Some thoughts on physiology, entheogens, and awareness of time.

I've just started reading Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream: a day in the life of your body by Jennifer Ackerman. I'm already intrigued by what I've read, but in the first chapter she notes that there is a set of neurons that comprise the master clock in your brain, which basically dictates the rhythms of time for the body. Last night when I was having my entheogen experience, my perception of time changed drastically. Time felt elongated, slowed down, stretched out. Even my perception of light was stretched so that the light moved much differently than it normally would. My circadian rhythm had been changed by the entheogen. And this interests me, because how one's physiology reacts to any substance can dictate not only the health of a person, or the awareness of time, but also the rhythm of that person. My awareness of time admittedly also might've changed because that was what I brought into my inner journey, but nonetheless I have to acknowledge that my internal rhythms were influenced. This same distortion of time has happened with magical workings and meditation. While not necessarily as visually stimulating as my trip, my awareness of time changes a lot when I meditate. I will sometimes think I have been under for hours, only to find out I've been under for twenty minutes or a half hour. This recent experience as well as comparing notes with my meditations has made me wonder just how much our perception of linear time interferes with the awareness of biological time. When I measure time from a biological perspective, from a rhythmic awareness it seems to be much different from the ticking of minutes and seconds that tells me what time it is on my computer. It's a possible angle for further experimentation.

Speaking of possible angles for experimentation, watching a friend and former student doing her work with with the element of darkness and specifically with Sora from Kingdom Hearts decided me on utilizing the Kingdom Hearts Video games as part of my work with emptiness. Yes, I know quite profane, but also quite useful...the metaphysical aspects of the Heartless and nobodies is untapped as yet, and it could also be an excellent exploration of projective identity and personal narrative as a pathworking, similar to what The force unleashed inspired in me for working with the Emperor as an aspect of emptiness.

A Book Review and some book suggestions for Energy Work

I'm starting to read Tai Chi Dynamics by Robert Chuckrow. It was a review copy sent to me by YMAA Publication Center. It does look to be an intriguing book, where the author's background as a physicist is employed to explain how Tai Chi works. I'm intrigued already and will report on it as I continue reading it.

Since I started reading this book and it deals with Chi, or energy, and also because the other night I did a couple of breathing exercises with a student which is designed to use energy in particular ways, I thought I might put up some books suggestions about energy work for those who are interested in the subject.

Embryonic Breathing by Yang Jwing-Ming: An excellent book that does a lot to explain the theory behind chinese energy work. A must read book for anyone getting involved in Taoist energy work techniques. He only presents two breathing techniques, but does an excellent job of describing the techniques.

Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao by Mantak Chia: Chia's take on Taoist energy work, for beginners. He provides some good explanations, though he can be preachy.

Fusion of the Five Elements by Mantak Chia: Utilizes the Microcosmic circuit, but adds in some elemental correspondances for recycling negative emotions. Really useful exercise. I haven't found his later fusion books in the series as helpful, but I will work with them a while longer before passing final judgment.

Breathing, Chi, and Dissolving the Ego and The Great Stillness by B. K. Frantzis are two excellent books on energy work that focuses on dissolving internal blockages and sabotages

Real Energy By Isaac and Phaedra Bonewits: It mostly presents a theoretical consideration of different models of energy work...mostly from a western perspective.

Energy Work by Robert Bruce: Has good exercises for beginner to intermediate energy workers. Also presents some intriguing possibilities around the sense of touch.

Psychic abilities and The Psychic Self-Defense personal training manual by Marcia Pickands: Presents some good beginner exercises for energy workers

The Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon: Some excellent exercises for energy work and also for honing your skills in magic in general.

Hands of Light and Light Emerging by Barbara Ann Brennan: Mainly focused on using energy work for healing both physical issues and psychological issues. Definitely worth picking up. These were the first books I read on energy work back in the nineties.

Inner Alchemy by Taylor Ellwood (Me): Focused on a physiological exploration of energy work and how it can be used for healing as well as communication with the body.

There are many more works out there. I have some I've yet to read or study, but I'll include mention of them on here, as I get to them. There is some intriguing writing in Biology and neuroscience that relates to energy work, which is also worth checking out. I might write that up sometime.

