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!



Rue said...

Great post!

I remember the first time this rang true for me - when I was really getting into a routine with my practice. I was meditating, doing divination, and working on my connection with my gods. I started seeing things out of the corner of my eyes, and 'feeling' different energies in the room where I did my practice.

I think it was a C. Penczak book that finally clued me in to the fact that when you open yourself up to other energies - you also attract the attention of other energies/beings.

I rely on sheilding and my relationship with the elements and gods to maintain my safety - whether magical or mundane. (Plus a good dose of common sense!)

carol said...

Everyday I take time (just a few min.) to put a protective shield around me. I feel much more secure doing that!

Tracy ~ The UnOfficial Witch of Ridgewood said...

I find that the more consistent I am in honoring Hekate and the other Deities,Ancestors and
Entities I work with, the more secure and protected I feel.

I've been running around like a crazy person and last night, I remembered that I really needed to leave offerings honoring Hekate on my altar. Of course, life happens, I became distracted and forgot.

All of a sudden, the light in the kitchen began blinking. I thought it was about to burn out, but then I remembered I'd just replaced it with a new bulb
I had the distinct feeling that someone was trying to tell me something, but I couldn't figure out who or what!

The light stopped blinking and I didn't think anymore of it. I sat down to read and suddenly it hit me that I'd forgotten Hekate..AGAIN!

I quickly poured some red wine in my altar chalice and ran outside to cut some fresh flowers. The minute I came into the kitchen with the flowers, the light began blinking wildly again!

It's safe to say, I got the message!