Relflexivity Blog and Other Things of Interest

10th May 2023 – It’s amazing how swiftly one’s own life can become strange and unfamiliar.

20th April 2023 – Pope gifts King Charles pieces of the ‘true cross’ LINK – and on a different (though perhaps not so different note?), I am always disappointed when someone advertises a type of incense as being “X, Y, or Z” and then when it arrives in the post, it’s absolutely, most definitely not X, Y, or Z…

11th April 2023 – I trust all Thelemites celebrated appropriately.

6th April 2023 – Walpurgisnacht will soon be here; what plans do you have? On another note, my paper was accepted for publication (which is nice) but I’m having some issues with getting it recognised by my University because the journal is not peer-reviewed in the traditional, academic sense (which is not so nice). Onwards!

29th March 2023 – “How good tastes the wine that has run red out of a laughing mouth!” (Simic, n.d).

16th March 2023 – Here comes the Autumnal Equinox (21st March); any plans?

22nd February 2023 – Viewed from a metaphysical standpoint, the initial, and possibly revelatory, thought moves from the mundane realm into the spiritual. As an example, one pursues a thought on morality (whatever that might be); it ceases to be concerned purely with ‘Dying God’ behavioural codes or mental ruminations on what makes a person good, just, etc, and it evolves into something far more complex; it becomes a symbol for the very essence of being. It becomes, metaphorically speaking, about the purpose of life and one’s decisions and actions within that life. Where the thought has sufficient intensity, it uncouples one’s sense of reality and one’s entire existence can be called into question. Memories of experiences which were considered resolved and ‘worked through’ arise again as if there were fresh demons now attracted to and attached to this new idea. Past decisions which one would have stood by as ‘correct’ or ‘appropriate’ are now thrown up in the air and questioned. Nothing has solidity nor certainty anymore; one can easily be ‘carried away’ or overwhelmed by the sense of lost stability and the idea that one has perhaps squandered one’s life in a state of massive delusion because, when all things are considered, up until this earth-shattering point, things which were once seen as solid and irrefutable, become false and without substance or meaning. This can be summed up by the Queen of Swords tarot card; the destruction of long-held beliefs and the smashing of holy altars (beware of flying debris!).

Conversely, there may be a depth of feeling associated with the idea that can literally paralyse the mind and its’ ability to function. One becomes obsessed, with the mind constantly returning to the thought throughout the day. This obsession, or fixed idea, is also a constant companion throughout the night. One cannot focus on anything else and a thousand possibilities and potential scenarios associated with the idea are contemplated. It can very much be a delicious agony. It could be argued that the many qualities associated with the idea easily allow it to be categorised as ‘love’ (whatever that might be). It is as if the mind is in love with an idea. It is helpless to prevent itself from reflecting on it. The mind unwillingly returns to the thought like a tongue worrying a loose tooth. Again, there is a sense of instability and a loss of control as if one’s mind were not one’s own. Allegory, metaphor, or parable; this is the thought about the price of fish that is inherently NOT about the price of fish. To realise the deeper meaning beneath a supposedly mundane thought is to pluck the pearl of great wisdom from that dung heap which is inherently ‘mind’ (whatever that might be).

21st February 2023 – Blimey! Where has the time gone? A quick dip into biological predisposition tendency theory (i.e. what makes people religious) LINK

5th December 2022 – UK Census results are quite interesting LINK

15th November 2022 – Oh. My. Word. I am torn on Fortune’s wheel; a leaf blown by the wind, etc, etc – and it’s not even about enduring to the End. The Unpredicted (n.d) by John Heath-Stubbs comes to mind. I refer interested readers to the References page.

7th October 2022 – One should always exercise discrimination when it comes to what one allows oneself to believe. The amount of delusional thought that passes across my mind is absolutely stunning. Let us pray I don’t fall prey to it.

28th September 2022 – People; what are they like…? Or is it all a matter of reflection?

23rd September 2022 – Enjoy the Spring Equinox and bound the ineffable void like a young mountain goat. Peace!

10th September 2022 – My Word! It’s been a while. Having Covid was pretty awful, and, coupled with some major changes in my personal life, has led to me neglect my Work here. A full moon tonight and the imminent/immanent Spring Equinox (who’s starting to feel a tad saucy at the moment?) have put a spring in my step and reinvigorated me. Submitted a paper to a research journal so hopefully it’ll get accepted and that’s one more PhD requirement ticked off the list. Other requirements include offering the obscene kiss to any number of high ranking academics, enflaming myself in prayer, and some other administrative-related stuff that I’m avoiding for as long as I can.

20th July 2022 – I have been struck down with the Spicy Cough, the ‘Rona, the Covid. Having managed to avoid this contemporary plague for over three years, it has finally caught me – so I won’t be doing much (who said “No change there, then”?!) for a while.

14th July 2022 – I was keen to buy the old Witchcraft Museum – but alas! Some lucky rascal beat me to it View Listing Here (will no doubt be taken down, shortly). More info on the Old Mill HERE – I must confess to harbouring fantasies about moving to the Isle of Man and becoming a hermit…

21st June 2022 – Have a sweet Winter Solstice – and be sure to grease up if you’re working sky-clad outdoors today/tonight!

13th June 2022 – Calls for removal of ‘Wiccan’ Cernnunos statue from UK park READ HERE

17th May 2022 – McDonalds offer tarot readings LINK – bearing in mind that I have linked to a Christian news site, but irrespective of their own unique bias with reporting, still, there are no words…but on another note, I was brought to the awareness that this project cannot be rushed. It is coming to fruition but one cannot force a tree to bear fruit before the time is ripe. I am at peace with that.

