Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Manifestation Meditation Method

It seems like the Manifestation Meditation (MM) draws my attention to an issue. I can't explain this precisely but when something happens, there is like a cloud around the events. This cloud is the things/events the lesson links to (maybe). Regardless, it makes it obvious there is a lesson to be learned there.

It appears that I don't get the lesson, unless I ask for it. Once I asked, things happen.

In this latest case, it feels like there is a shell around me regarding the horrible experience I had with my first group. Again, hard to believe unless you experience it but I can almost see and touch it. Now, I had PTSD and obsession over it. An earlier MM and a shrink cured that. However, I am still prone to some obsession when the topic is brought up.

Well, I've asked to learn the lesson. Here we go...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Do the Manifestation Meditation Right

Well, despite yesterday's post, maybe I had it right all along.

I have always had relationship problems.  I'm a pretty popular guy with the ladies but they have a tendancy not to stay. What matters is that I've been trying to learn what the problem really is so I can fix it. I have been seeking this answer for some time.

Well not long ago I received a tough to read email from someone trying to point out some problems. Maybe he had insight. However, it could SO EASILY be read as rationalization, projection, denial or hypocrisy that it didn't get through. It was also full of incorrect facts which made it harder to find the truth in it.

One of my exes tried to patiently explain it for years but considering she was one of the problem people, there was too much baggage for me to hear what she was saying.

My friend, the Witch, tried to explain it but I've known her so long and we both have relationship baggage, I couldn't hear it.

My most recent ex tried to explain it but the break up is still raw for me and what was really happening was she was trying to explain herself in code because it is hard to say, "I am this way," when whatever that way is makes you uncomfortable. Heck, she may not believe she was talking about herself.

This morning my other partner, Flower, explained it me and I got it. Previously, I would have said no way. Coming to THAT conclusion is arrogant and rather insulting to many women I have known. However, now that conclusion is so obvious that it isn't deniable. I feel 100% better about my future hopes in that regard. Frankly, I still don't know how to implement that answer but I know the answer.

Once again, I asked the Manifestation Meditation to teach me and I learned something I've been struggling with since I was sixteen. Literally.

Monday, February 27, 2012

How to Screw Up the Manifestation Meditation

The Manifestation Meditation is about aligning with your soul. To that end, I've been giving very specific direction. Finish the Book! I am working on that. I am researching and writing. However, there is something else I want, a relationship. When I asked about that, the answer is that I can have that AFTER I finish the book.

At a later date, I asked why I am making such slow progress on the book. Somedays, I do nothing at all. I fritter away time. So, I asked for the lessons I needed to learn to get to work on the book. The overwhelming need for a relationship appeared. So, it seemed that a relationship would help me do my job as in writing the book. So, I asked during the Meditation for a relationship. See above where I had already been told I can't have one until I finish the book. So, the feeling about a relationship was a METAPHOR. I should have fallen in love with the book. Instead, I asked for a relationship directly. Can you say STUPID? I have been depressed ever since. I've been looking for answers OUTSIDE of myself ever since. I have been heartbroken ever since.

So in a note to myself I say:

1. Magick information is metaphor, don't take it literally.
2. Don't ask your soul for something it has already said no to.

How to Do it Right

Just do it and listen. The Nutty Professor just emailed me an experience she had that led to an attitude that is  exactly what I learned during the early stages of the process! That is really cool

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Z Budapest was Right

Oh, do you have your hackles up already?

Don't get me wrong. I disagree with her on most things. Heck, I even partially disagree with her on what I'm about to post. However, I look for the truth in a message no matter who is saying it. One of the problems humans have is the inability to separate an idea from its source in order to dispassionately assess the idea. I noticed this for the first time many many years ago when Jerry Brown suggested a flat tax. The Democratic pundits were all for it. The Republicans against it. Just two years later a Republican offered the same idea. The Democrats and Republican pundits switched positions. I have long held that if the flat tax idea was a good one, it was good no matter who is advocating it. If it was a bad idea, it was bad no matter who was pushing the idea. To me, this is basic logic. The idea should be judged on its merits alone.

My case in point is with Z Budapests roundly panned statement about transgendered people. Frankly, she is wrong in my book but she tossed this in, "Men want to worship the Goddess? Why not put in the WORK and create your own trads. The order of ATTIS for example,(dormant since the 4rth century) used to be for trans gendered people"

First of all, the "men" she is referring to are women. So, let's kill that debate right now. Second of all, you can worship whatever you what, whenever you want, however you want. That is between you and your deity of choice. So, let's kill that debate too. However, she did point the way to an "order of ATTIS." Frankly, I only did a brief internet search and didn't come up with much. However, if there was an order dedicated to transgender people, it would seem prudent for someone with a researcher's mindset and a pagan heart to look into that. Maybe it can be resurrected for the greater good.

I am not saying that transgenders should be excluded from anything. I am only saying that if there is a deity or order out there designed for transgender people, it would seem a good thing to have the resurrected for people that need it. Would you turn your back on that need just because Budapest came up with a possible solution? I hope not.

Good ideas can come from bad messengers.

