“What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities.” – Slavoj Žižek
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
I have received many encouraging messages both from old friends in the magical community and new visitors to this website regarding my return to sorcery-for-hire. I would like to say thank you. Positivity is always appreciated. Moreover, if you like my work here, you may be interested in my more theoretical, speculative writing on Hermetic principles, Vedanta, Eckankar, meditation, life after death, soul travel, the inner planes, and the philosophy of self-liberation at This Secret Life of Mine.
My client list is growing again, almost effortlessly, and I have already begun to address the requests of a number of people. This always happens. While it’s true that everything on this Earth constantly changes, it’s also true that some things stay consistent on a higher level. For example, some people are born under the sign of Venus and will always be loved; others, touched by Pluto, will never go broke no matter how they spend their money; and still others, beloved of Jupiter, will always find themselves in leadership positions. For me, born with Scorpio rising, I live under the sign of the witch. The astrologer, Gahl Sasson, once called me a “son of Hades”—not in a negative sense but in the sense of being a magical person who goes down untrodden paths to the underworld and investigates little-known things. It’s not surprising that I have always been attracted to magic, mysticism, and the occult.
We change day-to-day, but certain aspects of our lives have been written—into our personalities, into our circumstances—as fate and destiny. Those things, being on a much higher level, explicitly do not change. Sorcery can’t change them. Wishing and praying can’t do it, either. The gods themselves must abide by the skein of fate. In my case, this means I always seem to draw “alternative” people to me—witches, psychics, magicians, artists, unconventional scholars, fortean researchers. But what you magnetize, what is written into your personal story, might be very different. You must learn what it is and make peace with it.
The key to attaining some degree of tranquility in this life is knowing and accepting that you will be able to change many things—but not all things. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re destined to always be poor or unloved or confused about your purpose. It does mean that the responsibility is yours to try to see your life more clearly, without obsessively trying to attain or possess things that will never be yours.
In other words, if you are missing a leg, you may be destined to be one the few one-legged ballet dancers in the world; however, it is perhaps a bit more likely that you may be destined to never portray the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker. It’s up to you to determine which is true by seeing yourself clearly. You do this by looking inward and engaging in what is sometimes called, discernment. Thelema calls it finding one’s “True Will,” which Dr. David Shoemaker defines like so:
The True Will is the will of the deepest inmost Self—the core of who you really are as a spiritual being. Also, and importantly, it is an expression of the universal will, as particularized and expressed in your individual life. This is why, when we are living in accordance with our True Will, we find that much of the time the universe seems to open up a path right in front of us, as if in sympathy with our aims. Likewise, when we feel as though we are swimming upstream against life it is very often the case that we have veered a bit from the path of our True Will. (http://livingthelema.com/)
With this in mind, we can practice discernment by asking a few basic questions: what is always easy for me? What is always hard? What is always impossible for me while others find it easy?
Having a birth chart done is also useful as a way to begin thinking about one’s influences and capacities. You can get a tarot reading from a professional in order to shed light on your unique life path. You can take career aptitude tests and engage in a course of therapy in order to know yourself more intimately. You can also join a magical society and start learning mysticism and philosophy in order to unlock the truth of your innermost self.
All of these approaches are legitimate and useful, some more than others depending on the individual in question. All of them will result in higher levels of self-awareness, consciousness, and insight. Externally, you will see a lot of change taking place as well.
If you remember nothing I have said in this post except this, you will have benefited: do not wish for that which you have learned is quite unattainable in accordance with your True Will. Or as Anton LaVey puts it in The Satanic Bible:
To be able to adjust one’s wants to one’s capabilities is a great talent, and too many people fail to realize that if they are unable to attain the maximum, “a half a loaf can be better than none.” The chronic loser is always the man who, having nothing, if unable to make a million dollars, will reject any chance to make fifty thousand with a disgruntled sneer. One of the magician’s greatest weapons is knowing himself; his talents, abilities, physical attractions and detractions, etc., and when, where, and with whom to utilize them!