Into The Aethyr – The Thinning of the Veil

Into The Aethyr - The Thinning of the Veil

Paganism is rife with those who deem themselves helpers of departed souls “trapped” in some earthly desire or other and reluctant to move on. I cringe every time I hear or read the words “into the light,” unless I am watching Poltergeist. These eager ghost hunters frequent cemeteries and old buildings, seeking spirits to usher into the great beyond, as if any human being alive can possibly know more of the spirit world and spirit daily affairs than the spirits do. This time of year, the month of October in particular, is the worst of all.

We’ve all heard at least one person remark on the thinning of the veil around Halloween, how spirits otherwise (reputedly) unreachable become much more chatty and expect to be served dinner on All Hallow’s Eve. While some have ancestral relationships that incorporate this tradition, the bulk of those yammering on about the veil thinning have no idea what they’re on about. And yet there is evidence that spirit communication is at an all time high, at least in the modern era. Certainly my work has in the last decade steadily uncovered more and more people who are either very convincing to my skeptical viewpoint or else are having genuine experiences with those who’ve “passed on.”

The 1990s saw the peak of the phenomenon of trance channeling, during which the medium or psychic (such words leave a bad taste in my mouth) gives up control of the body to his or her spirit guide so that the spirit can speak directly to the audience (perhaps of one, or perhaps of a thousand, depending upon the intensity of — spirit or human — desire for attention and revenue). While this sort of relationship is still easy enough to find, it’s being overshadowed by the much more commonplace and much more blasé method of conscious channeling, wherein the medium or human partner simply allows the spirit to speak without giving up control of his or her faculties. I’ve done both, and while it can be cool to gather the evidence that a trance channeling session can provide, there’s a lot to be said for being a conscious partner. You remember a lot more, for one thing.

A little .pdf book called Thinning of the Veil: A Record of Experience by Mary Bruce Wallace has a few points to make on this regard. While I haven’t had a chance to read the entire book, I can appreciate what she has to say on channeling:

“I felt from the very first perfectly normal, not losing consciousness in any way, but I could not guess what the next word would be until I had heard it. ‘We just give you one word at a time, and then wait to see if you have grasped it,’ said my friend.

“The voice seemed to speak not to my outer ear but to my soul-ear, and I heard every intonation of it, suiting the nature of the thought, tender, grave, encouraging, hopeful, joyous; every human emotion that is true and beautiful seemed expressed in tones more musical than any outward voice can reach.”

This book was published in 1919. Ms. Wallace writes at length on the relationship between herself and her spirit teacher. A single, unexpected encounter with a departed friend led to meeting this teacher, and then a floodgate opened and she began to see angels as well as other departed souls. Exhibiting a much more grounded approach to these experiences and recording them without coloring her encounters with more modern garbage such as, “We’ve lived 10,000 lifetimes together and he loves me more than anyone has ever been loved before [a sentiment I’ve actually heard before],” her prose is a breath of fresh air from a time we can no longer relate to. As children of the Information Age, our attention spans are minuscule, and our capacity for reason not much bigger. Mediums, shamans and psychics, or just sensitive people as I prefer to be called, would do well to emulate our cultural ancestors, such as Ms. Wallace and Ida Craddock.

It’s the opinion of Ms. Wallace, and I fully agree, that the veil is thinning — oh yes, but it’s not restricted to the seasons of Samhain and Beltane. The thinning of the veil is a progression, a gradual change year after year that allows normal, ordinary people to encounter spirits of various ilk on a daily basis. I’m constantly receiving emails and requests for help from people who’ve had their first encounters with spirits and don’t know what to do. But the one thing the bulk of them have in common is that they’re enraptured and want to learn to strengthen and continue this contact. Only paranoid religious fanatics tend to see these spirits as dangerous or demonic.

The veil is thinning. It’ll still be thinning in November, in February, in August, in 2012 (and 2012 — that’s a bitch-fest for another day). If you haven’t had an unexpected encounter with a spirit yet, odds are you will. Just do us all a favor, and don’t lose your rational mind in the experience.

