Archive for the ‘Circle of the Dark Moon Coven and School of Wicca Wytchecraft and Magick’ Category


Under the desk, I don’t like the boomers.

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The Witches Pyramid (an Analysis)

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The Witches Pyramid (an Analysis)

To Know

This corner of the Witches Pyramid  is not only what it appears to be on the surface. It is not solely "book learning." It is also knowing that you possess the skills to put what you have learned into a practical application, using the knowledge you have garnered to put your magick into practice, knowing the means to cast spells, and doing inner alchemy.

For example, there is the classic Greek admonition "gnothi seauton", or know thyself. Carved at the entrance to the temple in Delphi, the Greeks inculcated this belief in their society, believing that each individual must know himself before he could dream of approaching the oracle. Otherwise, what he might learn on the journey of oracular discovery could well be catastrophic to the psyche.

This admonition is not a new one in the context of magical study. Many authors and classic magicians have said this through the ages; most notably in recent times Aleister Crowley. Alchemy was all about self-discovery, and there have been many transcendental movements through the ages focused on discovering the self.

This journey of self-discovery remains at the core of similar movements to this day. The most natural thing in the world is to look for answers to questions like "who am I?" When one group, such as religion, doesn’t satisfactorily answer those questions, it is normal to look for groups who do. If that quest takes people into esoteric fields of study, then so be it.

Magick and religion are only one of many different ways to start this journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately, most of the other methods that society accepts are expensive or time consuming, like psychologists or self-help books.

This is how it should be. For any esoteric discipline, such as divination, a magician must start with knowledge of self. With that foundation, a magician can separate himself from the process he is calling into being. He then has the ability to see where his prejudices and his insecurities have influenced the process he hopes to create. Put simply, because of having this anchor point, he can be more efficient in his magical pursuits.

A starting place is important in this or any journey. Just like trying to navigate in space, you can find a destination easily enough, but you MUST have a beginning point.

In many classical references, we find that that this discovery is mandated. In Agamemnon, Zeus lays down the law: humankind must suffer to be wise2. This theme repeats itself in the Gardnerian Wicca initiation and in many other groups’ initiations. Any practicing magician must understand that those who are unwilling to sacrifice will not have the knowledge they seek available to them.

There is a direct correlation between how much the student will learn and how much of his own pleasures he is willing to sacrifice to attain that knowledge. Those unwilling to pay the price demanded would not achieve the knowledge they seek. This means that the student must be very aware of how much he is willing to give up and what he is willing to do without to attain his goal.

Then we come to another often-overlooked aspect of "To Know" the consequences. Let us assume that the magician actually knows who he is, where he fits and so on. He also knows what kinds of prices he will be paying and has made the decision that those prices are reasonable to attain what he wants. He also knows the techniques involved in actually casting the spells and the theory behind that process. This same magician also has to be aware of what kinds of outcomes are most likely, as well as the potential unintended consequences.

Many think of magicians, as amoral creatures, but this is simply not true. A magician has to be more aware and willing to take care of the unintended consequences of his actions, if only because of the "butterfly effect.” A corporation comes in and clear-cuts a forest. This tragedy will have global repercussions. It will have future consequences as well. Nevertheless, I know of no corporation that can affect the past by their actions. Magicians can affect the past and do, at times.

It is up to the magician in question to be self-policing and to deal with the messes he creates. It is only enlightened self-interest. If the magician wishes privacy to do his work, then he must be invisible. If he casts too wide a spell and it affects those other than the intended target(s), he must be willing and able to deal with the consequences. Time and experience will teach him to understand how to limit those effects. Personally, I don’t think he should be casting spells unless or until he CAN mitigate those effects.

The Military says, "Information is king." In the battlefield, in magic, in growing up, knowledge is the whole battle. If you know something, you can deal with it, you can cope with it, you can assimilate and correct problems caused by it. However, you cannot do that without knowing what "it" is.

All these factors combine to make this leg of the Witches Pyramid a very important one. To recap slightly, a magician must know himself, know the skills necessary to cast a spell and understand how to deal with unexpected outcomes of the use of those skills. It is helpful to be able to plan ahead and anticipate problems before they occur as well.

Once the magician understands himself, he can take the step to understand others around them since it is most likely that others want the same things he wants. Conversely, by seeing qualities in others he can also find those same qualities in himself and work to bring them out.