For my own efforts in energy work, I'm continuing to experiment with the emptiness meditation which focuses on the energy of emptiness as well as the feeling of it. And as always I'm continuing my own reading, research, and experimentation in a few other directions.

Review of The Magic Language of the Fourth Way by Pierre Bonnasse

I initially found this book to be really intriguing, particularly in terms of how Bonnasse presented the concept of observing the self as the self is reading. I think it’s a good point to make because people can be resistant to what is read. However, the first half of the book didn’t live up to the potential expressed in the introduction. It came off as pretentious and somewhat confusing. I’ve been told that the confusion is characteristic of Gurdjieff’s works, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to find it in a disciple’s work, but I think that confusion detracts from the overall message that the author is attempting to convey.

The latter half of the book improves when the author focuses on explaining the enneagram and concepts of language and magic and how those relate to the Gurdjieff philosophy. I particularly found the focus on vibrations to be interesting and insightful.

What might’ve helped with this book was some exercises that readers could do in order to implement the theory into action. While I found this book interesting and a somewhat decent introduction to Gurdjieff’s philosophy, I was disappointed by how confusing the book could get, as well as the occasional pretentious holier than thou attitude conveyed by the author. This book could be worth picking up if you want to learn a bit more about Gurdjieff or want to examine how language is treated in his system of philosophy.

3 out of 5

The Emptiness Working Month 1: Rotting

In the first three weeks of getting involved in the emptiness working, I've already had so much come up. Just as the elemental love working was intense from the get go, this working has also been intense from day one. A lot of this first month has involved dealing with insecurities. Insecurities about myself, insecurities about my relationships...The gateways into emptiness. In this first month, I've suddenly found myself surrounded by potential love interests and yet none of them really manifested into anything concrete. It was if I was given a tiny taste, a few drops of water, but then it was taken away. And the ache, after it was taken away was sharp and discordant because it emphasized what was not there. In each case I met people who I could be very interested in, even feel a bit of NRE for and yet there would be something which just didn't quite work...something about each person or situation which said, "This can't happen right now." And I felt each time a sense of loss, a sense of emptiness, because I would get excited, get a taste, and then...There's a pattern there, and yes there is emptiness in that pattern.

Another way emptiness manifested into my life was through realizing just how much the guilt over last year has changed how I approach situations with people. When I was told by someone how much my actions had hurt that person, my wife, and I...and when I saw some of those same patterns repeat themselves, I realized on some level that my focus on my own desires, without any real sense of awareness for how others felt or would be effected, had caused the pain that the people. And when I looked back at not just my recent past, but also much further back, I saw that same pattern and it really hit me how much I had hurt other people because of my selfishness. I carried that guilt with me through most of this last year's elemental working...and I've carried it into this year's working as well. In an argument with my wife, it came out in a way I didn't expect...it came to my awareness, when I realized how much I didn't want to see someone else carry a similar load of guilt. And I see it in how much my actions have changed now, when it comes to people coming into my life...how much more cautious I am. But realizing how much that guilt has changed has left me feeling very sad and alone as well. We bear the weight of our crimes, but sometimes that weight sinks us, and I have sunk further into my emptiness.

And then there was the car accident, which while not horrible, nonetheless brought a sense of mortality with it, and a reminder of a much younger time and a much worse accident.

Finally, to some degree everything has lost some of it's lustre for me. At the core of myself, I feel a dull pain, a haggard kind of awareness. I feel all the cuts I've ever given myself over the course of the years. I feel all these emotions, the anger, the fear, the hunger...all of these emotions which has lead to an experience of emptiness and I realize I need to feel these, feel how I get into the emptiness before I can let go of those triggers. And some part of me feels as if it is rotting...I am in the putrefaction stage of alchemy...desiccating, decomposing, returning to the rich hummus of the Earth...part of the cycle of life, where something falls apart, in order for something else to replace it. Occasionally I look at myself and all I see is what is falling apart...The illusions feel away and what was underneath is not so pretty. I feel like one of the dragon snakes...bloated with all these emotions, growing fat on my own fear, only to have it fall away to revel the rotting core underneath.

And throughout all of this I have felt the Emperor's hand on one shoulder and Xah on the other, one whispering of how to use my emptiness, how to use my emotions and feelings to go and further into a state of mind that while very observant, is also very empty, very dark, and very alone. And XAH tells me, that the fox is about illusion but also uncovering the truth beneath the illusion. Both tempt me...both are dangerous to me in their own way...but the emptiness itself is it's own temptation. the gateway is open, and as I work through these feelings that lead to emptiness, it beckons to me...

