What are you reading now or recently to expand your mind or to explore your traditions (including fiction and non-fiction)?
It’s been a long time since I was in an official class, but I have never stopped studying. I see being human as always being a work in progress. I’m currently reading Aaron Cheak’s “Alchemical traditions: from antiquity to the avante garde”, from which, I’m learning a lot. Each book I read tends to send me off in new directions, and I’m always looking for the next unexplored path. So, now I’m curious what everyone else is reading to see if there are dimensions of thought I can add to my map.
I'm currently reading "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" by Yuval Noah Harari. It's not Pagan or spiritual literature, but it touches on why humans have belief systems, how they work, and what they do for us. I'm also refreshing my knowledge of herbcraft, because it's practical and makes me feel closer to the natural world.
I'm also reading the forums! Not a ton yet, as I'm still trying to sort out what directions I want to look first, but there's definitely something to be said about the vast amount of knowledge and opinions the Internet has made available to us.
I am using Twitter to keep up with what people are doing research, plights of the forever
war around the world, the victims Thru UN type organizations.
Games like Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth, gives me knowledge on the twitter R&D sites.
Research from bumblebees seeing in Ultra-Violet- tracks the pollen to Quantum Computing. With
a large dose of Sci/Fi. For me learning never stops. " Why memorize something when it is
written in a Book." Albert Einstein
" I Never let school interfere with my Education" Mark Twain
“’Why memorize something when it is written in a Book.’ Albert Einstein”
While this has been my habit, I’ve found it problematic, particularly when I’m caught out somewhere away from my library or my Internet connection. It brings to mind the habit of Doc Savage (an old pulp fiction hero) of never carrying a gun, because he never wanted to become dependent on one. However, I’m stuck with a late 20th century trained mind that doesn’t take well to memorization. Still, if you repeat something enough it eventually sticks.
Well having been involved with Wicca for over 40 years -- I decided to start research a lot more on what is called 'traditional witchcraft' by its practitioners. There is so much materials we both can share and build on and to the advantage of all. I highly recommend the reading of the works of Gemma Gary and those of Nigel G. Person -- there is just so much there.
If people are interested I would like to explore common paths and methods of development.
Blessed be to All,
Cornish magic (Gemma Gary) and British witchcraft (Nigel G. Pearson) — a tasty treat. While British or Welsh lore is, theoretically, in my blood, I haven’t had a chance to dig very deep. What I’m doing right now is a close cousin, if you ignore the technology upgrades. I’m putting the two authors’ you suggest on my reading list, and I’d love to read your thinking on ‘traditional witchcraft’ and what paths you’re exploring. Despite my techie approach, I spend a great deal of time digging into the history of the old traditions to try and relearn how to think like our ancestors. I don’t expect to actually get there, but I’m hoping to get close enough to understand what they were doing.
One of the interesting things I found in Nigel G. Pearson's Treading the Mill is that your Quarter Point attributions can change over time as well as a starting position that needs to be assign to your location. He says that as you work with different rituals and energies you should think of adjusting your attributions as well. He also said that as people develop within their own personal work -- there may come a time where you might want to alter them as well.
I did find that Gemma Gary's quarter point attributions are different than some of the Wiccan ones -- in that she assigns Red to the East which is for the Red Serpent of Earth, White to the South for Fire with the White Hare being its symbol, Grey in the West for evening and Water with the Grey Toad as its symbol and in the North the Black Raven for Air and night. Now a similar color (but not elemental scheme ) is mention in Doreen V. ABCs of Witchcraft under the article on the Arite or points. Would love to hear any feed back and ideas or other concepts.
Blessed be to All,
While replying to myself is not my style -- However I did make a major mistatement!
The Red of the East is for the Red Serpent and the Point is not assigned to Earth -- it is to Fire. And the White Hare of the South is to Earth -- !!!!
Gemma Gary had this correct in her fantastic A Cornish Book of Ways.
Blessed be to All,
While I’ve been using a common elemental-directional ritual form where Air is East and moving through the directions with Fire, Water and Earth, I’ve found that the recommendation of Josephine McCarthy is true. The directional associations relate to the land, and vary by location and geography. McCarthy says to “feel” the elements and adjust the direction to match the feel. This was drilled into my head by a dream—I occasionally get magic lessons in my sleep—yes, that’s weird. In the dream, I was in a classroom where an exasperated instructor complained that no one was doing the work—then he stopped in the middle of his tirade to demand the students find North. I looked out the window, but there was no sun, and like true noon there were no shadows. I realized that my phone had a compass, but when I pulled it out, the instructor confiscated everyone’s cell phones.
I couldn’t figure out how to find North until I woke up, and remembered McCarthy’s recommendation to “feel” the directions. So, I got out of bed, closed my eyes, and felt for “Earth”. When I stopped, and opened my eyes, I found myself facing a corner of the room which actually does point true north. This drove home the point, that you have to learn to trust your internal feelings over dogmatic instruction. The people who originated the traditions didn’t receive any instructions—they felt their way through, and if I want to be as strong as them, I have to learn to listen to, and trust my feelings like they did.
What role does environment play? Back then they did not have all the EMF. One could
Feel more clearly Nature's Aura.
I am forever reading to explore my tradition. Lately, I've been trying to learn more about taking the auspices.
Since it hardly rains where I live, and though I could raise chickens, I rarely need to call on the gods regularly, I'm going to only focus on ex avibus alites - taking signs by the flight of birds - and ex quadrupedibus - taking signs by the behavior of four legged animals.
I have to adjust for different locales. The ancient Romans used eagles, vultures, crow, hawks and woodpeckers for flight and wolves, dogs, foxes and horses for the other grouping.
Where I live, there are no eagles, no vultures, no crows, rarely are there woodpeckers seen but there are hawks from time to time. Not often enough to take auspices, so I'm going to have use local birds - sparrows, jays, grackles, doves/pigeons. I guess if I saw a hawk, I'd consider that a prodigy.
And of course, I'll use dogs and cats since my area is lacking wolves or foxes or horses. It's hard to find study guides on the subject, so right now, I'm taking notes from everything I find on the net.