What love magic won't do

I'm re-reading The Passionate Marriage (Affiliate link) by David Schnarch. It's an excellent book for any type of romantic relationship and my re-reading of it has already allowed me to recognize nuances that I'd missed the first time around. And perhaps most telling for me is something which I think applies to any area of life, whether its love, finances, work, etc. Namely you've got to work at a relationship to make it work. When I think about love magic, I think of the stereotype of the rejected lover who decides to do love magic as a way of getting his/her ex back. And sometimes it works, but in a disastrous manner where the effected person doesn't so much love the person as s/he is obsessed with the person. Kind of like the guy in the movie The Craft (Affiliate link). He can't stop thinking about the girl who cast the spell on him, even after she's no longer interested in him. And what love magic can't do is it can't really make someone love someone else. It can, when done right, put you into circumstances where you meet your next lover, but its still up to you in the end.

And there's something to be said for actually loving yourself, as cliched as that may sound. It is hard for other people to love a person that doesn't feel some degree of self-respect and love. It quickly becomes apparent if the person doesn't feel that way about him/herself.

Love magic won't make a person love you, or make you love yourself. That work is on you. At best love magic can increase the possibilities that you'll meet a person that fits your circumstances. Or it may help you come to a better understanding of your own issues with love, if you direct it toward yourself. Love magic isn't the cure for the missing date at Valentine's Day.

Love takes work. It's a beautiful feeling to experience, but once you get down to it, its more than just a feeling and really experiencing it involves learning a lot more about how you communicate with others and yourself about your needs, while also learning to listen to their needs. Remember that before doing any love magic, be ready to fully handle the results that come your way!

Book Review: The Nine Doors of Midgard (Affiliate link) by Edred

This is a curriculum of rune work that teaches people about runes from a variety of angles including rune yoga, chanting, and pathworking. However, it's also much more than that. It's a program that's designed to teach you how to fully integrate the runes into your life so that you can use meaningfully. It's a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn runes, but I would also recommend getting the recommended reading that the author points readers to. This isn't a book for a beginner or a book just to be read. It is a book that opens doors to new experiences and it is on you to actually go an experience what it offers.

5 out of 5

A meditation on love

This morning I decided to meditate on love, and more specifically on a realization I had of a pattern of getting involved with people I showed interest in over the last couple of years who, in one form or another, didn't fully return the interest. This includes people I would actually have a romantic relationship with. This pattern is a variant of a pattern I used to have where I'd only get involved with people I knew would reject me. I did a Taoist dissolving technique and used the breath to lead me to the place where I felt the physical blockage, around my heart. I sat with the blockage, letting the breath go in and out, and around the blockage, gradually loosening up the feeling of tension in my body. As the tension dissipated, I let the emotions "talk" to me, show me really what the issue is. In this case, I saw myself restraining myself to fit into what I thought other people wanted. I could see this belt across my body. It fit uncomfortable and it was being used to constrain and restrain me.

I decided to undo the belt. I pulled it out of it's clasp, and slipped it off. Immediately my body seemed to relax. And I heard," It's more important to be you than to try and fit yourself to other people's expectations. Aren't you tired of trying to be something you aren't?

Good advice. I am tired of holding myself back...not letting myself be the passionate, intense person I can be. I've tried to stuff myself into a box, with my relationships, instead of being true with myself and recognizing when a relationship isn't a good fit for me. And in the process I've hurt myself and the person I was trying to be a fit for.

I took the belt off and realized that I'm ready to be done with relationships where I'm trying to fit into what that person wants. I'd rather be myself and be appreciated for that, without having to constrain myself. And sure I'm willing to collaborate with someone, to figure out how we can be positive influences in each other's lives, but I don't want to be afraid that I'm too much or too intense for someone.

I kept breathing in and out, and gradually came back to this moment, this space, yet different. I don't feel so constrained.