Occasionally, I've felt moments of oneness with the emptiness, of a kind of peace. It's a rare feeling. And when I feel that way, the energy of emptiness has interwoven itself into my own energy...my hands have grown very warm, warmer than other times I do energy work, and the world has actually become crystalline...everything stands out in sharp relief...perfect.


I went to a fetish event tonight. What waste of time. I've actually noticed that such events tend to enhance my feeling of emptiness and aloneness. I think it's because what I see is something I would enjoy, but it lacks something I'm looking for and so consequently all I really see are people going through the motions. Or perhaps I'm just consoling myself by saying that and really not admitting that what I feel is a terrible sense of loneliness that these events evoke. I see what is had and yet I cannot seem to have any of it. I look at these people and I have nothing to say or to offer. I realized something very important about how I handle social situations. Unless there is a very specific purpose to the event, it's hard for me to feel comfortable enough to initiate conversation. I'm great at in-person networking where I ask what do you do? But asking that at a fetish event does not exactly make one interesting...maybe I should start asking: What fetish do you do?

A friend of mine said, tonight, that she rarely feels the emptiness because as a priestess she is a vessel for whatever she works with. I'm not a priest. I'm a magician. I occasionally with entities or deities, but I am not filled by those deities. I'm not sure which of us is better off: Her being filled with whatever, good, bad, or otherwise, or me, empty, a person stumbling around, looking for something to fill that emptiness, which never quite gets filled.

At some point though (and this point incidentally is like now) you realize you can't fill it...that in fact maybe the point isn't to fill it. Emptiness can be about acceptance, as much as it can be about what is lacking. I can look at what I don't have and be filled with bitterness, anger, and fear, or I can accept what I don't have and let it go into that emptiness.

I've been experimenting with several meditation techniques in regards to emptiness. One I've done at fetish events, is to simply sit down and start meditating using Taoist breathing techniques and circulating the energy. This can lead to a very observant and mindful state of mind, and the emptiness ends up being channeled into energy I can feel...it becomes a current.

The second technique is one I've started adopting in the last couple of days. I go upstairs with a pillow. I have a blanket there...no heat on. I lay down initially in a pose which resembles the hanged man. One leg extended, the other bent, with the foot, placed beneath the other leg, arms outstretched, one eye open and one eye closed, One looking to the future, the other eye looking to the past. I eventually have to shift my legs...I'm still very flexible, but I can feel my age and it is uncomfortable to keep my one leg bent for a long period of time. This meditation can easily last an hour minimum, as it is very much a fluid state of being and one spread across time. Incidentally if you do this meditation, make sure no one disturbs you. The consequences can be unnerving as your sense of time is stretched out all over the place.

You basically end up drifting across time during this meditation. At the same time, all those feelings of emptiness just end up getting accepted and flow away into the river of time. I not only come away with an altered state of mind and a subconscious awareness of what to do next, and even some conscious manipulations of time, but I also come away a sense of great calm. Undoubtedly I'll be doing this meditation more, so keep your reader eyes peeled. I look into the past and the future. I am not present, because present doesn't exist, yet I have presence in all things and none, everything and nothing.


The last week has continued in a similar vein to the rest of this month. As I work with this element the past has been dug up. That's where the emptiness began, so it's fitting I go to the root of it in my explorations of this element. I use my meditation technique on days when the emptiness particularly feels present, so that I can work with that feeling, even as I extend my mind across time into memories of future and past.