©2009 by Sheta Kaey

Into the Aethyr #5 – Goodbye and Hello

April 30, 2007 by  
Filed under columns, into the aethyr

Into the Aethyr #5 - Goodbye and Hello

This issue, “Into the Aethyr” takes a step into meta-discussion as we say goodbye to my co-founder, Nicholas Graham and welcome our new Senior Managing Editor, Gerald del Campo, to the newly-created position. I hope you won’t find this too boring (or irritating); I promise this won’t occur often. But I think a personal note is in order.

One day last year, Nick posted in his then-LiveJournal to ask if anyone would be interested in starting a webzine on the topic of magic(k). I pounced, and the rest is history. Sort of. When Nick put out his call, I was in the midst of trying to put together a somewhat similar project (which I’ve been discussing a bit with our new Assistant Managing Editor, and still hope to implement as an add-on to RTV at some point), and as Nick’s idea was much easier to begin immediately, I was attracted.

Nick’s involvement between Yule and Ostara sort of faded off as he became involved in several complicated real life issues, until finally he felt the need to disengage from the project altogether. I’m sorry to see this happen, but I understand that sometimes, life gets in the way.

What I don’t understand is his statement in his Farewell message that his material is not worthy of submitting. I met Nick when he was 17, and he’s now 25. In that span of eight years, he’s never stopped reading, learning, or practicing his craft. Like anyone else, his focus changes as he grows, but grow he certainly has. I used to find him somewhat intimidating because his book knowledge so far surpassed mine. (I eventually got over it.) He’s never been one to sit on his laurels, but he is human, and like any of us, he’s going to have moments of insecurity, depression, and disillusionment. Perhaps this is one of those.

Nick has long been a source of inspiration for me on personal and magical levels, and I am grateful to count him among my friends. Regardless of how far apart we may drift, or for how long, we always meet again and more or less pick up where we left off. He’s an independent, but consistently caring, person (no matter what he says about his feelings of anger and so forth), and he has never been anything but respectful and pleasant to me.

While I’d really hoped to see Nick stay with Rending the Veil and develop the project with me, I cannot begrudge him his decision and I wish him only the best. He’s engaged now, and I hope to be present to congratulate him and Kasey in person when they wed. See you around, Nick. Keep in touch!

As Nick found himself pulled increasingly away from us here at the zine, I began to search for others to help out in substantial ways. A few people stepped forward for various jobs, but for the most part, folks seem to want to find out if we’re going to make it before they put much time into this. Our contributors have been very reliable, and Matt Hillman, as webmaster, has demonstrated an admirable commitment, even during his final year of university and his exams. I’ve been carrying the load of site design and content management alone since the inception (Nick’s not one for html), and the one thing that keeps me motivated better than anything else is the generation of ideas.

Tonight I spoke to Gerald del Campo on the phone for at least two hours. It was our first phone conversation, though we’ve emailed quite a bit. He and I agree on a great many things (so far), and it was very exciting to be able to discuss ideas with him verbally, because the response is immediate and therefore things move along very quickly — much more quickly than in email. After we tossed a few concepts around, I offered him the position of Managing Editor — a job spontaneously created and designed to encompass essentially whatever is needed. He’ll be looking into resources for the art gallery, helping to attract people in his circle to the magazine for submissions, and various other things, but mostly, he’ll be helping me come up with cool ideas. As a bonus, he’s also practiced at server-side work, so he can potentially help Matt with the back-end. I’m very pleased to welcome him to the job, and I hope you’ll find his contributions to your liking.

So, within six months of our premiere, we say farewell to one managing editor and welcome another. I don’t plan to disappear any time soon, so you may be stuck with me until this project either dies or evolves into something greater. We’ll see how it goes. Here’s to a fun ride!

©2007 Sheta Kaey.

Into the Aethyr #4 – IAO: Isis, Apophis, and Osiris stages

Into the Aethyr #4 - IAO: Isis, Apophis, and Osiris stages

Based on personal experience and observation, and anecdotal evidence from various other magical practitioners, the stages of development for magicians, mystics, and spiritual practitioners follow a fairly predictable route, at least with regard to common denominators of experience. While I address the “Dark Night of the Soul” at length in my article of the same name in this month’s issue, I’m devoting this column to lesser known stages that ceremonial magicians call, after the Kemetic gods, the “Isis,” “Apophis,” and “Osiris” stages of growth.

