deity

How to keep your relationships with your spirits top of mind

Eligos Sometimes its really easy to let your relationships with your spirits fall away. You get busy with living your life, working your work, and whatever else and despite your best intentions, the relationship you have with the spiritual part of your life falls to the wayside. Recently I was having a conversation with my friend Felix and he was telling me how our mutual spiritual daemon Eligos had been showing up and I thought to myself, "I haven't had a conversation with him in a while."

As I shared in a recent Facebook Live video, Eligos and I did have a conversation shortly after and we both agreed that I'd been so busy writing (which ironically is his domain) that I needed to take a break from it and my break should be dedicated to him. Then my other spiritual entities chimed in and said they also wanted the break dedicated to them...so end result they're all getting a dedication on the first day of my retreat, coming up in a couple weeks (and I'll likely do a live video of that).

Over the years my relationship with my spirits has changed. At the beginning I believed in them as objective beings, then somewhere along the way I thought of them as psychological constructs...Now I've gone back the other way and I suspect I'll stay that way. I've had too many experiences occur that have convinced me it's NOT all in my head. But keeping your relationship with your spirits is its own commitment.

I do a daily prayer, but there's something to be said for having a relationship where you walk with your spirits. What I mean by that is that your interaction with them isn't so formal and set up that you always need a ritual in order to connect with them. In my case, I can feel Eligos when I write. And I can feel him when I'm reading or watching or really drawing inspiration from any source of creativity. Now some people will tell you not to take this kind of approach to working with spirits, but honestly I've never been one to go with conventional wisdom. It's sooo...boring. More to the point I've always wanted a different kind of relationship with my spirits.

So often the relationship people have with their spirits is either one where the spirit is called up and asked to do some tasks or the spirit is communed with, worshiped. I've done both in my time, but in choosing to walk with my spirits, what I've really looked for is a more intimate relationship with the spirits who are part of my life. I'm not talking a romantic relationship or a sexual one (They aren't really interested in either, unless its as a way to connect). The intimacy is found in what is shared voluntarily, and so much can be shared without bring romance or sex into the equation. In fact, when I see people talking about having a romantic connection with a spirit or the spirit sex they want to have, what it really tells me is how much they aren't in touch with themselves, because what they've fallen for (to be honest what all of us have fallen for at one time or another) is the misguided notion that romance and sex is the only way to be intimate. Romance and sex are just a couple of ways to be intimate and there isn't always intimacy even then. Real intimacy takes work and you won't find that truth shared in romance novels or porn films.

Intimacy is found in sharing and sharing can take many different forms.

To be intimate with your spirits is to invite them into your life, to walk beside you. It is to make an offering of experience, to share the moment across the boundaries of flesh and spirit. When I eat food and one of the spirits is along for the ride to taste what I eat, that is intimacy. Or when I go on a walk and I open my senses to the spirits so that feel something of what I'm experiencing that is intimacy. And sometimes the intimacy is found in doing the art or the writing and just letting yourself be open to experiencing the divine inspiration.

It's a conversation, but rarely with words and when the words are expressed its just another form of sharing, sound reaching out to connect with the internal reality of the spirit, evoking it forth so it is here, right here, with you in this moment. But they're always there to some degree or another, if you let them. It's a lot less complicated than most people portray it because once you have the connection it's always there to some degree...it's just a matter of choice...do you want to let these spirits in that you've worked with or do you only want to bring them in on special occasions. I opt to let them in on a regular basis.

Most magicians will tell you not to do that, by the way.

My first real intimate experience with the spirits happened when I was eighteen. I'd been reading these books on elemental hermeticism and I decided I wanted to connect with the elemental faeries, really connect with them. I didn't want to just do a ritual. I could do those and they worked, but I knew there was something more, something deeper to be had. So I did a ritual working, but this time in the ritual I did something different.

I gave them something.

I know offerings have become a fairly popular topic, but at the time I was doing the ritual there wasn't any writing out there on why you needed to make offerings to spirits, or if there was, it wasn't in any book I was reading. And the offer I made was a bit different. It wasn't food, it wasn't drink. It was part of my life essence, in the form of blood. Pretty damn intimate.

Most magicians will tell you not to do that, by the way.

I gave them blood. And I asked them, in return, for some of their life essence. I wanted to connect with them in the most intimate way possible by making them and I part of each other. They agreed. We exchanged life force and from that experience what I learned was something significant.

What you are willing to give and what you are willing to take on is exactly what determines your relationship with the spirits.

I've applied that realization to every relationship I've had with the spirits (and to a number of relationships with people) and its worked for me. So when my relationships with the spirits isn't top of mind what I recognize really is I'm giving less and taking on less and its up to me to change that, with an occasional nudge on the part on one spirit or another.

I couldn't imagine taking the standard approach to working with spirits that I see so many people take. And the inevitable questions I get about my own practice usually focus on why I have such a different relationship with the spirits I work with. My standard answer is I treat them with respect. I figure that answer is what they really need to learn first. Are they even respecting the spirits they work with? Are they trying to form a collaborative relationship? Usually they aren't because they've fallen for the stereotypical approach of call a spirit up, threaten it to get it to work for you formula...So really they need to learn a different way, one that's focused on respect.

To this day I've never had any negative experiences with the spirits I've worked with. I've heard stories of other people having negative experiences with some of the same spirits I work with and what I see missing is the respect...and what I wrote above about what you give and what you take on.

It comes down to respect and responsibility...and intimacy.

Eligos and Boundaries

Eligos Recently a friend of mine observed that in the last couple of months I had various situations come up where I needed to express and enforce boundaries for myself, my community, and other assorted issues. After she made that observation I thought about it and I realized that for me the work with boundaries had really started in November with my month long spiritual retreat (and work with Eligos).

And if you do a little research into Eligos, it makes a lot of sense. Eligos is a Daemon of writing and of time and both writing and time are in some ways very much about boundaries. When you write something you are defining what it is and what it is not. You are creating a very specific reality with your words (though the reality is open to interpretation). And with time, particularly linear time, you have a concise placement of temporal boundaries which is used to measure time and define it. Actually this can apply to non-linear time as well, in the creation of the rhythm and cycles of non-linear time.

