On Elevations

With so many people starting at the same time, I have been forced to think about what makes a person “ready for 2nd”… and have come to the conclusion that it’s kind of inversely related to wanting to be “ready for 2nd”. I can say with relative certainty that it’s not about being able to recite the altar devotion and circle casting… though you do need to be able to perform an altar devotion and cast a circle. The one is saying that you’ve memorized the words. The other is saying that you’re working relatively effectively with the energies involved. Ideally, you will learn them together. “Being ready” is not totally about where you are in the lessons – better to absorb and experience a few than to do many quickly and shallowly, just to pass a test. (I’d have trouble justifying an elevation with too few lessons completed, but in the right circumstances I might try.) But this isn’t the whole of what I am struggling to say.

Think of it as going for a walk down to the store. One way of looking at it is, I’m going to get to the store. If you start out this way, you may or may not see the sights along the way. You might notice some incidental sensations, but you pretty much ignore them. You may or may not enjoy the feeling of your muscles working. You may or may not break into a brief run, but if you do it will be for the sole purpose of getting there faster. You will almost certainly not take short detours to explore along the way and you’ll probably get impatient and find yourself wondering “how much farther.”. The other way of looking at it is, I’m going to walk to the store. You start walking, and get into the rhythm of putting one foot goes in front of the other. You smell the cut grass. You smile at some children playing in a yard. You enjoy the feel of the sun on your skin and the breeze in your hair. You might detour, you might jog for a bit, you might sit and rest before continuing. Sooner or later you look up and realize you’re at the store.

The journey into Wicca, I feel, should be more of the latter. You might meditate just because it makes you feel centered. You might explore tarot cards out of curiosity. You might unexpectedly find that you really relate to the runes, or that you can find deep personal meaning in the LBRP. You might find a real talent for blending oils or incense. You are not expected to become an expert in every field mentioned! The lessons are structured to give you an introduction to most of these things; sort of a “basic minimum” of what every fully elevated witch should know.

When you are initiated, you make the statement that you fully intend to walk to that store, and you are handed a map of one path that will get you there. When you take your second, you have made significant progress along the road and (hopefully) learned to enjoy the journey for its own sake. When time for the third rolls around, you are looking at the storefront and realizing that there is an inside to the store waiting to be explored and a whole world out there past the store, and you no longer need (or have access to) a road map to get you there.

Take the time to enjoy the learning and get all you can from each moment instead of rushing through it as a means to an end. The best way to “get there” might be to not try to get there, and the “end” isn’t really an end.

Brightest of Blessings, and Lots of Laughs,

The Power of the Circle

There are times when one feels so very alone in this world, and then a personal crisis occurs, and one realizes just how supported one is.

This past weekend, I had a small personal crisis occur. As often happens, my attempts at working toward a solution were clouded by emotion, anxiety and concern for the “mundane” solution. However, I had my mobile phone with me and was able to post to my social networks. Within an hour or so, people were assisting in many simple ways. And as I felt the efforts of my covenors “click in”, my anxiety reduced, the path became clearer, and in time, the crisis resolved. (Incidentally, it resolved within minutes of speaking to one coven member, which makes me wonder if I should not have made a voice call to the circle earlier!)

A coven is a family. Like a family, we celebrate and play together, we argue and make up, we love each other even when we don’t really like each other, and when the shit hits the fan….we work together and protect one another. The power of the coven is more than the sum of its parts. This is the power of the circle!

Coven Corporate Culture

I had the opportunity the other night to attend an event locally where one of the founders of GitHub, Chris Wanstrath was speaking. He spoke mostly on the amazing wonder that is git (which has nothing to do with the theme of this blog, except that it is nearly magical).

When he was asked about entrepreneurship and making money, he said something that really stuck with me. He said that every time they (he and the other founders) chased after money, it blew up in their faces, but when they made something awesome that they loved and enjoyed creating, the money followed. And even when the money wasn’t amazing, they were happy, so it was a win-win.

This is good advice for many areas of life: follow your passions, and do really awesome stuff, and your needs will be met. Focus on the destination instead of the journey, and who knows what bitterness will happen!

He also talked about the growth of the company. Doing what they were passionate about created growth, not *trying* to grow. He said that he wouldn’t mind being the head of a company with thousands of employees if he did it well, and everyone was still doing great, passionate work.

This sounds a lot like where I come down on the growth of my magical family. I am not opposed to growth, by any means, but I don’t feel comfortable with expansion for the sake of expansion. My concern is to follow my heart, to do what I feel passionate about, and to surround myself with wonderful people who feel similar. Growth may follow, but that is a side effect of creating a positive energy that connects all those involved.

Keeping this purity and positive culture is a challenge. Chris mentioned that as they grow they have to be sure that they can fire people; it’s imperative to maintaining the culture. It’s much the same in a magical clan, therefore there is much testing before someone becomes a member of the Sphinx. Not only knowledge and ability, but also personality compatibility, energy balance fit, etc. This ensures that the “culture” of the clan is always as positive and beneficial as possible!