Isis

The Isis stage of development is familiar to everyone. It includes the initial attraction, enthusiasm, and often rapid momentum that introduce you to the new idea or philosophy. During this stage, you, the practitioner, are gung-ho and excitable and find it easy to keep your focus as the inertia of “ooh shiny” carries you effortlessly along. Ideas are popping into mind at an astounding rate, and the process of discovery is self-perpetuating. There is no boredom, no difficulty, and you’re certain you’ve found the Holy Grail of your spiritual life — many say, “I’ve come home,” or “I’ve finally found that there was a name for what I’ve always believed,” or similar description for a concept that revolutionizes their paradigms and infuses new life into their personal raisons d´etre.

No one ever quits his new religion, philosophy, discipline, or study during the Isis stage. The new adherent can be obsessively focused and talk about little else. He feels alive like never before. Clearly, this is what he’s been looking for, and he’s certain it will always be perfect. In romantic circles this is known as “New Relationship Energy,” or “N.R.E.” It’s the honeymoon phase in which the focus of your amore can do no wrong.

As we all know, inevitably that wears off and we start to gain a more realistic perspective of our new toy. Sometimes disillusionment is abrupt and cruel, while other times it is gradual and easier to accept. With regard to magical disciplines in particular, it slows down through friction against the overwhelming amount of new information and in time, comes to rest. Now begins Apophis.

Apophis

Ecauldron.com has this to say: “Isfet is a form of destructive chaos, uncreation, un-naming. It is personified in Apep (Apophis), the great serpent that tries to devour the sunboat while it is travelling in the underworld at night. It is imbalance or impurity. How isfet manifests in each person’s life will be different, but many people can identify the sort of turmoil that leaves them feeling undone, as if their selfness is being stripped away and destroyed, their sense of identity: that is isfet. . .”1 [Emphasis mine.]

The stage of Apophis is, as implied above, the darkness following those initial rays of hope and discovery that we found in Isis. When Apophis arrives, the river of momentum that carried you through the landscape of discovery dries up, leaving you parched and without an easy way of travel. In a sense, it is related to the path of Gimel — the path of the Abyss on the Tree of Life in Qabalah. While not the “big Kahuna” of abysses, Gimel (and Apophis) nevertheless constitutes a sort of trial by fire, a traversing of the spiritual desert in which you thirst for knowledge (or even a sign of encouragement) — but like all deserts, it’s full of mirages, false starts, and shining promises of nourishment that never manifest. It tests your resolve, dedication, and endurance, pushing you cruelly, beating you down, and worst of all, abandoning you completely to your own devices.

If you’ve never experienced this before, reading about it isn’t going to give you any idea of the reality. All of your inspiration is gone, and your feeling of brethren toward your fellow magicians is replaced by a feeling of alienation and confusion. You’re convinced of your own ineptitude, because nothing you do furthers your progress (or even makes any difference), and you feel as though you are conspicuously failing where others appear to be doing just fine. The alienation combines with the despondency, driving you away to lick your wounds in private, and you are left feeling completely isolated. It stays that way for a long time.

This is the stage wherein the wheat is separated from the chaff. Those who did not enter their new discipline or study with a true desire to grow (rather than with a passive sense of curiosity or by simply being swept along by a friend’s interest in the subject) will fall away due to boredom and the sudden lack of automatically supplied reinforcement. These individuals are unwilling to work past the challenges or push beyond the veil to see what comes next. They accept that what they see, and have seen, is all there is, so they move along to the next thing or drop out and return to their usual (pre-attraction) daily lives.

The stage of Apophis is often likened to a “spiritual winter,” due to the barren landscape of the psyche at this time. The thing to remember is that in winter there is growth — it’s just under the surface, invisible. The roots of plants and trees grow in winter, providing a solid foundation for spring blossoms and the expansion of the visible greenery above the earth. Without this foundation, the body of the plant would be unsustainable. There must be a balance. If you apply this knowledge to the stage of Apophis, you begin to understand that without the assimilation of our previous surge of learning, we cannot hope to retain it, nor can we hope to expound upon it and gain another “summer” of visible growth.