A lot of my work with Eligos has ultimately been around boundaries. When we first started working together he told me I needed to take a break from my regular routines of writing and in retrospect my regular routines of time. In taking that break, I had the opportunity to really explore what I want my boundaries of writing and time to be and not too surprisingly I changed those boundaries, but in a way that really empowered me. Before I'd been working around other people's schedules far more than I wanted to be and what Eligos demanded of me was that I really look at that aspect of my life and make changes that allowed me to define my time and writing on my own schedule.

And since then, in various ways, large and small, boundaries have come up. And each time they've come up, the challenge has been around getting very clear on what is in my life and what I need in my life to be doing the work I've been called to do. What Eligos is really helping me see is that the boundaries I have in my life are in place in order to protect my time and space. And that protection is helping me be a lot more creative and productive...and much happier than I've ever been.

Part of successful space/time magic is the ability to set up boundaries of space and time with your working. One can argue that space and time in and of themselves are boundaries and that's true, yet in working with them I find that if I want to manifest a specific space in my life I need to get clear on what space is and isn't. The same applies to time. If I want to manifest a possibility at a specific time, I need to claim that time, define it and make it part of the magical work I'm doing.

By defining the boundaries you also open yourself to working with possibilities contained in those boundaries and what can be surprising is what possibilities you discover. While a boundary is a limitation, what it includes in the limit is what possible in the context of the boundary. The boundary provides you the context to realize those possibilities through your magical work.

In Praise of Agares

Agares I praise Agares, Justice Bringer protector balancer of scales you who makes situations equitable and create solutions that work for the benefit of all while ensuring that the unjust the prideful, those who look down on others are humbled and brought to their knees to know their true place. I praise you for your protection, your strength, and your guidance.

This devotional was inspired by the recent class taught by a friend. It's also an offering to Agares for his continued support.

How to choose the Spirits you work with

Agares Recently I started working with Agares and Ronove, two Daemons from the Goetia. I've actually worked with Ronove in the past, but it had been some time back, whereas this is my first time working with Agares. They each have their specialties. Ronove provides help with rhetoric and writing, whereas Agares provides expertise on issues of communication. I decided to work with both of them because of some writer's block and a desire to continue improving my communication skills. That got me to thinking about why people choose to work with spirits and how to actually go about choosing the spirits you work with (unless they choose you, which I'll discuss further below).

I've generally chosen to work with specific spirits that bring with them specific skills that can be applied to situations I'm dealing with, but in a manner that I'm not able to do it. I've found this to be a good rule when working with spirits, in the sense that what they bring with them is a different way of handling a situation and that difference can be useful. However that's not the only reason to work with spirits. In some cases I'm working with spirits to develop a specific system of magical work and getting their insights on that system is useful for what it will allow me and other people to do as a result of applying those insights.

How I go about choosing a spirit to work with involves doing some research around the desired result. Once I've defined the desired result, then I can start looking at possible processes, and one of those processes can be working with a spirit. I'll look into the various types of spirits I could work with to determine which one (or more) seems to be the right fit. Then I'll do the invocation connection working to see if in fact it would be a good fit and from there the magical working proceeds.

Sometimes, though the spirit picks you. Thiede chose me way back when I started working with him. He made it very clear that he was going to work with me and that the work we needed to do together was important for him as well as for some of my own interests. And it seems he was right, as he has contributed to the development of pop culture and space/time magic currents. In such cases where a spirit makes itself known to you, you don't necessarily want to accept it on blind faith, but you also shouldn't reject it out of hand. When Thiede first made himself known to me as a spirit, I was already familiar with him and was able to test what presented itself accordingly. You can do the same, and its quite reasonable to do so in order to make sure that if you choose to work with the spirit it will actually be a beneficial relationship.

While not all of my magical work revolves around working with spirits, it is fair to say they play a significant role in my spiritual work and in my life in general. I think if you choose to work with spirits, it is a good practice to figure how you want to work with them and honor them, because you are forming a relationship that brings with it a necessary appreciation for the efforts on both sides of the equation. Pick who you work with, with care, and make sure you follow through on your end.

Magical Experiments radio show: Interview with Emily Carlin about shadow and pop culture magic.

Book Review: Awakening the Sacred Body by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

In this book, the author shares the Tsa Lung and 9 purification breaths techniques and explains how to work with them. The book also comes with a DVD, so that you can actually see how to do the exercises. I found the writing to be clear and explicit and it made it easy to learn the exercises. Doing these exercises in conjunction with other Dzogchen techniques can help you quite a bit with internal work you are doing around issues, as well as learning how to experience yourself and the world from a place of stillness. I highly recommend this book if you want to learn more about Dzogchen or learn some alternative approaches to meditation.

The Illusion of Omnipotence: an exploration of relationships with spirits

spiritworld I was recently reading one of the issues of Batwoman. In that issue, she's with Wonder Woman and she's hunting down Medusa. Before she does that she meets Pegasus, who is a son of Medusa. He's been attacked by another son of Medusa and although he is alive he has wounds which won't heal for a long, long time, because people don't believe in him anymore, and faith is an integral part of his existence, as well as integral to him being healed. He ultimately ask Wonder Woman to end his life because he will be in lots of pain otherwise, so she does, and afterwards Batwoman asks if he'll ever be able to come back and Wonder Woman says only if people believe in him, at which point Batwoman defiantly says she believes. It's an interesting statement she makes, but what interests me even more is that you see similar such statements about deities and spirits in other fictional works. For example in American Gods, Neal Gaiman talks about how each continent has its own versions of the gods, as well as how the belief in those continents affects the gods. David Eddings, in his books offers a similar metaphysics description of the gods and their reliance on the belief of their worshippers.

While I've seen this perspective offered up in Fiction, I think there's enough corresponding evidence to suggest that there's more to this concept than just fiction. For example, Judeo-Christian mythology has plenty of stories which demonstrate just how jealous Yahweh is, and how much he demands the faith of his worshippers be focused only on him. Then there's the various mythologies which suggest similar expectations on the part of the Gods. The desire for offerings also speaks to this concept having some basis in reality. And what all this suggests to me is two things:

1. Omnipotence is an illusion. What I mean by this is simple. There is no such thing as omnipotence on the part of the spirits or our part either. When there is a reliance on faith and belief, then there's also a recognition that the power that comes about as a result of said faith and belief can dry up. Indeed, if you think about it your average spirit won't exert too much power because there may be a longer term need for it. At the same time there is an expectation in the saying that those who help themselves are helped by God. Omnipotence isn't the name of the game with the spirit world. Rather it is about relationships and cultivating relationships that are mutually beneficial to all involved.

