8 August 2012

Words without Meaning

Traditional occultism is steeped in layers upon layers of symbolism. But symbols can be problematic. They are man-made constructs, the realisation of which may hinder some from truly 'believing' in them. And in the endless multitude of symbols available to us these days, it can be hard to find a set that feels right. It is far too easy to spend hours upon hours contemplating the meaning of symbols instead of actually doing something with them.

It might be better in some cases to think in terms of function rather than meaning. What is the essential function of, say, simple rituals like the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram or pagan circle castings? Their role, as I see it, is to cause a shift in states of mind, from everyday existence to a spiritual state. Concepts of elements, mysterious deity names or complex theoretical presentations of the universe have, in the end, very little to do with the desired effect. It is the act of recital and motioning that counts.