A letter to a Student, on how to set goals

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Care,

Thank you for your e-mail. To make a good schedule and proper goals for the next two months, you need to make a real effort. If you want to succeed, you need to set goals. Without goals you will lack focus and direction. To accomplish your goals, however, you need to know how to set them. You can’t simply say, “I want” and expect it to happen. Goal setting is a process that starts with careful consideration of what you want to achieve, and ends with a lot of hard work to actually do it. In between, there are some very well-defined steps that transcend the specifics of each goal. Knowing these steps will allow you to formulate goals that you can accomplish. Goals give you energy and inspiration.

No gaps in your practice is not a goal, it is not something that brings you anywhere. A goal can be about an experiment you want to do. Or the material you want to study. It can be about how you are going to make your diary better. When you make a good schedule for yourself, you learn how to do your work more efficient.

I give you an example of what I did, when I started my Practicus grade a long time ago. I wanted to understand where on the tree of life the Practicus grade was located and what its influences where on that same tree. Here you find a copy of my notes, I didn’t include the whole schedule just a part to give you an idea. This is only an example. I wrote a summery on the paths, but I studied them in dept.

HOD: Splendor 
TarotThe four eights
AtributionsReason, the individual mind System: Magic and Science
Contact point by the MastersHOD is a primary point, a point of conceptual transfer. Here the Masters first contact their chosen disciplines. The student gets his/her formal tools of the Hermetic path.
PlanetMercury
SymbolsApron; symbol of the builder Versicles (verse or song of worship)
Note’s on HODHOD, the reflection of Chesed, the sephirah of Form. Netzach and HOD, represent the Force and Form aspects of astral consciousness respectively. D.Fortune writes in her book MQ, Venus within us puts us in touch with the is part of Netzach, it is the magickal capacity of our own mind that puts us in touch with the forces of HOD. No Venus, no initiation in Netzach. No magickal capability no intellectual imagination, the sphere of HOD will stay closed to us. I think personally that this is a very important part of the Magician. The influence of Netzach is also part of HOD, to understand the magickal language you need HOD and Netzach in balance. Otherwise you are not able to go through the veil of Paroket.
Notes on the pathsThe 27th path Hod – Netzach. Peh = mouth Mars Active or exciting intelligence and it is so called because through it every existent being receives its spirit and motivation. Tarot trump = The Tower XVI Building one’s foundations on true and true faith. Tale of the Chymical wedding. The sevenfold alchemical process, is a process of higher initiation.   The 26th path Hod – Tiphareth The path of Ayin, Eye. Card The Devil XV A test on the way of Wisdom. It is the symbolic veil for the greatest practical secret of occultism. It both conceals and reveals the secret of the powers ascribed by tradition to Moses, David and Solomon. The Devil is raw power.   The 23rd path Hod – Geburah……….  
My schedule

This is only an example to help you on your way. You have to find your way in doing it. Write down a couple of rituals is not enough. If you want to grow you need to commit otherwise you will never be able to make it to the next step.

Why do you want to do these rituals? How are you going to incorporate them into your daily practice? What kind of meditation are you going to do? Below is a schedule to help you make your own goals and activities you want to do the next coming two months.

Love is the law, love under will.

Soror QSUM

A brief idea for a schedule

Goal. Make your goal SMART. Specific.Measurable.Attainable.Relevant.Time Bound.
Set Specific Goals
Your goal must be clear and well defined. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up.  
Set Measurable Goals
Include precise amounts, dates, and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success.  
Set Attainable Goals
Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. If you set a goal that you have no hope of achieving, you will only demoralize yourself and erode your confidence.  
Set Relevant Goals
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your probationer time to go for the next two months.  
Time
Make them time bound, set a time on each of your goals.    
SMART GOALS will bring you to the next step!
Study
The books you are going to study, how much time you want to spend on study.http://www.astrumargenteum.org/en/library/probationer-syllabus/
Why are they relevant?
How are they incorporated in your goals?
Practices
This should be in line with your goals
Why do you want to do these rituals?
How are you going to incorporate them into your daily practice?
What kind of meditation are you going to do?    
Experiments
What kind of experiments are you going to do?
Why is this relevant?
Check Liber O and E for ideas.How are they incorporated in your goals?
Make your time relevant, so you can do as much as possible in a short time.