2. We have a symbiotic relationship with spirits. In Healing with Form, Energy, and Light, the author talks about how we have a symbiotic relationship with the spirits. They can help or hinder us, as we can do the same to them. Naturally he advocates taking a compassionate approach to such a relationship and I'm inclined to agree.  Such an approach does involve offerings, but also involves recognizing how the spirits mesh with our lives. We understand that the relationship isn't a one way street in either direction. Rather there is a give and take, a symbiotic connection that can worked with consciously not merely in the form of prayers and offerings, but deeper still into the actual connection we establish with given spirits and how that connection plays out in our everyday lives.

Instead of treating spirits as all powerful beings, what if we were to instead consider to just be different beings that have needs, which are different from ours, but nonetheless are something we can meet. Such an approach might change our relationship with a given spirit, in the sense that we'd consciously recognize how we were interacting with it, as well as how that played out in our lives. This could a healthy way to explore the relationship a given person with spirits.

Now for some people this may not work. They have a particular role that they place their relationship with the spirits and that role defines their interaction. I get that. What I suggest for the rest of you is that you take a moment to consider whatever your given relationship is with your spirits, deities, etc., and ask yourself what you want it to be, as well as what you are willing to give to make it become whatever it could be. For example, recently I've taken to thanking my spirits each day. A simple heartfelt thanks offered each day without expectation, but done simply to say thanks and be grateful. I do it not as a form of worship, but rather as an acknowledgement of their presence. It's subtly different and yet speaks to the relationship I wish to cultivate with them. And I find that they are not offended, but rather are pleased to be engaged with in such a way. The acknowledgement of the symbiosis is a profound acceptance of each other as integral presences within our respective existences.

My Altar to Elephant

Elephant  

I've always been fascinated with Elephants. Even as a young child, they were my favorite animal and still are to this day. Over the years, I've collected elephant statues, read up on elephants to learn more about how they act, and supported non-profits focused on helping Elephants. An acquaintance gifted me Elephant skin that she'd somehow found as well as bracelets made of Elephant hair. I use both in my magical workings.

In my system of Space/Time Magic, Elephant is one of the spirit guides I work with. He is the guardian of the gates of time and space, the guardian of the crossroads. Before I work with the web, I always ask his permission.

Today, Elephant asked me for his own altar and told me that if I visited the Goodwill store up the street, I'd find what I needed. So I drove up to the goodwill store, and I found a foldable bookshelf and he indicated that the top shelf was for him and anything associated with him. I brought it home, dusted it and prepped it for Elephant. The picture above contains everything related to Elephant that I have, other than the necklaces that I wear on occasion.  I also have a painting I did, as well as a picture of Elephant from an artist. I have a mask of Elephant also, which hangs in my office.

I don't know that I'd call Elephant my totem spirit (perhaps he is). I do know that Elephant is a presence in my life that I strongly resonate with. Someday I plan to get a tattoo of Elephant on my body as another way to honor his presence in my life, but this altar is a good start.

Can Jesus be for Pagans too?

jesus Sam Webster recently posted an article that has caused some controversy: Why you can't be worship Jesus Christ and be a Pagan. My own response to the article is admittedly based on my own history with Christianity, which has been a fairly adversarial relationship. I had my occult books burned by my mother, a fundamentalist Christian, when I was forcibly outed and I also received death threats for practicing magic. Even in later years I can't say that I really care for a religion which has many adherents that seem compelled to push their beliefs, and vision for the world on everyone else and I have resented it, when it has happened to me. I understood and appreciated where Sam is coming from, because my experiences with Christianity do not make me feel that my beliefs and choice of lifestyle is welcomed by people who adhere to that particular religion.

I am frankly skeptical as to how Jesus can be integrated into magical practices or into Paganism, especially given the commandments of his father, that there should be no other gods other than him. At the same time, I don't know that I can blame Jesus the deity for the faults of his worshippers. Indeed, having read the new and old testament a few times through, what has always struck me is that the parables of Jesus and the golden rule are actually insightful lessons that anyone, Christian or otherwise, could benefit from. And I'm also of the mind that if something calls to you and there is a meaningful experience there that contributes to your life, you need to honor it. So if someone tells me that Jesus is part of their pantheon, I can accept that it works for them. It would never work for me, but fortunately as long as they can accept that, we'll get along just fine.

At the same time, I don't think that Sam's article is all that different from how Christians would respond to the idea of Jesus being part of a Pagan pantheon. Back in my days of being a Christian, I remember telling a friend about the Greek myths I was reading and how there was one myth that made me think of the Christian God and made me wonder if there was some relationship there. I remember his mother telling me, quite fiercely, that I shouldn't read Greek myths (or fantasy or Science Fiction) and that having such discussions were sacrilegious. Not surprisingly such close mindedness was one reason I left the Christian religion, and its various sects behind. And while I don't assume all Christians are that way, I've encountered enough of them that are, that I could just as easily see them arguing that a pagan who worships Jesus is a fifth columnist or that his/her belief isn't genuine.

But you know, it doesn't matter what Sam, or I, or some Christian thinks about what you believe. What matters is what you think and how you choose to accept it (or not). I learned long ago that looking for acceptance from others was not a fruitful path. There will always be someone who will say what you believe is wrong, heretical, etc. And you can argue against them, but likely no one will budge. So share your own opinion and perspective, like I'm doing here, and then leave it at that. In the end, the only person who's opinion matters is yourself, and the relationship you have with your pantheon of choice.

What's under the Mask?

mask The other day, in a teleconference call for the Process of Magic class I was asked if I thought a deity represented access to something beyond what it was in and of itself. It was an intriguing question and it prompted me to consider my own perspective/experiences of deities as well as what I've read in various books.

