Spent a terrific evening with one of my oldest and dearest friends last night. He and his wife were visiting from North Carolina and we met up for some deep conversation in a couple of local haunts. We discussed and dissected magick, religion, and politics over the sound of a jukebox meandering between gods awful rap music and new Metallica (with some old school Suicidal Tendencies mixed in for good measure).
Needless to say, I’m snookered right now. I had trouble getting to sleep and had to get up bright and early. The brisk, pre-dawn air helped somewhat, but not enough. It’s times like these I wish I hadn’t sworn off alchemical stimulants.
But I digress… The reason I found sleep difficult to come by was because my brain was picking at a thread from our earlier conversations. My friend has always been more group oriented than myself. He’s spent far more time in Buddhist Retreats and Shamanistic Circle than I ever have. Not to say I never have or am even opposed to such, but it’s a reality. I am, by nature, a solitary practitioner and seeker. Whether that’s because of location or volition, I can’t say.
A synthesis of our discussions centered on group-think, of human spiritual evolution, of magick and religion’s role in societal change.
What I dwelt on before sleep took me was my belief that individuals are the true agents of vicissitude, not factions of supposed like-minded esotericists. There is an internal struggle born of the friction caused by too much contact.
The ideal, I think, is to make that connection with the divine on a personal level. That does not mean to eschew group work altogether, but that, such gatherings should be a supplement, a support structure used in small doses.
This is your journey, not our journey. We help each other until we hinder each other, spiritually. Finding that sweet spot in the middle is tricky business, but worthy of the effort.
Grounding relationships are far more important. To paraphrase Stan Lee, it’s all well and good to have these cosmic and magical adventures, but you still have to come down to earth occasionally and deal with the material realm.
We cannot solely focus on the spirit. We’re in these bodies for a reason. I think we lose sight of that sometimes.
A new year dawns. I am resolving to be a better husband, a better father, a better friend, and to spend equal time in the heavens and on earth.
What I’m writing: An Occult Detective Sword & Sorcery tale.
What I’m reading: King Arthur & the Holy Grail by Richard Cavendish
What I’m studying: Adventures in Middle-Earth Player’s Guide 5E
What I’m drawing: Charles Parnell for Backburner Press.
What I’m watching: Vikings, Deep Space Nine, and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
Music I’m listening to: Son Volt, Wilco, and Waylon Speed via youtube, and Led Zeppelin during my commute.
Podcasts I’m listening to: Gordon White’s Rune Soup, Gamerstable, The Horror Show with Brian Keene, Occult of Personality
What I’m playing: Dungeons & Dragons 5E (live & on roll20), Skyrim
What I’m anticipating: New Years and a tooth extraction, plus my Top 10 Movies of 2016 list and the forthcoming Occult Detective and Dice Upon A Time Awards
What I’m obsessing over: Astral Workings
What’s next on The Occult Detective: The Occult Detective’s Last Writes with… Brian Keene