Poetic Journeys #22 – Coming to the Light

January 24, 2010 by  
Filed under culture, poetry, seasonal

Poetic Journeys #22 - Coming to the Light

Poetic Journeys

My mind playing tricks on my eyes
That golden glow bringing me into
worlds of pumpkin coaches.
Valkyrie in flight,
neverlands that never were,
yet so much more real than
what passes for day to day.

Sadness is beauty brought down by ugliness,
truth succumbing to convenient lies.
Joy is opening all the senses into the
spectrum of beauty.
No moderation,
no limitation,
no convenient structural captivity.
Let the stars be shining beacons
calling us home.
Let the wind be a magical cloak,
the rain an exultation.
Let the cold, dark night be
a treasured, inspiring friend.

Let the night take me forward
Into ever-fulfilling fantasies
The never-empty cup,
the magic wand/magic word,
sprinkled with faery dust,
toasted with the fine bubbles
of celluloid champagne.
Let us, the night and I, sneak off into
exotic adventure.
Let us learn the secrets of the Moon and Stars,
ancient runes and alchemical wonders.
Let us play upon the backs of dragons,
learning to fly,
learning to breathe fire,
learning to explore the mountain peaks
and caverns of
our chthonic fears
and spin them into gold.

The new day dawning
it will encounter clouds and hailstorms,
turbulence and destruction.
It will be a day of startling showers and
unsettled wind,
of unreasoned pain
and empty solace.
It will be a day to try our souls.
But it will be a day of infinite possibilities.

Let my good friend, the night,
join me in play
to help prepare me for the day.
Let the earth and fire and rain and wind
infuse my spirit
that we all be fellow friends
in the new ventures
coming with the light.

©2010 by Laurie Corzett.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

The Magick of Christmas: Renewal and the Aeon

The Magick of Christmas: Renewal and the Aeon

As the Year darkens and grows cold, and as we fall into the depths of the oncoming Winter, we perceive a drop of bright energy in all the chilly gloom. The Winter Solstice season has traditionally been associated not with darkness and despair, but with hope, renewal and light. We feel a deep acceptance of limitation and loss that allows us to surrender into the dark, surrender ourselves and our dearest attachments of ego to the Source, in order that we may be renewed. This energy is manifest as the Solstice dawn lights up the depths of the barrow at New Grange and paints a piercing sliver of light known as the Sun Dagger on the stellar calendar at Chaco Canyon. These observances morphed into the ancient Roman celebrations of the Saturnalia and the Kalends, and found their most recent expression in the dozens of celebrations of the Christmas and New Year season. The Winter Solstice is as close to a global holiday as we Earthlings have, and these metaphors of renewal, rebirth and undying light persist through millennia.

I feel the relief and repose of the land as it goes fallow, of life turning itself gently inward against the cold. It’s reassuring, in its way. As I fall into the growing dark in the weeks after Samhain, I find myself craving sleep, craving tranquility, craving my meditation mat. I’ve brought my harvests in, I’ve fed and praised my ancestors, I’ve done my divinations — all that’s left to do is to drop into my tenderest places, and dream. It’s the time of deep mystery, of silence and stillness and of great joy blooming in the dark and cold.

Sadly, the beginning of Winter as it manifests in our culture and time most certainly does not support introspection or slowing down. The things I dislike about this season — the frenetic crush of activity, the pathological drive towards consumption, toxic family dynamics, the unnecessary glorification of Christian culture — are largely avoidable, so I consciously try to spend my energy wisely. But given the psychic overload of this time it’s no surprise to me that many people claim to despise the whole Christmas season. I certainly hated the whole Christmas season for many years. But I didn’t really want to hate it. I loved Christmas as a kid, and not just because of all the gifts. I wanted to reclaim the Winter Solstice for myself, to honor what I felt were the important lessons of this time. I had to rediscover the magic that I had resonated with so strongly as child.

My earliest memory of Christmas centers on the story of a magical quest. The story of the Nativity, as I learned it, was always couched in magical terms. The story began with the Magi king Melchior, noting the Star in the Eastern Sky, and obsessing over its meaning. I was fascinated by heavenly portents and the wise astrologer-king who alone could read the signs and felt compelled to follow them. I was thrilled by the perilous expedition to follow the Star, and moved by its surprising end: the birth of the Child of Grace in the humblest surroundings.

This is why there always seems to be magick afoot on Christmas Eve. When I stopped celebrating Christmas, I continued to feel that sense of wonder and expectation of joy. In tracing the pagan roots of Christmas traditions, one finds that the Nativity story is just the most recent iteration of this myth. In neo-pagan celebrations of Yule, this child of light may be evoked as Llew, Attis or Horus. This Child is the new Aeon coming about, the resolution of the Dyadic pair into something greater than the sum of its parts. This is the Mystery that the Magi were seeking. This is the promise of renewal that speaks to us from the dark.

Seen in this light, the Nativity myth takes on added depth. Christ’s parents symbolically occupy places on the Pillars of Severity and Mercy, but by moving towards the Middle Pillar they are able to give birth to a being who balances that polarity. Christ’s foster father, Joseph, descendant of the line of King David, is an exemplar of the Law as handed down by his forefathers, representing Logos (logic, law, the written word). As such, he stands firmly on the Pillar of Severity. According to the Law, he could demand that his bride-to-be be killed, since she is pregnant but not with his child. He is moved by compassion to spare her in defiance of the Law. Mary, on the other hand, has long been a symbol of the selfless devotion of motherhood, placing her on the Pillar of Mercy. Yet by embodying the Child’s physical being, she is also condemning what is mortal and human in him to torture and death. From her position on the Pillar of Mercy, and in contradiction of every maternal instinct, she offers her child to expiate the world’s sins. The resolution of these two opposites is the child Christ, who unites these principles and offers up a vision of a perfected Universe that neither paradigm could have predicted.

These potentials exist in every one of us, for all of us are seekers, all of us stand in our turns on the Pillars of Light and Dark, and all of us struggle to come to balance. We all spend time as logical beings trapped in our own histories, cultures and heritages. We are all beings of compassion who give of ourselves. And we are all Children of Light, emanations of the heart of flame that burns in the core of every star and in the soul of all who live. “Every man and every woman is a Star.” We as magicians are always seeking the Star which is our most perfected, essential self. We seek it as the only reliable guide to the Aeon, to the promise of a renewed World. This is the potential of which every Solstice season reminds us, and that we cannot help celebrating, in some small way.

©2009 by Leni Hester.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Leni Hester is a writer, ritualist, Witch and scholar. Her latest work is included in Women’s Voices in Magic from Megalithica Press (out November 30). Her work also appears in the anthologies Pop Culture Magick and Manifesting Prosperity from Megalithica Press, and in various pagan magazines including Sagewoman, NewWitch, Cup of Wonder, In a Witch Eye and Pangaia. She practices Transformational Magick and serves the Orisa near Denver, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.

Poetic Journeys #20 – Another Winter Solstice. . .

December 15, 2009 by  
Filed under culture, other, poetry, seasonal

Poetic Journeys #20 - Another Winter Solstice. . .

Poetic Journeys

The air is crystal hard, not clear;
Chilled by mottled, somber blankets.
Cold grey on darker grey
Lift pillars above the dull snow.
Yet this drear light lies.
Beyond the grimly bare trees
Wild rose and black briars
Set stealthy green shoots.
Below the grimy, frozen slush
Day lilies and daffodils
Swell towards their spring explosion.
Above the lowering, gloomy clouds
Summer’s sun begins to spiral
Towards its golden kaleidoscope.
Come, companions, into my fire
Where salamanders dance their release
Of Vernal rainbows trapped by leaves
Into this log for this fire to dance warmth
To make the sterile cold, pregnant.

©2004, 2009 by Ambrose Hawk.

Ambrose Hawk is the author of Exploring Scrying He currently resides in the Ozarks forests with a pride of rescued of cats, his beloved wife, and their stray terrier, Darling.

