Sharing – a rant

This is kinda a follow up to the last post. And then I’m done, as these problems seem to be more and more prevalent in the magical-Pagan communities since the internet. I’ll have said my piece and will move on to bunny pics or good news stories 🙂

First off, it should go without saying that I view the people mentioned (but not identified) in this post as images of the One, whole and divine and that I do not – cannot – judge their spiritual life. I am simply responding to what they say and do.

The other day I noticed on Facebook a rather new beginner to all things magical produce a nice little chart of the Kircher Qabalistic Tree of Life, complete the 22 paths, superimposed over the human body for meditation reference. Very nice and kind of him to make and share this publically. However, there was a mistake – he confused the non-Sephira of Da’ath with the Hebrew letter Daleth (and associated Path). The result was the path curved down in an arc to pass through the throat, as this is where Da’aath is most often corresponded in modern western magic.

The good chap responded well to my correction and changed the diagram. However, that is not the point: the fact that a beginner could even THINK of producing something for public consumption within their tradition astounded me. That he made a mistake did not: we all do that. It is the role of our elders and teachers to correct our mistakes – and it is our responsibility to accept the correction and not to share – or even worse ‘teach’ the mistakes.

Talking of Da’ath, I was once guest in a ‘traditional Witch coven’ who, among other things, worked the Middle Pillar exercise (cos traditional medieval Witch traditions were just full of modern magical Qabalah). When I asked if they taught the meaning of the Godnames associated with the exercise, their leader very proudly affirmed they did. However, when describing the name associated with the heart centre, YHVH ALH V DAaTH, he said it meant ‘God who is just below Da’ath’. At which point:

Of course, the High Priest had ‘figured out’ the name for himself – and well, yes YHVH is kinda translated as ‘God’ and the heart is below the throat … so it had to be right, eh? And he had TAUGHT this for years and a Coven had hived off from his coven with this ‘knowledge’. The point here of course is that his initiative to ‘figure it out’ was mistaken; he did not have the humility to even read correctly, let alone ask an experienced Golden Dawn magician. He did it himself. All hail the modern world!

I was also once asked to help a generic magical group with ‘a few problems’ they were having. I discovered their teacher had included the rubric directions for several GD rituals they were using. So they would literally stand up, wave arms around and recite:

“Say the Sign of Osiris Slain. Cross arms on breast. Give the L sign and say the Sign of the Mourning of Isis … “

It boggled me mind … and still does … Once more, this came from the leader’s personal ‘initiative’ without cross checking. All this comes from people thinking, “Yeah, I’ll have a go at this …” Which is kinda laudable, but without serious learning, humility, elders and tradition falls down so fast it’s painful.

So the message is simple: do not, do fucking NOT, share any information, teach people or whack some half-arsed muck up on the internet when you are a student or beginner. Wait, wait, wait until you are recognised by your tradition, by your elders, as qualified and empowered to teach.

Don’t have elders or a tradition? – bury your pride, accept some ego discomfort and get them – even if they do not ‘feel’ completely right to you. In any case,  as a beginner do not, ever, assume you know anything unless it is checked by someone you respect and does actually know things.

‘Nuff said. 🙂

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6 comments

  1. MvdV · March 3, 2015

    Like

  2. Cosette · March 3, 2015

    “So they would literally stand up, wave arms around and recite: ‘Say the Sign of Osiris Slain. Cross arms on breast. Give the L sign and say the Sign of the Mourning of Isis …'” Pics or it didn’t happen! In all seriousness, I understand your position and when it comes to coven teachers passing on incorrect info, I got nothing. With beginners, I’m willing to go easier on them. Some beginners aren’t sharing with the intention of teaching. They may be sharing to process, for feedback, or just for the sake of sharing. For example, a lot of people start blogs when they embark on a new project. It’s part of their recording and learning process. Also, for a lot of young people, recording and sharing things online is part of their every day.

  3. Craig Schumacher · March 3, 2015

    “Queen of Heaven, Glade and Dell,…”

  4. Peregrin · March 3, 2015

    Oh, Craig, that makes my day 🙂

  5. Peregrin · March 3, 2015

    Great points, Cosette – thanks. The problem with blogs etc, even Facebook public images, like this case, is one never knows how they are shared. Discernment – first virtue on the path – should be applies to these areas too, methinks – and teachers should point this out. Young folk! THANKS for the feedback; much appreciated 🙂

  6. Abhainn · March 9, 2015

    Reblogged this on Abhainn and commented:
    Okay, Peregrin is a little on the harsh side here but I do see where he is coming from. For those that read my wee ramble on “Why join anything?” I referred to a few different schools and teaching styles. I know that many solo practitioners enjoy “working things out for themselves” the thing is even if you have access to a teacher or elders within a tradition you still have to think for yourself. So a person really needs to consider their audience when producing information for mass consumption online.

    One of the main reasons I have shied away from diagrams here is that I don’t feel comfortable with all that I need to learn. I have some ideas that I’m happy to share publicly because I’m happy to hear alternatives and suggestions to correct misinformation. I’ve learned FAR more from my years hosting this blog and it’s predecessors than I have taught anyone.

    In the previous post on joining a group I was writing in partial response to some off-hand comments from non-affliated friends. Now by virtue of them being my friends they are not misappropriating materials and remediating them online with misinformation as if they full know and comprehend materials. Most of these friends are animistic in a very non-descript way. Honestly, they just resonate with energy and rarely overthink matters. They have no need to look for hidden meaning.

    Peregrin does identify some issues with online posters. Many are seeking to learn but seem at times fearful to even antagonistic toward learning within a system or a structure. Believe me I too feared I would loose my sense of self and be simply another generic Wiccan or a generic Golden Dawner (MOAA) by the end but in a well structured approach this sense of self doesn’t need to be completely eradicated.

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