17.7.11

Knowledge and Wisdom

Any fool can gain knowledge, and lots of it, but wisdom is something special.

In this day and age when one's word is all too often valued by how many graduate degrees they have, how "well-read" they are, or how many prominent figures they can quote, it's especially vital to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge - information - can be bought and sold. Wisdom cannot. True wisdom comes from the spirit, from experience, from living.

You can't become wise by sitting in your armchair reading books. Workshops and classrooms and lectures and television shows won't give you wisdom. You'll need to live a little, to experience the sights and sounds and scents of the world, take life as it comes, live on the edge (of course, the usual rules of "harm none" and "don't do anything stupid" still apply).

Shamanism comes from the heart and the spirit, not the empty intellect. A weekend workshop or one of the many DIY shamanism handbooks can point you in the right direction, but you must still walk the path yourself - not just read about it. No one ever became a great medicine woman by reading the complete works of Castaneda (or Harner, or Starhawk...)

The Book of Shadows and the shamanic journal are a fairly recent addition; the average nomad shaman or country witch probably wasn't literate. Their "handbook" would be nature all around them, and the spirits who came to them in dreams.

14.7.11

Full Moon Rising

It's a full moon tonight, an auspicious time to start this journal.

In Tarot, the Moon card represents psychic awakening and intuition, as the moon brings with it a deeper, more primal understanding of the world. The triple moon emblem, the three stages of Waxing, Full and Waning, are the three aspects of the Goddess for many Witches. Pagan cultures across the world recognize the moon goddess by many names. Ambient psychic energies shift with the moon (ever felt a bit "loopy" under the moonlight?) It's said that working under the waning moon is good for banishing spells, while the waxing moon is good for  attracting energies. And of course, werewolves enjoy the full moon very much.

Last Winter Solstice was also a full moon, a very rare occurance, and the ambient energy was incredible.

The moon's energy is wild, primal, and free. It's the sort of force that completely bypasses the gibberish and confusion of the mind and speaks - or rather, sings - directly to the heart and to the spirit. Perhaps this is why animal magick and shamanistic way of shapeshifting are so deeply connected to the moon. Wild animals are truly in tune with their spirits, attuned to their hearts, free of the chains of the industrial world, and moonlight can bring a shaman closer to this freedom.

The moon brings what is so desperately needed in the world today: Wildness. What else can restore life to this poisoned Earth, if not the primal forces of the wild?