Guttershaman Halloween Special – The Gutter Press and the Tribe of the Strange

Guttershaman Halloween Special – The Gutter Press and the Tribe of the Strange

“The majority is always sane.” — Larry Niven, Ringworld
“Happy Halloween, ladies . . . Nuns — no sense of humour.” — The Kurgan, in Highlander

All my life, the stories that have spoken to me have invariable been from what are usually considered the “lesser” kinds of storytelling — science fiction, comics, B-movies, horror, fantasy.

Why?

Mostly, because I can more readily identify with the characters. The mainstream and “literary” works I’ve read are about people utterly unlike me and those I know and care about. Their concerns (blood relations, conventional seductions, party politics, capitalist greed — in other words, the consensus reality called “normality”) are not my concerns. My heroes and inspiration in fiction are larger than life — because my life, though not on the same scale as such figures, is still far closer to those “unreal” tales than to the “real life” ones. Being a magician in a world which mostly doesn’t believe in magic will do that, I guess.

I also think that genres that allow room to step outside contemporary society and look at it from an angle have far more to offer than those which reside utterly within it — it’s something at which science fiction (SF) and horror, at their best, excel. Reading SF and other fantastical genres stretches your brain in beneficial ways that mainstream works simply cannot do (one benefit seems to be a kind of memetic inoculation against Future Shock — once you’re used to considering complex multiple universes and ideas in your reading matter, rapid change of information and wider ranges of ideas in the physical world become so much easier to assimilate).

It’s not easy being at such a remove from consensus reality. Even ignoring the scorn (and occasional bullying) it can attract, just finding people you can talk to who get it, who share some of your perspective and have read those same weird writers, seen the same odd films, is an uphill struggle. It’s easier now of course — the Internet has made fandom much more accessible than back in the day when the only way to contact other fans was through mimeographed zines and occasional conventions. And while those folk are not always people I can get along with, I still feel a stronger affinity for them than for those who stick to the mainstream of thought and art.

(It’s worth noting that there’s a huge overlap between fandom groups and other Outsiders1 — roleplay gamers, sexual and gender explorers . . . and, of course, magicians.)

Sometimes, I think of it as being a member of the Tribe of the Strange. Those (to adapt a quote from SF writer Bruce Sterling) “whose desires do not accord with the status quo,” base their existence, their idea of what that entails — and the values they espouse — are often qualitatively different from those of the mainstream.

It’s not simply a matter of the knee-jerk opposition to or rejection of the mainstream (though there’s always an element of that going on, I suspect). It’s more that there’s a greater breadth of possibility outside it. And it’s certainly not saying that those who live within the mainstream are inferior or wrong — just that other possibilities exist and can be just as valid (or more so to those who the mainstream consider outsiders). And some of us prefer to live in that tribe far more than any of the ones offered by the Normal world.

Interestingly, ever since the outpouring of the counterculture in the 1960s if not before, those stories and underground ideas have become more and more part of the mainstream. We’re now at a point where the most popular books ever written are fantasies about magicians and vampires; the best selling movies are about robots, superheroes, spaceships and aliens. Yet somehow there’s still that disdain for the “Fantastika2,” both from ordinary people (who find it “weird”) and the academic intelligentsia (who find it “common”).

Co-opting of the counterculture is something that’s gone on for a long time, but the pace of it has increased rapidly as the mainstream has begun to run out of ideas. But what gets pulled into contemporary mainstream culture is of necessity diluted and superficial, not to mention lacking in imagination — the fuel that drives both genre writing and magic . . . and which seems to be peculiarly limited in mainstream and literary writing. (After all, how much imagination does it really take for a middle-aged college professor to write a novel about the sexual desires of a middle-aged college professor?)

While out for a walk during the writing of this, I overheard a conversation which ties into this nicely.

A young-ish upper middle class couple, chatting after visiting a friend, who they were talking about: “He’s just so . . . so unconventional,” they said. “I sometimes wonder if he’s got a screw loose.”

Unconventional equals insane? For a lot of folk, that’s about right. Showing even a tiny deviation from the Normal is an invitation to scorn, rejection — even violence.

But what the hell is “normal,” anyway?

To anyone who’s paid attention to history (and is not part of a religious or political tribe which rejects examining the past through any filter but their own) the definition of normality is a mercurial thing — changing constantly, no more solid and immutable than fashion. But all those definitions of normal have to be about stability, conservative (small “c”) attitudes, preservation of the status quo — and I do see the necessity of that. But at the same time, there needs to be room for outliers from that majority view, or the culture/ tribe/ country stagnates. There are even indications that the lack of innovation caused by the rejection of the un-normal can destroy civilisations3.

Perhaps this is why so many societies have times where the rules of the normal are temporarily suspended, where the usually despised and shunned aspects — sexual expression, weirdness, dressing strangely — are allowed to roam the streets. Carnival. Mardi Gras.

Halloween.

That lovely time of the year, when dressing like a monster (and increasingly, a sexy monster) in public is acceptable. When, for a short while, Goths, gender queers, and other outsiders can blend in, won’t be ostracised. When the rules of Normal don’t quite apply. Where the superheroes and wizards and beasts are, briefly, as welcome as anyone else.

And of course a time when the normal folk get to be tourists in the Tribe of the Strange . . . only to wake up the next day (possibly with hangovers or sugar crashes) and go back to the “real” world where dressing up like David bloody Beckham is the only acceptable form of cosplay — and the demons and witches get put back in the box marked “Unreal.”

I love Halloween. I love that everyone gets to join in. I don’t think the Tribe of the Strange needs a solid border between it and the “mundanes” — but I know the difference between being a tourist and being a citizen, that me and mine can’t really do the same. That dressing up as a magician one night a year, and being one all the time, are quite different things. Part of me wishes my tribe and theirs could get along better . . . but that the distance and difference between us might actually be the whole point.

Another part of me looks at all this and sees something that looks a whole lot like cultural theft.

Think about it — the majority culture cherry-picks what it finds attractive from an existing tribal tradition, shows little or no respect to that tribe, commodifies what it’s nicked and still insists it’s somehow superior to the tribe that’s been pillaged . . . (Much like those “literary” writers who co-opt SF and horror tropes without having actually read enough of the genre to avoid the worst clichés, then loudly claim what they have created isn’t that horrible sci-fi but somehow better . . . the Plastic Shamans of the Fantastic.)

I don’t actually take that idea seriously. If anything, I see that the weird is actually colonising the mundane in many ways. As our world grows more complex (both technologically and in terms of how many competing ideas surround us), ordinary life more and more resembles the science fiction of only a few years back. Those discrete fandoms that used to be obscure are becoming more acceptable and fannish conceits (from the value of behind-the-scenes documentaries to slash fiction) are becoming part of the general culture.

But no matter how much is absorbed into the common culture, there will always be those ideas and people who are too weird, won’t fit, stay beyond the pale — no matter how much money and publicity gets thrown at Harry Potter and Edward Cullen (and as the latter so perfectly shows, even those parts of the weird which do creep into the mainstream are softened, bowdlerised, rendered safe). And as mainstream culture shifts from permissive to restrictive and back again, this will oscillate. Or the weird will simply, once again, fall out of fashion. For a while.

And outside the normal world, the Tribe of the Strange will persist. We don’t shift with the tides of fashion. We’re not tourists in the weird parts of life — we live here.

We’re not as scary or inhospitable as the mundane world thinks. We don’t want to take them over or make them go away — we just hope to find a place where we can all talk, hang out, celebrate life in all its oddity and loveliness. Maybe we’ll find that Temporary Autonomous Zone, where the fantastic and the ordinary are all one tribe.

On Halloween, perhaps?

Buffy: “You’re missing the whole point of Halloween.”
Willow: “Free candy?!”

— From Joss Whedon’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Footnotes

  1. Read more about Outsiders here.
  2. Fantastika, a word favored by John Clute and one worthy of emulating.
  3. BioEd Online: Conformists May Kill Civilizations.
  4. Cosplay, defined at Wikipedia, retrieved October 2009.

©2009 by Ian Vincent.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

Ian Vincent was born in 1964 and is a lifelong student of the occult. He founded Athanor Consulting, a specialist paranormal protection consultancy, in 2002. He closed Athanor in 2009 to better focus on studying wider aspects of the Art. He blogs on magical theory.