Meeting the Spider Goddess of Time

My grandmother died on Veteran's day. I never really knew her. I met her maybe half a dozen times in my life. But I did feel sad for my father, who even though prepared for it, is still sad. I don't attribute any special significance to her death in regards to emptiness itself, so much as I recognize that death is an ending, and emptiness is about endings and beginnings. She's left one form of life and rejoined the cycle of life. After I found out she died, I decided to try and use my new meditation to try and make one last connection out of respect for her presence in my life, and also a bit of sorrow for missed opportunities. I wanted to pay my respects to her in some form or manner that would let me connect with her, even though she is now gone from this plane of existence. I used my special meditation for emptiness, arms outstretched, one eye open, the other closed, my mind drifting across all time and space. The eye that is open is only partially open, with the eye-lid half closed, so that you only see partially out of one eyelid and there isn't much focusing. The focus of the eye shifts inward, so you're looking across time and space. I called the name of her once, out load, letting the vibrations carry out across the spiral rhythm of time, onto the web of the spider time goddess. I found her in memories, I found her ready to join the dead, and she asked, "Why have you come after me, my grandson?" And I said, "To help you on your way to the land of the dead, she who was and will be..." We walked, nothing said, just walking across the silken strands of time, visiting moments of intersection in my memory briefly and then coming to a river, my ancestors across the way waving to her. She turned to me and said, "This is goodbye". I said, "Goodbye my grandmother, goodbye she who was and will be..." We embraced one time, then she flowed on to the land of the dead, back into the cycle of life.

As I came back from the land of the dead, I met the spider goddess of time, weaving her web of wyrds and fate and destiny. She looked at me and said, "You are one of mine, even as you belong to the other time gods. The emptiness you seek is the doorway to our domain, to the infinity of time and space, all things and none. Use your guide and the infinity sign to keep finding us. In them is the eternal beat of the spiral rhythm of time, the silken vibrations of my web, the pulsing red star light of Thiede, Purson's promise of all secrets revealed and more. We named you ours early on, and we're coming to take our due. Seek us in the emptiness, seek us in the depths of all and none, the zero and one through which you've seen the crystalline perfection and the star eyed one who is you, as you are hir."

I bowed to her and thanked her, and she said, "Thank the one who departed. It's her gift to you." I thanked my departed grandmother for her gift of this journey that allowed me to meet the spider goddess of time.

Everything is perfect in the moment when you have no control over anything. When you surrender and let it all overwhelm you and take you somewhere no one else can go. Tonight, I surrendered to the current of time and let it sweep me somewhere I'd never gone...perfection. I lose myself in that current sometimes, whether in a meditation like tonight, or in the rapidly turning pages of a book, where I'm caught up in the creation of the time and space in the pages that turn and the words that burn into my mind a different world and place. My awareness of time slips out of linear and into a place where time is very circular, spiral, all over the place. Times' always been something very mutable and malleable. One moment shifts into another, but a moment can last for an infinity or it can be gone in the blink of an eye, which is one reason I'm fascinated with time as an expression of reality. The spider goddess of time, as grokked from Oryelle's writing and met tonight on my trance passage is enough another expression of temporal slippages. I've walked on her silver silken strands before, but this time I met her. I'm sure we will meet again.

Emptiness and Time

Since I've started reading Oryelle's A Brief Hirstory of Time, and also because of a conversation with a fellow practitioner, I've been thinking a lot about time's role within emptiness. It strikes me that time has a very prevalent role, both in emptiness itself, and in what comes after emptiness. Within emptiness time is representative of all the possibilities that could exist. Time isn't static in emptiness, though it may seem like it would be. Rather everything is occurring all at once. Time is non-linear, indistinguishable from reality. Time occurs, but isn't defined into measurements or increments.

When emptiness changes, when possibility becomes reality, time can be linear or cyclical, depending on how one perceives the event occurring. Oryelle says time becomes emit, or time is emitted and that works as well for our purposes. Time is emitted from emptiness when possibility manifests into reality.

It's interesting to realize that emptiness is not a vaccuum...there is existence even within emptiness. It's fluid, constantly changing, almost entrophic and the only thing which makes it non-entrophic is that a choice can be made and when the choice is made, progression occurs, something comes out of nothing, 1 originates out of 0.

If you think about it making a choice is when time begins. Or at least a version of time related to that choice...or not because there's everything leading up to choice, at which it might be cyclical instead of linear.

So it seems like the element of emptiness is also the element of time. It makes sense to me. I'm actually developing a new meditation technique, using time and the element of emptiness, but I'll discuss that at a later date.

