Friday, April 8, 2016

The Benefits of Trusting the Gods

When my Pagan/magickal life was new, I ran into a few disasters. Some more experienced people would tell me that trusting the gods is an odd thing, as They do not always have the same desires we do.

During that time, I felt completely used and tossed away by the gods of the tradition I was working within. I did what I ‘heard’ they wanted me to do, which was to bring one person into the coven just by being me. Once that was accomplished, I was ejected with malice*.

Fast forward fifteen years…

Over the past year, the gods and my soul have given me the same direction. That direction involved radical life changes. Life changes that were so over the top that I had a hard time accepting them as even possible. As time went on, they opened door after door that allowed me to see the possibility of these changes actually occurring. I then started taking action on each item they presented.

Note: As long time readers of this blog know, I am not much for personal privacy. I have spilled the beans on myself a great deal. This is cryptic because it involves others.

The, what I can only consider radical steps, occurred one after the other until I was ready for the last leap. In fact, I was literally five days away from making that last unrevocable step. At that moment, my family received devastating news. Aside from the shock, I felt betrayed. I uttered phrases like, “This is the second time that I have totally trusted a witchy goddess and the second time she said, ‘Ahhh, thanks for trusting me. That was so cute. Now F… Y..’”

Instead of losing my shit like I did the last time, I told both the Goddess and my spirit that they have to explain this to me. The response I received was a bit of the ‘Secret Game’ mentioned in a recent post, “You will see in time.” Really? FU right back. I would ask again and again and again and, once I was calmer and totally accepting of the situation (about a week) They explained.

“You are now in the perfect place to deal with this. There is a lot of help now that would not have been there had you not listened.” This is true. What is also true is that it is somewhat likely that, after this period passes, that last final radical step may still happen. Even if it does not, the first steps have opened up other doors for us** and exposed me to a very different life experience. This is something I value, even though the transition is difficult.

So, going back fifteen years, I remember going to my last circle with that coven. He “hps” was being drawn down on and I heard in my head the voice of the Goddess, “You have always been accepted [by Her] in this place but the rest has to come through her [the hps].” At that precise moment, that hps said, “She [the Goddess] is not here. I am not getting anything.” I knew then I was done in that group. Now, I wonder, if I had a bit more patience and trusted the goddess to handle the hps who was unwilling to hear or incapable of hearing, how life would have changed. I will never know.

I do know that I would not have lasted in the group long. There were too many untenable dynamics. Things may have ended without that obsession.

The point is that this time, I did listen; I did follow through; I gave myself time to hear, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story. Things are working out very differently.

This is what doing the Great Work is about. Being in the same situation and reacting from a place of greater spirit than one did before. It is a willingness to engage that spirit over and over again until such things are possible.

I have no faith in the gods. Faith is weak and indefensible. I have experience with the gods. I know they exist and I know they have a very direct impact on my life. I have also learned to trust them they same way I learned to trust people. I experience with them. I watch them. I observe actions and results. Eventually, trust is born both of one’s own due diligence and the other party respecting the trust given.

*On the part of the humans involved
** I became a married man last month.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Lesson of the Coven

Many years ago, I was rejected by an Alexadrian coven. My spiritual mentor, a non-coven member, played a very strong role in the situation. The series of events that lead that to that final rejection left me in a state of obsession chronicled ad nuaseam in this space. 

The obsession lasted ten years. During that time, I focused on the events and the actions/motivations of others, as well as myself. This led me nowhere. This situation was made worse by what I call the "Secret Game". This is played by telling me you have a secret about me (in this case about what happened during those times that caused my rejection etc.) and then refusing to tell me the secret. That game still bothers my psyche so much that my good friends know that game is off limits. If any of them play that game with me, the relationship is over. There is no compromise. 

Over time, I rejected everyone that was involved in that incident. By everyone, I mean everyone that was even close to it, that participated on any level or took an opposing side of the conflict.  By rejecting everyone one and everything, I began to reclaim a bit of my personal sovereignty. 

