On the summer solstice, I began a year-long elemental working. Since I work with a system that has eight elements (well, eight plus spirit, which permeates and underlies everything), it made sense to impose them upon the neoWiccan wheel calendar thinger and divide the year into eight elemental seasons.
Without going into too much (really, any) detail I should say that the elements I work with naturally flow from one to the other (hey, there’s an eight-pointed star on this website with each point a different color! Nah, coincidence …). So I started on the summer solstice working with Light and have come halfway through to Darkness on the winter solstice.
A few considerations of the general project. First, it was not well planned. I have mostly been working with meditations, associations, and some basic elemental conjurations. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some great results, including some great insights into how the elements work together, drawing elemental energy from myself and my surroundings, and how to utilize those elemental energies in spells. Some of my best stuff has come from interactions with elemental spirits in the Dream Time.
But it’s not what I had hoped for. There was no Earth-shattering kaboom.
I did not get the results I wanted. What went wrong?
Well, I did. My expectations were off. Since I had no hard results I was after, I had no process to achieve them. I was (and still am) winging it.
That, and the kind of elemental work I am dealing with is far more complex than I was pretending it was. And I knew better. Very, very sloppy work on my part.
So I’m expanding the project by another year. The second time around I will develop solid ritual work (under the perhaps false assumption that what I needed was more structure) to better attune myself to the elements and the spirits associated with them. And since the system I am working with values things happening in threes, there may be a third year.
But I’ve already worked out enough to aide me greatly in another major, major project I am working on. So I’m doing well with this. I’m just not doing what I had hoped I would.
So, where is this rambling going, and why title the post “Darkness”?
First off: Name the results you seek. If you don’t know what you’re after, you won’t be expecting what you get. That goes for good or bad. I was lucky to get some good. Although I suppose if your problem is that you don’t know what to look for, any result is a start. (Axiom: You must have at least two points to establish a frame of reference. If all you know is where you are, move, then look to where you were.)
Second: With no solid expectations, all results are potentially useful. See how they fit together, and how that fits with where you started. You might have drifted into unexpected territory, and you may find something very valuable there. A process of random associations with music and pop-culture led to an unexpected end to a recurring zombie horde dream I used to have when I discovered the most useful dream tool I’ve ever had: a lightsaber.
Three: Having an expectation in mind but not explicitly stating or seeking it amounts to failure. Only in letting that expectation go can you find value in the results. Not having the powerful visceral experience I was actually wanting is not stopping me from completing my project, but only because I let that expectation go. From the perspective of seeking that particular result, the project failed, and it failed because I did nothing to actually produce that result. But the results and insights I have had from he work I have done have been far more valuable than an experience of “power,” whatever that is.
Four: What you see is not always what you get. What you get is not always what it seems. The nature of Darkness is to be illusory, to be subtle, and to corrupt. If you don’t clearly see and go after what you want, your progress will lead to something else: the process is corrupted. What you seek may not always be what you think it is: it may be an illusion. The difference — or connection — between these things may not be as blatant as they appear: subtlety is the way of things. Such is the way of the occult, and why the occult is associated with the dark path. Magic is not always shrouded in darkness, for it is a different process, but the occult is by nature hidden, and its truths will always be oblique.