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

Lammas: Abundance and the Courage to Receive

Lammas: Abundance and the Courage to Receive

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt – marvelous error! –
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

—Antonio Machado

Now is the time of the embarrassment of riches.

Summer heaps abundance upon us — an abundance of heat and sunlight, of long golden days that stretch into steamy twilights, of the fertile Earth heaping the treasures of flower and fruit for all to see. In the garden, the tomatoes weigh down the vine, the zucchini and pumpkin push their creepers further out as their fruits swell obscenely, the apple trees groan under their burden of ripening fruit. Insects swarm, the animal babies of Spring are seen following their mothers. All the unrestrained living of our living world is in full force. Summer pours its blessings on us all in a wealth of light, heat, blood and chlorophyll. Every leaf, every fruit, every branch has rushed out to its furthest edge of ripeness and splendor — we are at the zenith of the year’s productivity and about to tip over down the other side.

It’s easy in the crush of such overwhelming growth to forget the scarcities of winter, its bitterness and the emptiness of the land. It’s also easy to forget that the balance to all this abundance and grace is sacrifice. The Sacrificed King is slain to provide for his people, as all life depends upon the eternal cycles of life and death and life again. This sacrifice is not always easy for us to comprehend, and makes us feel uneasy and perhaps guilty. We must not forget that “sacrifice” means to “make sacred” and an integral part of the sacrifice is our humble willingness to receive the blessing of this gift. In receiving it, we become witnesses to it, and if we do not shirk the responsibility that this gift incurs, we enter into an eternal contract with the Mystery. We are changed by receiving this grace. It requires courage to accept it.

I have lacked this courage. Despite my belief in the overflowing power of the Universe to provide, and faith in my own ability to manifest, somewhere deep inside I don’t truly allow myself to receive the abundance that I know is immanent. One of the most important, and most uncomfortable, lessons I’ve received this year, was to have my inability to receive shown to me. I had booked a night at a retreat center and spa to recharge myself. This was a gift to myself — 24 hours of silence, of water and sand, of being intimate with myself in ways that the crush of parenting and working full time had made almost impossible. I desperately needed the down time, but for the first two hours I sat by the tide pool in my bathing suit, unable to stop fretting about my kids, my work, my responsibilities elsewhere.

I was unable to be present with the gift I had given myself, and was ruining my own mini-vacation because I could not accept the gift of time, silence and luxury. No one was denying me this but myself. Somehow I was more comfortable feeling stressed, anxious and angry at trifles than I was letting go of it all and taking in the healing of salt air and hot water. In moving through my mundane life, I had been pushing through, trying to hold myself together and all I had really accomplished was to close myself down. I needed the courage to give myself permission to be at rest, to not be dealing or in charge, to not be productive, to simply let myself be and allow myself to be at peace. It was scary to let it go, I felt vulnerable, but in letting go I was able to finally open to the blessings.

The image that came to my mind then was the yoga Warrior pose (asana): one knee forward, one back, arms stretched out, the chest open and vulnerable. The Warrior is not closed down and defensive. He pulls his shoulders back, which opens his chest, then his heart, generating strength out of vulnerability. The heart grows stronger, the spine lengthens, the blessings of the Gods pour down. It takes courage to receive grace, to incur the responsibility for receiving it, for being called upon to be present and mindful of it. Our culture does not teach this type of gratitude, because gratitude dispels the illusion of disconnection and isolation that supports its dominator paradigm. Meat comes from the store, water from the tap, power from the switch — how these things got there are invisible processes that do not importune us with questions about their true cost. We do not need to be mindful of the true cost because we do not have to raise the animal we eat, or carry the water we drink, or generate the power we use. Because we are encouraged to remain in our illusion of isolation, the real costs and liabilities of these things are never really known to us, and we cannot be appropriately grateful for what we have received. It takes courage to see things as they are, to see what things truly cost, and to willingly acknowledge our indebtedness.

Earlier this summer I was the recipient of profound grace, with all its perils, when my family bought our first new house and prepared to move in. The house had been vacant for at least two years and a large colony of wild honeybees had made their home in the upstairs dormer window sill. It was the bees that had first made me seriously consider this house. The first time I went to look at it, as I stood on its crooked front stoop, I asked the house “What do I need to know about you?” whereupon I heard an intense buzzing. Looking up, I saw several bees flying in and out of the window sill. As a Priestess of Ochun, I was immediately attentive. Bees are her sacred animals, and since she is a household Goddess, I had requested her help in securing the right house.

Relocating the bees was the first thing that happened once the closing papers were all signed. None of the options for moving them along were easy or cheap, but the only effective method was the also the most ethically sound. I had no intention of just exterminating the bees, of course, but I found it ironic that even if they were simply gassed by an exterminator, the entire nest would still have to be removed, the space cleaned out and rebuilt, and that would not be the end of the problem. “Oh, poison just makes them mad,” said one bee keeper, and makes things even worse when the bees inevitably returned. Having someone remove the bees, relocate them to a new hive and remove the nest was going to incur some casualties among the bees, but it was the best solution for us and for the bees.

The morning the bee keeper came was cloudy and cool, a perfect day for the removal. It occurred to me that in agrarian communities, June was traditionally the time for setting up housekeeping as couples were married, and also for wild bees to swarm. This was also a time when bees could be put into hives where the honey could be more easily harvested. Honey has a long and venerable history as a medicine and treasured delicacy. I was reminded that in ancient times, before humans learned to keep bees and had to raid wild nests, honey was more valuable than gold. I had a perfect and safe view through the window as the sill was removed, hundreds of bees alarmed into defensive flight, and when the rotted wood was lifted out, a flood of gold poured out like treasure. It did really look like treasure being pulled out of the ground, as the dark wood gave way to ivory colored wax pulsing out liquid amber. The comb glowed like it was lit from within, its life force (ache’) so strong that lit up a dark overcast morning. The nest was a few years old, the slabs of comb three feet long and more, several inches thick, crawling with thousands of bees and just dripping with honey.

Over forty pounds of honey and comb were taken out of the wall, and a large healthy hive was relocated. The sill was repaired and I could go forward with other necessary repairs. I could not help but feel sad for the bees as I watched them crawling around, disoriented, on what was left of their home. It was obvious they were traumatized by the invasion. A colony is organized by function and none of the bees could perform their work. The defenders were overmatched by the human cutting into their precious hive; the comb builders could not build comb and the nectar collectors had no place to return to. I considered how, like many families in the recession, they had lost their home, their life’s work and their savings through no fault of their own. I learned later that this was a recurring narrative for the house, having been foreclosed once before. We had purchased it at a steep discount from a family who could not continue with their plan to fix and flip it. So this house had an unfortunate history of its inhabitants investing big and losing it all. This gave me pause, made me feel somewhat guilty and also concerned about my own fortunes.

I realized that this sacrifice was also a blessing. In Santeria and Lukumi, the ritual libation (ebbo) is sometimes covered in honey as a final touch of grace, and my house had, at great cost to the bees, been blessed by a wealth of honey poured on it. As witness to their sacrifice, I had to honor and acknowledge what others had sacrificed for this house, which made it the wonderful safe place to raise my family. I had done plenty of magick to find the right house at the right price in the right location, and this house had everything and more — I knew I had been divinely led to this house, and I felt deeply that the house itself longed to change its narrative of loss and disappointment. We had been brought together for our mutual good, and every sign, omen and touch of grace was a blessing. I had been reluctant to make an offer on the house because it just felt too rich — everything too perfect, the view too great, the yard too nice, etc. I had to acknowledge that this was not too good to be true — it was just challenging me to accept something this wonderful, and to accept it humbly with an open heart.

©2009 Leni Hester
Edited by Sheta Kaey

The Rapier’s Edge – Follow-Up Interview with Donald Tyson

The Rapier's Edge - Follow-Up Interview with Donald Tyson

The Rapier's Edge - Exclusive Interviews with Extraordinary Individuals

Nearly a year ago, I interviewed Donald Tyson regarding his then new book, Grimoire of the Necronomicon. Since then, my review partner, Lon Sarver, and I have been working with Tyson’s system and we’ll present our findings in this the next issue. Mr. Tyson was kind enough to agree to a follow-up interview; you’ll find it just below.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

How did you first become acquainted with H. P. Lovecraft’s writings?

