One of my favorite fellow Bloggers is Christopher DeGraffenreid at Sorcery & Spirit. As always, I relate to the topic of his posts and today was no different, except to say I seemed to relate a bit more than usual to the topic of his writing, in this latest post about Traditionalism Vs. Eclecticism, or as he humorously recapitulates it:
traditionalism vs. those of “making things up”
Robert at Doing Magick and I go back a few years now, and it's no secret that we have had our fair share of differences. But in many ways that's one of the things we enjoyed the most. One of our first Magic(k) dinner conversations was about our differences; his CM work and my "do it yourself" work. While I agree with Christopher and many others about the inherent tension of these two camps, Robert and I managed to come to an agreement:
"It's okay to make shit up, as long as you do it right."
Say what you will about that statement, as subjective as a may be, we felt very comfortable with it and I know I still do. Don't ask me to define what "right" is, I cannot. It's like that quote regarding pornography: "I cant define it, but I know it when I see it."
On multiple occasions I have in the past been invited to join Ceremonial Magician community Yahoo groups and even a few Orders. And I have always taken this as a very large compliment as I do not identify or offer myself as a CM. But while working or interacting with them I have found or felt that many of them are not open to new work, and I've also seen what Christopher identified as a mixture of rejection and envy.
It was within one such CM Order that I actually committed to the system in order better integrate my work with theirs. So I did my work on the appropriate planetary days and hours. I started by meditating during those times, focused on opening myself to the target of influence and establishing a resonance. I did this for weeks before I actually did anything I would call CraftWork.
As a result of this I experienced what we call within our tradition, an Eluvies (Ee-loo-vee-iss). Which has been difficult to properly express or explain. A few weeks ago I wrote in a past post about the Susurri (whisper), and how we named something we experience, but don't quite perfectly understand. Well the Eluvies is another one of those Mysteries of our Tradition, in fact they are part of our divination system. The character above is "Veritas Theban" or our fancy cursive version of the Witches Alphabet/Theban; in which each character also has a magical value and is used within a system of divination. (There will be a book someday!)
So the Eluvies is Latin for "flood." The simple image of the concept is an overflowing chalice; your cup run-ith-ing over. You being the Cup and an external spiritual entity being the source of water. There are so many paradigms from which approach this topic, such as Mediumship, Channeling, Aspecting, Assumption and "Drawing Down." You can lump it together or pic it apart in a system subject to gradation, whatever.
The simple point is that we act as a threshold and physical vessel, wherein a spiritual signal in essence is "transmitted" into you from one plane and manifests through you, into this plane, and flows out. Apparently there are rules such as; the expression of the essence (words) is limited to the capacity (vocabulary) of the vessel (you). So when I did my work with the CM group, meditating in the planetary hours and days, and received an Eluvies, it came out of me in a Geomantic language. And it was Awesome!
With the exception of a good friend who really seemed to like it, I was otherwise snubbed. So I went back to doing my own thing of "making things up." It's so funny to think that everything that everyone has been doing for a hundred years was five minutes old at some point, and someone "made it up."
I prefer to describe it as a process of development over a very long period of work and refinement. I never arm-chaired anything, ever. That being said, a very large portion of my work is not "mine." It is the product of an Eluvies, I have a very long close personal working history with a source, who will not be identified, ever, because that is part of the deal. Something to the effect of "don't give out my name or number, I don't want strangers calling me in the middle of the night."
I am allowed to take credit, especially under the circumstances, but I prefer to use ambiguous implications like "our work is original," and I am a "co-founder." But I would ask you dear reader, what would you judge as more validating;
A. I made it all up.
B. I did the research, development and hard ass work.
C. It was "revealed" to me through spiritual means.
D. I donno, but that's how we've been doing it for a few hundred years now.
Don't worry there's no right or wrong answer, because it doesn't really matter. The ONLY thing that matters at all is if you are benefiting from it or not (are you?). The bottom line here is does it work? Because regardless of whether The Inner Gate ritual is a product of my imagination, my invention, or my intuition, the simple profound truth is, it really actually works!
When initiates begin the process, the side effects manifest. Every time. And we've only been in business six years, imagine what our descendants will be doing.
Lord & Lady, thanks for the refill, cheers!