Where Monk and Wizard meet

1-IMG_20190101_133048Moving house just before Christmas led to the inevitable cry of “I must de-clutter!” A friend smilingly commented that a bunch of folk she knows are saying the same thing, and that we all must have been monks in our former lives. And there it is:  the two movements of life for some of us – am I monk or wizard? The monk is about simplicity and detachment; the wizard we imagine  surrounded by scrolls, books and bottles, skins, herbs, bones and feathers.

If I look back to my younger days and my thoughts of entering the monastic life, my desire, then, to detach from the things of the world, I see the monk in ascendance. Now, as I surround myself with books and collect bark, sticks, stones, feathers and shells, the wizard is much to the fore, yet there have always been the points where it’s necessary to de-clutter and let go of things.

As I look through a bowl of shells, acorns, stones and feathers I notice that some things are easy to let go of, others not so – not that feather, what if an acorn grows in the wrong place? No – that seed case is too interesting…and so forth. It seems there is an entanglement of energies that becomes a sticky web of attachments.

One part of my brain is happy to discuss energies and entities, wisps of potency, trails of magic, intrigue, inspiration that one might discover in the collected items. They fit easily into the wizard realm and float along with myth and poetry and art, making and unmaking, powers not easily defined and tricky when it comes to unintended consequences if one works with them. Another part of my brain is insistent that I point out to the logical non-magical science folk that it’s all OK. Language is a magic in its own right (or rite?) and these “energies” can also be explained as memories and associations built up over a life time of interaction the world and other people. There. Reduced to reason. It’ strikes me as a boring way of viewing an astonishingly deep and complex way of inter-relating with/in our world. And the shift in feeling it gives to some regarding the same subject matter is language “magic” at work. Evocation. Do these two differing ways of describing the same thing relate back to the Monk/Wizard divide? I think they do. But should that even be a divide, so much as an interplay – a movement between polarities, where avoidance of stagnation is the critical factor?

As I contemplate the holding onto, or releasing of things, I realise that not only is there the original meaning/symbolism/energy attached to the acquisition of a thing, but also a long tradition of using things to deliberately create associations that one wishes to discard – ways of drawing lines in the sand, of creating small (or sometimes big) ceremony or ritual that mark a shift or change in direction. Perhaps that is the


purpose of things I find harder to let go of – perhaps their purpose has not yet be created or realized or imagined and they are waiting – a store of potential for shifts and nudgings.

All of this is about creating flow, easing the logjams in life. Easing one small twig in a stream can send a cascade of other things rushing on their way.

The Wizard and the Monk watch the water skipping and singing past them between the rocks, and seem satisfied with this arrangement.


~ by Dragonwyst on January 1, 2019.

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Julie Brett

Author - Australian Druidry - Artist



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