The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Sunday, September 27, 2020

'I'm In Love; I'm All Shook Up'

This question has been proffered many times before, in several iterations, but, 'what IS love?!' We've covered the fact that, humanly speaking, it most certainly involves feelings, but surely, that's not all there is to it! 'Love is an action', so we've heard, but that doesn't seem to cover it, either................ It IS an active proposition, for if it's merely spoken words, where's the proof? 'Actions speak louder than words', they say. So again, humanly speaking,' love is an action', or maybe better said, 'Love is active'! In essence, one can say, 'I love you' every day, but if that 'love' doesn't manifest in their actions, can you trust that one truly loves you? If that one says they love you, but then abuses you in any way, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually, you can be sure they don't really love you, they just 'love' to use you. Once you are of no more use to them, they will slowly but surely fall 'out of love' with you & sooner or later, discard you out of mind!

Maybe our problem is that we've forgotten who we are! We are not bodies ( persons ) that have a Spirit/Soul; we are Spirits that have a ( biological ) body. That Spirit, just like It's Progenitor, IS Love. As Spirits that manifest in this biological construct called 'Life', we merely show that Love, share that Love, in a sensual way, to those around us. 'How do we show Love?', you may ask. Well, 'as above, so below'; Love does not abuse! Love, for that matter, does not even use! Those who use people, in whatever way, though they may truly 'have feelings' for that Person, are not actually manifesting True Love, but are proving their 'lust for the flesh'; they have forgotten Who they are, having swallowed 'hook, line & sinker' the proposition that We are simply People that happen to have a spirit. But, we must begin somewhere......

'Where to begin?' Well, in Reality, it starts with the Spirit! It is the Spirit that first must Will in order to do with the Body. The failure to first Will ( in the Spirit ) to do something ( in the Body ) is where most people get into trouble, for, thinking they are simply a body with a spirit/soul, they tend to act instinctually, like the animals they think they are, with their animalistic lusts ruling their action. Thus, even though they may feel they are showing you 'Love', they're only manifesting their animal nature. 'Love is not a victory march', says a popular song from our contemporary archives: in one way or the other, most people seem to think that it is ( most likely, even the author who coined this phrase ). The majority of people seem to think that one must win, through conquest, the 'love' of another. Once 'won', then, we must actively keep his or her love, for fear that we may lose it & them. In this way, we, generally speaking, are fighting a losing battle, for in that sense, 'the conquest never ends'!

So why, generally speaking, do we think we must fight to 'win' the love of a fair maiden ( or master )? On a funny note, isn't it interesting that we, as a society, seem to be stuck on the notion that the male of the species is the conquistador, not the female? Back to our question; is our culture to blame? A large part of the blame, we must acknowledge, rests squarely on the shoulders of Organized Religion in general & Christianity in particular! Interesting as well, is the fact that Judaism & Islam, from which Christianity unfortunately stems, seem to have this notion in their head as well, that men are somehow superior, in whatever way, to women & therefore bear the greater burden ( responsibility? ). When it comes down to it, it might be noted that this is a large part of the problem in our contemporary culture, with it's father-less children, 'dead-beat dads' & 'sperm-donors'. ( 'baby-daddies' is another such ). However, this is on the way out, slowly but surely, with a growing number of women realizing that they don't 'need' the male of the species to do anything but 'procreate'. But that's another subject for another day, perhaps..............

'Why do you say that 'we are fighting a losing battle?, you ask; 'as above, so below': 'the conquest never ends'! In general, day-to-day ( or yearly, as the case may may be ) terms, think of it like taxes: one might outright 'own' a piece of property, real estate or whatever, but if you miss one payment on your taxes due, you find out pretty damn quickly that, in actuality, it's really not your property, after all.  So in the case of say, the 'conquest' of marriage, whether it's primarily the male or female ( even if it's both ) doing the fighting; once one or both lose the impetus to keep the marriage going, it usually doesn't last very long.  This, again, leads us back to the fact that 'Love is not a victory march' ( whatever the author meant by these words ), so, since 'Love' is not a conquest, something to strive for, 'what IS it?! 

