Rekindling an Archetype: DIY Knighting

 

My son recently turned eight and I decided it was time to knight him. No, seriously. So much of the studying of culture and mythology that I’ve been immersed in has brought the deep loss of rites of passage to my attention. With so much early developmental mind mapping coming from technology and television, I’m doing as much as I can to introduce ancient and classical myths orally and experientially. I would like birthdays in my family to be symbolically marked by more than a stack of material gifts. This year, largely inspired by my own personal commitment to re-education in myth and meaning, I broke tradition to initiate a new tradition.

To be clear, I myself am not a knight of any official capacity whatsoever. Not many are after all. So, what made me feel able to perform such a ceremony? Well, I’m his damn father for starters. Secondly, I realized on the day, if not me, who else? The answer was obvious. The inspiration was sudden and came on the back of a week of my own contemplation of the loss of Rite of Passage rituals in our contemporary culture. Continue reading “Rekindling an Archetype: DIY Knighting”

The Results of Rituals: Inside and Out

“The disciplines of physical exercise, meditation and study aren’t terribly esoteric. The means to attain a capability far beyond that of the so-called ordinary person are within the reach of everyone, if their desire and their will are strong enough,” Alan Moore once said. “I have studied science, art, religion and a hundred different philosophies. Anyone could do as much. By applying what you learn and ordering your thoughts in an intelligent manner it is possible to accomplish almost anything. Possible for an ‘ordinary person.’ There’s a notion I’d like to see buried: the ordinary person. Ridiculous. There is no ordinary person.”

Maybe one day I will measure my magical progress by how many fat sacks of cash I can manifest or by bending the universe towards whatever momentary fancy that takes up space in my head. Perhaps on another day I will evaluate myself by the frequency of flashes of blinding white light that envelop me while standing at my altar of worship. Wait, maybe when I hex all my enemies and they come to great pain for crossing me, that’s when I’ll know I’m serious about magic. Or maybe none of those things will ever happen and I’ll have merely lived a more interesting life than if I had never allowed myself to think magically. Continue reading “The Results of Rituals: Inside and Out”

The Alchemical Dojo

Being at war with myself in a world I didn’t understand, I got tangled into a dark world of addiction and destructive behavior at a very young age. In a fatherless household, I grew up as a ball of directionless anger. Underneath it all was an inner spirit, waiting to be uncovered. All I needed was a guide, a “wise man” to show me the way. The wise man appears to people in various forms and in a variety of settings.

“The ultimate aim of the Art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat,” saidGichin Funakoshi, “but in the perfection of the character of it’s participants.” The message may have been surrounding me my whole life, but it never broke through until I heard it in a martial arts dojo. My quest for spiritual growth transformation began for me the day I began training.

Martial arts symbolized self-discipline, focus and purpose. The Sensei or Sifu (Master) represented the mythical philosopher sage and the dōjō was a Hall of self-discovery. If anyone is under the illusion that to begin martial training requires one to be in a healthy sate of mind or body, I’m here to dispel that misconception. I walked into train the first day burned out from extreme drug and alcohol abuse – full of self-loathing and anger. Situations were going from bad to worse in my life and the torment of my mind was becoming unbearable. I hid it as I was accustomed to doing, but it was writ large in my eyes. At my lowest, they accepted me and brought me in. Continue reading “The Alchemical Dojo”