Robert Heinlein had a wonderful concept for this called "grok", a verb that means, "to drink". He defined this concept very well in "Stranger in a Strange Land". Groking something is To Know it so deeply that the boundaries between you and it are lost. He then knows the other part of himself so deeply and so intimately that it is impossible to separate out those elements that are "other" and "self.”

Is it reasonable or possible for a magician to grok and simultaneously separate enough of him so that he can see where the magical process is messing up due to some aspect he is projecting into it? I think it is.

We aren’t dealing with minor truths here, ones that are immutable and verifiable like 2 + 2 = 4. We are dealing with Great Truths that are mutable and subject to other factors, with the result that all answers are just as true. It is possible to be so intermingled with a spell as to have it profoundly impact and affect ourselves, indeed, why would you do a spell otherwise? At the same time it is possible to be objective enough to see where those factors of self that we don’t care for, but which are intermingled with the spell, are affecting the spell.

Once again, this mandates that we know ourselves; if simply so, we don’t fall into Oedipus’ trap of dancing to a tune we neither hear nor understand. When he went to the Oracle at Delphi (the same oracle where "Know Thyself" was carved on the lintel), he was told that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Since he didn’t want to kill the people he "knew" as his parents, he left, argued with a man on the road, killed him and married that gentleman’s widow. This fulfilled the prophecy, as it turned out.

Had he known himself and his life, he would have discovered that the man he killed was his father. Thus, all of this could have been avoided had Oedipus known himself and the truth.

The skills necessary for this leg are obvious, but the knowledge of when to apply them is just as important. It does no good to spend years learning how to cast a spell if those skills are never used. It also makes no sense to go through all this training and sacrifice if the knowledge gained will only be used for the most mundane of purposes. Knowledge of where and when to apply those skills is paramount to a successful outcome.

When you know yourself, you are aware of the energy you are raising, what it feels like when it is static, when it is moving. You will understand how to give that energy shape and purpose. It’s very important to be able to recognize and separate your body’s reactions from those of the magick you are invoking. You also have To Know when you have a situation where the bodily reaction you experience is CAUSED by the energy you are using.

This is a set of skills that the current crop of instant spellbooks seems to gloss over or skip altogether. The student is the one who suffers from this lack.

Knowledge is the key. Information is the key. To Know. And knowing is half the battle. (GI Joe!)

To will

Aleister Crowley said that one’s True Will is one of the crucial things a magician should know, since the True Will is the basis of the being.

He goes on to talk at length about how True Will is the culmination of the basic core of the person. It is the most selfish part and is most concerned with the success and survival of the person – the part that is most likely to reflect what the person truly wants and needs.

It’s important to realize that just knowing how to accomplish a goal or that knowing yourself is not enough. You must also actively make the decision to do what you want, or all the training, all the experience is useless.

This is the essence of "To Will.” This is the actual decision point in the spell-casting process; it is when the magical process, the spell, actually begins. The training and study are the lead-in, the preparation to do the spell. Will is the stage where the decision that the spell is needed is made. It is when all the options are considered and the spell becomes one part of the overall process to cause the desired change to occur.

Many experienced magicians say that this point is when the spell is actually starting to be cast. This decision begins the Consciousness Shift to the altered states that are key to manipulating magick and successful ritual.

This act of deciding to cast the spell takes the process to the level of a goal instead of allowing it to remain as a simple desire like wanting to get a cola for lunch. It becomes a true desire, such as finding a job that will allow the caster to support their family better, one that motivates the caster to attain their goals no matter the cost or the obstacles placed in the way.

"To Will" also implies that the first leg of this pyramid has been attained. Knowing implies that you know what you really want, to the bottom of your soul. That is where your "True Will," as Crowley put it, resides. Understanding your own Will, your own mind and desires, is paramount. How can you do a spell to bring success if you believe in the bottom of your soul that success of the spell means you will become something you despise? The ends are counter productive to your True Will.

Therefore knowing your True Will is another critical part of this whole process.

The True Will is one part of every Magician that should always be examined. Willing something into existence, as the Magician of the Tarot deck does, is a hard skill to master; you better be sure that this is what you want. There are no "take backs", no "do-overs" when you create something out of nothing.

Remember the advice "be careful what you wish for, you might just get it"? That’s a heck of a double edged sword.

Human beings are essentially "wish generators" with no off switch. Think of how many times you say, "I wish" in a typical day, without even meaning to. Once you start paying attention to that statement, you find that you say it a high number of times. You think it more than you actually say that phrase. In addition, each of those thoughts and statements go out into the æther and have an effect there, even if we don’t see it.

