Monday, February 23, 2009


I’m currently reading a book called “Shamanism Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy by Mircea Eliade. Chapter two contains an interesting paragraph. “We shall soon see that all the ecstatic experiences that determine the future shaman’s vocation involve the traditional schema of an initiation ceremony: suffering, death, resurrection. Viewed from this angle, any “sickness-vocation” fills the role of an initiation; for the sufferings that it brings on correspond to the initiatory tortures, the psychic isolation of “the elected” is the counterpart to the isolation and ritual solitude of initiation ceremonies, and the imminence of death felt by the sick man (pain, unconsciousness, etc.) recalls the symbolic death represented in almost all initiation ceremonies. The examples that follow will show how for the assimilation between sickness and initiation is carried. Certain physical sufferings find their exact counterparts in terms of a (symbolic) initiatory death – for example, the dismemberment of the candidate’s (the sick man) body, an ecstatic experience that can equally well be brought on by the sufferings of a “sickness-vocation” or by certain ritual ceremonies or, finally, in dreams.”

I’m intrigued by the portion about psychic isolation. Could this be a secret of silence? Is this why we undergo silence after an initiation and so many people are told to do magick in silence? Are we creating our own initiatory experienced by merely being quiet about our lives? I’ll have to think of this more.

I have never been much of a scholar. However, recent experiences at Pantheacon, not related to my speech, are leading me to study more about where my magic comes from. I want to explore the myths. I want to have the background necessary to reach conclusions that I could not reach from a place of ignorance. This may be difficult for me because while I love to read, I do not like to study what I have read. I’m quickly reaching the conclusion that this is something that must be overcome.

I’m sure my readers will determine, how well I pursue this goal. For if I pursue it well and diligently, I have no doubt that the nature of my posts will change. And so will the questions I ask. We shall see.


Lavanah said...

Fascinating reading, considering some of the work that I did tonight. I'm just not ready to speak about it, yet. (insert smile)

But since, I am typing, I did want to say "Thank you" to you (re: your previous post) for all that you have put out here, on your blog, and in emails and discussion groups, that have gotten me thinking, contemplating and working. (and sometimes, weighing my words for unintended effect!)

Ausharrenwille said...

I am probably the oddball here who finds that going to a Quaker Meeting can be illuminating and help with sorting out magickal stuff.