Ancestor Veneration When It Isn’t Your Father’s Wish

I received a question by letter, which I wanted to answer privately, but didn’t have an e-mail address or even mailing address. So here’s to hoping this post is seen by who it’s intended for. ❤

The question presented:

Dear Benebell,

I am a Taoist witch, but my religious family thinks I am a Baptist Christian and therefore against non-Baptist religious practices.

Last night my dad and I were watching a Taiwanese movie and an ancestor veneration scene came up. My dad began a conversation about Taoist traditions and said, “When I die, please don’t venerate me like a Catholic or Taoist would.”

I am a strong believer in ancestor veneration and plan to venerate both of my parents when they pass away.

I do not want to go against my father’s personal wishes as I love and respect him, but I also do not want his spirit to go un-venerated because I love him dearly.

What, in your opinion, is the best way to go about this?

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SKT III Status Update Report

I’ve just finished up the first drafts of the Fives, so I figured it might be a good time to share a status update on SKT III (edition still unnamed). There are some videos up already on my YouTube channel to get a little more into the creator intentions behind each card, though public videos ended at the Threes. I’ve put the videos on pause for now, in terms of releasing them.

Works-in-progress drafts only; final production subject to change

If you might recall, Key 1: The Magus was the very first card I learned digital painting on. The line work was done by hand, scanned in, and the color was subsequently done via digital painting software programs. Then it was Key 2: The Priestess, and so on.

It’s amusing to look back on those first five keys, because it’s painfully obvious how scared of color I was. =) I didn’t know what I was doing. I was winging it. And you can tell.

It’s not until Key 6: The Lovers card that a noticeable improvement happens. Then after Key 7: The Chariot, off I went! =) Now that I know how to color, after finishing the Tens I’m going to return to Keys 1 through 5. I’ve already made notes on how I want to revise them.

The three versions of Key 0 in the SKT (left to right): The Initiate, The Seeker, and The Keeper

You can click on any of these image files for an enlarged view.

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Crafting with a Ba Gua Mirror in Traditional Asian Witchcraft

Learn a little more about this common ritual tool in traditional Asian folk magic. I’m inviting you to give the ba gua or eight trigrams mirror a try.

This video covers a few pointers on how to use a ba gua mirror to tell whether you’ve been hexed or cursed (a folksy practice that’s interesting to learn about, at the very elast), how a ba gua mirror can amplify your spell-crafting techniques, a simple intention-setting candle spell, how to make your own ba gua mirror if you can’t source one, and how to integrate this one tool and folk practice into what you’re already doing.

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The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life by Durgadas A. Duriel

The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life (Llewellyn, 2020) by Durgadas Allon Duriel is exactly the kind of book I want to see more of. A fresh, modern take on inner alchemical work, this primer text will help you weave magic into the mundane. On that count, Duriel begins by reminding us that there is no such thing as the mundane. Rather, it’s about seeing the magic in what we otherwise have always perceived as the mundane.

Well-researched, thorough, and the kind of beginner text on contemporary magic that we should be sharing with those new to the craft, The Little Work builds confidence, knowledge, practical experience, and gives you the tools to approach the craft with intelligence, discipline, and also compassion. Duriel also inspires you to trust your intuition and lean in to your very personal, unique connection with Spirit.

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Elemental Directional Correspondences in Ritual Magic, East vs. West: How Do You Reconcile Conflicts?

One of my favorite personal rewards from launching the Witchcraft Fundamentals course is the Google Group, where all of us are exchanging insights, asking tough questions, trying to answer tough questions, and getting to know each other. To give you a sampling of what that e-mail list-serv group is like, I’m sharing something I wrote on there in one of the threads started by a practitioner of both Eastern and Western metaphysics.

The question presented is, in short, how do you reconcile Eastern elemental-directional correspondences with Western elemental-directional correspondences?

By the way, scroll all the way down for the PDF downloads of this post, which you can then print out and tuck into whatever reference manual for your metaphysical studies you have going on.

IN THIS WESTERN WITCHCRAFT COURSE, you’ll learn fairly soon that there are different systems of elemental-directional correspondences even within the umbrella of Western occult philosophy, and we cover three of them in this course:

Continue reading “Elemental Directional Correspondences in Ritual Magic, East vs. West: How Do You Reconcile Conflicts?”

Lunar Year of the Metal Rat & Navigating Natal Years

The Rat is the start of the zodiac cycle, much like Aries in the Western zodiac. Thus, any year of the Rat is going to be prognosticated as a year of beginnings, of starting over, and new opportunities that come your way.

