Today's Revelation: You Go Where You're Looking


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I was reminded of an important mystical lesson the other weekend. I was on the racetrack, one of six drivers in a low-budget endurance race. At one point I was in a large pack of other cars, all accelerating hard in a tight left-hand corner, when a car right in front of me spun. I saw it, and placed my focus on the open road away from the spinning car's trajectory. My car changed direction to follow, and narrowly avoided what would have been a nasty crash.

One of the first lessons in any driving school is really a core lesson of mysticism:
You go where you look, so look where you want to go.

The driving instructor teaches it this way:

Every corner has an ideal line, the fastest way for that particular vehicle to take that particular corner at the highest overall speed. Rather than try to consciously work that out as you enter the corner, see it before hand - visualize, imagine it, and drive it before even getting into the car. At the corner, look at the place you want the car to go -- not at the wall, not at the dirt, not at the car you're afraid of hitting, but exactly at the point you want to go. Trust the car and your knowledge of its capabilities, and it will follow your focus.

The mystic teaches it like this:

Visualize your desire, form it in your mind and actualize it with your will. Once it is formed, using the traditions and techniques you choose, direct your focus onto actualizing it. Do not waste that will by focusing on the distractions and obstacles that could stand in the way, but keep your focus on achieving and realizing that desire.

It speaks to a better truth than the oft oversimplified concept often summarized as the "law of attraction" by popular new-age texts (see: The Secret). Simplified that way, it allows victim blaming in many of the same ways it allows empowerment. The lesson is not to be mindless of the obstacles and distractions, just as the driver does not forget the wall that sits beyond the road's edge and does not ignore the other cars. Rather, adapt and work with the obstacles that appear, but do not forget the greater goal.

The secret, and here I mean the real one, is a little more nuanced: Develop your will and direct your focus so that, without ignoring obstacles and difficulties, you can direct that focus toward desired goals. You go where you look, so look where you want to go.

_______

Fred Jennings, Catland co-owner, is an enigma hidden in a puzzle wrapped in a three-piece suit and a crash helmet. He believes in the power of chaos and that the best truth comes from a syncretic, mindfully multidisciplinary approach.

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National Book Lover's Day Sale: We Love Small Press!

Today is National Book Lover's Day. We love our small press books! Catland Favorites include titles by Ouroboros Press, Fulgur Esoterica, Scarlet Imprint, Edda Press, Starfire, Three Hands Press, and Jerusalem Press. We covet them so much that it's sometimes difficult for us to let them leave the shop.

But, our mission has always been to provide an outlet for these quality publishers, so in honor of the day we're offering a 15% discount on all small press and rare used books. Our booklovers sale starts today and lasts throughout the weekend.

This includes the recently re-released Nightside of Eden by Kenneth Grant, David Chaim Smith's Blazing Dew of Stars, and one of our favorites the Jerusalem Press edition of Austin Osman Spare's The Book of Pleasure (They printed sigil inlays throughout the book. It's awesome.)

David Chaim Smith at Catland

At a yet to be disclosed time in the coming week, we will have the honor of hosting a formal kabbalistic drush given by artist, author, and renowned kabbalist- David Chaim Smith.   

Below is Smith's description of this very rare event:

In 2007 I stopped teaching and giving talks. However for various reasons I will be doing a formal kabbalistic drush (esoteric improvised discourse) at Catland in Bushwick Brooklyn in the upcoming week or so. It will be advanced, and we will not have time to cover introductory aspects. If interested contact Catland (not me) and put your info on the list. There will be a selection process to ensure a very small group consisting of people with sufficient background.

The subject will be Sefer Yetzirah 1:7 and the associated 13th century commentary by R. Isaac the Blind, along with a corresponding passage in Fountain of Wisdom. The talk will use Sefer Yetzirah for the outer points, Isaac the Blind's commentary for the inner points, and Fountain of Wisdom for what secret points (sod) can be drawn out.

It should be interesting to see what happens, and might be a one time only affair. If interested, read Sefer Yetzirah 1:7 and consider it as deeply as possible for a few days.

DcS

Those interested in being considered for admission please write to info@catlandbooks.com

Smith's most recent title "The Blazing Dew of Stars" (Fulgur Esoterica) is available at Catland.

Scarlet Imprint and Cyprian the Mage

We take a lot of pride in the fact that we are, to our knowledge, the only shop in New York that stocks Scarlet Imprint- one of the finest publishers in the grimoire tradition. It pleases us to announce that our most recent shipment included their new release: The Testament of Cyprian the Mage by Jake Stratton-Kent.

Scarlet Imprint writes, "Within the text we encounter the Chiefs, Kings and Queens of the grimoire tradition; the magical role of the Decans and their stones and plants; lunar magic and magical animals; the gods of Time; the Sibyl and the Hygromanteia; Asmodeus and Oriens; Angelology, Theurgy, Conjunction and the Pact, the Angelic Vice-regent and thwarting Angels; Asclepius, Iamblichus and Neo-Platonism; Paracelsus and the Elemental Spirits; Necromancy, and the principles of spell work."

