As some of the people who read my works here and in other places know, I present at ConVocation. It is neither guaranteed that my classes will be approved, nor that they will be well received, but so far I have had a pretty good run over the last few years. Though this year was bittersweet, with the loss of Michael Wiggins, it was an excellent time despite the grief.
This year, though I taught one adult class named Amplifying Your Power with Oils and Blends , it was the reception of the teen classes that made the most impact on me. I have long been a very vocal advocate of restoring the old and “low” magicks and practices to their rightful place in magickal education. This is not a dig against “high” magick or ritual in any way. However it is my belief that it is important that we not relegate the time-honored practices that are true and tested into the sidelines of colloquial magick and spirituality.
My two teen classes, Connect the knots: using cordage to manifest our visualizations and Keeping Magickal Records: An Introduction. Both of these classes were “crashed” by adult attendees. They were most welcome. For me, it felt like the sound of a bell resonating in me. It felt like a validation that yes, people still do want these subjects covered.
Craft using cordage and the keeping of magickal records do not seem like rock star kind of attractions. If anything, they might seem to be the building blocks that everyone uses before they construct their paths. But in actuality, I am finding that some of the less dazzling subjects are being neglected in many ways. In my belief, it is the little things that allow the larger ones to be held up and sustained in our studies.
Knot magick is not seen as smexy. Indeed, it has the unfortunate distinction of slowly falling into the group of practices that are assumed to have only baneful applications (much like image magick – see poppets). This might be attributed to the sensationalist nature of films and popular media and their usage of these tools in horror genres. In actuality, it is primarily simply a tool that can be used by anyone with basic understanding of its mechanics.
Magickal record keeping has also seemed to become minimized. The ever popular image of the Book of Shadows, and its peer, the Grimoire, have taken over the center ring. The local consensus in many circles online seem to enshrine the BoS as the ultimate repository of ALL a practitioner’s magickal knowledge. To this, I say, “horse-pucky”.
There are reasons we keep more than one record. There are reasons empirical data is not kept with the spiritual reflections in our libraries ( I am speaking in general. I have no idea what will be happening at the end of the next 4 years). The need for distinction of purpose, and the separation of records, is a strong part of a well rounded practitioner’s evolution. Whether they seek to keep track of their development or not, to ignore that it is a part of the tool box is to do a disservice to teaching.
I urge teachers to seek out subjects that seem to be falling out of popularity and restore them to the forefront. Our collective lexicons suffer when terms, practices, and modalities are forgotten. It may be old fashioned, but I long for the restoration of the idea that a magickian can accomplish wonders with a line of string, a pinch of salt, a handful of herbs, and the writings in a notebook.
So, I propose we circle back to the beginning, spiral back to the center, and dust off the foundations. Perhaps it has become time again to examine the pillars that we hang our rock star subjects on and make sure that we all can stand straight and true with strong supports. It is okay to be simple. It is okay to be a rock star. It is okay to be both and more. After all, it is magick.