Amongst the received correspondence I have selected two that speak of a common situation, it is about choice and discernment, about Self knowledge and the path unique. A subject worthy a book, but I will tie to noose and limit myself... The letters in question reads as follows:
Parts of Letter I
How can I know the difference between the messages and/or intuition coming from my daemon and social conditioning? I ask this because many of our ideals and aspirations are influenced by modern thinking, society, etc. I find it difficult to maintain balance.
Also, when thinking about a magickal path, it seems there are many options, many of them look good to me, but I'm not sure if I found the right one. What would be your advices concerning this situation?
Parts of Letter II
I am fighting with bitterness, anger of my choices, we have free will, but yet currently it all feels like destiny. I know that I should accept and walk on, and something within me tells me that everything is as it is supposed to be – or what is just is – but do you believe destiny is written in the stars, can we break destiny or is everything perfect all the time, so you need to give life in your dance with death? I want to find a meaning with everything, a meaning of joy and not suffering so life can be the realization it is supposed to be, this seems to be a superior force and it makes it so hard to make a fool of oneself when one want something else...
I firmly believe that we are divine beings on a human journey and this human journey takes place in a social construct that tempers and challenges our soul, just like any daemon would do. I believe we all have free will – but also a path to thread, break and make.
When we speak of Destiny, that the stars have given us a route towards our fulfilment, fatalism easily enters the picture. Fate is not a readymade road. Fate is the pieces of iron handed to us, so we can forge the machete and sword and clear the way Fate gave. Fate is a constellation, a gathering; it replicates our soul and our possibilities. In astrology fortune is a calculated part of the horoscope using the Moon as its departure for finding what lot Fortune imparted to you. Quite proper as Fortune, like Moon is changeable and chaos makes part of its predictability. This gives emphasise to the volatile nature of Fortune that gravitates towards the 11th house of the natal chart where we find the good daimon, but also our hopes, true friends and fears. We also find Fortune influencing the nodes of the Moon, the dragon that coils and by its head represents what is favourable and by its tail what is challenging. The dragon coiling around the Moon is the principle of discernment and Fortune walks the scales of this dragon...
On this, our journey, we find guides, gurus and misguiders and I believe that Buddha was right when he told that the misguider was as important as the guru, because by being lead astray by an external guru or our inner guru we will be led to lands of Exile. Away from Self, away from benevolence we find the harshness that tries to kill us. But whatever tries to kill us can also provoke our strength and courage to manifest. After all it is only in the ‘all oneliness’ we can truly meet ourselves, even if we conceive of it as ‘loneliness’.
In a more direct response to the first letter I would say that social conditioning often gets in the way, because this conditioning also colours many modern occult orders and groups, new or with some pedigree. When an occult order is shaped and made the first principle is always a gathering of harmony, but what is harmonious for a handful, might not be harmonious for two handfuls. So, the golden rule for deciding to enter an occult order or group is not about what they promise in terms of wisdom and ‘power’ – but about harmony. I believe many makes erroneous choices in a search of power as I did in my search for wisdom. Still, the choice moves us onwards, ready to take the blessings as well as the lessons... so in the end, no choice is wrong. What might be wrong are the types of energetic investment we give. If you enter a brotherhood and find to be in disagreement, realize this and move on, keep your word and oaths and direct yourself elsewhere. Many are those, and I am certainly one of those, that held a vision for an order, and tried to impose this vision upon the order. This is a waste of time and is ultimately a detour of Self. So, the simple answer is to take your time, build good relationships and where sympathy and harmony grows, go there, carefully and with gentleness.
When we force our hand, when we impose, when we want apples to be oranges.... we always end up with wormwood... Wormwood is a healing plant. It is bitter; it is medicine, it is the Green fairy and absinth. It gives you root as your third eye flies out in the world of wonders and social constructs, just to rebuild you more closer to the pillar of true Self.
But if bitterness turns into a Master...in that moment we reject the sweetness, we shall not see it, because everything we see reminds of the bitter choice. We do not see the lessons and the opportunities the lessons gives. We look back on our mistakes, our errors and we paint our sole with the palest colours we can find... It is not good and it is not true. Even in this there is a choice, to accept the suffering and to approach it with interest. Every time we find ourselves in the palace of suffering we also find bleeding anchors that screams for our soul. Some of these anchors need to be accepted, others are just figments of our imagination. But they are still important as waymarks in this journey we make.
