Upon returning from France, I did a little ancestral woo-woo and then pulled a three card draw from my Magical Forest tarot deck. It has been awhile since I have worked with my tarot cards, so I decided to briefly check the book for the meaning of the cards and then meditate on them. I was elated when I was able to pathwork with two of the cards! I have tried pathworking before and it just never seemed to happen for me, at least, not in the conscious realm. This time, I wasn’t so intense about it, I just let myself quietly walk in through the doorway, the frame of the card, and suddenly I could see the background as a distant place within my own vision. I could imagine myself walking there in the shape of the critter featured on the card, I could see a story unfolding. It was very much like my stav journeys where I am fully aware of my surroundings in consensus reality, but also could very much see this other place.
I have been reading a bunch of stuff from Phil Hine, and I am finding his approach to be very much everyday practical, bringing magic into mundane life and utilizing personal Will at all times. It is interesting that since adopting this attitude of making the mundane magical, I have noticed how quickly and easily I can shift into other states of awareness. Even in France, where it was difficult to get any sort of thought or moment to myself during the entire trip, when I could I would shift into a slight trance and do small workings. I found this to be very effective and easy.
While I am starting to appreciate the power of rituals (just finished reading The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill by Robin Artisson), I still have a strong aversion to it, and I suspect this has mostly to do with two things. One, I generally find rituals like this to be too churchy, and two, I think I avoid commitment and responsibility for my power. I am still working on both of these things. My deep mind has spoken to me about this when I’ve asked, and I know I avoid commitments. I think this is a dysfunction or an effect of conditioning in my family/young life. In doing some of the more serious workings, like in Witching Way, a person is making oaths, making those commitments, creating a reality. This is the part of magic that I stress out about. Sometimes it can seem like we want a thing, or a reality, but when it comes to pass there is a whole other list of cons that inevitably comes with that reality. It’s like Peter Paddon always says, “There is a coin to pay. There is ALWAYS a coin to pay.” It’s knowing what that coin is that I fret over. But, I believe that we are all casting spells chaotically at all times, so a person may as well get their shit together and direct it in a more thought out and beneficial way.