I realize that it gets pretty easy to talk fate down. Fate carries with it all of the hard and contingent things that we often feel get in the way of being who we truly are, of being our destiny. I want to rectify that somewhat and talk up the virtues of fate. Fate forms an integral part of spiritualist work, anchoring and nourishing destiny as much as it lashes and scorns it.
This quote regarding work with Santisima Muerte has stuck with me and seems like a good place to start:
She is not a representation of Death in the abstract sense, She changes, for each person, to be the Death-that-they-will-meet. Not your friend’s Death- your Death. Working one color over the other will also influence the Death that comes for you. (Jesse Hathaway Diaz’s Serpent Shod blog)
While it focuses on a very specific spiritualist practice, it has implications for most others. When you do work to alter the way in which life is presently unfolding, you are working the dynamic possibilities inherent in destiny to undertake a transformation in fate. As I’ve noted previously, destiny depends upon fate for the substance of its operations and so in working destiny, you engage in a dance with fate.
No matter how good you are at that dance, you surrender a little bit more to the forces of fate each time you engage it; you become more entangled in the determinate structures of creation and less able to play freely across it. In Santisima Muerte we find the hard destination of fate, death, but what that quote throws up in bold relief is that your death is prepared by the little deaths that litter your life, through which you slowly surrender the open resonance of your destiny to increasingly specific fated expressions. If you want to work the strands of fate, you must accept that you will be worked by them in turn.
Pacts and initiations, obviously, are major expressions of this process of destiny embedding itself in fate. There are more subtle ones, like the language you find to pray, the concepts that structure how you meditate, the people whom you do (or do not) choose to work with. There are also much more blunt expressions of the process, like the objects and thoughts that we preoccupy ourselves with throughout the course of our day and all of the mundane choices that steer us this way or that.
From my perspective, this willful fating of destiny forms a lynchpin of spiritualist work. The specificity of fate brings with it a clarity and intensity of experience that cuts into the fabric of our soul. The more durably we are able to join destiny and fate in our lives, the more fully we are able to experience them, the more fully we are able to direct the movement of our soul toward death.
Excluding preparations for the mysteries of the afterlife (which is a lot to exclude!), through this we understand the spiritual forces that constitute our being, glimpse something of the spiritual source of this constitution, and acquire the means to communicate with that source and make changes in our constitution.