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During Samhain pagans focus on the shadowed in particular the Great Mystery, Death.  It is the time when the ancestors as well as friends and associates who have passed on before us are remembered and honored.  We reach down into another place that is in shadow, our subconscious where memory is said to dwell, and review what we can of the lives and personality of those we knew who are gone from our physical plane.  Spuring this on is our certain knowlege that we ourselves will eventually come to a physical end. How will we be remembered? It has often been said we will be remembered by our words and deeds.  The "Rule of Three" in magick is positive, negative, and synthesis.  What becomes important then is where we put the emphasis of synthesis.  To emplace this emphasis we call upon what is often called spirit, defined in this instance as the thinking, motivating, feeling part of a human.  I like to think of it as the bridge between mind and body and the key word is motivating.  The people I prefer to  return from the shadows of memory are those whose presence I miss in my life.  Overall they had a positive affect on me through word and/or deed and I enjoyed knowing something of them. There is more than just this though.  To a degree our modern society has lost some of its sense of personal legacy.  Many of us consider history something that is written down in books or shown in films.  Frequently we make judgements based on current social mores without attempting to understand the social forces that prevailed at the time.  But history is the story of people's lives not just major events that effected the course of nations.  This is best preserved perhaps by passing on stories of family members that were in preceeding generations.  For instance I know that one of my grandfathers, who I never met, was born in Placerville, sometimes called Hangtown back then, California in 1870.  He fought in the Spanish American war in the Phillipines and eventually settled in Anaconda, Montana where he raised his family.  I know this and quite a bit more because my father and my aunt would relate stories about him and the family back then to me.  It served to give me a sense of personal connection and helped a great deal in making the history of that era real to me.   The traditional Samhain celebration is centered on this. When I celebrate Samhain I have a personal hierarchy of ancestors that I commemorate.  First among these are my parents who have been gone for over three decades.  Through their union I came to be so it could be said that I owe them everything.  When people pass on their DNA they have done one of the two major steps in regards to their physical immortality.  The other step is what they have accomplished in their lives that will be remembered.  These are our legacy.  The next level in my hierarchy includes relatives, friends, and acquaintances.  Long ago I found out that when someone close dies a hole is created that will never again be filled in the same manner.  We are all individuals to include what that implies.  The final level is reserved for the people whose thoughts, words, and deeds served to advance the level of enlightenment of the human race.  This is on many levels not just the ones that many people consider "spiritual" as connected with theology.  For example two people that stand out in my personal pantheon are Albert Einstien and Leonardo da Vinci the likes of which the species produces rather infrequently. In the first paragraph I mentioned the shadowed level of ourselves we sometimes call the subconscious that those of us who practice in the chaos metaparadigm approach through gnosis, a form of one pointedness.  The magick in this paradigm is for the most part evocational and results oriented.  Sigilization is frequently employed to imprint the deep mind with the conscious statement of intent.  Levels of probability and cultural cycling are taken into account.  In some of the training programs diaries are kept and evaluated which allows one to review one's personal history in the training discipline.  Years later these can be valuable sources of inspiration and provide material for new areas of investigation.   A person who practices magick has a need for a sense of history.    So this Samhain if you light a candle or drink a toast in memory of those who have gone before perhaps you will ask yourself what your legacy will be.  How have you applied magick's "Rule of Three" and where did you place the emphasis?  I work in the Universe of Chaos Theory and Occam's Razor and I ask myself this rather frequently.  Depending on the answers I attempt to make adjustments.  As my outlook says to me that the Universe is about constant change the adjustments tend to be fairly common.  How about you? Power Dark and Bright! George Jackson Adept of the Sorcerer's Guild

 

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