Most students of the occult seem to be more interested in non-fiction than fiction. I do understand that, because when I was younger that was all I ever read: scriptures, grimoires, textbooks, and accounts of real-life occult adventures.
But now that I write fiction with a chaos demon, or a nymph, depending on how you see her- I would hope that I could change these magicians’ minds, and interest them in fiction.
Although she is my muse, we write separately, like equals or sisters; I write some of the pieces and she writes others. It is possible that many magicians don’t want to read fiction written by a spirit and her writer friend. Perhaps they are only interested in receiving teachings from them. I rarely write teachings, but this week my blog post is about meditation.
Meditation is a foundation of occult practice. Yet there are so many kinds that you might find it hard to know which one would be the best for you to do.
I originally studied the eastern system before moving on to the western, mainly the Hindu tradition. Something very helpful which you have there is a division into ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ mediation. That is based on whether you see God as a great impersonal ocean that we are all part of, or as someone who manifests as an individual god. It is fine to experience spirituality in either of these two ways, according to your individual leanings. Whichever one you prefer will affect the kind of meditation that is best for you.
So, to start with impersonal meditation, there are several ways you can do it
- You can concentrate completely on one object, like a picture or a candle flame, and aim to arrive at a point where your mind is completely still. When thoughts arrive, don’t fight them, just let them wander smoothly past. When you reach the point of stillness, you are experiencing pure consciousness, and that is your soul, the part of you that is eternal. Mystics say that the soul is one with God. One-pointed meditation is also useful in chaos magic. You can project an image of a sigil into that stillness, as a way of firing it.
- You can simply close your eyes and listen to the silence. This is the Quaker style of meditation, and it also puts you in the state of pure consciousness and experiencing your soul.
- You can do ‘mindfulness meditation’, which originally comes from Buddhism. You become aware of your thoughts and watch them, being careful not to become attached to them or caught up in the feelings that arise from them. It is possible to do this all day long, and again you are experiencing consciousness, the still and silent observer at the centre of your being.
Now, on to personal meditation, for those who love to be devoted to a god or goddess. Let’s say your deity is a Celtic goddess such as the Morrigan.
1. One kind of personal meditation would be to think about mythical stories that the Morrigan is in, and to think about her qualities and her symbolism. Run your mind over all this, concentrating on it, and also with a feeling of devotion.
2. More exciting would be to travel in your mind to a place where the Morrigan can be found, to meet her and ask her questions. This might be called psychic communication rather than meditation, and nowadays it is becoming much more popular than the first kind, which is not surprising. You have to be quite passive and let the meeting and conversation unfold as if by themselves.
3. You can go on a journey in your mind, for example to a Celtic castle, or along one of the paths of the Kabbalist Tree of Life, or to an outdoor ceremony and take part in it. This last one is the kind of meditation that I get along with best, and it is wonderful for producing rich symbolism of the kind that you would see in an inspiring dream. It may feature conversations with deities, overlapping with the previous kind of meditation. It is often advised to keep a journal of these adventures to remember lessons learned, and to see if it becomes a continuing story like a television serial. Mine always do!