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November/December 2016 / Gift Guide Issue

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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: great work


Great Work: The union of Man and the Universe, the fusion of the Microcosm and the Macrocosm. The integration of the Lower and Higher selves.
source: The Thoth Companion, by Michael Osiris Snuffin

Great Work:

The path of self-directed spiritual growth and development. This is the object of your incarnation and the meaning of your life. The Great Work is the program of growth to become all that you can be—which is the realization that you are a "god in the making." Within your being there is the seed of Divinity, and your job is to grow that into the Whole Person that is a "Son of God." It is a process that has continued from "the Beginning" and may have no ending but it is your purpose in life. It is that which gives meaning to your being.

In this new age, you are both teacher and student and you must accept responsibility for your own destiny. Time is of the essence! Older methods give way to new ones because the entire process of growth and self-development has to be accelerated. Humanity has created a time bomb that’s ticking away, and only our own higher consciousness can save us from self-destruction. But—have faith and do the Great Work for it is all part of a Great Plan.

The Great Work is not denial and restriction but fulfillment. There’s not just one narrow Path, but many paths—one for each of us.

Suggested Reading:

Denning & Phillips: Foundations of High Magick

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke


Principles of Ceremonial
Magical ceremonial can be built up and elaborated to forms of great subtlety and complexity, but the initial principles which cause its creation are simple in the extreme. In the first place, ceremonial is a different thing from meditation, and it ...
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Meditation is: An emptying of the mind of all thoughts and "chatter" often by concentration only on the slow inhalation and exhalation of breath and is characterized by slow alpha and theta waves. It induces relaxation and a "clean slate" ...
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Review of the Shapeshifter Tarot
Summary: A stunning and transformative artistic deck that is good as an additional deck with a focus on major life changes and magickal work including meditation, shapeshifting, and spellwork. However there are some flaws and the differences between ...
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The Work of the Medsen Fey - the Leaf Doctors of Haiti
Loulou Prince is the medsen fey (leaf doctor/herbalist and shaman) for a Haitian community of around 1,500 people who live in the vicinity of Jacmel, a small town close to the border with the Dominican Republic. In his daily practice, he deals with ...
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The History of the Golden Dawn
The story of the Golden Dawn, like that of any human organization, is replete with high points and low points—with human achievements and human failings. There is no need for us to try to whitewash or sugarcoat the faults of some of the individuals ...
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Creating a rune amulet
Modern rune rituals are sometimes done entirely with visualization - the runes are made in the astral world and are never actually written down or carved on any material. This technique works fairly well, but it is not in harmony with the ancient ...
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Review of the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot
Summary: A brilliant deck that is ideal for practitioners of ceremonial magick and for those following the system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Will also interest those researching the link between earlier traditional Tarot decks and the ...
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Developing and Working with the Body of Light
After you have learned basic astral projection, the next step is for you to produce a Body of Light that can be used as your vehicle of consciousness on the inner planes. Unlike the basic training we adapted from Ophiel’s “Little ...
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Astrological Houses
Your astrological chart is divided into twelve sections called houses. They are numbered from the left side counterclockwise around the chart. The chart represents the planets against a background of the signs of the zodiac, and these signs rise in ...
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What Can You Expect from Ritual Magic?
Those who approach ritual magic for the first time usually harbor wildly unrealistic expectations shaped by their confused and erroneous notions of what magic is and how it works. There is nothing wrong with this—the practice of magic is a learning ...
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The mighty dead, divination, and portals to other worlds… there are so many places to celebrate Samhain in the northeastern United States… The cooler weather, the colorful leaves, and, as the memes say, "Pumpkin everything!" Like so many witches, autumn is my favorite season, and Samhain, my favorite Sabbat. As a child I loved... read this article
Four Mysterious Monsters of Which You've Never Heard
Four Powerful Ways to Live a Joyful Life Today
A Tarot Built for Magick: Modern Spellcaster's Tarot
Exercise: How to Feel Good
Investigating Haunted Bridges

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