Exactly like dropping a pebble into a pool of water, those ripples spread and start affecting other things and people. Eventually it does get reflected back, warped and diminished, but those reflections are still the original wish that was Willed into being.

So while a trained metaphysician and magician can create a situation that didn’t exist by will alone, they should always be cognizant of what can happen if they don’t watch what they think.

This discipline of the mind, of basic thought processes, should be one of the first goals for any training program of those who are psychically aware. Unfortunately, many of those who begin studying those who wish to begin immediately using power, to start casting spells without first understanding the discipline that is part and parcel of this path.

All this discussion on the Will may make you ask, "where do I train my Will into a razor-honed weapon?" I can’t help you with that because most of training the Will is about practice.

First, you have to decide on a goal; preferably, a goal that is difficult and which others say can’t be done. Then start on the journey to attain that goal. Along the way you must not despair and you must keep trying, believing even when it’s hard. Perseverance here is the key, although outsiders may see you and call you stubborn.

Keep doing that, over and over, keep ‘out-stubborning’ the nay-sayers and keep attaining your goals, even if the effort may not be worth it in the end. That is a good primer for a strong Will. When problems appear, decide immediately that you will overcome them instead of denying the problem or capitulating to the problem. Your first reaction to a problem should be "okay, how do I overcome this" instead of "no, this can’t be happening."

Choose goals that are attainable and reasonable. Don’t pick ones that are easily attainable, for that defeats the purpose of training. Pick ones that are difficult to gain, and then keep going at it until you gain that goal.

For example, one of the proudest moments I have had in my life was in Martial Arts when I severely hurt my hip in the dojo. I kept going anyhow with the night’s exercises for kicks, especially side kicks, which work the hips strenuously. I kept going even though I was in a lot of pain, I would not quit. I saw a lot of admiration in the eyes of my teachers that night.

There are all kinds of opportunities that present themselves. Just watch out for them, and understand that when you are training your mind you can’t give in even once, for that tells the Subconscious that it’s okay to give in occasionally. It is the Subconscious that really needs To Know that you have a strong Will. If you choose to give up occasionally, this action destroys all the headway you have made during your training..

When you decide to out-Will a situation that could defeat you, you must carry through to the end, no matter where that decision leads.

Humanity is the only species I know of that can create simply with their thoughts. It is a huge gift and an awesome responsibility. This ability must be tempered with experience and wisdom. Knowing when to use Will is as important as knowing how or why.

The Will then becomes the paintbrush of Creation, and like all tools, it should be kept in good working order and put away safely, so it is not used inadvertently or carelessly.

To Dare

On the surface, this leg of the Witches Pyramid is probably the simplest on the surface since it’s doing the process that you have decided on. The decision to do the spell has been made, the caster’s Will is honed and ready to force the change, but now you get your tools out and start the chants to cast the spell. Sounds simple, right?

However, there is much more than that to this aspect of magic. Daring to do a spell means you have a self-confidence that says you have the divine right to impose your Will on the universe; that you have the right to make things happen simply because you want them to happen.

To my mind, that takes a special kind of arrogance. To say to the Universe and to whatever form of Deity you honor, "I know better than you do, and I am going to MAKE this action happen." That sounds pretty severe and arrogant in my opinion.

It is saying that your life is not good enough. It is saying that you know how your life should be, in opposition to how it actually is, and it is saying that no matter what, you will use any methods, fair or foul, to force the outcome you wish.

It is daring the Universe to do its worst to you.

It is acceptance of not only the outcome, but also all the additional problems and unintended consequences of this spell.

Daring to do something can be a problem if you are going against the Authorities. If a deity has decided that the person you are trying to help is supposed to be sick at the same time you are trying to make them well, and you heal them anyhow, despite all the warnings and problems of that healing, there may be divine retribution. To Dare means you are willing and able to accept that and deal with it.

No matter what anyone says, there are Powers in the Universe that could be upset that you are doing this spell. Perhaps, it is because there will be unknown "butterfly effect" problems in another segment of creation. Maybe it is because there will be a power drain from something else that is needed and it may simply be that the desired outcome is supposed to be one that is out of reach. It is possible that binding you are doing is in opposition to the protection this God has promised to His follower.

