On March 17th, the author of Modern Magick, Donald Michael Kraig passed from this world. I only heard of his cancer diagnosis recently – maybe in early February. He was gone so quickly. I heard him speak in person once, a few years ago at PantheaCon. He was warm, funny, and clearly had a great deal to share with his audience. Continuing with my year-long project seems like a fitting honor to this newest member of the Beloved Dead.
The text of the first several chapters are dense and long. Most of it seems to be cabalistic cosmology, with rituals and exercises interspersed. Once again, I failed to finish Chapter Three by the end of March. Kraig encourages his readers to frequently review material, which I continue to do. Two new rituals were added this month: The Ritual of the Middle Pillar and the Circulation of the Body of Light.
The Ritual of the Middle Pillar was a daily ritual I looked forward to, as I am concurrently reading Israel Regardie’s book by the same name. The benefits described in The Middle Pillar are definitely something I would like to take advantage. Incorporating this ritual into my daily practice was easy enough as I already committed this ritual to memory some years ago. This time however, I continue to substitute Asherah (instead of YHVH) for the tetragrammaton.
I integrated the Circulation of the Body of Light almost immediately after adding the Ritual of the Middle Pillar to my line-up of ritual. I could easily sense the energy circulating, and as Kraig warned, I often felt light-headed and dizzy afterwards. After reviewing some of the material, I realized that I was circulating the energy in the wrong direction, and failing to wrap the energy around my limbs in the last part of the exercise. Once I made these corrections, the sensations were even more intense (I almost fell over on several occasions), but the results have been much better. I find my personal energy seems to be better balanced and sustained throughout the day. Other health regimens (exercise, diet, supplementation, personal care) seem to have faster or deeper results as well.
I have been performing the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, The Ritual of the Middle Pillar, the Circulation of the Body of Light, and the Tarot Contemplation exercises every day for three months now. I also continue to record my results in my ritual diary, and write every morning in my dream journal. I am both proud of myself and amazed that I have consistently performed these rituals no matter how tired or crappy I may feel. I am someone who has struggled with consistent, disciplined practice. I imagine I’m not really different from anyone else in this regard, but I do have this strong urge to shout out, “Lookee! Lookee at what I can do!” I felt the same way when I taught myself to ride a bike – there was no one there to congratulate me then, either. However, more importantly than kudos and recognition, I feel confident and proud to finally overcome a personal shortcoming.
In fact, I would say that this consistency in performing daily ritual is spilling over into other areas of my lifestyle. Finding a good balance between taking advantage of the momentum of developing a new habit, but not doing too many new things at once seems to be key. I am exercising on a more regular basis, for instance. My eating habits are also stable and seem to be yielding good results. Kraig and Regardie both stress the importance of physical health and fitness as the foundation for the practice of magic. I can see that part of my success in daily practice has been because I haven’t been ill in over a year.
I’m looking forward to next month. The Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram is completely new to me and I’m looking forward to new material!