2021 Was definitely a weird year, to say it in a soft way. With so many ups and downs, so many emotions, and news, it was hard to keep up with the world, or at least it was for me, and accomplish all the goals and plans. It was a bitter year for me, mostly because I couldn’t finish any of the readings I planned. I don’t want to make the same mistake on this 2022, but I do want to keep some level of order in what I do and how I spend my time.
The Arabian Nights has been a real challenge, mostly one of the last tales, “The Story of Nur al-Din Ali ibv-Bakkar and the Slave-Girl Shams al-Nahar”. I’ve struggled a lot with the style and the many changes in the narration, even feeling tempted to skip to the next story, but considering how woven all of them are I keep reminding myself it wouldn’t be the best option, but quite the opposite.
However, I cannot deny I’ve learned a lot because of this book. I told one of my friends I want to re-read it, so I can take notes of all the segments that can enrich my spiritual practice. Although it is considered an Islamic manuscript, and the references to Islam are obvious, there is also a lot of information about folklore and customs that I’ve implemented in my spiritual path, reflections, and thoughts that make a lot of sense to me. I’m sure there are more on the previous stories but that I missed because I was just reading it for pleasure, noticing bits and pieces I found interesting, but never thinking I could use them practically.
Like Aladdin, I keep wandering in the pre-Islamic world as a foreigner, trying to make sense of it and understand how it works, getting used to the writing style, keeping some distance so I don’t get overwhelmed, or at least not more often than it already happens, if I am honest. This 2022, I want to finish that over-grown to-read list I did at the beginning of the year, maybe discover a few more, but besides reading I want to have a more active practice.
I’ve always loved theory, and I still do. For me, there’s nothing more important than understanding where ideas come from, how they can be adapted, combined, developed, and applied in a different way. However, I want to include those ideas in my practice more than I did last year. 2021 was good in that aspect, I discovered new techniques and got many ideas, but I want to go further this time, leave the books aside, and have a more solid approach, equally based on experience and research.
That’s one of the things I was talking about with this friend I mentioned before. I like to experience first, see what I can get when I connect with a certain entity and then verify thought research, so I don’t expect anything. When he asked if I was basing my practice on unverified/verified personal gnosis, I said that that was just a bit of it. If I find something that makes sense to me, matches the research and experience, then I added it and give it a try, no matter if that’s what I experienced or not. That’s something I think everyone should do.
I’m thankful for all the good people I’ve met in 2021, some of which I already see as potential friends, and I expect to meet even more this year. There are many things I want to try and explore, but things are still a bit difficult regarding my current situation, so I want to take it easier this time. I still remember that I was very active when I began here at Patheos, and I’m proud of that time; while it’s impossible to go back and have three academic articles per week, along with all the other responsibilities I have, I want to get as close as possible to the person I was at that time.
It’s still too early to know what 2022 will bring. We all hope it will be much better, but, in the meantime, I would rather leave you with two tracks I recently started listening to and that I added to my Arabic witchcraft music selection. I actually came across the first one while writing this entry, one that will become one of my favorites for sure. I’ve never been a fan of Arabic music, but this combination of trance, electronic, and Middle Eastern charm is plain amazing, while the second one is more industrial and darker, perfect for more demanding energy workings. Hopefully, you’ll like them as much as I do.