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Magic, and my relationship with Women

Ave,

So...since beginning this Grade, I've found myself re-approaching (or rather, approaching for the first time) my relationship with women. In my dreams, in my work and study...it keeps coming up. How I view women, how I view femininity and it's accompanying traits. I mean, I've been Really approaching these views.  Reading comments on Jezebel.com (hahaha, and enjoying them) and learning about feminism--and attempting to do so without the feeling of eating something that is vaguely unpleasant.

 I'm aware of how that sounds, but I'm not going to bullshit. Something about the culture of feminism--not the laudable aims, but the culture itself--I have found distasteful. I want no woman oppressed, not a single one. Not Consciously. But the idea of calling myself a feminist is unpleasant . Equalist, sure. But feminist? Sends me reeling away, and this has not been Feminism's fault. The things that I have found distasteful in feminism in the past are entirely rooted in my own unexplored sexist and unfair viewpoints, rooted in my fears of my own femininity. Let's take a look at them one by one, and take them apart. Because that's what Magic is about, isn't it? Time to pull this Demon out of the darkness.

Things that irritated me about Feminism:

1.The women who I have encountered who identify as feminists have been loud. Strident, and therefore irritating.

What this comes down to is Aggression. Aggressive, pushy women irritate me...because in my deep mind, I feel that women should not be aggressive as I don't consider that a "feminine" trait.(..sigh..) Not all women, of course--only the ones I encounter who would push me. I find aggression to be a masculine trait, and seeing too much of it in a woman becomes offensive. Unless I agree with her, and then it's fine, of course. (For example, I love Rachel Maddow in all of her beautifully intelligent and assertive glory, but find that same assertion in an Inga or Ann Coulter repulsive.) She can be as aggressive as she wants to the rest of the world, but if she challenges me I have the urge to set her down. Even if I don't-as that would be impolite-the urge is there. Awesome.

2. The women who I have encountered who vocally identify as feminist seem to go out of their way to appear "unattractive". Assuming that I even SEE her, in all my patriarichal glory, I would err on the side of dismissing her. Why? Because an unattractive woman is an unvalued woman.

You dare to go about with unshaven armpits, unpainted nails, and poorly done hair? You are barely a person, and certainly not worth my consideration. You're going out of your way to tell me that what I value about woman doesn't matter, so...feel the shun. Now, if we were put together because of work/family/mutual interest I would be accepting and value her based on her merits, as I'm not consciously a horrible bastard.   Unfortunately that's only because we were put together due to circumstance, and my conscious mind engaged.

Example time. If I were studying in a coffee shop, and came upon a problem that stumped me, it would never occur to me to ask this woman for help. I would probably not even see her were she sitting next to me; a thoroughly unattractive woman  is like a potted plant. How Shameful, and bizarre. Most of the women in my personal life are brilliant, in their ways--why would I not assume the same for women on average? Why react in this horrible fashion?

I am well aware that women don't exist to be pleasing to my eye, and that as individuals they're worth is a matter of merit and not appearance. Or rather, it should be. There are not many examples of this occuring, even nowadays within the literary magical community. No one gives two shits about how Paschal Beverly Randolph looked (uhh.....outside of his Blackness, of course. Perhaps not the best example), or whether Westcott was a handsome fellow or not. But I've read about how dowdy and plain Dion Fortune was, and have found myself guiltily aware of how cute Pixie was. Things have definitely improved and there are some strong feminine voices in the blogosphere, but not much in the way of written works. Especially from our Golden Dawn Sorors, which is extremely unfortunate.

3 .Lastly, feminism seems to want to force me to view not just women as equal to men, but femininity--with all of it's emotional and physical "weakness"--as equal to masculinity. Which, of course, it is. But I wasn't ready to accept that. Since I was young I've equated weakness and softness to femininity. Calling me a "lady" would have been a deadly insult, as for myself (like many men in my culture, whether they choose to admit it or not) "lady" when applied to men is a pejorative term. Not just an inaccuracy, but a pejorative. Because there is an intrinsic weakness attached to the feminine in my sub-conscious, and anything that reeks of weakness is anathema to males within my culture. Crying? You are a weakling. Tired, hurt, and talking about it? Weak. Need emotional comfort? Weak. I imagine you can do the math on which side of the male/female polarity these things exist.

