Magickal Alignment: The Lower Self


As we continue our study of Magickal alignment and the components required to establish a state of balance and co-creation the next steps are to examine the three core aspects of our being. Although each is distinct in its own work, all are co-dependent on the other to maintain our state as a functioning human being. Note that I did not designate between that state of functioning being whole and integrated oar splintered and dysfunctional. These are the products of outcome in learning how to get the selves to communicate with one another and how much “sway” one may have over the other two or the two over a singular one.

This work of establishing effective communication is the work of a lifetime (s). The command of the Great Work to Know Thyself is the work of bringing all the bits and pieces of ourselves into collaboration with one another. So, let’s continue with the one that we as human beings are the most familiar with…..

Lower/Physical Self
I Have

The Lower Self (Lower Mental) is our primal instinctual nature. This is the physical body we inhabit and the conscious self that responds and reacts to stimuli in the physical world through our senses and tactile abilities. This is our place of foundation and the place from which we concretely and tangibly build the world around ourselves. The Lower or physical self obeys the laws of time and because of its density in energy the laws of space and its place within it as well.

When we are engaging the Lower Self we are focused on what we acquire and how that acquisition is attained. These are the things that ensure our survival and support the life we have created in the physical world. This is the self that demands its due reward. This is not as negative in connotation as it may sound, because this is the foundation that keeps us secure in knowing that effort produces reward and reward catalyzes continued action.

Lower Self: The Animal, Primal and Instinctual self. The Unconscious

We, as humans like to think us ourselves as different from the animal kingdom in our powers of reasoning and “civilized” nature. These are true to some degree, but the animal part of our being still remains strong. Although our needs for survival have changed dramatically from those of our ancient ancestors, how many of us equate need for survival with things that are in reality convenience. We don’t need a phone to survive, but it is a convenience that we are accustomed to. We don’t need a car to get to our destinations, but it is more convenient than walking or taking public transportation.

When we think of the Lower self and it being the place of instinctual need for survival, as we have evolved so have those needs and as such we may not think of them as being part of our lower nature. This is also not to say that those very basic and primal needs are not the underpinnings that we are still accountable to. The need for food still remains strong. The need to protect what is ours even stronger and the need to create still moves through us, whether it be for the survival of the species or the personal satisfaction of creative outpouring.

Those aspects of the Lower Self of which we are unaware reside in the Unconscious. These are what enable the petite Mom to lift a 4,000-pound vehicle to save her child. These are the atypical rage and vengeful action taken when a loved one is abused and we hear the epithet- “and he was such a nice person. Non-violent and passive in everyway.” When we connect with the lower self, the journey may dark, shadowy and uncomfortable because of societal expectations and what we reveal as our desires, needs and baser nature. It is nonetheless, a necessary journey, that if undertaken with care and reverence can reveal the strengths where we saw only weakness and the passion that we did not realize would catalyze us towards a new talent, skill or relationship.

We use the mechanism of the subconscious to begin the journey, treading cautiously and slowly, awaiting what lurks around every bend of the way. It is recognized by therapists that many a happy and peaceful person allows “society’s designated beast” to feed freely in the movies and books of horror and violence this person may enjoy. The phantasy supplies the outlet for what could become reality and actions of horrific consequence. This is one of the reasons why we squeamishly turn away from graphic scenes of violence in movies, although often sneaking a peek through a half-closed eye.

Now, I am not condoning violence, but we have only to look at the natural world to see that what we judge as unacceptable is part of the cycle of life and death and in the case of predator and prey, the fullest expression of their Lower Selves. If we think in these terms than we may more readily embrace this raw and instinctually driven aspect of ourselves that is fully aligned with the natural world, the elements and the cycles and rhythms that occur at every level and plane of existence.

Temptation, Desire and Will

What tempts us fuels our desire and from the desire to possess that source of temptation the will to take action is formed.

If we give consideration to the definition of the word – Tempt – we find these:

1. to entice or allure to do something often regarded as unwise, wrong, or immoral.
2. to attract, appeal strongly to, or invite:

The inference is one that this word evokes negativity and thus a temptation is negative and unacceptable. However if we also consider the etymology of the word, we find derivation from the Latin and its use in Middle English.

1175-1225; Middle English < Latin temptāre meaning to probe, feel, test, tempt

Temptation becomes the act of testing, probing and feeling our way through the experience of that object of temptation. Seeking deeper understanding and then engaging what we feel about that understanding are core precepts in spiritual growth and self-knowledge. Testing what we believe the results of that probing to be for their efficacy and use in our parameters is another tool of unlimited use in formulating what works magickally/spiritually and what is illusion and unproductive.

Repeating what I stated previously, now with a broader perspective of what Temptation is, reconsider this statement…

What tempts us fuels our desire and from the desire to possess that source of temptation the will to take action is formed.

Take this thought further and this is one of the keys to navigating the Lower Self, its desires and what tempts it to reveal itself, so that we become more desirous of knowing its true nature and using the gifts of its integration as part of our unified whole!

An Exercise in Truth and Dare:

Truth- I fear failure, so I wear the mask of composure and success, especially when I have failed.

Dare- Accepting that failure is the partner of success. At some point and in some time failure will be the winner, and the lesson that emerges from that failure is what will ultimately become the success. I dare you to inspect your feelings about failure and what mask you cloak them in.

Truth- I am at war with my physical nature and needs. So, I ignore what I want and suppress those urges that would remove me from a space of control.

Dare- Structure and order are part of the refining process. So is chaos and abandon. These are the testing grounds of what makes us truly human. I dare you to surrender to a primal impulse and allow the natural flow to loosen the boundaries you limit yourself by.

Year and a Day on the Wiccan Path: Lesson Seven-The Magickal SELF
Me, Myself and I


Next Post
The Middle Self
I Want (to Become)



About themagickalpen

Robin Fennelly is an Elder within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition and also serves as High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path. She teaches and facilitates classes for the Pagan Experience Study Group that serves as foundation for membership within Coven of the Mystic Path. Her spiritual journey is strongly rooted in both Eastern philosophy and theWestern Magickal systems from which she has formed a core foundation that is diverse in knowledge and rich in spiritual practice. A life-long learner, her practice has evolved from the classical and philosophical teachings of books, practical experience and enrichment of this knowledge base by attending workshops of various spiritual traditions presented by master teachers. Robin formally came to the Wiccan path in 1994. Following practice as a solitary for 2 years, she dedicated to Oak and Willow Coven of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition in November of 1996. She received her 1st, 2nd and finally 3rd degrees within the Assembly Tradition. As a teacher of esoteric and magickal studies she has used Energetic Anatomy, Tarot, Astrology, Hermetic Qabala, Eastern Philosophy, and Numerology as the foundations of her diverse selection of workshops and writings for more than 25 years. Exploration of varied energetic protocol has been the focus of her work for some time now and the information gained through direct experience informs all of her magickal and spiritual work. Robin’s writings have been featured online, and in print Internationally. She has authored several books incorporating her unique style of writing making use of poetry, prose and pathworking to enhance the concepts presented. She has taught extensively throughout the Pagan community, including Sacred Space Conference, Spring Magick, Between the Worlds Interfaith Conference and Free Spirit Gathering Festival this Summer. Her most recent project is hosting an online blogging community entitled The Pagan Experience. Robin is the owner of Holistic Embrace providing services for mind, body and spirit such as Tarot readings, Astrology reports, Spiritual Guidance and other related offerings. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania and her life is blessed by a 43-year marriage, five children and the opportunity to work in the field of public education. Robin's esoteric writings can be found on her blogs.
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