Race in Paganism

I bring this up because Kenaz posted this article on his blog, "White Unity in White Diversity."

I have only been friends with one African-American pagan. Chris didn't like that term. He preferred to be called Chris. I wrote of his passing here. I can honestly say he was treated no differently than anyone else. Well, probably slightly better than many others because he was very well liked. I once asked him if he felt discrimination based on his race. He said no. Chris assumed that if you were a jerk to him, you were either having a bad day or you were just a jerk. He never assumed someone was being a jerk because he was black.

We lived together for four or five years as roommates. One day he came home mad as hell, a very rare thing for him. He said, "Do you know when I said I haven't been discriminated against? I was wrong. I have been constantly discriminated against by other black people!" He never told me exactly what happened that day but he did say that isn't treated well by that community. Chris liked Celitc music, hard rock, classic rock, a smattering of country, grunge but not hip hop or R&B. Chris didn't go to a Baptist church; he was pagan. He didn't like to dance as he was a big man. He said he was constantly looked askance at because he didn't fit into 'their mold'.

I never knew a pagan to have an issue with Chris due to his race. In fact, few people had any issues with him at all. For all that, he was an intensely lonely man. I have never known anyone with so many friends and spoken of so highly to be so lonely.

I could be wrong but I have been in the local pagan community for over a decade. I can only think of two or three African-Americans that came to explore the pagan scene. Chris was the only one that stuck around but that ratio wasn't alarming. I don't think 1 of 3 people of any race that explored the local scene stuck around.

So, if you look at the Fresno Pagan community and see nothing but white people, does that mean we are exclusionary lily white elitists or does it mean that African-Americans are simply not interested? Given only three have poked around over a decade and I never saw anyone treated with disrespect, I am going for the later. If we had a bunch of racist Asatru around driving people off, I'd be concerned. The local Asatru actually have plans in place to make sure the racists are not accidentally included in their meetings.

Let us look further, if there was a voodoo class at Pantheacon would I go? Yes and I have for general background information. In fact, I think Kenaz was there before I knew Kenaz was a fellow blogger. It simply isn't my path. There are lots of traditions discussed at Pantheacon that I do not attend except for background information. That isn't due to the race of the speaker. It has everything to do with the fact those are not my traditions. I have zero resonance with Celtic traditions. I do not attend those classes and I promise you I have nothing against the white race.

In my life, I have only knew two white people speak of "our people", "our race" or use language that like. One was a fellow named Utah that I met when I was 18. Utah was a murderer, drug addict and bigot. We were not friends. The other was a coworker that went from well-liked and respected to much less than overnight when he used the phrase "porch monkeys". Someone had to explain to me what that meant. I had never heard that term before. So, the people I know in very conservative Fresno do not put up with racism from other white people.

However, in Kenaz's blog he quoted someone as saying this, "I am not surprised that hardly any of our people attend the various pagan conferences...I am not sure that we are really wanted in attendance." First of all creating or perpetuating race distinctions with an us and them attitude displayed  by the term "our people" doesn't help. If you're a human being wanting to explore paganism or what I do you are welcome. There is no your people and my people. We are people. Secondly, "I am not really sure we are wanted in attendance." No, if you are going to assume I am a bigot when you 'are not sure' I don't want you there. Who wants that sort of baggage projected on to them? However, if you are there to explore paganism, share your tradition, forge links between the traditions or anything similar, show up! Give a class. Talk. Converse. Have a great time. If one of my favorite speakers isn't on at the same time, I will show up and listen.

Lastly, many neo-pagans go back to their genetic roots for spirituality. People with a Western European heritage may be into Celtic stuff. I know two that into Russian paganism. There are Greek, Roman and a host of other reconstructionist groups out there. I am going to make a leap and assume that African American genetic heritage takes them to a different continent and some very different traditions. What is wrong with that? There are some links between those areas of interest. For instance, I think many people of both races get drawn to Kemetic work or other forms of Egyptian religions or psuedo religious practices. I think the art of Geomancy crosses some boundaries too.  Maybe those are the places to begin to form dialogues that don't start with an us and them attitude but with one of common ground. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012


When I first started the Manifestation Meditation (MM), I knew I had something that mattered. Just like the Prayer of Jabez, it had an immediate impact. In the case of the MM, I found a girl fell in love and lost my mind when she dumped me. Well, I lost it for that an a host of other reasons as well. As I did the MM during this relationship, I'd begin to feel high, like I was soooo connected. Each time, she'd pop my ego-balloon. Sometimes I simply accepted this. Sometimes, it irritated me.

The more I write and think about this the more I know this method will work well and work well for many people. Each day, I learn something more about this meditation and how it works. I am seeing the ontology behind it. I am seeing its impacts. Frankly, some of them I don't like. It has certainly shown me what is missing in my life and then telling me to wait, I'm not ready for that yet.