Absolutely terrible. None of these things were on the surface, and were more in the way of automatic reactions. Judgments made below that I never was truly aware of consciously. I found that I had been making these same kind of value judgments about the feminine portions of my own Nature, almost denying them any value at all. Which is unacceptable, and had to be overcome.

Thinking and meditating deeply upon this--working my Magic-- changed me, in a good way.  I've had to give up some of my fiercely held "power" in order to even consider these things, and that made it difficult. Because considering women and femininity completely equal to myself externally meant addressing the femininity within myself--acknowledging it's existence, and I was afraid to do so. I feared doing so because accepting the feminine within myself meant accepting as part of my own humanity the "negative" traits I had associated with it. My own weakness, my own emotional needs. Seeing these things as negative, and then identifying them as feminine traits created a sort of wall between myself and the feminine in my own nature. True acceptance of Women as intrinsically valuable and equal required that I view my own internal femininity in that fashion first.

It is an interesting thing to approach. I've always considered myself to be mostly modern and fair-minded in these things--I believe a woman should be able to do whatever she wants, and is thoroughly and completely my equal--but that was not the case. There was a grudging acceptance there, and not a joyful embrace. If that makes sense. Anyway, Not Cool.

I've made a conscious and Magical/Alchemical effort to resolve these issues (once I became aware that they existed), and that I'm even aware of them has been a blessing and a sign of success. It has been a wonderful thing. It's given me understanding. I've been able to approach my own femininity and embrace it instead of viciously grinding it underfoot...which is basically what I'd done most of my life. I've been able to approach my Sorors from a perspective that doesn't immediately marginalize them. They are persons who happen to be women, and I am a person who happens to be a man. My gender doesn't define me anymore than their's defines them. And that is something. Thank you, Mothers Mary. They planted this seed a while back.

I've had a series of events that led me in this direction--my Grandmother dies and then (surprise!) I discover I am perfectly capable of crying and feeling deep emotional sting. My body is struck with illness and I am literally laid low, and all my strength made meaningless, leaving me weak and requiring the support of others for survival. My wife and mother in particular, who rush to care for me. I love and respect them both.

 Lessons, lessons learned. The magical life adds poignancy to everyday events, and creates a University out of tragedy.

I've tried to be brutally honest about my failings here, and do want it to be clear that I value women (consciously and Unconsciously, at last) as my equal partners, as necessary in this life and work as the femininity within my own nature. Wives, Sisters, Mothers, Daughters, Sorors and otherwise,  you aren't relegated to some gender based ghetto within my mind. You are who you are, and I welcome that and I welcome you.

In LVX,

AIT

Comments

  1. Dude, tell me you pissed off your wife and you're just trying to make it up to her by pretending to have castrated yourself. A little Projection Powder ground from the Stone might help you re-grow a pair. ;)

    Points one and two are just silly to genderize at all. You feel the same way about men who are aggressive as you do about women. An aggressive man, too loud, talking about his politics that aren't like yours is going to irritate you every bit as much as a woman doing the same. It's just obnoxious behavior, regardless of gender.

    Unclean men disgust me. A guy who doesn't bathe regularly, keep his beard trimmed, hair cut and clean and kept in a way that shows they value looking good and feeling good about themselves is going to get as much disgust from me as any woman who doesn't do these things.

    Point three is terrible though. I can't stand feminists any more than nationalists or scientologists. It's the fanaticism that drives me nuts. That's not a gender thing, it's a human thing. People with A CAUSE are dangerous, frightening, and crazy, but not in a good way. If they were allowed to reshape the world in their image, it would be a ghastly place. Any -ists you name are like that. If one word can summarize you accurately, dollars to donuts you're crazy.