When I work with a spiritual entity of any sort, I recognize it's own existence in and of itself. But I've also noticed that various entities also represent specific functions. This is true not just for deities, but also Angels, Daimons, etc. On the one hand, this can be attributed to the need humans have to label what they deal with and/or be able to explain the usefulness of a particular entity. On the other hand, it could also be true that the particular entity really does represent those particular attributes and has presented itself to people accordingly in order to provide its knowledge to those people.

On a deeper level, however, I also think that any given spiritual entity represents access to something deeper than it, something that is so primal that it may not be easily understood or experienced. Jung's archetype theory applies here. In one sense Loki the trickster is his own entity, and yet in another sense Loki is a facet of a deeper spiritual force that is the trickster on a more primal level. And when we find other entities that have similar characteristics of the trickster, like Coyote, what we see on one level, are the masks of that deeper spiritual force. Coyote and Loki are still their own entities, but they are also representatives of that deeper spiritual force, or masks, if you will that provide a filter for the spiritual force and a face that is understandable to the people who are working or interacting with that energy.

It's also important to recognize that there is a cultural facet attached to the archetype. Even though Loki and Coyote might represent the Trickster, there are culture specific aspects which don't make them swapable for each other. In other words, Coyote will have different cultural characteristics that are suited specifically for the culture where he represents the trickster. However, with the cultural aspect accounted for there is enough similarity in terms of what the trickster does that we can see access to something deeper, something that is underneath the mask. The question is can we understand it?

I think whatever understanding is had occurs at a very primal level. It is something that makes sense, but not in a necessarily rational manner. And when you consider how rational people have become, how analytical they are, the necessity for having a mask is apparent because the mask is for the analytical, rational sides of ourselves that need something to cling to in order to understand and work with that deeper spiritual power.

Some Thoughts on Offerings

In the latest lesson from the Strategic Sorcery Course, Jason talks about Offerings. It was interesting to read what he said and to see a similar philosophy when it came to offerings, but a different approach to doing offerings. I think his approach works and I'm actually doing it with two entities I'm working with right now.

Ironically before even reading that lesson or starting the course, I'd been doing a weekly offering to Dragon. Each week I make an offering of rice and tea to Dragon. Once a month I do a full ritual, where I paint myself and allow Dragon to do a full possession of my body.

I've also done an offering to Bune, which has involved writing about him on occasion, as well as doing a painting to him, and even incorporating him into my vision board for 2012. In the forthcoming book on wealth magic, don't be surprised if you see his seal on the cover. It's another offering I'll make to him.

In Magical Identity, if you look carefully, you'll see the seal for Purson, another entity I've worked with in the context of time magic. His seal shows up on the cover of another of my books.

I've also offered daily prayers or devotions to different entities I'm working with. So I don't think my approach is all that different from Jason's, but my expression isn't as traditional, at least in some cases. For example, when I was eighteen, I offered my blood (and life force) to the elemental spirits in return for their life force. One could argue it was a bargain, but I don't think of it in that way. I see it as more of a kinship oath, where each person swears kinship with the other person. Certainly my connection with the elements is different as a result of that working and I feel its fair to say that my elemental balancing work is its own offering to the elements.

But another type of offering I do is through tattooing. I currently have five tattoos, with at least two more planned. Some of those tattoos represent life events, but the dragon on my arm is an offering to the spirit of Portland, and the tattoo on my right forearm is an offering to XAH as well as a recognition of my emptiness working. My newest tattoo is an offering to the elemental spirits. By giving them skin, what I am truly offering is an acknowledgement of the highest form. They are placed on my body as a way of acknowledging their role in my life. The next two tattoos will also be offerings to specific entities I've worked with or am working with.

What it really comes down to is making the offerings from a place of sincerity and appreciation. Nothing less will do.

Dragon Ritual - February

This month's ritual was different from the previous month. While Dragon did possess my body, he didn't talk much to Kat, keeping it only to a minimum. According to her and from what I recall, he seemed mainly focused on doing two things. First, he seemed to be more focused on experiencing my body, especially in terms of movement and flexibility. He stretched my body quite a bit, as well as folding it into unusual positions. Second, he charged both of my dragon statues with draconic energy. He used breath work to do the charging, which makes sense to me.

My experience with this possession was a very primal one, but one where I was present on a minimal level. When I do full invocation I never remember the experience afterward, but in this case Dragon wanted me to witness what he was doing and to be a part of it, albeit in a non-controlling manner.

I was also told that I'd need to get a tattoo on my upper left arm of a Red and Orange Dragon by my birthday. That makes two tattoos I need to get to mark significant magical works. I have no doubt a way will be found. On a different note, it was interesting to apply a different body paint this time around. I let Dragon guide me, and it makes sense that the pattern would bring out primal energy this time around.

Beginning-Ending

My mind is all aglow and on fire with the secrets of the universe being whispered in my ears by all possibilities and none, XAH highest of me, EHEIEH, god breath that moves space and time into place to show me the silver pathway to all I can be. In these whispered words I hear the song of the elements combining everything together into patterns of manifest reality that present a sense of the universe that goes beyond any explanation and yet speaks more eloquently to the harmony of all things and none that come together to present possibility an opportunity to become reality tangible, palpable reality.

I gaze with crystalline eyes into the silver light seeing a web that hums and strums with power spatial nodes representing place, person, or thing, while temporal strands of activity move the spaces with their songs of power and promise.

I am in the zero space/time continuum where nothing matters and everything is revealed where identity becomes one from zero and emptiness gives way to realizations of empowerment through peace identity changing from dysfunction to function to awareness that no one is a victim of themselves unless they choose to wallow in their victimhood and excuse themselves from taking responsibility for their end of matters

Magic reveals the greatest truth that life is an endless play of possibility on reality of the conjoining sexual acts of space and time joining each other shuddering in lustful, blissful abandon to create this present moment a baby of circumstance, fate, destiny and the shattering sighs of universal harmony dissonant in our ears, for we cannot hear fully that song of time and space joining into one, The present is a present, with the past full of hidden secrets and the future blazing ahead to provide this final greatest moment of life passing to death passing to life the cycle has no end or beginning just endless possibility, endless illusion til you strip away the scales from your eyes and see all along it was a joke you played on yourself to bring meaning into your every moment a cruel explanation of why when we look into each other's eyes we realize we know each other for you are in me, and I in you and soon we discover we are all in each other everything we ever needed

Now join me for this one last act this blissful orgasmic death love lust act of sex, the little death the beginning-end of our song and drama I let you go, let go of myself and find in the release the expression of space/time that exquisitely presents this god breath whispering into me writing. We're all joined in this moment. Hello to me, hello to XAH my highest self telling me the secrets of the universe penning them down, laughing all the while. We'll meet again you and I, when we see ourselves in each other and realize it's all an illusion this joke of you and I.

