).. but I’m doing what I can at the moment. Regardless, best wishes as we both continue our paths

    • Bone Druid says:

      Nature Angel, thanks for the wonderful comment. Wow, O&I was a long time ago. Thanks for sticking with me through all the (many) changes! I’m glad you’ve been able to find some resonance in this.

      I wish you the best of luck too on your continued path. I’m glad to know there are others out there on a similar one! My best to you!

  4. aynfean says:

    I totally understand both types of itches, and cilantro is nasty. Moving along…

    I often feel the magical itch, like if I don’t get up and just DO something that second my body is going to explode, implode and probably just shatter. It’s this antsy, can’t sit still, kinda of RAWR feeling for me. I’ve yet to figure out what will make it go away entirely although maybe I need to listen to that gut feeling that keeps insisting “get thee to the ocean”.

    Couple years ago I studied Hermetics although I had the misfortune to find a teacher who, once he learned more about my Pagan background, treated me as though I were dirty. I walked away from it at that point and haven’t really looked back. The Angels and things were not for me. However we’re all different and I hope you find what you’re looking for.

    • Bone Druid says:

      Aynfean, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience! I don’t think it’s uncommon though. sometimes those in teacher positions just really suck and abuse their influence. It’s really sad. This is why I tend to stick to myself and avoid “the community”. 😦

      • aynfean says:

        I wish I could avoid “the community: but I long for the fellowship aspect of the Craft. I want to mingle and learn and share the experience. If I had to name the single greatest longing of mine it would be an active group either online or in person.

  5. Erik says:

    I get that itch if I don’t get to train (Aikido) at least twice a week…not magical per se, although definitely spiritual.

    This should be interesting – I look forward to seeing what insights this new practice brings you!

    • Bone Druid says:

      Thanks Erik, I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me too.

      I so miss Aikido. I remember that itch to train as well. I’m really hoping to know it again too. Although the thought of training with someone other than my original Sensei makes me sad. She was all sorts of awesome.

      Now I’m getting all nostalgic.

  6. Oh, yeah, I have that itch.

    Mine wasn’t scratched by Hermetics, though. I’m a recon pagan, multi-trad (Greek recon/Irish celtic recon/heathen — don’t ask me, I just do what the gods demand), and for years had the feeling there was something I wasn’t doing that I needed to be. For me, it was always prayer, never magic; “I don’t do spells”, I told people.

    Then I stumbled on a blog about cunning-folk hedge-witchery and spiritwork (shamanism) and everything clicked. I still don’t practice magic…but that’s because I’m still learning. No one jumps out of a perfectly good plane before they’ve even learned how to put on the parachute, after all. But apparently, being willing to learn is a good start, because it doesn’t itch any more.

    • Bone Druid says:

      Jennifer, I think it’s awesome that you are multi-trad! I wish more people were open to that kind of thing. As you say, the gods call and it’s hard not to listen. Bravo!

      Yeah there’s no reason to practice magic if your not comfortable with it yet (or ever!). Taking your time to learn and grow is very admirable in my book.

  7. MrBlack says:

    That itch will always be there. I just always assumed it’s the call towards the next level/path.

    • Bone Druid says:

      Mr.Black, I think you said a mouthful there. Very true words! I guess I’d be worried if the itch ever went away totally. I believe you hit it on the head that it’s the call to the next level. I totally agree!

  8. I know exactly what you mean, except with me it’s not witchcraft, druidry and hermetics, it’s just witchcraft and ceremonial magic. I know hermetics is weird, especially for us pagans but if you think about it witchcraft is a more localized type of paganism where as hermetics could be seen as a more cosmic form. They both seem to work well together, each one balancing the other, one is lunar the other solar, one is earth based, the other is stellar.

    I apologize if I seem to be rambling

    • Bone Druid says:

      Ethan, your not rambling. I think your making a ton of sense actually. The lunar and solar dynamics are ones I’m always trying to balance. As a matter of fact I was planing on writing a post on that very subject this morning before I saw your comment. Great minds and all that 😉

  9. Lilith47 says:

    The itch is the reason I made a vow for a year and a day to learn and do magic… it got so insistent and wouldn’t go away that I knew I can’t just ignore it like I’ve done for the past few years. I know very well what you mean! Thank you for the great post 🙂

    @Erik I get the other kind of itch when I’m not dancing and moving every day. Well, physical and spiritual shouldn’t be separated anyway, so it still counts 😉

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  11. Lance Foster says:

    I have the three worlds model (yes, i know the map is not the territory, but it helps me organize my understanding), Above (sky and celestial), Middle (the world we see around us), Below (underworld, cthonic), and it just seems to me that different paths, while dealing with all three worlds, tend to be oriented a certain way.

    For me, when I have an issue or question about one of the Three Worlds, I tend to start my search in particular directions. Hermetic tradition seems to be strong in/oriented to the celestial department (even many of the goetic spirits seem to be more celestial “fallen spirits” than truly cthonic). Traditional witchcraft, lore, and cunning craft seems to be strongest in the Middle (of course with cthonic and celestial connections). Some of RJ Stewart’s Underworld work, dowsing/earth mysteries, etc. seem to align with Underworld/cthonic issues. And shamanic journeying goes up and down the Axis Mundi/World Tree as the connecting point.

    • Seillean says:

      Lance, thanks for sharing your views on this. I love this actually. I think your pretty spot on with your classifications here. I too like the 3 world model. Your right, models are not the territory but they are still damn useful!

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