Why so negative?

I've recently made a series of posts about things which are bad for magick – magick, in this context, standing in for all spiritual practices.  It's just that magick is what I tend to do most of when it comes to spiritual doings, so how I tend to think of spiritual practices.  This series of posts about the things that make spiritual practice hard may seem to run counter to my normal cheerful, positive, optimistic outlook on life. [Note to friends – the internet has not met me.  It does not know.]

The reason for the current theme of problems is pretty simple – I've been having problems.  With my magickal practice anyway.

A few months ago I'd got some real momentum going with my daily practice.  My meditation was becoming stronger, I had thoroughly learned the rituals I was using, my ability to perform those rituals with focus and conviction was growing greater by the day.  I don't tend to 'see' an awful lot when I do magick, but I can often feel things, and I was feeling some very powerful energy shifts happening during the work I was doing.  And the work was starting to have an impact on 'normal life' – I was having vivid and interesting dreams from time to time, I was feeling energetically strong, and slowly but surely I was getting a trickle of 'insights', both in meditation and outside of it.  It all felt rather splendid, and like I was building up to some kind of climax – hopefully being the Knowledge and Conversation of my Holy Guardian Angel, given that's what I had been working towards for some months.

I managed to keep all of this going through losing my flat to a flood, having to lodge with the Scarlet Girl, and coping with the other background distractions that everyday life brings over a period of months.

But… then came moving house and then came being ill.  And although that was all a three months ago now, I still don't feel that my practice has recovered.  That's an awfully long time to feel like you aren't doing terribly well at something that was going very well just before that.

As I wrote previously, moving house filled my head with a huge 'to do' list that wouldn't go away even when I was meditating or doing a practice.  Being ill exhausted me and left me feeling unable to fully energetically commit to the acts I was performing.  These events seemed to break my momentum and I've struggled to get it back.  Too often since then I've felt like I'm 'going through the motions' when I'm doing my practice, that my mind isn't really where I am and I'm not fully committed.

Most irritating of all is that recently its felt like I can't meditate.  Or at least I can't meditate 'properly'.  My ability to focus and control my thoughts is reasonably good (although shaky due to lack of practice) but for some reason I don't seem to be able to 'go down' in the way that I normally could.  Although the clarity of my focus has never been as good as I would like my ability to sink pretty fast into a trance state is something I've been proud of – often I can just sit and sink and I get the tell-tale 'feelings' of going into a trance (heaviness of body, a sense of warmth and comfort) but just recently….  I sit, and… nothing.  Just me sitting there.  So I control my thoughts and focus and… nothing.  I can control my thoughts, but no trance happens.  I'm denied that ever so nice feeling of sinking down, and down…

So poor magickal practice and nothing much going on with meditation.  What's a mage to do?

There's only one thing I could think to do – keep going.  Keep up the daily practice and wait for something to change.

Actually, that's not all I did – I'm very fortunate in knowing some smart people and some very spiritual people, so I asked around… but there was no great insight to be had.  It was just something I was experiencing, so I choose to experience it as openly as I could, figuring that perhaps at some point later it would make sense.

Right now… I think it might be getting better.  There's been movement with my daily practice over the past few days – a new way of working with it that seems to be bringing new results – and just the last couple of days I've found meditation becoming easier again.  Still early days, but… perhaps it's time to move forward again.

And perhaps it's time for a change here too…  up next – things that are good for magick.

2 Responses to "Why so negative?"

  1. AW says:

    Hi, I read your post and maybe it's just me, but I get that you seem rather detached from all that chaotic stuff happening around you, do you think this might have something to do with what is affecting your practices?– The detached feeling itself? How do you deal with feelings and meditation? (I'm not really smart on the subject matter) but I've gone through some trying times and often find myself in a similar situation where I would rather feel detached, than feel anything at all, and it so often happens that when I finally admit the hassling irritating emotions of "I feel angry that this or this happened", or "I feel sad that this and this happened" then it sort of clarifies the way to move past that blocked feeling. Just my thoughts…sorry if it doesn't help or make sense.

    • Warlock says:

      Thanks for the comment, you're quite insightful – I would say that a standard defense mechanism of mine is to detach, and step away from, negative feelings I'm having. At it's worst extreme this can lead to depression as I disassociate myself from almost *everything* I'm feeling and experiencing and therefore fall into a kind of stupor, going emotionally numb.

      However, you are also right to say that the path of accepting what you are experiencing and allowing it to pass through you, rather than fighting it, is often the most effective. But to take that step you have to reach the level of insight where you know that you are going to be 'okay' if you allow the feelings in – and you have to accept that it's appropriate to feel them rather than railing against the fact that it's 'not fair' that you feel that way.

      Acceptance usually comes with time, but initially distancing is common. I think in what I describe there were other factors at work as well, which I may get into in another post… but there is often an element of trying to control the experiences that are coming up rather than embracing them fully and making use of them.

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