elemental magic

Elemental Balancing Ritual Movement month 1

10-22-12 Last night I did the switch over to the element of movement. Eros, who is traditionally thought of as a love deity, but also has some attributes related to movement. I got a statue of him a little while back and I paced that statue on my Tesser-act board and then I vocalized his name, calling to make a connection with him. We connected and then I entered into a meditative state where we talked movement in my life. He had me feel the movement of my heart and other parts of my body, and then we looked at the movement of my relationships, businesses, and life. He told me that we'd be doing a lot of work and he was right, because right out the gate he gave me a challenge.

He told me that I needed to write to two of my relatives. I have some blocks with these people and he felt that I needed to address them instead of avoiding them. So today I wrote to letters and sent them off. Right now I feel queasy. They were not easy letters to write, but I also feel some sense of movement within myself. I feel these places of tension and old pain being stirred and while its not fun to feel, I know that choosing to face it could free me of that pain and tension.

10-23-12 I've had one relative respond, while the other has not. The one who responded offered excuses more than anything else. Still its not what is offered, but what I get, which is movement away from moments that have defined my life in ways I no longer find useful, and never really did. Eros, with his curly locks, and angel wings tells me that movement is a state of being as well as transition,  space become fluid.

10-26-12 When I met with my business coach earlier this week he suggested that I create a time budget sheet and analyze where I'm putting my time and/or even prioritizing my time. I have decided to do the project because it will be good for my businesses, but also because it is an analysis of my movement. He even suggested that if I could cut back on certain activities, it might prove helpful in terms of helping me focus, which I'm inclined to agree with, especially when I put it into context with working with movement. I find it ironic then that in November, I'll be in a situation where I will necessarily have to scale back some of my activities due to a temporary limitation of movement. But there is value in starting in stillness, because stillness is the seed of movement.

10-27-12 In meditation today I ended up revisiting some past memories of my childhood. Eros pointed out that remembering is its own form of movement, an attempt to rewrite the past or come to terms with it or even just to experience it. I felt something crack open and inside was a candle flame. He told me it was the flame of my childhood hopes, still burning even with everything that happened. I approached it with the reverence and wonder of a child, allowing myself to bask in its warm glow, even as I fed it with the hope I feel now.

10-29-12 I've been reading Cupid's Poison with Kat. Reading it has been mind blowing in terms of understanding the physiology of orgasm sex vs non-orgasm sex and in terms of understanding how physiological changes induced by orgasm have contributed to relationship problems in the past. It also has caused me to look at polyamory in a new light, especially when you look at the arguments in books on poly which state that one of the reasons people choose polyamory is because one person can't entirely fulfill the needs another person has. For a long time I believed that, but my views have been shifting for the last half year, mainly because I am with someone who I can really open up to and feel safe with, and most recently because of this book and its explanation of what happens to the neurobiology of a person after orgasm. Certain behaviors make a lot more sense to me now because I can actually track the changes in behavior and recognize a physiological correspondence. And I can also track those behaviors in myself and others from previous relationships as well as observing the behaviors in other people's relationships. The effects that orgasm has on a person's neurochemistry explains the biological part of the drama that occurs in romantic relationships (whether monogamous or polyamorous). So I'm trying something different for a while, and having sex without orgasm being the goal, just to see what happens on a behavior and physiological level.

11-2-2012 It's interesting to me that my first month of working with movement involves dealing with the reality of having some of my mobility constrained due to circumstances not in my control. Nonetheless I find the synchronicity of it useful as does Eros, in terms of really appreciating movement as an element in all of its forms, up to and including the restriction in movement.

11-7-12 Tonight Kat and I had a discussion about my ability to let others spoil me. I've never handled being spoiled all that well. Truth is I've always felt like I needed to give, but part of that has been a way to protect myself from others.If I gave them pleasure whether in bed or in other ways and they were happy, then I could be safe, and maybe even have some control over the situation. Allowing someone else to spoil me has always made me uncomfortable, at risk, perhaps they will really see me, and consequently no longer want me. I didn't say it was rational, but it makes sense in a twisted kind of way. I feel blocked when it comes to receiving pleasure and I see that most poignantly in the fact that I feel it is important to make sure someone else is happy, or that there pleasure comes first. It was ingrained in me early on...do the chores, make sure others are happy and maybe you'll be left alone...or put the pleasure of your lover first and maybe you'll be worthy of being kept for a little while longer. Allowing someone to actually take care of me, pleasure me, spoil me is so different, brings up so much...it takes a lot of patience on my end and the other person to work through all the issues that come up as a result.

