Come with me while I journey as an Initiate through the Feri Tradition of Witchcraft - a shamanic path of fey sorcery; a martial tradition of magic.

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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Courting Presence

To be truly present in each moment is the work of a lifetime. To be fully aware of all our parts, graced by the kiss of our divinity (what Feri Tradition calls being "self-possessed) is our only true spiritual goal. Of course, there are many smaller goals that contribute to this over-arching aim. (Hmm...somehow calling it a spiritual aim doesn't do it justice. This implies a linear direction, almost like the aim of an arrow. In my almost 5 years of Feri study, I can more accurately describe it as a flowering.)

Although we may at first catch only glimpses of intentional presence, a tingling at our sex and crown with our heart beating and the air in our lungs, if we court our divinity like a lover, it will eventually be a constant companion.

I am currently reading T. Thorn Coyle's latest book, Make Magic of Your Life, which is centred on finding one's desire and living it, seen through the lens of the Witch's Pyramid (to Know, Dare, Will, and Keep Silence). Part of finding one's desire, I believe, is to stay in the present as much as possible, not reliving the past unnecessarily, nor imagining some potential future which is unlikely to occur.

This is difficult work! Indeed, scores of books, websites, and spiritual traditions are centred on the cultivation of presence or mindfulness.

I was reminded today of Thorn's definition of magic, "the marriage of breath, Will and desire", when I went to my spinning class after work. Now, for those who have never been to a spinning class, it is a hardcore cardio class of roughly 45 minutes on a stationary bike. It is a killer class, and not an easy thing to do after a hard day's work.

During the class, about ten minutes in, I was aware of how many people were glancing at the clock on the wall. They most likely did not want to be there, probably there out of some sense of "should". Mentally, they had already showered and gone home for dinner!

I attempted to be more present than this. I focused on my breathing, the burning of my muscles, the swear pouring down my forehead, the coarseness of the towel, the sweetness of the water. I spoke to my Vivi, soothing her, telling her that this was ok, and that this was good for us. I did feel some resistance (and I might have checked the clock myself a couple of times...) but the important thing was that I tried an act of magic: "The marriage of breath, Will, and desire."

Firstly, by breathing and focusing on oxygen going into my body, I was courting presence as well as focusing on the interconnection of God Herself. By Will, I mean I have cultivated this by simply showing up to the class. It would be easier for me to go home, have a cup of tea and watch television. And you know what? The first few classes were tough. But, merely beginning and showing up once made it easier to repeat the process.

And what is my desire? To honour my body by taking care of it and getting it strong. This, to use Thorn's definition, is both a want and a need. By taking care of my body and making it strong, all other parts are easier brought into the fold - my mind is sharper, my emotions more stable, and my spirit more joyous. This feeds into my greater desire, which is ultimate connection with the flow of God Herself.

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