10th May 2022 – I had one of those ‘dream within a dream’ scenarios last night; Bart Simpson was being terrorised by a Mexican biker but managed to headbutt a giant cake sculpture which was filled with gingerbread. He ate lots and his mouth was full. I then woke up with my mouth full of gingerbread, and some people were trying to break into my house. I tried to shout at them but my mouth was full and I could only mumble unintelligible noises so I stood at the window and pretended to be a ghost, hiding behind the fluttering curtain. One person ran off but the other threw their shoe at me. I then woke up to this world. I usually have some kind of insight from such dreams but I must confess that I’m at a loss to interpret this one? Any suggestions?

1st May 2022 – Didst thou travel to the Sabbat and kiss the hairy buttocks of the goat? I know I did…

27th April 2022 – Can I really be bothered waiting for the waning moon to engage in the more blacker types of magick? Possibly not…

26th April 2022 – After several recent curious incidents, upon which I meditated long and broad and deep, I concluded that the natural response was maleficium – or at the very least, some cheeky piss-taking in an equal measure as per the grand tradition of the holy fools such as Parzifal, St Simeon and the avadhutas that we love so much.

22nd April 2022 – The Gold Coast mayor, his ‘spiritual advisor’, and the mischievous Noosa Temple of Satan READ HERE I shall maintain a noble silence on this…

8th April 2022 – Happy first day of the reception of Liber AL/The Book of the Law to all you Thelemic Witches out there. May Nuit be with you. Peace.

1st April 2022 – Absolutely mental dreams of late. I woke up this morning with the words “You can’t mug the Gods off” in my mind. I took this to mean that one should not pretend to be doing something for a purely altruistic reason when one may well be doing it to benefit oneself as well. Dreamy insights aside, Walpurgis Nacht is fast approaching; do you have any plans?

16th March 2022 – Scotland’s Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologises for historical Witch hunts LINK Also related: Survey of Scottish Witchcraft (Database)

9th March 2022 – I have a lot of time for Peter Grey. READ THIS

1st March 2022 – Investigating (meddling with?) the Goetia.

1st February 2022 – Happy Lammas to all you Southern hemisphere Witches.

18th January 2022 – This exhibition at The Roundhouse (Lancaster, England) looks very interesting: LINK

17th January 2022 – A splendidly long break for a month; relaxing but not very productive. Back into it now though.

16th November 2021 – Apparently today is one of Hecate’s feast days so I thought I’d post this wee drinking song that I was introduced to sometime ago: “We drink to the Moon when She’s waxing. We drink to the Moon when She’s full. We drink to the Moon when She’s waning, and when She’s not there at all!” – I like it a lot. On another note, I suspect that I am engaging in what is known as ‘practice-based research’ with the creation of this website? Still struggling to get my head around the creative exegesis.

27th October 2021 – Samhain or Beltane for you, as Australian Witches?

22nd October 2021 – It’s been fascinating to re-connect with my research participants as a result of the ethics update, and I’m conducting some follow-up interviews to get some additional clarity on previous interviews, how the pandemic has affected the WItchcraft community, and just generally catching up on what’s been happening with people. On another note, my dreams are, as always, exceptionally vivid. This morning I awoke with the words “Dreams are full of gold but they can also be full of shit.” bouncing around my skull – which I take to be a warning to apply discernment to my nocturnal scamperings? And possibly my waking life too?

11th October 2021 – I’m currently doing some follow-up interviews with my research particpants; will be interesting to see how things may have changed for them since we last spoke. Have also posted another ‘view inside the sausage factory’ page (Lectures 8 to 15) which needs, like everything else on this site, A LOT of work.

27th September 2021 – Dipped in and out of the 2021 Australian WIccan Conference over the weekend – a splendid event that will only be improved by being held *gasps* IN PERSON next year. I shall definitely endeavour to attend. On another note, have I mentioned that trying to complete a PhD while working full-time is a pretty bloody silly thing to do?

15th September 2021 – I’ve posted a draft of Lectures 1 to 7 (this page only has quotes from interview participants who have approved the use of their words on this site). The page is a bit of a mess but I will continue to work on it. I humbly beseech readers not to be offended.

14th September 2021 – The magnificent Christina from Treadwells Bookshop gave this site a Facebook/Twitter shout-out this morning (or Wednesday night, given she lives in England) – so that’s exciting news. I’m sure my site stats will be all the better for that?!

On another note, this virtual exhibition by the University of Aberdeen is very interesting: LINK

8th September 2021 – “A bell to summon, a bell to seal. Thou comest quick; my heart to steal.” These words popped into my head this morning, and I reflected on how open and/or personal I should allow this reflexivity blog to be? After all, it is an academic endeavour.

6th September 2021 – After the usual administrative hoop-jumping, I have ethical approval for the site. And now to contact my interviewees for their permission to use their words on here.

30th August 2021 – Is having a page with several lectures incoporated into it ‘too much’? Do I need to break the lectures (and corresponding Witch interviews etc) into smaller clusters/more pages?

23rd August 2021 – Have decided to include a date stamp with these posts. I believe I can get away with a more informal approach to these updates, given my ‘academic muscle’ will be flexed in the exegesis component of my work? But what about perceptions of ‘professionalism’?

Kind of expected it but I now have to do an ‘ethics variation’ (and corresponding negotiation with research participants) before I use my orginal qualitative research data in this website. The joys of administrative negotiation…Perhaps I should chronologically date these posts? Though the latest post will always be at the top.

I do ponder the efficacy of having the site open to viewing while it’s still under construction; we all like a sausage till we see how it’s made?

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