Being a avid reader, it is not unusual for me to have not only a number of books on the go at any one time, but also books on various subjects, especially the numerous techniques and/or magickal practices. One book that I read a number of years ago was “Abrahadabra: Understanding Aleister’s Thelemic Magick” by Rodney Orpheus. A strange choice for someone proclaiming to follow contemporary Wytchcraft some may say, however within it, I came across a passage which, while I have adapted it to have a more Craft focus in the posting below, even in its original format within Orpheus’s book, it provides much food for thought regardless of what spiritual path you may follow …
“One of the keys to Wicca is personal development. This means you have to do the work yourself. Simply reading books and/or web sites is not good enough. While this may increase your theoretical knowledge (or then again may totally confuse you further), unless you do it, you are wasting your time. Knowledge is not the same thing as understanding.”
It is only through personal experience that you yourself can access what are termed as the “Mysteries” contained within contemporary Wytchcraft – no teacher, regardless of how wonderful they may be, can experience these Mysteries for you … nor can their interpretation be 100% relevant for you.
It is YOU who needs to walk through the door that they hold open. And whilst they can help you in the interpretation, like dreams and other messages etc, at the end of the day, the ultimate understanding can only come from you. This is simply because it is YOUR path and the message is for you.
Taking that first step at times can be rather frightening – it does take courage and inner strength – as well as a degree of belief in what you are doing as well as your own self. However the rewards received can be so much more – such as a greater understanding of the self (that is, your self … your inner being).
Putting what you have read or been taught into practice can be as simple as taking 10-15 minutes out for yourself at lunchtime to become aware of your surroundings (thus heightening your awareness), reciting a chant or invocation and thinking about what the words actually mean, or if there are specific gestures performed, how they work in channelling and moving the life force, prana, chi. Even simply focusing on your breath, learning to breathe “properly”, using the whole diaphragm as opposed to only the top portion of your lungs.