Donald Tyson

Pure accident. Way back in 1967 I bought a Lancer paperback titled H.P. Lovecraft: The Colour Out of Space and Others. It was a collection of seven stories by Lovecraft, including “The Call of Cthulhu,” which is generally regarded as the initiator of what is now called the Cthulhu Mythos, although I prefer the term Necronomicon Mythos myself. The stories impressed me with their strangeness — they weren’t like the usual horror stories I was reading at the time. Over the years I read as many other stories by Lovecraft as I could find.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Did you ever think back then that someday you would write books about Lovecraft?

Donald Tyson

It never even entered my mind. At that time I didn’t even know that I would become a professional writer. I just enjoyed reading his stories.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Why did you decide to write your own version of the Necronomicon?

Donald Tyson

It was pure hubris. I was participating in a newsgroup where different versions of the Necronomicon were being talked about, and I suddenly thought to myself, “I can write a better version of the Necronomicon than this.” So I did.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

What makes your version better than, say, the Simon Necronomicon?

Donald Tyson

Whether it is better or not is ultimately for readers to decide, but I tried to make my version better by posing the question to myself, “If the Necronomicon really existed, what would it contain?” I figured that it would not be just a collection of spells and sigils — that is not how Lovecraft described it, and it doesn’t match up with the quotations from it that he included in his stories. I figured it would be more of a history of the earth before the rise of the human species, describing all the alien races that had existed on it back then, coupled with a description of the strange places the author of the book, Abdul Alhazred, had encountered during his wanderings around the ancient world.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

So you don’t like the Simon Necronomicon?

Donald Tyson

It’s not that I don’t like it — the Simon Necronomicon is fine for what it is, a grimoire associated with the Old Ones. I just don’t believe it is very much like what the real Necronomicon would be, if it existed in our world.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

There are monsters in your Necronomicon Tarot that don’t exist in any of Lovecraft’s stories. Where did they come from?

Donald Tyson

The short answer to that is, I made them up. As you know, the Necronomicon Tarot is closely based on my version of the Necronomicon. I didn’t want my book to be limited to only what Lovecraft had written about the Necronomicon, because for one thing, Lovecraft didn’t write all that much about it. The total number of words that Lovecraft put into his stories as supposed direct quotations from the Necronomicon doesn’t amount to more than a few pages — it’s not enough for a book. Also, I’m a creative writer, and I wanted my version of the Necronomicon to reflect some of my own creativity. I did try hard to avoid directly contradicting anything Lovecraft had indicated to be in the Necronomicon, and I tried to include in my book everything that he had written about it. In those respects my version is more faithful to Lovecraft than any other version. It contains all that Lovecraft wrote about the Necronomicon, but it also contains a lot he never imagined.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Talk about some of the monsters you created for the Necronomicon Tarot

Donald Tyson

Well, there’s I´thakuah, an ancient crone who works a kind of witchcraft in front of her fire in the dry cisterns deep under the ruins of the lost city of Irem. She is so old it’s almost impossible to tell whether she is male or female, or even whether she is human. Her hands are like great claws and her arms are long and powerful, the better to catch the rats upon which she feeds in the total darkness. She has lived under the ruins of the city for so long, even she doesn’t remember when she first entered the cisterns. She serves Nyarlathotep, one of the seven Lords of the Old Ones, who communicates with her through his deep-dwelling inhuman agents when they approach and converse with the old hag.

Then there is the Beast of Babylon that lives in the ancient brick sewer tunnels under the ruins of Babylon in Persia. It was upon the folklore of this Beast that the Biblical beast of Revelations was based. It is a great animal the size of a horse, with massive wings that allow it to fly through the air, when it emerges from beneath the ground at sunset to hunt its human prey, and seven heads on seven long, snake-like necks that ceaselessly bud forth and then shrink away by turns. The heads are formed from the heads of all the human beings the Beast has captured and consumed over the millennia, and they are conscious and babble in their own languages about their pain and sorrow, laughing and weeping and screaming during the brief periods of their presence on the necks.

Those are two of my creations, I´hakuah and the Beast.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Did you scry any of the strange creatures in the Necronomicon Tarot using a crystal or a black mirror?

Donald Tyson

Not in a formal sense, no. I never sat down before my crystal ball and saw images of these beings. But over the months it took to write the book, I had my mind on Lovecraft and Alhazred and the Old Ones night and day. They started to creep into my dreams, and I even began to notice strange things happening around me.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

What sort of strange things?

Donald Tyson

Noises that had no cause. Movements at the corner of my eye that were like flashes of shadow sliding past. Objects that disappeared with nobody around to move them, and then just as strangely reappeared days or weeks later. Strange looks or words from complete strangers I passed in the street.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

What do you think was happening? Were you under some kind of attack?

Donald Tyson

I don’t know. I got the sense that something was trying to communicate with me, but that it was so alien, it didn’t quite know how to even make the attempt. It kept fumbling around, using whatever was available as a conduit. It didn’t so much feel malicious as it felt unnatural — like something out of place, or something that didn’t quite belong in our world. I think maybe when I started to write the Necronomicon, this intelligence took notice of me, and that maybe it communicated psychically some of the creatures I wrote about. But no one can prove a thing like that, it’s just a sense you get, like a kind of feeling.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Do you believe the Necronomicon really exists in some form?

Donald Tyson

At one time I would have said no, but today — yes, I believe that the Necronomicon does exist. It was never published in the usual way as a book, of course, but I believe that Lovecraft didn’t invent it from nothing. He was a sleeping seer. When he dreamed, he saw visions of astral planes that are deeper and stranger than most people ever visit during sleep, and he brought things back from those planes that he put into his stories.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

What kinds of things?

Donald Tyson

Like the Old Ones, who are invisible creatures that inhabited the earth long before the evolution of the human race. They are so strange, so unlike anything we know in this world, that our eyes can’t even see their color. They floated through the air, and lived in black stone cities without windows — they didn’t need windows because they had no eyes. They perceived the world with senses we wouldn’t even comprehend.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

There is more than one kind of Old Ones in Lovecraft’s stories, isn’t there?

Donald Tyson

Yes, several species are called Old Ones or Elder Things or The Elder Race by Lovecraft. He used the term Old Ones as a general term for those intelligent alien species that inhabited the young earth before the coming of mankind.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Did the Old Ones write the Necronomicon?

Donald Tyson

According to Lovecraft, the Necronomicon was written around the year 730 by an Arab poet of Yemen named Abdul Alhazred. He went insane, and he wrote the book based on what he had seen in the desert, in abandoned cities and old tombs and caverns deep beneath the sands, and what the creatures that have always lived in these remote desert wastes and deep places whispered to him when he talked with them.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Maybe writing the Necronomicon drove him insane.

Donald Tyson

The book was written when Alhazred was an old man, so he must have gone insane at some earlier stage in his life, since he was known as the “mad Arab” in Lovecraft’s stories. But whether the process of writing the book drove him mad, or whether it was his madness that allowed him to gather the information that went into his book, there’s no way to know.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

You talk about Alhazred as if he were a real person.

Donald Tyson

That’s how Lovecraft wrote about him, and about his book. That’s one of the reasons they seem so real to us today. But I believe that maybe Alhazred did write the Necronomicon, not while he was awake, but while he was asleep, in his dreams. That is how Lovecraft was able to see the book so clearly. Alhazred created it in the dreamlands, as Lovecraft called them, and Lovecraft in his explorations of the dreamlands was able to see the book and learn its Greek name.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Your Necronomicon and the Necronomicon Tarot are only two parts of a trilogy of works from Llewellyn Publications. What is the third part?

Donald Tyson

The third part of my Necronomicon Trilogy is my novel Alhazred. I refer to the three works as a trilogy because they are all based on the same content, the text of my Necronomicon. The Necronomicon Tarot illustrates pictorially the things I wrote about in that book, and my novel Alhazred relates the events in the book from Alhazred’s point of view, as he experienced them during his wanderings.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

What about your other book, the Necronomicon Grimoire?

