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February 12th, 2022
Initiations, Transitions & Sphinxes: Majik, Libraries & Historic Preservation
I want to apologize in advance as this article will largely and wildly spin around in philosophical, and metaphorical proportions.
I've been doing a lot of thinking myself, seeing the effects of things in my own environment, and discussing it with those closest to me.
As humans, fear is an aspect of survival. We quest, seek, and discuss. This diary is a mirror of myself, suspended in time.
It's me, staring at the snarling, dripping, and gaping mouth of the "big bads" within my own psyche...
and from time to time, it does get hairy and scary in there.
It's my own initiation process of myself to myself, and much like any initiatory event, at its best, revelations and transformations occur.
This started me thinking about how what I have to say may be relevant to others of like mind, and then spun down the rabbit hole of "remember".
This has been especially true and reflective since I've begun to record and document a diary, once again.
Traditionally, initiation into the Veshigi path has been something done formally, beginning with an interest.
Students used to approach me and asked me to teach them. They still do, however, the mindset is way different now.
Finding an apprentice was a matter of choice, going to the ones who were "getting it" and showed a capacity, skill, and drive for the work,
over those who did not. Apprenticeship on the part of the teacher is an honored legacy; to the student, an honored lineage.
Not everyone who asks to be taught actually takes the time to do the work, which relies heavily on communication.
It's amazing to me that it was a lot easier to teach in the '90s than it is nowadays. You'd think that with email and instant
messages and video chat, it would be a lot easier to communicate.
It is easier, and maybe that's part of the problem with people keeping focused.
Back in the '90s, we had internet, but traveling and sourcing information was done in person, and it took more than mere
whimsy to not only attain a qualified and experienced teacher; you had to really, really be interested and dedicate yourself
to learning because time and energy were a lot more valuable than they are now. When something is worked for, it means that they
have chosen to work for something they feel has substance and value. When something is taken for granted, such as information,
it loses value because it is easily and readily available. When it's that easy, people assume that it will always be there in the future,
and if it's not available, the next assumption made is that something of it or like it will be.
When you can just do things at your leisure, the need and/or importance of the thing in question often seeming like it's taking a backseat
to entertainment. Whether it actually is or isn't, is relative, boiling down to how its impacts are personally felt.
I've talked about this before in other discussions -how it seems like very few appreciate the education process, and prefer a grab and go,
or "pushbutton" instant gratification now experience, and how some want the lapel pin, but don't want to put in the effort
required to actually deserve it. More than anything, especially with social media, people desire vanity and illusion over the actual process.
This says a lot about what many view as the difference in mentality when comparing the '90s to today,
or any past decade relevant and comfortable to themselves.
I'm focusing on the '90s because this is the decade when Ravynmoon was at its height, and the world-although difficult and
transitioning for myself, was the most comfortably...familiar. Many people refer to this time frame as the last "real" decade because
shortly after the turn of the century, the societal focus shifted drastically, largely because of Columbine, and then almost immediately
the changes in daily activities and new desire for safety brought about by the events on 9/11.
Where witchcraft is concerned, the rise in interest and awareness that was growing between the 80s and 90s was largely squashed by
conservatism, using "people wearing black"= bad, a pushback into more "safe" environments, and a generation of new babies being born
into a technological age with fear-mongering at the helm with social media riding its coattails,
and not long after that, the advent of the iPhone.
Without the need to leave the house, other than for what was necessary, teens were more comfortable with making their nest a priority.
Focusing on "home" instead of "world", and since the limitations had begun to take place, anger and resentment of such also took place
in the media streams. People didn't know how to channel their anger, disappointment, or fear, and then we started hearing sentiments
and terminology used mainstream, such as "inside jobs". News and world events were able to be streamed live, instead of having to wait
and watch the evening news, or read about it in the morning paper. Safe zones and safe places were desired by the general public out of
fear of increased violence, which promoted more isolation, lack of communication, and a need for even safer social outlets.
Fear pushed people to question what was right and wrong, and feeling as though they were without guidance, church membership rose,
pushing back again on anything secular. One threat after another. That's what we've been hit with for over 20 years now.
One freedom after another, squashed by the social collective. Now those millenial babies are having babies and we have entered
Gen 2; an entire generation of people who have no recollection whatsoever of anything remotely resembling prior society.
