The path of the Seeker

By Alder Lyncurium

The Seeker is a figure that we find in a myriad of contexts and also in many levels of our own lives. We could say that we are all eternal seekers.

Many times we don’t even know that we are seeking something, until we find it. And most of those findings lead to a new seek. And so on.

But, what does a Seeker seek? And how does she or he get there? To answer that, I would like to mention something that Morgana Sythove shared with us in a conference in Madrid. She explained us how she had to travel abroad to actually appreciate what she had in her own land.

The path of the Seeker is a quest in which the Seeker walks around to end up facing himself.

It is not a coincidence that the temple of Apollo in Delphi has written on its doorway the famous aphorism: ‘Know thyself’.

The Seeker in the Craft

In the context of the Craft, or even the paganism in general, the path of the Seeker has a special meaning. The term Seeker is used to refer to those people who are seeking their paths – whether it is inside a coven or group, or on their own. This quest normally starts after a time of disruption and implies a 180-degree turn in their belief system.

Curiously enough, this figure is not found amongst those who are new to the Craft or the paganism, but rather amongst those who have been walking this path for a long while. It is true that many newcomers look for a group or a certain path to join, but many times the source of this is a feeling of loneliness or lack of acceptance – or just the fact that they feel overwhelmed by the amount of information.

The Seeker, on the other hand, is not lost – he just does not know where he is going. Without knowing it, he is embarking from which he will never return, at least not being the same person.

The tensing and loosening of the string

“If you tighten the strings too much,” the fisherman explained, “they will snap, and if you leave them too loose they won’t play, but if they are tuned to the right point, then you will make music.”

The Life of the Buddha by Cherry Gilchrist

One of the particularities of this period of time is the continued loosening and tensing of the string. The world of the Seeker has turned upside down, and now everything is vulnerable to be called into question. Nothing is sure and everything is possible. The Seeker strives to find something to hold onto while the world surrounding him falls apart.

During this process he may try to make an irrefutable axiom from the simplest thought or belief – either toward others, or himself. If he realises the extreme attitude, he will pursue to reach the other pole. Eventually, he will come back to the beginning, and so forth.

Certainly, we all change our views constantly, some more than others. And we may identify ourselves with this situation. But the Seeker is travelling on an inner roller coaster – a very radical and constant one.

It is up to him to find the balance between both poles – not a middle point, but a rhythm. Once this has been achieved, he will be able to dance between the different shades of grey.

The Dark Night of the Soul

O guiding dark of night!
O dark of night more darling than the dawn!
O night that can unite
A lover and loved one,
Lover and loved one moved in unison.”

St. John of the Cross – The Dark Night of the Soul

During this journey, the Seeker may find himself experiencing one of the most particular stages in spiritual development – The Dark Night of the Soul. For centuries, this stage, or process, has been featured in poetry, art and essays written by mystics of several traditions, like St. John of the Cross.

The Dark Night of the Soul is a disruption of our Ego, who is realising the change we want to bring, and fighting against it. And his ‘fighting techniques’ are not to be underestimated – if someone knows our darkest fears and weakest spots, that’s our Ego. Juan Mérida explained The Dark Night of the Soul as follows:

We experience the Dark Night of the Soul because our perception of what we are is not enough for the life for which we are preparing ourselves.”

The key words for this stage are Observance, Endurance and Acceptance. We will need to look face to face to our deepest self, we will need to endure during this process and accept it, without putting up a fight.

Frustration and the Roller Coaster: finding the rhythm

Between stillness and movement, we find rhythm.”

Beyond the Broomstick by Morgana Sythove

The journey of the Seeker could also be compared to a Roller Coaster – when he thinks that everything is over, it starts again, from the very beginning. This can lead to a lot of frustration, thinking that we aren’t heading anywhere. And, again, when everything seems to be coming to and end, the Roller Coaster goes down the tracks dramatically.

However, underlying this apparent incoherence, there’s a subtle and imperceptible pattern – a rhythm. It is like a parallel but straight Roller Coaster that has been storing the fruits of its uncontrolled counterpart. Like in many other aspects of our lives, our mind focuses on the busy part of the events, overlooking what’s hidden behind.

We need to find that rhythm. Look into we have achieved until now. If we don’t find it, we can create, focusing on a particular and constant task, or hobby.

Action – helping to bring a change

A physical act is always required in order to activate intangible forces in our world.”

The 72 names of God by Yehuda Berg

Not everything is observance during the journey. The Seeker will find that putting a little effort in his personal and spiritual work (being it meditating, performing rituals, divination or just writing) changes the whole perspective. If there’s a ‘painkiller’ for this process, that’s the personal work.

This aspect will be key on many levels. Due to the ‘inner’ character of the journey, we may face the fact that our external environment has become more hostile. In fact, it is us who are more vulnerable now. It is the perfect time to go back to our grassroots, our basic and personal practises.

Meditating on different aspects, developing new skills, writing are possible options – they don’t even have to be directly related to our spiritual practise. Find something that you enjoy, that makes you feel comfortable, something that fulfils you; and come back to it whenever you feel that everything is tumbling down.

Home Sweet Home

There’s nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.”

Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

At the beginning of the article, we said that we all could consider ourselves eternal seekers. If the journey is eternal, then there isn’t an end to it. But there are milestones.

Many times the Seeker doesn’t realise the he was embarked on this journey until this point is reached. It’s a point of death, and rebirth – and encounter with some very old friends.

This could mean the joining of a particular path or group, an initiation, or just a complete turnabout in our lives.

Foremost, it means the ‘end’ of the circular journey we started, and now, back in the same initial place, we can see our back; and that what is behind us and we couldn’t see before.

The key word for this final stage, together with rebirth, is Realisation. Where once we were wondering, now we realise.

Nonetheless, I said ‘end’, meaning that this is just the ending point of this concrete round of the circle – and ahead, there’s a brand new way. As I said at the beginning, we are eternal seekers after all. And we may not know where are we heading to, but we definitely know that we are on our way.

Over Alder

A Gardnerian witch from the Basque Country, still figuring out things, most of them. I am also webmaster for the AdRosam site, a website of resources in Spanish for Gardnerian Seekers. I am also on Twitter and Tumblr.
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