Personal Miscellanea: What I’ve learned about myself thus far

Blogging is by it’s very nature a sort of narcissistic activity. I mean, your assuming the whole world wants to hear your inner most thoughts and that they matter somehow. When I started this blog I really did so just to have a place to write down what I’m feeling, regardless if even one other person ever read it. Lately, I’ve been neglecting posting because I felt what I have to say isn’t important enough to be of interest. I’m meaning to remedy that.

So here is some personal miscellanea of things I’ve learned about myself on my path thus far. It’s in no particular order, just random stuff I’d like to get down before it escapes my mind. A stream of consciousness in fact. More statements of belief as it stands right now (by the time you read this will already be outdated).

  • I am Pagan for better or worse. Recently I left the label behind like many others to use “Polytheist”. It didn’t really change much. People of mainstream faiths still called me Pagan when referencing my religion, and I didn’t really bother to correct them because it felt too damn pretentious. I think the moniker still has use, and like it or not it’s what were stuck with even if it it isn’t perfect. I think it’s better to just embrace it personally. I don’t always agree with Ian Corrigan, but I think he nailed it on the head in this post. Plus I hate having to give any label that requires description. Most people know what pagan means without me having to give a monologue about it. I’m cool with that.
  • I am an animist. I have always been so since before I knew what the word meant. Together with Paganism, these two views fuel my spiritual practice.
  • I am fiercely devotional. Devotional worship to my gods fills a large part of my personal practice. It makes me happy. I enjoy their company. I like to think they enjoy mine. I probably get more out of it then they do. I know many fellow magicians eschew this view, but I’ll always be fiercely devotional to my gods. It’s just how I’m wired. My life is better for them being in it.
  • I am a magician and have to have magic in my life. This is non-negotiable. Magic has been my passion since I was 3 years old. My very first memories are of trying to craft my own magic. I’ve left faiths before solely on the basis of their lack of inclusiveness of magic. I use magic all the time in almost every aspect of my life. I would not want to live in a world without magic (I don’t know how people do it, really). I enjoy both High and Low magic and tend to engage in both depending on the need.
  • I have a love/hate relationship with Druidry and all things “Celtic”. I wish this weren’t true, but it is. Revival Druidry (I stress as as opposed to Cultural Druidry or Neo-Pagan Druidry) fits a certain lock in my soul like nothing else. No matter how many times I leave (and I try often. About 3 times in the past month alone.) I’m often back the next day being drawn back in. However, no matter how much I try worshiping the Celtic gods, even though I have both Irish and Welsh ancestry, and even when I have open invitations from the gods themselves (ie the Morrigan, & Cerridwen), I feel like a cultural interloper and like a visitor on shaky ground. I try and try, but I just don’t get anything out of it.ย  I don’t know why this is, but it is. My own gods are Greek. I feel at home with the Hellenic gods. While I know that many druidic types worship heath cultures outside the Celtic, for me personally I don’t find it works very well (kudos to those whom it does though). Thus I’ve settled on not bringing the gods into my Druidry at all, and keeping it solely animistic. For me animistic Druidry works, but it is an uneasy balance.
  • In reality, even though I’m drawn to Druidry, my personal practice tends to resemble Traditional Witchcraft more than Druidry I have to admit. My actually every day practice tends to resemble Robin Artisson (sans the fanciful language) more than Philip Carr-gomm or JMG. Particularly necromancy plays a big role. I firmly believe that the heart of witchcraft is necromancy. Even interactions with gods I think may be a form of necromancy (I think a lot of gods are deified ancestors. Maybe not all, but there are quite a few).
  • My primary patron is and probably always will be Hekate. However, it’s not all light and roses right now. I’m jealous of those whom I hear talk to her all the time and she’s in their life all the time, and their having great experiences, because it isn’t like that for me at all. I feel fiercely devotional to her, but she seldom “speaks” to me or otherwise makes her presence known outside of occasionally at during altar worship. I’m comforted by the fact that I hear others say this too. I don’t know if she’s just like that by nature. Others have suggested she thinks I can stand on my own two feet and don’t need the constant assurance of her presence. Still I wish we had more interaction than we do. Another possibility is that I’ve explored her surface as much as possible and to go much further I have to really dig in deep and challenge myself. I am comfortable in my relationship with her. I’m not feeling challenged at all. Maybe that’s it? This is part of the reason an extended hand from The Morrigan seems enticing, but still… it doesn’t feel right the way Hekate does and there is the whole matter of given oaths that I refuse to go back on.
  • This is part of the reason I consider monoalatry to Hekate. Even though we’re not communing daily, I get the feeling in some deep part of my being that the answer is giving up all the other distractions and concentrating on what is important, digging deeper, if not permanently at least for awhile until I get through this. Truthfully, she gets 80-90% of my worship anyway. While I maintain relationship with other deities, those relationships are shallow at best. Why keep ’em? (Although I am developing quite a fondness for Helios, a god whom I approached of my own volition). This idea of near-monoalatry comes up all the time, in meditation, in dreams, in my ever day normal consciousness. Somehow I think it’s the right way but I’ve never actually made the leap. I could see being happy with an entire practice built around the Cult of Hekate with her at it’s center and working with the gods and spirits who are associated with her. My religion would in fact… be Hekate. So whats holding me back? The knowledge that once that gate is opened all others are going to be closed. It’s part of the deal methinks.
  • On a completely unrelated note, I’m giving St.Cyprian another try. This time I’m focusing solely on his pagan aspects to what appears to be great effect.
  • The most intense experiences I’ve ever had with a spirit or deity is with Dionysos, to this day. He goes quiet on me for looong periods of time, but I ever have a place for him in my heart.
  • I still really like Chaos Magic. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • I’m currently feeling frustrated because I don’t feel I’m making enough progress magically. I realize it’s not a race, I just feel, I don’t know,ย  stalled somehow. The Great Work is poking me in the ass but I don’t feel like I can get to it until I figure out all of the the above. Problem is, I’ve got too much going on and not enough time to attend to it all properly. I’m aware that I need to downsize. I’ve gotten too broad and scattered. I’m a big fan of the phrase “Hold on tightly and let go lightly”. But what to let go? Some serious thinking needs to be done before I can move on. Because, you know, I don’t think about it enough, right?
  • As you can see, not much has really changed with me ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, that was actually all very helpful to me to get it all written down.