So what happens to the ones who stick it out? That’s the real question, isn’t it? How many people make that effort? One in ten? One in a hundred? I don’t know the statistics (or any way to determine them) but I can say that the vast majority of people I’ve personally worked with eventually fall away or give it up. It’s disheartening, and it leaves the field of serious practitioners rather thin.

Osiris

As you may have guessed, the stage following the darkness of Apophis is Osiris. Osiris is Kemetic god of the underworld, and of resurrection.2 In this stage, he brings new life where Apophis has taken it, and rends the veil, showing what lies beyond. Osiris is the payoff.

Many devotees of spiritual or magical pursuits find that after suffering an interminable period of frustrating inability to affect change, they will begin to feel, on some deeper level, that something is coming. Though not the only time this feeling ever occurs, as the end of Apophis nears it takes on the distinct flavor of a light at the end of the tunnel. It teases and shimmers indefinably, and after a time, draws close enough that we gradually gain insight into the nature of the upcoming dawn. Then the sun rises, and all systems are go.

Suddenly, efforts to move that previously had no effect now begin to work, sometimes with surprising efficacy. Locked doors fly open in welcome. Enthusiasm takes a tentative step forward, and finding conditions favorable, surges anew. We are once again able to learn, grow, relate, and celebrate our successes. And not only do we gain access to further study, we find that our understanding of knowledge learned in the stage of Isis has deepened and we are now able to articulate concepts that we previously found difficult to communicate. This is due to the assimilation of the winter darkness of Apophis.

Without limits, expansion gets out of control and we cannot comprehend the tangle of ideas erupting from our inspired minds. We must step back, and as we humanly may find that difficult to do in the rush of enthusiasm provided by Isis, Apophis steps in as a matter of natural progression, allowing us the “dead time” necessary to solidify our spiritual foundation and prepare for the next stage of growth.

And do you know what that means? Isis, Apophis, and Osiris cycle through regularly. Don’t let the darkness get you down . . . the dawn is just over the horizon.

Footnotes

  1. The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum. “Kemetic FAQ” by Darkhawk
  2. Wikipedia: Osiris

©2007 Sheta Kaey. Edited by Trinity.

Sheta Kaey is a lifelong occultist and longtime spirit worker, as well as Editor in Chief of Rending the Veil. She counsels others with regard to spirit contact and astral work. You can read her blog here.

Into the Aethyr #3 – The Art of the Process

Into the Aethyr #3 - The Art of the Process

A teacher is never a giver of truth. He is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst. — Bruce Lee

Active Imagination

In his article on active imagination in the current issue of Rending the Veil, Frater Auxilior Arti describes something I found very familiar, so I elected to write a companion piece to his essay describing how I use it in my magical work. In my work with Meridjet (my spirit companion, or SC; see previous columns of Into the Aethyr), I utilize a similar method which I call Processing. In the opening paragraph of his article, Frater A. A. describes, “Jung noticed that he could find revealing and non-self-gratifying imagery just below the surface of the mind, by making a suggestion to himself and then sitting quietly to see what might develop in his thinking. He found that if he did not steer his thoughts in any particular direction, merely sat as a passive viewer of what his mind might show him, many wondrous things would arise, including solutions to troublesome problems, intuitions, insights into his own nature (and that of others) often with a wash of curiosities that would set him to further pondering.”

The Power of Free Association

He later notes, “. . . a group of problem-solvers in a highly productive think tank atmosphere . . . wrote down all ideas that occurred to them, regardless of how silly or inappropriate they might have initially seemed. By this method they were rewarded with a greater number of creative solutions that might have gone unnoticed had they been squelched promptly. It was as if the free-ranging creative process needed impropriety, silliness and whimsy to operate correctly and to arrive by whatever crooked path at useful solutions.” This method of free association is at the heart of Processing in my theurgic work with Meridjet and the other members of our Work (both words are capitalized to differentiate from the mundane sense) circle. It’s been a largely ineffable way of working, up to now, but people have asked about it so many times that I intend to do my best to describe it. I can’t claim that this is a common way to perform theurgic work; however, it works for me and for everyone who Works with us.

