In Exorcising the Tree of Evil, William G. Gray points out that when doing internal work to get rid of dysfunctional issues, there is necessity for taking an approach where you don't change too much, too fast, because if you do it too fast, you can end up creating problems with your sense of identity. Nick Farrell offers similar advice in Magical Imagination, noting that the removal of an issue can actually cause other issues, if you haven't taken the necessary time to fully work through the issue. I agree with both of the authors, having seen this happen and having it occur as well with some of my internal work. And its important to remember when you do internal work, it doesn't just effect you, but also the people around you. Most times this is for the benefit of all, but if the work is done too fast, it can be more traumatic than helpful.
My own approach to doing internal work has been revised over the years to become more systematic and careful. I figure that internal work is something best done consistently over time, and done in a manner that allows you to have your realization and sit with it, and after consideration, you make the changes that are helpful to your life. Making changes without consideration is reactive...it may get rid of the symptom of the issue, but what it doesn't do is allow you to really dig into it and discover why it is the way it is. That can only happen if you are willing to spend some time with the issue and tease out it came into your life. You may have some realizations quickly, but don't rush to act on them right away. Give yourself time to be with those realizations, because you'll likely get more insights as a result.
Pick a practice and stick with it. I've been practicing some Dzogchen practices for the last couple years, and I feel like I'm only now beginning to appreciate the depth of that work. I've been doing Taoist breathing meditation work for over a decade and its a practice that continues to reveal itself in the work. My point is that internal work and the methods of doing internal work can't be rushed. Nor should the realizations and changes you want to manifest. To make changes that are healthy for your life, give yourself some time. Take care of you and really sit with what you learn before you act on it. This is advice I would give to a younger version of myself, because while I've made some good changes in my life, I've also rushed where it'd have been better to still myself. Take your time with internal work and with the changes it can bring. You have more time than you think and you are worthy of taking that time so that when you make the changes you seek, it truly empowers you and the people in your life.
Book Review: Exorcising the Tree of Evil by William G. Gray
Exorcising the Tree of Evil is an exploration of the nature of good and evil, as well as the Quiploth. I found the book to be insightful and liked how the author explored the nature of evil in depth and showed how it related to the Quiploth as well as to the Tree of Life. What I found invaluable is how the author explored the different types of evil and where they show up in the quiploth as well as how they show up in a person's life. This book will give you a lot to think about in relationship to your own life and magical work. Gray also provides some useful exercises for exorcising the evil within as well as appropriate cautions about changes in behavior and how to handle them. My one complaint about the book actually has to do with the editing and layout. This is a reprint and yet there are some typos that show up throughout the book, which surprises me, given how exact Gray is about his work. I suspect this is more of an editor/publisher error than that of the author. Overall though this book is a must read for Quabalists, ceremonial magicians, and anyone serious about their spiritual development.
Magical Experiments Radio: A fun interview with Vincent Piazza about pop culture magic, lovecraftian magic, and Taoism.