This weeks blog will be a look into Thelema and we will be conducting an interview with two practitioners of Thelema. So without further ado let me introduce you to Holly and Brad.
So what was it that attracted you to Thelema at first?
Holly: I first started going to the group I’m now a member of because I wanted to join a community that practised magic. I didn’t really have a preference for any particular system, but as my journey has progressed I’ve come to appreciate the flexibility to work with any entities a person chooses and the focus on the magician being the force that determines their own life and experiences.
Brad: I wasn’t really attracted to Thelema per se at first. I have always been interested in magic and did bits and pieces of mostly folk-magic on my own since I was an adolescent. The opportunity came up to learn more ceremonial stuff on a regular basis and I liked how eclectic it is. The stuff I learned was mostly ceremonial, and includes work with goetic spirits, Olympic spirits, planetary intelligences, and angel magic. There’s also a bit of work with sigils and chaos-type stuff. This is underpinned by Kabalism.
What are the basic tenets of the Thelemic code to you?
Holly: Primarily that the magician manifests their own life. And that there are always spirits around
Brad: I’m still working that out. I can only speak for my own spiritual gnosis as it evolves. At this point I understand this existence to be illusory and something we as spiritual beings opted into for the experience. I don’t believe in dualism and I’m not sure that I believe in good and evil, but I have been very lucky in my life compared to others.
What aspects of Thelema do you like the most?
Holly: I enjoy the beauty of the rituals, practising magic. I also love the experimental nature of the group I’m part of
Brad: The way my perception and outlook on life has changed.
How easy is it to progress from one rank to the next?
Holly: I was going for about a year before I was initiated. I’m still at the entry level so haven’t progressed yet. I expect it to get more difficult as with each level though.
Brad: As someone who’s only joined relatively recently, I don’t have a clear view on that.
What kinds of general rituals do you do? — barring any secret ones of course hehe.
Holly: Qabbalistic Cross just about every time. Often the Boneless ritual.
Brad: I’ve been sworn to secrecy so can’t talk about this in relation to the formal group, sorry. Informally, lots of meditation and scrying, usually after calling whichever spirits we’re working with.
What has your experience been like with evocation?
Holly: I’ve had sensations, and visions occasionally but not every time. I prefer invocation as it’s easier to determine genuine gnosis. With evocation I’m constantly doubting.
Brad: Even during evocations I tend to have more success with invoking, so I try to do that rather than evoking. When I’ve tried to evoke I feel a pressure to have objective and immediate success.
Have you had any challenging moments during practice?
Holly: Yes, self doubt is probably the biggest one. But it’s really heartening when I get some gnosis that correlates with something I didn’t know.
Brad: Not really, becoming comfortable with the idea that not everything is going to be a success has been one. I initially felt like I had to always feel like doing magic and obviously that’s not the case.
Do you see yourself doing this in 5 years time?
Holly: I hope so. Also hope to have advanced and have a better understanding of it.
What do you personally hope to gain by following Thelema?
Holly: Self mastery, the ability to manifest my will and a positive and productive relationship with the spirits.
Brad: Greater understanding of my life, life in general and greater ability to influence the things in my life.
I know you also have dabbled in some demonolatry as well. How does that square with your practice of Thelema?
Holly: I prefer to keep them separate and work with other entities within that system.
Brad: I never evoke goetic spirits and I don’t see them as inferior or superior to those from any other system. I love and revere all of the spirits I work with and have had nothing but amazing experiences with them so far.
Well thank you for your information and input Holly and Brad. I will have to come and check this out.