Patheos Article- Unearthing the Magical Mandrake

Unearthing The Magickal Mandrake

May 30, 2017 by Mat Auryn 

The mandrake plant (Mandragora officinarum / Mandragora autumnalis) has been highly prized for its magickal properties since ancient times and has been the subject matter of many stories, books, music and movies throughout time. The plant’s magick is even referenced in the book of Genesis and the Song of Songs, attributing to it aphrodisiacal powers. Mystical Jewish Lore states that King Solomon had a ring of immense magickal power which is stated in various lore as having contained a mandrake root inside of it.

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Seasons of the Witch- May 31st Show Link


May 31st: Souls of Light, and Hearts of Darkness

In the Epic Tales of heroes we find the classic battle between good and evil  We seem to live now in an Age where this conflict is all too common place.  Join authors Raven & Stephanie Grimassi for a discussion on where things seem to have become in modern times.  Are we light bearers in the places of Darkness, or do we prefer throwing stones from the Shadowed Places?  Does spirituality still have a place in this world? Does religion?  Hey, can we talk?


BOB IS GOD: The Many Faces of the Divine


One of the problems we encounter today is that people tend to carry their previous belief systems (or elements of it) into new experiences and new information.  This can cause people to misinterpret because they are applying a former theological view.  Prayer is one example, and how the gods “answer” them is another.

According to the teachings “prayer” is communication, and in modern terms I will say that prayer is energy. Once sent out, this energy creates a ripple, and it is this ripple of energy that draws divine awareness. In other words, it temporarily draws the Divine Consciousness away from a state of “All Awareness” into the singular awareness of us (a brief focus).

Unlike some religions, the Old Religion of witchcraft does not look for the gods to jump through the hoops for us, perform tricks, and make everything right.  The Old Ways people understood that life is a process of cause and effect.  The role of the gods in life is to restore balance.  But the gods rarely change outer things for us. Instead they direct our consciousness to the changes we need to make within ourselves in order to return to balance.  Turmoil, doubt, fear, anger, are all signs of being outside of balance.  Such things are the sound of the gods speaking to our inner nature, our soul.  The gods are there to lend aid, but they are not there to do the work for us.

There is wisdom in understanding how the gods operate in this way and why.  I am reminded of a funny line from a Monty Python film.  There is a preacher giving a prayer in a church, and he says:  “Lord, give us what we need, but never, O’ Lord, what we truly deserve.”   The idea here is that we cannot objectively discern our condition.  Not even the very wise among us can see all ends.

Part of our problem is that we do not possess the far sight of the gods.  It’s like a small child not understanding why he can’t have a bag of candy before being put to bed.  Surely the parent has the power to give him what he asks for, and so why is the parent not granting the child’s wishes?  To the child the parent is being unreasonable, uncaring, and perhaps even mean.  But the parent is protecting the child from the far reaching consequences of his desires.  I am reminded of an ancient Greek saying that the gods only answer the prayers of those they wish to punish.  It’s a “be careful what you ask for” kind of thing.

Now, as to the nature of the gods, according to the teachings here is the view.  We see Divine Consciousness as ultimately unknowable.  We come to a simple understanding of it by studying nature. We do this because the nature of the artist is reflected in his or her artwork.  What we see in material creation is an emphasis on masculine and feminine. So from this we discern that the Creator is comprised of both feminine and masculine natures.  We call them goddess and god.  In viewing the divine as a goddess and god we can get a better grip on the unknowable by looking at parts of it that we can understand.  But are the gods and goddesses imaginary?

The teachings are that the gods we envision (and name) are “egregores” and this is a mystical concept associated with the astral dimension.  The idea here is that when humans “create” a deity (giving it a name, attributes, and images) and feed it through veneration and ritual, it then appears within the astral material of the astral dimension.  It is a “formed-thought” within the astral material.  In keeping with the law of cause & effect, the Ultimate Unknowable Divine responds in a ripple effect and imparts divine consciousness into the formed-thought (the astral form of the god or goddess we envision).  From this meeting of human conception and the emanation of Divine Consciousness, the god or goddess then becomes sentient.  It’s like the Unknowable Divine Consciousness looking at humans and saying “”Oh, so you want a goddess of the moon, ok, I can be that for you” – and so one is born from the mariage of human imagery and divine consciousness (a body and a soul).

But ultimately we must understand this all in terms of what I call the “Bob is God” principle.  Let’s think of man named Bob.  He is the CEO of a large corporation, and his employees call him Mr. Smith.  In this relationship he responds and interacts with his people as Mr. Smith the CEO.  The term “Mr. Smith” evokes his awareness when spoken by the people who need him to perform and behave like Mr. Smith, CEO.

But Bob is also married and his wife calls him honey.  He responds to the evocation of “honey” and behaves and interacts as a husband.  In this relationship he is not Mr. Smith, CEO.  Bob’s kids call him dad, and his friends call him Bubba.  All of these names evoke a part of Bob that is in keeping with what people need and expect from Bob in terms of the relationship they are in with him. But isn’t Bob actually all of these names and titles?  And, who is Bob when there is no title or name being used for him.

You see, when Bob is alone, he is the real Bob, the unknowable.  No one can know that Bob except for Bob.  Everyone else knows him in terms of how they relate to him and what needs he fills for them.  So by analogy, the Unknowable Divine Conscious is beyond our ability to understand and fully relate to, and so we come into relationship with aspects of it, and these we call a god or a goddess.  But they are no less a real part of the Unknowable than are the parts of Bob that are CEO, husband, father, and friend.

Raven Grimassi’s Spirit of the Witch would be a good read following this blog.