Lineage

Doesn’t matter where you’ve been, as long as it was deep – Benjamin Orr, The Cars.

I had a discussion the other day about magick lineage. Your magick lineage is a combination of who your teachers or mentors have been, what spiritual systems and beliefs you’ve practiced and followed, and even what practitioners you can trace inside of your family tree.

A lineage should be kept to 1. give an idea of a practitioners perspectives, methods, and beliefs, and 2. to give proper credit where it is due for any information or teachings given out by the practitioner.

After much thought I’ve come to the same conclusion as I had prior to my conversation the other day. A practitioner’s lineage is ultimatly meaningless, and it doesn’t matter.

To begin, a blood lineage probably means the most if you really have it. There are theories floating around that a person who has a proficient practitioner as a blood relation has a higher possibility of having innate talent through genetics.

I can truthfully claim a blood lineage. I’ve met several practitioners that I’ve known well enough to know their family history, and can be assured that they have a blood lineage. And in a lot of cases there is a lot of innate ability there.

But this is still a limited selection that only includes practitioners. Most people related to magick practitioners don’t practice themselves. It’s a rarity, and it seems as if the closer the relation, the less likely it is for the relative to also practice. Children and siblings of practitioners rarely end up practicing themselves.  Which leads me to the conclusion that even if innate ability is somehow genetic, it’s still a rarity for the genes to be passed on even when a family link exists.

And even if this were the case, it wouldn’t matter anyway considering that everyone claims a blood lineage. It’s rare to find an occult practitioner who doesn’t claim to have a practicing relative (usually a dead relative). Damn near every Wiccan’s grandmother was a witch. So in the end it doesn’t matter if a person claims a blood lineage, because most of the time they’re lying.

As for using lineage as a way to give credit where it is due, I don’t see a need for it. In no other field is a student required to list their teacher so that their teacher gets credit for the work they’ve produced. Even if the student is just reciting basic information that was obviously learned from a teacher. Truth is truth, it’s not created, it always was. No one owns it and no one deserves credit for the fact it exists. The only way a person could start to claim an ownership of information is if they were just making stuff up and then teaching it.

I also can’t see how a person can claim to be spiritually enlightened to the point of teaching, and at the same time be  so vain as to care about getting credit for their teachings being passed on to others.

It’s a rather stupid and limited view, and it also perpetuates false ideals about the student-teacher relationship.

First off, that the relationship is completely onesided, and the student learns while the teacher teaches. In any true relationship, the teacher is gaining spiritual insight and learning from the student as they teach. To think otherwise leads to hubris, inflexiblity, and eventually the student=slave mentality (the teacher’s reward should come via the teaching, not what the student can give them).

Secondly a student is not their teacher. They are not limited to only their teacher’s views and their teacher’s influences and lineage. The student should explore their spirituality from their perspective, they should learn and grow through whatever truths they find, regardless of where they’re gotten from, and they should follow their spiritual path, not what is outlined by a teacher. Rather then falling back on what has been taught, a person should learn to think for themselves and draw conclusions on a given subject.

Thirdly, a student should become independent of their teacher. A teacher is, in the end, a stepping stone to getting to the next part of your spiritual path. Yes, they can become very close and dear friends, but at that point the relationship is changed. The teacher is just meant to get you from point A to point B. And once you reach point B, then it’s your time to learn and grow on your own without guidance. The student-teacher relationship, and what is implied in terms of superiorities, no longer exists. The student is now a master, or on their way to independently becoming one.

Many of the same issues arise when looking at lineage in terms of what systems a person has come out of. Whatever system (aka religion) we look at, what we get is an individuals spiritual path. The OTO utilizes Crowley’s spiritual path. BOTA utilizes Case’s spiritual path. The Golden Dawn utilizes Mather’s spiritual path.

The problem is that everyone’s spiritual path differs. Perhaps yours is enough like Crowley’s to follow the OTO to the letter and get where you need to be. But it’s very doubtful. Information from these systems is good to have. It can show you things, give you ideas, and aid you in walking your own path. But if you are a true practitioner, you should still be walking your own path, and not theirs.

