What was a spiritual seeker to do having rejected the church at an early age? It's a common question, asked by many who never had a religious faith and many who lost their faith. Outside of God, where is meaning? Philosophers ask it - Nietzsche found meaning, others found none. My faith at that time said "There is a sacred beyond appearances. But it's not to be found in a church."
I'd been reading books on spirituality and the occult from time to time for a few years. Now my reading and collecting became more enthusiastic. By the time I was eighteen and converted to a personally held Christian faith I had over 1000 books on themes related to the occult, the new age, spirituality, world religions and philosophy. Most of them I hadn't read. Nearly all I threw out or sold: my new Christian faith urged me to cleanse my life of all these supposedly unclean, evil things.
Where was a young person to go, having decided Christianity to be based on a false story but having a yearning for something beyond this world? I looked into lots of things. Vedic wisdom. Meditation. Astral projection. Yoga. Cartomancy, chiromancy, lots of mancies! Many other little obsessions. And magic.
There's not a lot of old ritual magic that a young person can do in the comfort of their own bedroom. The Golden Dawn rituals aren't designed for a few square feet of space, or to be performed as a solo endeavour. But there's some ritual, proper ritual - not the books of invented "spells" that are now so common on the spirituality shelves of bookshops. I've forgotten most of what I ever read about magic but remember part of a ritual that I tried each day for a while. Not for too long, nothing seemed to come of it, so I moved on to other things:
In sadness, turned from a religion without meaning,
I turned, turned, turned again.
Where is hope, truth, peace?
Where is that God, that promised life?
I turned, incense burning, held tight in hand, widdershins turning.
Give me reason - Hail Ra
Give me purpose - Hail Mithras
Take my dark agony - Hail Apollo
Light bringers come - I welcome thee
I turned, turn, calling - Into the light of my life
felt my fall, called, pulled by dreaming.
from empty God to godly life
Hail Ra, Mithras, Apollo, I welcome thee,
Turning in holy ritual, come, come, light beings come.
You came, if you came, in silence.
In sadness, turned, lost again,
Spinning, direction free,
Turned, turned again.