Inspired by the book the Trigrams Part One

Introduction

Last night I read Liber Trigrammaton aloud to my husband, and it touched me right into my heart. I remember I have read it many years ago but then it didn’t leave such an impression at all. One of the task as a Practicus is learning this book by heart and recite this. Even though it might not been such a hard task as it is only 4 pages of text. For me it is more than that I want to grasp the inner meaning of the text.

A brief translation of the first four sentences

Here is nothing under its three forms. It is not, yet informeth all things.

Hier is niets onder de drie vormen. Het is niet, toch inspireert/bezield het alles.

Now cometh the glory of the Single One, As an imperfection and stain.

Nu komt (arriveert) de glorie van de Oprechte Ene, Als een onvolmaakte en schandvlek.

But by the Weak one the Mother was it equilibrated.

Maar bij de zwake ene, de Moeder was evenwichtig.

Also the purity was divided by Strength, the force of the Demiurge.

Bovendien was de zuiverheid gescheiden bij Kracht, de macht van de wereldleider.

 

Thoughts

For example the word informeth can simple mean to inform but when I read the text last night, it enflamed me. So instead I used the Dutch word inspireert/ bezield, those words mean inspire and there is no English word for bezielen. It comes back as inspire but bezielen means much more than that. Bezielen feels as enflame yourself in prayer. What happens when you preform a ritual the right way. It lifts you up.

The word Demiurge has a lot of different meanings. In the Platonic world it is an artisan-like figure. The one that build worlds, the dictionary says world leader. So I used that word. Some it is just based on feeling in order to have better grasp as what the text means in my opinion.

How to keep a Magickal diary.

Introduction

This document contains instructions on how you can improve your own magickal diary. It came to our attention that a lot of students struggle with ‘how to keep a diary’. A diary is so much more than keeping a log with only dates and your practice. A diary is the heart and soul of your work. It is one of the most important magickal tools you own as a student on the path. The value of a magickal diary lies in the fact that in time it becomes your magickal memory. And that is where its value lies. If you want to get a better understanding of your mind, your spirit or your true self, you have to dig deeper and deeper to understand the obstacles that keep you away from the actual work. We all have our hidden obstacles and when they come to surface we as students have to be ready to deal with it.

unbloomed white flower bud placed on opened book
A diary in the form of a booklet

Old habits

On our magickal journey most of us will come across old habits, some will be very obvious others will be more hidden, the saying ‘old habits die hard’ is not for nothing. As we progress on the path the ‘bad’ habits can become subtler and not always easy to spot. This is where the diary comes in. The moment you feel stuck or have thoughts that you do not really understand, you can give yourself a moment to contemplate and ask yourself where does it come from? Or what can I do about this? If you want to write a proper reflection you can use your diary and check for patterns. This can help you with your progress and this is also one of the reasons why you hand in your dairy, it is not only a check if you did the work but also monitoring your behavior. In his essay, The preliminary lection, A. Crowley refers how man comes to learn the unknow Crown:

“Though none can communicate either the knowledge or the power to achieve this, which we may call the Great Work, it is yet possible for initiates to guide others. Every man must overcome his obstacles, expose his own illusions. Yet others may assist him to do both, and they may enable him altogether to avoid many of the false paths, leading no whither, which tempt the weary feet of uninitiated pilgrim”. (Crowley, 1988)

If a student is not properly tested, how can someone call him- or herself a Master? The Magickal Diary is the cornerstone of the building of the Pyramid. All progress is documented in this diary, it gives for that matter proof of the work you as a student, or Probationer have been done. To be able to progress to the Neophyte grade, that has been defined as, “to obtain control of the nature and powers of my own being,” in the grade of the Probationer the task was to obtain knowledge of the nature and powers of one’s own being. You see that in the Grade of Probationer it is important to prepare yourself, because in the next grade you set foot on the first sephirot Malkuth of the tree of life. The best way to prepare yourself for all the next steps is to be able to keep a proper diary.

white concrete structure
Old habits die hard!

I, myself have two diaries, my digital day to day one on my laptop that I store on a cloud and a blanc notebook that I take with me on my travels, because there are times that I just like to be off the grid so to speak and be more in touch with nature. One summer, I remember it was a rainy afternoon, I started to reread some things from years back. I came across a dream, that I forgot I had, reading it again brought a couple of personal things in to a broader perspective. It gave me so much inside on where I was on the path that day.

