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.