Elemental Balancing Ritual Movement Month 8

Eros 5-24-13 There's been this big uproar about pop culture magic going through the blogosphere. The polytheists, reconstructionists, and spirit workers feel threatened by the idea of pop culture magic and so the usual criticisms and attempts to devalue pop culture magic have begun. Fortunately there are a lot of people actually exploring and writing about pop culture magic now. I've actually come late into this particular debate, but it makes me happy to see that other people are writing about and exploring pop culture as a a means of working with magic. And I kind of find it ironic that my name really hasn't come up, because even a few years ago all that people seemed to know of me was related to pop culture magic. I'm glad other people have it made their own...I just wish the detractors would get over it instead of trying to prove why their beliefs are more valid than mine or someone else's. Compensation much?

5-30-13 The uproar has died down which is good since it wasn't very constructive. I see those kinds of arguments as being fairly futile. Neither side wants to budge, and it becomes an exercise in rhetoric as opposed to anything really meaningful. Yesterday my latest book arrived. There is, in my opinion, a very magical moment when you open a book you've written for the first time. There it is, manifest into material form, a concrete reality of the ideas you've written. Feels good to have the book written and it feels even better to see the final result.

I also got my latest tattoo today. And again there's an experience that is so unique. You are allowing someone to paint on your skin, on the canvas of your body and embody it with whatever is painted. In my case a dragon to honor the work I've done with Dragon. Not too sure how many more tats I'll get. I have a few ideas of what I might get, but at a certain point I'll be ready to leave it at that. Anything I do get is done either to mark a life change or a significant magical working with an entity and as such anything I get has to be significant enough to warrant the ink, the experience, and the recognition that the canvas has gotten smaller.

6-3-13 I presented at the first Northwest Conference of Alchemy over the weekend. I also learned quite a lot about the topic and it makes me want to get involved in practical alchemy even more than before. I also had an interesting realization. I wrote Pop Culture Magick nine years ago, and I've noticed that now it's become fairly prevalent in some practices. I've also noticed more and more interest in space/time magic, which tells me that I'm about a decade ahead of what is really interesting to people. A good place to be, because I can actually see what interests people in this lifetime and still continue pushing to the edges.

6-6-13 Since I got the dragon tattoo I've noticed more energy in my life and businesses. There's a direction, with activities happening and I feel really good about the direction of movement. I've also come up with a new experiment, which involves linking several daily workings I do together. I won't share more about it now, because it'll likely become the core of a new system, but its so exciting to feel creative to have projects to work on and to otherwise be engaged. When I was at the alchemy conference people commented on the number of books I've written and how prolific I am (a dozen books in ten years is pretty good), and when I told them that I'd actually had a few years where not much writing happened they were surprised. I'm grateful to have the writing back and to be sharing it with the people who like my work.

6-9-13 Over on Pagan Square several more of the polytheists have posted articles which have taken a somewhat militant approach to the whole pop culture magic issue. I've debated whether I should respond any further and was even in the process of writing a comment to one post, when I stopped myself and asked: "What am I really trying to get from this interaction?" The answer I got was control and I realized then that posting the comment wouldn't provide that sense of control or validation or anything else useful. I realized there was no control to be had in this situation and so I just stopped writing the comment and surrendered the needs to feel control and validation. I asked myself: "Could these people really stop me from practicing what I practice?" And the answer is no. They can state their own perspectives, but they can't really stop me or others from practicing what we practice. And the best thing we can do is to continue to practice what we practice and share it so that people who are receptive can choose to learn and experiment. Knowing how to move, when to move, where to move all of that is essential to any situation where some kind of movement is necessary. And sometimes the best move to make is to recognize what your motive is for posting something and then decide is this really worth the effort I'm making or could I put that effort somewhere else to better effect? I know I can put my efforts to better effect elsewhere.

6-14-13 I think that one of the frustrations I feel with working with movement, especially as it applies to the planetary energies is how aware I've become of how much control I don't have over situations and how vulnerable I feel at realizing this at times when I really want to have control over those situations. As someone who has bought into the illusion of control at times, its hard when that illusion is stripped away and you realize just how little control you really have. Then you must face yourself and truly see what you are and aren't. I felt that way last night when I realized how much I let my dearest one down.

6-17-13 Over the weekend Kat and I did a murder mystery party for her birthday. It was our best one yet, and perhaps what helped it was how much people were willing to step into their roles and get into the humor of the situation. I think that moving into a given role requires a suspension of disbelief but also an assumption of identity. I become the character and in that act of becoming I breathe life into the character, but the character, in turn also breathes life into me. I feel the character move me to become that character and also to take away something intangible yet powerful which speaks to the identity of the character and its impact on my own sense of self (at least for the time I am the character). I have similar experiences with a good book or a video game, where I'm drawn into the reality of the character and for a time become that character...and when I come out, I take something away, marked by the character as much as I've marked him/her. What's really marked me is the experience itself, the experience of being something else and allowing it to move me enough to have the experience.

On a different front, I got some advice about a situation today and what's interesting is how much movement fits into that advice, and how the movement shapes itself around the limitations of the situations and turns those limitations into something that can favor me as much as it seems to favor the institution. There's a lesson there...we are only as constrained as we perceive ourselves to be. How we use our limitations speaks just as much as the limitations in and of themselves.

6-20-13 The other night I had a dream, where this was tree growing from my upper left arm, where my birthmark is. The tree was abruptly cut or pulled or something, I was left with this bloody wound. I physically felt the pain of the removal of the tree from my arm to the point that I woke up and felt the pain on my arm. Eventually it faded, but when I meditated on the issue, I didn't get any answers. Then today I meditated, and the image of the tree on my arm came up again, but I ended up being directed to the area of my right kidney and as I began doing dissolving work, I felt these memories of the drive to Seattle and when I lived there come up, so I allowed myself to feel and be in those memories because I realized something needed to happen. What I felt was a recognition that 'd blocked those memories out because of what I associated with them, and so as I continued the dissolving work I left myself feel the emotions associated with those memories. I ended up crying for a bit, but I felt better afterwards. I'll continue doing the dissolving work to see what else comes up and if there's any relation to the tree.

6-21-13 In discussing the dream and dissolving meditation with Kat, she suggested that it might involve a feeling of being unrooted. So I did some further meditation and that seems to be the case, especially as it relates to the move to Seattle and the year I lived there. I felt like I did lose my roots and that I couldn't really find a place up there to settle in. And even though I later found Portland, it's really only been in the last few years that I've begun to feel rooted and to have a connection to community. Before that I felt very isolated and alone a lot of the time. I'm ready to process those emotions and I suppose my dream is a good indication of that.

6-24-13 I sometimes feel I can't escape my past and that I'm doomed to become the one person I don't want to be like. I know that feeling isn't true, but there are occasions where I feel weighed down by my past, weighed down by the example set for me by my father. There are times when all the dissolving work in the world can't undo the shame and disappointment I feel toward myself for failing the people I am closest to, as well as failing myself. I have to look carefully at what really moves me and why it moves me. Am I moving the way I really need to be moving? At the same time, I feel keenly aware of the cycles that Erik pointed out to me, cycles of influence that certainly seem to be showing up in my life in a variety of ways that are really causing me to come up against my own limits and helping me recognize those limits. It's simultaneously frustrating and enlightening, but with all of this I still have the choice to make of it whatever I can.