Mr. Venn and His Nifty Diagrams

When vastly different people from widely separate places separated by large gaps of time come to kind of the same conclusion, I tend to slap a “true” label on that conclusion. 

To my way of thinking, the circles that contain Taoism and solitary eclectic witchcraft overlap a lot. Not quite one big circle kind of overlap, but close. 

I would also throw Buddhism into that mix, especially the Zen/Ch’an variety. Jim Martin’s meditation newsletter on substack Hustle & Meditate recently reminded me of that particular mix-in.  

I love a good echo chamber (whose ego doesn’t?) “The Unusual Buddha” as he is known around social media reminded me of some of my favorite ideas. I’d encourage you to read his newsletter about “Wisdom In Unusual Places.” 

The beautiful part of it all is that none of it is elitist.  

There is no dogma saying that you have to believe X or do Y to be a part of this, or identify as one of us. In Taoism, everything is part of everything. If it exists in the cosmos it counts. For the cosmos to BE the cosmos it must, by definition, include everything. If it is writing about Taoism, it is a part of the canon of writing about Taoism. 

If you are an eclectic witch, whatever practices and philosophies you choose to embrace are part of Magick because (despite was various gatekeepers with a dogmatic bent will tell you) your personal magickal practices and beliefs are all part of the great big oneness of everything too. 

And so it is with the path of the Buddha. The path to enlightenment that Siddhartha carved was his own, yet it was as valid as any of anyone throughout the totality of space and time. The old master’s path existed with full validity and personal truth within the cosmic wholeness, Siddhartha’s path existed with full validity and personal truth within the cosmic wholeness. So does mine – and YOURS. 

Or, as Mr. Martin put it:

“The Buddha, become Enlightened in his own time using his own sword and shield, as it were, and not those of his former masters…It was only after setting down the tools of those who came before that Siddhartha Gautama, the fully realized Buddha, was left unencumbered enough to reach the goal of total Enlightenment….It is my sincere opinion that our practice is not for another to dictate…The teacher can only show the way. The task, however, is ours to complete.”

In a few paragraphs he summed up what took me years to wrangle out in the old blog. 

Magickal writing and thought has been top of mind for me lately. I can’t remember if it was Mat Auryn or Marshall of Southern Bramble podcast but one of them put a brilliant explanation of “mystery” teachings within the occult traditions. I forget the exact quote, but my understanding was that the mystic is hidden and sacred NOT because only a guarded and gate-kept select few is permitted to access it, but rather because it can never be taught at all. True gnostic learning has to be first hand. Magickal learning must be experienced for oneself, just as Siddhartha sat under a tree alone with his enlightenment, just as we must each see the moon for ourselves with our own eyes, as Bruce Lee, who was known for his Taoist influences, reminds us in Enter the Dragon.

“It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!”

Sure, Bruce Lee was influenced by Taoism. Taoism is ancient  and found much in common with Buddhism when it came to town.  The two blended into the Ch’an offshoot of Buddhism,  which fell asleep on a fishing boat and woke up as Zen in Japan like Mr. Miyagi’s Karate Kid ancestor.

Old celtic, appalachian and other magick is not known for reading Eastern philosophy or watching Kung Fu movies.  With the advent of the Internet anything anywhere can influence anything anywhere else so the historic context is helpful. Look to the pre-internet roots of a thing. Read books, subscribe to blogs, listen to podcasts about a wide variety of things. Look for wisdom in the usual places and in the unusual ones too, but pay particular attention to the places where there is unexpected overlap. Those nifty spaces are liminal and lovely and powerful where we can look and see the mysteries for ourselves.

Happy Weekend! 

This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote last year for the Stuff blog that is newly re-named too. Stuff now “Sage’s Other Words” which is the overflow blog where I’ll be posting anything that isn’t about Tarot & Tarot readings.

Quick reminder: I’m open this weekend for private email readings, no appointment needed. Order HERE any time.

Tarot Table subscription memberships include exclusive content, discount email Tarot readings and DM contact with an ongoing ASK ME ANYTHING – DM a question, get a Zombie Cat style answer (100% guaranteed to contain words with a 50% chance of being dead wrong) Your answer might be a Tarot Reading, or it might be a psychic reading, or it might be moderately informed opinion but if you join the Tarot Table or Buy Me a Coffee on ko-fi, then you can ask away and let’s see where the conversation takes us!

Sage’s Other Words blog is entirely random both in schedule and topic. The archives for my old blogs Stuff  (2018-2023) and Tarotbytes (2010 – 2018) are there if you are interested. The search bar and widgets in the right hand column make it all a little easier to browse.

Author: SageWordsTarot

I read Tarot, write e-books and make stuff. 25 + years experience reading Tarot, oracle cards. Retired Tai Chi instructor. Reiki master-practitioner 20+ years

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