    But to think femininity is somehow less valuable than masculinity is terrible. Different, but of equal dignity. That's how I view women and femininity. Women aren't men, and men aren't women. We aren't physically, emotionally, or even spiritually the same. Mostly the same, but with some pretty obvious and purposeful differences. We have different strengths and different weaknesses. But we have equal value.

    It's good that this is surfacing and you're burning that off. (Or do you follow the wet Work with putrification? I prefer Calcination, personally. Mold creeps me out.) You couldn't create the Stone with that kind of attitude about femininity. You'd end up putting in too much of masculine properties. The Temperance card is the Alchemist mingling equal parts. That's Samekh, right? Looks like the HGA is beating you into shape.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha, no my wife hasn't castrated me. She would probably spit her wine onto my computer screen if she read this...=) In a good way. I think you're off about point two , but probably right about point one.I used a shitty example there. With the second point, you're missing that dudes have armpit hair and unpainted toenails and the like as well, and that never bothered anyone; it only matters when women let these things go because they are women. There's nothing unclean about unshaved pits, it's gross because we expect women to shave that mess due to cultural blah blah blah. There isn't an equal playing ground there. Also, not grooming those things don't reduce a man's perceived value to the same extent. At least, not in my head. You can grow a beard and I'll still respect you...my wife grows a beard, and we got problems.

    I'm kidding, but the points in there somewhere....

    You're right on about extreme -ists, but not every feminist fits into the mold, there. It's a pretty wide umbrella, and I don't want to tar all with the same brush.

    I'm with you on the Calcination, and I agree about the attitude and creating the Stone. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I'm definitely getting roughed up here, but it's what I asked for....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, and thanks for the ball busting! I promise to return the favor when the opportunity presents... =)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Care Frater A.I.T.,

    These are good signs. Alchemy as well as Theurgy is about integration of opposites, within yourselves. The Alchemical Wedding of the King and Queen is about integrating the Earth Goddess and Solar God (that is the impetus behind the Serpent Force or Kundalini), as well as the Two Pillars of Polarity on a horisontal level - to create the Rose Cross (the point of balance being the Rose).

    We have to acknowledge that we are "bi-sexual", as in having access to both or to feminity and masculinity, regardless of us being male or female. If we succeed in our Great Work as males we will approach and finally unite with our feminine sides, as well as our Sorors will find and unite with their masculine. The Universal Hermaphrodite or Androgyne is the goal here.

    Through our upbringing, as males we learn to repress not only femininity in our women companious but also femininity in our selves. We repress and surpress that half of us that we don't want to acknowledge. Thus we become as half men. Much of the initiatory process is about becoming aware of this repressed side within us. You are doing that right now, becoming aware. Next step is the re-integration.

    Notice the word "re-integration". As children we had access to it. We have to find ourselves again, and like Master Jesus said, become like children again.

    Whatever limits biology sets to this work (as it is a fact that our bodies does "channel" and make possible or limit the ability of our self-expression), that may become circumvented by alchemy with our respective Sorores Mystica. Internal Alchemy will also transform our bodies so that it better will be able to express the universal feminine principle, as well as the masculine.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S:.R:.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Care VH Fra S:.R:.,

    Thank you for sharing your insight; the quote from the Master Yeshua in particular lit a little fire for me. A return, a re-integration. Interesting. And the role of the Soror Mystica (which is probably defined further within the Inner) adds much to meditate upon. Without even considering the magical aspect, relating and communing with my wife has done much in helping me evolve my emotional life, stability. Looking forward to exploring this more.

    If I can ask a question, Frater? Does the serpent have to be loosed before the Hermaphrodite is created, or does the creation of the Hermaphrodite lead to the Rising?

    In LVX,

    AIT

    ReplyDelete
  6. Care Fra. A.I.T.,

    The Hermaphrodite is the offspring of the mating of the King and Queen, the sexual union being the full Rising of the Serpent along the spine. The awakening of the Kundalini is a quite "early" phase of the alchemical process.

    But I suppose it is possible to discern different kinds of sexual unions, on different levels.

    In Licht, Leben und Liebe
    S:.R:.

    ReplyDelete

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