9-23-2018 I think its kind of fitting that I’m getting all the old business wrapped up as this year long work with stability comes to a close. I chose to work with Stability as an element, because I needed to stabilize my life. And I think it as the right choice. I look back at the last 11 months and there was some hard work, but the end result is that everything is off my plate that doesn’t belong and now I can focus on what’s really important. Stability isn’t reinforcing that status quo. It’s the deliberate creation of a foundation that truly supports you.
8-24-2018 I was reading Expert Secrets by Russell Brunson and I had this realization about how I messed up last year. I hadn't built a shared vision or a sense of community. I had tried to, but I had missed something he spoke about. Sitting with that realization was hard. At first I wanted to beat myself up for not having that realization earlier and then I began to wonder if I should try and do something with this realization. And then I took a deep breath and I realized that if I do anything with it, I should focus on what I'm doing now, not try to fix the past. I should learn from my mistakes (as I have been), not try to frantically fix them. And I should look forward and move forward with renewed purpose about what really matters to me, but also remember that I still have time.
Last year I would have tried to do something that likely wouldn't have worked. A year later, I can see the mistakes and learn from them and take action in a way that actually is truly beneficial, instead of just reacting. And that's because of stability.
2-22-2018 I've started reading Nine Poisons, Nine Medicines, Nine Fruits by Shabhavi Sarasvati. It speaks to me. I was reading about the first poison, which is self concern at the expense of others, and I could relate to it because sometimes, many times, that's been me. I've been so focused on my own needs or issues or whatever else and have focused on fulfilling them without really considering the impact I'd have on other people. This is something I've been changing as a result of reading and working through Brene Brown's work, but it nonetheless is a good reminder to me that it is something to be aware of.
What the author reminds me of is that self-concern comes at the expense of other people, because self-concern is about validation of yourself through the interactions you have with others, without necessarily recognizing their worth. Sometimes I've been that person and sitting with that is good because I can recognize it as a pattern of tension in my life and continue undoing it.
1-23-2018 In the power of TED The author shares that how you approach life creates the experience you have and that makes sense. I can recognize when I'm approaching my life as a victim or as a creator and how I feel in both situations. I think the real takeaway, emphasized as much by other things I've been reading, is pick the problems that best serve your outcome. And that only happens when you define your outcome. I've been redefining my outcomes in a couple areas of life and I already see some key differences that are helping me be much more productive and happy.
1-24-2018 I had a 2 hour conversation with another of Gray's students. It was fascinating to hear more stories about Gray, but also to discuss my ongoing magical work as well as learning about that student's working. I felt another connection click into place through that discussion and I'm very excited to continue the relationship and perhaps collaboration as well. Finding like minded magicians who get my work on a deep level and have a shared spiritual foundation is truly exciting.
10-22-2017 On Friday I switched from Stillness to Stability, from working with Zadok to working with Elephant. One of the reasons I chose Stability is because I feel a need for grounding. One might think with Stillness that I'd already be grounded, but Stillness isn't about that. And to move forward from Stillness requires a measured approach.
When I connected with Stability, I felt Elephant step in and communicating with Elephant is quite interesting because part of the communication process is done through vibration and the paths of memory. So today for example Elephant on a journey of memory and used vibration to steer the course.
On Tuesday I got my latest tattoo. It's an hourglass surrounded by a web and it represents the web of space and time, as well as being dedicated to the Spider Queen of Time, Purson, Thiede, and Elephant. I'd promised them and myself that when Magical Identity was published, I'd get this tattoo as a way to honor their contribution and as an affirmation of my work with space and time.
Shortly into getting the tattoo I felt the endorphins hit and I entered into a light altered state of consciousness, where I then evoked the aforementioned entities. My offering wasn't just the tattoo, but also the experience, and at the same time as I experienced it, they didn't just come for the offering, but also took me to the web of space/time and continued to instruct me in it, and in possible avenues to take it further. I'll just say for now a lot of it has to do with movement as a form of being, but it's given a me a lot of food for thought on how to take Magical Identity into new directions.
This morning, ever time my mind started to wander or fantasize, Elephant would speak up and say, "You're wandering." And it happened a lot. When I think about it, it's happened most of my life. I started fantasizing a lot when I was young. It was one of my defenses, one of my ways of escaping a situation I didn't want to be in. And it worked quite well. My imagination has always been vivid, and I could easily create what I needed in my daydreams. But as with anything, indulging in it too much can ultimately lead to a place of excess. So today Elephant made that abundantly clear to me. Every time my mind wandered, Elephant would call me out on it, and each time it happened, it forced me to realize just how much I have a tendency to let myself escape from the present into some past or future imagining, instead of sitting with the present moment and letting myself exist in that moment.
