Tree of Life Collage

Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Simon Court, author of the new The Magic of Pathworking.

Magic, or the Western Esoteric Tradition, captured my mind at an early age. It seemed simple and straightforward to learn and progress through study and work, especially as a member of a reputable order or school. I applied to a group and was accepted, beginning the daily meditation work and text study. This was Qabalistic magic and I devoured the basics of the background theory, the Tree of Life, the correspondences, the method and structure of ritual. I was immersed in it. Then everything changed.

I knew vaguely of pathworkings but was directly introduced to them by Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki, probably the leading authority on the topic at the time, if not still.

What wonders unfolded.

What is below is like what is above, my teachers used to say. And it was a short step to what is without is what is within. There it was. The essence of magic laid bare. Change the inner and the outer follows.

Fantasy journeys, of which pathworkings are a special type, are used in many traditions and have been so used for as long as we can know. You may journey in imagination to a sacred place, on foot, by canoe, on horseback, there to meet celestial beings, sacred animals, teachers, and to learn from these.

As the people of the tribe sat around, the storyteller wove the fabric of words in their minds, adding meaning to the outer world by linking it to the inner.

What I call pathworkings are a specially structured subset of this natural human activity. That is, they can form groups centered around a single inner reality.

For the Qabalist, they are the paths upon the Tree of Life diagram, Otz Cha’im. They have a starting point, a specific set of symbols and meanings and a set finishing point, joining one sphere, Sephirah, on the Tree of Life to another. It is very formal. And effective.

But the storyteller’s pathworkings are different. And I am a storyteller, not a Qabalist.

And my stories are those of the pagan earth, sea, sky. These are where my family forebears have found their meanings, in the flow of the landscape.

It is on this basis that I make my stories in order to reflect inner, mythic, timeless realities. I travel these, explore them and then write stories within a consistent setting so I may invite others to journey as I have.

If we build our inner reality on mythic archetypal themes we will reorder our inner self along those lines. The outer continues to be a reflection of the inner. And, slowly at first, the outer begins to change, subtly, to match the changes we are making within.

Will you win the lottery, meet that special someone, have all barriers suddenly removed? No, of course not. But because you have changed within you will see things differently, see opportunities you may have missed, see beauty that was always there, see meaning in events and see paths to follow for personal growth. You might wonder why you never noticed earlier what must have been there all along.

I have set down an integrated, progressive magical journey in a series of pathworkings taking the reader/practitioner on an adventure of self-discovery in my new book, The Magic of Pathworking. I promise nothing. All promise is already within the reader-practitioner.


Our thanks to Simon for his guest post! For more from Simon Court, check out his book, The Magic of Pathworking.

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Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...