You, Your Truth and I
There is a saying that has always held a significant meaning for me, one which has been a guiding element in my quest for understanding
To know, to dare, to will and to keep silent
This phrase has many meanings on many levels in many different ways for many different people - and from that how can we hope to make any form of sense. It is much like Crowley’s “Do what thou wilt” and the Wiccan “an’ it harm none”. These phrases have been debated around the globe and back as to what they truly mean, what wisdom we should impart upon ourselves from them. To know, to dare, to will and to keep silent, indeed all the above phrases, cannot e understood without its sister phrase
Trust no one
There is no room for interpretation there, no room for debate - trust no one. Not “trust no one but your wife or husband is ok”, no - nor a best friend, confidant, circle member or peer of any magical or non magical nature. Otherworldly guides, totems, genus loci - nothing, nada, none. The reasoning beyond such a broad sweeping declaration is actually very simple and yet vastly overlooked.
Your truth is shared by no one. Your reality is your own.
Now of course you will always find people as you walk through your lives who share similarities and common goals and therein we find cohesion without which every human would be a solitary creature much like some other animals. Yet we are social, it is in our nature to unite, to band together and work together yet this must always be done with the full understanding that you are merely sharing something of which no one else can ever fully understand, your reality - essentially you.
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Many who know me know that something I have been working on for a few years now is a rethinking of the wheel of the year. A few years you may ask, surely it doesn’t take that long to get your head around it? Well, that’s the just it - I am rethinking the wheel of the year as though it had never prior existed for me. Trying to approach it as though there were no previously written texts on it. Why would I do this when there is a wealth of work written already on the wheel, why would I do this when there is a wealth of information passed down within the Wiccan tradition I work in, why indeed would I do this when the Druidic tradition I also work within is credited with having given Gardener himself most of the information he had on the wheel? Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of something as no doubt you may have already forgotten…
Trust no one - keep drilling that into your head!
Now this isn’t a malicious or arrogant mistrust, assuming lies or deceit, not at all. It is mistrust on the basis that, like I said earlier, no one other than you can know your own truth, no one but you can know your reality and it’s time to wake up and understand that your reality is NOT UNIVERSAL. Universal truth and universal reality are something that exists but exists way beyond your abilities as a human are able to comprehend.
I am rethinking the wheel so that I can truly find what it is within my reality and I will share something with you about my journey so far. The wheel of the year as it is more popularly known now is an attempt at forming a basis of pagan theology that is unfinished, misunderstood and shamelessly perpetuated by people who take the writings of others, of peers as “gospel”. Many neo-pagans see themselves as radicals and alternatives within a mainstream culture, yet I see most as mainstreams in a sub-culture. To be radical and alternative in a sub culture is to question its very foundation, to assume nothing and to challenge everything yet all too often we all find ourselves returning to a rut of complacency for it is far easier to have the theorizing done for us and for us to then absorb that information and therein lies the plague within modern magical communities - all the various traditions are being turned into nothing more than an intellectual exercise. That is not to say that people are not getting off their arses and doing it, performing ritual, going to camps, working the magic. It is that constant competitive intellectualizing that lies as a permanent undercurrent. A person is valued on how well versed they are more than their actual ability and this has come about because people are either too lazy, scared or simply incapable of questioning the very things they hold as faith and religion.
Contemplation, motivation and action - these are the factors necessary to actually bring about a rethinking of what you do. At this point it needs to be said - I am not saying fix what is not broken, I am saying actually check for yourself it is not broken and fix accordingly or leave if not needed - just don’t take someone else’s word for it that your religion or practice is at it should be - this is something that you are basing your whole spiritual future on - put some bloody effort into it!
To have the will to challenge these areas is not an easy thing, for myself I have found some people to be open to what I am doing and others to flat out ostracize me for essentially challenging their faith. Some have commended me and some have said I am mad (the fact I am writing this on my net book in the seating areas of a psychiatric ward bears no relevance, honest! Hang on did I tell you to trust no one, I hope you haven’t forgotten that yet - for those concerned no I haven’t been sectioned, well not yet anyway heh!). Don’t be afraid to challenge something you have held close, something you have used as a foundation - by challenging it you are attempting to make it stronger.
To Keep Silent
Gotama Buddha, when asked if he would begin to teach what he had learned at first refused and continued to do so for many years before eventually giving in and agreeing to pass on just some of what he knew. He wanted people to find it for themselves stating it was no good if he simply led them to it and this is of extreme importance. No one, no person, no books no group - nothing, can lead you to your truth, only yourself. If you actually do go ahead and start to look at your life, your faith, your practices and beliefs - if you take this blog post further than yet another intellectual exercise then you will begin to make changes upon your spiritual path which will be awe inspiring for you to behold – yet it will only be you that beholds them, that is the beauty of it. You must surpass the ego and experience this for yourself as no one can share it with you, not truly.
The beauty of reality is that it is the one thing you have left when all else lies in ashes, the one thing you have left when you are hurt, broken or when you are ecstatic and feeling more alive than ever. The beauty of that reality is that a full understanding of it allows you to surpass even what you yourself may have limited yourself with.
The Druids seemingly held insurmountable wisdom that I think any historian will attest to being outside the bounds of the culture within which they where situated. We also know that although they where well versed in Greek they remained an oral tradition and used writing only for matters of legality and formality. What purpose did this really serve? Was it to hide their teachings from outside eyes? I sincerely think not in all truth, for it seems to me it was not written down because the wisdom could not be fixed – it changed and varied from person to person and they were aware of this and so each trainee came to their wisdom in their own way – hence the long training time. I see this as a legacy modern mystery traditions would be wise to learn from.
I would like to finish with a final phrase seeing as so many have been used here already yet one I feel apt and appropriate.