Donald Tyson

The Necronomicon Grimoire is not a part of the trilogy, but it is closely linked. I wanted to create a practical grimoire based on Lovecraft’s mythology of the Old Ones, with a ritual structure that could be used by serious magicians for practical purposes. I based the grimoire on information in my Necronomicon, so the two books are in harmony with one another, but whereas the Necronomicon concerns strange monsters, alien races, and hidden places of the ancient world, the grimoire lays down the precise details of a system of magic, and sets forth the outline for an occult society based on its rituals that I’ve named the Order of the Old Ones, or OOO for short.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Is the Order of the Old Ones an actual occult society?

Donald Tyson

It will be, if enough people want it to be. I look upon it in much the same way that I regard the Necronomicon of Lovecraft — both are real in an astral sense, and that reality can bring them forth into the world if enough individuals seriously want them to exist.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Are you planning to write any more books based on the Necronomicon?

Donald Tyson

Yes, I have two more in the works, which I won’t talk about in detail here. It seems that Lovecraft hasn’t finished with me yet.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Do you get the sense that Lovecraft is telling you to write these books?

Donald Tyson

I get the sense that his ghost is standing at my shoulder as I’m writing, reading what I’ve written. What he thinks of it, I don’t know, but I hope he approves. I’ve done my best to honor his memory and his mythos, and to add to its occult current rather than merely drawing from it. A lot of writers had reason to be thankful to Lovecraft while he was alive, because he was unfailingly generous to young authors. He would write endless letters encouraging them to write, and giving them helpful advice about how to improve their stories. Today, in a strange way many writers still have reason to be thankful to Lovecraft, because they are building upon the foundation he laid down, writing books that are part of a mythos that would never have existed without Lovecraft’s genius.

Sheta Kaey for Rending the Veil

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.

Donald Tyson

I always enjoy talking about the Necronomicon and the Old Ones. It’s the thoughts and dreams of all of us that give life on the astral level of the dreamlands to both the book and the things it describes. As long as people continue to read Lovecraft’s stories, the Necronomicon will never die.

The Rapier’s Edge is a semi-regular column featuring interviews with our contributors, other occult authors, and celebrities of interest to RTV readers. If you’d like to be interviewed, please contact admin@rendingtheveil.com and we’ll be pleased to consider such an interview (especially if you have suggestions for questions!).

Donald Tyson is the author of Sexual Alchemy: Magical Intercourse with Spirits, Familiar Spirits, and Soul Flight: Astral Projection and the Magical Universe, among other works. You can visit his website here.

Sheta Kaey is Editor in Chief of Rending the Veil and is working on her first book, Infinite Possibility. You can read her blog here.

©2009 by Sheta Kaey
and Donald Tyson.

The Otherkin Avatar Project

The Otherkin Avatar Project

The Otherkin community is a fascinating collection of individuals, all of whom feel as if they are differently souled. Although in human form, Otherkin believe that the essence of who and what they are originated elsewhere and can most often be associated with mythical beings, such as elves or faeries, dragons or gryphons. I was first introduced to the Otherkin community on the cusp of the new millennium, and, although I was skeptical at first, I came to accept that there is something to Otherkin claims. As someone who, because of my regularly need for the life-energy of others, has adopted the word “vampire” in reference to myself, I could hardly throw stones at Otherkin elves who explained that they did not believe that they were pointy-eared rangers straight out of Tolkien or D&D, but that the mythic archetype we have come to recognize as an elf best described what they felt their soul originate as. If we accept that the soul exists and, furthermore, accept that it is immortal, then we have to acknowledge that it has probably gone through a multiplicity of genders, races, and forms just on the basis that nothing — not even species or planets — lasts forever, at least not in the physical realm.

I had my widest exposure to the Otherkin community at a small Canadian convention called Kinvention North. From 2001 onward, I often appeared as a speaker there, and my presentations were popular with many of the attendees. When I was asked to do the closing ritual at Kinvention North 2004, I put a great deal of thought into the undertaking. As most people know, I have my own Kheprian system, and while I have ties to the ‘kin, I am foremost involved with the vampire subculture. Kheprian rituals have their own unique energy, and most vampire rituals are don’t really fit when working with the Otherkin. What I needed to do was design a ritual that was completely Otherkin in energy — and this would mean running ritual in a fashion that isn’t exactly normal for me. I’ve run both Wiccan and Pagan rituals very successfully, and so I knew this wasn’t beyond me as a ritualist. In general, writing a ritual in any tradition just requires the ritualist to tap into the unique energy that is the heart of that tradition. Each system has its own symbols, its own language, and its own archetypes. So to successfully design and run the KinNorth ritual, I had to essentially travel to the source of these in the mythic imagination and allow what I found there to flow through me.

To tap into this essence, I started with the symbol of the Otherkin: the Seven-Pointed Star, also known as the Elven Star or the Faery Star. As I understand it, this symbol is recognized by the majority of the Otherkin community, and it serves as an expression of Otherkin diversity. Because Otherkin by nature draw from a wide variety of races, traditions, and points of origin, the Star is one of the few common elements shared by all the Otherkin. As the archetypal common ground, the Star provided a point of entry into the vibration or “flow” of the ‘kin.

Prior to designing the ritual, I did some meditation with the Seven-Pointed Star. These were basically pathworkings where I approached the symbol of the Star as an archetype, and allowed it to speak to me. It soon became clear that there were several voices within the Star — one for each of its points. These were essentially Avatars of elements and races unique to the ‘kin.

To design this ritual, I let the Star Avatars speak to me. All Seven appeared in succession, revealing their forms and sigils for invoking. They each told me their Names and the symbols of office they wished to be represented by. They told me what elements, colors, and concepts they are associated with (although several were associated with common elements, they were never as simple as one element and one concept — the avatars are multifaceted beings, each as diverse as the ‘kin they embody).

Some came forward and spoke right away. These had bold voices that were hard to mistake. A few were less direct with me, even hesitant in their contact. The last one to come forward was the hardest to understand, for s/he was most unlike my own nature and anything I had a context for. But it was contact with this one (called Illana) that convinced me beyond a doubt that I was dealing with essences both unique and outside of me, as s/he was totally alien to anything I previously had known.

The Avatars each have many shapes and many Names, and during our conversations, they frequently shifted from one face to another while still retaining their overall “feel.” I’ve come to associate such flux with the ‘kin, so it really didn’t come as a surprise when it was a fundamental part of the avatars. The complexity and diversity of the Avatars was also in keeping with what I understand such avatars to be — which is essentially an embodiment of a higher emanation, a fragment of divinity that is more complete and closer to the Source than you or me.

As I had originally planned to only invoke the Avatars like Watchtowers at the Quarters, I asked the directions they were associated with — and in a few cases, the answer came as a surprise. The traditional Pagan directions are abandoned in favor of what the Avatars themselves declared. The least traditional of any of them, of course, was Illana, who seems to embody the most “other” element of all of them.

The Avatars had their own idea of how the ritual should proceed, and they didn’t hesitate in telling me so. As I had already agreed to serve as a channel in this and not impose my own expectations or traditions upon it, I let them speak freely. The resulting rite gives a great deal of time to the Avatars of the Star, and I have been assured that they will fill in the blanks when the time comes. During our interactions, they had made a number of other statements which, while mysterious at first, later proved to be true — so I’ve definitely learned to trust them.

The whole experience has been fascinating for me, as I don’t usually go talking to so-called “higher powers.” For my own rituals, I draw everything from my Self, and Kheprian rituals also draw only upon the Selves of those involved. But this is not a Kheprian rite I am running, and the ‘kin do not function by Kheprian rules. My role in this is purely as an intermediary and mouthpiece. I’m fairly certain that the things I tapped into were already there, and I’ve done my best to be a clear channel for them, allowing the information to come through with as little distortion as possible.