Love is Who we are! We do not need to tell someone that we love them, though it's nice to hear the words, to show someone that we love them, or rather, have feelings for them: all we have to do is 'let it be'. We only have to Be, not who we, as human beings, THINK we are, but Who we, as Spirit-beings, KNOW we are! Realizing this is easier said than done, I most readily acknowledge, what with cultural indoctrination & all; in order for our True Nature to shine through, we must drop the masks society has told us we MUST wear ( in order to be acceptable ). We must acknowledge, first & foremost to ourselves, for this is where True Love begins, that We are NOT what Cultured Society says We are! We are Who we Are, not because we feel like it, not because we've become that, or attained it, but because that is our very nature!

As human beings, to be perfectly honest, we DO feel the impetus to both love & be loved in return, but this is where get into 'Vibrations' & 'Frequencies': again, perhaps another subject for another day! For today, though, though we may hear both our biological clock ticking & feel the 'need' for that human touch, these sensations are felt simply by this biological machine ( wondrous as it is ); our True Selves want for ( need ) nothing: We are complete!

'What is Love? WE are Love! Not in our humanity, though we most certainly make it manifest through our  sensual bodies, but in our Heart of Hearts, Our True Nature, we are the Love that we so desperately seek, as human beings! Do we need to manifest this Love in our humanity, in order to BE Love? No, we must DO nothing in order to BE Who we are; unfortunately, not knowing who they really are, many have chosen to manifest Fear & Hatred. Realizing though, Who we really & just BEing, instead of feeling driven to DO, that we must be conquistadors, We cannot help but manifest our True Selves. This is Love, not that we have emotional feelings for others, but that we accept ourselves for Who we really are, that we first love ourselves!

Namaste & Blessed Be!

Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, September 18, 2020

Intentional Magick


'Bippity, boppity, boo'

'Double bubble, toil & trouble'

There can be no doubt that words have power, but do words like those listed above actually have the power to change reality? 'First off', one might well ask, 'what IS Reality?' What determines if something is real or just a figment of our imagination? Do WE determine what is 'real', or is there an Absolute?! Can we alter Reality ( not just ours ) by uttering Words of Power like those above? These questions, as well as others like them, may seem frivolous, inconsequential, or even silly & stupid to some, but to others, they give pause to consider, at the very least. Reality, to most, IS Absolute! 'It is what it is' comes to mind. In this application, though, it should be understood to refer more to the choices of those around us, than to a deterministic, fatalistic type of view. It is true that, as far as our senses are concerned, inanimate objects, such as a block of wood or a stone ( boulder? ), are part of that Reality. It should be noted too, that, again, physically ( biologically ) speaking, we are a part of that Reality, as well. However, the Reality to which I'm referring here is an ever-changing one. While everyone may seem to be subject to the same Reality, in truth, everyone has their own Reality. determined by the choices we make as individuals. IE, because of personal choices, to whatever extent, one person's Reality may seem more hellish, while on the other hand, another feels they're walking on 'Cloud Nine'. Both Realities are very real, or at least, so it seems, but the perception is different!

Magick, as opposed to Magic, is Reality itself! The latter is an Illusion, mere ( however convincing ) parlor tricks, sleight-of-hand, while the other happens on a daily basis. Magick has been given a bad name over the years, with its practitioners operating under a cloud of stigma. Television, for the most part, hasn't helped in this arena, often portraying witches as evil & while that stigma may have lessened somewhat in general over the years, the magick practiced by witches is portrayed as almost supernatural ability. In fact, for the most part, these portrayals are noticeably ignorant of truth, being presented simply as 'magic'. Magick can be likened, perhaps, to what most call 'miracles'. This might warrant a post of its own ( maybe even a blog ), but Miracles, while they often seem supernatural, not unlike Magick, are an everyday occurrence as well. The birth of a child, for instance. From conception to its emergence into this cold, cruel world, the growth of the child, not to mention its very existence, is nothing short of miraculous. Planting a seed in the ground & watching it grow to fruition is a very similar process & hardly any less of a Miracle. Both of these, while many attribute the Miracle to 'God' ( or Whoever ), the Truth is that they are simply everyday occurrences & completely natural, biologically speaking.

