Tuesday, August 7, 2012

All a Matter of Spectrum

In my last blog, I discussed not taking one’s cosmological map too strenuously as it can limit oneself from experiencing some things that exist outside its scope. Not everything can be fit in little rows and labeled. There are some things about the Craft and our methodology of mapping The Tree that are revealing.

The world around us and the spiritual planes in which are interacted with, whether discussing Directional Provinces, Astral, or the Underworld, all exist in a manner of a spectrum in relationship to the rest of the Manifest Tree and Un-Manifest Well. It is all a matter of extremes. All of these otherworldly places are divided by us. In truth, all of existence, even within the physical world, is one and only separated by us. It is through our experiences and interaction with these forces and places that we are able to understand some of the workings of those places, their relationships to one another, and our place within them.

Though everything is upon a spectrum, the Witches’ paradigm is a bit different than the predominant mindset in Western society when it comes to such things. For the spectrum of existence is not linear. Nope. The extremes do not exist merely upon a line of far to the left and far to the right, with everything else in the middle somewhere. The Witches’ understanding is spherical. Within that sphere there is polarity, however. Pick out any point within that metaphorical sphere and within the spectrum of its confines there will be another point related to it by its differences. Those points become like the opposite ends of a magnet; drawn together by their differences.

The model championed by most Witches’ places seven points upon and within that sphere. The use of this method is pretty universal, no matter the cosmological and theological difference between the various currents of Witchcraft. Don’t misunderstand me, not quite everyone agrees, but if nothing else, the rudiments of seven can be found in the lore and mythos of Cunning Craft, Wicca, Sabbatic Craft, and Feri. I’m not gonna debate it, champion one over another, or even lay out a comparison. Just know there is one. If you want to see it for yourself, go and explore the workings of those currents of this river we call Witchcraft. My telling you takes the mystery out of it, and the Craft is a Mystery Religion and must be experienced for one’s self.

The range of the specifics of the seven point model within Witchcraft is quite varied, often with different systems clashing on important views of cosmology and theology. It is important to realize that it is the Witch that hangs their symbols of how existence works upon the model. The Witch observes and experiences the mysteries and as best as they can with that experience, their intellect, and intuition, they pick up the pieces and hang them, much like an ornament, upon that tree. The lore of the Witch instructs them on how others traveled the path before, and where parts are conventionally placed.

A Witch whom is initiated into a particular current or Tradition inherits the basic framework for their cosmological understanding; they then add to it and begin to explore the nuances of the divisions, interconnectedness, and gateways of that basic map. The maps that are part of established Traditions have been proven to work, otherwise it would not survive. Witches use what works. Solitaires are capable of constructing such a map, but it is very difficult and takes years of work just to get it to the point of being workable. Using a Traditional mapping allows the Witch to start the journey into the deep woods with the map and knowledge of others at hand, only the Witch can make the journey but the way need not be repaved with every passing of a new Witch.

Once a workable model of existence is understood by the Witch and they delve into it, then the mysteries with which the model is concerned begin to unfold. There are mysteries inherent to the seven-fold system itself, and they are a flower whose scent is familiar to any Witch regardless of whether they are Cunning, Wicca, or Feri. Then there are mysteries that are unlocked by the specifics of the Tradition being works. If truth be told, these mysteries are still universal, just arriving at their gate and the key which is used to unlock them is different. Last, and nowhere near least, are the mysteries that exist and are unlocked by the individual Witch by working their Craft and developing their relationship with All.

Have you spent enough time sitting in the places you have hung upon the world?

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

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

3 comments:

Lee Shawnus said...

Well said. Spiritual and religious systems are a template, map, ladder or airline flight. We have to follow it to get to our destination, but once there we fold the map up and hike around the Sephiroth or plane we have arrived at to see and experience on our own.

GreenFlame said...

Agree w/ all except the issue about solitaries - with the wealth of published "maps" these days, I think one can plug into a coherent spiritual map and do quite nicely without joining a trad.

Spanish Moss said...

Greenflame,

To clarify my position. I was referring more to the solitaires whom don't pick a system but try to paste their own together from bits and pieces. You are right, there are a wealth of published maps for solitaires to work from. I probably should have added the clarifying language, but did not think to at the time.

Thanks for the comment.

Blessings,
-SM