Daring to do this spell anyhow sets you up to be in direct conflict with that Power. It means that there is the possibility that They will be upset with you and make your life "interesting" for a while as retribution and punishment.

Now, assuming that your Will and your Knowledge are to snuff in this whole process, the Dare stage is when you actually start doing the spell. At this point, the recriminations and self examination should be done, the decision made and now you actually get out your Tools and start the spell. Just that act, should throw you into an altered state of consciousness. This is the physical stage.

If we relate these legs of the Pyramid to different sections of our being, then "To Know" is the mental preparation part, "To Will" is the spiritual part, and "To Dare" is the physical part of this entire process.

Remember when I was saying before about humanity being wish generators? Well, wishing for something is only part of the whole process. Wishing will only get you so far magickally; it’s the actual process of doing the spell that will achieve results.

Then there is still one part that needs to be addressed, and thankfully, it is showing up in more and more teaching texts. Part of the "To Dare" process HAS to be actually doing the mundane things that will help the spell along.

In other words, if doing a spell for a job, Knowing what job you want is good, Willing that job into your life is another good part, Daring to actually do the spell is really good, but having the courage to go out and face rejection over and over is the most important part.

Daring must also encompass the mundane. It does take effort and courage to follow through on the mundane side of things, if only because we might fail.

In a post he made in his Live Journal, Taylor Ellwood made the very interesting point that most people are conditioned to avoid failure at all costs. As part of that, we are also not trained to accept success, and current societal standards are doing no favor by encouraging a similar mindset of "it’s okay to fail" in the next generation.

In any spell, simply beginning the process of the spell will open the door for failure. Failure will become an option. So one of the goals in any spell casting process must be accepting that the spell might fail and striving to prevent that failure. Don’t go into the spell with the thought that it will fail, but accept that the "nature of the beast" is going to include the failure of the spell and then strive to overcome it.

Of course, the standard excuse is to blame other factors, for that failure. "The Stars weren’t right," or "Goddess must have other plans for me," or "It will happen eventually," are all excuses that come very rapidly on the lips of those who try spells and fail.

However, as one Doctor Who episode pointed out1, what if we dream the impossible? What if, despite all things to the contrary, we actually make it and make our dreams come true?

No one is trained to that, but we are trained to fail. So Daring to be courageous, to actually do what we say we want, that is real magick. To think that it is possible to achieve what we want, to have what we dream about, that’s wonder.

This is the core of "To Dare". Taking that leap of faith, that step that may pay off and may not, even after been told all your life that you probably aren’t going to make anything of yourself. You must be ready to take that step despite the array of problems in your way, from the mundane to the deities themselves. To take that step, knowing that it may not pan out, but trusting yourself, your knowledge and your training to see it through anyhow.

Then you must have the confidence to follow through with the mundane work as well, to see the process through.

Then, add another layer, Daring to continue anyhow, even if the original spell didn’t work and do it again, despite disappointment in the past. Making sure that you do not, do not, do not quit; even when logic says "give up", when reason says "enough already", and when the universe orders you to cease, stubbornly going on is the essence of, the heart and soul of To Dare.

To Keep Silent

Silence is golden, according to the old saying. Remaining silent seems to be one of the hardest things that anyone can do, especially in the face of different pressures.

It’s human nature to want to brag about the accomplishments and choices that we make. I believe this stems from the desire for approval from others and validation of those choices. This desire is normal, but in magick it can be dangerous and counterproductive.

The major component of any spell is the willpower of the caster. Just about, everyone can agree on that. Belief in yourself, your spell, the magick you raised, the inevitable outcome of the spell, all have to be absolutely trusted in to ensure success.

So why would anyone want to voluntarily give away their power and the success of the spell by talking about it to others? That’s the core of this corner, staying Silent — not to hide the spells from others, but to keep others’ disbelief from affecting the belief of the spell caster.

I mean, the very act of casting a spell sounds ridiculous on the surface, to the layperson. I took this power out of the universe and tempered it with the knowledge with the goal that I would get what I desire. I lit candles and chanted words – I did all this ritual stuff, and I will get what I want. Sounds nuts, right?

Well, it is, and it is all based on a faith that our Will cannot be denied. No matter how open minded some non-magickians are, they will refuse to see that they do the same thing (perhaps in a different way) with their rituals and religions. It is nothing but believing in something that cannot be proven. This comparison tends to make most people very uncomfortable.

