ZSD23 (sophia_dione) wrote,

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I desire to Know in order to Serve

I desire to Know in order to Serve. –Dion Fortune

I thought I’d add a bit of blogging and jabbering to this thing. I don’t get many visitors, and I’m not much of a self-promoter, but a number of these essays can be found in other places on the Web, either because I’ve posted them to those sites (such as Occult Forums at www.occultforums.com or because they’ve been picked up in RSS feeds—some without proper mention of authorship—but that’s the Internet and the Info-mation Age for ya’.)

A number of the essays posted here began as illustrated slide lectures for an upstart Wiccan coven that never quite got off the ground. I wasn’t “into” Wicca or Paganism when I got involved with the guy who started the coven; I was interested in Chaos magick and other forms of Western occultism and esotericism. I also remained involved with Eastern spirituality, which had been my main focus from adolescence until my early 40s, when my mind decided to look to West because, after all those years, my spirit was crying nevertheless.

But having stumbled upon a nearby neopagan/Wiccan enclave about a year and a half ago and having bonded with its facilitator, I immersed myself in post-modern Paganism. When the fellow asked me to act as the “high priestess” of the coven he wished to form, I just thought “kewl.” It should’ve been fun, enlightening, and informative, but it turned out to be a rough ride for reasons I will not digress on but are prosaic. The experience, however, seems to have allowed me come into my own as a facilitator and mentor, as such experiences have for quite many women involved in modern Paganism and occultism—and presumably most other avenues of public life. . . . Gaining both humility and confidence upon extricating oneself from someone else’s narcissisms and their effects . . . and just letting go. I desire to Know in order to Serve.

The coven leader ultimately abandoned virtually every member of his group and vice-versa. I was the first to go. Dismissed by mutual agreement. Life changed radically within 72 hours of that event. I found myself sitting in parched grass on a hilltop overlooking the city of Norwalk, Conneticut, and Interstate 95 with two other women. We cast a circle. They drummed, I played a gong, and we chanted and danced until I experienced, for the first time, what a so-called “cone of power” was—and none of these gals considered themselves “witches” or “Pagans” or any of that. Indeed, they are my dearest friends as well as being the most exasperating of New Ager types.

I’ve been dancing and drumming in shamanic reverie with these and other women weekly ever since and freely move among other, similar local circles, while yet maintaining boundaries in relation to personhood, meaning, and belief. Although I had been quite isolated for years, friends old and new came out of the woodwork like swarms after my break from the aforementioned coven, and they continue to do so. Few identify as “Pagans” or interact with the local Pagan networking organizations, which neither I nor most of my close associates—Pagan or otherwise—have found particularly welcoming. Rather, my current Circles consist of people deeply involved in spirituality, music, and community of a uniquely label-less, modern “tribal” quality. To me, this is moreso a carryover of folk culture and spirituality –the cultural expression of modern folk—than is the current card-carrying Neopagan movement.

About two months after I had been dismissed from the aforementioned coven and a month after the group subsequently disbanded, I was approached by the members to reform. And that we did, with a new name and a new vision. New Aeon Lodge. It is a diverse covenantal community of people interested in magick, mysticism, and post-modern Paganism. Camaraderie and common interests and goals are its fuel. I want to keep it relatively small and have it be a safe place for spiritual development and magical learning, support, and self-expression. So far, so good. I also may begin collaborating with an acquaintance who publishes an online journal for occultists and persons in the counterculture. Involvement may lead to further projects. In time, all things will be revealed.

I won’t be subjecting my lodge to lectures anymore and so I suspect that my article-writing will be more sporadic. I have a mind to go back to meditative practices and turn off the yacking part of the brain for a while. My next project, however, will probably be an essay on Babalon and transformational goddess work.

For now, I contemplate a dictum of the noted occultist Dion Fortune –a dictum I have long followed before ever chancing upon the quote: “I desire to Know in order to Serve.”

--Soror ZSD23

Just follow the yellow brick road.
Tags: coven, neopaganism, new aeon lodge, occult forums, paganism, soror zsd23
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