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21 Responses to Personal Miscellanea: What I’ve learned about myself thus far

  1. I too feel in a bit of a dry period, really nothing much personal to share, which is why I have just been reblogging other’s posts I have found of interest. Maybe it is just the winter. But at least you know what you like and what works for you. Magicke is often more a slog like work than a trip to the amusement park. Its about quality, not quantity of posts. Carry on.

  2. Jim says:

    I feel you on the constant pull towards monolatry thing. I feel like I could spend ten lifetimes unpacking Loki’s various intricacies and still feel like I’d barely scratched the surface. I realise I sound a bit like a kid with a crush, but I find him endlessly fascinating. I don’t do it because I like the freedom. It’s a weird balance.

    Also, Hekate and Artemis have both always done the distance thing with me. I have a theory they both do this because neither, in my experience, push you into new stuff. They stand there, next to whatever it is that’s best for you and wait for you to catch on. For me, those brief moments of presence were often my pat on the head for a job well done.

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hi Jim! Glad you can understand. Yes, liking the freedom is part of my problem as well. Then again I’m not too sure the freedom is making me happy either. Thanks for sharing your experience with Hekate and Artemis as well!

  3. Jose Prado says:

    Maybe it’s slightly narcissistic. Or maybe you just love writing and Sharing what you learned. There’s nothing wrong with that my friend.

    I keep hearing about St. Cyprian and how he’s a Necromancer saint. I should look into him more. He’s popular by Hoodoo practitioners as well.

    In case you’re interested even mildly in what I think……you’re either 1) Putting too many ridiculous pressures on yourself or 2) You’re letting other people do it to you.

    In either case you should stop. You are not a cultural invader, trespaser, nor an intetloper. You are you. Whoever that is and what ever that implies, the Gods made you that way fir a reason (or maybe you just evolved on your own, by your own initiative) so F@$%! what any one else MIGHT say…and be you Dude.

    Me personally? I’m a Gnostic Mage. Aa a Gnostic I view all religions as One Religion that our ancestors split up into various sects Eons ago.

    That’s also where the Cultural divide began. So I believe in, and practice almost everything or everything to an extent.

    So, I am who I am. We believe the Gnosis is personal to everyone. We all must view our connection to the Greater Power from within not from outside forces. We do not need an institution to get in the way of the Higher Powers and their connection to us.

    Just like these stupid labels ‘pagan’, ‘polythiest’ in the end we were made by the same Higher Powers and when we die we’ll all go to the same source though albeit it through different channels. So relax and be you.

    So now I finish my rant by saying blessings be upon you and your path where ever it may lead you.

    -Jose

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hi Jose! Yup, I am interested in what you think, I wouldn’t put it out there if not ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously though, thanks for the comment I enjoyed reading it, and powerful words they are. I honestly appreciate the advice & support. Blessing to you and yours as well!

