“In the beginning there was the word…”
Over the weekend, we experienced the solstice. As a kid I was fascinated by the idea of a ‘longest day’ or ‘longest night’ because it seemed impossible. Like most modern Western kids, I was deeply disconnected from the natural rhythms of the planet I was blessed to be born on. Yes, I understood the shift of the seasons yet it never occurred to me (and I was certainly not taught) of the subtle shifts which lent the possibility of a ‘shortest day’ and ‘shortest night’. My Dad grew up in Scotland and he told us of playing cricket at midnight in the north of Scotland during the height of summer – but honestly, it sounded like a Dad-made fairytale!! It was only years later in high school geography I understood it was actually true and how it was possible.
Solstice literally means ‘sun standing still’ (sol = sun, sistere = to stand still). It is a gateway which (depending where you are in the world) goes from peak light through into increasing amounts of darkness or peak darkness into increasing amounts of light. Solstice is a time to stop – literally – and reflect on what has been; to celebrate and prepare for what comes next. Our ancestors understood the power of these energetic gateways and built observational and devotional structures in service and celebration of them. They also understood them as markers of their survival—especially people surviving winters without modern heating, shelter or food availability.
Of Magick and Technology
Arthur C. Clarke is famous for speaking of magick and technology as synonymous with each: any sufficient advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The thing is, Clarke’s words conflate the notion that magick is a boss-level kind of skill/energy only available to the most studied, experienced or naturally adept individual. It makes magick something ‘otherly’ with a side serve of ‘impossible’.
This isn’t surprising. Humans like to complicate things, and there is no other aspect of the human experience quite ripe for complication than magick and an individual’s relationship to it, and with it. Magick is really not akin to “a sufficiently advanced technology”. Magick is actually startlingly simple. It is being the vessel in which it moves through (us) which is the complicated part.
Magick and Gateways
will + skill + opportunity = magick.
She explained that if you had the desire and the ability and opened to serendipity (or were just open to receive) then anything was possible. That was magick. And I loved it. For the first time it made complete sense to me. In removing it from complex rules and ritual, tradition and history, fantasy and occultism magick opened itself to me in a myriad of exciting possibilities and adventures I could explore.
My second gateway was a short transmission in meditation earlier this year that told me several things:
- magick is the birth right of all humans incarnate here (this removes the exclusivity that only a certain type of person can engage with magick)
- magick is nothing more than wilful intention (mic drop)
Wilful speaks to being ‘filled with will’. However, the word ‘wilful’ carries some seriously negative connotations. Wilful hasn’t always been a word of celebration, nor something encouraged, especially if you were a wild, spirited, independent child with containment issues and with parents who were not predisposed to supporting that fiery, full-of-life curiosity.
Will speaks to being filled with passion, drive, determination and life force. Will is an energy of inspired action, movement and expansion. Will is an irrepressible kind of intrepidness that doesn’t wait for permission slips or safety checks to go.
Intent is clear seeing, if we consider ‘seeing’ as a 360-degree all sensory concept. Intent is knowing what we authentically desire for ourselves. And here desire, like wilful, gets a bad rap – perhaps because of desire’s inherent wildness or assumption of selfish singlemindedness, or the way desire is hooked into intimacy and sex. Desire is closely associated with the energy of eros – of a deep yearning for merging and lasting transformation.
Magick could be said to be the desire and intent to connect and merge with the unknown in a way of bringing something into existence from nothing, or transmuting something from one state into another.
Will brings the heart to the party, intent brings the laser sharp focus.
And that’s magick.
The Self as A Complicated Container
What happens next is we get in the way of magick. We don’t allow ourselves to be an uncomplicated contained for magick to move through.
We get in the way by:
- running unconscious programming
- holding to beliefs and stories we have inherited or collected along the way that no longer serve us
- consciously compromising ourselves out of fear, despair, anger, jealousy or shame
- allowing others to get in the way by choosing others over ourselves
- entangling ourselves with the agendas of drama, blame, expectation, victimisation and manipulation created and run by others
- disconnecting from a higher consciousness/energy source
I believe as above, so below. My body is an intricate connection of electrical impulses in a deep knowing of how it all fits together in a mostly seamless functioning and I believe the cosmos is no different: an intelligent movement of energy.
The most powerful and timely magick we can do is to heal our wounds, rewrite our distorted stories, welcome in new congruent beliefs and disconnect ourselves from the energetic schemata of others.
Then magick moves easier. The ability to create from an intentional space, aligned with our hearts and our ideas, is amplified. I tell my clients that it’s the difference between trying to work magick (ie. create change in your outer world) via the Tuff Mudda obstacle race route compared with the six-lane autobahn one.
It is no accident that the bible begins with: in the beginning there was the word. If we’re really honest it actually started with wilful intent. And then came the word.
Magick is encoded in words, and those words become the gateway into what we desire. When speak those words (either out loud or in our head), when we sing them or write, we build gateways to what we want to receive. It is as simple and as complicated as: ask and you shall receive. A lot of the time we’re afraid of ask, and even more of the time we’re afraid of receiving what we desire.
We are creating our reality through words all the time: what we think, what we read, what we say, what we hear. We do it through what we feel and the alchemy created in the heart-mind crucible. So it is a choice do to it consciously and with heart, or to do it unconsciously with random buckshot sprays of emotion.
Solstice – A Gateway of Gateways
“…from the ashes we rise together.”
For the winter solstice I fed the fire all the things I was ready and willing to let go of. I wrote them out, read them aloud and then let the flames devour them. Then I sat for several hours in quiet reflection by the fire, alone. It’s the most peaceful and grounded I have felt for a long time. In the morning I wrote out seven single word intentions and took them out to the fire pit and burned a candle over the top of them, over the shortest day. This was what I was calling in, having made space by letting go. These were energetic bridges I could walk into the unknown on.
My wilful intent was rendered in words, ink on paper, building gateways to provide foundation, structure and shape for what I desire in the next six months.
A Final Thought
If words are the building blocks of our existence it is because they carry the charge of magick. Words are gateways because of this. And because of this, it’s worth taking the time to mindfully review what you say, how you say it, what you think, what you feel, what you desire and what you focus on.
In short, I want to ensure I’m always anchoring and building a reality that is aligned with my highest joy, my greatest love, my brightest light; a reality that is expansive, connective, creative and in partnership with my purpose here in this life.
It is as simple and as complicated as that.