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I never thought I’d write about ascention. Even now, writing this, I’m not sure if I’ll ever publish it. The topic has been taken over by new-agers, filled with ridiculous models based on wishes and self-important daydreams, without any real observations, techniques or models.
And yet, to properly discuss enlightenment, I have to discuss ascention. So please, bear with me, as this is my first time explaining this in writing.
First, why am I even talking about ascention? It’s not something I ever expected to be in my model, and I’ve always found the idea a bit silly. The standard depictions just never added up for me. But the spirits I work with use the term, and consider it quite important. And so, I’ve started using the term, too.
When I say “ascention,” I worry that I conjure up the image of a person disappearing into a beam of light and becoming some sort of spirit, which sounds entirely too Hollywood-special-effects-ish for me to take seriously. In my experience, magick just doesn’t work like that.
I think of ascention as more of a political designation. Like becoming a senator. You don’t change from human into something else, and you don’t suddenly gain more skills — to get elected, you had to have good oratory skills, a good understanding of human nature and politics and so on, and you keep those skills, but they don’t magically increase the day after the election. What does change, though, is how people respond to you.
It’s the same with ascention: You have to have good technical skills with magick, along with strong progress in enlightenment. The day after you ascend, nothing much changes, except that now you’re treated as an equal by other ascended. You don’t become magickally skilled because you ascended; instead, you ascended because you were magickally skilled. And, after ascending, you still have a human body, and no beam of light wisks you away.
Of all the areas of magick I study, I probably understand ascention the least. My model is based more on training than on personal experience, and there are parts that my trainers won’t explain until I’m further along. If you’re wondering, “Why bother calling this something as grandiose as ‘ascending,’ rather than just talking about collaborations and access,” it’s because I’ve adopted their term, and because it’s quite important to them.
One more item: Many people say that the spirits they work with are ascended. Perhaps some of their spirits even claim to be ascended themselves. In my experience, few are, based on the level of skill that I associated with ascended spirits. It’s not an argument I intend to have with individual mages, because it quickly devolves into a schoolyard “my dad can beat your dad up,” but it’s something I want to mention to you, my readers, as something to be aware of.
So, the enlightenment work I do is in service of this form of ascention. And I had to explain that for the rest of this series to make sense.
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Also, a quick note to Ananael and Ona: Thanks for the great comments lately. They keep sparking thoughts that I’m pulling into this series. Will reply to them soon.