Intention, unconscious or not, is what motivates us, humanly speaking. One example from my own experience is that when someone did us a perceived wrong & ended up hurting us either physically or emotionally, after being made aware of what they did, their response would be something along the lines of, 'I never meant to hurt you'. "Well, you didn't mean not to, did you?', was usually my sharp ( hurt ) retort! The point is, our intentions are manifested in our actions. When it comes to emotional harm, of course, it becomes difficult to discern between harm which we actually cause & that which is simply that person's perception. When we intentionally ( consciously ) practice doing what we know is good, just & true, we are, in essence, doing Magick!

Doing Magick can include ( depending on your chosen religion, or way of life ) the use of certain words, such as those above, or phrases, even chants or prayers. However, to practice Magick, one doesn't need to cast spells, perform certain rites, or utter incantations. One needs only to have the intention to do a certain thing & it will be done, if one's intentions are true. In the same vein, one's intentions may be true, but if what they intend is NOT good, just & true, that one may be perceived as practicing 'Black Magick'! 'Black Magick' is usually attributed to Satanic activity or devil-worship, involving dark incantations, or even the summoning of evil spirits & calling on the 'Dark Lord' himself!

While intentions are not always good ( ? ), our intentions lead us. Speaking of Magick, contrary to popular opinion, simply by intending to sprout literal wings & fly, one cannot thusly defy the laws of gravity ( ? ). It could be rightly said, however, that Orville & Wilbur Wright did just that, metaphorically speaking! Following their intentions to the end, the brothers figured out how to sustain flight & now, thanks to the same technology, even space travel has become almost matter-of-fact. Intentions help us to accomplish what might seem impossible to the casual observer. Call them Miracles, call it Magick, everything begins with our Intentions, whether it's a new life ( human ), or the Miracle of Flight!

There is a common thread, so to speak, running through both Magick & its illusory pretender; both are possible through Intentions. a mere magician ( parlor tricks, etc ) intends to fool his audience into thinking he ( or she ) has sawn a person in half, while still preserving their life, or just simply guessing ( correctly ) the card they chose. Magick, on the other hand, is a bit more mundane ( ? ), simply being the result of one's intentions for good. As we saw, simply by intending to 'sprout wings & fly', one cannot defy the Laws of Nature ( ? ), for example, but with the right intentions, plus plenty of blood, sweat & tears, one can indeed take flight into worlds unknown!

Reality, in the Greatest Sense, IS what you make it!

Namaste' & Blessed Be,

Charles Haddon Shank

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Beyond Dreams

Whether we realize it or not, when our body rests, we enter into the realm of dreams. Some people keep a dream journal by our respective beds so that when we return from that ( realm ) to this physical ( material ) realm, we can jot down what we remember from our sojourn there. There is no question that when we go to sleep, we enter another realm, not physically speaking, of course, but mentally, spiritually. Even if we aren't aware of our time in this realm, we all enter this state of consciousness! Some people enter this state during what are normally called 'waking hours'. Though these may seem to be somewhat different than our 'sleeping dreams', they're really not; dreams are dreams, whether we're awake or not, whether we're aware or not! The question is, 'what ARE dreams?' Are they reality, or are they merely our unconscious 'mind' manifesting our hopes or fears? Some have learned to pay attention to these dreams, as they believe, or 'know', rather, that these dreams are messages from their Higher Selves, warning them of what may happen if they continue the course they're on, or in other words, by making certain choices.