Time as a necessary illusion

Tonight I did another visitation with the spider goddess of time. Before I did so, Elephant briefly reminded me to stay present, even and especially in moments of feeling boredom. When I visited the spider goddess, she showed me a new technique where I could create a silver thread of time to an event or person, if one hadn't existed before. This approach complements the editing technique I learned from her the last time I visited. The main difference is that you are essentially creating a new connection as opposed to editing an existing one. You can even create context specific strands of time. In other words, if there's a specific context that you want to create for a situation or person then you put that into the strand that connects you to the event or person.

Afterward the spider goddess and I discussed time itself. She pointed out something that she has said before. The sense of time a person has is dictated much more by awareness of natural rhythms and cycles than an actual force of time. The conceptualization of time as a force is a useful illusion that has its own rule, which can be used to manipulate the awareness of time a person has. It's something I can understand. I know that my "age" is more or less an arbitrary number used to explain the physiological process of aging and that day and night are terms used to understand the changes brought about by the rotation of the Earth around the sun. The concept of the flow of time seems to be more of a comfort illusion than an actual reality. The word when allows us to situate a place and space as much as a time. Even the spider web is another concept tool for the illusion of time. It works, and certainly something happens, but her point is that time isn't so much of a mysterious external force, so much as its a perception and explanation and a method for sorting out and indexing changes. We create time to explain and understand the changes that occur in and around us, but you have to wonder if time would even exist as a concept if there was no one thinking about it.

Review of In Search of Time by Dan Falk

This book presents a "history" of time, with a heavy focus on physics and how physicists throughout history have approached and tried to conceptualize and explain time. The author does an excellent job of presenting a wide variety of both contemporary and historical perceptions of time. I enjoyed reading this book because it provided some food for thought on how I understand and conceptualize time. I recommend it to anyone who finds the concept of time fascinating and wants to learn what others have to say about it.

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5 out of 5

An audience with the Spider Goddess of Time

Today I decided to do a working with the Spider Goddess of Time. I've been working with the other entities for the element of Time, but hadn't contacted her since the first night I switched over to the element of time. I opened my memory box and used it to surf the silver web of time, to the center, which is where the Spider Goddess resides. Once there, she showed me a technique I could use to examine the weaving of the strands of time that connect me to different people, situations, etc., and how I could then edit the strands accordingly. I decided to then work with this technique, by looking at two different people I'm connected to and editing the strands of time. In one case it's editing the strands to factor in a change of relationship, so that the person will be more accepting of those changes, because the strands that previously supported a specific type of relationship aren't in place anymore to continue supporting it, due to changing circumstances in both our lives.

The other case was doing a working the strands of time for a friend dealing with some medical issues. In this case, the editing focused on editing out the cause of the medical issues, removing them from that person's timeline, as it were, so that they would no longer be an issue. I figure if there's no longer a temporal anchor for the cause of the medical issue, then the medical issue will no longer exist.

Since I did this just today, I don't know for sure if it's worked, but I'm fairly sure I'll know soon enough and I will be doing some more work with this technique, to experiment with and refine it.

A reflection on God of War

I've been playing God of War 1 and 2 in preparation for the release of God of War 3, out later this month. There are two elements of this game that always stand out to me. First, just how much the game draws from the cheesy 1970's movies. Even the monsters look like claymation, which I personally think is cool. Having watched those movies when I grew up, I have a fine pop culture appreciation of what GOW is based off of. But the other element that always stand out to me is what I consider to be the extremely accurate depiction of the capricious nature of the Greek gods. If you read the myths about the gods, they as often punish as they reward and even the gifts they give are ultimately double-edged. For me, a game such as GOW is an opportunity to retell and reconnect with such beings.

And that is really the power of contemporary technology. It provides us new ways to connect with old paradigms, and at the same time births something new, which comes to be as evocative as what had already been there. It's not that GOW is a better version of the Greek myths (far from it) but rather a reinterpretation, with a new kind of interaction provided as well. And there can be something magic in that...all depends on the perspective you bring to it.

One reason Why I don't worship gods

I was playing Assassin's Creed 2 recently and there was a point in the game, where the protagonist makes a brief speech that really resonated with me. He said the famous line of the assassins: "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted", but then went on to tell the people that it was more important to find your own truth than to follow someone else and that too many people allowed themselves to the follow the truth of someone else, instead of choosing to discover their own truths. He noted that you could learn from other people, but that ultimately in the end you had to discover your own truth and walk your own path. And that...that really resonates with me. And it always has. I remember when I was a teenager and for a brief time, a born again Christian, that the pastor of the church I attended saw I read fantasy books and told me that those books were sinful and that the content was only about sinful things. And I remember thinking how limited that perspective was, and how I couldn't endorse believing in a god that was so narrow and limited, and I realized that at some point I wouldn't be a Christian, because being one was antithetical to who I am: A person who is full of curiosity and who wants to walk his own path, instead of following someone else. I realized I could not follow the path of the Christian God, because it wasn't my path or truth, and it never would be.

Little wonder then when I discovered magic was real that I also found, for myself, the beginning of the path I walk to this day, one where I ask the question and find the answers, where ultimately it is up to me to save myself, as opposed to having someone else die for my supposed sins.

And my encounters with Pagans who have, in their own way, expressed a similar fanaticism, a belief that there is a one true way (tm) and that the god(s) are the purveyors of that truth only convinces me further that following the path of another ultimately, for me, leads to a place that isn't my truth. It may be the truth of those other people, but I find that when you hand over your authority to another being and let that being dictate your choices, at that point you also give away your truth and allow it to be subsumed to the truth of another being.

