April has become a special month for me. It’s the month that I started learning spiritual magick from Quareia. My first lesson was on April 22 of last year – Earth Day – which was unplanned but very fitting as the connection between mankind, the Earth and the spiritual realms run deep. And I’m drawn to certain numbers, especially even ones, and 4/22 feels wonderful to me.
I’ve also hit the mid-term summary of the Quareia Apprentice section which requires me to write an essay about my experiences and thoughts on magick and my progress so far – what I’ve found I’m good at, need to practice more, etc.
This blog post will be partially that essay but I’m writing another essay that will include things not meant for public display (details of Quareia and spiritual practice that shouldn’t be discussed publicly). So if this post sounds generalized and high-level, it’s because it is. It’s very much shorthand, meant for fellow magical/Quareia practitioners and it’s simply a snapshot in time of where I’m at and what’s on my mind.
My Strengths – What I Brought to the Table
When I started Quareia a year ago, it was interesting to see what was required of me and what it was going have me learn and develop within myself.
I first took stock of what I felt I could bring as strengths into my Quareia studies:
I’ve accrued a spiritual stillness, starting about 20 years ago. This is a sensation of contentment, peace, stillness, quiet. It underlies (or is beyond) all emotion. It has always been there since first experiencing it and has gotten stronger over time, especially over the last 5 years and now much more over the last year. It’s there even when I’m frustrated or angry. I still feel emotion but they don’t “stick” to me as much anymore.
The stillness is always there – even when I thought I was dying of a heart thing a couple years ago or when a woman accidentally knocked me off my bike on a public trail. I remember thinking at the time – while laying on the payment, cursing loudly – that I could still feel that underlying stillness and peace.
The stillness has been a great mystery to me but I’ve recognized lately that it seems to be what they describe as self-realization and enlightenment. Quareia teaches that this spiritual stillness is paramount to magick and Josephine calls it The Void. I seem to be able to tap into The Void instantly by focusing on that spiritual stillness (If I had to pinpoint it physically, I’ve always considered it in my solar plexus). So, I’m familiar with The Void coming into Quareia, but it’s been wonderful to learn exactly what it is (well, kinda, but not really, because of the nature of what it is) and how to utilize it.
Don’t Need Magick for Mundane Things
At the same time of accruing spiritual stillness nearly twenty years ago, many doors of opportunity flew open for me. You can read more about that here in “Reflections on Turning 43, COVID Pandemic – ‘May You Live in Interesting Times'”. I landed my soulmate, dream job and everything has flowed easily and gracefully since – life events, money, contentment.
Again, this is not ego talking – I don’t understand exactly what happened but I don’t take any credit for it. I think it’s because I’m following the life that was set out for me before I reincarnated and/or because I stumbled into how to visualize and manifest my reality. So, although I’ve practiced other types of magick on and off for years (Quareia was not my first foray into the Arts), I’ve never needed to do it for money or happiness.
Instead, I’ve always been drawn to learning about magick and the spiritual realms, “who is who” and “what is what” and how I can simply serve. As Apprentice Module III, Lesson 6 says, “Magicians are born; it is not something you wake up one morning and decide to do.” and later in the same lesson, “And this is another thing that you as a magician will find: if you do what you are supposed to be doing magically, you will never need to do magic for money, housing, or any other minor outer need: if you do your work in the way you are supposed to, what you need will dome to you through outer means.” This has been my experience and has helped me stay focused on real magickal work instead of using it to chase mundane things.
Another tenant of Quareia is to “know thyself” which I think I’ve progressed at over the last 3 years but especially in the last year. With the deepening of the spiritual stillness, emotions still flow but don’t really stick to me anymore. I take things, but not myself, seriously. I’ve moved from wanting to be a great leader to wanting to simply be a servant and serve. I just want to help and be a servant to myself, my family, my co-workers and clients at work and a servant to spiritual beings and to the spiritual realms.