Why? Most of us are raised in modern Western Society to be rational. We are encouraged to give up pretending and fantasy play at an early age, and encouraged to start living in the "real world."

Nevertheless, even though the world of magick is a rational one, with rules and laws that need to be obeyed and which can be bent in very specific circumstances, it looks from the outside to be a world of fiction. Mummery, blue smoke and mirrors, wish fulfillment, hope and coincidence is all magick looks to be.

First, convincing yourself that magick actually works and that you can do it is a huge step, one that is necessary. This leads me back to this corner of the Pyramid.

Casting a spell, putting yourself in that mindset where you Know to the bottom of your soul that you will have this outcome is a major accomplishment and a critical step. Talking to your best friend about that is likely to lead to a conversation in which your friend questions your sanity. He will probably quiz you long and carefully to make sure that you haven’t slipped a cog in your brain.

This, then, will possibly make you question your own sanity. Maybe you really are just living in a world of fantasy? Perhaps it is possible that you dreamed it? Was there something in that ritual wine? Were you drunk?

This trend leads directly to you starting to doubt your own spell, and thus canceling your own power in the magick.

Honestly, it is incredible that any spell works when people often completely counter the spell by doubting it after the fact. One of the most common pieces of advice that I have heard given to new practitioners of arcane and esoteric paths is that you must continue to believe in the spell and the process of the spell after you finish.

Therefore, talking to a friend and discussing it with them will erode your belief. In fact, simply wanting to get their input can be a subconscious need for their approval, and thus their Will as part of your spell. If that approval is not forthcoming, it can have a tremendous effect and possibly cancel the spell entirely. You should strive to need nothing outside your own conviction.

Additionally, their belief (or doubt) now becomes a direct component of your spell, not just as approval. Their disbelief is now warring with your belief and it will cause problems for you in attaining your desires.

You will be setting yourself up for failure by inviting them and their opinions into your spell. It’s much easier to simply Keep Silent and not put yourself (or them) in that position.

One more thing to think about in this corner of the Pyramid: Think about every time you knew a secret or something that your friends didn’t. Remember how it gave you a sense of power, of control, of being better than everyone else? That’s an altered state of consciousness. Walking around knowing a secret about your spell puts you into that altered state of consciousness and keeps you there. This effectively puts you permanently in Sacred Space, in the same frame of mind you are in when casting the spell.

This makes any simple act of life a magickal act and a sacred act. Living in a state where everything is a magickal act is the very core of Crowley’s definition of magick, "Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will."

Holding a secret from everyone means that you will automatically be in that altered state. While in that altered state, things taken on a different hue, and you can see patterns you never noticed before. Everything changes around you, and you begin to see the interconnectedness of all.

When the mundane becomes the sacred and everything is an act of Will — that’s when magick is most effective. That is when the promise of "change in conformity with Will" becomes the tool to cause the world to move.

Knowing when to start the changes is paramount.

Willing the change into being is the next step.

Daring to begin effecting those changes to occur and then remaining Silent about those changes until they are fulfilled is the means of having Magick in your daily life, inseparable and one with you completely. Attaining that point is the alchemy of life, the way to transmute the base metal we start as into the Gold of a spiritual being.

The old magickal masters knew this. The Magickian’s Pyramid promised this, but like most of their advice, they had to hide it in common sense sayings that could mean anything to those who stumbled across them, hiding in plain sight the essences of magick.


The Implicate Order


Implicate and Explicate, are both the same,

Just different states of the same frequency domain.

Space-time, a term in the universal equation,

Merely mind-words to form reality and creation.

The Universe is a living, sentient, being,

But no more than interference patterns beating.

A living hologram, the whole contained in a part.

All things interconnected, as though many sharing one heart.

This is the mystery of the Implicate Paradox.

Nonlinear time, an unbending circle out of mind.

Freed from Past, Future, Present, like pearls loosed from the cosmic string of time.

Universe without beginning and without end…


Copyright ©  Terry J Kunkel



Jackson sleeping

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Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

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Ani nterestling sigil that is a recurring image for me. Each time a I See it a bit more detail is revealed.


It’s Snowing here too. Well, tree flowers anyway

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My Rune Spread

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I drew this rune spread today:

Rune Of The Day

Rune for March 07, 2014: sōwilō

success, wholeness, completion, victory, positive change

Generated from Galaxy Runes.


The Star

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The Star

optimism, hope, renewal, cleansing, astrology, peace, connection, recognition

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