Paths United: Witchcraft, Shamanism & Ceremonial Magick

I would like to share an essay that I wrote and donated to the 2015 Pagan Picnic for its program book last year. Please be sure to buy a program at this year’s Pagan Picnic when you attend to help support Picnic, which is on June 4-5! For more information on the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple’s booth at this year’s Pagan Picnic, please join our public event page HERE. I will also be teaching another free workshop at Picnic this year, which is currently scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. Stay tuned for details!

You also may join our Spirit’s Edge: A Seeker’s Salon group page, where you will have access to our private event page for our Spirit’s Edge booth. In addition of course, please visit the St. Louis Pagan Picnic’s event page.  Please “like” and follow our Temple Facebook page as well.

Tying in with the subject of this essay, our next section of Witchcraft, Shamanism & Magick I – Sparking the Inner Flame, One year, Online Apprenticeship in the Spirit’s Edge Mystery School starts March 1, 2016! This is our fifth WSM I apprenticeship, and the third year for our Mystery School. The application period is open! The application period will close one week prior to class starting. For a copy of the application, please email me, Shea Morgan, at alight46927@mypacks.net. You may also join our WSM I public event page.

Paths United: Witchcraft, Shamanism & Ceremonial Magick

By Shea Morgan, High Priestess, Minister, Founder of Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple

The theme of this year’s [2015] Pagan Picnic, Paths United, sums up much of how we approach our Work at the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple and Spirit’s Edge Mystery School. It is also how I approach my own personal practice.

As we go through life, we seek identity. We label things. We name things. We create stories. This is us. This is not us. This is you or them. This is not you or them. We are paths divided. I think in some ways we do this as a way to find comfort, control and certainty. The idea of controlling things and having certainty is appealing. It comforts our ego, our personality self. Yet it is an illusion. There is an old adage that the only thing certain is change. The whole journey of a Witch, a Shaman or a Mage is that of change. As Aleister Crowley stated, “Magick is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with Will.”

Our spiritual work, the alchemical work of the soul, is becoming truly aware of our oneness. That is not to say that as individuals we do not have our own roles to play in life. I believe that our soul chooses to journey into this life to learn a set of lessons, to grow as a soul. We start out each life with this illusion of separateness. Spiritual work takes us through that illusion to the divine truth of oneness.

Yet we still need identities to function in the world. The difference is that with awareness, we choose and wear our identity, and it does not define us. We might label ourselves as a Witch or as a Shaman/Shamanic Practitioner or as a Mage. I am all of those things. Yet they are all just labels. I was really struck by this on my a journey to Teotihuacan with the don Miguel Ruiz family over New Year’s. You may find more insights into that journey from my video after the retreat.

The Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple and our Mystery School have focused on the path of the Witch, the Shaman and the Mage since their creation. Since the founding of Spirit’s Edge, we have welcomed all traditions and ways in which folks define themselves. My first Witchcraft teacher told me that when you ask someone what they self-identify as on the pagan path, to ask them what it means to them. Everyone has a different definition.

In Teotihuacan I realized that I had an attachment to the word Witch, and also that it did not completely identify the Truth of who I am. It was an illuminating journey. With this work, I embraced my shamanic work and calling as a healer. When I returned from Mexico, I also claimed the word Shaman. Shaman is a word that some see as forbidden to non-tribal members; yet through it, I do not claim a membership of a tribe, I am merely embracing who I am. Yet I realized that I was also a Mage – and I was still a Witch. I was all of these things, and more, and none.

Words. They are all simply ways of communicating an identity to the world, of telling a story, but each word is only a part of the story, of who I am, of who you are. These labels can cause us to limit ourselves. Ironically the structure that I had founded in the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple, and that I had pulled through from the inner planes, was already all of these things as one. Even though it took me a sacred journey to Mexico to realize the import of this and that I too was all of these things. Our wisdom and teachings become more robust over time as we grow.

I was no longer attached to the words. The words were not the Truth. The words were stories about the Truth. As soon as Truth is put into words, it no longer is the Truth, it is just a truth. It is a magical, many colored cloak that I wear, or the various aspects of my soul expressing itself in different ways. We often talk about deity on this path as being like a diamond, with different aspects of deity as the facets, yet still one. I believe this is the same for us as individuals. We all have our own facets, yet we are one. We are also all facets on the larger germ of the divine.

I am thankful for receiving and integrating into my awareness much wisdom shared by the don Miguel Ruiz family in my work both in their Course in Mastery and also on the journey to Teotihuacan. There is a wonderful book called The Five Levels of Attachment by don Miguel Ruiz, Jr. It outlines the five levels of attachment, which are: 1) Authentic Self, 2) Preference, 3) Identification, 4) Internalization and 5) Fanaticism. The point of this is that coming from a place of attachment to our identity, to any identity, it draws a line between “me” and “you” or between “us” and “them.” We lose a level of our awareness due to our attachment. We become separate.

Paths united to me means stripping away the illusion of separateness, and honoring the love and life within each one of us and each path as part of the divine. When we use our labels of who we are and what path we follow, we often separate ourselves from those on other paths. When we recognize our oneness, accepting the unique gifts of every path, of every tradition, we unite our paths.

In the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple, we do this in many ways. Our rituals are public and all are welcome! We have attendees at our rituals who are Witches, Wiccans, Shamanic Practitioners, Ceremonial Magicians/Mages, Buddhists, Christians, Conjurers and more. Where all is one, all is possible. The fabric of our Work is so much more robust for the different threads of magick and community that we weave. When we call on Great Spirit, we often call on Great Spirit as the Spider, as the Great Weaver of the Web of Life. The symbolism is powerful. It is as if you can see the webbing stretching from star to star in the night sky, and the threads connecting every living thing on the planet, pulsing with life. Each thread a path of the whole.

