I have been a member in the Star of Azazel for some three and a half years now. Recently in the archives I came across my membership application and decided to revisit the person I was when I wrote it. Reading the application again was not so bad; it wasn’t quite as embarrassing as I had expected. I could still connect with that person, even if some things had changed.
The seeming shortness of my time as a Soror surprised me as I thought about it; so much has happened in the span of these three years, both on my every day life as well as on a personal, spiritual level. Being a member has pushed me off my comfort zone and as a result I’ve acquired new skills and knowledge. Indeed it feels like I would have been a member much longer and while I am so pleased and grateful for having found my way into this Work, it has not been and indeed still is not an easy path to travel.
Each of us face a different set of challenges based on our previous actions (whether we speak on a karmic level or simply of the life that we are currently living) and our temperaments. It is true that we will often have to face what we left behind, sooner or later.
It is very common for fresh members to undergo a crisis soon after joining the fraternity. Some get a nasty flu that lasts for weeks, others notice that they face challenges with work or relationships. Having observed the phenomena for a while now, I believe this has something to do with the shifting of one’s energies. After all, in a occult society, a certain shared energetic pool affects us all and the moment one joins the fraternity, their energies begin to shift.
Profound change is never easy.
Gradually, if one chooses to venture deeper into occult work the challenges get harder; these are the gifts in disguise from our Master. Each accomplishment raises the bar slightly, and each time we must better ourselves in ways that are a bit more difficult, that demand just a bit more, that challenge our capacity for empathy, the ability to love, that test our patience more than the previous challenge. Slowly, one’s reflection in the mirror begins to seem clearer and more real as we step closer to truth, to understanding.
It is not easy facing the real you, with all its imperfections, pettiness and hubris. Each scar and wrong course of action is forever reflected from the mirror that the Master holds for us to see. One must muster the courage to see, dispassionately, steadily and without looking away, what the reflection really is like rather than how one would like for it to be like.
My only advise is, do not forget the virtue of good humour on your travels. While nothing is more serious than the work that one undertakes as an occultist, it is a mistake to lose the ability to laugh. Allow it to comfort you on your way. That is at least what I did when, writing this blog, the doorbell rang and I was paid my first ever door-to-door-preaching visit from elderly women who came to talk to me about God’s kingdom.