With that, the acceptance that this flatlined, everything now system is the norm.
Generations who remember well the "before times" are constantly clashing with those who do not.
People are looking for something to believe in and long for purpose and meaning. Questions asked are answered with other questions,
and growing conspiracies take stronger root because so many people have grown not to trust and have become more confused about the
what and why and how all of this happened so quickly. Fingers point and blame, while using sarcasm as a crutch for instability, and
proliferating a breeding ground of hatred and expectation and preparation for the worst.
I don't remember where I read it or who said it, but someone said "it takes 3 generations for a brand new philosophy to take hold."
The Chinese say "it takes 3 generations to forget". Enter decade 2.
In the journal of Anthropology, History, and Ethnohistory, published by Duke University, a 1966 article written by William Sturtevant
discusses history: what is the past, and how it changes over time. The written record being a means to expression, and how
often undocumented ideas and experiences are forgotten, lending to a kind of "hill and valley" technique, where speculation tries
to fill in the blanks of missing data.
The danger in that is that anything can fill the valley if it's acceptable enough.
So where are our hills and where are our valleys?
It doesn't take much to look at our current events and cultural changes to gain insight into why this is happening and to anticipate
the hindsight the future will have about "the now".
"Get it in writing!" Whether it be a Pop-Pop, or a Grams, or that Uncle who has all of his tax returns from 1957 to present shoved in a
closet with a bunch of old road Atlas mapbooks...you've heard the statement before. You also no doubt have that Aunt who knows the family history
all the way back to the beginning, with various books and a whole lot of printouts, graphs, and photos.
Because it's necessary.
My grandparents remembered a time when it was vital to stock up "just in case". My great-grandparents remembered a time when records
weren't kept because education was limited to the rich or lucky. The military records of my own father, along with thousands of others,
were lost to history after the 1973 fire at the National personnel records center. I was 2 years old. The National archives said,
“In terms of the number of records lost and lives impacted, you could not find a greater records disaster."
Where once, we protected what we had as valuable in fire-safe boxes, bank vaults, and in as many and various home collections, now we store
everything on digital media. Our photos, facts, interests, and memories...all stored on something that could be erased -in the blink of an eye.
We've settled for this because it's convenient, losing interest in the hobby of scrapbooking, letter writing, and photo albums. We sit day after day
perusing some "feed", instead of going outside and living life...largely because who else is out there doing anything at all?
And of those who are out there, who is open to communication? Who is dangerous?
Why go out, why invest, when all can be here...in our sleep and eat box...at our fingertips, and at our leisure?
All of this, in 20 years.
Young people wonder why there is so much hate, and why so many older generation folks seem to be pushing back against social evolution.
In my opinion, it's largely because so much has changed and so much has been taken away, that it's a fight to retain life; not just what
"has been", but any shred of actually living well into their future. No one wants to be forgotten, but that was a familial concern pending
someone's death. Saving history has not been something that in our modern history we have had to deal with. We've read stories about how
people would protect their written records at all costs. How secret rooms were built, how they were coded and handed down,
and how they traveled through the desert.
Secret societies with secret libraries and devoted librarians...all a part of our "urban legends".
Well, guess what? We're all librarians now, aren't we? All museum curators of our own memories and family histories.
The book-keepers, the photo-savers, the media-storers.
It's not just me and it's not just witchcraft.
All things are being watered down, as quickie-do-nows and 12-week courses. Every website looks the same. All the music is compressed.
Everything we knew as having richness, depth, substance, power, and value is being reduced down to something the size of the head of a pin,
and it...is...terrifying. Not because we are afraid of the future, but because we're afraid of losing the past...FOR the future.
"Never forget where you come from" is another sentiment that's been passed down throughout the years. The idea is that you remember
where you were, as not to forget how you got where you are now. Seeing the math is important, knowing the landscape, and finding the
landmarks are all necessary to find your way back home.
It's the dark forest....all over again. Isn't it? Wolves are howling, strange creatures may be lurking, and who knows
what is pretending to be Grama.
We can only make future predictions based on what we see, using social landmarks as cues as to what might happen next.
In the meantime, we need to reestablish true value. What can we do? What do we know? and "What can we change?", not for any fixed
agenda -other than the resistance, out of fear of disappearing altogether.
