Following the Left Hand Path: Words From a Gate Walker
I am not here to help you. But if something I’ve learned is useful to you, take it and make it your own. Similar words were once said to me by a Druid, whose example was of great help to me when I was transitioning my magick practice from the right to the left hand path. I grew up in Sedona, Arizona, where you are just as likely to encounter a New Age guru in the local grocery as you are to run headlong into a soccer mom hustling through her weekly errands. I was genuinely innocent and sincere, and when different authorities of new and “exciting” paths would say, “I have been sent/missioned/gifted with true wisdom of the REAL WAY,” I often found myself sitting with open ears and an open heart. By my teens, I had already experienced many strange, metaphysical and clearly magickal things that my Roman Catholic faith could not address, and I was hungry for anything that could.
Fast-forward through my years of meandering through a wilderness of ascension-based ritual magick and alchemical/craft practice. I found myself magickally and spiritually bankrupt. I was willing to do anything to liberate myself from what had clearly become a prison. Turning myself over to authority after magickal authority had taught me nothing except that, again, I had foolishly invested myself in the wrong thing. Lo and behold, literature on the Left Hand Path drifted quietly and unassumingly into my reading list. The recommendation of turning away from the flock, of turning inwards to reflect constantly on disassembling and demolishing deeply held taboos, really spoke to me. I knew on a deep intrinsic level that I had been, to some degree, brainwashed by the faith I was raised in – but to what degree I was uncomfortably uncertain. The pain that had caused me (and was still causing me) led me to often practice magick as a form of damage control. Magick as pain management. But this complete spiritual about-face (not just in sense of recognizing systematically and consciously rejecting that brain washing, but also of developing everything I would come to believe from an evidence-based, self-initiated system) was shocking to me.
How could I become my own spiritual authority? The idea was something I had been taught to mortally fear. And though there was a chilling thrill in the idea of following the “Sinister” path, my spirituality and my magick had to be based on something deeper than spite. But now, after immersing myself in the dark quest for 3 transformative years, I can honestly say there was never another option for me. Doing anything but turning inward would have been a great crime against myself. Diving into the qliphothic depths of dissolving personal polarities and taboos has been the greatest adventure of my life. I had become host to a whole catalog of parasitic ideas and theologies that were nothing but answers to what, I discovered, were questions I had never even asked. What the left hand path has given me is the knowledge to shape my own intellectual/magickal tools, tools I can use to reforge myself into what actually feels true. Deep in my gut. Deeper than my gut, even, in the core seat from which springs everything that is me. I am yet just a baby lefty, with mountains of work to do, but the liberation I have already experienced is far greater than any comfort a false authority might offer.
The descent into the self (and the exaltation of the death of what was discredited) has lead me away from people, away from jobs, from long-held aspirations and even counterintuitive choices about how to care for this shell of a body and its health. Adhering to no dogma, cutting ties with alleged support systems, evaluating the nature of all that is false within the self has led me sacrifice much, but those sacrifices have all been joys. Sometimes painful/terrifying/ecstatic joys, but joys nonetheless. To know what grows forth, what poisonous foliage erupts from those cleared spaces within my soul, acts as an antidote to the lies that swirl around this mundane world like so many annoying mosquitos.
One might ask, then, why come forward to write anything public at all? Is it not some sort of ego-based, vainglorious lie? Simply and honestly put, after serious evaluation of my motives: it is to selfishly calcify my practice. I do not seek appreciation or acceptance, validation or vilification. As a worker of the sinister works among other workers of various types, I seek to codify my simple practice. This is an act of service to my Work, if it winds up being of service to others that’s good, but it’s not important. This will not be a form of dogma, but because it is important to economize, I will document what works for me. I cultivate and tend my current with the tools of the left hand path. To steal something from the Sufis on the topic of spiritual seekers, a bee “does not worry when she visits any flower, and she takes what she needs.” Armed with the tools of discernment and watchfulness provided by my path, all things yield wisdom, whether in their necessary destruction or in the celebration of their originality. Everything that stains my memory or makes an impression on my heart becomes a useful mirror in my descent. The important distinction for me to make is: does it reflect the false light of external construct, or does it reflect my inner dark light that I journey toward with all my effort? I am not here to help you. But if something I’ve learned is useful to you, take it and make it your own.
In the immortal words of one of my favorite artists, Jo Weldon, “Do whatever the fuck you want.”