Throughout this weekly segment, I will seek not to teach you what is, but rather to explain to you what has worked for me. My experience has shown me that there is little that can be taught to another that will hold 100% resonance and be 100% successful for them. Through this medium I will be sharing experiences from my past and things that have been life changing for me. If you are moved to implement some of them, then I share in the blessing that may come from it. If not, then know that you are on the right path for you and that is a blessing in and of itself.
Over the past few years I have found myself on a path of exploration and discovery. This has included different aspects of my personal, professional, and spiritual lives. Throughout this time, I have been deeply examining the things that I have accumulated in my life and re-assessing them to see if they still resonate with me. Astrologically, I link this with the thirty year cycle of Saturn through my chart which tells me that I should be going through this right now and that it is time to re-learn what I thought I knew. For those of you in your late twenties to mid thirties, it’s okay; you’re probably going through a lot of this too. So what does this mean for me? Does it mean that everything I learned in life so far is useless? No, of course not. But it does mean that I am gaining a greater understanding of what is important to me and where my priorities need to be.
As I began this exploration, I found that my career driven focus had begun to wane. If you had asked me five years ago where I would be in my career, I would have given you a clear, direct answer with actionable steps to get there. That focus helped me to achieve that goal as well. Within the last five years, I spent a lot of time and energy to get to where I thought success was. When I got there, I realized that it really wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. In the mean time, I had lost out on precious time with my family and loved ones. My career path had me living so deeply in the future, that I had blown right through the present with out even stopping to say hello.
The ultimate catalyst for setting out on this journey of re-discovery, came in my personal life though. In the fall of 2008, I met someone who would change my life beyond measure. While I won’t get into all the warm and fuzzies of our relationship, I will say that I discovered my soul mate, my best friend and my greatest teacher and supporter. It was through her constant support and love that I was able to examine my life from a completely new perspective. I began to see the power and beauty that she saw in me and I started to understand what it means to live in the present and own your own power. For the first time in my life, I began to feel a freedom that allowed me to say what I needed to say and feel what I needed to feel. It wasn’t that previous relationships were somehow oppressive or holding me back. It was that I was finally understanding that when you work to live for your highest good, the people that need to be in your life will stay and those that don’t will fade away.
All to often we get caught up in what everyone else wants from us and what they feel we should be. This includes family, friends, loved ones, co-workers and society in general. There are expectations set out for us that define what success is and what happiness looks like. I am beginning to understand that in that first Saturn year of our lives, we find ourselves living and dying by these expectations. This is our opportunity to see if society’s model works for us and if we feel satisfied by it. By the time our second Saturn year rolls around (you may feel the effects from about age 27-35) we have typically gathered enough life experience and skill to judge for ourselves if our path needs to be changed and our definition of success rethought. It is in this time that we are granted opportunities to make drastic changes in our lives in an effort to redefine who we are and what we want.
For me, I took this opportunity to explore what reality itself meant to me. Armed with my new found love and support, I began to discover gifts that had lain dormant for years. My intuitive channels began to open and connections were being made to energies that I had previously only imagined existed. My spiritual and intellectual worlds were both collapsing and expanding at the same time. My eyes were opened to worlds that lay just beyond the reality that I was familiar with and I was amazed. Paradigms shifted, thought patterns were broken down and old teachings were brought to the light to see the fallacies in them. What I began to discover was an amazing power in the individual person. I saw the effects that each choice we make has on our perception of reality and the outcome of our daily lives. I also found what the true definition of magick is in my life.
In my desire to understand the greater forces at work in nature, I have been exploring various spiritual paths and systems including elements of esoteric magick. I have not found myself to be one for taking anything right out of the box and using it as is, so as I learn about new things I work to incorporate what feels right into my understanding and set aside that which does not for later review. My developing magick uses elements of Thelemic wisdom, Enochian vision work, candle magick as well as various other things that my guides and teachers have tossed in along the way. The one thing that ties it all together though is an understanding and belief in the power of the individual. As I mentioned last week, the only thing that is truly within our sphere of control is ourselves. By keeping our focus on the moment at hand, we can control our choices and set our feet on the path of our own choosing. This is what magick is and where it truly happens.
An over-arching theme that I have seen through my investigation of magick has been the idea that the only thing a magician can change is themselves. You want a better job? The spell you cast is part of making yourself into the person who attracts the better job. You seek a more prosperous life? The ritual you create does not draw the prosperity in towards you in as much as it set you on the path towards prosperity. In his book “Low Magick”, Lon Milo DuQuette describes a scenario of using magick to acquire the love of a girl. He describes this principle of changing yourself in that by casting the spell, the girl does not change who she is attracted to but rather the magician becomes the type of person she is attracted to. Sounds great right? Well, what if it turns out that she is the type of person who is attracted to amputees? Are you willing to lose a limb just to become the type of person she wants?
As I continue my journey, I am confronted over and over with the results of choices I made years ago. I look back and I see the moments where I made the decision to go one way or another in pursuit of a goal. I can see now how those choices affected my path and my growth in seemingly positive and negative ways. I can also see now that I am being presented with many similar choices again. The question now is whether I choose to continue my path of individual exploration or seek the prescribed expectations of those around me. I have fulfilled many of my societal goals and no longer feel the need to maintain them. I have enjoyed my current career path, but I have chosen now to build my own success through the development of my own business. I look back on my past with understanding and peace but I focus now on my present. I seek to create magick in my life at every turn by choosing the path to my highest good.