The Emperor

In the course of getting involved in the Emptiness working, I've had an intriguing encounter with another pop culture entity, namely the Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars, aka Darth Sidious. It probably didn't help that until a couple weeks ago I was playing The Force Unleashed, wherein the character appears, but even so the appearance of this entity in the Emptiness working is appropriate since a lot of the emotions I'm dealing with would fall under the "Dark Side" of the spectrum. I am of course aware of just how treacherous and power hungry this particular entity is. Yet in dealing with the emotions I've encountered, he's been a quiet presence occasionally offering advice...though I have yet to shoot lightning from my hands. His advice has mainly consisted of allowing myself to feel the emotion and give it expression in the act of feeling it. For me the giving of expression to those emotions has involved some opening up, but also the dissolution of the meotion by feeling it, and the adding of that energy to the feeling of emptiness, which provides a sensation of a neutral mindset, with an enhanced awareness of my immediate environment as well as the patterns of behavior and action that people are involved in. Obviously this a bit different than how the Emperor is portrayed in Star Wars, and yet it seems appropriate. The emperor is a manipulator...to be an effective manipulator he needs to be able to observe others dispassionately...he needs to be able to be empty at times. While I don't intend to become a manipulator, I do know that learning to be comfortable with emptiness is learning to be comfortable with achieving a state of mind that flows with emotion, but doesn't let the emotion take control.

This has also lead into a new direction with my energy work: Learning how to dissolve my emotional energy without automatically cycling it via a Taoist technique. Instead, I'm dissolving the energ and settling it into the feeling of emptiness itself, which ends up actually infusing the energy into me. When working with energy like this, I feel the energy settle into a vast river or stream that is within the emptiness.

I am continuing to work with the Taoist styles of energetic work, but I also think there is some value toward what I'm exploring through the emptiness working. I'm also starting to realize just how much I need to make certain changes in some plans I have for the future...I have so much to share.

"Go at your own pace"

When I hiked on Tuesday and later on Sunday, each time I hiked XAH was with me, loping alongside me. Everytime I felt the urge to speed up, he cautioned me, "Go at your own pace." I slowed down. I started to lope along at a pace that was easy on my body. The hike became much easier and I started to notice more details. Instead of trying to conquer the mountain, I was soaking in what was around me. I started to have a deeper appreciation for the way the light was filtered through the trees. The cold air kissed me as it never had before, and the Earth seemed to welcome as it's child. XAH grinned at me and said, "See, much easier. You're so busy trying to get somewhere you forget how to enjoy where you are." Relaxing into my own pace, I focused less on where I wanted to...I'm already where I need to be. When I think about that advice in my life, I appreciate anew something I've thought before: It will all be there tomorrow...Do what I can today, but relax and enjoy what I have as well. "Go at your own pace" means so much more than regulating my pace and in emptiness going at your own pace is what keeps you going on the road to everything and nothing

A sharp wrenching pain the feeling of claws scrabbling against my skin A muzzle coming forth from my chest blood dripping from the lolling tongue the golden eyes ablaze with life as the light from my own eyes begins to fade under a film of death.

He is reborn, he is reborn I am just the capsule for his expression Nine tails come out of the gap He's standing over my ruined body He grins down at my with gaping jaws, and then playfully seizes my face in his haws Delicately, delicately he could crush my face so easily, but he just swipes me with his tongue.

"Join me..." He swipes his tongue over my wounds the blood clots, the vessels repair, the skin closes. I stand up, with his help, my hand on his fur

"Destruction is birth Creativity is death Everything in nothing nothing becoming everything Join me"

We run, run, run into the void I am distant from everything and yet so close you could feel the fox-fire of my breath on your cheek if you knew how.

His eyes are infinity his breath is death I'm fading into him

So this is nothing I'm so empty I'm just a husk everything is gone and yet it's all so close.

"Join me..."

One week in

One week in to the Elemental Emptiness ritual working and I can already feel some definite differences. A lot of my insecurities have come forward a lot more. Some of it is just the nature of dealing with the emptiness and some of it is a personal situation I'm adjusting to. Regardless, these feelings have surfaced and I'm working on how they make me feel feel, because it's not just feeling the emotion, it's also feeling the hollowness these emotions provide. I've noticed that my enjoyment of different things has decreased a bit, while at the same time, the physical stimuli of light in particular stands out much more than before. What does the latter have to do with emptiness? I have no clue, not yet.