As a teacher, I'm sometimes asked about what "the witches' pyramid" actually means.
There are said to be four primary things that are essential to magic. These four things are also called the powers of the sphinx.
According to Eliphas Levi, They are TO KNOW, as when one doesn't know, TO WILL , as when one doesn't know, they should possess the will to learn.
TO DARE, or be bold...but not to be foolhardy in the approach of learning, and TO KEEP SILENT, as not to draw attention to yourself or your work,
so that others with an agenda don't come along and destroy it.
The things that long last affect the future are knowledge of alchemy, which is the knowledge of the psyche in conjunction with the
3 worlds of body, mind, and spirit; medicine to heal ourselves and each other; astronomy as to know what is up and down, directions
for travel, and influences exhibited on us as humans; mathematics so that we may assess, count and build; and magic as not to lose
the natural abilities that we possess and the connections we have as being one within the spirit of all things.
Spirit is the creative force of all things combined, and with the will, makes manifestation possible.
In Latin, these four things are called scire (sheer-ay), velle (vay-lay), audere (au-day-ray), and tacere (tah-chee-ray),
represented by the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, and the four zodiac signs of human, lion, eagle, and bull...
aka the cherubim, the sphinx, the kingly powers or virtues, and in Ezekial, called "the faces" or "domains of god".
These are considered to be a complete cycle, and many have associated them with the four "horsemen" of the apocalypse and speak of revelations.
Whenever any timeframe becomes overwhelmingly troublesome and confusing, people start getting incredibly churchian, with various depictions
of their "end of the world" views, touting translations, and with it associating charges, morals, dogma, and superstition.
The heightened emotions, withdrawing to the safety of the familiar. When the familiar seems far away, it gets worse.
In fact, the definition of an apocalypse is "an event involving destruction or damage on an awesome or catastrophic scale"
...and on this planet, we've had many.
Of course, destruction is an act of natural creation, as all things through nature must pass from one state into another.
Many people look to the stars for cosmic signs of large-scale changes as astrologically, the movements and emitted energy of the stars and their
effects on each other at certain times, are believed to affect us here on Earth as well -which is why those movements in the constellations are
historically mentioned, and then repeated over and over, in many faiths, customs, and traditions worldwide. As far as "revelations", the term basically refers to the repeated cycle of "the revealing process", in which all things are known, and seen for what they are. Symbols of this are many, such as is contained within the ouroboros snake eating its own tail, hourglasses, and the figure 8. The emotions are believed to be high at these times, which is why war is a prominent fear and feature portrayed as being characteristic of such "end times". Apocalypses, sphinx cats, and all of this hell librarianship...what does it all mean?
It is my opinion that at the end of any cycle, things tend to tighten. All ideas, concepts, and intentions push together tightly as they
all naturally do before pushing through the hole/whole of creation under pressure. It is a natural, cyclical, and expected outcome...
a sort of "big bang" in real-time. We see and feel this whenever our lives come to a point of making a major decision, or when there is a major loss.
As above, so below, right? So technically, what is little is reflected in the big and vice versa.
Some in the know, have a greater advantage to using this time to manifest what they desire, and if indeed influenced by the emittance, push,
and pull of planets and stars -may be why so many people feel the pull or push effects as seen in their everyday lives.
Maybe it's the stars themselves, winding us up and down like some kind of astrological yo-yo. Perhaps the entirety of this process is nature's way of reflecting upon itself, instilling a sense of value, through considerations of virtue and vice.
Maybe sustaining itself, requires the occasional process of "rise and fall", symbolized in the perennial Sophia of the Gnostics, or religion's eternal
and evolving mythos of the antichrist.
Everything changes. Everything inspires. Everything learns.
We do get confused and scared and look for signs and symbols as landmarks along the way, seeking familiarity or as a moral compass...
begging the questions "Are we doing enough?" "Are we alone?", and "Where is the "big bad?" -our spirit drowned out with the chatter of media,
society, and the ramblings of our own inner dialogue.
Perhaps all of this attention to information and availability is in and of itself, spiritually seeking meaning and purpose in a world that always
seems one step away from offing itself into some great cataclysm, oblivion, or obscurity.
You just have to be super careful about what foods for thought you actually eat.
Education is key. Be kind to each other. Choose your teachers wisely, and hold them close.
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