The bulk of our partnered Work takes place in text chat via Yahoo! Messenger; however, this is by no means a limitation — it’s simply that most of our friends live in far away places. When we begin with a new partner, we start with common ground. No doubt you’ve had the experience, particularly in magical or spiritual matters, wherein you find many parallels with new-found friends of like mind. Synchronicity can be a powerful validation at such times, and the more parallels there are, the more significant the new association appears to be. It need not stop there; if you can allow yourself free expression, synchronicity knows no bounds.

Meridjet as Director

During the get-to-know-you process, as parallels are discovered, we follow them, gaining mutual understanding and building enthusiasm. Something that Meridjet does with impressive effect is to center upon emotionally-charged events, associations, or triggers and stimulate them to bring issues to the fore. He does this with everyone, and after a certain time of working with him, the common ground we started with and the emotional triggers he uncovers become two sides of a single coin — a coin he flips at seeming random to stimulate Work. There is only one way to get to the true heart of the matter, and that is free association.

One of us will find that s/he is hurting, a mild heartache that still manages somehow to demand our focus and attention. It may come and go while she is busy with other things, but it will return at any moment of stillness, gaining intensity until she simply must Work to Process it. The source of the ache is generally a prior discussion that subtly triggered something deeper, an issue that is just now working its way to the surface as a deeply set splinter would find its way out of your finger. The difference here is that if you are serious about your Work, ignoring this is the wrong thing to do. With an almost sentient patience, the ache will wait until you face it, and like a sharply-stubborn loneliness, it gnaws at you relentlessly.

The first time this happens to a new partner, it is confusing to her. She will, depending on her personality type, either wish to talk about it incessantly or will try to bury it as not worth anyone’s attention. The resolution, however, lies not in indulgence of emotion, and not in repression of emotion, but in detachment of emotion. To suffer over your suffering is to whine without honestly dealing with your problem. To be the martyr and hide your pain (bringing it out on occasion to poke at it sadly, wondering why you feel so alone, and perhaps hinting at it to others) is merely another form of indulgence, but it is one that poisons you, rather than those around you.

Indulge in Detachment

Detachment — To feel your feelings, and to open to them, letting them flow, crying if necessary, but at no point giving in to them and suffering over them, you allow them to percolate through your consciousness and thereby heal, leave, vamoose, and get thee behind me. Anyone familiar with Dante’s Inferno will know that the way out of Hell is through the darkest, scariest reaches of the most inner circle. You don’t learn by avoidance, by escape, or by ingeniously finding ways to bury your psychological shite under layers of Happy-Shiny-People or I-Can-Cope-Alone-Cuz-I’m-The-Meanest-Fucker-In-The-Valley.

It takes practice. Once you’ve admitted your pain, you can move on to the real Work: banishing that issue by owning it. This may sound like stereotypical psychobabble of the ilk that tells you the only way to get over your childhood trauma is to relive it. No, that is not what I am saying.

Expression is the Means, Synchronicity is the Method

As you begin to verbalize (and this is the key) your issue, if you can trust yourself and the Process and let go the reins, expressing your associations as they arise (be they trivial or grave), you will find that your unconscious provides astounding insight and will offer you advice out of your own mouth. It is crucial, as Fr. A. A. stipulated, to express everything without first judging whether it’s worthy of expression. Trust your mind and your own psychological processes to lead you, and you cannot lose.

Synchronicities appear in the most innocent, inane comments. In the course of the interaction between the partner doing the Processing and the partner(s) in the support roles, little comments made off the cuff end up being huge in significance. External confirmation comes from so many directions. Perhaps a television show viewed that morning by your friend is mentioned in reply to a comment you made — because you allowed yourself to just talk — about a movie you saw in 1992, and the television show just happened to contain a scene with a tiger that she mentions precisely at the moment that you consider how you are reminded of the tiger totem you had never previously mentioned. The conversation, then, due to the shock of the validating reference, turns to totems, or tigers, or stripes, or something that leads to still further reflection — reflection that would never have occurred had you not been speaking to that friend at that moment, with both of you freely discussing whatever happened to come up, in the knowledge that this way lies resolution. Never underestimate the power of the Universe to take you precisely where you need to go, if only you don’t fight the current.

