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Pack Structure and Relationships of Magick

To: alt.religion.wicca
From: hy 
Subject: Re: Pack Structure and Relationships of Magick
Date: Fri, 07 Mar 2003 20:54:08 GMT

Caliban wrote:
> The old thinking around wolf packs was that they formed these social
> groups because of food concerns. Their prey (elk, moose, etc), being
> bigger than an individual wolf, required team work for the hunt to be
> successful. That no longer seems to be the key reason, however. The
> latest research (Mech) has shown that it is social considerations, and
> not that of food, that results in the forming of packs. Individuals
> stay together through the creation of a social bond, and others are
> not accepted due to reasons related to social conduct. 
> Now on what basis is a coven or grove built? Apart from artificial
> conventions that have been added (all the pomp and circumstance shit),
> and casting those aside, what brings the members of a magickal group
> together? And why do so many of them fail to stay together?
> My answer to that question is self-interest. I believe that most
> people form these magickal groups in order to pursue selfish interests
> - a mate, a better job, more money, etc. Because there never was a
> "good-of-the-pack" mentality, these groups often fail to achieve any
> real successes, or fracture shortly after being formed, once the
> individual gets what they want (or what they think they want).
> When like-minded people come together in self-less interest, looking
> after each other's needs, putting someone else first, the group
> becomes a pack, and what is possible for such a pack to achieve? I can
> only guess, but I imagine it would be mind-boggling.  

Wow, that was some post. At first I disagreed, but then in writing 
this post, I realize that I too saw this in others. However, what I 
saw and what was going on, may not be the same thing. Everyone has 
internal conflicts, and expresses them in their own way.

If I was to be viewed externally, I am sure that I can be judged in a 
very harsh manner. I judge myself harshly.

Maybe what is internal to others, perhaps is not what is shown to 
others on the outside.

I can only speak from experience.

I joined a group with a few goals in mind.

1) to work in a group to gain control over myself, and to understand 
what was happening, and to have people around me that knew what was 
going on, so I would be safe, with my experimentation. I wanted a 
controlled environment.

2) I craved being with others who I could talk to about occult 
matters, as 99 percent of my physical friends had no clue what I was 
talking about, nor wanted to. What I used to talk about in earlier 
years with them, was way beyond what they were interested in, and I 
had leaped to the most bizarre as far as they were concerned, and they 
were only then getting interested in what I was years before.

3)I was following a few visions/ideas/dreams, and letting them lead me.

4) I wasn't happy with what was going on in my physical/magical life, 
and I chose to explore and change what I could.

What I found.
1) Wasn't as controlled as I thought it would be, or what I craved.

2) Wasn't geared towards my interests as as I would have liked.

3) Met some cool people, found out I wasn't so weird after all, and 
between different friends, I had different types of satisfying 
conversations, interactions, and ritual work that made me happy.

4) I cared for the people that I was with, and I would bend over 
backwards to do anything for them, so that my part was done, so that 
they could do their part. For example I would help with the cooking, 
cleaning, painting, donating materials, driving, offering my time in 
ways that I could.

5) As I got into it, I enjoyed spending more time there to help newer 
folks, so that the teachers could spend their time commitments on that 
which would better serve us and them. For instance, I would prefer 
myself to clean a candle holder, so that my teacher can go and talk to 
a student in need, or so that the teacher could have time doing 
rituals. Although this is just an example, because I also realize that 
a teacher and student can clean candle holders together, while they 
talk, achieving more then one goal at a time, just as much as they can 
do simple ritual work together.

6) I started to have too many time commitments, and felt that which 
was inside, was now outside, and that which was outside was now inside.

7) I started to have major doubts about my oath and my commitments, 
because of a few things that I saw in others, that to me were a 
violation of an oath that I assumed. I found out that brotherly love, 
is not what I imagined. There began to be conflict. Major conflict.

8) I started to be very uncomfortable, and no longer wanted to commit 
to something that wasn't what I had idealized.

9) I lived with it. And tried to work through it for the people that I 
cared for (and didn't so much care for), for the betterment of the group.

10) I was spending enormous times in ritual, say 5 hours a day, doing 
stuff that wasn't what I wanted to be doing, liking it, but being too 
lazy to do what I wanted to do after, for instance: pursue other types 
of ritual, magic, philosophy, my other friends, etc. I was not feeding 
the wells around me, that I felt needed to be felt, to keep things in 

11)I was asked to spend more time, for example, starting to teach, as 
well as more commitments. I did not feel ready for this, even though I 
would have liked to, I didn't feel like I knew enough.

12) I decided that if I went further, my time commitments would 
increase in areas that I really didn't want to be committing time, and 
to something I really didn't believe in. I felt that I would then be 
stuck, doing something not on my path, and I decided that I had to get 
out. I needed to pursue that which was of my interest, that I felt I 
had not done now, for several years.

13) I felt fear.

14) I realized that I had fulfilled all of my reasons for being there, 
or that the reasons were now void.

15) I wanted to stay and finish certain elements, but I worried that 
the more I stayed, the more I knew about the group, the more I knew 
about the content of the material, the more they would need me, and 
that I would burden them, by staying for selfish needs. So I felt that 
I should leave now, instead of having a group of people depend on me, 
and then breaking even more commitments or vows or friendships.

16) I started to despise going. I felt I wasn't helping any one, yet I 
felt that I had to stay, long enough, to explain and perhaps work 
something out for the betterment of my group, and to maybe realize 
that I had made up this huge ordeal over nothing. I never really got 
that moment, and when I did, I think it was too late.

17) There was a chain reaction, between others who felt the same. Schism.

18a) On the equinox, my mundane life completely: my job, my 
activities, my commitments to others all in one day, changed. This was 
only part of it. My magickal life changed, as well, that day.

18b) The people that didn't belong in the group, left. I was one of 
them. I went my own way, departing, and not talking to any one, as per 
what I believe my oath is, so that I can live out my oath, and not 
worry about others in a destructive manner, and so that I would not 
effect others in a negative way, who were still part of the group. I 
severed all ties.

19) Sometimes I would crave contact with the people that I cared for, 
or the group and its teachings. Once in a while I would reinitiate, 
only to find stress and displeasure with in me about the system. I 
felt that I was intolerant and I also felt stress and worry when 
contacting people who I really liked. I severed again.

I realize several things now, that I did not then. I expected 
perfection from people and a system. I will have to write the rest of 
this later.

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