Sunday, December 3, 2017

The End of Magical Me Part 1 A Blog and Vlog on Magic and Mysticism

How It all Began

I once read—I don’t recall where, but it was in the context of my life as a medical editor/writer—that women tend to take an interest in magic in their 40’s.  The research backing up that statement must’ve predated the era when droves of teenaged girls decided that they were Wiccans, witches, Thelemites, or Chaos magicians. Maybe the finding that women turn on to magic in early middle age was some psychoanalytic brain fart in relation to the tenor of women’s consciousness in the latter half of the 20th century: feminism, feminist history, and women’s spirituality. I’m sure that the source tied his point in with neurosis, but I could understand, from my own perspective, how interest in magic in early midlife among women from a certain generation had to do with seeking empowerment in the face of the sense of lack thereof. Also in the mix would be boredom with the bourgeois and mundane and the want to return to a mythic ancestral condition. Atavism—a return to a more dynamically primitive wisdom of “the grandmothers,” who, like cronish Hekates, would guild a woman through the winter of her life to sprout fruit unique to her own appetite instead of that of spouses, lovers, offspring, parents, employers, associates, and society in general.

I “got it.” I did it. I fell into the predicted mold for reasons as stated. I had a peripheral interest in folk magic, occultism, and supernaturalism from an early age, but my immersive journey began at about age 43 and lasted until the latter years of my 50s.

At the outset, I, in part, wanted to connect with a maternal great grandmother who was said to have been witchy—a practitioner of Italian folk magic. I also wanted to explore something that felt more empowering, immanent, and life-affirming than the Eastern spirituality that I had been immersed in for decades and that had become an exercise in self-effacement and resignation rather than “enlightenment” or even contentment, frankly.

At the time that immediately preceded my segue from Eastern mysticism to Magical Me, I had concluded that a person was an automaton inexorably driven by habits and conditioning. She was a phantasm, a dream body, “a poor player who struts and frets [her] hour upon the stage and is heard no more” and whose personal drama is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Something impersonal and quiescent called Consciousness underlie all this and was the real Reality.  It paradoxically was and wasn’t me, as all I knew of myself was my karmic momentum—the habits, conditioning, and circumstances of not only me but everyone and everything that made the trajectory of this unconscious bundle of “stuff happening.” I still believe this is what I am and everyone else is—interdependently arising stuff happening in Consciousness, like foam sloshing around on the top of the sea. The idea is just not such an existential burden as it seemed when it first dawned on me.

I decided that I needed a new angle. I began to ask myself “What is the potential of Consciousness?” The statement was like a koan, but it was meant to spur an idea of limitlessness and potentialities. If Consciousness was Everything, then anything could happen through the power of consciousness—or that was, at least, how I saw it back then. That was more of a type of Tantric orientation than the Vedantic one that I had long embraced. It was about reveling in what the World could be like with the right perspective rather than transcending “The World” to abide in luminous self-possessed quiescence. Reveling in the potentialities of Consciousness was Magic, too: “To cause change in accordance with Will.” 

This is the copy on which part I of the vlog The End of Magical Me is based. 

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