I was delighted and humbled to see how much Quareia focuses on developing a servant’s heart. In one instance, it’s explained how students will have great success with their magick if they’re willing to be a bit player in a large spiritual working, usually not even understanding or knowing the full picture of what’s going on or how it ultimately all turned out. There are some great exercises it put me through experiencing this in the spiritual realms firsthand – powerful and humbling stuff!
Another thing I’m good at is developing habits. I understand the importance of repetition. I also understand how important it is to develop determination since motivation is fleeting. Heck, that’s what Man the Ship is all about – just read through some of the ultimate guides or watch the video intro series. And Quareia focuses on developing habits in ritual work, vision, divinition.
So, for example, now I’ve programmed myself to instantly feel the cold tile under my feet while brushing my teeth, which triggers feeling the cold stone floor of the temple of the Lioness Goddess and also feeling the strength of the stone in the Mountains.
Speaking of Man the Ship, one of its tenants is being balanced. Balanced in everything you do – physically, mentally, spiritually, financially. Turns out, one of the biggest tenants in Quareia is to also be balanced. Balanced in all ways. I created Man the Ship before starting working in Quareia so I didn’t know it at the time that Quareia’s focus on being balanced and lo and behold, I created an entire framework around being balanced. I feel like that wasn’t an accident (there are no accidents!) and it was getting myself prepared for Quareia and more serious magickal studies.
Things I Needed to Work On
So, I came into Quareia with experience with spiritual stillness, knowing myself, able to develop habits, being balanced and not being sidetracked by using magick for mundane things. But here’s what I discovered that I needed to work on:
- I had to discover if I see or feel/sense things while working in vision. Turns out, I feel things. So, I don’t see fantastical spiritual entities and realms while working in vision but I sure do sense things. A thickness in the room while in ritual… Sandalphon slapping his hand upon my head while feeling his energy up in my face – as if, literally checking me out… the Deity of the South, his angry energy coming into my area so quickly and strongly it was hard to bare the first time. It was a controlled anger, a righteous anger, but, man, it was definitely one of those ‘I don’t want to piss off this dude’ moments… contrast that to the Deity of the East who was very intellectual feeling… or the West that was very emotional – I felt emotions swell in me that I didn’t know existed and they felt wonderful. Now, I do sometimes see things in my inner eye while in vision. The Deity of the East looked like a large, pink, puffy bubblegum cloud, for example. But by in large, I mainly sense/feel things in vision. One of the strongest reactions I had was when I did an exercise to help a random person somewhere in space/time, and, boy, did I get nauseas as soon as I made contact! (like, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the sink in time).
- I needed to improve my note taking system. At first, I was doing it in a notebook and Microsoft Word. But then I found TiddlyWiki and Tres’ fantastic video tutorial. I converted my Word notes into TiddlyWiki and haven’t looked back. I’m able to sort and link and cross-reference all of my entries in many different ways – chronological, categorical, etc.
- I’ve learned Tarot three times in the last year. Firstly, through the Quareia lessons. But I wanted to go deeper and I didn’t feel like I was getting a handle on them. Then I discovered that Josephine actually had just came out with a book on Tarot (Amazon link here). I bought it and went through it. I got a much better understanding of the language of the 78 cards. But looking back, I went too fast and not deep enough. So now, throughout this month, I’m re-reading the book much more slowly and deliberately, and it’s making much more sense this time around. I’m practicing more, taking my time in understanding the meaning of each card, how it relates to those around it and to the slot it’s in.
- I’ve discovered that being spiritually tired is a real thing, just as much as physically or mentally. After I do intensive ritual, vision or divination work, I wake up feeling wiped out. I’ve learned to pace myself and plan which days I can and can’t feel wiped out (I’ve stopped doing intensive work Sunday nights – who wants to feel like they got hit by a train on Monday morning’s while trying to get back into the swing of working of all times!)
- I’ve learned I’m REALLY bad at memorizing things. I can’t remember crap – around the house, at work. And there is quite a bit in Quareia that you need to memorize (rituals). I’ve tried different techniques. The one that has worked the most is to make a story out of it (I picture different things as I go along the ritual which triggers the words I’m supposed to say) but it’s been an uphill battle. I’ll continue focusing on it.