On Tuesday, when I hiked, I almost feel at one point. If I had fallen, I'd have likely tumbled down a cliff and hit a rocky area. I caught myself in time, but it was a reminder of my mortality. And on Friday I got into a car accident. Nothing too severe, no physical pain...but the spectre of emotional pain, the reminder of a car accident that was much worse again brought up that reminder of my mortality. Since emptiness or void is about nothingness, the reminder of mortality is a reminder of emptiness as well, in its own way.

For me, a lot of this vulnerability...it is liked being soaked with rain, trying to find even a hint of dryness and knowing you can't...you shudder, you try to bundle in, but the wet is there...that's how my vulnerability feels in the face of starting work with this element.

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.

Elemental Love Work month 12

I wrote this poem on Thursday, in my live journal. I'm reposting it here, because it depicts part of the conclusion to the elemental Love work. The connection is what we want silver strands that glisten by the star light, whispering promises from the vibrations of the space/time wind The core opens to reveal the secret heart of the universe a path lit up by red lines of force the flames of the fox fire beckoning, and luring on those eager hunters of desire

Hourglass eyes witness the illusion of time, The spiderweb, wet with dew, promises a non linear story Truth, truth, truth...

Whirling fan over the light, a very tired person looks up spreads his arms, and journeys into the iridescent glow of promise. I see all possibilities in the quantum sea everything could, is, was, will do, but will any of it become?

I am also Empty...Reach in and pull the last out Everything is stripped away...she took me on she gave me surfeit her hand gentle on my cheek, while the other rips everything out.

Your illusions are gone, now what?

Now what indeed. It's month 12...The end of the year long elemental love work...The end of my working with Babalon, the sacred whore, the scarlet woman, she who takes on all, but demands the sacrifice of your illusions. Babalon has thoroughly fucked me this last year. At times she had been a gentle lover, at other times a demanding bitch. One hand has caressed me as a lover, while the other has ripped my heart out. And through it all, her scarlet eyes have looked into mine, holding me steady, urging me on, demanding the best from me.

I wouldn't recommend the element of love to just anyone. I think this year's work has been by far the most intense and demanding of all my magical workings. You have to be ready to sacrifice it all on the altar of love to experience the truths you will inevitably find about yourself, and if you get anything back, count yourself blessed, and recognize you also earned it.

This last month has been one of nostalgia, regret, and healing. I remember a year ago, I remember how desperate I was, how much I knew I needed to change, my patterns of love had grown very toxic indeed. I was a toxic bloom, everything on the surface, ready to be popped. I remember meeting a priestess of Babalon, and a relationship that didn't work out and being told, "This elemental love work has left bruises on my heart, your wife's heart, and your heart. Will it be worth it?" I remember bad communication on my part, an unwillingness to really be open or intimate and my journey throughout this year to learn how to do that, how to really open up, how to be vulnerable, how to be honest despite the fear. Honesty with others, but most importantly honesty with myself about my desires, my fears, and what has motivated so many of  my choices.

I remember other situations, other people, all the lies I told to myself, ripped away. And I remember a couple nights with Lupa, where I really opened up, where I told her things I had not told her or anyone else. I remember being honest with her in a way I have never been with anyone, and despite my fears, despite the ingrained responses and reactions that said to just hold it all in, to protect myself by never saying a thing...I spoke...I told her, I laid myself out and let her see the real me. And she accepted me...she showed me LOVE, even as Babalon has Shown me LOVE.

A couple weeks ago, I felt the weight of these regrets...My mind wandered through the past year, through the lessons earned, the people touched, the bruises left, especially the bruise in myself. And I felt Babalon stir beside me. She gave me a gentle look and parted the folds of my flesh, to the heart underneath, and instead of seizing it in her hand as she often has, she gently touched it, touched the bruise of my regrets, and she said,

"It's time to let this go. You've learned what you needed to from this. Let it go, so you can move on and let other people into your life and into your love when you're ready. You've learned the lessons I needed to teach you and I will always be here to remind you of them, and also support you as you continue your journey."

And she took those regrets away...the physical pain I felt in the hollow of my chest left me.

This last Monday, I was talking with Wes Unruh about language, magic, semiotics, and we got around to talking about Babalon and male magicians. He said that he didn't think a male magician came into his full power until he'd had an encounter with Babalon. He told me of his own experiences and mentioned that for about a year after his working with Babalon ended he had focused on the element of emptiness and on rebuilding himself...and I found great comfort in this, because it's another confirmation I made the right choices, and I'm on the right path.

