taking initiation into magic.

It's a strange morning here in our (sometimes not-so-sleepy) town.

All our local schools were closed today due to an 'active shooter' being present. 

Apparently someone shot up a house just uphill from us at about 4 this morning and then went on the run, so they closed the schools as a precaution. 

Scary, yes, but in light of the realities of this area and its history (indigenous residential school nightmares and thoughtless and short-sighted on-going resource extraction fueling mindless consumption and drug use, to start) incidences like these just feel sad, frustratingly pointless. The shooting was a gang-related thing, as they most often are here, and that makes me so sad, knowing the psychology of what gangs represent and offer, and how sad and lost an individual must be to get involved in one. 

And that, once again, this captured shooter is bound for a short term in jail where he will become more angry and vengeful, and the process shall continue on.. 

(until one day, in the not-so-distant future, when human beings will recognize the futility of living without deep compassion and connection, and we shall reform our justice and political and education systems into something we cannot yet even fathom.. For this we wait and prepare!)

And by prepare, in my world, I mean work on ourselves.

 

Look deeply into our own psyches and uncover the places where we block ourselves to love and connection, and heal those places. There are endless ways of getting there, but the Tarot is a favorite. And today's bit of goodness and wisdom: 

The Hierophant. 

 

First, weird word, right? Hierophant basically means 'priest', but in an old-world-deeply-mystical-Greek kinda way rather than your classical priestly nature. This is someone who works in magic and darkness as well as connecting to spiritual source and eternal wisdom, and who seeks not only to speak as an intermediary between an individual and spiritual source, but also to bring that individual to an awareness of the magic that resides within them. 

This card, and this figure speak to the mentality of groups and associations, and offers one 'way' in which we may come to balance the dualities of life in a workable/livable way: through adoption of a particular belief system or religion, primarily. We see this in the imagery of the two initiates sitting before him, their presence signifying the two sides of all polarities while he is both between and above them--beyond their dualistic tendencies--to offer insight not grounded in the simplicities of humankind's desire for 'good' and 'bad' labels. 

We can go to a priest or commit ourselves to specific doctrine in order to gain the faith necessary to be able to understand this perspective, but is it really ours if we have not gone within to investigate our own hearts? A good religion will ask this of us as well, not merely the adoption of particular philosophies that sound good and appease our existential dilemmas. 

When this card shows up we may be indeed be encountering forces of archaic ideology, perhaps social systems or institutions that are grounded in history rather than functionality, and that to work with these forces it is important to both recognize the wisdom within them and question our own inner guidance (our inner pope, you could say). It is likely that these 'forces' may also not even be happening outside of us, but are encountered as we recognize our own dogmatic tendencies:

are you having experiences of feeling rigid and limited in your relationships? 

are you rejecting some part of your life or self because of an extremist view that perhaps is not serving you? 

Or, perhaps, are you going along with ideas and perspectives just because you always have, but it might be indeed time to investigate them? 

The Hierophant is seen as he who initiates people into wisdom, and while this may be in a classically religious way it can also bring us to a place of knowing the 'code' within us and the magical wisdom we are able to access by going inwards. 

Initiation requires us to take on a whole new set of beliefs quite often, however, and must be preceded by an investigation into the inconsistencies in our ways of thinking, being, and doing. Ask yourself this week: where might some connection to tradition be benefiting and/or blocking your growth and healing?