Today is my first day starting a new project. After some heavy research into the origins of witchcraft and Wicca specifically, I thought I’d delve deeper into the Occult. Since this is the first post in what will hopefully be a year’s worth of updates, I thought I’d share where I’m currently at. I’ll also go into a little bit of what I’m hoping to achieve, and how I came about this process in the first place.
This year, I’m hoping to make a significant dent in the curriculum offered in Lyam Thomas Christopher’s Kabbalah Magic & the Great Work of Self Transformation: A Complete Course. When it says ‘a complete course’ it means every word. Just glancing through the course made me hesitant to undergo such a rigorous project. However, after some lengthy deliberation, I figured the very least I could do is try. I’m not promising to follow the course step by step. What I do want to do though is making through all the reading. Not only that, I do want to follow some of the rituals offered, entertain some of the journal aspects of the course, and, last but not least, do some of the ‘research’ assignments.
The book relies heavily on the Golden Dawn system, and one does need a copy of Israel Regardie’s The Golden Dawn: The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites & Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order to complete the course. That said, this is important only because the course is structured around using the Golden Dawn’s initiating grade levels. In total, there are six grade levels: Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus, Philosophus, and Portal. Each of these have a rather interesting list of reading requirements, assignments, projects, and, of course, ritual work. Becoming an ‘expert’ in each grade can take months, if not years, per grade to learn. I’m not looking to spend that kind of time on a system I’m not sure pertains to me just yet. However, I am interested in getting a feel for what The Golden system looks like and the philosophy behind it.
So, where do I start in all this then? Well, the more obvious place to start is in the Neophyte (introductory) grade. Taking a look at the reading list, the following books are suggested in addition to the ‘textbook’ lectures and rituals: The Tree of Life by Israel Regardie, The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune, and The Sacred Magic of Ancient Egypt by Rosemary Clark. Of these, I went ahead and chose The Mystical Qabalah. My reasoning for this is simply personal choice. I’ve just finished up Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig, which relies heavily on a more Jewish centered Qabalah teaching. I also happen to gravitate more toward the Greek pantheon over the Egyptian, so want to give myself a little more introduction to a ‘blending’ of concepts before proceeding on that front.
Okay, so I picked my reading, but what about the written assignments? To start off with, I want to simply document my thoughts. What about the book I’m reading stands out to me? Are there any subjects I naturally feel drawn to exploring? A journal will help me document this (as well as tell me what to blog about). The other assignment I want to do right now is the tarot meditation/divination/daily exercise. This is pretty straight forward, simply pick a tarot card and meditate on its image for the day. Modern Magick uses a similar process, and so, I think it a really good crossover practice. For awhile, this is all I intend to do. Writing in my journal, my daily reading, a daily tarot card divination, and eventually, an inclusion of the Four Adorations should keep me busy for a few months. Any ritual work will purely be on an intuitive level for now.
Alright, now that I’ve outline for myself the long road ahead, you may have guessed my tarot card for the day: The Page of Cups.
To see my thoughts on this card: Click Here.
If you’re doing a similar project for the year or months ahead, I’m interested in hearing about it! Don’t be afraid to let me know. Other than that, I’m actually pretty excited to start another long study process. There’s something nice about not knowing where the journey will lead!