11-13-2012 As I've continued to read Cupid's Poisoned Arrow and carefully looked at my sexual history, and weighed it's neurochemical research with the research I've done into neuroscience, I am more and more convinced that there is merit to the arguments of the book. My experiences with Dopamine were of it as a trickster, and it seems born out. If you have an excess of dopamine, you have impulsive sensation seeking, unhealthy risk taking, aggression, sexual fetishes and compulsions, more wanting but less liking of sex. All of that sounds like me at my worst. If you have deficient dopamine it causes low libido, inability to love, erectile dysfunction (or the female equivalent) depression, social anxiety and low energy. I can think of a few people those symptoms apply to. If there is a healthy amount of dopamine there is also healthy bonding and libido, energy and vitality, motivation, sound choices, etc.

Books on polyamory commonly argue that poly occurs because one person can't fulfill all your needs. If you look at the neurochemical effects of orgasm sex, especially in regards to habituation, then this argument makes sense. But if you were to refrain from orgasm and focus on sex as a bonding activity, I don't think that argument holds up. Instead of feeling restless and empty, I feel clear-headed and more focused, happy and satisfied. However having also had orgasms, I've noticed that spending time bonding afterwards seem to really be the key. If you are cuddling and consciously focused on bonding it makes a difference. Maybe the key is simply making time to connect with someone very consciously, which I'll admit is something I never did much of, prior to this relationship.

11-18-12 Today I cleaned out the closet and got rid of about 1/3rd of the clothing and other effects. The space feels better for it. I got rid of some clothes Ive had for over a decade, but I'm not one for meaningless sentiment. Keeping something for memory's sake just weighs you down. If the memories are really worth having, they will still be something you'll recall.

11-19-12 Closing this first month out, I'm struck by the relationship between stillness and movement. One seems to lead into another and neither is necessarily contradictory to the other.  I haven't moved and yet I have moved. I have also been moved even in being still. There is never a time without movement of some kind.

What's one of your earliest influential occult books?

Recently I was looking through my magical library and I came across two books by Ted Andrews, books I've had since I was 16 or 17. They were books I'd hidden away when I was 18 and told I had to burn my books or leave, because they were books that were essential to my practice at that time. I was using the exercises in them for my daily work and also to connect with the elemental spirits. And to this day those books are essential to my magical practice in terms of the information and experiences they first provided. While my magical practice has gone far afield, the principles I learned in this books still inform and guide my magical practice. The books are How to Meet and Work with Spirit Guides and Enchantment of the Faerie Realm. Perhaps what I liked best about the books then and even now is the balance between practical techniques and theoretical information. As I looked through both books the other night, I felt a smile appear on my face, rediscovering a sense of wonder I first felt when I began practicing magic. As a teenager these books were doorways to a better life than the one I was living in. They provided me a sense of empowerment, a feeling of control, and a sense that I could actively make a difference in my life by employing magic. I still feel that way, but holding those books and flipping through them brought a sense of nostalgia and happiness over the memories themselves.

And flipping through them also provided inspiration for a working I did recently and am still engaged in currently, which I'll write about on Wednesday. It illustrated to me that going back through something you've kept for almost 20 years can still provided you surprises and realizations that you can work with.

What was your earliest influential texts that changed your approach to magic?

Communicating with the Land

I've always communicating with the genius loci or the spirits of the land. Communication with the land is not something verbal, so much as kinisthetic. It is a feeling, but it is even more than that. It's a relationship. Communicating with the land also differs from place to place. In my recent trip to Seattle, I was reminded of why I dislike living there, and indeed why I needed to move from there. The connection I have with the land in Seattle is a connection where that land speaks of how unhappy it is. The entire state of Washington is always a place that prompts a negative reaction on my part. I know when I've left Oregon, because I can feel a shift in my connection with the land. Communicating with the land in that sate and/or city is a communication that speaks to what the land is feeling and how it is shaped and is shaping what lives on it. Oregon, as a contrast, feels like home. There's something about the land that fits me, that fits together with who I am. Whenever I leave this state and go somewhere else, I feel a shift. I know I am not home.

I have no doubt that for people who live in Washington and/or Seattle, that those places are just as much home for them and that there is a connection that is fundamentally as deep for them as Oregon is for me. I know some people have told me that in Oregon they don't feel comfortable. It makes sense to me that the relationship any person has with the land is going to be unique to some degree, shaped in part by personality and in part by the land itself, and how it fits that person.

My connection to the land is an elemental connection. I do a lot of work with elemental spirits and bonding with the land has always been part of my work. The exchange of essence is an exchange of trust, and an acceptance of a close relationship with the land. I don't think of the land as a place or thing, but as something living, with its own input and feedback. It may not communicate that message through means most of us are aware of, but the land speaks, if you know how to hear and feel it.