Regardless, I am feeling very confident about this work. Rather than striving to be a spiritual man, I know I am one. I am not THERE yet but I am there. I cannot say that I am as arrogant as I was when the now-ex was popping my bubble. I can say that my growing confidence could have led to arrogance. Fortunately, fate has provided me with many that are more than willing to pop my ego bubbles. This time, it was popped by Raendome Al Askendir Xtranj who left a comment on this post, Initiators, reminding me that for all the work I have done and all the effort I have expended, I am merely at the beginning.
Raendome Al Askendir Xtranj has never commented on the blog before. If so, s/he hasn't identified him or herself prior to this. This was excellent timing and I thank him or her for posting that comment when I needed it.

Humility Part II

I have had some mental anguish of late. That exists because I have ignored my most important realization as a result of the Meditation. I have just recalled that lesson and will attempt to apply it. Understanding is the key to spirit. Wisdom is the application of Understanding.

A Blogger Takes up the Manifestation Meditation

As mentioned previously, The Nutty Professor is doing the MM. She is blogging about it. So far the results look promising. She can be found here: Fifth Dimensional Self. Nutty says it is more of a journal than a blog. So, do not expect any sort consistency. 

Results of the Manifestation Meditation

Of late, a sensation is returning to me. When I first started the Manifestation Meditation I felt a coolness descend upon me. I took that to mean that I was heading in the right direction.

The last four days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) I have felt it again. It feels wonderfully peaceful. In this latest cycle, it feels much wetter.

External Answers

Last night, I reverted to my old habit of seeking answers from without. I truly have all the answers I need from the MM. I suppose old habits die hard.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dos and Don'ts for Students: Pagan Blog Project

Last Friday, I posted on Dos and Don'ts for Teachers. When it comes to occult instruction, there is a lot of focus on teachers. I have seen very little on what students should and shouldn't do. 

As with the last one, something needs emphasized above the rest. Talk to the teacher and the group ahead of time. What are the expectations? Ask about the teaching style? How many students has this person taught? What is expected of you? What can you expect from the teacher and group? Never accept someone saying something is a secret tradition. While that can be true for some questions these are basic and should be answered. If they won't, run.

  • Find out what the teacher's expectations are. Can you meet them? Are the reasonable? Is there something you can't abide by? Talk it out. 
  • If something changes in the above, discuss it. 
  • Spend a lot of time with the teacher and the people around him or her before jumping in. You can tell a lot about a person by the type of people they attract and which they support. 
  • Listen and ask: It seems obvious but I've seen so many people ask a question and never listen to the answer or get an answer and never ask a follow-up question.
  • Follow the rules. If someone says, "That is fine in that tradition but in this one it works this way," do it "this" way. If you are not willing to work within the tradition, you shouldn't be in that tradition. 
  • If there is something that feels wrong or is wrong, talk about it softly and without accusation.
  • Demonstrate some respect. Teaching is hard work performed by dedicated people. A few pleases and thank yous are in order.
  • Make sure the person is qualified to teach. I was once put under the direction of a neophyte in a tradition. MISTAKE. 
  • When you don't understand politely tell people you don't get it. Ask people to rephrase their words or explain what certain actions meant. 
  • Do be on the look out for paranoia. If you see it, RUN. 
  • Do not over-inflate your teachers skills, wisdom or anything else. No one can met such high standards. When they show themselves to be human, you will be very disappointed and may leave a tradition unnecessarily or contribute to an untenable situation. 
  • Do not put up with evasion and bullshit. In your gut you know what is wrong. 
  • Do not allow yourself to be put down or humiliated in any form.
  • Do not accept unjust punishment or chastisement. 
  • Do not force yourself to fit into a situation or tradition because "it is the only one available". When you are ready the right one will arrive. 
  • Kissing ass to get what you need should be avoided. 
  • Do not mix traditions without permission from instructors in BOTH traditions. Some traditions need time to do their work within you. Mixing in other stuff is usually not helpful. 
  • Do not try to manipulate a teacher with magick. You would think this shouldn't need to be said but trust me, it does.
  • Do not stay if you can't respect the teacher. That isn't fair to either of you.
  • Do not do something against your nature. One tradition I belonged to believes its neophytes are nothing but bus boys and wait staff. I didn't do well. It is one thing to be humble and serve it is quite another to have teachers that need this sort of treatment or worse feel that they 'deserve' to be served. Teachers serve the students, not the other way around. This sort of forced respect demonstrates a lack of humility within the group. People that demand respect rarely have the capability of earning it.
I feel something(s) are seriously missing from this list. I will likely revisit this issue when more time presents itself.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


For those of you that may someday get initiated into some a magick group. Listen to my tale and be armed.

My first initiation was into a BTW trad. One of the initiators, yeah, think of that for a moment trad people, was obsessive. I became obsessed within a very short time. In speaking with friends that knew me before and after, I was not obsessed prior that initiation. Yes, I had some tendencies. Otherwise, whatever happened to cause the obsessive thoughts would not have found purchase. Further traumatic events within that group only served to make things worse.

I have also gone through many Golden Dawn style initiations. Two of which were performed by Sam Webster, founder of the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn (OSOGD). At Pantheacon I overheard two people talking. One of them said, "Sam brilliantly combined the Golden Dawn with Buddhism."

Fast forward to myself at lunch today. Once again I was reading of Buddhism. Yet again, I found passages that very neatly reflected my interpretations of the Manifestation Meditation. There have been several incidents prior to this. One of these included my writing a passage that I later found nearly verbatim in a book by the Dalai Lama.