Today, through an unrelated meditation, I think I learned the lesson of those times. When you reject anyone, you reject a part of yourself. Each person that played role in those times, was a reflection of some part of myself. I had considered this before but got hung up on the specifics of their actions, which I feel I would have never engaged in. That was a mistake. Each one of the persons was, generally speaking, engaging in very analogous actions that mirrored my own life choices. 

I will not outline them all here, as many of those choices I would no longer make. I will reveal that one of them is one that mentor played, the Secret Game. I had asked him very direct questions that went something like this. "You were at the meeting. What charges brought against me?” He refused to answer. Frankly, he held on to that secret for much longer than was healthy for either of us. It was the length of his secret keeping that I focused on. That was the mistake.

His actions did reflect part of my personality. Though, I did not even know I had it at the time. I present the mystery to others. I believe I do so in a healthy way but I do present the mystery. He had presented or embodied a mystery. That is the only part that matters. He embodied a mystery of mine; I embody a mystery for others.

In tonight's meditation, I had to "own" this part of my personality. I also had to own the more negative aspects reflected by others as well. By rejecting them, I had rejected parts of myself. My fully accepting these parts, all of them, I have healed some other part of myself that I did not know was hurting. Perhaps the better word is “missing”. I was missing something. I was less than whole.

This is the type of lesson that usually spurs a spiritual growth spurt or a new mystery. I look forward to either. 

There is a lesson-part that is beginning to take hold already. I will work on the following: When I see someone engaging in behavior that bothers me or that I reject, I will examine how that is analogous to my own behavior. It does not have to be the same to be the same. I will then accept that part of myself. This will prevent me from rejecting others.

Still to ponder: How can I do this and still reject people that are toxic to myself? Is mere recognition of the analogy enough?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

How to Thrive Within Negativity

No matter who you are something you perceive as negative will enter your life. Even the Dalai Lama had to flee his country.

Such a thing recently happened to me. At first, I was confused and a little angry. I had followed my spiritual promptings, the words of my Goddess as I hear them, and landed in a very difficult situation. This prompted some questions for that Goddess and some anger. The same messages had come from my soul. This too brought into question my ability to hear spiritual messages.

As is my habit, I asked the Goddess what I was supposed to learn. "What are you trying to teach me?" She assured me my original anger was understandable but misplaced. After about a week, I understood.

The trick is to blame no one. This was not any person's fault, nor a Goddess's. Life happens. In the absence of blame, there is only the situation. Dealing with the situation at hand is the only option. Blame simply brings unnecessary pain and stress. In addition, it makes me feel alone and adrift. After all, if it is someone's fault, and I didn't see it coming, how can I be assured that I will see it coming the next time?

Understanding life happens and that blame is not in the equation brought immediate peace. Sure there is sadness and adjustment but I am in my center place.

Many people that I know in Paganism came to the path from a place of despair. Frankly, many of them appear to be a bit unhinged and in need in of professional mental health intervention. Now, I am not so sure that is true. I see how such deep angst, despair and erratic behavior can be brought about by simply mishandling situations.

So, here are a my tips for dealing with adversity.

  1. Blame no one. Even if you were attacked, beaten up, stolen from refrain from placing blame.
  2. Deal with the resulting situation in a professional manner. If this happened at work, what would you do? You may fire the primary actor. You may even report that person to the police. Once that is done, you simply work on replacing that which was stolen and move on. 
  3. After things are dealt with and the emotional shock is gone, assess what part you played. Did your instincts tell you this person was a thief and you ignored them? Did you leave the stolen item unprotected. If this was only a social emotional 'theft', that means your left your personal boundaries too porous. Again, you cannot blame yourself. That leads to guilt, which leads to hopelessness. 
         If you do this too soon, your emotional defenses will get in the way.  Give yourself time to                assess the situation as dispassionately as possible.

     4. Learn how to not contribute such grief again. Your friends will teach you or self-help books will         give you clues. Always pray to your deity of choice to teach you. All of them respond to such             requests. Asking to be taught is the epitome of humility. 

Doing these things reduces one's emotional angst. That reduces behaviors that are, at some level, intended to sooth pains but end up making things worse. You will also find that you will be more stable than you have been in the past. Others will notice. 