And if you happen to be the type of person that likes a one size fits all religion, that likes to be told what to do and wants to know exactly what’s needed for them to properly walk their spiritual path, and doesn’t want to spend time and effort thinking about spiritual matters and the path and nature of their soul, then be Christian or something similiar. You aren’t going to be able to make it as a magick practitioner, and all you’re going to end up doing if you persist in following these spiritual beliefs is annoy me at some future point when we do meet.

Back to the point, in the end no one should need to know your lineage. True practitioners can feel energy, they can tell the difference between people who are learned and people who are not by what they say, they can judge the results of a practitioner’s magick, and they know what to look for in a sane and stable individual. If you truly are a practitioner, or powerful, or learned it will show to the people who matter. They don’t need to know where you came from or what degrees you hold. You are what defines you, and the basis of all true judgments.

In the end your lineage only matters to you. It’s what’s behind you in your path. If it was something that you gained something from or learned from, then it’s important. But no one else needs to know about it, and what you are now is what you should be judged by, not where you’ve been in the past.

You should also be wary of people who want to know your lineage, or people who talk about their own lineage at every opportunity. The first probably lack the ability to judge and screen practitioners, which makes their abilities questionable. The second probably have no real power, or are very limited in their power, and are relying on reputation or lineage to gain their authority and respect, because they can’t achieve it based on ability alone.

3 Responses to Lineage

  1. I agree with some of it.
    Where ever you go there you are.
    Reputation is created by others.
    Mainly, insanity in the magick world is created from takeing in a force that does not belong here.
    Breed it and it is twice as likely to have huge problems in children.

    To me I don’t care if someone has power or not or where they come from. If I don’t care for them I might respect the force behind it but not the person or process.

    I will respect the background and connections but I don’t have to respect the person if they bug me.

    Some forces bite you on the ass if you don’t respect them. Ask anyone. Of course you will know them when you see them.

    LOLOLOL I have a bloodline and you know what? I noted more seem to give me a attitude for it. LOL In many ways I can trace 90% of my problems to it. LOL I don’t need others respect me, or worship me or bow down to me.

    It is part of who I am.
    Just as I am proud of my Irish blood.

    “If anyone demands respect then I think there is a problem.”

    This why I spent years outside my bloodline to learn. I wanted to know as much as I can.
    Yes, I am told I am quite silly but I get the job done. I don’t like people to know what I can do or what I am. Many want a freak show. I had people be horrible twoards me after they found out I had a bloodline also. Many think people with a bloodline hold High tea.

    I also noted at most it’s people who attack who never tried to take a class to earn a degree. I think if someone tries to learn at least once then they can speak being they know both sides. I earned degrees so I could get out of the trap of Bloodline. I wanted to be open minded. LOL That gets held over my head to I found from others.
    Many just seem jaded because the world does not think like them.

    I do have memory of family. That is a part of who I am also. “Like anyone.” There will be stories. Most of them I tell I watached or was told in my lifetime to preserve them.

    Watch out for those who have none in there lifetime. It means a dead bloodline. Anyone, can have a bloodline but few are included. The adventures you have in life are part of your real bloodline. No matter how strange.
    My thing if someone has a problem with it they know where the door is. LOL

    I let many shape me. Few know me at all. I let few inside after being smacked about a bit by the jaded ones.

    I have seen Morons from all directions untill they prove themselves.
    Really, we should trust no one untill they prove who they are. Then again trust and respect are two things that differ.

    I have seen insane people with a great deal of power. Part of the reason they are powerful. LOL I don’t care what they feel like I am more concerned of how they fit into my world around me.
    Also we should not base those in our life based on power but instead it should be friendship.
    If you don’t like someone no matter how powerful why would you want to be agrivated?

    Many who are jaded, I have found want to do unrealistic things this world does not deal in. They want to fly, shoot lazers from there eyes. Sure it could be done. It would take a lot of work.
    Some think because I have bloodline I do those things then get mad at me because I won’t tell them how. Even if I do I won’t it has to be earned.
    Some even think I owe them.
    Better question is what is someone going to with it once you get it?

