This week’s playlist is for Geburah, the sphere most often associated with destruction, but that destruction serves to improve things by removing that which is unneeded. Dion Fortune calls Geburah the “celestial surgeon,” an apt metaphor for a painful process that ultimately serves to heal. You can also think of Geburah as a personal trainer, pushing you towards your goals, or as a protestor speaking out to create a better, more just world. It is also the sphere that stops us from being what we’re not and moves us towards a more authentic life, which inspired me to choose the song “Grace Kelly,” by MIKA as the first track. You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
There are a lot of introductory magickal training books out there, but few that I would highly recommend to just about any magickal practitioner. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Some are highly accessible, but lack depth. Others are too deep and intimidating. But Blackfeather Mystery School: Magpie Trainingis accessible, comprehensive, and life-changing, and I highly recommend it.
What makes this book particularly great is that it is an immersive experience. Rather than just explaining things to the reader and then offering a lightweight exercise or two, Blackfeather Mystery School: Magpie Training is a comprehensive, highly-interactive, solo curriculum built upon 20 years of magickal development and a very successful, year-long magickal training series, one with over 60 regular participants showing up in person (pre-pandemic). The very first lesson has readers building a personal altar and beginning a simple daily practice of self-reflection and empowerment. Readers are guided to create sacred space before reading each lesson, each of which has an audio pathworking structure available at blackfeathermystery.com to encompass the lesson.
This week’s playlist is for Tiphareth, the sphere aligned with the sun and the concept of absolute balance on the Tree of Life. The temple in the Tiphareth pathworking has many prisms set into windows, casting rainbows all around, which inspired me to start the playlist with “Kaleidoscope” by A Great Big World. You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
This week’s playlist is for Netzach, where the very concepts of gender and sexuality emerge in the Tree of Life. This is a sphere full of romantic and sexual passion, creative inspiration, and of getting in touch with our inner, primal selves—the “dirty little freaks,” if you will…which is why this playlist starts with “Raise Your Glass” by P!nk. You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
This week’s playlist is for Hod, one of the places where we see asexual and intersex representation on the Tree of Life. This is also the sphere where words, names, pronouns, and labels come from. This sphere got me thinking about gender identity and labels, so this playlist starts with the song “Androgynous,” specifically the version featuring trans musician Laura Jane Grace, Miley Cyrus, and Joan Jett from the soundtrack of Bad Reputation, the Joan Jett documentary. You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
This week’s playlist is Yesod, what I like to call the “the ultimate drag queen.” This playlist is dedicated to our imaginations, the power of the astral plane, illusions, and humanity’s collective unconsciousness. This is the sphere where we “try on” different expressions of our gender identity, so the playlist kicks off with nonbinary musician Rae Spoon’s “Do Whatever the Heck You Want.” You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
This week’s playlist is Malkuth, what I like to call the “super queer queen of everything.” This playlist is dedicated to our incarnation on this plane, and expresses the joy and pain of our manifested selves, material things, and the world around us. Since Malkuth is all about manifestation, Madonna’s classic “Material Girl” seemed a fitting choice for kicking it off. You can listen to the playlist on YouTube and Spotify.
Jack Chanek and I had so much fun talking in episode 1 of 4 Quick Q’s, we decided to talk again, but dive deeper on Qabala stuff for an hour instead.
Jack Chanek (he/him/his) is the author of Qabala for Wiccans: Ceremonial Magic on the Pagan Path, and in this stream we talked about our mixed feelings about classic Qabala texts, our favorite Sephira of the moment, how and why we got into studying Qabala, pop culture correspondences with the spheres, and how we’re currently evolving our individual practices with the Tree of Life. We also ended up discussing the sex appeal of Peter O’Toole, Steven Universe on the Tree of Life, and 19th century occultism’s obsession with being DEFINITELY NOT GAY. If you’ve ever wanted to see two Qabala nerds just…nerd out for an hour, I think you’ll enjoy this stream a lot.