Is there anybody else who thinks that dressing up in robes and using swords, wands and other tools is a kind of cosplay? My first boyfriend was a passionate player of games like D&D, Vampire: The Masquerade and The Call of Cthulhu. I was 17 and jealous of him spending nights with his friends instead of me so I guess this wasn’t a very good start at all regarding games and dressing up. As I grew older I found myself within a community where intellect was everything and feelings were regarded as obstacles. I twisted myself to fit in for a while until I finally couldn’t deal with it anymore.
Both communities – my boyfriend’s friends and that tight-knit community of lawyers disrespecting everything that wouldn’t fit into their worldview – had some things in common: The way they dressed respectively the way they talked to each other was pretty specific. As I found myself to be in the wrong place within both communities (and hadn’t developed enough self confidence yet) I began to look down at them. First I felt superior in relation to my boyfriends’ friends because I thought I was more intelligent than them and later I felt superior in relation to my colleagues because I thought they were focusing on the ‘less meaningful’ things of life.
I guess I was pretty arrogant during my early twenties.
When I first started reading books on magick and occultism I was excited and also annoyed by the fact how many requisites were needed for e.g. ceremonial magick. I’m not the most patient person (as everybody who knows me can attest) so I was eager to start and questioned how far away I was allowed to stray from the ‘correct’ tools in my workings. I wrongly assumed the results would depend on my tools. So I paid a lot of attention on the outer things and too little on the inner planes and at some point decided that magick didn’t work very well as I saw only minimal results.
Of course it was like this because I didn’t have a daily practice of meditation and I wasn’t learning to raise and direct energy. To put it simply: I wasn’t ‘plugged into the socket’. This insight came later but when it came I basically turned 180° into the other direction. Just as I had decided to look down at my colleagues and my first boyfriends’ friends I decided to look down at outer requirements in magick.
At that time I almost exclusively focused on the inner requirements while learning the basics of magick. What this meant for my work was again a separate subject of revelation: I was more effective but actually I was again only working with half of my power and it cost me too much energy.
It is a challenge to do magick without outer requisites because your mind needs to enter a different state – comparable to a ‘night consciousness’. For entering this state more than one doorway is available depending on our personal strengths and weaknesses. Some find it easier to do relaxation and meditation exercises while others prefer entering ecstasy in one way or the other. In my opinion whatever works is valid (this is where my chaotic side comes through). However, requisites do serve a specific purpose. They help our minds getting into a different mood, a different state, to pick up on those frequencies we need for a specific work. So again this was only my hubris telling me differently.
To sum it up for me: On one hand dressing up and working with tools is not a sign of megalomania as long as it is not the only thing we are doing. It is however almost useless if our emotional state is not altered by it, if we are not plugged into the energies of the current we want to work with. On the other hand workings that are confined to the invisible planes might be effective if you’re lucky enough, have a lot of experience or manage to put a lot of emotion into it (which sometimes is not easy to direct). However neglecting one of these parts means you are probably depriving yourself of half of your power. The most effective workings are those where you are able to do the outer symbolic movements and use the tools but at the same time see through them and have a sense for the energies you communicate with and use the outer tools for this communication.
Our material bodies are interfaces to communicate with beings and in the same way material tools are interfaces to facilitate this communication. To ignore them is to work in an imbalanced way. And that took me quite a time to acknowledge and bury my hubris hopefully for good.