Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

Archive for October, 2012

2013 Calendar

Posted by Mike on October 31, 2012

I finally received a copy of a calendar I put together at deviantart of my art. You can find it by clicking here and then on the right, clicking on Art Gifts and then on Calendar. I’m really pleased with the way it came together, the quality of the stock really brings the pieces out. A lot of the credit has to go to my father’s photography, he managed to bring out a lot of the qualities in the pieces that are hard to get without a lot of light reflection.

I should also mention that any artist profit on the calendars of any of the other prints, etc, at my deviantart site will be donated to charity and right now it would be for those who just went through hurricane Sandy, not only those on the East Coast but in many of the islands that were also hit by the storm. I’ve always felt that my career as an artist began almost as a side effect of working with the Golden Dawn, a blessing really, so hopefully this will reflect what I find it to be about in spirit. Sample pictures below…

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Transitioning

Posted by Mike on October 24, 2012

One of the most profound parts of the spiritual journey is the idea that when we start we have spent most of our lives relying on our logic, instinctive and feeling capacities for everything we do. In the kabbalah all these parts of the lower self are captured in the sephiroth we work through and we spend a lot of time purifying and cleansing these areas, bringing shadowy stuff up to light and then transforming these things.

However, above these sephirah are the divine reaches and we often try to understand these through the lower senses and fail every time out. When we start on a path like the Golden Dawn, we understand these things as theories, but as we work through it the theories become personal experiences. The experience of these spheres above Malkuth, Yesod, Hod and Tiphareth is beyond everything we can think, feel or say about them and we have to resort to symbolism and metaphors in order to approach the “whatever this is,” especially as the true approach is personal and experiential and in many ways the journey itself.

As one tackles a system like this one gradually begins to approach Tiphareth. In the beginning one’s experience of these upper reaches may come as flashes in dreams or meditations, small and often significant experiences. But after years on the road one’s awareness of this ineffable state begins to grow and one cannot avoid the power and ramifications of what it is. The thing is, the tools our ego has provided us to approach this aren’t enough. When you’ve spent most of your life counting on one’s sense of being rational, to have the presence of something Irrational begin to have a serious effect on your life, you realize the tools you’ve used your whole life just aren’t enough anymore.

This can be a terrifying experience, particularly so for those who work on their own. The encroachment of divinity into one’s life will eventually shatter one’s logical and emotional certainty and most of the time we have to hope the powers will bring us through these traumatic phases in life. Most initiates are usually under the wing of a teacher and it seriously cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have someone there who can be a pillar of strength and help ground you when you start to walk uncharted territory past the gates of Netzach. In fact one of the major failings of self initiation is that it may very well be completely impossible to cross the veil of Paroketh without the type of grounding I mention above. On the other hand if one has worked up to this point and are sincere, the Universe will provide. I’ve found “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” to have been true on several occasions and never more so than it is now. A good teacher will have experienced this transition him/herself and can act as a guide through the confusion and heartbreak.

I’ve personally experienced the difficulty of this via unconscious emotional trauma, almost to the point where I was at wit’s end with it. I honestly thought after a couple years of these things coming out of left field when I least expected it (only to be completely fine in an hour) that I’d be living with it the rest of my life. And then one of my teachers taught me a small and incredibly simple technique to manage this. It has changed absolutely everything and I’m starting to feel like the work is really taking off now. It’s a bit early to say why and how, but I’m feeling incredibly grateful and almost mesmerized by the “whatever it is” I’m gradually approaching.

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A Survey of the Golden Dawn

Posted by Mike on October 14, 2012

A Survey of the Golden Dawn

Introduction

The following survey was created to help source a book that seeks to relate how the Golden Dawn affects an initiate’s material/personal life. It is designed as a series of preliminary questions with a space for narrative, in order to ask an initiate to share significant stories or anecdotes related to their progress within the system. The results will be used to provide a reader with a guide to how working with hermetic magic actually transforms an initiate and the potential difficulties of significant changes in life circumstances.

While the intent of the project is to share as many different stories from Golden Dawn initiates as possible, excerpts from survey responses may or may not be used in writing the book at the author’s discretion. Survey results will be viewed by the author and those helping with the project. Respondents to this survey may use their real name, magical motto, pseudonym or contribute anonymously. Temple chiefs are also welcome to coordinate responses through a point of contact.

The intent of the survey is to gather examples of experiences related to personal transformation: the physical, instinctive, mental, emotional and transcendent changes that occur when one works the Golden Dawn system and their effects on one’s material life. Any recounting that includes unusual events (such as astral projection, seeing auras, visions of angels and deities, etc.) should be firmly tied to transformation and personal evolution. The more objective and detached the recounting, the more effective this work can be for the initiate. In particular, stories about one’s magical prowess and skill written in order to impress are discouraged. The goal of this book is to help alleviate the suffering of those who will inevitably find difficulty at some point in their journey, rather than a collection of magical success stories – the more human and empathetic the recounting, the more effectively this goal can be met.

A Guide to the Survey

The survey asks the respondent to give example(s) of how working with the Golden Dawn, at a particular point(s) in one’s progress, led to transformative change. If one has followed the traditional grade system of the Golden Dawn, the recounting should be grounded in the element/grade an initiate was working with at the time. For example if one was working with the earth element/Zelator grade, the recounting might cover a change in one’s attitude towards physical health or finances. Such a recounting might provide examples of the difficulties incurred while losing a job, difficulties accepting change, the road to acceptance and recovery, and synchronicities and numinous events that were tied into the process. However, experiences in the Golden Dawn may also be related to planets, the Sephirah and other parts of the tradition; any specifics should be included in the response.