I can work with a god. I can respect it, but I just can't worship it. Some will call that pride. It is a fundamental recognition that nothing is true and everything is permitted and if that is the case, then it is permitted for me to walk my own path and find my own truth and be responsible for it. And there are consequences for making that choice, but there is also freedom and knowing in the end that I am walking my path, pursuing my truth and that when I encounter the gods or other beings they are guides with information that represents a perspective to help me appreciate the journey I am on, but that is all they need to be for me, and I can give them respect for that.

And to be fair, I do recognize that for many people having a relationship where they worship a god or gods is the truth that works for them and is meaningful to them...and so long as they can do that in a way where it doesn't negatively impact others, I wish them the best on their journey to their respective truths, but I see so much harm committed in the name of deities, in the choice to follow what someone else says. I see it, and I cannot help but think that if these people chose to be fully responsible for themselves, to stop following the words written in a book, or told to them by some person or entity, but instead to question everything and to choose their actions carefully because they could recognize that they and they alone were responsible for their actions, that perhaps they wouldn't be so inclined to harm others just to prove how much they worship a god or how well they follow the path another provides them.

Space is the Place part 3

Two weeks ago, I found out I was getting a divorce. Needless to say that kind of threw me off when it came to magical work, but in truth it also lent itself to my work with space. We still live together but I moved into my own room. Getting used to having my own sleeping space has been rather interesting, especially since it's not something I've had for the last four years. Tonight I finally did my third working to Thiede, in this case to claim my new space as my ritual space. I pulled out nine stone eggs and arranged them in a circle around me, pulled out the memory box and got elephant's permission to open the gate of space/time. Then I evoked Thiede, and placed my hands on the memory box and let him guide me on a journey to claim my space.

He asked me what had changed in my space, and I told him my perspective, my sense of freedom, my place with different people. Then he showed me how to take the spatial awareness that we'd been cultivating and apply it to the room I was in. The room become a dome, like a bucky dome actually, with different matrices forming and in each matrix was a perspective, a place of awareness about not only the physical space I was in, but also the space of my life. Thiede asked me if I was really ready to claim my space, not just the room, but my space as a person. Was I ready, he asked, to be true to myself about what I wanted in that space.

And I thought that for the first time in my life I can be honest with myself about what I really want...or more honest than I have been, because I'm through with buying into certain societal expectations about what I should want in my space, from another person, etc. I realized that I don't want to compromise my sense of space for someone else, not if that means I'm unhappy as a result.

I claimed my physical space, but also my metaphysical identity space, to be true to what I want in that space, so I can be true as well to who I allow into that space. And I recognize as well that every other person has his/her own space and so each person must respect his/her own space...I claimed my space, and my awareness of that space. Thiede told me than to do another working with Elephant and get ready for Purson...

In other news...

Panthea-con schedule is up. I'll be teaching the class on Space/Time magic on Saturday morning at nine.

Into Time and Space

After I finished my emptiness ritual and had cleansed myself of the paint, I moved right into the ritual to accept time as the new element. I put on the bracelet of elephant hair, and the elephant necklace and put before me the painting to elephant. I asked elephant if elephant would allow me to enter the gates of time and was told yes. Then I evoked Purson and Thiede as my guides through the silver web of time and space. I did an exercises of putting increments of time into each other until the increments become meaningless.

I opened the memory box, which is my gateway to the silver web and put both my hands on its sides. And I traveled along the silver web until I came to the center, where the Spider Goddess of Time awaited me. She held up the book of her mysteries and said, "It's good you have this back, now paint what I show you."

I pulled out my paintbrush and waters color and painted a web of time. Just one colors, lots of silver-gray...I asked her...was this really it? And she told me that my perceptions of time were too limited by human made standards of time. That what I painted wasn't even so much a symbol as a way of relating to time and space, a way of moving past the linear perceptions and measurements that mark time by human standards. She told me that this year would be a move away from the mystical path I've been on, back to more of a focus on magic, but also a focus on changing those limited perceptions on time...that all the material she'd put in my path the last couple of months was partial prep work for the workings ahead.

And with that, she stopped my hand, looked at my work and said, "Start with this and see what it teaches you."

Then I closed the gate to the silver web of time and gave my thanks to Thiede, Purson, and Elephant...and to her, the spider goddess of time. And so that's the beginning into the element of time.

The Spider Goddess of Time Sigil

Elemental Emptiness Month 12: From Zero to One

9-24-09 I haven't been able to update since the esoteric book convention. It highlights how busy my schedule has become and how problematic that can be at times. I'm not sure I like that, so I'm looking at what I can change in my life to give me a bit more time. As this elemental working winds down to a close, what I mostly feel is tired. This has been such an intense year, and the second intense year in a row. I need a break from intense years...and although it has been an intense year for me, I feel like I've drifted away from my spirituality to some degree in the process of doing this elemental work. And I guess that makes sense, because in some ways I've had to let go of everything important to me, to make this year's emptiness working work. The path of the abyss is one where everything is sacrificed as journey through it. At the same time, I feel a kind of anticipation about the end of this one. I know all the work I've put in is going to payoff and that the payoff, for me, is really being able to move past so many conditioned responses and behaviors that used to hold me back. I'm tired, but I'm also at that last part of the journey, where you push through the tiredness and make it to the end, because you know its part of the journey. 9-28-09 There's not really much to write. Unlike all the other months, what I really feel right now is anticipation, or being in the center of the eye of the hurricane. I can look around me and see everything I've been dealing, but also recognize where I am and know I've moved past everything. Now it feels more like making a choice and getting ready to move ahead, free of the rotting putrefaction I went through, because the refinement is here.

10-01-09 I've been playing the Force Unleashed recently. When I first started my emptiness working, I played that game a fair amount. It represented, for me, the feeling of emptiness at the beginning. It doesn't really anymore because I no longer see emptiness as an antagonist. It's something I can see as part of me, instead of against me.

10-02-09 I reflected today that to truly experience emptiness I've had, in one form or another, to really become empty, to really see everything I hold dear fall through in some form or manner, if only to convey to me the full depths of emptiness. Recognizing that everything could be taken away, that's been hard, but useful as well.

