Thursday, March 8, 2012

The eight fold path

This is not something that I have seen discussed a whole lot so I am going to take a moment to do so. As a witch, I work at making sure that I am balanced in my path because in my youth I spent a good deal of time being spun out by the things that life threw at me. Granted, some of those things were really large and would spin any well balanced person out synch. These paths all woven together helped bring me back to center and to this day help me keep things on an even keel. I think that these things are all important in creating a well balanced witch life.

The paths are as follows: Meditation/ Trance, Rites, Opening the Gates, Dance, Control, Discipline, The Great Rite

Meditation/ Trance: this is the arte of listening to the Divine. This is where a direct connection between you and the Gods happens. It is important because not everything you ca learn about witchcraft comes from a book or even a teacher. Some of my most interesting and powerful experiences and lessons have come to me on this path.
Tool: the mind

Rites: These are not the rites of the cycle. These are the personal rites we work. Ie. . . spells, charms, workings, chants and other ritualistic practices including devotions. These are the personal magical endeavors of the witch. This could also be workings and work of your personal choosing, like graveyard work, animal work, viridarium work. . .
Tool: Book of Shadows

Opening the Gates: This is one of the most tricky of them because it requires a great amount of discipline. This is the place where inebriants can be brought into the picture. .. spirits, wines and hooch etc. Other techniques include controlled breathing patterns, Yoga, Mudras. . . anything that rouses the Kundalini.
Tool: The Key

Dance: This path does not necessarily have to be dancing unto itself. .. although it is the most common tool in this area. It is about ecstatic movement that creates the whirl wind of power around you. It is raising the power to lift you and your desires to the ears of the Gods. I know a couple of witches who use running as a tool for this.
Tool: The Cone of Power

Control: this is just what it talks about. This is the control of breath, physical form, blood and posture. All physical forms: Yoga, Tai Chi, Martial arts, Swordsmanship, even Horsemanship are used to refine and tune the Will. There are things that will fall into this category that are not listed and all of these physical art forms require the body to take on a specific and refined form.
Tool: The Cord

Discipline: This is different than control. This talks about your willingness to to exert control and endure the pain that comes with it to shape your body into the form you are asking it to take. My sister ( A Marine) would tell me that pain is weakness leaving. In some terms I think she is right.
Tool: Scourage

The Great Rite: This is the symbolism of the unity of polarities. Male & female polarity is the most common one used in the craft. But this can also be the polarity of black and white to create all the greys in the middle. There are many to experiment with and can be used to help settle the dichotomies that plague many of us. This is also where Sex magic enters the path.
Tool: Athame and Chalice

When I find myself wobbling, the first tools I bring out are the Iron and Pearl pentacles to figure out where I am heavy or too light. From there,  I consult the eight paths and use them to rebalance myself. I hope that you find this useful on your crooked path.

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