The Shape of the World

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

by Christopher Penczak, Edited by Tina Whittle

The shape of the world is not what we are told. Our known history is incomplete. Much of our occult tradition is about seeking the hidden history, the true shape of what was and what is, to understand what we can be. We realize there is more going on than we are taught, but in exploring that hidden something, we can go off into wild territories filled with as much illness as those in the mainstream we are seeking to leave. Yet that quest for the truth is part of the occultist’s journey to know and understand.

As a species we have a collective memory loss, an amnesia stemming from collective inherited trauma that has us recreating trauma for ourselves and each other repeatedly, at best quelling it to an underlying pervasive functional anxiety. We carry with us—in our bodies and souls, in our karma and consciousness—the wounds of the world’s past, be it the decline of empires, global cataclysm, or all the big and little injustices that add up over time. If you do any healing work, it is easy to see the traits of the trauma survivor pervasive throughout our country and much of the world. It’s obvious. Survivors cling together, but can often operate at such a base level of survival, they will harm themselves and each other, refusing to see what is possible. Individually, we seek therapy and healing. Yet how we get a whole society willingly into therapy and healing is less obvious. We have to realize the need for it, and that everyone is in a different stage of their healing. There is no single panacea that will fit us all at the same time, despite our mythologies of the Rapture of some Christians, the New Aeon of the magicians, and the end of sacred calendars like the Mayan calendar adopted in the New Age community.

We have all the tools, technology, and resources to create new models where everyone is cared for, yet we lack the collective will to implement it, fearing real change so much we cling to the old, dying world. On some level we know something is very wrong, so we mistrust any voice of authority or confidence and then are susceptible to crazy conspiracies. We are seeking meaning to explain why the world does not make sense. Something is missing in our understanding, so we let anti-establishment thinking fill in our blanks because we perceive the establishment as withholding the true story, keeping us sick and stuck, but they don’t have the true story either. Blaming the other, the alien, is the easy and fast route humanity often takes. Us versus Them. Yet the transformation can only happen when we realize there is really not even an “us” or a “them” but a collective “we.” Those clinging to the old paradigm are the sickest and the least likely to change. Those rushing forward into the new without deeper thought can lead us off a collective cliff. We must find a center and then act from it.

Conspiracies are just stories we tell ourselves. We need to seek new stories, write new collective stories, and create new possibilities that engage as much as the conspiracy to answer our questions and concerns. We have to engage in the healing on multiple levels simultaneously—personal, interpersonal, and societal.

Contemporary science ignores the things ancient scientists (whom we otherwise respect) felt were important, dismissing them as superstitious. Astrology, alchemy, and theurgy are lost among the other intellectuals. Basic meditation has only recently been deemed worthy of investigation. We look forward to the time where the laboratory again will mean work and prayer.

Today, sit in stillness and ask yourself, what is the next chapter of my story? What do I want it to be? What must I do to make that happen?

What is the next chapter of my family or community story? How do we get to that part from where we are today? Who should I talk to in order to make that happen?

What is the next chapter in the story of the world? What are three tangible things I do to enact the story, to move it from fantasy into reality?

You won’t find the full story out there because it’s your job to write your part of it. Let’s craft a story worthy of our deepest potential, as individuals, within our groups, and for the world.


Temple of Witchcraft