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Now, this is what a Magician/Wizard should look like.Plus, Theurgy.

The Orthodox Schema-Monks are doing it right, ya'll.



When I was a child, and dreamed of being a wizard, this is how I thought I would look. Dude looks awesome....and I don't care what you say, how you feel and look while practicing your magic is important. I know a lot of you non-GD magicians (and some of you lazier GD mages...=)  ) do your work in whatever you happen to be wearing, and that's fine if it works for you.  I personally think the vestments serve an important purpose; they help to create the proper frame of mind for magical work. When I don my robe and sash, I'm not just my mundane self, I'm myself as Magician--the Magician bit is highlighted and brought to the front. The vestments are part of creating the magical atmosphere, which is of the utmost importance for ritual magicians regardless of tradition. OK, I've changed my mind-it's Not fine. Quit being lazy and put a damn robe on, unmentioned Fraters and Sorors of the Western Mystery Tradition! The robe isn't there just for lodge work, the vestments aren't pretty decorations for Other people--they are a tool as important as your consecrated Wand, Lotus or otherwise, for your creating the proper condition within your own Mind. With the robe and vestments alone, you can steep yourself in correspondence. Wear belts that are the color of the force. Wear your grade sash (or Lamen, for you Goets) to symbolize your ascendancy and mastery of the force. Don your hood to symbolize your veiling of the mundane and entry into communion with the Divine. Paint symbols of the force upon your feet, to symbolize your desire to travel within the plane those symbols represent. Wear a crown or circlet (or Nemyss, if you can stand it) to symbolize your union with the divine (or desire for such). Just, for heaven's sake, wear something. You wouldn't wear jeans and a t-shirt to court--why would you show the divine less respect? Pray in your underwear, if you must, but conduct your Magic, your Theurgy, your Thaumaturgy in attire that does honor to the work your doing, and who you're working with.

My personal vestments are just slightly different from what is common, I think. Instead of the billowing black robe, I prefer the Cassock.

Black, cut in the eastern orthodox style. I wear this with my grade sash, and I feel masterful and purposeful. If I am working with a particular force, I wear a belt/sash with the appropriate color for that force. A nice side benefit is that, should I choose to work outside, I look like a priest of sorts instead of a nutbag. (There is no way to wear a tau robe and a nemyss outside of lodge or home without looking like you've been dropped on your head as a child.) This is fitting, because I am a Priest-I'd better be, or I have no business calling myself a Theurgist.  I've dedicated my life to Union with God, and wearing the cassock reminds me that magic isn't done in order to empower myself, but to refine myself in order to make my temple suitable for inhabitation by God. I've dedicated myself to sharing what Gnosis I have with my fellows--not teaching necessarily, but walking them up to the cliff so that they might jump joyously over themselves. Gnosis is an experience, not a lesson.  This is another layer of symbolism, but a powerful one for me. A Wizard is a wizard when he's doing magic, a Priest is ever a Priest. Every time I don the cassock and vestments (which are the grade sash, hood, and belt-the rose-cross when I reach the Inner), I re-dedicate myself to the work of Theurgy. I also find value in working outside, in that I'm able to gently introduce the curious to our Art without scaring them off. The thought that even one person remains ignorant of the beauty and holy communion available through Theurgy who might be searching for it maddens me. I feel it's my duty to be available to persons who may be walking in that direction. Not to preach of course-that would be silly. To communicate with, commune with. Helping one person who is wandering find this path to God (if it's right for them) makes the endless hours of work worth it.

I would like to encourage those of you who have dedicated yourselves to Theurgy to view yourselves in this fashion, as priests/priestesses who have dedicated yourselves to God/the Source. Because that is what you've done by taking up Theurgy. It is a serious business, a lifelong dedication. You aren't clergyman, as this denotes formal leadership in a religious organisation. A priest or a priestess however denotes someone having authority to perform religious rites, and this authority is a god-given thing. Your Abra-Melin ritual confers this kind of authority, your Union with your HGA the same. Commune with God to determine if this is the right life for you, and if it is, be steadfast and honor the commitment you've made. Seeing things in this fashion have rounded out my spiritual life. Magic alone, meditation alone aren't enough. Magic refines the vessel, and in the stillness of meditation it is Filled. The ecstasy of spiritual gnosis occurs when the spirit is quiet, but only in the spirit that has been prepared. The moments I have had with God-when I have been filled with the ecstasy of understanding, when I've known the connection between myself and all things to be real, felt it as I can feel my own flesh...when I've felt the pressure at the base of my spine rising and exploding in my head like a hive of bees buzzing and obliterate my mind, leaving me in timeless silence until I felt I'd awoken from a dream....all of these things occurred during periods of meditation after intense periods of magical work. The vestments I wear remind me of these things (the lower mind forgets, strangely and especially the things of great spiritual beauty that occur--perhaps this is just my mind. My Virgo-an nature is not at ease with things that pull too far from the ground), and communicate the holiness of my magical work to myself and the entities I commune with.  If you are new to the Work, please give the robe and vestments a try. You may feel silly at first, but in a matter of months you will feel Sacred when you don them, and that's a good thing.


......I still can't get with the Nemyss though. I don't know what it is, but it's black hoods for me, unless i'm visiting someone else's lodge/temple, in which case I dress as they do.

In LVX, Fraters and Sorors. I hope the day finds you well!

AIT

Comments

  1. Thank you for this very thoughtful post on ritual garb. I especially appreciate the encouragement to recognize one's role as priest and as dedicated to the divine. I think you hit the right tone to talk about it, also--neither arrogant nor ostentatiously humble.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Care Fra Harold,

    Thank you for the feedback, Frater. I appreciate it.

    AIT

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for this!

    I have heard arguments against robes, implements, titles and so on for some time and to be perfectly honest almost got to a point where lazyness became a virtue ("look mom, no hands").

    One could see a non implement approach as a sign of skill but still, after all is said and done, "like attracts like".

    The same "free" pagans (in my case ) that would call robes and titles silly and superflous would gladly make themselves a talisman.

    Robes, as oppose to God forms, are physical, material. Thus if "like attracts like" any operation with an desired outcome of a material nature should be strengthened by wearing, weilding and navigating among material symbols.

    Thus reaching the conclusion that Thaumaturgists should really benefit from it (the Goetic circle and triangle are always physical for example).

    Next ritual i will don my robe while playing "Putting on the ritz" at full volume. ;)

    L.V.X

    Frater R.i.G

    ReplyDelete

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