  4. Nornoriel says:

    I find writing these things down to be helpful to clarify things for oneself, and sometimes it also helps readers who may assume certain things because they hear about such-and-such.

    I have to admit I really don’t understand the “pagan” v. “polytheist” debate. I kind of have a blase attitude about it because I went through this scheisse back in Heathenry a few years ago with the endless go-around about who can call themselves what and who’s doing it wrong and it just never leads to anywhere good. I don’t have much in common with most pagans I know, but at the very least if I use it as a self-identifier I don’t have to get into a big tl;dr answer to “what’s a $THING” like I would with using another label, because there’s certain things that come to mind that seem to be accurate of *many* of us, if not necessarily *all* of us, and at least people know I’m not Christian (not that there’s anything wrong with Christopaganism, or mixing Abrahamic stuff and paganism, etc), as that seems to be the default assumption for a lot of people in this society re: religion.

    This is of course when it’s anybody’s damn business, which most of the time it isn’t; I don’t hide it but I don’t parade it around either. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    As you know, I’m a revival Druid, mostly, but I just… am not big into the Celtic thing, or really any culturally-specific anything. I’m a 21st-century American mutt. I know it can be really, really hard to break past the Druidry = Celtic thing, but like I keep saying, it does seem like every Indo-European culture had some priesthood that looked Druidic, so. I don’t think you’re some sort of interloper.

    Anyway… the more things change, the more they stay the same, and all of that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hi Noni! Yeah i honestly think the pagan Vs.Ploythiest ebate is silly too. Er I hope I didn’t inadvertently step my foot into the fray!

      but at the very least if I use it as a self-identifier I donโ€™t have to get into a big tl;dr answer to โ€œwhatโ€™s a $THINGโ€ like I would with using another label

      Yes exactly! That’s pretty much my point as well. It may not be the best label, but it’s better than any label that has to have “description” along with it.

      I know it can be really, really hard to break past the Druidry = Celtic thing, but like I keep saying, it does seem like every Indo-European culture had some priesthood that looked Druidic, so. I donโ€™t think youโ€™re some sort of interloper.

      Thank you for that, it’s honestly much appreciated. I always appreciate your thoughts on Druidry! Indeed, the more they change the more they stay the same. It sounds like an old tune I’m singing here. You’d think I’d of learned it by now?

  5. Belle says:

    Learning to sit with what Insights or information I have gleaned has been/is one of the toughest lessons I have learned on my path. I take strength from Winter, when Nature sits and waits for Spring. In fact, it is not a stale time; it is gestational !

    I also find Saturn’s properties inspirational. We are going through Family Solar Returns now, 1st for Son 1 and 2nd for the Mister and I.
    “Do the Work” is my Saturn motto, and since Saturn is given to Hekate, I connect to Her by trying to do just that. It is tough, because my take on it requires Silence and daily contemplation, especially examining my Shadow. Tough sh&t, which does not lend itself to Twitter!

    Regarding Ancestors, I heard the most amazing version of their worship recently…because I forced myself to listen (not my usual learning style). What was said essentially is that we have many types of Ancestors: our personal lineage; our ethnic lineage; our Magickal lineage and then the indigenous Ancestors – those who occupied our land before our people came to these shores. I am doing deep exploration of this, as I am a Witch from a lineaged line, and a Green Witch. I need to spend more time with the Ancestors of my land.. Something i had overlooked.

    All this makes for complicated and lenghty Morning Alignments. But I am sure, when Spring comes, the work will have been worth it!

    Love reading your thoughts. Be patient on your path.. I call myself a Perfecting Witch, and by doing so acknowledge that it is only Competetive if I let it be!

    And I feel the same way about the Celtic path :0

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hi Belle! I love the description of the ancestors you’ve given. That’s very much how I see them as well. I guess I kind of lump all of those categories together when I think of the “ancestors” but really I do try to acknowledge all of them. Thanks for the kind words and well wishes! A Perfecting Witch… I like that ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Alorer says:

    I’m going through a super-dry period. It’s like I’m almost completely submerged in a marsh of complete lack of practice, I manage to get my head out for a *moment*, take a breath and then get submerged again. It’s beyond frustrating, desiring practice so much yet finding myself completely unable to keep it (and this has been going on for more than a year).

    Also, I rather enjoy your posts. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hi Alorer! Thanks for sharing that. Seems like it’s kind of a dry period kinda time eh? Honestly, what you describe is very much how I’m feeling as well. I just can’t keep my head above. Sorry to hear your experiencing it too. I’m glad you like my posts! that honestly means a lot!