I was asked earlier this year, if this elemental love work would be worth the bruises, and the pain. And my answer is yes. It is worth all the pain caused, all the pain felt. It is worth the pain I caused as well as the pain I felt. It's not that I wanted to cause that pain. It's not that I felt a secret delight. No...That pain is part of the process of life, of how you learn. I made mistakes, I came face to face with the reality of the effects of those mistakes. The regret I felt for the pain I caused was something that's haunted me for this last half year. And yet, that pain, for me, for them has the potential for growth. It's what we choose to make it...and so Babalon showed me I could let go, move on, heal...

Last year, I said to Lupa, I said to others, "All of the relationships I'm in now will be changed if I do this working." And everything changed for those relationships. Every single relationship I was involved in on a romantic level is now gone, accept the relationship with my wife, which has ended up stronger than ever before because we worked through our problems with each other and came to a deeper, more intimate relationship than any I've ever had, except for one. It's taken a lot of work and honesty on our parts, but here we stand together, stronger than ever...

And that one relationship which is deeper and more intimate...that's the relationship I have with myself. This year has forced me to know myself as I never did before, and this next year will take me even further, but I'm ready for that plunge. Babalon has shown me not just the truth of LOVE, but also that of Strength. The strength to forgive, the strength to let go, the strength to love, and the strength to learn. She showed me my strength, even as she took away all the delusions I'd told myself.

Babalon told me it would get harder before it got easier, and she was right. It got really hard somedays to wake up and face the reality of my motivations, my desires, my love or lack thereof. In April, when I walked around, desperately unhappy, desperate to fill something in me and instead walked home and told Lupa about my emptiness, about how empty I sometimes feel, that's when I started to really learn from this year's elemental working...that's when I came face to face with the underlying motivation for so much of my unhealthy behaviors. That's when I realized just how much my feeling of emptiness had so often motivated my choices to try and find something to fill it, instead of choosing to feel it. And now that I know that feeling...now I'm ready to accept it, to move into it and everything it has to teach me.

On Friday, I had some of my hair cut. Babalon spoke to me in a moment of shared love and lust, in a moment of ritual, a finishing touch. That night, Lupa massaged me, talked with me, reconnected with me about our love, about what we find so important and she cut my hair, part of my payment to Babalon. Below is a poem I wrote about Friday:

"You've still got to pay up the last bit for this year of companionship I gave you" She told me.

Her long black hair framed her face, cascading down her frame, hiding her body, leaving only the oval of her face her red eyes staring into mine a doorway into the abyss an invitation into Emptiness

As we fucked with wild abandon her hands touched my long hair and she said,

"Perhaps some of this... Cut some of it for me and also for the next element Cut it as an offering when you pass through the gateway within me and within you The gateway to the heart of the universe"

As we came to crescendo, She and I, My goddess of desire, her beast to ride, I felt myself swallowed into her. She whispered,

"Conjunctio, The joining of forces Your principle joined to mine, In combination we create the alchemical wedding Your sacrifice opens the gate that your seed might be consumed and you reborn in my dark womb of Emptiness Your potential realized in the joining of everything and nothing."

Later my body massaged with hands of gentle love and care, my hair brushed out, the scissors snap some is taken away "Taking a little, so a lot can grow back, so you can realize your potential" Caressed, loved, forgiven, your hands know my body I fall into the light of the quantum sea out of reality, into everything

Everything I am falling back to potential, In her hands I lay, in her womb I will be sacrificed The gateway is open, Conjunctio achieved Emptiness beckons It's a promise of potential I'll take.

"Your last price is paid, Your coin is accepted the gate is open, fly free my love fly free

When you come back reborn anew, you will really know me and my name.

And I whisper,

"Babalon, Great goddess, Sacred whore, scarlet woman, take me, take me, take my sacrifice and show me the door to conjunctio, show me the door to emptiness zero and one, everything and none, where potential awaits to sculpt, to show, to provide the pathway to the heart of the universe to the silver webs of time, and the purple halls of space"

And she rips away from me the last shred of illusion Her hand caresses my cheek one last time, her tears touch my face, She kisses my lips one last time, to steal my last breath Great Babalon has destroyed me.