10-06-09 On a really deep level I wonder how much this year's working has really helped me. I've been exposed to what drives me toward feeling empty, come to a really good understanding of it, but I don't feel like its really solved. There's still a part of me that just wants to find someone, something that will somehow meet this very intangible need I have. It's a very primal, emotive part, not something rational that can be reasoned with. And it's likely always going to be there. I guess I've learned better strategies for handling it and recognizing it when it comes out...and maybe I feel a bit less driven than I did before, but I also feel like somehow I just haven't really "solved" the core issue for me. I don't know if I ever will. Maybe, all I'll really come away is a better grasp of my emptiness and a better way of handling it, when it comes up in potentially unhealthy situations.

10-08-09 I woke up this morning thinking about D. D was someone I met when I was twenty. We became lovers. She was seventeen years older than I was, a gifted magician, and very experienced when it came to life, and for that matter sex. I never fully, consciously realized until now just how deeply she imprinted me, or how much the relationship not working out would affect me. The majority of women I've been attracted to have always had a connection to Babalon, Lililth, or a similar type of goddess, i.e. the sacred whore archetype and I think it's because of that imprint from D. This person made a really strong impression and I never fully got to satisfy or see where that relationship would go. So I see it as the root of a lot of my longings and seeking when it came to possible partners and sex in general. I've been trying to find someone with this particular current for a long time but I never fully understood why that was the case. And now I do...I really understand some of my choices in a very different light now than I did before.

10-10-09 I've been thinking further about what I wrote above, about the person I contacted, etc. I look back at various activities, various sexual encounters and I see this particular need trace itself through most of my relationships in a manner that never fully addresses it in a satisfactory way. The two partners I ended up with in long term relationships never embraced that particular archetype of the sacred whore. And conversely I've put myself in situations where I could almost have that relationship with someone who embodied that archetype, but then would take it away from myself, too afraid perhaps of getting what I wanted, or perhaps just not ready. I'm tired of that pattern. I'm tired of the hurt it's caused me and others. And while I do love my wife very much and take genuine pleasure and joy from her presence in my life, I also have to acknowledge that this current is in my life and likely always will be. It's something I want to explore with someone, safely and sanely.

10-11-09 One of my problems or flaws is that I put expectations on a lot of experiences, people, etc. In a conversation with a friend this morning, I thought about that...really thought about how much those expectations have actually caused me to miss out on some good experiences. I know I've placed expectations on so much of my life, and I'm even relatively sure of where that pattern came from. I also know those same expectations create a lot of the emptiness I feel as well.

I've been reading the Doctrine of Awakening by Julius Evola. It looks at some of the earliest tenets of Buddhism. I'm finding a lot of it speaking to some of the struggles I've been experiencing for a long time. And I've been reminded that I'm not really drawing on all the tools available to me. But I'm not surprised by that either. I've needed to fall apart this year, to see my flaws up close and personal as well as understanding the cause. It's when you know the cause that you can start at the beginning with awareness and readiness to move forward. So falling apart has been discovering the causes...and starting the healing. I'm just about ready to move forward.

She said: "all you have to do is look around you and really see, not the image of your life but the real life. When you can define yourself alone, all the emptiness goes away" The image of my life is the desires, the expectations, the fixations, everything that haunts me because it isn't realized. The real life is accepting how little any of that matters and how much what does matter is less about expectation and a lot more about the experience.

10-12-09: Further discussion with D, as well as thinking about something written in The Doctrine of Awakening, which stated that when a person "needs" another person they are spiritually weak. Not need as in rely on a person to back you up, but need as in codependent need, trying to find someone to fulfill something within you. As we all know by now, my emptiness working has at its core been dealing with that very issue, and on a very primal level, sex as a shadow activity can be expressed that way. Sex becomes a connection, the intimacy a doorway...the problem is it can also be addictive...it's a drug like any other. You become a junkie, looking for your next fix. And for me, sex, like so much else, has been a way to avoid emptiness, to try and fill it up, and otherwise shut it out, but it's always been a temporary fix. And it's always been more about a constructed reality than an actual acceptance of this reality.

I know that now. That's really what this year has been about, is finally, finally tracing the emptiness to every single root event and coming away with a profoundly different awareness of my emptiness in the process, as well as myself. And always going away with the awareness that I have a choice, have always had a choice, but now have more awareness in making that choice.

10-16-09 I volunteered at a play party tonight, to help out with one of the communities I'm part. After finishing up volunteering, I watched some people play and was struck with a feeling of incredible loneliness, and later a feeling of anger at myself and others for the last few years. I feel really alone. I have for a while. And a lot of it's my own making. Seeing the fun and intimacy others were experiencing tonight just brought it home to me.

10-18-09 I ended up writing a long post about how I was feeling the other night on another site and got some useful feedback. But it also seems that the last couple of days has conspired to put me in touch with some possible interests...and I kind of laugh about that, because it's the end of the emptiness working...and that ending is going to be opening a lot up for me. Last night I had a dream of a silver web and in the middle was a glowing orb and cracks were starting to appear in it.

10-20-09 I went and got the tattoo for Xah. The artist, Alice Kendall did an excellent job . You can see a picture below of the sigil for Xah, as well as the saying "From 0 to 1" Tonight, I went into my ritual room, and painted my body with the sigil of Xah, while vibratingh isn ame over and over again. Eventually, the fox lord came, eyes laughing, tongue lolling out. "You've been through a lot this year. What have you learned?"

"I've known myself at my weakest, all my faults, flaws, and reactions exposed to myself. I've known myself at my strongest, confident, secure in who I am, able to achieve anything. And I've known myself as a mixture, and I am humbled by everything I've experienced. And I'm ready to move from 0 to 1, from a place of reactions to the past and old wounds, to a place of conscious decision and acceptance of the consequences."

Then I, for a while, just meditated on this last year, on what I'd learned about myself, and my choices. This has been the hardest year of my life, in terms of really facing myself, and fully coming to terms with my emptiness. I've had to dig up all my core wounds, come to terms with some different people and their effect on me and also more importantly come to terms with my choices and how those have really effected others. I can't say I'm a better person, so much as I'm a much more aware person after this year, after, the last five years really...and that awareness provides me an opportunity to be much more mindful of my choices. This year has been the culmination of a lot of internal work. I don't even recognize myself sometimes, because so much has changed...but I'm ready to embrace this person I've become, and let go the weight of the past.

