Our Student Spotlight shines the first light of 2014 on Daedalus (also known as Bob Hackett), who explains, “The guy you see out on the street or setting up chairs and tables in the hall is usually Bob. The person who is fully engaged in Magick in all its forms is most likely Daedalus. If you see Bob, but would like to talk to Daedalus, just ask and Bob will be happy to arrange it.” Daedalus is a Witchcraft Five student who began his studies with the online mystery school with Witchcraft One. His teacher, Christopher Penczak, said of him,”Daedalus wins the award for one of the most changed men since studying Witchcraft. He continues to impress me with his ability to listen to and integrate critical feedback, and offer support to others along the way. Struggling with the paradox of both a by-the-book military background and a more rebellious bike club culture, coupled with a painful injury, you might say at first he struggled to grasp the more poetic and free form aspects of magick. But over time, I’ve seen the soul of an artist truly bloom in his magick, in his craft and in his compassion for himself and others.”
Join us now as Daedalus (and Bob) share a story of magick, purpose, and the importance of partnerships.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I live with my lovely wife, Irma, to whom I’ve been married for 38 wonderful years. We live on the coast of Maine and together we run Ancient Star Herbals/C&C (Corvid & Canid) Forge. After a workplace injury ended my full time career as a union member and metalworker, I now work as direct support staff in a residential program for developmentally disabled adults. I also continue to work part-time on commissions based in stone, metal, bone, and wood at C&C Forge along with my youngest son, Joe, who also practices the Craft. Our focus is primarily ritual tools and other magickal objects. Joe now does the forging, grinding, and other heavy work, and I take care of designing and making prototypes, finishing, and the detail end of things. Joe and I also help Irma with our extensive herbal and flower gardens as well as her wild crafting expeditions. Irma and I teach classes and present workshops locally. Joe participates in those classes as well.
What class are you currently taking with the Temple? Can you tell us about the experience?
Irma and I are presently in our fifth and final year with the Mystery School. This year is all about service to the community, and we have been twice blessed in that regard. The first blessing is that our studies with the Mystery School have prepared us for this by providing everything we need and more in order to fully engage our second blessing. We have been asked to present what we have learned in the form of a Basic Witchcraft course through a local shop (Merkaba Sol in Augusta, Maine). We are presently on the third month of that year-and-a-day adventure.
What drew you to the Temple’s mystery school?
This is a rather long story which I will try my best to abbreviate: During a series of reconstructive surgeries to repair the damage done by that workplace injury, Irma scheduled a reading for me with Christopher [Penczak] through the shop she was working at in Freeport, Maine. That reading both saved and changed my life. I was so impressed by Christopher’s skills that when Irm found out he was offering a weekend intensive workshop on Shamanic Witchcraft in Portland, Maine, we began saving in order to take that course. By the end of that weekend, we both knew we had found the teacher we had been looking for. When Christopher decided to offer his in-person classes using a year and a day format, we signed up for Witchcraft One: The Inner Temple as well and began our journey with both Christopher and what was to become the Temple of Witchcraft.
My family members, even the ones who don’t believe in Witchcraft or understand my belief system, will be the first to tell you that I am alive today and a radically different, much improved, person because of my studies in the Mystery School. They ought to know; they’ve been with me all my life.
How do you use what you’ve learned in your daily life?
My studies have not only changed my personal life, they have changed how I look at life in general. I used to see life as a series of challenges to be fought through and conquered. Now I look toward leading a more magickal life. My life now is all about the direction and flow of energy and how I personally can best step into and effectively take part in that direction and flow. I now try to work with things rather than pushing against them or redirecting them based on my own ideas of how they should go.
My work life has also benefitted greatly from my studies. I am far more patient with the folks I support than even I would have thought possible. Even when they become combative, I can still retain detached compassion and remain outwardly calm which in turn helps keep things from escalating further. My co-workers often repeat that they are amazed that someone who looks like I do (I am heavily tattooed and have not cut my hair since beginning Witchcraft Two, so I once a again look like the bike club member I used to be) can be so calm, kind, and gentle even when one of the clients is out of control and is hitting me repeatedly with a closed fist. As a result I am always placed with the more combative clients and enjoy what I think is an excellent relationship with them because I don’t take their behaviors personally. My studies during Witchcraft Three and beyond have shown me ways to communicate with the non-verbal clients (I have also learned a bit of ASL from them) as well as how to redirect excess and discordant energy from the clients we work with. I have come to see them as teachers in their own right. They are true “walkers between worlds” and have skills and abilities many of us can only dream of. They sense what I can do and many of them now seek me out when they feel overloaded by this world. I feel blessed to be able to understand the many lessons they bring into my life.
What’s next for you as a student/member of the Temple?
What’s next? The School of Life! The great classroom where I get to apply all I have learned and in return hear and honor new lessons as they come my way. I hope to always be able to contribute on some level to the Mystery School and the Temple. I also plan to honor the lessons I’ve learned from some incredibly talented teachers, Christopher, and my fellow classmates and students in the Mystery School, by sharing what I have learned from them. I’d like to borrow a lesson from yet another source of spiritual inspiration in my life and say, “We get to keep what we have only by giving it away.” I feel that lesson also applies here.