Recently I had time to bring together this page on the nature of the Qliphoth on myoccultcircle.com. On reading through the article again I was a concerned that it could easily be misread as an encouragement for practical work on the Qliphoth. This concern increased when I read about some magician's attitude when it comes to this type of qliphothic work in various relevant forums... Therefore let me take some time to make my position really clear.
Reading through a forum or email group posting really just gives you a brief snapshot of an opinion and lacks a lot of context. Maybe many magicians who propagate practical work with Qliphoth have decades of thorough magical training and a proper psychotherapy under their belt - as well as a group of loving people around them who provide checks and balances by direct feedback on the effect of their magical work on their personalities... That is certainly possible and I would love for it to be true - yet, my personal experience tells me to doubt it.
My personal experience tells me instead to rather accept that these days many people want to walk over the Abyss just like they hiked a mountain in the Himalayans during holiday, just like they lost 10 pounds on a diet or got a promotion at work...
My point is, some things are hidden and hard to access for a reason. While the Qliphoth certainly contain huge potential for one's personal, spiritual and magical growth, first and foremost we have to be ready for every challenge we face... So the question over which I seem to disagree with many magicians these days is: When is one ready to work with the dark side of the tree or face the Qliphoth?
I like to keep thing personal here, so let me share a personal story: Since childhood I was afraid of open waters. In my little mind 'open waters' unfortunately used to be a term that could be applied to a swimming pool or even a bathtub on bad days. It simply was my version of these fears most of us seem to be born with: Fear of height, fear of spiders, fear of the dark - or in my case fear of open waters... When I started my magical training more than a decade ago I knew I had to overcome this fear. Yet, I also knew how
deeply engrained it was in my personality. Well, this year for the first time in my life I swam through a lake. Every day when the sun came out in the morning my wife and I would drive over and I would go for a long swim that could take me anywhere I wanted to go to in this open and remote lake... What a wonderful feeling. But I am not sharing this because of the great feeling it gave me. The reason why I am sharing this story is: I am a grown up just like we all are, I live my life on my own feet just like we all do and sometimes I think I can take and handle much more than I actually can - just like we all sometimes do. Being ready to swim through a lake took me how many years until I could do it? And it filled me with a wonderful sense of pride and happiness. But it doesn't make me ready to pathwork or summon the Qliphoth. Not in any way. Having conquered one challenge doesn't mean I can conquer all challenges.
Take a moment and consider this:
If you were your own teacher what type of student would you prefer?
- The bold student who is brave like a rock but tends to over-estimates himself in new situations? The one who runs into each challenge with the assumption that previous success, faith and willpower will make him succeed again? The one who looks down on your experiences cause he thinks they don't apply to him?
- Or the one who knows his own limits. The one who is swift in learning and adopting new skills because he know that not all challenges can be solved with the same tools? The one who seems less of a hero because he respects his (inner and outer) opponents. But the one who attacks like a sniper in warfare, one shot at a time, and like a lover in life with a curious heart, one encounter at a time.
I guess the answer is not about which student you would prefer. The answer is about knowing which of these two you resemble more to? A good teacher - just like yourself - will adopt his training style to the student he is working with... So what is the advice you can give yourself?
The best advice I could give myself was the following: If you need to prove yourself that you are a grown up and that you can face what other people fear - then start with what you fear most, not with what you desire most. Sometimes our simple fears matter most. Swim through that lake, caress that spider, climb that mountain. Whatever adventure we are embarking on let's do it with respect for our own limits and lives. Only then can we...
- come back and report,
- teach others about what we have learned,
- grow our skills and experiences,
- and be proud about what we achieved.
I think what I am really asking for is: Please treat your life and your fears with respect. Because your world is also my world. Anything you do affects me, whether I want it or not. But as we can't take responsibility for each other, let's start by taking responsibility for ourselves.
This world deserves far more great teachers. Be one of them - by not starting your journey at your desires, but your fears.