What I see before me is a very powerful rite — one that I think will be inspiring for those who participate in it. As we are dealing with Avatars and giving each of them a chance to speak, the real outcome and message of the ritual is an unknown and can only be experienced. I’ve built the framework, but the Avatars themselves will tell us what needs to be known. They’ve been very interesting to work with, and I look forward to future interactions with their energy.

Finally, because I know there will be a widespread interest in it, I am making this ritual available to the general community. Others who wish to experiment with contacting these Avatars are encouraged to do so. I am very curious about how they might manifest to other people and how harnessing their energy might serve to help and empower the community of Otherkin.

What I would especially like to see are rituals that integrate the Avatars in smaller group work. While a ritual that involves 70+ people is impressive just by dint of the numbers, there is often little chance for group participation all around. It’s very difficult to make time for everyone present in such a large ritual to directly participate in the action. Smaller rituals with ten to fifteen people have always seemed more personal and more ideal to me because everyone can play some role in the preparation and ritual action. I would be very interested to see the difference between this invocation run in a large group and how things play out in a smaller, more directly involved group.

Open Letter to the Avatar Hosts

2004-03-27

This is the letter that went out prior to the ritual to the first and second choices for the Avatar hosts:

“I’ll need you to meet with me about an hour before the ritual is actually scheduled to start. Come prepared to this and already wearing most of what you’re going to wear as the Avatar. We can touch up the costumes at this time, make any last minute changes, etc.

“Each Avatar has a sigil. I’ll apply this to your forehead with body paint prior to the ritual. This will be a minor invoking — kind of priming you to the energy but not fully calling the Avatar down. I’ll have veils to drape over each of you and, once you’re ready, you’ll be arranged around where the circle will be formed. Stand still, like a statue, and wait until you hear your Avatar called at this point. I want to build the mystery a bit, and I’ll have the rest of the people come in and form a circle around you, building energy in the center of the room.

“I’ll talk a little bit, doing the intro to the ritual, then I’ll call the “quarters.” When I call the Avatar you represent, pull off the veil, leave it where it falls, and step forward to the center of the circle. There will be a small table set up there with the Avatars’ symbols of office on it. Pick up the one that’s appropriate to you, and then stand in the center facing out toward the larger circle. All seven of you will stand in a tight knot at the center of the ritual space, almost shoulder-to-shoulder, looking out at everyone else.

“I’ll talk a little more, and then I’ll do the full invoking. This will involve me Calling the Avatar with a larger description and scribing the sigil in energy before you. The energy of the Avatar will wash over you completely at this point, and it will be like draping a robe of office over who you already are. You will hear/feel what the Avatar wants to say, but you will also have influence of how this is ultimately expressed. You will not lose your sense of Self totally unless you allow it; if you wish to surrender completely to the presence of the Avatar, that will be a matter of personal choice.

“The core of the ritual is that each Avatar is asked for his/her advice on a matter of importance to the ‘kin community. I’ll go right round through all of them, then dismiss them. When the Avatars are dismissed, step back out of the inner circle and move to a point close to the outer circle again, as the energy of the Avatar slips off of you. If you feel compelled to do or say anything before the Avatar fully departs, go with it — I have a feeling they have a couple of surprises for us.

“Attached is the full ritual in MSWord format.

“If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me. I’ll be traveling a bit with the band the next few days but will make every effort to check my email in case there are any inquiries.”

Details of the Invocation

2004-03-27

This is a letter which explained my vision for the Avatar Invocation. It covers what I was aiming to accomplish with the Avatars, how I approached the KinNorth ritual, and what I expected from those individuals who would be hosting the Avatars.

“I am going to be a little more elaborate and organized with ritual this year than previously. The time we are in I believe calls for this. To this end, I would like to request your help with the ritual.

“The core of this ritual will be an invoking. I shall call upon avatars tied to each aspect of the Seven-Pointed Star. Individuals from the gathering will be chosen to embody these. As the rite progresses, I will invoke the Avatar fully into these people — much like Drawing Down the Moon, only the beings we are Calling are avatars of ‘kin archetypes rather than traditional goddesses and gods.

“The people involved in the invocation have to be comfortable with the idea of channeling something greater than themselves. This will not be like possession, where a deity or spirit takes complete control of your body and you have no consciousness during the events. This will be much more gentle.

“The energy of the Avatar will wash over you, and it will be like draping a robe of office over who you already are. You will hear/feel what the Avatar wants to say, but you will also have influence of how this is ultimately expressed. This is not intended to be possession. You will not loose your sense of Self totally unless you allow it; if you wish to surrender completely to the presence of the Avatar, that will be a matter of personal choice.

“In all cases, I’ve tagged people for the roles because the individuals already embody the archetype that Avatar represents to one extent or another, and in a way I would merely be invoking a greater aspect of their Selves. The resonant energy already present in these individuals will help facilitate the invocation.

“Each Avatar has a sigil, which will be scribed upon each person’s forehead, and each Avatar also has a symbol of office, which the person embodying that Avatar will take up once the Avatar is Called.

“Key things for this ritual to succeed: I need the people who will embody the Avatars to really get into their roles. For the ritual, I would want them to dress the part, adopting attire more elaborate than usual to help really build the ritual atmosphere. This rite is a little more theatrical than what I ordinarily run, and there is a conscious heightening of the mystique of the work that should help create an atmosphere appropriate for drawing the Avatars down. I want the ritual to really speak to people, and I want to allow the Avatars the freedom to speak in whatever manner they deem most appropriate for the time, the people, and the place of the rite.

“If there is time, we might experiment with an invocation of the Avatars for the “Come as you really are” party to see how it feels/works.”

Sigils and Descriptions of the Avatars

2004-03-27

The following is a list of the seven Avatars that manifested to me during pathworking on the Elven Star. Fenecai was the first to make contact, and true to his nature, he came on like a ton of bricks and was amazingly hard to ignore. Once I was certain I’d contacted something that was truly outside of me, I did further pathworkings to determine what directions the Avatars were connected with, their respective colors, metals, and other associations, and the qualities that defined them. All these are listed here, along with the sigils for each Avatar.

Fenecai (FEHN-nuh-kye)

Sigil of Fenecai
  • Title: Lord of Fire
  • Gender: Dark/destructive masculine
  • Element: Fire
  • Direction: West
  • Color(s): Red, orange, black
  • Symbol: Rod of Kingship or pole-arm
  • Metal: Brass
  • Planet: Mars
  • Races: The fierce dragons of the heights, phoenixes, stonewings, and sons of the forge.
  • Essence: Destruction and renewal; cataclysmic change.
  • Appearance: Big, broad-shouldered Draconian warrior with outspread wings. Wears armor and carries a halberd-type weapon. Shifts occasionally to a phoenix of flame. Sometimes in his draconian form, his wings and talons trail fire. Moves ponderously but then lashes out in sudden, powerful strikes. An alternate form is the Forge Lord, a fierce dwarven warrior with flame-red hair and beard.

Elerian (ay-LAY-ree-ahn)

Sigil of Elerian
  • Title: Lord of the Shining Host
  • Gender: Feminine androgyne
  • Element: Light
  • Direction: Above
  • Color(s): White, yellow, silver
  • Symbol: Musical instrument (lyre or flute)
  • Metal: Platinum or gold
  • Planet: Sun
  • Races: Elves and all fey
  • Essence: (Positive) magick, beauty, creativity and song
  • Description: Lithe and fine-boned elf with pale skin and long, reddish-blond hair. Wears a long, flowing robe that is an almost luminous white shot through with gold and silver thread. Wears a collar or torque of gold. Carries a lyre, lute, or flute. Dreamy, flowing movements — exceptionally graceful.
  • Hss’tah Feliss (huss-TAH feh-LEESS)

