There arose a discussion amongst the Priesthood and the Wise on the affairs of humanity.
Priests: Look at the unenlightened masses, look at their pain and sorrow, think of what We might be able to do to help cure the human condition through our knowledge.
The Wise: A person grows in knowledge through their own unfolding, the pain and sorrow you speak of is sometimes necessary for their own growth. No amount of pulling on a sapling causes it to grow faster, in fact this often leaves a twisted, stunted growth.
Priests: But, We have gained in knowledge and wisdom through our study of the Mysteries, We have not been twisted or stunted, how else will a person come into possession of the Mysteries if We do not bring them the fires of heaven from our lips?
The Wise: The desire to teach such, while rooted in good intentions, may be wrought with error. Those who are ready will come unto the Mysteries through strange occurrences and through right action. The rose knows the proper time to bloom, and enriches the world thereby. By setting yourself as the authority in such matters, this lessens the ability of the person to become their own authority.
Priests: You would attempt to keep the Mysteries for yourself, while we write them down to preserve them for the continuation of mankind. We build temples and refine scripture, thereby giving solace to the masses, while you stand aloof. Ours is the new way forward, a beacon of light for humanity.
The Wise: The Mysteries will ever preserve themselves through the continuation of blood, for even if we all passed tomorrow, soon enough one of us would be born anew to remember them. Temples are built to impress and control the people, scripture is designed to teach dogma and not wisdom. Your way is not new, not some new Aeon or Age, merely the same way that has existed since time immemorial, since Zoroaster, since Buddha and the Christ, since Mohammed. Wisdom and illumination comes from within, not without.
For millennium, on the outskirts of the temples, outside the mosque or shrine, beyond the city state’s massive ziggurats, stood the Wise watching. In all times the Witch has been reviled by the masses, workers of magic, dedicated to their own understanding. The Priest has ever attempted to codify and control the tameless fires of the Mysteries, by setting themselves as the interpreter of the will of the Gods for the people, usually for a tidy tithe. Even the great pagan empires of Rome and Greece decried witchcraft, around 500 BC Heraclitus of Ephesus talks of “mageia” as among various amoral and despised acts, based on false views of the gods. The mageia, the “people of the night”. (1)
In tantric practices, we see a division between the “left-hand” and “right-hand” paths. The right-handed path attempts to make the Mysteries “easy to understand,” leads to Orthodoxy and Superstition, and places more reliance on the Priesthood and Prayer as the way to illumination. Contrast this with the left-hand path, which is “hard to grasp”, as an offhand catch often is, relies more on experiential understanding, and comes from the individual’s self meditations. The left-hand path utilizes inversion as a technique, inversion of societal norms, inversion of religious dogma, inversion of self to overcome limited understanding and codification. (2)
Paul Huson describes one of these traditional methods of inversion in our current age, namely the inversion of “The Lord’s Prayer” of Christianity. (3) Throwing off the shackles of religious dogma is a necessary step, indeed an activity to actively embrace throughout one’s lifetimes. Constantly the Priests, the Politicians, the Lawgivers are working to tie up the energy within you for their own ends. This is reflected in the Laws of the State against entheogens, against “unnatural” sexual behavior, against freedom of expression in the arts and the all too subtle and overt forces of racism. This binding of the energy lessens the Witch’s ability to run the current and to unfold. Many come into the “Craft” holding these bonds and then desire to turn the Craft into a priesthood or religion; unfortunately, this is all they have ever known. The sapling begins to become stunted.
Humans love to pass on their knowledge, to feel that they have something to contribute to the betterment of their kind. Students, often when first learning a technique, especially when not under the watchful eyes of a teacher, run to teach it to others. There are many Sufic tales that relate this phenomenon, for example:
Once a guru with many students sought the advice of a Sufic Master who lived on the other side of town. He mentioned to the Master that he desired to become more, to understand as well as the Master did the fires of heaven and God’s mind. The Master prescribed him a number of exercises. The guru immediately ran back and began teaching his students these exercises, indeed he began publishing these exercises within the city of Samarkand. Soon enough, the Master’s students fell ill and people who had read the book began to fall ill as well. The guru ran back to the Master and asked for additional exercises, since these were not working and of no use. The Master remarked, and what of your students? What of the people? The guru admitted that the people had become very ill, to which the Master replied, ah, that is because these exercises were designed for you alone, but I foresaw that you would teach them in such a manner. Now the people regard you as the charlatan you are, and you have learned a great lesson.
Witchcraft is about liberation, is an ecstatic embracing of the Mysteries, it is a lover’s relationship between the Witch and their Spirits. Lovers embrace trust, they embrace a lover’s silence about their intimacy. The Craft is intimate; the Craft cannot be had for a few pieces of silver, a .pdf download, a weekend workshop, or a church-esqe revival group. Teachers know and love their students intimately; those who show up through odd occurrences, those who walk under signs and omens…for indeed many of those who walk with us again are those who have walked with us before. Brothers and Sisters of the Dark Forests, of the Windswept Seas, of Thessalian Mountains, of Basque Redoubts, of the Desert Fires, and Frozen Pictland, rejoice! For we have seen the rise and fall of the temples, we have seen the crumbling of empires, and we will see once again the folly of the Priest.
Hele, conceal, and never reveal.
(1) Frisvold, Nicholaj de Mattos. Arts of the Night. Chadezoad Publications, 2009.
(2) AMOOKOS Training Manual. Mandrake Press, 1992.
(3) Huson, Paul. Mastering Witchcraft. G.P. Putnams, 1970.