None of this Does My Inner World Justice
I can can go on and on, bloviating about my musings on this or that. but, ultimately no words can explain the my inner growth and experiences I’ve had while studying Quareia and practicing magick over this last year. From the outside, I would just look like a typical white guy – married with children, walking my dog in suburbia. But that’s my outer world. Instead, here’s a slight hint at my inner world as I currently experience it…
… I stand in the middle of the ritual space, having just circled clockwise, and opened the gates. A heavy, thick sensation comes into the room, as I tap into my stillness via The Void. Thoughts of my busy work day pop into my mind but they don’t stick and they float away. I feel still, peaceful, centered, content.
I feel the intellectual personality of the Deity of the East (Air/Coming), as I see him in my inner vision as large wall of pink bubble gum… the righteous and controlled anger of the Deity of the South (Fire/Future)… the emotional and blue sensations of the Deity of the West (Water/Going)… the Deity of the North (Stone/Past)… there is no connection with them at this point.
The sword – the limiter, to my left – East. The cup – that which contains, records and dispenses – to my right – West. Before me, on the ground, the stone/shield (from the North), the mother of all. The Hexagram hanging above me – divinity, the unknowable, God, the nothing from which everything springs forth, the Pentagram, which my body makes, represents mankind. My left foot, upon the Grindstone which works me, my right foot, upon the threshing floor, my harvest.
After performing my rituals, I sit in The Void. Thoughts pop up in my mind, things that I should focus on, things to avoid – I’m being guided. They come as flashes of insight, hints, whispers. I note it all in my journal without trying to ‘figure it out’. I simply record it and move on. I also do some Tarot readings to gain better insight.
Only as time passes and I look back, I recognize that those things that came to my mind, went very smoothly as I acted on them over the next days and weeks – through serendipity and synchronicity – and yet their deeper causes and meanings always feel just out of reach – as if I can only barely touch them with my finger tips through the mist.
Balance. Energy patterns. Know thyself. Be a servant. Experience without overly filter and structuring with the mind. Let the energy flow and then let the entities and tools do what they do and get out of the way. Serve, serve, serve. This is the work of a magician.
My Questions as I Go Forward
- Is magick real? I have no idea. As an Apprentice, I’ve barely scratched the surface in actually doing magic with energy full flowing – that’s for the later Initiate and Adept sections. I’m still learning the basics of how everything works. But, I’ve had experiences and things occur that are wonderful, wild, weird. But it’s all subjective – nothing that I could prove to you. But I like the quote by Aleister Crowley that as paraphrased goes, “I have had many experiences with magick and have made up my own mind if it’s real and I’m not trying to prove to you that it’s real but trying to get to go off and have the same experiences and decide for yourself.” That’s my feeling on the matter exactly.
- Is Tarot real? I haven’t had enough success with Tarot to say that it’s real. I haven’t had any readings turn out to be astoundingly accurate some time later. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s real – Quareia makes it clear that Tarot as a form of divination is very important to performing magick and so I’m sticking with it and continuing to learn it and keep an open mind. It’s not my place to declare if I think it’s real or not, my job is to learn how to use Tarot to allow it to speak to me and through me.
- Who/what is God? Why did they create everything? Can we know The Void? What’s on the other side of the Abyss?
- How special are humans to the magical realms or are there many other species that partake in magick and mankind is but one of many?
- What are the spiritual realms like after we die? We’re in an astral body and traveling through those realms? How long can we live there until we die? Can we die there? What happens when we die there? Physical -> astral -> casual?. What happens to ‘us’ there when we reincarnate in the physical ‘here’?
This is simply a summary of a point in time of where I stand – a magical apprentice, unfinished in his training. I’ll excited and curious to see what comes next. I’m interested to see from a year from now, looking back, if I still think all of this is true or if I realize I was way off in any of my thoughts, especially in what I’m strong at (“ha, and I thought I was balanced!”). Only time will tell. Isn’t that true about most things?