Many of the behaviors that lead people to think you may need professional help will fade away. They will be no longer necessary. You will feel like a god or goddess in a storm. The cold winds will blow with fury but you will remain warm. The rain will fall but you will be dry. There is a strength here that many cannot imagine. I invite you to experience this strength.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Mic Drop for Jesus

My issues with Christianity have been documented in this space. Earlier in the week, I was taken to school by none other than Christ himself…at least he was Christ in my head.

To recap, I have never bought into the idea of original sin. I think the idea is degrading to humans and our spiritual connections. Moreover, I have found that the attitude of many evangelicals is repulsively judgmental. Significant portions of them, no matter how nice they are socially, espouse ideas that I do not think are nice at all.

Yesterday, an old friend contacted me. She was having a crisis of faith. Oddly, it is not unusual for me to field this issue. I am stunned when Christians come to me or simply have that conversation with me as they know what my attitude has been in the past. I gave her the same advice I always do. Pray to Jesus and ask him to teach you what you need to know to reconnect.  Jesus, like every other god that I have encountered or advised someone to pray to, has always responded. Always. Every time.  The signs are usually so obvious a complete novice picks them up. There is no need for anyone to encounter anything as dramatic as a burning lawn shrub.

After this conversation, I hear a voice in my head. The quoted text below isn’t quite right but it is close.

“Why did you not advise her to leave me and try another god?”
“Because she has been yours her entire life.”
“But you don’t like me.”
“I have no business interfering in someone else’s relationship with their god.”
“But you don’t like me.”
“I don’t like your teachings but more so, I do not like what your followers say and do.”
"They do not know me. Neither do you."
Now call me daft but that was the point that I realized who I was talking to.
“Why do you hold that against me?”
“Because if I say or do something that my gods don’t want me to, I hear about it.”
“What makes you think I don’t tell them?”
“They don’t seem to be listening. Why don’t you correct them?”
“Yes, I have heard that excuse before. If I ignored the teachings of my gods, they would drop me.”
“What makes you think I haven’t? Have you not seen all these people have is the law?”

BAM! That was a mic drop moment for Jesus.

He continued anyway, “They have no love.”

No, I am not going to convert but I am slowly becoming more accepting of Jesus and his pantheon. I do believe that is because I am a theurgist. My universe is now expanding. So is my mind, my emotional ability and my life. My goal is not consistency but truth and not THE truth but the truth I need to move forward. This is just one small piece.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pagans -- Do Not Lower Yourself into Your Religion

I did not know it at the time but I became Pagan because it was not Christianity. I could also read about it in English and many of its ideas made sense to me.

My rabid anger at Christianity was not explainable. I had not been directly harmed by a church member. My anger toward the religion flared the moment in my high school years when I was approached by the evangelical soon to be brother-in-law of a close friend. Again, he did not do anything outside of a social norm. I was simply fundamentally appalled by the ideas he presented.

It was three or four decades before I came to know my reason for being so against Christian thought. My understanding of reality does not include the degrading, spirit-killing, self-loathing concept of original sin. There is no place in my reality where I will condemn you for being born. That said, neo-Paganism is not without its major flaws.

When I speak with new Pagans, I offer two pieces of advice. Keep your mouth shut and your pants on.

Keeping your mouth shut is a rule I developed because the barest touch of the other worlds lends one to believe one has discovered a new thing. That one is suddenly wise and knows what one is doing, etc. This is false. You simply do not rise past that falsehood while flapping your gums. In that state, the speaker is an arrogant douche bag. Even people that have no idea what the other worlds are like know this. The only person that does not is the speaker.

Keeping your pants on comes from the lack of dogma and rules in the neo-Pagan community. One can fuck, have sex with or make love to anyone one wants to. As long as it is consensual, so the myth goes, no one will judge you for it. The fact is that they will sit in judgement but they can’t on religious grounds. They will judge you because they want the person you are doing. They hate the person you are doing. They want you and you don’t want them etc. While that is an issue, humans being humans is not really the point of the rule.