Obviously, if I can link my obsession to a bad initiation, I can link my connection from my Manifestation Meditation to Buddhism and Sam's initiation.

I have to say that seeing such links is very subjective. The first one was pretty obvious with retrospect. The second is more questionable but I am leaning toward believing it.

So, here is a public thanks to Sam Webster for helping to link me to something more than I was seeking. I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose but some times, good things happen when good intentions meet good luck.

Manifestation Meditation

Last night I performed this not as a meditation but as a variation of the Middle Pillar exercise. The first time, I had a dream about a huge airplane. This time, my performance was questionable. My working partner with the Conclave of the Greek Key, had a dream about a very large thing, me.

She said that I was so large filled the hallway. I was wearing a Chewbacca mask (brown), a clown suit  (grey), with bike horn (Black/White), lobster claws for hands (red), duck feet (yellow). My size in the dream scared her. When I noticed that I took off the mask and said, "Don't worry, I wear this to work all the time," and honked the bike horn.

Could this bee some corruption of earth (furry mask), the an unmanifested Fool (grey clown suit), initiation halls (black/white), fire (red claws), air (yellow feet), water (duck feet or lobster reference)? Frankly, it seems a stretch to me but I am doing my due diligence in recording it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Drawing Down the Moon

There has been some talk of drawing down the moon lately...okay well I started it with the Pantheacon Review post. Rowan, over at One Witches Way, chimed in on Drawing Down the Moon as well. I liked her post. I spoke to my Helpful Deity partner, the Witch, about it too.

The Witch is of the opinion that neo-pagan groups don't do this because they don't really believe in magick. They talk a good game but deep down they simply don't buy into the paradigm. I have seen this happen before. I have seen folks with this mindset play with magick and get so shocked that it works that they disappear from the community. Then again, I have seen others experience horrible manifestations of magick and just keep going. Part of me agrees with the Witch. The other part of me says folks don't do things like this because they haven't been exposed to the techniques.

The reason I am so torn, most likely, is that all of the above is true for different folks.

I have been considering taking Hermes for a road trip to Bakersfield and allowing some guests to attend. I am of two minds about it. So are my partners. Part of me says this is personal and to keep it that way. Another part of me says that folks interested in magick should have an opportunity to see it work in this fashion. Another part of me says they will have an opportunity to see it not work. Hey, I can be as insecure as the next guy.


I have been dreaming of late. I have simply been too tired or busy to write about them. I can mention a few things in general and one very specific thing.

In general many of my dreams are still about death. Someone is always dead or dying. Last night, I watched myself fall out of the sky like an arrow, into a lake and bury myself in the bottom. I then watched another part of me, that was concerned but not overly so, try to help me out of the water. The second self actually looked around for others for help but no one was there. My third self was watching all this, utterly unconcerned.

During Pantheacon, I did the Manifestation Meditation while doing a middle pillar. There were accompanying visualizations of a qabalistic nature. It is one of the alternate techniques I am writing about in the book. I guess I figured that if I was going to write about it, I should actually do it! Yeah, all me old-fashioned. That night I dreamed of a HUGE airliner landing very near the hotel. This is not a huge stretch given that the hotel is quite close to an airport. However, this thing was HUGE and very YELLOW.

Is that a Greater Neschemah landing? An HGA? Beats me. That said, that dream had meaning.

Correction to Budapest Post

In this post on the Pantheacon Protest, I wrote that last year's rite was run by Z Budapest. I have been informed that Z Budapest was not involved in last year's controversial event and didn't bar anyone from anything. Her involvement was in later comments of an unsavory nature. Last year's rite was lead by some one that goes by the name of Rabbit.

My apologies for the inaccurate information and any consternation that it may have caused.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gender Only Rites/Groups

Rowan took some issue with my post yesterday on the Z Budapest controversy. This brought up some questions and topics and I think I need to make my position very clear.

On Sexuality: I have no concern whatsoever about anyone's sex life. In fact, I am so liberal that my very liberal friends think I am a freak. I am relatively tame but my attitude about what is acceptable for you is very broad. So you want to boink a pumpkin? Just tell the nice officer that you are stunned to learn that it is after midnight!

On Religion: I have no concern whatsoever about your religious path, your rites, your spirituality or anything else you do that has a religious/spiritual connection.

On Combining the Two: If you want to dance naked with various things up various orifices or dressed in suit of armor denying every sexual thing in your rite, I am fine with that. I simply do not care.

On Healing from Trauma or Anything Else: Do anything you need to.

I am not sure that I can be any more clear than that.

Gender Only Rites

I was trained as a ceremonial magician. That path stresses balance. It also stresses focus. I have often excluded very large portions of the universe until just what I need is in the circle with me. So, if you have something specific that needs to be done with just one gender, sexuality, or the like, I get that.

However, in my opinion, most of the time that is not what is going on. Oh but Robert, how can you possibly know my motivations? I don't. I have, however, seen the attitude on others. So, I am sure you are just fine. I am sure you don't do these things. I am sure your motivation is perfectly clear! I am speaking of other people.

