Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Running with Athames...

Witch With Athame Pictures, Images and Photos

Merry Meet Family and Friends!

So, few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in a workshop called Protection and Security Magick with Author, Jason Miller. The workshop was based on his first book, "Protection and Reversal Magick".

I had read "Protection and Reversal Magick" when it was first released and I loved it! It wasn't until I reread it in preparation for his workshop that I realized how much this book has influenced me and the way I practice.

I realized that a lot of the subject matter was second nature to me and that it was a wonderful way of validating the way I've been practicing. As far as the topic of the book itself, "Protection and Reversal Magick" is concerned, I remember a time, back in the day, when I didn't feel even remotely vulnerable to magickal attack. I was a novice, practicing as a solitary, and believed that all Witches adhered to the "Threefold Law". For those unfamiliar, the "Threefold Law" states that anything you do, for good or ill, will return to you times three. The "Threefold Law" however, was created to raise the comfort level of the general population and help those with the fear based, "all Witches are Evil" mentality, to sleep better at night.

It wasn't until I began mingling within the Pagan community that I was confronted by "the darker side". No, I'm not referring to "Black Magick". I'm talking about simple human nature. Just your average, run of the mill, egos and eccentricities. I would say that all Witches/Pagans were above such things, but then I'd be lying.

As most of us know, Magick is essentially an emotionally driven practice. Therein lies both the blessing and the curse, so to speak. Think about it. At the heart of every desire is some very powerful emotion. Those emotions however, can also be a source of magickal attack. Jealousy, greed, love, hate, especially when combined with emotional immaturity or psychological instability, are powerful enough on their own to impact negatively on the target of those emotions. And as we are all aware, those emotions are not exclusive to the Pagan population. Anyone can perform magick and many unintentionally do. Unintentional, perhaps, but make no mistake, not ineffective.

I have found that my most serious magickal misfortunes weren't the result of pissed off Witches, but of my own missteps. One of my harshest lessons came the first time I worked with Hekate. Despite having no experience or personal connection to her, I asked, or rather demanded, a monumental favor, without offering anything in return. Thankfully, she took my blatant inexperience into consideration and the effects while unpleasant, were short lived. This is where a little intuition and dare I say, common sense would have been quite useful. Magick requires both.

I must confess, I've also occasionally found it quite easy to become complacent. No one wants to believe that there are people or entities lurking in the shadows waiting to launch a psychic attack. However, believing one has been cursed can be as effective as a curse itself. Jason Miller referred to this as being similar to the "placebo" effect. One need only believe that they are cursed to develop all the signs and symptoms of the same. Dorothy Morrison, in her book "Utterly Wicked", suggests that believing that one is being psychically attacked, can cause the perceived "attack" to take on a life of it's own.

Still, as the saying goes, "just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean people aren't out to get you". Even if you believe you're the most popular Pagan on the Earth, there may come a time when you irritate someone or something by just being you. On those occasions, your best line of defense is a good offense. Personally, I take nothing for granted, nor do I overly concern myself with the possibility of magickal attack. I've learned from experience, at times, the hard way, that shielding properly, honoring one's Deities, as well as knowing and honoring the entities we work with is the best way to avoid psychic misfortune. The manner in which I honor these beings, I leave solely up to my own intuition.

Despite what some might like to believe, it goes without saying that there are serious implications to practicing magick. By it's very nature, you are drawing attention to yourself on both an astral and physical level. Dependent upon who's taking notice, not all will have your best interests at heart. However, if what you call magick consists mainly of something that you read in a book, you are no more practicing magick than if I'd read a book on automotives and then decided to rebuild a carburetor. Yeah, you might be able to find all the parts, but unless you really know enough, all your doing is getting your hands dirty or at worse, the car might blow up. Getting your hands dirty magickally is not necessarily a bad thing. Having things blow up? Not always the best case scenario.

Practicing the esoteric arts without having a good defensive strategy is a lot like running with an Athame. It's just an accident waiting to happen!

In Darkness, Light!