The point of the recounting is to provide examples of the system’s real effect on one’s life and one’s success in surpassing difficulty and surrendering to the process. However, if one has followed a different path with the system, please indicate the work involved when your story happened, so that it can be grounded to a part of the system.

While it is likely that an initiate’s story will include supernatural or numinous events, it is essential that the recounting of these be as objective as possible and tied in in the same way to the work being done at the time. Events such as these always bring mystery to the proceedings so over interpretation is counter-productive. Likewise, details of one’s personal work should only be included if necessary to the narrative and anything kept behind oaths of secrecy should obviously be omitted. The focus should be on the changes in one’s real life and perspective in plain language, the results of the transformational process rather than the rituals, knowledge and meditations that got one there. Astrological information is optional, however, it is highly encouraged, as one of the topics the book aims to explore is how difficulties in a chart can relate to one’s personal experience at a particular grade point (often planets in detriment or poorly aspected). A chart may be submitted with the survey or partial information in the survey itself.

A respondent is invited to submit as many stories as they like and there are no word limits. However, the more direct a narrative is to explaining how magic affected one’s personal life, the better. It is likely most responses will not make the book for a number of reasons and most will be excerpted, however the data will be analyzed as a group in order to identify tendencies and commonalities.

Again, the purpose and focus of the survey and book are to provide assistance to those undergoing difficulties in the transformation process, not to be an apologetic for the tradition.

The Story Itself

The most important part of the survey is the space given to your story. The essence of each story should be how, at a particular point on your spiritual journey, working with the Golden Dawn led to real changes in your material life. There are no real limitations to the stories that could occur, but it is important for initiates to ground their story to a particular grade or element along the path. For example, stories about working with the Practicus grade would likely show transformation in one’s emotional life, for example the realization of unconscious emotional patterns with friends, family and lovers. Stories about working with the Zelator grade should show transformation in one’s attitude to body and health or to noticing poor financial habits such as spending too much on frivolities or hanging onto it stingily. It is likely many of these stories will show the path leading one to realizations of one’s particular inadequacy in the area being worked and should demonstrate how an initiates reaction of change and surrender to the work led to a more balanced disposition in the same area. It is not discouraged to share the numinous occurrences and synchronicities that occur in part with transformation. But it is the movie and not the special effects that is important, even when the climactic event can be flashy.

Questions

Survey responses, as well as any questions about the survey or project,can be directed to the author (Mike McLatchey) in the comments below, at sigil23@comcast.net or via his Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/mike.mclatchey. Text can be sent via Word, text file or e-mail. Thanks to Peregrin Wildoak and Nick Farrell for guidance with the project and the creation of this survey.

—————————-

SURVEY

Please repeat each series of questions for each anecdote/story. In referring to other people in your response, please always use pseudonyms.

BASICS

  1. Name to be used if published/contacted: _____________________________________

___ Real

___ Magical Motto:

___ Pseudonym:

2. ___ Temple Initiate   ___ Self Initiate

3. Email contact:

HISTORY

1.  Other paths or philosophies that you practice or that led you to the Golden Dawn:

2.  Relevant background experience.

3.  Relevant astrological information:

___ Chart attached

 

4.  Current spiritual path (if not part of the Golden Dawn anymore):

5.  Current Age:

STORY DETAILS

1.  Age experience occurred:

2.  Grade, element, planet or subject the story relates to:

3.  How long had you been practicing when this story occurred?

YOUR NARRATIVE:

Please recount your experience below:

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A book!

Posted by Mike on October 8, 2012

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be releasing what is essentially a survey of the Golden Dawn. More details will be forthcoming, but the survey is a big part of a book that I’ve been encouraged to write, which is to (hopefully) detail how working the Golden Dawn system actually affects initiates’ personal and material lives. The idea is to survey Golden Dawners of all walks of life in order to ask for narratives that demonstrate from as many angles as possible how engaging in the system actually leads to personal transformation. For me personally, that means writing a book about transforming while continuing to transform, which I think is a new kind of calisthenics.

I have been extremely blessed and honored to have had the guidance of two of the tradition’s finest writers and magicians, and am endeavoring to live up to the assistance, while adjusting life and art to make it the new priority. I just have a couple more checks to make and it should be good to go. The purpose of the project and book, above all else, is to assist initiates and to help ease the suffering of those involved in the system. Queries welcome and the survey should be live in the not too distant future.

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Report from the Rabbithole

Posted by Mike on October 3, 2012

Finished this last Friday. My art output has slown down quite a bit over the last couple months (new project, details forthcoming), but I managed to fit this one in. I start some of these pieces by just grabbing a blank paper and letting it flow. With this one it was about an hour or two before I realized I’m finally doing an owl. And then the synchronicities went berserk all week. It’s name, “Familiar,” was intended to capture just about all that word’s different meanings.

Like probably about everyone, I’m constantly battling with the amount of sales phone calls I get, I’ve gotten on the Do Not Call list and the works, which while it does tend to minimize these calls, doesn’t seem to eradicate them (how this one particular carpet cleaning place can stay in business… another story). So for the most part I’m forewarned when they come in and don’t answer them. But over the last week or two, I keep getting one “Out of Area” call that seems to trigger my intuition for some reason. On Saturday this call came in at 11:16 AM and I got the hugest impression I should answer it, but I can’t remember an Out of Area call before that wasn’t a sales call so I let the answering machine get it. Only for it to come on with a background noise like an airport and a familiar female voice which said “Heeyy Mike” like she knew me. And just like that the Out of Area calls stopped, not a single once since. 

Spo0ky.

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