At times I wondered if I could make it...I spoke for a while just to myself about this last year, about what I learned, about who I've decided to be. And then I told Xah I was ready to finish this year, and move into the next one. I decided to use a bit of sex magic and brought myself to ecstasy, and in that ecstasy gave myself to Xah again and felt him enter through the sigil I'd placed on my arm and then felt the zero crack open and from it came forth the direction I've chosen...then a shower to wash the paint off...and now it is the 21st my Birthday. And I've made it through this year of emptiness and found myself and found clarity and sanity and peace with myself. For yes, there is emptiness, but now I no longer need to fight it or run from it. Finally, finally, I have accepted it.

I read through my entries on emptiness...it's about a good four pages worth Just re-read everything...from start to now. If you go to the categories dropdown, you can select emptiness and read every entry...go back four pages or so...start at the beginning...You'll read a journey of this last year, of a person's journey to find himself and find resolution and closure with an element that most of us in the West would rather ignore.

Below is a picture of the tattoo I got as a tribute to this last year.

Happy Birthday to me.

xahtat

She came to me

She came to me tonight as I was being massaged and said, "I would have an audience with you tonight." I said I'd prefer if this audience occurred when I was alone, for since this was part of my emptiness work, that needed to be part of it. She smiled and said, "I'll get you some alone time in a bit." And she did deliver for Lupa was contacted and asked to help with something that needed to be taken care of tonight. "Will you be okay with that?"

"Certainly, go ahead."

After Lupa left, she came back and said, "So about that audience." I nodded, and went over to the guest bathroom and started up the bath water, mixing in oils as well. Once the bath was ready, I sank into the hot world, and she appeared before me, in all of her awful majesty...my lady Babalon. Her eyes were as red as blood, her hair the darkness of pitch, her skin ivory...and she looked through my soul and words poured forth from her perfect lips:

"Almost a year ago you entered into me, and through me descended into the abyss. You took on the rotting that was predicted to you, when you chose to stay here."

I nodded.

"You've come through this admirably. You've rotted and that was my gift to you, not a punishment, but a gift, for you fully needed to feel helpless, fully needed to feel the strength of your desires even onto addiction itself, to fully come to to the root of what has caused your pain and emptiness. You never would've come to this realization if you'd gone out there, and so you would have remained a beast...but now you have traveled through your abyss, through your own rot and dis-ease, and horror and fear, and come through it with a clear understanding of what has held you back."

"I agree. I felt a lot of regret and guilt over what happened, but as I went through this year and came to fully face what has haunted me so much of my life, as I rotted, I finally could find resolution to so much of the pain and emptiness that had previously driven me on. I finally came face to face with each of my core wounds and came away healed."

"This year was your abyss walk, but also the culmination of the previous four years of work. You chose to walk into the abyss through me, as all magicians must, for it is only in facing your desires and facing the shadow behind them that you can move to the next step of your journey. You are no longer a beast, a pashu. You are now a person, a human."

And then I said, "And if still I have the same desire after all of this. I've accepted I may never have that desire fulfilled and accepted that its best to enjoy what comes my way, but still I feel it, even after all of this. I feel it in a conscious way...recognize it as more than just an attempt to fill something up."

She smiled gently. "After all of this, I will tell you enjoy what comes your way and what you have, but I will also say that what you desire will come when the time is right, and in a way that doesn't involve you leaving the Earth you've come to call as your home, and also in a way that respects fully what is already there."

"I'm still one of yours aren't I?"

She smiled again, and said, "You never stopped being one of mine. But you are not a beast to be ridden either. Remember what you've said yourself, 'Both parties create the relationship and choose what it will be.' And what have you chosen with me?"

"For you and I, Milady," I said, "I choose to walk with you at my side, even as I am at yours, devoted to you and your mysteries, but also free to be me and continue on with the journey I've chosen."

"And that is how it should be with you. For you are your own star, and must shine that light on the path you walk. And you and I both know that you've chosen to walk a very particular path, to bring forth the unorthodox and unusual, and manifest as well that success which is yours to claim."

Then she kissed me on the lips, her energy melding with my own, and looked into my eyes with her red eyes and said," Tomorrow you'll move from Zero to One, from Something to Nothing, and mark it with the sign of Xah....Tomorrow you will start your re-birth, and claim your freedom from the abyss. Remember, I'm always at your side, never too far away...and you are one of mine, even as you are your very own self. Enjoy what's coming next...you've earned it."

Then she left, milady Babalon, just like that...and I climbed out of the bath...and readied myself for tomorrow, purified and ready for the rebirth.

An encounter with Elephant and Apophenia

Today Lupa and I went to the Portland Art Musuem and at one point made it to a floor which had some Art from different parts of Asia, including India. Some of that art included statues to Ganesha, and while I was there I learned that Portland is apparently well-known for liking elephants. I found this to be very interesting and synchronististic. Here's a little-known fact about me: Elephants are my absolute favorite animal in the world. I've always been fascinated by them and actually collect elephant statues, and would have to say that in some ways I do identify with elephant strongly. And certainly I seem to have similar memory traits as I generally remember wherever I've been and can trace the path pretty easily and have an intuitive ability to find my way around as well.

So tonight I decided to meditate and see out elephant. I'd gotten an elephant statue recently and I held it in one hand, whiel I meditated, using it as a link to connect with elephant. What ended up happening is that elephant found me on a prairie plain and asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted to know what the significance of his presence in my life was. He told me that if I wanted to, I could work with him more and he could show me how to get better at clearing my path of obstacles and finding the best paths to get to my goals. He showed me how he did this a lot, when seeking food and water, and said my search for business was essentially the same...trying to find my food and water...and that he could help. I think I'll be meditating with him further on this and seeing how he can help, but I'm definitely intrigued.

After my meditation with elephant, I decided to do a working with Apophenia, from the Apophenion by Peter Carroll. Basically I asked her to show me the random connections in my current situation, which is what she is known for, I used the elemental hexagon deck and the reading I got pretty much confirmed a prior reading, so it was an excellent way to test Apophenia, while also getting a bit more information on the situation I was doing the reading about. I'll start working with her a bit more proactively in the near future, but this time around just wanted to connect with her and that seemed to work pretty well.