One of the greatest systems in my own spiritual path has been working with the Three Soul model of the self that is common among many witchcraft systems and traditions. In my book, Psychic Witch, I dive heavily into the subject which is usually only briefly touched upon in other books, showing the benefits of working with this model for psychic and magickal abilities.
“Why is working with the three souls important for psychic or magical ability? By working with the Three Soul model we’re given different lenses from which to view reality. Think of it as having a microscope for the Lower Self, a telescope for the Higher Self, and a pair of reading glasses for the Middle Self. Through working with each soul we gain different vantage points from which to interpret psychic information given to us. Likewise, it also gives us different layers of reality to work with and manipulate in a magical context. If we’re just looking through one set of lenses, say reading glasses, we can’t see what’s going on at the microscopic level, and likewise, we cannot see what is going on at the macroscopic level beyond our eyesight like we can with a telescope. In the same vein, we work with different parts of our souls during different times and practices for specific purposes.”
One of the things that I discuss in Psychic Witch, is that one of the lenses we can look at the three soul model is in terms of who we are on the path of spiritual evolution. We can also look at the three souls as the Middle Self being who we are right now while the Lower Self is where we come from in terms of both past personal experiences, and those who have come before us that have passed on their ancestral information onto us biologically, energetically, and emotionally. The Higher Self is where we are headed, a perfected divine state that already exists beyond the Middle Self illusions of time and space.
We come closer to the apotheosis of being our Higher Self when we come into alignment with it while incarnated. Through coming into alignment with our Higher Self, we are revealed our True Will, an occult concept that for simplicity’s sake can be explained as the purpose your Higher Self had you incarnate upon this planet. The concept of True Will, which was coined by Aleister Crowley is often paralleled to the Eastern concept of Dharma, which makes sense since Crowley’s own work was heavily influenced by yoga and Eastern mysticism.
As I explain in my book, just because we all have a True Will, doesn’t mean that we will necessarily fulfill that, and it’s thought that most people won’t. When we come into alignment with our Higher Self, our own personal will begins to be calibrated with our True Will. Our personal desires begin to synch with the path of our True Will. True Will looks different for every individual and it’s important to strive to fulfill our own personal True Will rather than what we think is expected of us as our True Will. The Bhagavad Gita states, “It is better to do one’s own dharma, even though imperfectly, than to do another’s dharma, even though perfectly.”
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I was fortunate enough to have recently read an advanced copy of The Little Work: Magic to Transform Your Everyday Life by Durgadas Allon Duriel. I am super excited for this book to be released and it’s so highly compatible with Psychic Witch and my own personal work. I’m bringing up his book for two reasons. The first reason is to illustrate that everyone’s True Will is different. In the book, Durgadas uses the example of Arjuna and Krishna, where Krishna tells Arjuna that his dharma is to be a warrior. While it may not look super spiritually profound on the surface, Arjuna’s mission to incarnate was to be a warrior in this lifetime, not an ascetic mystic.
The second reason I bring up The Little Work, is just for the heart of the book itself. The fulfillment of one’s True Will is often referred to as The Great Work. Durgadas shows how we can take these large occult concepts and implement them into our everyday lives, performing “the Little Work” to assist us on the path of achieving “the Great Work.” In the same spirit, the three-soul model isn’t just helpful in a psychic and magickal context or for the overwhelming mission of fulfilling one’s divine destiny of incarnation. It can help us with the everyday manifestation of our own desires and goals to move us forward on the path of our True Will.
We often have goals that we want to achieve, but we get in our own way. I think anyone who has written a book or achieved any other large goal understands the massive level of self-sabotage and resistance that occurs while trying to achieve that goal. What I have found useful for me is to think of the Three Souls in terms of past, present, and future when it comes to achieving goals. If we look at the Higher Self as our future self and see our goal as the fulfillment of our will, we can frame the present by looking at the future. As any psychic worth their crystal ball knows, the future is never set in stone, but rather about multiple timelines of potential opening and looking at the most probable one that will occur with where things are headed.
As witches, we want to take control of where our timeline is headed, and we understand that while magick opens doors, we have to be the ones to physically and metaphorically step through them. Often, we need to get out of our own way. So when we have a goal or are striving to transform our lives or self, we can look to our future selves and those timelines and choose to come into alignment with one or the other. In most scenarios, two main timeline options can occur. There’s one where our future self is going to self-sabotage ourselves and our will, while the other one is going to manifest our desire and accomplish it. We can look to our past (Lower Self) to inform our present (Middle Self) about what we will most likely do in the future.
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This again highlights the massive significance of the Oracle of Delphi’s inscription of “Know Thyself.” We need to understand ourselves to predict how we self-sabotage our own will and correct the course. We need to realize the voice in our heads which Devin Hunter refers to as the “itty-bitty-shitty-committee” in The Witch’s Book of Power, as well as our habits of self-sabotage, and procrastination. We need to examine this potential future self based on the bad habits and wounds accumulated from our Lower Self and use our Middle Self to steer our course into transformation and empowerment. It’s as simple as asking yourself, “rather than self-sabotage, what would my ideal future self be doing instead to achieve this right now?” That simple question and the reframing of yourself will work miracles in your life. The answer is not always productivity-based either, sometimes it includes self-care and rest.
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