The following are thirteen points of advice and guidance I’d give to anyone starting out of the path. They aren’t exclusive, there are other things to know. And they aren’t original, they are drawn from many sources. And they are from my point of view, so should not be taken as gospel. I hope they help some who read them. Before getting into them, four books I’d recommend before most others, and I have a very long recommended reading list, are the following:
- Visual Magick by Jan Fries (Paperback, Kindle)
- Drawing Down the Spirits by Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera (Paperback, Kindle)
- Mysticism: Initiation and Dream by Andrew D. Chumbley (J.D. Holmes – US, Three Hands Press – UK)
- The Robert Cochrane Letters by Robert Cochrane and Evan John Jones (Out of print but available through Amazon)
And that being said, here are the thirteen points of advice that are my intention if sharing this:
- Mutual respect is essential. Respect the spirits, and expect respect in return. If you don’t receive it, they’re out, burnt, or cut off.
- All things have a spirit, and that spirit can be worked with and learned from. Some work with them as servants, or worship them and become servants. I prefer to work with them as partners. There is an authority in knowing you are equal with all things.
- People (and spirits) see what they expect to see. Open your eyes, then open them again. Observe. Perceive. Understand.
- What conceals also reveals. Look beneath the surface, both in of what your senses (physical or otherwise) tell you and what teachings, lore, and myth tell you. What they hide is as important as what they say.
- Learn to ask the right questions. Asking the wrong question will send you in the wrong direction. There are no bad questions, but often looking at the question in the right way opens doors. And always ask the next question, don’t let the answer be the end of the question.
- When all else fails, cheat. Don’t assume that the traditional way to do something, the way everyone does it, or the way you’ve always done it is the only approach. If it doesn’t work, do something else.
- Divide and conquer. If something is baffling or seems to be concealing something you can’t quite grasp or see, break it down, look at each part of it separately, determine where something is missing, concealed, or not working, and focus there.
- Only you are responsible for your actions and words, no one else, and you aren’t responsible for anyone else’s. Do what is necessary, but accept the responsibility for it. Own what you say and what you do, regardless of the consequences or what you think of them later. Don’t pass blame, and don’t take it on.
- Learn from all things. All beings, objects, persons, spirits, circumstances, lore, teachings, regardless of the source or pain or issues, contain beauty, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, and can be learned from, if you ask the right questions, look beneath the surface, and separate what has value from what doesn’t. There’s a saying in Hawai’i that not all knowledge is found in one shed.
- Be willing to consider any idea, no matter how different from your own. Examine it, understand it, but don’t just accept it in you process. Hold on firmly to what you know, and only change it if there is good reason to do so.
- Everybody lies, misrepresents, and hides things. This goes for spirits as well as living humans, and all things. Never assume you are being told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We all speak through our filters, understand based on our experiences, hide what we don’t want seen, and mislead when it will gain us something. Make no assumptions about the truth of, completeness of, or accuracy of anything you are told. This goes for what you tell yourself as well. Look deeper, examine. Observe. Perceive. Understand.
- What is yours, you need to hold, protect, defend. As Cochrane said, “What I have–I hold!” You are guardian and keeper of what is yours. Find what that is, and keep it against the storm.
- What you put in, you get out. As we say in computers, garbage in, garbage out. Only you control what you get from the path. No effort, no result. No danger, no gain. Victor Anderson said anything worth doing is dangerous, and Cochrane said take all you are given, give all of yourself. Huna teaches that where your attention goes, the mana goes, and Taoist thought teaches similar, where the mind goes, the chi follows. Where you focus, that’s where your energy is, what you think about and contemplate, that is where you will learn. It’s all about you. You hold the reins. Make the most of it.
Hope these are helpful for some.