Meridjet, when he participates in the Processing chats, will not tell you like it is. He’s not a teacher who spells things out; he is a catalyst. He will talk without appearing to have any single topic or any goal or agenda. But he never does or says anything for the first perceptible reason. He will ask you questions designed to direct your thoughts so that you blurt out the answer to your own dilemma. He will answer questions with responses designed to incite emotion, for the same reason. He’s not an easy teacher, and he’s not going to coddle you — but by god, you will find the answers you need, and you will find that all he had to do was point — the answers were within you all along.

Free association and free expression of all thoughts that flitter by is the most effective way of healing past injuries, gaining understanding of the self, and growing at an astronomical rate that I have ever encountered. Stillness of mind is a wonderful thing. . . but to suppress the Process that holds the deepest, truest answers seems rather self-defeating to me.

Try it, and let me know what happens, will you?

©2007 by Sheta Kaey.

Sheta Kaey is a lifelong occultist and longtime spirit worker, as well as Editor in Chief of Rending the Veil. She counsels others with regard to spirit contact and astral work. She can be reached via her blog.

Into the Aethyr #2 – Belief and Metaphor

Into the Aethyr #2 - Belief and Metaphor

The first step to expanding your reality is to discard the tendency to exclude things from possibility. — Meridjet

Paradigm Shifting and Reality Tunnels

“‘Paradigm shift[ing]’ has found uses… representing the notion of a major change in a certain thought-pattern — a radical change in personal beliefs, complex systems or organizations, replacing the former way of thinking or organizing with a radically different way of thinking or organizing…1

Robert Anton Wilson uses the phrase “reality tunnel” to describe looking at reality from a certain perspective2. In occultism, these two concepts, paradigm shifting and changing one’s reality tunnel, essentially represent the same thing — changing your point of view in a profound way that influences your overall belief system, whether temporarily or permanently.

Within the spectrum of alternative spirituality, there are many beliefs that could be (and often are) labeled “unusual” or even “strange.” Anything from the Otherkin phenomenon to past lives as someone important, to believing one has a special destiny, and so on. It could be said that even Aleister Crowley bought the myth about having a special destiny, and if there’s one reality tunnel that I’ve seen in play with most consistency across great numbers of occultists, it’s the belief that one has some greater role in the shifting of humanity’s collective consciousness. There are people who believe they are angels incarnate, here to initiate great change. There are people who believe that they are going to become some powerful all-knowing guru/leader who will single-handedly shift the dominant paradigm.

We’re on a Mission From God™

Most commonly, there are people who believe that they’ve got something important, as yet unknown, to do in the overall change to a New Age or a New Aeon. These people typically believe that not only will they have an individual role, they will also be part of a small collective of super-VIPs. This typically evolves with a group of close friends, who will have a prominent collective role and purpose, even if they don’t know yet what that purpose is — and typically as friends are dropped or gained, the people playing the individual roles in the group change. Again typically, rarely does someone within the chosen few dare to question why this occurs. They tend to chalk it up to mistaken identity with regard to the rejected individual.

He who is rejected or who grows in a different direction from other individuals and thereby finds himself alone or with new friends will often face hurdles in adjusting his paradigm in a way that allows him to retain both a sense of purpose and an acceptance of past beliefs — beliefs that he may now view as “inaccurate.” He may feel that his former viewpoint was illusory and must be rejected as false, to allow full acceptance of the new viewpoint. He may feel that his earlier beliefs were silly, juvenile, or “fluffy.” Along the path of individual evolution, however, inevitably there comes a time when what is important now necessitates releasing something that was important at an earlier stage of your personal growth. When that shift concerns a key aspect of your personal mythology, such as what you believe to be your higher purpose, then there can be a great disillusionment. It’s difficult to evolve a core belief without feeling you must deny or dismiss the former view outright, either from embarrassment or from the simple need to distance yourself from a perspective that you feel is less evolved than the current view.

Does Change Have to Mean Rejection?

