elemental work

The dedication to the Element of Emptiness

On Saturday I finished my elemental love working and switched over to the element of emptiness. When Babalon took me and handed me off, she handed me to XAH, the fox lord. XAH is part of my personal mythology, the core of my being, a fox lord, and yet so much more as well...He is not a being I've ever written about before...I've kept him secret over the years. I suppose it's appropriate he comes out now when I'm doing this work at the very core of myself. As soon as I was handed to him, I felt him take me into the center of my being, into the emptiness, with lots of potential, but also an aching sense of nothing...this which has prompted so many of my choices. I painted the elemental symbol of emptiness on my chest and then I felt JAH possess my body. I hunched down on my four legs, one eye open, the other closed, my mouth a rictus snarl...I felt him speak:

"I am the emptiness you fear, the emptiness you seek.

I am the mote of light in the darkness that shows so bright and entices so much,

but leaves you always longing for more.

I am the fox-lord XAH, I am the core of your spirit...melded with you since you were seven...you are mine now...for this year we'll get to know each other well, and see if we can't find some peace with this emptiness.

We sat down and he took my hand and started painting, the painting to represent his face, to represent his presence:

Today, my birthday, I'd told Lupa that I'd be going on a solo hike. I normally spend my birthday with her, but since this the element of emptiness, I told her she was free to do as she pleased and she opted for getting together with a friend. As I saw her leave this morning, I felt a sensation of abandonment and XAH stirred and grinning told me, "Return to Source"

I headed out to the Multnomah Gorge, listening to Current 93 and as I sang along with the songs, I felt XAH stir again and the energy within me seemed to focus on feelings of abandonment, guilt etc...reminded me of something I was told on Sunday, to let go of the guilt others had put on me. The abandonment is a core emotion for me. My earliest memory was of being given away to my dad by my mom, sometime after they divorced, and the theme of abandonment has played out numerous other times in my life. Realizing how tied abandonment has been to my feeling of emptiness was enlightening for me...it's a gateway emotion, but also a distraction from the emptiness.

When I got to Multnomah falls, I got my gear and started to hike. I'd actually had someone recommend a place with caves for today, but I chose where a lot of people went, because many of my experiences with emptiness have happened around people, the feeling of not really belonging, of having no connection with those people...so it seemed appropiate that a contemplation of emptiness in my life start in a place with lots of people.

As I hiked, I felt empty, but also felt emotions come up. Emotions of abandonment, not fitting in, jealousy, guilt, anger, hunger...all the emotions that signal emptiness for me. And I acknowledged these emotions and let them fall away, because again they were distractions...something to acknowledge, but also something that sometimes only allowed me to experience a surface knowledge of emptiness. As I hiked further in and dealt with emotions that came up, I also felt more and more comfortable with the emptiness. I came to a point, where no one was hiking except for me and I was in a place I hadn't been and I felt a great sense of contentment sweep over me and I felt empty and it was good...it was a state of profound observation and awareness, with no mental chatter. I looked around at the way the light kissed the trees and the ground, the way the wetness permeated the air and I felt alive, at peace, empty and free. I realized emptiness itself has never been the issue...it's been the emotions leading to it, the focus on negative experiences and the association that arises as a result. I continued hiking. XAH would occasionally make himself known to me, offering bits of advice or suggestions about where I could go. The gentle humor he offered, as well as the integration of our respective energies was quite comforting. I came away with a greatly enhanced appreciation of what I was experiencing. The emptiness was a place where no thought needed to arise, no emotion needed to be felt. You just experienced. I don't think I've ever felt as close to nature as I did today. The place I was in had a twilight appearance.

I eventually turned around and came home, but I felt touched in a way that is so silent, so graceful, so different from so much of my life. I think I will learn a lot this year.

The next element is...

Even though I have two months to go to finish up the elemental love working, last night I got definite confirmation on what the next element will be. I'd actually been getting some hints before this, but last night brought it to the fore quite nicely. I find with this kind of work that you usually do get notice a couple months beforehand. It's really a transition period. You move out of one element and into the other. So what's the element I'll be working with come Mid October?

Zero, Emptiness, the void.

Last night My wife and I went to the Deacon X Fetish night. We danced some. At some point though as I looked around at all the beautiful goth people decked out in their various costumes, I felt no connection. I could hear in my mind the hungry ghosts of desire as I watched some people involved in kink scenes...how much I yearned for certain experiences, as well as regrets about certain choices, thinking for a moment I could've had that...I felt empty and with that emptiness came up all those hungry ghosts, all of those desires. I looked at the various people and I felt empty because whatever they were experiencing wasn't something I could have in that one moment. So I sat and I watched the people in their play and dance. And at some point the voices of those hungry ghosts quieted and I felt just emptiness, nothing else, and there was peace. I felt a great calmness enter me. I began doing the Taoist dissolving breath and meditated while I watched those people. I still felt no connection to them, but I felt a great emptiness, a great circle of zero and I was content. There was nothing and with nothing the potential for everything. I sat there for a while and meditated.

Working with emptiness next makes sense to me, because a lot of the love working has involved revealing that emptiness to me. With my interests in Buddhism and Taoism, it will be interesting to see where this takes me, but for now I've got another two months for the love work.

That identity thing again: Being a report on my latest projects

I've been saying for a while now that a lot of my work in magic focuses on identity. I haven't gone into a lot of detail, but that's because the pieces are getting sorted out and catalogued in my mind and this takes a while. But I recently started reading Nature and the Human Soul by Bill Plotkin and he strikes on some stuff that I've hit on before in Multi-Media Magic about identity. In MMM, I defined as the agreement between the person and the universe as to the person's place in the universe. Plotkins takes it further when he says that a thing's ultimate place is defined by the relationship the thing has with everything else. And I find myself agreeing with that...not just relationships with other people or even other animals, but the relationship a person has to the sense of self in those relationships, as well as to the place where s/he lives, to nature, to the plants, the air, the elements, etc. When I think about the elemental work of the last few years, the effect it's had on me, the effect it continues to have, I am struck by the realization that it and really all of my magical work has been a way of changing my identity, renegotiating the terms of the agreement with the universe so that my place is somewhere different from where it was, which is basically what I wrote about in this article. Reading Plotkin is a further confirmation that I'm on the right path with identity and it's role in metaphysics. Of course I've gotten other confrimations in the books on psychology and neuroscience I've been reading, but I like it when I get confirmation from a different perspective and in fact reading Plotkin's book is looking into a different perspective.

I'm also pleased because I'm nearly finished with the research of my identity project. I've been spending the last year reading and exploring this concept. I have a lot I'll need to put together and I do need to go back and reread a few books I haven't touched in a couple of years such as Wilson's Prometheus Rising, but it is coming together. What will be particualrly fascinating is explaining the different between the concept of consciousness and identity, because there is a definite difference...as well as explaining how all of this relates to concepts of space/time magic and inner alchemy.

You know the love work has been an exploration and renegotiation of identity for me. It started out with the relevation that there was some definite problems in my understanding of love and how it manifested itself in my life, as well as how to express my desires...and it's changed so much since then...and it is so fascinating to see this change in effect...not a change to get a material result or call up a demon/deity, but instead a very focused internal change that nonetheless shapes and changes how a person relates to everything he has connection to more profoundly than any sigilized result could...

Oh and I have several ideas of what my next elemental working will be...but I can't share yet, cause I need a bit of time to see if that's what I really need to work on, or if it's just fanciful thinking.