There's been a powerful disturbance in the Force the last couple days.
Yesterday, the group that calls itself the Asatru Folk Assembly left a Facebook post which I have screen-cap't at right....
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"If we focus more on the end result - the product - more than we do on the process, we teach ourselves and others how to consume instead of how to create." (Quote by me.)
I may have woken up with a tad bit of a ritual hangover this morning. But that didn't stop my brain from diving down a fascinating rabbit hole thanks to a facebook post from Byron about art and witchery.
We often look at art in terms of being an end result, without much thought to the process. I'm not only talking about visual art here, but all of the arts: dance, music, writing, theater, etc. The end result rarely speaks of all of the hours of work, training, editing, practicing, derailed personal lives, lack of sleep, cuts, bruises, sweat, blood, and a whole slew of other things that really aren't slick, sexy, or appealing in general. Yet the result is often something of beauty - profound, moving, emotionally, mentally, and/or spiritually compelling. Unless you're involved in that art yourself, it's hard to fathom or understand everything that went into it. Which is another reason why art is so often devalued in our society - that it's merely entertainment, dressing, something easy and amusing, full of pleasure and indulgence.
Yet, it's also not just some combination of elements that make it into art. Just because you have a canvas, some paint, a brush, and some time does not mean you will have a great painting at the end of it. You'll have a painting in the basic sense of the word, but that doesn't mean it's art. Nor does a beautiful work of art mean that lollypops, cupcakes, birds singing, and sunshine were the stuff that made that piece happen. Inversely, a dark and painful appearing work of art doesn't mean that blood, tears, and thorns were involved in the making of it. Really, unless you were there, you can't know or say, you only have your own personal experience with the end result to base your opinion upon. Which leads us to, when we add in the concept of "beauty is in the eye of beholder" and the lines between real and fantasy, experience and validity become very wispy indeed.
Regardless of the end result, a skilled artist calls upon their experience throughout the process of making, transforming and changing materials through focus and intent.
Similarly, a lot of folks look at spellcraft by the results without understanding the process. They see the results, and they see a list of ingredients, and assume that's all that is needed. But the experienced practitioner knows that it's the will that transforms and causes change in recognition of the elements and materials. It's the application of will and focus in the process. You can follow the motions (burning a candle, digging a root, inserting of thorns, etc), but without the understanding and focus, they're often just actions that fall flat.
Ask any artist where the magick happens, and they'll most likely tell you it's in the making of the art. The need and desire to create comes from the actual process. While the ego may be pleased by the end product of the process - and yes, it's definitely the thing that everyone else responds to - it's the art-making itself that satisfies the spirit.
Though I certainly hope that for my own work, the ordeal and experience of the process is something that the end viewer gets a glimpse of. Not so much a look at my personal process, but perhaps that it speaks to their own experiences and processes.
In the end, it's not the telling of the process nor displaying of the art or spellcrafting that makes the magick, but the actual doing of it.
"The disseminating moon is nearly full but not quite. It has faded from full but is more than half illuminated. This is the phase of the moon where you switch from sending your energy out into the world to looking within yourself to see what is working well and what needs changing. You have brought in all the positive energy of the waxing moon. Now it is time to use that energy to discard the chaff in your life. What needs to change? Even the most balanced and positive person can have problems letting go. At these times you have to accept that some chaos is bound to occur and you have to just ride through the bumpy rapids. This phase is about small changes and preparing to let go of the negative aspects of your life. These meditations help you begin that process." Moon Affirmations
Like the change in the moon, this is a time to make small changes. What is one thing you do or say about yourself which is negative? Do you stand in front of the mirror and say - I don't like - fill in the blank. I have done this often. I don't like my face, never have. The nicest thing I could say about my face was I had nice eyebrows and unique eye color (hazel so brown/green)....
AUGUST TREE LORE: Hazel Magic...
I ran across a fascinating word while copyediting a book a few years ago. Naditum is one of the five genders in Sumerian paganism. It's a gender, a biological sex-- meaning those born female appearing who turn out after adolescence to be infertile-- and a social class, the priestess caste. The idea really resonated with me, even though that’s not my tradition. The various heathen traditions don’t have a specific gender word for those identified female at birth who cannot have children and instead become priestesses. In heathenry, that’s still a woman....
I've been on staff for this small retreat for [mumble] years and have attended for many more before that. Dragonfest is a family-friendly pagan and polytheist retreat situated in the foothills outside Denver, Colorado. This retreat is my home away from home that I only get to visit for a short 5 days, once a year. It is the place I dream of when stress has taken over my life. It is the place where I feel the most accepted. Since it has been awhile since I've posted anything due to an extremely busy summer, I thought I'd tell you about this year's Dragonfest which ran August 3 - 7, 2016.
Magic is the science and art of causing effect to occur in conformity with our will. This will has to be focused and expressed creatively, through images, symbols, ritual, art or music - anything that connects us to the flow of Awen. The Faerie Enchantment cards are designed with these ideas in mind. -- Ian Daniels
I love it when I find beautiful, useful oracles on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. It seems that this is the golden age of publishing for the bold, the innovative, the avant garde--especially for those who create and produce independently (i.e. without the strictures and interference of traditional publishers)....