I like my imagination, but I also recognize a real need to stop imagining so much, to be able to sit in the present and recognize the opportunities around me in the moment. I'm glad Elephant is calling me on this, even as I'll admit, I'm frustrated that it happens so much. Then again, would I even be doing what I'm doing, if I didn't recognize some need to change?
I've been reading Toward an Archaeology of the Soul by Antero Alli. I've met Antero once and we talked for about half an hour, and I've read his first book on the eight circuit model, but this work resonates with me a lot more, because in it, I see elements of my own practices and experiences. the embracing of the void, the assumption of no form, the intense working with a particular issue or element in your life are themes of both our work. I've decided I'm going to integrate the paratheatre method into some of my workings. I think it could only enhance what I'm already doing. Tonight, at the experimenter group, we did a working with time utilizing my recent work with elephant. First we did the exercise from The Possible Human, where you become different units of time, to set the proper frame of mind. Then, I passed around the painting and my statue of Elephant that I use to commune with him, asking each person to look at the painting, to imprint the symbol in their mind, and touch the statue to feel the essence of elephant guide them on a journey in time. I went on my own meditation as well.
On my journey, I was reminded by Elephant that I still focused too much on the future and past. I was too caught up in the what ifs. I'll admit, this is something I continue to struggle with. In some ways I live entirely too much in my head and in those what ifs, for escape, for fantasy, but also a vivid imagination. He said it blocked me from being as aware as I needed to be of the present and just living in the moment.
Still, I have to admit that what really hit me tonight were the words that M, one of the other participants shared about his own experience with Elephant. He said he was told, "Forget Time to find yourself." And as much as I recognize that phrase was for M, I also felt it was for me. I'm caught in linear time, focused on the future, focused on the past, but not in the present. It's in forgetting linear time, forgetting that tendency to focus on the extremes of time, and to be in the present, aware of the opportunity in the now that I could find myself. I feel as if I heard a key click in a door and since Elephant is the gatekeeper of time...
I did another meditation with Elephant tonight about time. In this case we ended up focusing on desire and how when desire turns into obsession, it actually makes it much harder to manifest a possibility into reality. Elephant explained this by showing how desire tends to push a person's thoughts toward the future, as opposed to experiencing the present. Because the focus of the desire is on the future, there's less acceptance that the desire could manifest in the present. He used as an example a very specific desire I have that I've put a lot of energy into, but nonetheless have continued to focus on consciously, in terms of longing for the manifestation of that desire. Instead of forgetting about the desire consciously and focusing on other things, I've allowed it to become something of an obsession and consequently all the conscious thought I put toward it ends up actually pushing it further and further away from manifesting into reality. The reason is simple: I'm continually focusing on when it will occur and when I think of it occurring, I think of it happening in the future!
I never thought about desire in this way, but it makes a lot of sense. It's similar to how sigils work. You create a sigil, you fire it, and you forget it. If you don't forget it, then it becomes harder for it to manifest, because you're not programming your subconscious to accept and allow that possibility to exist in your life.
Elephant advised focusing on the present, being more aware of the opportunities and situations happening around me, and letting the desire go from my conscious mind. This way I can actually allow it to manifest into reality, because I'm no longer putting effort into keeping it in the future. I actually see where I'm letting this happen in a couple of different situations in my life, beyond the one he specifically focused on...so it's time to apply this new awareness to the situation.
And you know I do realize that in different forms, this concept is already present in occult theory, but I like how elephant presented it. It actually makes sense to me in a very grounded way that other variants haven't really displayed.
Tonight I decided to do some work with Elephant and time. I went into my ritual room and put on the necklace I associate with Elephant and the bracelet of Elephant hair and then pulled out the statue which wears the other bracelet of Elephant hair, as well as my painting for elephant. then I turned out the lines and sat in front of the statue and centered myself, so I could get focused on Elephant's presence. When I was ready, I laid down and keeping a hand on the statue, allowed myself to travel to the silver web. Once there, Elephant started discussing memory, not so much as a stable picture of the past, but rather as an active re-imagining of it, as well as an influencer of the present, and a dream of the future. He then talked about how being aware of your present circumstances was very important to really working with time.
"You are too focused on the future...not just you, but so many others as well"
He showed me several incidents, including one from today where I'd gotten caught up in future imagining of wishful dreams, while ignoring information in the present that could've told me that such an imagining was just a diversion of energy and thought better put elsewhere. The information was there all along...I'd intuitively acknowledged it, but still ignored it with my conscious mind, until I couldn't ignore it because information was presented that showed me that what I hoped for wasn't going to happen.
"Pay more attention to the present moments and the information in them...that will show you what paths you can take, and there are always multiple paths."
