I did some philosophical reading today, in an otherwise uneventful Monday of resting and listening to the thunderstorm and wondering if the power will go out.
I was reading about Western Magical Traditions as part of my Druidry studies, as I near the end of the Bardic course. It’s fun and thought-provoking, and the connections I make always seem both surprising and obvious. This time, it was a particular quote from — what else — a Doctor Who episode that stuck in my mind, perfecting summarizing one of the Mysteries: “The souffle is not the souffle; the souffle is the recipe.”
Mum and I were chatting months ago with another pagan friend about using tools with witchcraft and ritual. We all felt that tools — wands, caldrons, crystals, etc — were just that: tools. They didn’t give you any powers that you didn’t already have, and they only helped at channeling if you thought you needed help. You either had the abilities to do what you needed to, or you didn’t. Having the trappings wouldn’t change that simple equation. The real power is always in the mind and the will.
The particular bit of philosophy I was studying earlier today was talking about how this particular path of Druid teaching gave you the Inner tools first, taught you have to feel it and do it, before giving you the option to use physical tools, and how that was different from some other magical paths. This dove-tailed nicely with what we’d been talking about all those months ago.
I feel the quote above really is a very clever analogy for this philosophy, and for many more Mystery Traditions, up to and including Zen and Buddhism. “The Souffle is not the Souffle. The Souffle is the Recipe.” Isn’t that just so perfect?