It's a two volume set of 600 pages and the final work of Stratton-Kent's Encyclopedia Goetica series. We are looking forward to reading it ourselves so expect another post with our thoughts down the line.

Along with Cyprian, we've restocked on Exu, Serpent Songs, Howlings, At the Crossroads, and Pomba Gira.

Ritual Herbs have Arrived!

Catland recently received our first shipment of organic and wildcrafted herbs. We're very happy to be able to supply such quality stock to our community at affordable prices.

For those who aren't very experience in herbalism, herbs and resins have long been used in ritual in a variety of ways from incense to talismans to candle dressing and more. There's a couple books we have in stock that we consider go-to's for those interested in learning more on the subject: The Weiser Concise Guide to Herbal Magick, Catherine Yronwode's Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure, and Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.

You can peruse our initial stock and price list below the picture, and stay tuned as we expand this section.

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Herb/Resin (per 1/2 oz, per 1 oz)

  • Agrimony ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Alkanet Root ($3.25, $5.75)
  • Arabic Gum ($2.50, $4.50)
  • Bayberry Root Bark ($4.50, $8.00)
  • Benzoin ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Blue Vervain ($2.75, $5.00)
  • Calamus Root ($2.25, $4.00)
  • Cedar Sprigs ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Cinnamon ($1.75, $3.25)
  • Comfrey Leaf ($1.75, $3.25)
  • Copal ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Damiana ($2.75, $5.00)
  • Dragon's Blood ($5.00, $8.75)
  • Elder Berries ($2.75, $5.00)
  • Eucalyptus Leaf ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Frankincense ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Galangal ($3.50, $6.25)
  • Hyssop ($2.50, $4.50)
  • Jasmine Flowers ($3.25, $5.75)
  • Juniper Berries ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Lavender ($2.75, $5.00)
  • Lemon Balm ($3.25, $5.75)
  • Lemongrass ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Licorice Root ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Motherwort ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Mugwort ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Myrrh ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Myrtle Leaf ($2.25, $4.00)
  • Orris Root ($2.50, $4.50)
  • Passion Flower ($2.50, $4.50)
  • Patchouli Leaf ($3.00, $5.25)
  • Peppermint Leaf ($1.75, $3.25)
  • Pine Needles ($1.75, $3.25)
  • Quassia Bark ($2.25, $4.00)
  • Red Sandalwood ($3.75, $6.75)
  • Rosemary ($1.50, $2.75)
  • St. John's Wort ($2.25, $4.00)
  • Solomon's Seal Root ($4.00, $7.00)
  • Sulphur ($1.00, $1.75)
  • Thyme ($1.50, $2.75)
  • Valerian Root ($3.00, $5.25)
  • Violet Leaf ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Wood Betony ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Woodruff ($2.00, $3.50)
  • Yarrow ($2.00, $3.50)

Be a Part of our Community Garden through IndieGoGo

Hey everyone,  Catland is planning to transform our backyard into a garden space, and we would really appreciate your help through IndieGoGo. We’re so glad to have had such a large and vibrant community grow around our little shop, and we want to provide them with a little bit of green space in the city for gathering, meditation, and ritual.

In return, we have a lot of great perks ranging from T-shirts to lifetime discounts, so please take a look and share with your friends.

You can find our more about the IndieGoGo campaign and funding levels here.

Upcoming Events

As always, you can see what's coming up on our events calendar.

We have an exciting weekend coming up, and we're starting it a bit early this Thursday with the first of BrightFlame's workshops on the Reclaiming tradition. We're very honored to be hosting her in our space, and we hope you can make it out.

For more info on BrightFlame, check out her website: http://www.mysmagic.org/

Then on Friday, we have one of our favorite regular events, The Witches' Compass hosted and created by Katelan Foisy and Damon Stang. This month's moon is the Egg Moon (or Possum Moon depending on whom you ask). To those who haven't had the pleasure of attending before, The Witches' Compass is an interactive, artistic ritual experience designed around ecstatic experience in congress with each month's full moon. You'll love it. The New York Times did.

Pre-sale tickets are $15, and you can order them here. It's $20 at the door.

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Then on Saturday, we're having our first art show! For the next month, Catland will be home to the stunning artwork of Christina Dallas with her Secret Signals++ Teen Angel Magic Spirit Photography++ exhibition.


Welcome to Catland's Slick New Site

Take a moment to check out some of our new features:

Our favorite aspect of the new site is this blog. Check back for posts on whatever topic strikes our fancy.

Our new event calendar allows you to export the event to your Google Calendar or iCal with the click of a button.

Not on our mailing list? You can easily sign up online here.

For all of you outside of the NYC area, our online store is now fully integrated into our site and fully accessible.

That's all for now. Stay tuned.