So then he also pointed out how elephants always have to be aware of a lot of information happening around them all the time. They can't just blindly look ahead. They need to listen to the vibrations and communication from other elephants, but also the land, as well as pay attention to their memory of a place, so they can find their way. Elephant said that the silver web has it's own vibrations and even as I can create my own paths, it's a wise idea to pay attention those vibrations as I navigate through time's possibilities.
"The more aware you are of the information available to you, the easier it is to pick out the possibilities that are most available to you, or find your way around obstacles that'd hold you back from a possibility you want to work with."
So I'm coming away from all of this with a realization that yes, sometimes I do live too much in the future, and I want to focus more on what's around me that I'm not noticing as much, and use that awareness to help me with my time work.
After I finished the work with elephant, I did a fan dance as a way to close the the sacred space and thank elephant. I have a fan, one of those ones you can hold open with one hand, that spreads out in a half circle, and I started dancing with it, using it to express my thanks. It was fun to close the ritual that way, and allow myself some artistic creativity with using the fan as a ritual tool. I plan on working with it more, in the future.
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.
Last night, I did some searching on google for sites that focused on elephant conservation and once I found one that I felt comfortable supporting, I made a small donation. I don't have a lot of income to spare right now, but I also recognized the value of giving something to elephant and I suspect that this will be something I do at least sometimes in my spiritual work with Elephant, depending of course on just what state my finances are in...but I think elephant can understand that. After I gave the donation Elephant asked me to sleep with my elephant hair bracelet on. No mythical dreams of portent occurred, or anything else, but I did feel pretty good about it and when I meditated elephant came and visited and offered some support and guidance, because I was feeling very scattered. I felt more focused and even now can feel a quiet urging from him.
This could be all in my head, all in my imagination, but it does work, for what it needs to be. That's really all I can ask...and if in the process of that I can give something of myself to help another being as well then it makes it even better.
Review of Integral Psychology by Ken Wilbur
This was a very interesting read, which examined the varying theories of psychology and focused on integrating those theories together and then providing an overarching theory that they could fit into, supplied by Wilbur. The author is clearly very well studied in what he discusses and provides some detailed explanations that provide a successful argument for what he's attempting to do. This can be a dense read and jargon heave, especially with some of the words the author has come up with on his own, but don't let that discourage you. I see this work as an essential read for occultists, a way of expanding their understanding and application of psychology to their own practices. The charts at the end of the book are helpful for illustrating what Wilbur is explaining. My only wish is that he could've integrated the charts more into the book, instead of at the back.
4 out of 5 stars
Check out Acrylick Alchemy. It's really fantastic, magical art by gifted artist and occultist Acrylick. I've liked her art from the beginning. I find to be very evocative. You can tell she's tapped into the spirit of what she is working with. I've sometimes felt that the paintings could come alive... I haven't posted an update on my work with elephant, mainly because I'm still doing some reading and research about the elephant. Here's a review of one of the books I just finished. I'll note that doing the research is really helping me understand more about elephants and will be helpful when I begin doing more work with elephant.
Book Review: The Life and Lore of the Elephant
This was a relatively quick read, which managed to succinctly speak to the history of the relationship between elephants and humans. I found it to be a useful book in deepening my understanding of how elephants have been treated by humans. Overall a very informative read. I particularly liked the inclusion of the historical documents.
4 out of 5 elephants
Today I finally got around to doing further work with Elephant. I hadn't meant to delay it, but between the emptiness working and also some focus on other projects, it took a little while, but elephant stayed persistent with me, and seeing as I was home for today, he insisted I do some work with him. I found him on a plain and he told me to follow him. I started to walk, and then was picked up by another elephant and put on its back. We rode to a place, where I saw elephants of the present and also the past...He wanted me to see the elephants that exist now, but also the ancestors and I aksed him why. He said, it might give me some perspective on elephant and on animals in general. He then asked why I'd never done much in the way of animal magic. I answered that it never really occurred to me and he seemed to nod and said, "That's a typical human response. Your so caught up in yourselves, you forget about us, yet you've had a link to me for all of your life, and never thought to explore it until now."
He's right. I haven't really explroed that link. I have a fascination with elephants, but I don't think I've ever done much in the way of fleshing that fascination out. He pointed out that my memory skills and my ability to always find my way to different places in part was a result of that link and that he could teach me how to consciously draw on elephant as a totem, as well as use those skills better, but if he was going to work with me, he wanted to know what I'd do in return. So he gave me two conditions.
- Spend some time learning about elephants, and what's happening with them in the world.
- Start working with him more regularly.
He also told me that what he could teach me had definite applications across a variety of areas in my life, which I can believe. It does get me thinking how easily we take animals for granted, however. I've never done much in the way of animal magic, despite being married to someoen who is an expert in it, because of my own very human-centric point of view.
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.