Much of the time this is based on fear.
  • "Men will be pervy if we are circle skyclad." 
  • "I am too ashamed of my body to be seen by others." 
  • "Straight guys just wouldn't understand our queer rites."
  • "I don't feel safe with men around.
Note: Yes, I feel the same about men excluding women but I see far fewer examples of that in neo-paganism. 

These things are about distrust, guilt, fear and insecurity. None of which belong in a magickal rite in any context but one. Well regulated fear inflicted upon the candidate in an initiation has its uses.

If you are going to stand in a circle, be it Wiccan, neo-pagan, ceremonial or what have you, I guarantee you that pandering to fear is not helping. I guarantee you that insecurity is not helping. Excluding things is fine but most of the time, the exclusion is caused by the very emotions you're trying to overcome. This does not help.

Not to belabor the point but Rowan made the following statement in her comment, ""It's a skyclad ritual as well, and women and girls do all ages are admitted, so it only makes sense to be woman only"

I find this to be counter-productive as well. I cannot speak for Rowan. However, I can speak to what I have observed in others I have met. The fear here is that men are pervs and can't handle seeing women naked without doing horrible things. The fear here is of body insecurity. The fear here is that young people will be exposed to the body parts of the opposite sex. Oh my! Oh no, I'm sure there is no fear. There is a perfectly good reason which I am sure will appear in the comments section.

If you don't trust the people you are in circle should not be in circle with them. However, not to trust all of any group of people is prejudicial, short-sighted, ignorant, pandering to fear and a host of other things none of which are positive or helpful to magick.

If we teach our children about sexual parts, sexuality and the rest in an age appropriate way and use such events to generate discussion, there is no harm here. Perhaps we will arm them against the real perverts out there. If we get all blocked up, insecure and fearful, those unspoken emotions will impact your kid much deeper than a view of a penis. That is a horrible result for magickal ritual.

For more on this see: B is for Body

Manifestation Meditation:

Nutty started her work with this today. She is doing it differently than I would and this is okay. I am highly amused by the fact she was interrupted by red and blue lights. Those of you that know promptings regarding those colors may also find it amusing.

She started doing this on her birthday. What a wonderful day to begin. 

Proud of Pagans: Budapest Protest at Pantheacon

(Edit of 2/22/12 - Below I wrote that last year's rite was run by Z Budapest. I have been informed that Z Budapest was not involved in last year's controversial event and didn't bar anyone from anything. Her involvement was in later comments of an unsavory nature. Last year's rite was lead by some one that goes by the name of Rabbit.)

My apologies for the inaccurate information and any consternation that it may have caused.

Z Budapest is a icon of the feminist struggle. She did some very good things.

Unfortunately, she has fought so long and so hard that it has become an identity. Now, she has to find things to fight against. Last year, there was an official brouhaha and public condemnation over her barring of transgender women into her rite. She didn't learn her lesson.

This time, she wrote in the PROGRAM that only genetic women are allowed in her rite. Why Pantheacon chose to allow this is anyone's guess. I will await a statement from them.

In my opinion, if you feel that you are trapped in the wrong gender body, you have my sympathy. I cannot imagine what that must feel like. As one human to another, if you are in pain over that, I am sorry for your plight. Further, if you go so far as to get a LopItOffOfMe or a AddItOnToMe then I will call you whatever you want me to. You are man or woman as you choose. Anyone that has gone that far has more than earned the right to be who he or she is.

I will let others justifiably condemn Ms. Budapest's hatred. I am sure there will be more.

I would like to praise the protest movement. They held a silent protest outside the venue. They were classy. There was no shouting. There was no disruption of the Budapest rite. People simply made a point that they felt what was occurring was wrong. Pantheacon are you listening?

There was something more impressive. I walked past the sitting protesters to take the pictures I've included here. The energy they were sending out was of such peace and love that I found it very moving. This was love in the face of hatred. The was peace in the face of martial power. This was Buddha calming the charging elephant. This was love. This was an example of Pagan spiritual achievement. This made me proud of my Pagan brethren.

May God and Goddess, The One or whatever each one of them believe in bless these people. They are the face of Paganism. They did it right.

That said, and here is where I will get in trouble, Over at One Witch's Way, this statement was made of Pantheacon, "How can you purport “Unity in Diversity” and yet support public rituals that are exclusive at your public event?"

My question is how can you follow that with this from the same page, "Now, let’s break this apart for a second.  I am a woman.  I was born female.  I am all for women only space and women only ritual.  I am also all for men only ritual space.  Hell, I’d be all for transgender only space if it was desired.  Why?  Because we all have our own Mysteries related to gender and gender identity to explore and we have the right to explore those things and honor them in private space.  But this is something that should be done in private space, not at a public event."

This is just like saying, "Why not have a whites only club? Let's the the blacks have one too. See, we are not bigots. We just want to be with our own." The fact that you may have a legal right to do something doesn't make it right.

