Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Why Bother with Tools?

Every moment we become newly shaped, stepping forth upon the path from the cauldron ready to be forged and tempered by our life. Far too often we forget that the greatest shaper towards spiritual understanding is simply life. Books, meditation, and ritual are all tools to assist this journey but they are not the journey— we must not remove ourselves from everyday existence. Sometimes though, we do ourselves a great injustice in this realization, we decide to leave the tools behind.

It as if the dweller in a fit of ego laden logic has convinced us that our tools are not needed at all, and so our logic justifies, using the base truth that our tools are not a requirement in order to do deep spiritual work, thus we forgo them. No, tools are not needed to live a good life and travel in pursuit of the inner mysteries. As humans we are spiritual by nature, we are going to make realizations with or without tools. Although tools may not be needed, they help.

Tools are our allies in the Craft, whether physical, such as a wand, or intangible methodologies, such as a meditation regime. They may not be necessary but they sure do make things a whole lot easier. So why then do so many sit them to the side allowing them to collect dust unused, an ally without a purpose or goal? Yes, even the intangible can collect metaphorical dust.

There is a part of us that is continually out to keep us in our spiritual comfort zone. It has many names in many different Traditions. It is this self-defeat made manifest that allows us to take the hard road disguised as the easy road. It is the easy road because it takes very little work to sit around, not meditating, skipping rituals, not bothering to use a consecrated athame when it’s not ”really” needed but instead just using a hand, screw that, too much work, I’ll just imagine using an athame… Yes, great things can happen via using the mind alone, but greater things can be achieved with allied help; and these allies are our tools. Not doing the work is in truth the hard road in regards to practicing the Craft as a spiritual journey.

Perhaps if you have been feeling in a rut, stuck and not really going anywhere, it is time to pick up some long left behind tools, dust them off, and get them working for you once again. Just maybe, they’ll unlock a door whose key had been lost.

What allied tools have you been leaving unattended?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."


"Crossroads" Joe Carriker said...

Agreed, a hundredfold.

I really dislike the meme of "those tools just help you focus - all the magic is in you!"

It never ceases to amaze me how a people who claim to find magic in the world around us can simultaneously sneer at the possibility that the items of that self-same world might also contain magic. How is it not the height of arrogance to assume that we and only we are the receptacles of magic?

Thinking that we are alone in importance and aloof from the rest of the world is what got us into so many of the problems we now face. Why on earth is it at all desirable to carry that attitude into the esoteric world as well?

GreenFlame said...

Amen to this, and also Amen to Joe's comments. We are tool-using beings, both mundanely and magickally. I've done a bit of good spontaneous ritual without my tools, but I was able to do it because I have worked with tools so long.