And now... I'm free to arise. Elemental Emptiness show me the way, through the door

I am here, I am there I am everywhere, everywhen, all things and none, a whisper on the wind, the caress of a hand on your chin all realities within my eyes, I am reborn into emptiness... I am reborn to realize my potential.

Today, Saturday, I finished the Love working. I went upstairs, with the painting of the seal of Babalon, The beast dagger, the candle with her visage gracing it. I lit the sacred candle in my temple. I dedicated two posters of the mythos of Babalon as told by Oryelle Defenestate-Bascule to Her. I burned a bit of my cut off hair in the flame of the candle. I cut her seal into my flesh, her name into my skin with the tip of the dagger, tracing so delicately upon my skin the imprint of this goddess...

I sang her praise, I thanked her for her gifts, and then I asked her to take me through the portal to emptiness. I fucked her one last time, giving her my seed and then I was taken in hand by the entity who represents emptiness...But that story will not be told until Tuesday, when the dedication ritual is finished.

Farewell Babalon, sacred Goddess and sacred whore, my lover and destroyer.

The lyric below is from the song Here's to You by Lisbeth Scott. I removed a couple words, that aren't relevant to me, to this year's working...but the lyrics of this song, the song itself is a fitting end to the love working and the beginning of the work on the element of Emptiness:

Here's to you... Rest forever and ever... The last and final moment is yours. Agony's your triumph.

Here's to you, Rest forever here in our hearts. The last and final moment is yours. Agony's your triumph.

Book Reviews and a meditation on Emptiness

Book Reviews: Grammar for the Soul by Lawrence Weinstein While not a typical book that one might associate with spiritual techniques, this book proved rather intriguing because the author examines how punctuation, tenses, clauses, passivity, etc is used in language to communicate and also empower an individual. As someone who consistently is interested in exploring the connection between language and spiritual techniques, I also found this book useful for considering how I could not only improve my writing, but also improve the efficacy of my magical workings when it came to using language.

Each chapter is only a few pages long, but the author manages to include a lot of information as well as samples for how grammar can be used to empower and communicate, as well as create personal change. The author's narrative is friendly and approachable. I didn't feel lost in a sea of grammar rules. If anything, I felt that I could easily navigate grammar's laws and use them to my benefit, both for my writing and my sense of self.

If I have one quibble with this book, it's that the author didn't include exercises for the reader. While the examples he used were illustrative of how to improve one's writing skills as well as how to use writing to effect personal change, the lack of exercises can keep the reader from realizing the book's full potential, unless they are already active writers. That said, I'd give this book a 4.5 out of 5.

Book Review: The Mind and the Brain by Jeffery Schwartz and Sharon Begley

This book was probably the most fascinating book I read about neuroscience and that's saying something since I find all of them fascinating. In this book the author explains neuroplasticity and how it continues to work in the brains of an adult as well as a child. The author also reviews many of the neuroscience experiments and projects done by various people as well as how those projects have confirmed the efficacy of mindful practices in controlling our habits and thoughts.

What I found really fascinating was how the author's work with OCD patients help them overcome that affliction by learning how to rewire the thought patterns. Equally interesting is the focus on how we can deliberately change our brains not only to heal, but also to continue sharpening our skills. For people interested in the intersection of neuroscience and magic, this book is a must read. 5 out 5


A Meditation on Emptiness

Last night, while at the Deacon X fetish event, I again felt myself feeling empty...I think it was a continuing realization that with everything going on there, I had a sense of loneliness, a sense of not feeling satisfied...a realization, again, that this emptiness is not something that can be cured by the presence of anyone person...that it is something that can be ignored or sometimes not felt, but it is still a fundamental part of life. I felt a moment of anger and frustration...part of me wanted to walk out and just keep walking...but instead of doing that I sat down, and start a Taoist breathing meditation, opening myself up to that feeling of emptiness, accepting it. As I breathed I circulated my energy into that feeling of emptiness and felt my emotions swirl into the energy until I felt very calm. And I felt the emptiness reach out and start teaching me something I could do with the circulating energy to not only calm myself, but direct the emptiness I felt. I directed it into my hands, which I would later put to good use at said event ;)

Still what I came away with is that emptiness can be worked with...not just felt but worked with, which will make the oncoming elemental year very interesting indeed.

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.