ALL HALLOWSThe pale moon is riding alone o'er the trees
The doves are all resting in dark boweries
I call to my love come away
Quench the lamp it reminds me of day
Come away, come away,
There's no reason to stay. Come away.
I will plait you a garland of damp forest leaves
We will not be alone in the wild forest trees
The Sabboth of Night comes as last
We will dance in a ring on the grass
We will dance in a ring and we'll merrily sing. Come away.
© Sonia Brock 1965
When I was living on New York City's Lower East Side in the 1960s. I started writing a novel called 'Murder by Magic'. Not knowing a lot about magic, I got books out of the Library, some of them quite thrilling.
In my own book, I used most of the standard clichés from horror movies and fiction. The anti-hero died as part of the plot and I went into mourning for him. This process of identification with a character is, I understand, not uncommon amongst fiction writers.
Going deeper into library research, I found that the occult was not at all like the movies. Later, in Toronto in the 1970s, I started writing another book which I never finished. This second book involved an occult order dressed in black robes with a secret headquarters, secret passages and a heroine - the whole nine yards. The book got sillier and sillier as time went on. It became a bit obsessive, so I dropped it.
Anxious to know where I had gone wrong I sought out some actual members of the occult community to research what was really going on. I had learned a few things already through my own research and I wanted to know more. I joined a group called the OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis). This was Aleister Crowley's Thelemic group which was sex magick but I wasn't into that part of it. I was, perhaps, the only celibate member of the group.
I wrote this song in the 60's in New York. I must have channelled it since my knowledge of magical practice at that time was limited.
Egyptian gods became important - Amon Ra and Horus and that whole crew around Memphis and thereabouts. Crowley's imaginative flights of fancy, perhaps drug-fueled, became a strange kind of map. He was a trickster with a bent sense of humour, so you had to watch where you were walking, if you were following his lead.
Through my studies of magick, I have had experiences that are not normally explainable, like rain happening inside the house and other manifestations for which I have no logical explanation. I was focusing on the Water Elemental in a very concentrated way during one of those times when the world about me seemed wrapped in a misty cloud. I did this on the way home and then in my meditation room in the house, where I continued to focus and concentrate, and when I looked up it was raining inside the room. Sure, it could have been a leak in the roof but it only happened once at that particular time but never again no matter how hard it rained.
A side note here might be that the concept is not so much to control the forces of nature, for instance, as to embody or manifest them.
I concentrated for some months on the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet, a ferocious Egyptian feline war goddess, and the effect on my life was dramatic. Everything broke. My job changed. My husband died. I had to move out of my digs. Everything broke or changed and, in the end, this was a good thing. Similarly, The Lightning Struck Tower in Tarot can mean taking out that which you no longer need.
It's very difficult to talk about magick. Going back and trying to describe it, even though I have been in it, is almost impossible. I was participating in an alternate reality, a timeline parallel to the 'real' world but not quite of it.
Even now it is almost impossible for me to reconstruct, to speak, of a world where Archangels and Elementals were as real as the kitchen tap, and probably more so. Someone said that if you act as if something is real then your actions will have real consequences. That is a true statement
Magick works but it is very difficult and demanding to practice and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with wiggling your nose and producing special effects. Mysticism eludes explanation.
I stopped attending OTO meetings after a while. I just didn't have the strength or will to focus. My health was not good and you need your health for that kind of extreme concentration. It's not unlike deep meditation practice.
I've also visited the Wiccan community, sat in on their circles, and taken part in their rituals to a certain degree but they do not appeal to me. It is the admittedly darker Ceremonial magic users who hold my attention and to some extent, still, my respect.
Note: Thelemic practitioners spell magic as magick