Keeping of the Magical Journal

by Fra. Petros Xristos Magister

 

The keeping of a magical journey is a critical discipline for an Initiate of the Order. It enables one to keep track of one's progress upon the Path and provides a concrete record of rituals and ceremonies, initiations undertaken, evocations and invocations attempted, and any experiments that he or she may perform along the lines of practical magic. The immediate, mundane benefit of the journal is that it supplements one's often-unreliable memory and provides one with material to review months or even years after the fact. The more subtle benefit of the magical journal is that it serves one as a token or "passport" to one's own higher development. Used properly in this fashion, it becomes a veritable magical implement just as the Wand, Cup, or Sword.

Many Initiates keep their journal near or upon their Altar, although this is not necessary. What is necessary, however, is that one practice the utmost rigorous honesty with oneself when keeping the diary. One should avoid the temptation to exaggerate or put a good shine on one's magical experiments and failures. Ultimately, one's failures will become as important to defining oneself as one's successes, if not more so. The act of regularly keeping the magical diary is an act of self-definition and self-transcendence. Confronted with obstacles mundane or supramundane, its presence near one's hand at the altar can serve as both shield against fear and weakness and as an offensive weapon against the demons of negativity and self-doubt that will inevitably assail one as one moves further along the Path.

If one is already accustomed to keeping a daily diary, the magical journal should be an easy additional habit to acquire. However, be careful to separate one's magical journal from one's mundane diary. Use two separate books if necessary. Nothing should go into the magical journal that does not relate to one's progress on the path. It need not be wordy or even very detailed all the time; often, a single line entry such as "Performed Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, date" will be sufficient. When conducting more complex operations, treat them as a scientist would treat his experiments: list all relevant information regarding one's set-up and temple arrangements, time and date, and any other conditions of the operation. Carefully record results obtained, whether desirable or undesirable. This way one will gradually but inexorably build up a powerful ally in one's work, training one's subconscious to remember one's continuing efforts.

A magical journal should be treated as a confidential tool, exactly as one's other temple tools. It should not be shown to anyone not of the Order. It is at one's discretion whether to share any portions of one's journals with other members of the Order. A superior may request a summary of one's progress over the past year and it will be easy to provide this if one can refer to one's journal.

 

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