Review of Eros and the Mysteries of Love: The Metaphysics of Sex by Julius Evola

Eros and the Mysteries of Love by Julius Evola I found this book fascinating to read, in part because I had to monitor my own reactions to some of his statements, and in part because as always Evola does such a thorough job of supporting his arguments that even when I disagree with him, I'm also filled with a sense of acknowledgment toward the work he was clearly doing. At the same time, this book mainly stayed in the theoretical and philosophical domains of the metaphysicals of sexual love, as opposed to focusing on the concept on any practical level.

My main knee jerking with this book has a lot to do with Evola's depiction of women and also his stance on polarity when it comes to sex magic. I think to some degree his belief in fascist ideology also comes through, but not to a large degree.

Evola does a fairly in-depth exploration of the metaphysics of love via a variety of fields, including psychology, Platonic and neo-platonic thoughts on love, as well as some of the occult perspectives on sex magic, including references to Crowley and Randolph's works. Throughout that exploration he weaves in his own thoughts and perceptions about the metaphysics of sexual love in a manner which clearly shows his stance as well as his arguments against other perspectives.

I'd recommend checking this book out if you're interested in sex magic. I'll note that you may find yourself re-reading some passages. Evola is not an easy author to read. He can be fairly dense in his take on the subject matter. It is, however, worth your time to re-read the passages...I know I'll be reading this book again down the line because there is so much information he conveys in it.

Five out of five stars.

Elemental Love Work Month Ten

I have two more months left to the elemental love working. It kind of amazes me that in such a short, but also long time, my yearlong working with babalon and the element of love will be receding into the background to make way for the next element to be worked with. This month has been interesting in Three different ways.

1. I recently had an opportunity to choose to be honest about a situation...and I chose honesty. I have to admit, making that choice is when it comes to personal matters is not very easy for me. I've sometimes lied or concealed things to my later detriment, because there's that distinct voice within which says, better to keep this from someone then let them find out and see the real you. The real detriment of lying isn't even the broken trust of the other person, though that is definitely detrimental. It is the punishment one puts him/herself under every time the truth could come up...because make no mistake a liar does punish him/herself because no matter how well hidden a truth one person always knows it and that's the liar.

For me, honesty in love has been one of the hardest lessons to learn. I can easily point to my past and say that it was because of my past, what I learned early on, which was that lying sometimes ensured I didn't get caught, didn't get grounded, didn't get told I was a disappointment, and most importantly I didn't get hurt if I lied good enough. If I lied and no one else knew, they might even accept it's not rational, and it may not make much sense, but it is a reaction that is writ deep within me, and so naturally is something that has come up time and again throughout these ten months, in various different forms and flavors. Coming to grips with the lie of lying, and really seeing how much the truth can set a person free is in someways the central theme of this year's lesson for me. And of course Babalon has been very insistent I learn this lesson, which completely makes sense, because she is a goddess of desire, and desire is only truely known when you can be true with yourself and others.

So earlier this month, an opportunity came up to be honest about some things and I decided to take it. It wasn't easy. There were a couple moments where I felt like it took everything I had to say a simple sentence. Yet the feeling afterwards, of relief, of release, of no longer keeping something in secret, of being able to really open was so empowering, so strong, so different from keeping something to myself. I felt liberated...and in one respect I felt as well that my word as a magician was strengthened. I believe both William G. Gray and Franz Bardon wrote something to the effect that the magician's power is only as strong as his word. The truth does set you free, from your fear, from your worry...but it takes a lot of work. I wish I could say that being honest is an easy thing for most areas of my life it is...but love is deep...there's deep wounds and letting them heal takes work, takes trust...I'm learning that trust, learning how to trust myself so I can trust others. Trust and love start from within. Before you can have trust or love with someone else you really have to trust yourself and love yourself. For me, the sign that I'm changing is that while I still struggle with myself sometimes to tell someone else how I feel or about something I did that I know wasn't good to do, 9 out 10 times I succeed in telling that someone...and that one time it doesn't occur right away, it does happen, if a bit later down the line. It's an accomplishment for me to be at this point of honesty with myself. And yes sometimes I still lie...but it's less and less.