Reality is fluid. It changes with your perspective and your personal interpretation. Each person’s viewpoint is unique in all ways — this is the crux of consciousness, the single absolute factor in anyone and everyone’s existence. When you change your perspective and adopt a new preferred reality tunnel, the impulse to ridicule your old one is often irresistible. You can see this online with the frequent dissing of eclectic Wicca by former eclectic (non-initiate) Wiccans, who, for the most part, wouldn’t admit their past alliance in a million years. The recently-coined term “Neo-Wicca” was created, arguably, to set these eclectics apart, so that initiated Wiccans boasting a lineage could distance themselves from these fluffier, uninitiated counterparts — in other words, so they could feel superior.

However, it’s my opinion that when you dismiss a former perspective as stupid or embarrassing or otherwise not fit for public archiving, you cheat yourself out of valuable experience. It may always be with you, technically, but if you don’t embrace what you learned early in your magical history, not only will you be impatient with those less knowledgeable than you, but you will also develop a knee-jerk rejection to anything that smells too much like that old point of view, thereby potentially limiting your future growth.

Meridjet Speaks

Recently, Meridjet (my spirit companion) instructed a friend of mine about my friend’s recent paradigm shift, which was leading him to feel that his former perspective was in error. In fact, no reality tunnel can really be wrong, as Meridjet was quick to point out. . .

“All belief systems are metaphorical, because the reality is beyond your comprehension. This does not make them wrong.

“You are familiar, I’m sure, with various translations of old books, such as the Bible or the Tao Te Ching. Each translation bears the unmistakable mark of its translator. This shows in bias as well as in interpretation of more ‘objective’ concepts. Mythologies are interpretations of interpretations, ad infinitum, that give expression to basic archetypal concepts and beings. These mythologies are living and breathing histories in the sense that they have been infused with so much energy that they literally manifested accordingly. And yet, they remain interpretations, further interpreted by the translation of the mind of the reader or listener.

“The listener or seeker, for example, you, thereby invest your own energy into the personal interpretation that inspires your heart and brings you closer to something one might call “home.” When you bring others, like-minded, into your circle and together further interpret things and choose roles and what have you, this is just as literal as it is figurative — you are also creating your own group interpretation of the mythology. Through your group, the mythology continues to live and grow, just as it aids your growth.

“The figurative portion is what the mind brings into play in reaction to the literal portion, and the literal portion is created on the subtle planes in the realm of ideas by the figurative interpretation [of an experience] that you applied at the start. It’s a self-evolving paradigm, alive and real but also dependent upon a variety of factors for survival as what it is now. If you drop your role as [this person/being/archetype etc], for instance, then the mythology you lived will evolve on without you. This is how it should be. Perhaps a new being will take your place, perhaps not. Either way it does not matter, as the mythology lives through its proponents and vice-verse. What happens to you is that your mythology evolves and moves, perhaps in a new direction than your circle in general — but this is not wrong. In fact, it is very right.”

“So yes, [the events of your past, and their relative interpretations] happened. You can’t invalidate it. But you can, and will over time, shift your view of it so that it might feel invalidated. As I once told Sheta, when we see the past, we see through the lens of today, of now, and that changes the past. You can’t see then through then’s eyes.

“Therefore, allow yourself your growth. Allow others their growth, or stagnation. Allow each to be what he will be — and be yourself, too. It will all bring you closer to where you want to be, if you do not deny it.”

It’s All About the Journey

When you undertake a conscious spiritual journey, you accept the challenges that arise, or you become one of those who can’t cope and so fall away from the trials of the “dark night of the soul” that all must experience at intervals. We learn by experience, and our perceptions of our experiences change with our growth and evolution. The “then” that Meridjet refers to will change in our view with our changing understanding. This is a never-ending process. If you can beat the odds and weather the changes, you will be all the richer for it. In a future column, I will expand on these stages of learning and the challenges intrinsic to them. Meanwhile, just remember — the journey is the reason for the destination… not vice-verse.

Footnotes

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Cosmic Trigger I : Final Secret of the Illuminati ©1977 by Robert Anton Wilson

©2007 by Sheta Kaey.

Sheta Kaey is a lifelong occultist and longtime spirit worker, as well as Editor in Chief of Rending the Veil. She counsels others with regard to spirit contact and astral work. She can be reached via her blog.

Into the Aethyr #1 – Through the Glass

Into the Aethyr #1 - Through the Glass

An aethyr is one of a succession of worlds in the Enochian Astral planes, and the fifth element, or spirit, in Wicca and Ceremonial magick. Also, depending on tradition, a formless and invisible substance that pervades the universe1.