Dreams are funny things. 'As above, so below'; they can include anything from pleasant ones, like what are often called 'wet dreams' to premonitions of what we subconsciously ( or consciously ) fear may be looming on the horizon. Dreams can also take the form of nightmares, again, usually involving fear, with either scenes of things we hold remorse over, such as killing in war-time, or again, premonitions that our actions will have terrifying consequences! These should not, however, be feared, as they are messages from Beyond, whether powered by our conscious or unconscious 'mind'. The Mind is a powerful thing!! It is also something to be aware of; It can be deceitful! We create our own 'reality', our own 'truth', through it. Here's where we come face to face with the Ego. As we've noted previously, the Ego is neither good nor bad; It, like the Mind, just IS. It is when we allow them to control our lives that we get into trouble. Don't get me wrong, both the Mind & Ego CAN be put to good use. In this thing we call 'Life', one usually won't get far without a good, strong Mind; the Ego also helps keep us afloat in the busyness of the 'day-to-day', especially in this 'dog-eat-dog' world!

The question, at this juncture, is ( or should be ) 'what IS 'Life'?' If Life is simply ( ? ) the 'busyness of the 'day-to-day' in this 'dog-eat-dog' world', then maybe we should all just go Home! Is stepping on the backs of the down-trodden so that we, personally speaking, can get ahead really living, or is it just surviving? "Survival of the fittest' may not be as popular a phrase as it used to be, but it sure has manifested well ( ? ) over the ages! For all intents & purposes, one might well call this physical experience 'Life', but is that all there is to It?! We live & die, then we come back to Life to do it all over again ( hopefully with better results )? Now, the question that REALLY needs answering is, 'who ARE we?'

Knowing Who & What we are is of utmost importance! So 'people have 'survived' without truly knowing themselves for ages', one might object. That's true; they 'survived', only to 'die' & begin the cycle all over again ( some people are just slow learners ). To truly live, one MUST develop an understanding of Who & What they really are! It's been said before ( many times ) that we are spirits having a physical experience. Whether one believes this or not, 'it is what it is'; while believing ( knowing ) this will make the biggest difference in how we live our lives on this earth, it IS possible, through our choices ( powered by 'free-will' ) to do More than to just survive this experience. To truly LIVE, though, one must, to some extent at least, know themselves for Who & What they truly are. Not that this is an easy proposition. It IS, however, a simple one.  

Simple meditation, if we can but quiet our Minds & Egos, can do wonders for our soul, like 'Chicken Soup', one might say! Meditation is not 'the end-all', of course; it's simply a means to an end. The goal of meditation is More than just quieting the Mind, though that IS necessary; it is THROUGH quieting the Mind that One begins to realize that the Mind isn't all It's cracked up to be! 'As above, so below'; it is 'good', in this day & age especially, to have a Mind that is not easily swayed by outside influence, by 'others', so to speak, but in order to 'see' past the rigamarole of this thing we call 'Life, One must first stall the Mind, bypassing the Ego, to find the 'Us' that NEVER changes!

As a human being myself, personally speaking, I can surely understand that, with the busyness of 'Life & our hectic 'day-to-day', it is difficult, some might even say 'damn near impossible' to find the time to meditate! As they say, though, we must MAKE time!`If we can't take the time to get to know the Real Us, all we'll ever do is survive; we'll dig a rut so deep that our Mind will convince us that there's no way out. The Ego, on the other hand, will try to convince us that we're better than that, so there will be continuous warfare between these two, until we realize we are More than both of them!

Our dreams would tell us much, if we'd only listen! I should clarify; some dreams get pretty crazy, at least mine do. Crazy as it may sound, we, our Higher Selves, are telling us something important through those crazy dreams, something Beyond! Even though they may seem, especially at the time, to be rather inconsequential, even silly, there is a deeper meaning to them. If only we could easily decipher them & move Beyond, but alas, for the most part, our dreams, sleeping or waking, are relatively difficult to figure out. Some are fairly simple & vivid ( lucid? ), such as premonitory dreams, but even those usually have a deeper meaning attached. As the case may be; I wish you, my readers, the best of luck as you Journey Beyond your Dreams!

Namaste' & Blessed Be, 

Charles Haddon Shank