Some human beings can have sex with many partners and be just fine. A beauty of Paganism is that they are not judged for this. Most humans raised in my culture cannot do that. The myriad of lovers eats away. They have less self-worth. They begin to lose the personal integrity of their own being. Since the neo-Pagan culture has no prohibition against promiscuity, they see no harm in their actions. They do not see how much harm they are doing to themselves.

Here people lower themselves into their religious paradigm instead of rising above it. This is not spirituality; it is self-destruction.

The path here is constant self-surveillance. Sure the sex feels good but do you have to be drunk before, during or after to do it? Do you get a little bit depressed afterwards? Has it gone so far that you are always depressed even during the act? Has it gone so far that you don’t know what your standards are for choosing a partner? If you are promiscuous and do the self-assessment honestly and you find no issues, fall to! Be confident enough to know that you are the exception to the rule in our culture. Do not drag others in that are not exceptional as well.

This just isn’t about sex. I follow Hermes. Hermes is a thief. If I were a man of avarice, I may use that as an excuse to steal things I wanted. I would forget the hymn that uses the word “fraud divine”. I would lower myself into my religion instead of rising up. What exactly is fraud divine?

Hecate is darkness in many of Her forms. If we simply act out and become dispensers of darkness, we lower ourselves into our religion. We must look to the purpose of that darkness to raise ourselves.

When we raise ourselves, we engage in behaviors that are true to our souls not to society. This is freedom like no other.  Exalt your true nature.

There is no part of my reality where I will condemn anyone that engages in activities described above. I may stop interacting with a person but that is not the same as condemnation. It is preserving my sovereignty in my reality. This keeps me safe and sane.

My point here is that religion is a schema for a chosen viewpoint of reality the point of which is to develop your own sense of what is real in your universe. Rightfully pursued, it is an avenue to true freedom. When wrongly pursued, it leads to a life more akin to reality television than true spirit.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Story of Abraham

Last night was odd to say the least. I had many visions. All of these visions showed me how I am distracted from my work. They included like focusing on my mistakes, focusing on the mistakes of others, being unable to see past a crowd (culture-centric thinking). My mind was in such an altered stated that I cannot remember them all. The visions lasted hours. I do know without question that the ideas of have planted. They will come forth when I stray from the path.

I would have predicted my love of baseball would have appeared in a list like that. It did not.

I would not have predicted the spin on the story of Abraham (Genesis 22). As most know, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his son. Then at the last minute and angel told him not to. Because Abraham was willing to obey and sacrifice his beloved and only son, God blessed him and his descendants. When you look at how Abrahamic religions have spread across the globe, it appears that God kept that promise.

It was revealed that I am in this state. My soul is being asked to sacrifice its only and beloved son, my personality.. That sacrifice is what I fear. This fear is understandable but I am going to make or allow that sacrifice anyway.

I am not saying that I am Abraham. Most of my work has been microcosmic in nature. I just know now there is an analogy with the story of Abraham.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I Am Afraid

I am not ashamed to admit that I am afraid.

Sometime in the near future, I am going to undergo a second awakening. I have no idea what that entails. I have some idea of how I will manifest, if I am successful in guiding myself through the process.

I am afraid of the sheer aloneness of the process. I am afraid my hard-won knowledge is false. I am afraid of nasty things inhabiting a nasty world and all my perceptions are part of one great cosmic joke. I am afraid of failing.

I am afraid like knowing your parents are about to bust you, afraid like that moment you are under arrest, afraid like going before the judge, afraid of the sentence, afraid of the bars as they clang shut behind you and reverberate through your soul, afraid of the lethal injection, hang man’s noose, electric chair. I am afraid like I just found out I was about to be homeless. I am afraid like I am going to embark on some Dresden Files epic battle armed only with David Copperfield magic wand set from Hasbro.  I am afraid like I am afraid of all these things at once.

That part of me that knows the Perfection of all things is still here. I know this is a truth in my universe. Yee, full knowledge of that will not stop that moment of fear as I fall of the ladder. I am willing to make a sacrifice for the chance of bringing something back.  

I am not walking away. Right now, fear is my companion. I do not like being afraid.