Greetings, and welcome to the first issue of Rending the Veil and the start of this column. I intend an eclectic mishmash of different things here that would not necessarily flow well as articles. For example, I will have the occasional column on tarot reading, as I’ve read tarot for over 30 years. I also intend to share channeled information from my spirit companion, Meridjet.

Meridjet

Meridjet has been with me since 1994, and has seen me through a lot of doubts, fear for my sanity, and so forth in that time. I’d never heard of the phenomenon of a spirit companion, though spirit guides were familiar to me. Meridjet is much more proactive and instrumental in the application of lessons for my growth, and he’s also a great deal more stubborn than any spirit guide I have ever heard of. Some people consider him my HGA, or Holy Guardian Angel, the Thelemic version of Plato’s daemon or personal genius. The function of the HGA is to reveal one’s True Will and guide one (sometimes rather painfully) to the fruition of that will. Meridjet certainly fulfills that function, but at times he also shares information that is of general interest. I will share that information here.

The Holy Guardian Angel (HGA)

Donald Tyson once told me that the HGA is simply a familiar spirit, an independent being who also serves the purpose of leading us to our potential. Ed Richardson wrote, “Theories on what the HGA is generally fall into three categories: psychological processes/concepts; external entities that have an interest in the magician’s life; and entities that are somehow part of the magician in the way that shamanic totems might be. I would suggest that it is foolish to fall into one camp; using as many concepts as possible will give a more useful point of reference. If you limit yourself too much here only a certain degree of success will be possible… Whatever the HGA actually is, it does seem to be ever watchful, knowing our interests and being able to offer insights as an ‘outsider’ might2.” This description fits Meridjet well, as he both seems to have information I am not privy to (such as events to come or events in another person’s past), as well as having what appears to be full access to my conscious and unconscious minds.

Another interesting remark that Richardson makes is, “Psychological models are also useful, but over reliance [sic] on them can kill any relevant experience with the angel by a sort of ‘death by reductionism2.'” For this, among other reasons, I endeavor to see Meridjet as external. Aleister Crowley once wrote, “It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them3.” This alone is reason enough for me to entertain the idea of external vs internal reality. I’ve ever been a rebel, and it’s my honest opinion that Crowley enjoyed leading the blind about by the nose while giggling behind his hand (figuratively speaking), and that far too many magicians just take Crowley’s word for things (or his initial subtext). Whether or not spirits exist independently of the perceiver may be immaterial (nice pun, that), but the fact is that most ceremonialists take it as a given that the spirits they encounter are nothing more than manifestations of their own psyche, there to play a role in their overall understanding of themselves — thereby falling into Richardson’s trap of “death by reductionism.”

Whether or not Meridjet’s more general messages are philosophically valid or are simply my unconscious mind jerking off on this page is up to you, the reader, to determine. I believe the information he conveys is largely outside the scope of my personal knowledge. Nevertheless, I still have many issues with a part of my mind assuming Meridjet exists deep within me somewhere and that when he is asked a question, I must somehow supply an answer. Typically this creates a slight feeling of panic in me, which then evaporates as I approach the question with nothing to say, and he comes in and practically gives a lecture on the topic. I don’t feel as if I am enlightened enough to wax profound at the drop of a hat despite feeling completely incapable up to the very second the message comes through. Tune in to future entries in this column to read some of his messages, and you’ll see what I mean.

’cause I’m looking at you through the glass
Don’t know how much time has passed
All I know is that it feels like forever
But no one ever tells you that forever feels like home,
sitting all alone inside your head4.

Footnotes

  1. http://altreligion.about.com/library/glossary/bldefaethyr.htm
  2. http://philhine.org.uk/writings/ess_hga.html
  3. Aleister Crowley Liber O vel Manus et Sagittae Sub Figura VI
  4. Lyrics from “Through Glass” by Stone Sour, ©2006

©2006 Sheta Kaey.

Sheta Kaey is a lifelong occultist and longtime spirit worker, as well as Editor in Chief of Rending the Veil. She counsels others with regard to spirit contact and astral work. You can read her blog here.

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