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Shadows of Priestess

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” ― Albert Einstein

It is worth noting that we, as human beings, can deconstruct everything into nothingness, build something from the smallest electrical impulse of inspiration, and change the course of history on a whim. The debate around what is 'real' therefore is somewhat infuriating; at once everything and nothing is real, based only on our perception and belief. We categorize every part of our existence, clutching desperately to this sense of importance and immortality - it screams 'we were here, we existed, we mattered...' for all future generations to witness and remember. We seek to be a steady foundation for the future, at least, those human beings who care about the continuation of our existence do, and fight against the corruption of isolationist thinking which promotes decadence at the cost of a healthy world.

Recently, I viewed 'Antrum', a horror Mockumentary film which plays with the human conception of reality in order to unsettle the mind. It pretends to be a documentary discovering and showcasing a 1970s film, the viewing of which 'kills' people. It describes in detail the mechanisms involved that purposefully unnerve the mind; the use of countdown mechanics, splicing of irrelevant and violent images into the reel, layering over the cinematography, 170 demonic sigils that pop up at random times, and musical beats designed to fill the viewer with dread. The film is of course, not a 'discovered film' but uses all of these ideas to convince people that it is, showing that it is both a lie and truth at the same time. You are told how the effect has been accomplished, basically debriefed at the end of a social experiment on the mental affects that these elements have on the human psyche.

Something in this concept will not leave my mind, perturbing me perhaps not as initially intended, but on a broader scope - it has encouraged thoughts of just how applicable this is to everyday and spiritual life. How everything is equal parts a lie and truth, how human beings can argue tirelessly on their perspective of a situation, and what they choose to believe.

Some will inevitably argue that some concepts of existence are beyond belief, they are the natural laws of the universe, the scientific method, that dictate the world around us and beyond. Except that knowledge is changing and expanding, all the time... and more, it is based on the world as we believe it to be. If we all suddenly have a matrix style awakening about reality then we are going to all be swallowing some serious humble pie about our certainty.

The mind is easily fooled, but we can revel in the majesty of that. The above image is a field of dandelions, but the manipulation of it makes it look and feel other, unsettling even, as though a ribcage breaks open, or a portal from the Otherworld beckons.

Art is something which speaks to both the creative expansiveness and the confines of perception with regards to the human mind, as a person taps into their unlimited imagination where anything and everything is possible and then manipulates this into a physical rendition from this inspiration. They construct boundaries and create within them, narrowing the field of vision from the endless cavern of the mind to a structured hallway of artistic expression. This ultimately ends with criticism and measurement of value at the hands of other people.

Witchcraft is an art, and is painted with the similar shadow of people who want their lives and experiences to mean something, and for the gratification of having others agree with them. In the worst cases, when projected outwards, these shadows lead to superiority complexes, the bullying and deriding of others, and the stagnation of the craft which, as a creation of the human mind should be expansive. As we touch concepts of spirituality within our minds, they are limitless, but as we confine them to paper, they become less, which is a necessity of the human conditioned response to the need for preservation. We speak so others might understand and relate, as much as possible, or we claim that only a chosen few will comprehend. It all becomes an entanglement of personal shadows, a desperate need to showcase power; our power, the power of our authority and knowledge, the power of magick and the world unseen...

It is a strange balance between reverence towards the realms we can perceive in some fashion, and our hubris to our place within it. No one is immune, we all want to belong, to have meaning to our lives, which is understandable, and human. The problem comes when we think we have the right to dictate to others from a place of fear.

So when I grapple with the notion of whether or not I am a Priestess, what that meant, what type I would even fall under, I realize that I am confining myself for other peoples' approval or benefit. When I find myself stressed because strangers gossip about my worth, morality or credentials, I remind myself that it is all perception based on shadow and fear, and I will not swallow their fear. Let them wear their own shadow mask, and I will keep seeking to be better, within the definitions that I, alone, can set.

Many blessings Starlets, Joey

image eleanor valentino

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