Years ago I was in a women's studies class in college. They had discussion groups that discussed things that "men didn't understand." They segregated the groups by gender. Yeah, try reading that again. In order to discuss things men didn't understand, they had to separate us to make sure the men in the class didn't understand. The claim was that women did not feel comfortable speaking of things in front of men. Apparently, though, they felt free to criticize men for not understanding what they would not share. Um...what?

While I fully agree with the writer there are some mysteries that men have that women do not and visa versa. However, I have a Pagan mindset. I am not embarrassed by my sexual parts, attitudes or anything else within a ritual circle. When gods are invoked within me, I am often sporting an erection. The women I work with  see that as a sign of His presence, not my perviness. They are not threatened. I am not embarrassed. None of these women have ever been intimate with me.

I am of the mindset that you can do anything you want. I will not stop you from performing your rite. I can claim to know nothing about your spirituality. However, in my opinion, keeping things gender only simply reinforces those things that keep us separate and ignorant. It panders to our fears so much that it exacerbates them.

One case in point is Budapest herself. Another occurred not long ago on the Pagan Blog Project page. a An invitation went out to women to join other women in a rite to fight the patriarchy. Within the thread, it was mentioned that there was some patriarchal war going on. A woman responded by saying how she feels sorry for the "women and children being bombed." To which I replied that I agreed. After all, those men deserved to be bombed. You know the husbands, sons and brothers of those women.

Of course, everyone backed up a step and said well we really don't mean it that way. They likely believe that. However, when you begin to separate from other humans based on your fears, anger and ignorance these sorts hurtful harmful things sneak into your mind. The best protection is to live free and without fear. Open honest sharing fosters the light. Hiding in the dark serves only the dark.

For a contradictory view of this post, please see WitchDoctorJoe's D is for Diversity. I am not sure how I can agree with him and what I have written here but I do.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Robert's Review of Pantheacon 2012!

This year I took it easy. I didn't sit through a lot of classes. I also tried to branch out a bit. Last year's post on Pantheacon can be found here.

The winner of this year's best presentation is Jason Mankey on Drawing Down the Moon. Jason is a long time presenter. He speaks frequently of male deities with a great sense of humor. Alcohol is usually involved. Jason spoke of how drawing down the moon (god form invocation) is done, included a version of the five-fold kiss and explained how that worked and why it was done.

He warned of the fact that sometimes it just doesn't work. There is no shame in that. It happens to the most talented practitioners. However, some folks want it to work so badly that they reach too far and delude themselves. This is not intentional deception. However, those in circle should apply a critical mind on occasion.

He made a very good point that many neo-pagan (non-BTW) groups do not do this form of work. He is afraid the art may die out and would like to see more of it publicly done. I may take him up on that challenge in a limited way.

One of my favorite things about Jason, aside from his sense of humor and the fact that he doesn't take himself too seriously, is how respectful he is of other traditions and points of view. He always makes a point of telling the audience he isn't trying to offend them and when he ventures off into areas of which he knows little. His easy style may fool  you into believing he is just having a conversation. However, he is teaching from a strong knowledge base.

This ringing endorsement has nothing at all do with the fact that he puffed my ego up about this blog during lunch and told me he used it to do some of his research for the talk. Apparenlty, "so many people" read and reference this space, it made his research easy.

Jason is overall one of my favorite pagans. I have a lot of respect for him.

My Own Tarot Reading

The number two event this year was a couple of readings I did for an old friend and a new one. It was very nice to do readings that deeply help people. I was thoroughly connected. Of course, I am not responsible if they follow through but I nailed those.

Margot Adler Songs

I have never been an earthy Pagan. I never really understood that path. Margot did a workshop of songs that really hit home. I understood how the religion of the earth connects people to the spiritual. It may even be of value for me to explore this in more depth.

Sylvia Brailer

Sylvia did her tantric breathing workshop. Yes I know she is not a 'real' initiated tantric. I do not care. She definitively has 'It' or she is a fine actress. Her workshops raise a lot of energy within me. It wasn't as good as the first time I attended two years ago. However, I feel like my crown chakra opened up. Even as I type over 24 hours later, I can see a rainbow of color about my head in the shape you often see on Buddha statues.

Lon Milo DuQuette

Lon is always entertaining and informative. His song punctuated lectures are always fun, humorous and informative. You really need to know your stuff to make it sound that simple. In my view, Lon is a holy man.

That endorsement has nothing to do with the fact that he was so impressed with the Manifestation Meditation that he...

Orion Foxwood

I had a chance to express my respect for Mr. Foxwood to him personally. I ran into him in the restaurant.  He was very gracious, kind and gave me a hug. Orion is a very nice man. I mentioned that to Lon DuQuette and his reply was, "Orion is a class act." Once again, I have to agree with Lon. The incident I am refering to can be found on last year's Pantheacon post previously linked above.

The Protest Against Z Budapest's Egomanical Hypocritical Bigotry

This deserves a post on its own...coming soon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Good News From Pantheacon

I spoke with Lon DuQuette tonight. I told him of the manifestation meditation. His response was immediate, "Now that is how you return to your (THE) Mother." He has never seen or heard of things being done quite this way before. Lon also volunteered to write the forward for the book for free.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dos and Don'ts For Teachers: Pagan Blog Project

I have always been a theurgist and I write from that perspective. This list is for those that teach personal alchemy/theurgy. Though, I am sure some of it will apply for those teaching magick, religion and related fields of endeavor.

