It’s been around a year since I’ve last written about pop culture work. I don’t spend nearly as much time reading fiction books these days, so actively thinking about pop culture work like I did when I was reading the Wheel of Time series has kind of fallen to the wayside. But a little while ago, one of the Pagan podcasters I listen to came out with an episode called Inciting a Wonderful Riot. In the later half of the episode he talks about incorporating pop culture figures as sources of strength in one’s practice, specifically Wonder Woman, which he goes into more detail about in a recent post called Wonder Woman on my Altar: Modern Faces of Ancient Deities.
Now, I’m a hard polytheist. So pop culture deities aren’t something that really gels with my practice. But I do adore storytelling and have a soft spot in my heart for a lot of characters. The new Wonder Woman movie especially struck me. I could gush about that movie all day. And as I started to think about the characters in fiction that I could see myself drawing on, a lot of powerful women came to mind. Wonder Woman is the most recent and at the top of that list, actually I could see myself drawing on the entire island of Themyscyra. There were also a lot of witches and sorceresses coming to mind as well.
While many of these women are cast as villains, I have really been drawn to figures like Morgan le Fay, Maleficent, Regina from Once Upon a Time, and more. I think part of it is aesthetic but why not draw on the power of a damn good aesthetic to boost whatever it is I’m doing? All of these women have also had their stories retold or developed to show their perspective and make them sympathetic characters. Those are the stories that really grab me.
Long story short, I am rethinking my understanding of pop culture work. Before I was looking for things I could more or less lift out of the source material, slightly modify, and fold into my own practice. Now I still adore and frequently use the flame & the void meditation I took from Wheel of Time. But at the moment I am interested in experimenting with characters as a source of inspiration. These women do have some pretty clear correspondences too, so to speak. Why not try it? I already incorporate shapeshifting and other pictorial representations in my craft. This doesn’t seem like too more of a departure from that.
Part 2: Post The Eye of the World Reflection
It has been a few days since I finished The Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series. I’m holding off on the next one until I am on vacation and have some very long plane rides. There was a lot of note taking about how the magic system in general seemed to work. However, that wasn’t really the focus of this book, but I know it comes up more in the second.
The most practical technique I got from The Eye of the World was the Flame and the Void exercise that I mentioned in my previous post. I’ve been using it fairly frequently. It has been helping me clear my mind before I astral. It has also been helpful in just generally clearing my mind and helping me focus. I have a really bad wandering mind and the Flame and the Void has been helping me get back on track big time. I find it so helpful that it really makes up for the lack of detailed information on the Aes Sedai and the One Power in the first book.
I’m looking forward to finding more inspiration in the next Wheel of Time book. I remember there being some meditation related things in the second book that I am really looking forward to analyzing.
Part 1: Where I want to focus on and where I am at so far
I read the first book in the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan maybe three years ago or more. I really enjoyed the first book but never kept up with the series after that, despite owning more of the books. I remember finding the magic system in the series to be really interesting and have been meaning to go back to the series.
Now that I have been debating getting into pop culture work, I finally decided to jump back into the series and pay special attention to the magic system and the Aes Sedai in the series. From what I remember, I will likely be able to apply these methods to meditation and energy work more than any other field.
As of today, I am not that far into the first book. I only just got to the event that causes the main character to leave his home town. Not a lot has been revealed about the Aes Sedai or the magic of the world. However, there is an interesting technique that appears within the first few pages of the book.
He was hoping his father had not noticed he was afraid when Tam said, “Remember the flame, lad, and the void.”
It was an odd thing Tam had taught him. Concentrate on a single flame and feed all your passions into it-fear, hate, anger-until your mind becomes empty. Become one void, Tam said, and you can do anything.
-Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World
My practice involves working with fire quite a bit, so I am really drawn to this technique. I look forward to using it as a calming/focusing technique.
I am looking forward to seeing what other techniques come up as I keep reading and plan to record my progress as I go, both generally on here and in more detail in my grimoire.