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A thought from H.M.

Forums ► Misc Topics ► A thought from H.M.

A thought from H.M.
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1
After one of the responses to a post in Higher Magicks, I began considering how much of my practice involves so little actual ritual these days. It is primarily rooted in thought and will, and I have largely shed any form of ritual unless I need to aid with maintaining focus.

It then occurred to me that perhaps, somewhat ironically, this may be at the heart of the concept of Thelema. Ritual teaches. Tradition teaches. Tone and vibration teach. Through these occult heritages we can discover and open the doorways of thought to new concepts that might not have otherwise entered our minds. And yet once the subconscious knows, it does not need the cumbersome tools of the conscious to replicate the act. But, as most of us are rather bound to the conscious level of thought, ritual practice is the key that allows us to open the doorway again, and make manifest that which or subconscious so readily knows.

So then what is the next step? Perhaps we must not allow ourselves to be chained to tradition and ritual. That which is done within ritual can be done without, and if it can be done without then the ritual becomes nothing but a cumbersome shackle-an attachment to the conscious mind, reinforcing the censor between subconscious and conscious will. Slip free of the prohibitive restrictions ritual, and the same results are manifest with a thought. And when one can manifest with a thought, one steps ever closer to True Will, harmony, enlightenment, or whatever you wish to call it.

Or perhaps I should just have been to sleep some time ago. One must live up to the name though.
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Re: A thought from H.M.
Post # 2

Another quite brilliant piece of writing.

It is frustrating to read folk offering 'advice' to newcoming seekers, rich in ritual. Often it's 'you can't do this and that without first doing all these other things'. Why then can the same results be gained without them?

Who first laid down these 'rules'?

A good analogy is Christianity. Look at the rituals within Catholicism. Would taking it all away make a difference to the end result? As a kid I remember entering into debate with my peers on whether hands should be placed palm to palm or clenched one over the other to make a fist when praying. It was important.

Ritual is only a tool for direction. It can sometimes fringe on OCD.
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Re: A thought from H.M.
Post # 3
I have come to much the same conclusion. It is irrelevent what you do in a ritual. All that matters is the intent and will. Everything else that is used are tools to better focus these two aspects of magick.

I Find that tradition in many things can be a bad thing to follow. nothing ever stays the same. All in all I fully agree with this post.

Be Well
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Re: A thought from H.M.
Post # 4

That is something I think about frequently Awake, and have spent my seven years in practice fluctuating between elaborate, extensive ritual and hardly any ritual at all. My ultimate goal is to be able to shape my reality through thought and will alone; once I am able to do that I will know I have arrived ;)

Having said that I still find ritual to be very useful and it oftentimes yields tremendous results in a very short period of time, which may take substantially longer through the use of thought and will alone. Unfortunately with our conditioning there is at times a conflict between will and though, when this happens I think ritual is an excellent tool to use to bypass the conscious mind.

I also enjoy performing rituals and oftentimes though they may not be necessary,to me they are non the less enjoyable!

I guess it boils down to do what works for you at any particular time.

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Re: A thought from H.M.
By: / Novice
Post # 5
I fail to find ritual work limiting. Rather it is liberating. It is continually opening you up to new experiences, new levels of understanding. Of course I don't use it for everything. There is a lot of things that don't take that time and effort. From a magic standpoint we can all agree that the more energy we put into our worh the more powerful it is. Well, when I research a ritual, take the time to design it and perform it that is all energy that I am putting toward my desired outcome. Plus, as Dion Fortune said, only the best is good enough for the gods.

I completely agree that after a point it is no longer necessary to ritual work. But that doesn't mean you should stop doing it.

My honest opinion,

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Re: A thought from H.M.
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 6
Shawn, I think that is why ritual remains relevant and important. To completely ignore it will sometimes allow one to "regress" to some extent. And revisiting rituals that we once believed we knew everything about very often reveals new insights about the specific practice, ourselves, and other such revelations.

So, in that, I certainly don't mean to say that ritual work is necessarily to be done away with. Tradition should be revisited. Tradition should be understood. And as you said, the process of researching and working up to a ritual as well as its actual practice can be quite the formidable method of working one's magic - often far more effective than the simple tools of visualization and such.

However, I wonder if the goal should not be to seek these results through will; through one's subconscious, H.G.A., Higher Self, spirit guides, or whatever one seeks to call them, unleash the same sort of will and energy that one might achieve through ritual practice by achieving oneness with one's intentions.
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Re: A thought from H.M.
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7
While I agree with you with all my heart and while my own magical work involves little in the way of ritual or tools, I think it is important that those newer to magical practice understand that in the beginning rituals and tools are a necessary part of the learning process.

Certainly we don't need rituals or tools; they are there to make things easier for us. It's as if we have a pile of sand that we need to move from one place to another. I could move it by hand. But it would be much, much easier to do it with a shovel and wheelbarrow.

As a wise teacher of mine once said; "Everything I tell you to do is mandatory until you can come and explain to me why none of it is."

Most on this board lack your understanding of the nature and workings of magic. So for them, at least at this time, the rituals and tools remain a necessary crutch.
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Re: A thought from H.M.
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 8
Mm, I think I was misunderstood.

By no means do I intend to denounce the use of ritual. Indeed, I encourage a variety of tradition rituals and practices to those who ask.

But in one's efforts to seek a deeper harmony with everything, the goal-I think-should be oneness with one's subconscious in such a way that ritual becomes unnecessary.
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Re: A thought from H.M.
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9
Oh yes, that I could fully agree with.
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Re: A thought from H.M.
By: / Beginner
Post # 10
I have gone through the process of removing or simplifying rituals in my magical practice, it is liberating in my opinion.
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