Sigil of Hss’tah Feliss
  • Title: Huntress-Priestess
  • Gender: Dark/destructive feminine
  • Element: Darkness
  • Direction: Belo_
  • Color(s): Gray, black, indigo
  • Symbol: Small curved blade
  • Metal: Silver
  • Planet: Moon
  • Races: Felines, and all who are children of darkness and shadow
  • Essence: (Dark) magick, night, shadows, mystery — that which is hidden or obscured from view.
  • Description: A petite, wiry felinoid whose short, soft fur is the color of deep shadow rippled with true black. Wears bracers of soft leather inscribed with designs. Minimal clothing, also of leather &ndash deep brown or black. Carries at least one small, curve-bladed knife. Sometimes appears covered head to foot in a soft black cloak. Moves gracefully, but in an almost threatening way — like she is constantly stalking something and just about ready to pounce. Has a dark sexual allure and this is visible in the way she moves as well.
  • Gwidorian (gweh-DOHR-ree-ahn)

Sigil of Gwidorian
  • Title: Lord of the Wilding
  • Gender: Positive/generative masculine
  • Element: Earth
  • Direction: South
  • Color(s): Brown, green, earth tones
  • Symbol: Living Staff (wooden staff entwined with ivy)
  • Metal: Iron
  • Planet: Earth
  • Races: Therians, animal-kin, hybrids: centaurs, satyrs, etc.; all children of the woodlands, wilds, and earth.
  • Essence: Vitality, sex, nature, all primal things
  • Description: Variously a centaur, a stag-man, and a man-wolf. Ithyphallic (i.e., he’s hung and he’s happy). Has a distinct Dionysian aspect, and I keep seeing him with a wreath of grapevines (complete with dangling bunches of grapes) in his hair. If he’s wearing clothing, he wears a long, flowing cloak the reddish-brown color of both dried blood and rich earth. Beneath that, he wears a tunic of deep green (usually with his privates exposed).
  • Sephiriel (she-FEER-ree-el)

Sigil of Sephiriel
  • Title: Storm-Singer
  • Gender: Masculine androgyne
  • Element: Wind (air)
  • Direction: North
  • Color(s): Light blue, gray, silver
  • Symbol: Writing quill or sword
  • Metal: Quicksilver
  • Planet: Jupiter (he says Mercury is not a planet)
  • Races: Celestials, angels, nephilim, children of air and winged ones.
  • Essence: Thought, Will, judgment, the Word.
  • Description: Tall, thin, and sharp-faced with shoulder-length pale (gray?) hair. Wears either a loose-fitting tunic of grayish-white material or the tunic with a breastplate of some non-lustrous gray metal that is neither silver nor steel. Also wears bracers, greaves, and a thin circlet of the same strange metal. A little haughty and detached. Economical but swift movements.
  • Neride Eyooli (neh-REED ee-YOOL-ee)

Sigil of Neride Eyooli
  • Title: Lady of Waters
  • Gender: Positive/generative feminine
  • Element: Water
  • Direction: East
  • Color(s): Blue, green, purple
  • Symbol: Scrying bowl or sphere
  • Metal: Copper
  • Planet: Venus
  • Races: The wise dragons of the depths, nagas, undines, naiads, asrai, and all children of the tides.
  • Essence: Healing, emotion, vision, flow
  • Description: Long flowing hair with beads and shells tied to the strands. Kohled eyes. Wears nets or veils of many colors. Lots of jewelry. Moves fluidly, sensuously. She is also a dancer.
  • Illana (ehl-LAHN-nah)

Sigil of Illana
  • Title: We of the Dreaming
  • Gender: Plural
  • Element: Dream/magick/glamour
  • Direction: Within
  • Color(s): All and none
  • Symbol: Sphere of crystal or a mirror
  • Metal: Glass/crystal
  • Planet: The multiplicity of worlds
  • Races: All, the many-souled
  • Essence: Glamoury, magick, Awakening
  • Description: Veiled in iridescent, translucent colorless material that looks like it’s been spun from rainbows and spider webs. Almost completely covered head to toe. All you can clearly see are her hands. Everything else keeps shifting — and even this form is a compromise, for otherwise they keep cycling through a multiplicity of forms and faces almost too rapidly to see. The most uncanny and “other” of all the Avatars.
  • Invocation of the Seven-Pointed Star

    2004-03-27

    Here is the actual ritual as it was run at Kinvention North on March 14, 2004. The actual words of the Avatars were not recorded and were experienced directly by those present for the ritual.

    Preparation:

    An altar is set up in the middle of the ritual space. The symbols of office for each Avatar are arranged upon this: a halberd or war-axe for Fenecai; a flute for Elerian; a staff for Gwidorian; a quill and parchment for Sephiriel (or alternately a sword); a scrying sphere for Neride; a curved dagger for Hss’tah; a mirror or clear sphere for Illana.

    The ritual space is cleansed, and those who will work directly with the Avatars prepare themselves to be receptive to the energy, meditating on their particular Avatar. Once the people who will embody the Avatars are ready, the sigils are scribed on their foreheads. As the sigils are scribed, the throat and solar plexus chakras are opened on each host to facilitate connection with the Avatars. The hosts range themselves around the inside of the circle and are covered with veils. Once they are ready, the rest of the participants enter and form a circle around the inner circle of the Avatars.

    The Gathering:

    First, I want you all to join hands and gather energy. Each of you draw from the essence of what you are, where you come from, all of the elements and forces that feed your soul.

    Now, as a group, cycle, refine, and combine these. Weave these varying energies into something that is greater than the sum of its parts. As you refine it, focus it here, in the center of our circle.

    What we are building now is a Between-space, a place of crossing over. You can envision it as a temple, or simply a glowing, sacred sphere. It is in this Space that I will invoke the Seven-Pointed Star.

    As we work with the Star of the Otherkin, I shall serve as mediator.

    I am Seth, Setem-Ansi, Sem-Asa. These are my Names. I am a Walker-Between, and in this rite, I shall be both Priest and Shaman, serving as the intermediary between you and the Avatars that we Call.

    In this space we will have communion with beings greater than ourselves. I will not call them gods, for I do not recognize gods as most people understand them. We are all emanations of Divinity, and therefore all beings are gods in their own right.

    And yet there is a hierarchy of emanation, and some beings are closer to the Source than others. Avatars such as these I shall call among us today. Now:

    The Calls:

    To the West, I Call thee, Fenecai, Lord of Fire: dragon and phoenix, who burns and renews.

    To the East, I Call thee, Neride Eyooli, Lady of Waters: healer and seer who flows with the tides.

    To the North, I Call thee: Sephiriel Storm-Singer: quick-witted angel whose sword is the Word.

    To the South, I Call thee: Gwidorian of the Wilding: Earthshaker, therian and animal lord.

    Above, I Call thee: Elerian, of the Shining Host: guardian of magick, beauty, and song.

    Below, I Call thee: Hss’tah Feliss: soft-footed huntress and priestess of night.

    And Within, I Call thee: Illana of the Dreaming: shaper of worlds and Awakener of souls.

    West and East,
    North and South,
    Above, Below, Within.
    I Call you here before me:
    Stand with us now
    as our Guardians and our Guides.

    The Time of Changes:

    Now my friends: The world is changing and we stand at the crux of it. We have longed for an Awakening, and now it rises around us like a tide. But as the veils slip away, our true nature is revealed. There is a crossroads here, and we must soon make a choice.

    We can stay in the shadows and hope to hide, or we can raise our voices and show the world our souls.

    By revealing ourselves, we take a great risk, but understanding and acceptance also lie along that route.

    We can choose the path of caution and remain hidden among humanity. But even in hiding, our safety is not guaranteed.

    This is our quandary: caution or risk? And if we risk revelation, do we have the strength and wisdom to succeed?

    Guardians of the Races; Watchtowers, Avatars all!
    We call on your power and wisdom to guide us in this time of change.

    Invocations:

    As each Avatar is invoked, the leader of the ritual scribes the sigil upon the air, sending this resonant energy into the Avatar’s host.

    Fenecai:
    Lord of the Sweeping Flame; Mighty-Winged One:
    Ye who stand on the right hand of Destruction,
    Tearing apart worlds so creation begins.
    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Fenecai imparts his message)

    Neride Eyooli:
    She of the Flowing Veils; Mutable One:
    Lady whose deep wells and healing waters
    Reveal Future, Truth, and Consequence.