The Rat is considered to be business-savvy and entrepreneurial, so sole proprietorships are going to be more prosperous than usual. It’s a lucky year for small businesses or new startup ventures.

With 2020 being the year of the Metal Rat, we’re going to see a global focus on technology.

Metal years, no matter what the animal sign, are also more prone to social conflicts, so we may see more of that across the world stage. This is a year of nations and leaders trying to show off their power.

On the other hand, in terms of culture and humanities, it should be a great year for music.

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1: The Candidate [from the online course offering, Western Witchcraft I]

The Candidate

This is the second module of Western Witchcraft I: Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis online course  provided for free preview. Learn more about that course and how to enroll by clicking here.

VIDEO LECTURE:

DOWNLOAD LECTURE NOTES:

Click here to download the lecture notes (pdf)

WORKBOOK READING:

Chapter 1: The Candidate (pdf)

Continue reading “1: The Candidate [from the online course offering, Western Witchcraft I]”

0: Introduction [from the online course offering, Western Witchcraft I]

INTRODUCTION

This is the preliminary module to the Western Witchcraft I: Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis online course. Learn more about that course and how to enroll by clicking here.

VIDEO LECTURE:

DOWNLOAD LECTURE NOTES:

Click here to download the lecture notes

WORKBOOK READING:

Continue reading “0: Introduction [from the online course offering, Western Witchcraft I]”

Western Witchcraft I: The Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis

WESTERN WITCHCRAFT I:
WITCHCRAFT FUNDAMENTALS
Doctrinal Basis and Theory

COURSE SYLLABUS

Click above link to download pdf

$79 usd

What is the key to happiness?

Eliphas Levi, considered one of the most influential occultists in Western ceremonial magic and witchcraft, asks and then answers that question. His answer:

The knowledge of great secrets and the consciousness of power.

Those are my two objectives for you in this course: (1) to confer to you the knowledge of great secrets, and (2) to endow you with the consciousness of your personal power, to show you the heights that your power can achieve.

At every single point of my work in putting this course together, I thought, how do I facilitate development of the most powerful, most knowledgeable, most versatile, wisest, and most formidable occultist there ever was? How do I show you how to be that person?

And that was the inspiration and the ambition behind this course.

Western Witchcraft I focuses on the doctrinal basis and theoretical fundamentals of transcendental magic. This course is an immersive study of the first 12 chapters in Eliphas Levi’s Doctrine, Part I, of the greater collected work Transcendental Magic: Doctrine and Ritual, and structured like a one semester 400-level university elective.

Be prepared for an intense amount of reading. The video lectures only supplement the reading assignments and are not a replacement for them. In addition to the reading assignments, the weekly practicum, ritual, and energy training is also demanding on your time and your efforts.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

  • Attain familiarity with the doctrinal basis and theoretics of Western ceremonial magic
  • Study the first 12 chapters of Eliphas Levi’s Transcendental Magic, Part I: Doctrine (and to supplement, pick up selected key principles from the first 12 chapters of Part II: Ritual)
  • Gain essential insights from Levi’s Key to the Great Mysteries, the book he wrote after Doctrine and Ritual
  • Craft your first four altar tools and use Levi’s Conjuration of the Four ritual to charge and empower those tools (main focus in this course will be on the wand and the pentacle, per Levi’s assertion that the wand is first and foremost your most important ritual tool and second in importance to the wand is your pentacle)
  • Craft a divine lamp for ritual use and work through a prophetic astral vision
  • Train yourself to harness the Astral Light, then learn techniques to both strengthen and increase your flexibility with the Light to produce the Magic Chain
  • Build a rock solid foundation in the theoretical and magical principles of Western witchcraft and ceremonial magic, which will then be able to support the structure and edifice of any mystery tradition or Path you subsequently pursue

A future course offering, Western Witchcraft II, will advance upon the fundamentals established in this course. Western Witchcraft II will conform to Levi’s Ritual, Part II and delve into spell-crafting, talismans, seals and sigils, spirit conjuring, and the many forms, types, and purposes of ritual in transcendental magic.

By the way, if you’re wondering about my conflation of the terms witchcraft and ceremonial magic, here’s a written newsletter rambling about that: Witchcraft vs. Ceremonial Magic. Read my ramblings on this subject: Click Here

Continue reading “Western Witchcraft I: The Fundamentals and Doctrinal Basis”