There is a list of dos and don'ts below. Some of them have an asterisk(*) or up carot(^) next to them. These are more clearly explained below the list. However, there are two items that relates to group work that I feel must be emphasized. So, I will cover that first.

Principal over Personality

I do not care how enlightened you think you are or may actually be, everyone has a favorite student or student(s). Embrace that. Know you have favorites. Acknowledge that in your heart. This is okay. Teachers are allowed to be human.

However, there some rules of conduct that you have for your group. Let us use an obvious example. Everyone has a some sort of rule that would prohibit one student from kicking another student in the shins. In a regular school, this is a black and white situation. Violence was done. You must meet out some sort of punishment to the one that kicked regardless of the reason. Then you find out why the kick occurred and you may punish the other if that person was picking on the kicker causing the kicker to lash out.

In an esoteric school, many feel it is not so black and white. Horse feathers! I doesn't matter what level of initiation someone is at. It does not matter that someone has just been initiated into something harsh which places their actions in an initiatory light.  You can deal with that subtle stuff later. It matters even less that your favorite student is the kicker. Deal with the fact that an assault took place first. Deal with it publicly when the action was performed publicly. Deal with it privately when it happened privately.

You have to maintain group discipline. One must adhere to the principal that violence is not allowed. If you adhere to the the bond of favorite student, you will lose the respect of other students and encourage the doer to repeat the offense. Instead, tell the student, you are my favorite. You have potential. That is why I was so disappointed when you did x. Clearly state in vary unambiguous terms what the offense was. This will drive the point home more than the punishment. The punishment is to let the other people in the group know that certain actions will not be tolerated regardless of who performs them.

I am not speaking of just physical violence, there are other forms of behavior that must be dealt with as well.

In short, deal with the offense by dealing with the behavior. Whom you like or dislike should have nothing to do with it.

If you need to punish often,  you're doing something wrong.


We are human. Everyone has issues they hide from themselves. Everyone has issues they are aware of but try to keep from others. Projecting these issues on others is VERY easy. When this happens, you look like a hypocrite. No one follows a hypocrite. The only way to deal with this is to admit your issues. "Look, I know I poke badgers with spoons. However, so do you. This is an issue I need to work on. It is also an issue you need to work on." Being accusatory over an issue you have DOES NOT WORK. Projection is a trick of the ego. It does this to hide your issues from yourself. "Yeah, I may be a little off but look at that crazy son-of-a-bitch!" It is an insidious easy trap to fall into. Guard yourself. It does not serve you well. It harms your student. It interferes with your ability to see your student clearly. Even if the student has a 'worse' case than yours. You have to emphasize to yourself and the student that your issue is worse. It is the only way for you to see clearly and the only way to keep your student from getting so defensive that s/he cannot hear your point.

  • Remember, the student knows more about his/her life than you do.
  • Serve the student. The student does not serve you.
  • Always be respectful of the student. The Golden Rule applies here too.
  • Humble yourself before you student's regularly*
  • Lead your students to the next level. 
  • If after a period of time**, the student doesn't get "it", change your tactics.
  • When you have taught the student all you can, happily let the student go. This is a happy moment.
  • Let your students challenge you. It allows them to think and you to learn.
  • Personal alchemy is tough. Take a fair amount of crap from your students as they need to vent but remember where to draw the line.
  • When you do not know, say you do not know
  • When a student calls you master, call him slave.***
  • Make sure you have a solid life outside of teaching. This helps keep you balanced. 
  • Do not get overly involved in solving your student's life problems.^
  • Do not cultivate an aura of mystery. When that shatters, and it will, you will not look good.
  • Do not let the fact that someone is drawn to your teachings convince you that you are their teacher.^^
  • Do not let students tell you what you want to hear. This is not learning. This is your ego.
  • Do no harm.
  • Never ever ever have sex with a student even if you are in love. Get them another teacher first. It will mess up them, you, your group and your relationship.
*  Humble yourself before you student's regularly  
  • When a student exalts a teacher that student will become disappointed in the teachings when the teacher's humanness is revealed. It is the teaching that is important not the teacher.
  • When you share your mistakes with your students, it keeps your ego in check. It is very easy to believe your true self is reflected in your students' worshipful eyes.
  • When you student makes a mistake, s/he will realize that this does not end one's theurgic career and that simply a self-teaching moment has occurred, just like it occurred for you.
  • While truly born of compassion, humility is a sign of spirituality. If you cannot delineate your mistakes to a student, are you truly humble? Many people feel that the student needs someone to look up to as part of the process. I disagree. All the student needs is to look up to what s/he can be and look eye to eye with the person that can help him to climb that ladder. Saying, that you made mistakes is not enough because it is an obvious statement. It is false humility. Detailing those mistakes demonstrates your humility and compassion. That said, you cannot beat yourself up for them and you cannot let your students beat you up for them.
** If after a period of time, the student doesn't get "it", change your tactics.
  • While this is subjective for each circumstance, it should be obvious when letting a student figure it out for himself is doing more harm than good. First, do no harm.
  • Changing tactics is a sign of humility as it shows you have the capability of considering that you may have made an error. 
  • If you did make an error, the only way to truly find out is to lay your cards on the table. Finding out is a good thing. It aids the student. It teaches the teacher. 
*** When a student calls you master, call him slave.
  • Regarding the teacher, see humility
  • Regarding the student, see the first line of humility
  • The adoration of the teacher by the student, while it may feel very good, should be strongly discouraged. This can be done without saying a word.
^ Do not get overly involved in solving your student's life problems.
  • Getting overly involved means you are claiming responsibility for their lives. This is not only not-humble but it is arrogant.
  • You will burn out and be of no use to your students.
  • Claiming responsibility for their lives is disrespectful to the student.
^^ Do not let the fact that someone is drawn to your teachings convince you that you are their teacher.
  • Again, this is a sign of a lack of humility
  • It is one thing to know you are the only one available for someone and doing  your best without being a perfect fit. It is quite another to think you can teach anyone that comes to you.
Note: This post is going up on the Friday Pantheacon starts. I will be attending the convention all weekend. I mention this because most often, if I don't post for a few days someone sends me a concerned email. I appreciate that but, in this case, there is no need for concern. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Upcoming Appearances