    Most don’t know that real power is choice. Many don’t get to choose. Figure that out and you have the power to pick what you want. Most spend there whole lives in material ideal they miss the whole point of learning to pick.
    We take nothing but the lesson in death.
    Can’t get around that.

    This is why I do respect the dedicated. Only those who are dedicated will get something done. LOL I will respect the dedicated but I don’t have to like them also.

    At most I always felt this subject is giving to much thought about others. Part of being powerful is not worrying about what you are doing.
    This after awhile dribbles down to bashing others.

    All paths differ also. Everyone has something to teach or they would not be here. We all have lessons to learn. It’s basic dharma taught to children.
    All simple answers have power. People like to make things sound complicated because it gives it importance. In the end only what matters to you is what matters.

    Never fight something unless it attacks you first. Why? The effort is wasted. While it may prove what is stronger it to goes to death. Death wins all. The hidden answers are in the other half we don’t try and understand.

    We alone have to live with our choices.

    As your friend I watched you. I watched you change in dramatic ways in the last year. In many ways that is how the true path works.

    As odd as I am I change to. I look forward to seeing more interesting post like this one. I do think these subjects hold importance.
    Later:)

  2. Carrie says:

    I agree on some points. However, one critical point is that metaphysical paths often do not have a standardized accreditation process thru which students can check up on the teacher or school or prospective clients of graduates can use to verify their practitioners training. We rely on lineage to prove that our teacher was taught by someone who has a verifiable teacher… all the way back to the source. It is an unfortunate necessity because these days, there are lots of yahoos that dont have the training that would like very much to gyp people out of time, money and energy. I would strongly encourage ANY of my students to verify mine as well as the lineage of any other metaphysical practitioner under whom they study who claims to be a master of a particular system. However, that said, youre right… anyone who can boast of nothing but their lineage… or who has the need to boast at all, for that matter, probably has something to hide.

  3. Rob says:

    Carrie-

    I’m a strong adherent of the idea that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. When it is time for a practitioner to form a relationship with a teacher, they should know it. Every part of their soul should push them in that direction. They should feel as if receiving this instruction is the absolute best place for them to be right now in regard to their spiritual path. If it’s the teacher they were meant to have, they’ll instinctively know and won’t have any doubt about it. If they don’t feel that strongly about it, then they should move on and continue with solitary study. They aren’t ready yet.

    I’ve seen it happen before where a student has solicited a teacher based on both the teacher’s lineage and the student’s want of a teacher, but irrelevant to whether the student truly felt this was the right person to teach them. And this relationship never ends as it should for the student. Some don’t even care about learning, all they want is to have the lineage so they can validate themselves and anything they might be doing. Others just aren’t ready to learn yet, or they are ready but this isn’t the person who can teach them what they need to learn.

    It isn’t enough that a teacher be qualified to teach the student. The student-teacher relationship is a very intimate one and it requires a degree of compatability between the two parties that is on par with a marriage. The student needs to be mature enough in their path to learn what the teacher is teaching. The teacher needs not just to be qualified in what they’re teaching, but they need to be qualified to teach what it is the student needs to be learning. And finally the two need to have the proper chemistry so that the teacher is able to get through to the student and teach them in a way they’ll learn.

    And as a final point, there are practitioners out there that are capable of teaching that don’t have a traceable lineage. In order to chose a teacher a prospective student needs to follow their own instincts. They’ll know if if they’ve found the right teacher.

    There is a bit of a difference with the classes that are currently being taught, usually at stores or inside of groups, where a person will lecture on a subject, possibly with some exercises, to a group of individuals. These don’t worry me so much. What I’ve noticed is that these classes tend to be dependent upon word of mouth. The good classes tend to fill up, and people stop showing up to the bad ones. The classes that people are continually signing up for are the ones that students are walking away from gaining something that is valuable to them.

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