27 September 2014

What is Shadowkrafting?

In exactly one week I will be launching Shadowkrafting.com, the website for my online correspondence courses in magickal defense and shadow magick.  This sort of begs the question: what is Shadowkrafting?

First off, Shadowkrafting is not a tradition.  I believe that magickal practice is deeply personal and thus should be different for each practitioner.  What works for one person may or may not work for someone else, so there really is no one "right way" to practice magick.  I believe that it's my job as a teacher to help my students find what works for them rather than asking them to slavishly do everything exactly as I do it regardless of how effective or comfortable it is for them. 

Though not a tradition per se, Shadowkrafting is essentially my magickal philosophy.  There's no disputing that there is darkness in the world that comes from both within and without.  There are three ways of dealing with this darkness: pretend it doesn't exist and hope for the best, run away from it and hide, or put on your big kid pants and face it.  Shadowkrafting is the art of facing the darkness magickally. I teach defensive magick, which is about facing the darkness that comes from the outside world, and shadow magick, which is about facing the darkness that comes from within.  It's about facing your fears, whatever they may be, and turning them into strengths.  It's about being truly empowered.  The ultimate goal of Shadowkrafting is living an empowered and authentic life while maximizing magickal potential.  It sounds a bit lofty for a simple series of courses, but I tend to have a "reach for the stars and you'll climb mountains" view of this sort of thing.

In the pursuit of these lofty goals you'll find certain values to be inherent in my lessons.  My number one value is personal responsibility - the idea that you are responsible for making your own choices wisely and then dealing with their consequences.  This is the main reason that I don't like giving explicit homework.  I prefer students to choose just how much effort they're going to put into a course.  I like to give a series of optional exercises and it's up to the student to choose to do them or not.  I only require certain work in a class if I believe it is absolutely critical to understand the subject or to do something safely.

Shadowkrafting is also about being flexible and responsive to whatever situation you find yourself in.  The real world is unpredictable and ever-changing, so to be truly useful your magick needs to be adaptable and responsive.  I try to make sure the techniques I teach can be adapted on the fly to changing scenarios.  Need to do a house cleansing in a pinch but you don't have your florida water on hand?  No problem, try smudging.  No smudge, how about about asperging with salt water.  No salt water...well...what have you got?  Olive oil, a q-tip, and a stalk of rosemary from the neighbor's bush.  Ok, I can work with that.

The bottom line for any magickal practice is that it has to work.  Magick is about manifesting our will in the world - be it in the world around us or within ourselves.  If a technique doesn't actually do that for you it's not worth the bother no matter how how impressive its lineage or who taught it to you. Magick is only useful if it is effective, so I only teach techniques that I know actually work.

Shadowkrafting is also about holistic magick.  It is my goal to teach my students information and techniques that will change their lives.  Effective magickal practice is a way of life.  Once you know how to effectively use magick it becomes a part of who and what you are as a person.  That makes it important to really understand how and why magick works, the full spectrum of its effects, and to choose the practices that fit with both who you are and who you want to be.  I want my students to think deeply about the practices I teach and really understand them, only embracing the things that fit holistically in their existing practices and their lives.

Ultimately, Shadowkrafting is my term for the type of magick I do.  It's what I know and what I teach.  Shadowkrafting consists of eclectic magickal techniques that effectively empower students to both affect change in the world and further their own spiritual growth.

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