When I was a younger man, my father told me (in between swigs of his 16th beer of the evening) that I should always try to cut out the middleman. It's probably one of the very few good pieces of advice he ever gave me, it took me a long time to realise this particular gem but now; I'm a regular at our local fruit wholesalers, buy in bulk from friends and I can be found at warehouse sales every now and then.
The same can be said for my spiritual journey. It has taken me years to get to where I am now. I've spent that time looking, exploring and investigating. But returning to the Source over time.
There has never really been a time where I have not acknowledged and believed in who I now refer to as Hashem.
My Masonry has given me a great foundation (ha) in symbolism, ritual and seeing the power (Hashem) behind what we physically see. It has opened me up to occult thought and brought me to some amazing depths and horrific highs.
My magical journey has been guided by my contact with individuals and non-individuals as well as the steady rhythm of Masonry in the background. I have turned more to the Golden Dawn system of magic as it relies heavily on the Jewish thought pattern and religious thinking. The Cabbalistic Cross and the LBRP/LIRP carry aspects of the Mincha (afternoon prayers) and Psalm magic is literally 70% of the contents of the Siddur (Jewish Prayer book). While this may be due to the appropriation of Hebrew as a magical language due to the nature of Hebrew itself (numerology and the symbolism of every letter); Iit may have more to do with a saying that the sages gave us: There are 70 facets to Torah. This means that every chapter, every verse, every sentence, every word and every letter can be viewed and explored in 70 different ways. With this multitude of ideas and occult ways of thinking, Judaism offers a surprising amount of territory to explore.
I have been delving into the sayings, stories and lives of the Rebbe's of the Hasidic revolution in the 1700's to today. The Hassidic movement changed the focus of Judaism away from the legalistic and complex wrangling between scholars to something that would appeal to the Jew of the street. There was a renewed focus on putting Hashem before you in all things, from doing your day job, eating, talking playing suffering and rejoycing. They also added in a massive dose of Mysticism and Kabbalistic teachings as well as a helping of practical self help and care for Yisrael; all Jews no matter who they where and where they were on the road towards Hashem.
This is an indication of where my magic is going and has made significant impacts on my ritual and areas of interest.
The most interesting thing that I have found is that the sayings and stories of the Rebbe's possess something that is eternal and ineffable. One of the introductions to their stories begins with this statement; "These stories are not necessarily true, but no one could ever agree that they were false".
I'll finish this quick update with the final words of Zusha z'l.
The story is told of Zusha, the great Chassidic master, who lay
crying on his deathbed. His students asked him, "Rebbe, why are you so
sad? After all the mitzvahs and good deeds you have done, you will
surely get a great reward in heaven!"
"I'm afraid!" said Zusha. "Because when I get to heaven, I know God's
not going to ask me 'Why weren't you more like Moses?' or 'Why weren't
you more like King David?' But I'm afraid that God will ask 'Zusha, why
weren't you more like Zusha?' And then what will I say?!"