      • Alorer says:

        Yes, it seems like that and not only in magical/religious matters. Most people I know go through dry periods in everything: jobs, health, family, relationships. I wonder if it’s a larger phenomenon?

        And seriously, your blog is one of the few I check really often! I really enjoy your posts despite the differences in practice. In fact, a few have given me much needed signs and insights. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Robert Goode says:

    The term “polytheism” seems to most be used by those who do not consider the definition of “pagan” to be “any god, concept or religion that is not Christianity, Judaism, or Islam” to be a proper definition. The term “pagan” almost never appears in those with a focus on the LHP and few Recons use it as well. I agree with the belief that the term “pagan” refers to European and Mediterranean-based ideas and spirituality. I don’t consider those with a primary basis in Eastern, Sub-Saharan or Central/South American spirituality or beliefs to be “pagans”. Non-monotheistic ceremonial magicians(And even, polytheistic ceremonial magicians as well) almost never call themselves “pagans” either. I’ve got my hands in more than a few pots, and for now it’s mostly the Far East. “Pagan” just doesn’t fit with me.

    On the word of Big D, it’s probably for the best he is mostly quiet with you now. Big D requires hardcore devotion, and the Cult of Dionysus is truly the Mad Cult of the Flesh. And it’s for that reason, the young tend to be very drawn to him. (And D enjoys the young, pretty and innocent.) Plus, he’s probably too busy celebrating in my part of the country, where his favorite plant is now legal. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hi Robert! What you don’t think I’m young and pretty enough for big D? I’m hurt. Just kidding. Yes I’ve noticed he does tend to go for those types. I’ve experienced the Mad Cult aspect. Actually Hekate kicked him to the curb in my life awhile back. One of the few things she has ever demanded of me, and I understand why.

      As for labels, it seems like all are problematic now a days. I’m interested in hearing more about your far east stuff one day, seems like it’s really working well for you?

      • Robert Goode says:

        Better than anything has for a long time. It’s so much more simpler and more natural than Western magic(k). Everything is very straight-forward and clear. But the concept of high sorcery, summoning spirits or familiars and “soul-evolution” are fairly foreign concepts. There are a few stories in Japan of sorcerers (called onmyoji) creating familiars out of paper and summoning low-class yokai(nature spirits, or demons), but these secrets were never really written down. And most folk myth is still there, in Japan. Nowadays, magic in Japan is usually practiced by Shinto priests, who are taught the creation of talismans, exorcisms, divination(usually through astrology) and things of that nature.

        On Big D, he just isn’t someone who can help a married man with young kids and a career. That’s sorta why the youth go for him the most, and vice-versa. D is certainly sex, and inebriation. Wild parties, no limitations, booze and drugs and blaring music. Rarely is that the focus of a married father in his 30s(or 40s or however the fuck old you are)

      • Skyllaros says:

        Heh. Im 38. I totally agree about big D. Kinda hard to follow him and have a domestic life. Oddly enough though, I credit him to saving my marriage. Im pretty sure id be divorced right now if not for his intervention. One of the reasons im so fond of him. True story.

  8. hekatetempel says:

    In my workings with hekate, sometimes she feels distant to me, sometimes very close. this changes over time. but she is always the main focus in my witchcraft and my spirituality. what i have learned about her, is that she works threw daimons (in the defination of late aniquity- as messangers between humans and the gods) and threw spirits to her people. and i think many of her modern worhippers think that they have a contact to hekate in their workings and rites- but in reality they maybe have contacts to her daimons and spirits- who appear to them in the form of the goddess. or they have a contact to her threw her daimons, she is working threw them.
    in my personal experience with hekate i see her as the great mistress, the queen of the emperyean world, the etheric world and the material world. in all this worlds she has different emanations and aspects and angels, dainmons and spirits threw wich she interacts with the mortals.

  9. MrBlack says:

    – i’m deeply devotional to myself, lol.
    – high five on traditional witchcraft, i’ve been revisiting my roots as well in that practice. i enjoyed hoodoo but something about it just draws me in.
    – once you become a chaos magickian, you’re always going to be a chaos magickian, even if you don’t notice it.
    – progress is something ill defined in magick. i feel your pain though, lol, i also minimilized what i need to get done because if i didn’t, i would never get anything done. as long as i have a core focus to work on, i don’t mind having little tidbits here and there.

    • Skyllaros says:

      Hello Mr.Black, always a pleasure! I agree once a Chaos Mage always a Chaos Mage. I always say that I’m a Chaos Mage who gets so immersed in paradigms that I forget I’m a Chaos Mage. It runs in the blood though.

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