Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Exlorations into the Realm of Shadow
Out of the Shadows : An Exploration of Dark Paganism and Magick
John Coughlin, 1 st Book Library
Ever want to align yourself with the Dark Side of the Force? Ever find yourself being jealous of the villains because they could do what they wanted or because they had so much power? Well don't worry this does not make you evil. It might make you more of the independent sort. This is a great book for beginning and mid level pagans who are looking for something beyond the light fluff bunny new age paganism that is being peddled these day. True Paganism is about balance between light and darkness. Now there is too much focus on the light.
Dark Pagans and Dark Siders are drawn to darkness of night and tend to be more independent than dogmatic. They believe in taking responsibility for their own actions and they believe in thinking for themselves. Dark Siders tend to have more self knowledge and are in touch with their darker aspects. Of course this does not mean that they act upon their negative impulses, rather it means they are aware of it.
There are several types of people drawn to the dark side of life besides dark pagans. Many of these dark siders are involved in the LARP or role playing schemes. BDSM, the vampire scene are also dark siders. Each category is thoroughly discussed. Needless to say most people in the vampire scene do not beliweve they are vampires but there are a few out there who do have some unrealistic beliefs. Got to be careful in any situation.
Our darkside is our Jungian shadow. The shadow is parts of our selves and experience that we have shove away into our subconscious so that we could fit in to society. Many try to ignore the dark side out of fear but doing so comes at great peril, because the more you push it in the deadlier it becomes. Eventually we project our negativity onto others and we end up disliking those who we dislike or worse. The object is to integrate our dark and light halves and become a whole person.
Dark deities are discussed. War like Deities such as Aries, Sctach and Morrigan are discussed. Odin and his berserkers are given fair mention as are Lilith and Hecate. The discussion on dark deities is culled from various paradigms and the description is rather through. There is no discusion of demons as pagans do not really believe in the concept of evil. In nature there are destructive and constructive forces and they must be both embraced. Demons simply do not exist. The Demons maybe projections of our own inner darkness that we are denying.
Satanism, Temple of Set, Taosim and Chaos magick are some left hand paths one can explore. Satanism is not about the Christians devil. It is elitist and it does promote the idea that the individual is is his/her own god and must choose life as they see fit and taking the consequences as well. Taosims is about becoming one with the self and nature. While Chaos magic believes there is non ultimate truth while the practitioner frees themself from dogma and does what works for them. belief is a tool and it is belief that animate the system the magician is using even if it involves fictitious characters.
The author gives over some good common sense about magic. You must be willing to work for the objective you cast the spell for. Magic is not the easy road. It takes the path of least resistance. So if you wanna turn off a light switch get up and turn it off do not cast a spell. Magic also conforms heavily to laws of nature. In other words do not expect miracles.
I would like to finish off with a structure for raising magic along with techniques. The first phase of magic is getting yourself into a receptive state of mind. This is done by meditation, ritualized movement. Next your raise the energy with visualization ,breathing techniques and movement. Net you direct your energy into the goal and lastly you ground your self.
This is a great starting point for those interested in traversing the realm of shadow. The magical advice is common sensical and down to earth I like it,
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