In our Temple and Mystery School, we meld these three approaches as our foundation, and then we bring in more. We look at Witchcraft, Shamanism and Magick each as a leg of a cauldron, the cauldron of our soul. If we limit our Work to just one of the three, or even two of the three, our cauldron would no longer stand and would not be as full – and there is so much other goodness that we can fill it with in the Great Work!

It is not simply a matter of having all traditions and all seekers welcome on the physical plane. It is also the idea of who we work with in the inner planes, in the Three Worlds. There is so much richness to share, cultures and spirits waiting to work with us. So much of what we do on a pagan path is ultimately gleaning from other cultures through time. There are threads that run through cultures, new and old – currents that flow through all time and all space. Those currents seek an expression and call to us. Just like the divine and spirits seek an expression as well – they seek us just as we seek them.

We can allow for expression of the many beautiful currents flowing through to us by being open and not limiting ourselves. Different spirits come to us. We receive messages, follow the breadcrumbs of synchronicity, learn more and work with more allies, with more of the divine. We develop our own spiritual team – containing spirits from different cultures, different pantheons, and different systems – yet all work together in partnership with us. We are a bridge to help spirits connect with each other that otherwise may not have the opportunity to do so and thus help them further grow on their own journeys.

Our Temple’s rituals work with different traditions, cultures, pantheons and types of magick. Here are a few examples. We worked with White Buffalo Calf Woman at Imbolc last year [2014], and also worked with her in a Ritual of Healing at last year’s ]2014] Pagan Picnic. We work with shamanic ceremony, such as with the Corn Mother for Mabon last year [2014]. Our 2014 Yule ritual was a beautiful ceremonial celebration with Ra of the Egyptian pantheon. This Spring Equinox [2015] we had a powerful, joy filled and magickal working with an African diasporic tradition, working with the Orishas Eleggua/Legba, Chango and Oya, along with three Saints. Last Samhain [2014] we performed a mystery play, The Faces of the Morrighan, and at Beltane this year [2015], we performed Dion Fortune’s original Rite of Pan. We have worked with the Norse, Greek/Roman, Celtic, Mayan and many more.

We work with ceremonial tools and techniques, such as the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram and calls to the Guardians of the Watchtowers, such as that by the Golden Dawn and magickal methods of Dion Fortune. Yet we also rattle, drum, smudge and sing to the Helping Compassionate Spirits, akin to the work and teachings of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. We work with the Toltec tradition and traditional Witchcraft as well. We work with Faery tradition and conjure. We often work with several within the same ritual.

Witchcraft underlies all of our work and basic ritual formula or structure. It is a melding, and we write the rituals as we feel called. There are no limitations, other than sound magickal practices and a general structure to ensure the power of the ritual, the alchemical process intended in the Great Work, and the safety and comfort of those present. As for the spirits and allies themselves, they seem to relish working with each other, with spirits of other traditions in ritual, spreading their own wings, growing their work on the other side of the veil.

Our tradition is open to influence from various traditions, which you can see through those that support us on the inner planes. Our Imbolc 2015 ritual combined work with Hecate as the Torchbearer and the Spirit of Coyote, for example. Many would not think to work with that combination, yet both spirits called to me. We worked with Hecate to illuminate our inner truth and Coyote to remove illusions standing between us and our truth. It was a combination of Witchcraft and Shamanism, also drawing on my intensive studies with the Toltec tradition with the don Miguel Ruiz family. This ritual ultimately was all about the idea of stripping away separateness, embracing oneness and uniting our paths.

This coming Mabon / Autumn Equinox 2015, we are planning a working with Merlin, with the cave and with the Toltec teachings – again merging cultures and teachings. The spirits are calling, spirits that want to work together. It is a message that we can all learn from together, us on the physical plane and the spirits on the inner planes.

Our name is the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Tradition & Temple, which was gifted to me by spirit in Feb. 2014. “Shamonial” is a combination of the words “shamanism” and “ceremonial.” [Note: we have “wordmarks” or trademarks for words on both “shamonial” and “Spirit’s Edge.”] Our Tradition brings together Shamanism and Ceremonial Magick in the context of Witchcraft. It merges teachings, breaks boundaries, bringing these concepts into a cohesive whole. Our purpose is to be of service to the Great Work and the community on all planes.

Though we work with many gods, guides and allies as both our Temple and as individuals, the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple is supported directly in this work on the inner planes by the Temple of The Twelve Signs. It includes 12 Stations, each with a Goddess, God and member of the Hidden Company, with three members of the Hidden Company taking the lead at any given time, currently, Dion Fortune, Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner. The three anchor deities are Ix Chel, Hathor and Hermes. These spirits came to us from many different traditions, cultures and pantheons. For more information on Spirit’s Edge, please visit www.spiritsedge.org and www.facebook.com/SpiritsEdgeShamonialTemple.

Our Work together is a bridge between Ceremonial and Shamanic, between Sun and Moon, between East and West. It is a path united, where all seekers and paths are welcome – where all is one, and all is possible. Blessed be.

***

Watch for more information on our Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Tradition to be posted on my blog. I had written it and it was accepted for the Traditions anthology, but the editor had to bow out of the project for personal reasons, so I plan to share it here, likely in a series of blog posts.

SM/

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s