So before I get into this entry proper, I’d like to thank everyone for their support of my new esty store, both in their purchases and sharing the word. The first set of orders have already begun arriving at their destinations and I’m enjoying some of the immediate feedback. As mentioned in the the post announcing the store two of each pendant I consecrate have to be given away, one to someone who I think needs it, and one to someone random. The Medicine Buddha Pendant was given to one of my best friends who had a depressive/suicidal episode just as I finished making them. The recipient of the random one is Robert, husband-to-be of a twitter follower of mine, whom I had received prayer requests for while doing my initial Medicine Buddha training. The Chöd / Machik Labrön Pendant was given to a family friend who has had ridiculously bad luck with getting things moving in their life. The winner of the raffle I announced last time is L. D. Taylor, one of the small army of reviewers writing for Spiral Nature. So again, thank you all for your support.
A while back The Unlikely Mage posted about finding your direction in magick. I see two problems with many occultists: too focused and/or not enough work, or too unfocused and/or trying to do too much. I tend to be the latter, even though I’m limited to two systems, they are both huge traditions, so between study and daily practice I can often be doing too much. Something needs to give, the trouble is what.
I’ve posted before about dropping non-beneficial practices or “Don’t use what doesn’t work” but it’s hard sometimes. This is where The Unlikely Mage’s technique comes in handy, read his entry if you want, I recommend, but I’ll explain what I did cause I had to tweak it.
I’m no good with pendulums, or I might be, I don’t know, I don’t trust them. They are far too easy to manipulate, and this was my problem with TUM’s technique. The mode of a pendulum is perfect for it, but it’s too easy for my mind, conscious or otherwise to influence the pendulum to say what I wanted it to say. So I took multiple slips of paper, identical in size and shape, and on each one wrote a magickal practice that I was doing, or considering. Chöd, Enochian Skrying, Mahakala sadhanas, Deharan magick, Genius Loci work, and so on were listed. Then they were folded so I couldn’t see what said what and shuffled around. As long as I can’t see them, I can largely trust myself not to influence the pendulum. (Yes, it could be argued that I’m psychically perceiving what slip says what and nudging it how I want anyways, but the chance of that is less compared to me seeing and nudging.)
Then tapping on each slip one at a time I asked “Is this something I shouldn’t do? Is this neutral? Is this something I should postpone? Is this something I should do? Is this something I should do right now?” Whenever the pendulum gave me an answer I’d put it on the back (I numbered the options to make it quicker to note) and move onto the next one. In the end I had three things I was told “Do right now!” and three that I was told to do. The rest I’ve dropped until maybe the next time I look at what I need to do.
For those curious the three things I must do right now, it is my chöd practice, the Strategic Sorcery course, and the “Other” option I put in the mix, which has come to represent a return to my own Path, rather than the systems I’ve assimilated for structure and validity. In my Nike (Do It) category I have my work with Vajrayogini, White Mahakala, and Genius Loci work.
I did this about a month ago, and I’ve enjoyed it, but already I’ve felt a need to clarify even more. So rather than larger areas of study I put down very specific daily practices, some that I do, some that I’m considering doing, same format as before. This time though it was just Do or Do Not (there is no try category). What impressed me again, was that stuff I considering more central and important I’ve been told to do, such as my daily evocation of the planetary Angel and my ongoing prayers to Cosmos, while stuff that was less important I was told not to do, like my daily Refuge Tree, Vajrasattva practice, and mandala offering which I only began doing daily in order to learn the Tibetan, Sanskrit, and Pali by heart for use in Temple and larger rituals. Unfortunately (in a snarky way) what I’ve been told to perform are my longer practices, no matter how I try to cull my spiritual practice down to a more manageable time frame, it seems to resist it.
We will see how it goes, it feels good so far, being more focused. Over the next few months I’ll learn other things that will become parts of my daily practice for better or worse, but maybe I should make a habit of every three or six months just checking in what I should be doing.
With this focus I hope to perhaps start revealing and discussing more of my practice that is less on the beaten path, and more personal. Onwards and upwards we shall see where the Starry Path leads.