2. In a conversation with a friend I was told I'm trying too hard...specially trying too hard to be his friend, which accounted for his tenseness around me. I really appreciated his honesty with me and ended up agreeing that was the case, so I relaxed and that friendship is getting better. But in thinking about his comment, I can say it's been true in other situations as well. I've caught myself a few times this month trying too hard when it came to other matters. So I'm learning to relax more...try less, do's interesting and it's given me a better look at some of the ol' thought stream in my head, and what it is I tell myself sometimes. Not sure where this will go beyond just trying less, and relaxing more in my relationships with others and myself.

3. finally read this in a book. Sex and love are two different needs. You might think this would be obvious, but I don't much focus in this culture on true love and what constitutes true love, including all the sex that is supposed to happen all the time. I'm not saying sex can't be something important to a relationship you have with someone, but sex and love aren't the same need. Sex can be an expression of love, but it can also be an expression of hate or lust, even sorrow (in one case I heard of). And sex is its own need, something which we need, but love is also its own need and again something we need. It's funny, but as I've done this love working and really faced what love seems to be for me, I've seen the difference in these needs more clearly. Yes I like both love and sex and want both in my life, but they are different. Sex doesn't always bring love with it and yes I've known this for a while, but reading that sex and love are different kinda hit me with a clue by four that helped me get this understanding in a different way that all my prior experiences never really showed me.

I won't say love is more valuable than sex or vise versa, but feeling that need for love is a different than needing sex and in retrospect sex definitely fills or hits a different area of the psyche than is much more subtle, less does something, but it also takes a lot more work than sex might.

So that's month ten for me...each month is really amazing...I've learned so much in each month, in each moment of vulnerability that working with this element has provided.

Why are you doing this love work?

I was asked recently why I was doing the year of love work, the year long dedication to the element of love. What did I hope to get out of it, what was I aiming for and why Babalon as opposed to Aphrodite or another love type goddess? I don't really have any set expectation about what I'll get out of this year long work. I can only refer to what I already have gotten, but in that lies the answer also lies why Babalon...Babalon isn't just about lust or desire, though she's commonly depicted as such. She's about strength...some might say strength of will, but if anything she embodies the sacrifice of the will, the sacrifice of the directive force and the submission to the experience. She is about the strength of love, the strength to love and forgive yourself, as well as the strength to face your desires and the consequences of them. Babalon has challenged all of my preconceptions about my own strength and stripped me of them. She has left me at times weak, huddled, scared and yet each time has also challenged me to stand up, to find my own sense of strength, my own ability to discipline myself, to set boundaries for myself, to also recognize my weaknesses. Over a half year in and I am still learning so many lessons from her about love and strength and about my own weaknesses in those areas.

And yet I don't find myself feeling harsh about that. I am forgiving and yet also consciously deciding to embrace my strength by working on not continuing in these patterns of weakness. I no longer have the excuse of "I didn't know" (If I ever had it). Babalon has stripped such excuses from me and her challenge every time is..."And now what will you do with it?

Babalon is really about love in terms of acceptance, total acceptance of yourself...And yeah sex and desire can factor into that pretty heavily, because those are good mediums to explore the acceptance or lack thereof of when it comes to love, but desire and sex aren't the only aspects to Babalon...there's wealth as I mentioned in a previous post and there's also honesty, because Babalon is all about honesty. when you sip from her cup, you taste the truth about yourself, and her. When you lie down to sip from her gate, with her liquids pouring forth, you are tasting the essence of sex and desire and love, but also the truth of yourself and all the lies you've told yourself and others.

I don't know where I'll be a little under half a year from now when this working wraps up in an overt manner. All I really know is that who I used to be even a little over half a year ago has changed so much because of the lady in red. I've sipped her cup, while I've looked into her eyes and been drawn into the abyss, losing so much of what I knew. She looks at me with those eyes, and grips my hands and she says, "You are one of mine, but you are also yours...find your strength. When she kisses me, I am filled with desire and longing, and yet also with this is what desire can do...this is how terrible desire can be, this is how desire can destroy...Do I really have the strength to face my desires, to hold them, to really embrace them and accept them and handle the consequences? That is so much the theme of love in my life. That is Babalon speaking.