“If that which thou seek thy find not within thee, thy will never find it without.” (1)
The Craft involves deep soul work leading to understanding the authentic self, the connection with the divine, and understanding the Mysteries. If you were Buddhist you might called this enlightenment. What is enlightenment for Witches? Many people new to the Craft read the beginner books and think that that is all there is. I would like to share with you some of the ways that Traditional Witches do soul work, the way they approach and understand the Mysteries and an exploration of what the Mysteries are. This idea was inspired by a course called Soul Work from Cherry Hill Seminary (2) and from a comment by a woman on our local pagan internet site who said that she was quitting our group because we were not serious (i.e. fluffy) about our spiritual work. (Thank you dear!) The Craft is the most deeply spiritual path I know, but because it is hidden it is not easy to find. So let’s start!
Magick Mirror Work
In many traditions the work of the Initiated Witch starts with the path of the Magick Mirror. In this pathworking the practitioner travels inward to face her shadows and learn to know herself. (I’ll use the feminine in this column but that doesn’t mean that this is only for women!) We start with learning how to meditate.
Practice Question: Do you know how to meditate?
Test: Sit down and meditate for 5 minutes. Are you able to do it? If you can only clear your mind and settle into deep stillness sometimes; if you don’t know when you sit down if you will have a good meditation or a poor meditation then you need more practice. You should be able to meditate and fall into that silent place whenever you want to. It is a skill and it is not about forcing your mind to stop but rather using techniques such as breath work and chanting to gradually refocus the mind and then let it become still and peaceful. See a reference to help you below. (3)
Witches use ritual to raise power, celebrate and also to do magick. In the beginner books there are many good instructions on how to cast a circle and create sacred space. I’ll put some of my favourite books in the bibliography below. (4) I’m supposing that you already know how to do this so we’ll start from there. You will need two mirrors, the white (ordinary) mirror and the black mirror. The white mirror is the mirror of Truth and the black mirror is the mirror of Hidden Secrets. To make a black scrying mirror see reference below. (5) When you are not using the mirrors you should keep them wrapped in a cloth or pouch. You will also need a new notebook of some kind, also called a Book of Shadows. Create a ritual to call your Higher Self, the divine part of yourself, to be your guide on the Magick Mirror path. In this ritual the Elemental powers and the Gods will witness your commitment to this inner spiral and soul work. You also need to bless and consecrate both mirrors and the book.
Every day, or at least three times per week, in a duly cast circle and in sacred space, meditate for ten to twenty minutes until your mind is still and peaceful. Look into the black mirror and ask yourself the questions: Who am I? What do I need to change? What do I need to embrace within myself? Let the answers come from your Higher Self and deep within your soul.
There are many things that can come up in this work: issues that are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relationship-related, sexual, work-related and so on. It often takes a year or more to finish. When you are finished the work you will feel very comfortable about where you are and who you are. You will have faced many shadows within your soul, accepted yourself for who you are and created ways to gently change if needed. You will be closer to becoming your divine self.
At each session write in your BOS. On the right side pages put down all the things about yourself that are good and that you love about yourself. Example: I am a woman. I love the way I nurture my children. I work hard. I’m kind etc. These relate to the Mirror of Truth. On the left side write down the things that you would like to change, for example: I would like to eat more healthy food. I would like to work in a job that nourishes me. I would like to be in a relationship where I am respected as an equal etc. The left hand pages relate to the Mirror of Hidden Secrets. Don’t be surprised if things come up that you are not aware of now.
Now take the Mirror of Truth (the regular mirror not the black one) and using the issues that are coming up in your Book of Shadows look at your own face and speak your truth. Use the word ‘you’, not ‘I’: You are a beautiful woman. You are good to your children. You are good at what you do. You deserve a healthy relationship etc. It will take time at first to get used to talking to yourself that way. Can you see the Goddess looking out at you through your own eyes?
This is a very condensed description of Magick Mirror work but I hope it gives you a place to start. Next column I will write about how Witches use the Sacred Stories and Flying to further their soul work.
1. From the Charge of the Goddess http://www.doreenvaliente.com/Doreen-Valiente-Poetry-11.php#sthash.P4IdNm9n.dpbs
2. Cherry Hill Seminary is a Pagan University http://cherryhillseminary.org/
3. Here is one link that might help you to meditate. http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate-for-Beginners
4. This is a great reading list: http://twilightwicca.com/?p=35
5. To make your own black mirror you can see this link http://www.ehow.com/how_2276484_make-scrying-mirror.html
6. This is an interesting on-line publication Called Wicca the Ancient Way that will give you some more ideas about the Craft as a mystical path. http://www.scribd.com/doc/11935771/Wicca-the-Ancient-Way