The meaning of life is all about approaching this journey with interest. The pain and the tears, the sensual slaps and kisses are all lanterns and forges that make the iron of Fate to take shape. Life is an experience; it is the Greek theatre where comedy and tragedy are the twins that holds the pole that is YOU. So, sure we bring death into the dance of life as much as we bring life into the dance of death. This is really the journey and when bitterness threatens we must understand that the bitter demons are just the guardians of much needed contemplation. So, take a step back, take a deep breath and allow the pieces to assemble. Don’t allow the spirit of bitterness to trace a detour, a grizzly path in unknown land, unless you down there at the basement of the soul notice its need...
I say; pain comes with being human, the crossroad is always in flames in the human journey. You might say the fire at the crossroad comes from wrong choices, but how to deal with this is also a choice. If we accept the consequences of the choices, which we are, it will always lead us to rivers of honey. Resistance will always bring us to a repetition of the choice made while we wade in hot rivers of brimstone and regret. So, in the end we should be patient with ourselves, because in patience discernment is revealed and only in this way, by the road of interest, can we calmly understand our Selves, the World and how to make our path.
So in the end, Edna St. Vincent Millay divine translation of the divinely afflicted Charles Baudelaire, who pondered about these same issues in this poem:
When, on a certain day, into this harassed world
The Poet, by decree of the high powers, was born,
His mother, overwhelmed by shame and fury, hurled
These blasphemies at God, clenching her fists in scorn:
'Would I had whelped a knot of vipers — at the worst
'Twere better than this runt that whines and snivels there!
Oh, cursèd be that night of pleasure, thrice accurst
My womb, that has conceived and nourished my despair!
'Since, of all mortal women, it would seem my fate
To be my saddened husband's horror and disgust;
And since I may not toss this monster in the grate —
Like any crumpled letter, reeking of stale lust —
'Upon his helpless form, whereby Thou humblest me,
I shall divert Thy hatred in one raging flood;
And I shall twist so well this miserable tree
That it shall not put forth one pestilential bud!'
Thus did she foam with anger, railing, swallowing froth;
And, unaware of what the mighty powers had willed,
She set about to draw Gehenna on them both,
Eyeing the fire, considering how he might be killed.
Meantime, above the child an unseen angel beats
His wings, and the poor waif runs laughing in the sun;
And everything he drinks and everything he eats
Are nectar and ambrosia to this hapless one.
Companioned by the wind, conversing with the cloud,
Along the highway to the Cross his song is heard;
And the bright Spirit, following him, weeps aloud
To see him hop so gaily, like a little bird.
Those whom he longs to love observe him with constraint
And fear, as he grows up; or, seeing how calm he is,
Grow bold, and seek to draw from him some sharp complaint,
Wreaking on him all day their dull ferocities.
Cinders are in his bread, are gritty in his teeth;
Spittle is in his wine. Where his footprints are seen
They hesitate to set their shoes, mincing beneath
Hypocrisy; all things he touched, they call unclean.
His wife in public places cries, 'Since after all
He loves me so, that he's the laughingstock of men,
I'll make a business of it, be an idol, call
For gold, to have myself regilded now and then!
'And some day, when I'm drunk with frankincense, rich food,
Flattery, genuflexions, spikenard, beady wine,
I'll get from him (while laughing in his face, I could!)
That homage he has kept, so far, for things divine.
'And, when my pleasure in these impious farces fails,
My dainty, terrible hands shall tear his breast apart,
And these long nails of mine, so like to harpies' nails,
Shall dig till they have dug a tunnel to his heart.
'Then, like a young bird, caught and fluttering to be freed,
('Twill make a tasty morsel for my favorite hound)
I'll wrench his heart out, warm and bleeding — let it bleed! —
And drop it, with contempt and loathing, to the ground.'
Meanwhile toward Heaven, the goal of his mature desire,
The Poet, oblivious, lifts up his arms in prayer;
His lucid essence flames with lightnings — veiled by fire
Is all the furious world, all the lewd conflict there.
'Be praised, Almighty God, that givest to faulty me
This suffering, to purge my spirit of its sin,
To fortify my puny strength, to bid me see
Pure Faith, and what voluptuous blisses dwell therein.
'I know that in those ranks on ranks of happy blest
The Poet shall have some place among Thy Seraphim;
And that Thou wilt at length to the eternal feast
Of Virtues, Thrones and Dominations, summon him.
'I know, Pain is the one nobility we have
Which not the hungry ground nor hell shall ever gnaw;
I know that space and time, beyond the temporal grave,
Weave me a mystic crown, free from all earthly flaw.
'Not emeralds, not all the pearls of the deep sea,
All the rare metals, every lost and buried gem
Antique Palmyra hides, could ever seem to me
So beautiful as that clear glittering diadem.
'Of Light, of Light alone, it will be fashioned, Light
Drawn from the holy fount, rays primitive and pure,
Whereof the eyes of mortal men, so starry bright,
Are but the mirrors, mirrors cloudy and obscure.'
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