    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Neride imparts her message)

    Sephiriel Storm-Singer:
    Angel of Action; He of the Swift Wings:
    Keen-witted Judge and Guardian,
    Who sunders illusion, captivity, and deceit.
    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Sephiriel imparts hes message)

    Gwidorian:
    Lord of the Wild Places; Primal One:
    Ye who call us back to our beginnings,
    Hearkening to instinct and the lusty flow of life.
    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Gwidorian imparts his message)

    Elerian:
    The Beautiful; Fair Scion of Light:
    Ye whose music delights and inspires,
    Gifting the worlds with magick and joy.
    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Elerian imparts hir message)

    Hss’tah Feliss:
    Walker of Shadows; Lady of the Silent Strike:
    Keeper of all things hidden,
    Whose mysteries may empower or destroy.
    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Hss’tah imparts her message)

    And Illana:
    The Many-Souled; They Who Exist Within and Between:
    Whose glamour is both madness and revelation,
    Throwing wide the gates of consciousness and worlds.
    We seek your guidance: What can you give us that will help us succeed?

    (Illana imparts their message)

    (A moment of silence, to pause and reflect)

    The Avatars have spoken. Let us take their counsel and their gifts. Let us each carry these things within, so we may draw upon them when next in need of wisdom, strength, and guidance. Armed with these things, let us walk boldly forward toward the future we have conceived.

    Dismissal:

    Avatars! Watchtowers! Guardians of the Star!
    We thank you for your guidance,
    And for joining us in this space.
    Depart now freely and in peace.

    Fenecai and Neride:
    Peace, and depart.

    Sephiriel and Gwidorian:
    Peace, and depart.

    Elerian, Hss’tah Feliss
    Peace, and depart.

    All you who are Illana:
    Peace, and depart.

    (as the Avatars leave, they break the circle from various points. Those hosting the Avatars take some time alone to release the Avatars’ energy and recover themselves)

    This ritual now is ended.
    Peace, and depart.

    FIN

    (All depart)

    Michelle Belanger is the author of The Psychic Energy Codex, The Psychic Vampire Codex, and Psychic Dreamwalking, among others. You can read her blog here and visit her website here.

    ©2008 Michelle Belanger
    Edited by Sheta Kaey

Others’ Realities

October 31, 2007 by  
Filed under astral work, mysticism, other, perception

No, you did not read that wrong. This is an article talking about other people’s realities, not other layers of our reality.

Recently, a friend posted a thought about her reality and how it seems that everyone that she knows insists that their own reality is validated, but then they refuse to acknowledge that her reality is just as valid and valued. This is a very simplistic discussion regarding acceptance of other people’s reality.

We operate on worlds and in planes that are constructs of belief. It makes them very subjective and very hard to quantify. Some quantification can be done simply through having been there or experiencing that for yourself, but the majority of this subjective reality is generally not open to being viewed by others.

You can view any reality, and you can translate that experience into a similar experience that another may have, but it is nearly impossible to experience another’s reality completely.

Cases like this most often vex those who are not in a magical community of some sort. Hearing about how one person visited Middle Earth and talked to Gandalf the White to gain some information on a spell, while also hearing from another that they went to the City of Brass and spoke to the Efreet there, makes most people who haven’t had similar experiences question the sanity of the speaker.

The basic problem is, what is real? How does one define reality? If you base what is real on what you have directly experienced, then how can you judge the reality of someone else’s experience that you have not had yet?

I think when it comes to accepting another’s reality, we must remember that we cannot completely judge it. Certainly if someone describes a scene to us with characters and beings that is an exact description from a fantasy novel or a movie, then we must take the rest of what they say with a grain of salt. But when there is a vivid description of a place that may or may not exist in other worlds that the speaker has interacted with, then we have to, as mature magicians, accept that they did have the experience they describe, no matter how odd to us.

Does this mean that we must buy into their reality wholeheartedly? Not at all. It is possible to accept that someone else had a specific experience without accepting the experience and the resulting changes in personality completely.

For instance, I can describe to you an adventure during which I went to another plane and caused changes in the peoples there, such that they went from being a single sex into being a typical dual sexual role. From there I can describe the consequences of that and the fact that they saw me as some sort of god.

Now, you can accept that I experienced it without accepting that it happened. The whole experience could have been a dream I had, it could be a fantasy I had, and I could also be making it up out of whole cloth.

This is where your judgment as a magician must play a role. You know what you have experienced and what you have seen. It is possible that you have seen something similar and can accept the adventure I describe with few reservations. But it is also possible that there is no way you can see that I had that actually happen to me, and so, you can reject it totally.

However, as a matter of courtesy, you should be able to accept that I believe it happened.

Acceptance of it happening does not mean that you believe it. You can have a healthy skepticism for what happened. If there is not any counter evidence that it happened, or if I am rational in all other ways, then it would be better to accept it and move on.

What this boils down to when we get rid of the extraneous stuff is “did this event have an effect on me?”

In most cases, the answer to that question is going to be “yes.”

It is this way for most magicians. The experiences we go through as part of our training, our self-study, and our practices are going to sound insane when we communicate them to others. This is why we generally don’t speak about these events to those who have not been through similar experiences.

Saying to another magician that you hear voices speaking to you will generally have them suggest shielding techniques or a banishing ritual. Saying the same thing to those who are not magicians will probably have them quietly calling Bedlam Asylum for the nice young men with the “I-Love-Me” jackets.

Did this event have an effect on you? Absolutely. Generally, events like these are the ones that have us believing in the Unseen, anyway. Therefore, our own personal acceptance of those events is paramount to our practice in a very real way.

So why is it that so many magicians can’t accept that others had seminal events like this happen to them? I cannot count the number of times that someone on a list brings up an event like this as a way of presenting magical “credentials” of a sort, and the rest of the list starts from the perspective of “no it didn’t happen,” and then proceeds to rip the event apart in various ways.

Why can’t those who are doing the ripping simply say, “Okay, you had this experience,” and move on? What is it about others having an esoteric experience that is so threatening? It’s not fluffy-speak to talk about these kinds of experiences among those who might have had the same experience and to get some more information and guidance.

They’re not asking you to buy into their whole philosophy of life, nor are they using that seminal moment as more than an interesting event to share. Would you question them to the same extent if they had an LSD trip and saw God? How about if they had a major revelation during sex? Or how about having a life-altering event happen while meditating in the barn?

If those events can be treated with disdain and incredulity, then they should be. But many major religions would have to change their foundation myths. If the events that created major world religions should be treated as sacred, then why can’t the experiences that another has had while in trance be treated similarly?

The fact of the matter is that no one’s reality is the same as anyone else’s reality. The reality I live in, where the people on the other side of my email account are just as important to me as blood relatives (and whom I would sacrifice more for than my blood relatives), is not the same reality that the CEO of TransAmerica is going to be experiencing in his office in San Francisco. Neither of those realities are going to be the same as the reality that a farmer in Africa lives with. None of those are going to be the same reality that Queen Elizabeth II lives with either.

Every one of you creates and carves out your own little pocket of reality where some things are important, and other things simply aren’t affecting you at all, and thus are of no importance. It is awfully hard to get a starving peasant in Russia interested in global warming, or to get a rich 20-something Jet Setter who has never been to a war-ravaged country interested in the danger of land mines.

The same holds true for magicians. There are going to be events and entities that are important to me that hold no meaning for you. That doesn’t mean that I hold them less sacred or real. It means that I have had a different set of experiences than you did, and that our paths are different.

Giving a “bye” to those who have different takes on the same situation is one of the first steps in a courteous exchange. It allows for those who have had vastly different experiences to come together and to discuss other topics at great length, enriching each other. It doesn’t mean that you have to buy the delusions of another, but you must treat their life-altering moments with the same sanctity and reverence that you ask for yours.

That means accepting other creatures they call upon, as well. Yes, I understand how odd it is to be speaking to their “invisible friend.” I have had a few awkward moments where I was forced to talk directly to a being I wasn’t sure was there, but I got over it. If you wish to gain something from the fleshy person you are interacting with, then accepting their Guides, Spirits, Totems, and so on as real is like accepting their spouse, children, and pets as real. It is simply kind and polite to do so.

©2007 by Daven.
Edited by Sheta Kaey.

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.

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