Mystic? Warrior? Priest?Shaman? Magician?

When most people think of what kind of career they would like to have, where they would like to find success, I’m guessing the majority of people don’t consider these options – at least not most of them, and certainly not all of them. But I found myself meditating this morning and thinking – which one am I? Which one would I like to be? Do I have to pick just one? I mean, there is already precedent for warrior monks – those closest to my spirit, The (True) Templars. And of course in Buddhism, we have the Shaolin monks. So the role of warrior-monk is already established. And in some sense, one could even stretch it to say that monks are in essence priests of sort, and certainly in the Bible, Moses was a sort of “priestly warrior,” as were many of the other prophets. Regarding the other choices, magician, shaman and mystic can all be seen as aspects of one thing. And certainly, a shaman holds the role of the supreme mystic and magician at the same time. So it’s not hard to see how those three could be interchanged. But what about mixing all 5 – what would that look like?

When I think about it, I guess Moses makes a pretty candidate for an example of one who embodied all 5, though he wasn’t a magician in the sense that he really tried to be one – at least not from the information that has been handed down through the ages. Who knows what his real practice was like. Maybe he did perform rituals, meditate, do creative visualizations – heck, maybe he even wore crystals! Lol. Seriously though – isn’t there a part in the Bible where it talks about the high priests and their breast plates or something, and the stones in them? It’s not that much of a stretch. But the fact is, we don’t really know for sure if Moses was trying to be a magician, or if Yahweh simply performed magic through him when necessary – the parting of the Red Sea, the staff into a snake in front of the Pharaoh, etc. Of course that wouldn’t make him less of a magician necessarily, I’m just curious about intent.

Another personage that comes to mind, and one of my favorite characters of all time, is Hermes Trismegistus. So much is attributed to him. It could easily be said that he was a priest of sorts, definitely a magician and mystic, and in some sense – though not as strongly – a shaman. But was he a warrior? It seems he was more of a teacher than a warrior. But maybe a teacher is a warrior too – a mental warrior. I guess I never really thought about it that way. And to be certain, when I refer to a “warrior,” I don’t mean someone who carries a gun or sword around fighting battles and such. I mean someone like Ghandi, or Christ, or Buddha, or Mother Theresa – a spiritual warrior. So in that sense, perhaps Hermes was a warrior too. And looking at it like that, maybe it is a natural combination for a person to be all 5.

I know for sure that to be a spiritual seeker on the path to Truth, one has to have the spirit of a warrior to keep seeking over any period of time. This world is not interested in Truth – not actual Truth – and one has to exert constant, unceasing, earnest, heartfelt, sincere, patient, etc etc effort to make progress on the path. It is often slow going, and there are vast deserts of loneliness and hopelessness that await the seeker. One comes to learn that there isn’t just one “dark night of the soul” – no, it is a recurring experience, one that must be persevered repeatedly, sometimes lasting years. I have had multiple ones, and I know other seekers have as well. And that’s where one must have the heart of a true warrior – to make it through that dark night without completely giving up, without getting irretrievably lost, without making a decision that can’t be reversed.

What got me thinking about all this is that I have, for a long time now, considered myself to be 4 of those 5, at least in some sense, but never really thought of the ‘magician’ label as fitting. Probably because I have always been apprehensive of “magic,” in that I have real concerns that those who seek to do magic – like REAL magick – open themselves up to powerful energies that can easily overcome them if their intentions aren’t pure. And one doesn’t have to think of fictional or mythological narratives to see how power can corrupt. So I have always held the “magician” title at arm’s length. Not to mention, I would feel pretty silly calling myself such, since I don’t do ‘spells’ and such. But then when I read stuff like that phrase from “The Magic of the Middle Ages,” it resonates so deeply with me, I start to wonder – maybe I do align with the path of the magician? Could that be what’s ‘missing’ for me to move forward in my journey – the acceptance of that role?

I never really thought of it before, but writing this has helped me to clarify what I was wondering about in my mediation. I see now how someone like Moses could have held the role of magician, even if that wasn’t his primary role, and he didn’t consider himself one – at least not like the Aleister Crowley or Merlin types that come to mind when one thinks of them. So I think going forward, I am going to embrace that role a little more fully. I’m not saying I am going to start doing rituals, or casting spells, none of that. But I am going to allow myself to accept that archetype as part of my being – to welcome and embrace it. I just feel like there is some aspect of my inner self that is being neglected a bit, and perhaps it is the magician calling from inside me.

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