Guidance

One of the tasks of the Neophyte grade is to guide others in our noble order. Not an easy task if you ask me. To be able to guide others you need to have some skill in recognizing patterns, behavior that is out of the ordinary, shifts in moods and able to ask questions that helps the Probationer on his/her journey. A. Crowley’s novel Diary of a drug fiend, even though not an easy read, is a very good example of what AC had in mind when it comes to guide students or Probationers on the path. I am fully aware that now a days we have way more skills at hand then in the time AC lived, still it is a good read if you want to know more about the source of AA for that matter. It had a huge impact on me when I read it many years ago. In my opinion, it is excellent example not only on the theory behind the Magickal diary but also what AC thoughts where on how to guide fellow students on the AA path.

The methods of our order are those of science and the aims are those of religion. “Every man and every woman is a star”, as it is stated in the Book of the Law. If we want to find our own ‘Star’ and what it means to us on our magickal journey, the magickal diary is the key element!

abstract art awareness branches
To be able to see our own ripples

Content of your diary

Your magickal diary is personal, it is your diary and you have to work with it. What you want keep in mind is that it must be readable not only for you but also for your guide. Here are some guidelines, and with these guidelines you can make a format. The benefit of a format is that you only make it once and your diary looks neatly arranged.

  • Date and year
  • The weather
  • The moon cycle (full moon, new moon etc.)
  • Dreams
  • Practice
  • Books you read or reading
  • Special events
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Thoughts you have about things in life

I will explain a few of these suggestions, to give you a better understanding.

Dreams

For dreams you can also have a small blanc book next to your bed with a flashlight and pencil. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night out of a dream, this makes it very easy to write down and go back to sleep. After that you can import them easily in your main diary.

Practice

Write down how long you meditated for example. I have really see my own progress grow over time. More than twenties years ago I started with three minutes meditations in the Dragon position. And that felt like three hours to me. Now, twenties years later, I rather sit in the tailor’s pose for about twenty minutes till one hour a day. My mind is at ease during my meditations. If I look into diaries I can really see so much change over the years. That to me is the benefit of that magickal diary.

So, make a list in your magickal diary of all the practices you do in the morning or evening and write down what you felt or experienced. What to do when you experience nothing? Well, write that down, we all go to ‘dry’ periods from time to time. Same goes for not doing any practical work, write it down in your magickal diary. It can help you to understand your own patterns. What I discovered for example in all those years is that my menstrual cycle can be a hiccup, when I found that out, I changed some of my practices so instead to see it as an obstacle, I made it beneficial for my magickal progress. 

Books or movies

It can be a good idea to write down what books you are studying and your thoughts about what you have read, what inspired you for example. Or movies that inspired you.I remember when I fist saw the Matrix, it was mind blowing. But also the documentary: Wild wild country, about Osho. So can books have an effect as well. A sentence or a chapter can give you insight, or it gives words to something you feel or think. I had it with the word ‘imaginazione’. After reading about it I had a deep and intense talk with my husband about it and he wrote an article on his blog about it. You can find his article it here: Words and phrases

Special events

This can mean many things, a magickal retreat, a special ritual like an Equinox.  Write about these as detailed as possible.

Emotional wellbeing

Write about your emotions, when you are moved by something or angry, write down what happened, the deeper you go the better you will understand what is going on in your mind and soul.

Write about your emotions, when you are moved by something or angry, write down what happened, the deeper you go the better you will understand what is going on in your mind and soul. This is something we tend to forget but it is very interesting to see what trigger us on a day to day basis.

full frame shot of text on wood
All kinds of emotions

It can also help you when you do meditations, like mindfulness. Does it really help you to feel more present and in the moment. Getting less involved in all kinds of stimulations.

Conclusion

I hope this document gives you some inspiration on how to keep a Magickal Diary. It is a lot of work I am fully aware of that. You write your magickal diary for yourself but it will not only benefit you but also your tutor who reads your magickal diary from time to time and gives you feedback on the work you do. Your future students benefit from your labor of love as well. The goal is to understand the ‘True Will’, aiming and direct it towards the ‘Knowledge and Conversation’ with your ‘Holy Guardian Angel,’ your writings will never be in vane keep that in mind when you are stuck in your work. Go back, read, and act!

“Love is the law, love under will” – AL 157

Soror QSUM

Source

Cornelius, J. E. (2010). The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley. In J. E. Cornelius, The Magickal Essence of Aleister Crowley (pp. 173 – 184). Berkeley, California: Privately Published.

Crowley. (1988). The holy books of thelema. In Crowley, Liber LXI vel Causae. The preliminary lection including the history lection (pp. xxxix-xl). York beach, Maine: Weiser, INC.