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“What is the correct way to....”

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Eternal Seeker:

The preconceptions or world-view a person has can often be seen in the way they ask or answer a question. “What is the correct way to...”, or “The proper way to...”, for example, presupposes that there is one proper way to do things. There might be many reasons for believing this, but the two most common are:

1. Seeking, through your demonstrated mastery of the subject, to obtain or maintain rank within your tradition or coven. I don’t mean learning enough to get a sense of belonging and camaraderie, such as one might see on this board; I’m speaking of the rigidly hierarchical mindset that divides the entire world into cowan, outer court, initiate, and inner circle... the type who would stop speaking when his wife entered the room, saying, “Sorry, hon, but this is inner circle stuff- you’re still first degree.”  It’s important to do things precisely and correctly within such a group, as you will not be initiated into the next degree until you do.

2. Seeing magic as an alternative science- if you gesture thus, and pronounce the words correctly (It’s levi-ooohh-sa, NOT levio-saahh!), then things will happen, regardless of who you are or what you believe. Movies and literature are full of this view of magic... if you read the words of power from the scrap of old parchment...poof! I believe this mindset to be much more common to Ceremonial magicians, and perhaps Satanists or practitioners of Chaos magic than to Wiccans, but it does occur, especially to beginners.
   To my view, the harm that either of these mindsets do is that they turn your attention outwards... implying that power (and responsibility) comes from the authority invested by the High Priest/ess, or power comes from the sacred flame... from anywhere but yourself. To my tradition, the ritual will turn your attention back upon yourself; when you find your center you will find the Divine. The purpose of ritual is to prepare and focus the mind, to facilitate the connection to the Divine. The hard-wired speech centers of our brains force our attention to symbols and patterns; this is how proto-man developed language, and the art that became writing- but it also conditions our brains to work only with such symbols... the tools, the words, all the trappings exist for this purpose, serving as symbols to guide our thoughts to the Divine.
   So IS there a “proper” way? Yes- for you. And probably a dozen ways that are almost good enough, as well. It’s like art, or perhaps medicine- most people fall within a number of loose enough groupings that an initial generic treatment will do some amount of good, and indicate which way to go for more individual treatment; even the most advanced medicine can be a trial and error system. And so it is with religion- we start with what we’re taught at home, or soak up through the culture; if that does not work, we try again until we find something that resonates so powerfully within us that we know it to be absolute truth- and it is, for YOU, just as the penicillin was the perfect treatment- for YOU. Another person might be allergic to penicillin and die.

   The search for YOUR proper way is always difficult- research is hard enough to do in subjects where there is recognized truth and authority, a luxury you do not have here. And the search can be dangerous- to continue the analogy above, the only way you can know whether you’re allergic to penicillin is AFTER you’ve taken it. This is why crones and elders come down so hard on beginners sometimes... some have stared death in the face in their own search, and so fear for the young. The beginner must learn that mentors are invaluable in his quest, and the mentors must learn that the last step of their ward’s journey must be taken alone. And beginners, that step is worth taking, however hard you may find it; the grace, the serenity, the joy... you cannot know until you do.


Funny I should come accross this... Yesterday, I actually had a talk with someone about this. Every person is different. Its important to find what works for you, not what people says should work for everyone.Thank you for this.

This is the correct way to look at this problem.  :crazylaugh:


--- Quote from: VisionFromAfar on May 04, 2011, 09:25:52 PM ---This is the correct way to look at this problem.  :crazylaugh:

--- End quote ---

Only a Sith deals in absolutes. ;)

Ghost Wolf:

--- Quote from: Tirya on May 04, 2011, 09:37:29 PM ---
--- Quote from: VisionFromAfar on May 04, 2011, 09:25:52 PM ---This is the correct way to look at this problem.  :crazylaugh:

--- End quote ---

Only a Sith deals in absolutes. ;)

--- End quote ---



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