I wrote this article for my A.’.A.’. students to help them to get a better grasp on how to keep a diary. In Thelema the magickal diary holds a very special place, in fact you could say it is the heart of the system and therefor it also holds the heart of the student. A Magickal diary keeps track of habits, it keeps track of all the magickal activities and it is also a place to write down thoughts or observations.
The Magickal Diary
A diary is so much more than keeping a log where you write in dates and your practice. A diary is the heart and soul of your work. It is one of the most important magickal tools you can own as a student on the path. The value of a magickal diary lies in the fact that it becomes your magickal memory over time. If you want understand your mind you have to dig deep. We all have hidden obstacles and when they come to the surface we as students on the path have to be ready.
Most of us will come across old habits, the saying ‘old habits die hard’, well this one is very true! 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. I, myself have two diaries, my digital day to day one, and a blanc book that I take with me on my travels, because there are times that I just not want to take my laptop with me but be off the grid and get more in touch with nature and my magickal work. Last summer, when I was on a holiday, I brought my travel dairy with me and started to read in it. I came across a dream, that I forgot I had, reading it again in my diary brought a couple of personal things in to a broader perspective and that was very helpful for me.
Aleister Crowley’s novel Diary of a drug fiend had a huge impact on me when I read it many years ago. It is excellent example not only on the theory behind the Magickal diary but also for how to guide fellow students on the AA path.
Methods of science
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.
Content of your diary
Here are some suggestions of things that you can write down in your magickal diary.
- Date and year
- The weather
- The moon cycle (full moon, new moon etc.)
- 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.
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.
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 won 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. Movies can have a huge effect on 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
This can mean many things, a magickal retreat, a special ritual like an Equinox. Write about these as detailed as possible. Or even an experiment you did with herbs.
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.
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.
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!