I know that most of my readers are too far away for these events but in case one of you is close, click the email widget and let me know and I will send details on how to attend.

March 31

Enchanted Cottage, Bakersfield, Ca. 

Participating in the Psychic Fair as a reader

April 1

Enchanted Cottage, Bakersfield, Ca.

Speaking to Bakersfield Pagans on Ceremonial Magick

April 14

Denny's, Fresno, Ca. 

Speaking probably for the one and only time before the book comes out on the Manifestation Meditation

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Listening to Your Soul Part II

The soul talks to us all the time but we do not know how to listen. Here is a tip:

Pagans are aware of the five classic elements: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. If you read enough lists of correspondences of the tarot minor arcana you will find that there is a propinquity for some core words with the suits, especially the aces.

Wands Fire - Creative Force
Cups Water - Unifying Force (love)
Swords Air - Separating Force
Disks Earth - Manifesting Force

These ideas are very useful because our actions are often driven by soul prompts we are not hearing. Look to how you are behaving. What are you TRYING to Create, TRYING to Unify with, TRYING to Separate from, TRYING to Manifest (make reality). Now that last one is very much related to Creative Force.

I kept being prompted to write a book in some form. My soul wants me to create in that fashion. I was simply too lazy for a very long time. My work as a magician wasn't about controlling the environment or others, it was with unifying with the divine. Yet, I know humans have a divine origin and I didn't unify much with them. I had long running arguments with people over a past incident. Arguments are a seperating force. Every time I picked one of those people to separate from, I felt better. If you put the last two together, I was trying to unify with the wrong people or at least in the wrong realm. Put all those together and that is what one manifests.

Pick a behavior you engage in that has cost you more than one friend. You'll see something in there about what or who or what type of person you need to remove yourself from. If you create anything from your job to art work, what does that tell you about the nature of your soul for good or ill? What things are you unifying with? These offer a clue too.

Just be careful on the last one that you don't identify as that which you unify with. That gets you in all sorts of trouble. For more on that, see C is for Captured or Identity and the Manifestation Meditation.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pagan Reality Show (like for Serious)

WitchDoctorJoe is trying to kindle a fire on a pagan reality show. Since I told him that if he posted about it, I'd follow up here, I am doing so. 

I am hoping someone will do something with ordinary pagans going about ordinary lives. We'll see. 

If you would like to see a Pagan Reality show, sign this petition

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Loving Gift

When I was going through my dark night of the soul, my friend, The Witch, gave me a string of malachite beads. Maybe it was a mala without marker stones. I don't know. She choose malachite because it is supposed to help you through transitions. Frankly, the power of stones and the like is problematic for me. It is one of those things upon which I believe in the theory and question its reality.

Yet I must say, after being giving this loving gift, I began to get better fast. Given that was a Yule gift, it shouldn't feel like forever ago but it does.

Friday, I thought it would be nice to wear them and be close to my friend by their proxy. It was the first time I worn them in...well what seemed like forever ago. This was my most difficult day in...forever. Nothing bad happened. Nothing frustrating enough to cause me to raise my voice occurred. Yet, I was a bit frustrated. I felt out of sorts all day.

Friday night, a friend was coming by. I didn't want to be sour. So, I did the Manifestation Meditation and was prompted to take off those beads. I did and immediately felt better. In fact, I was quite entertaining laughed and caused laughter.

I have no idea if the Witch did magick on those stones but those stones really were for helping me through transitions. I am not in transition anymore. I. Am. Here.

Those beads will be put away lovingly, until such time they are needed. This will not be my final ring pass not.

Whoa Whoa Whoa Feelings...

Reader Mike asked the following:

In this post, and your next one, you talk about recognizing the difference between thoughts that come from yourself, and thoughts that come from your soul. Sorry if you've already covered this, I'm new here, but could you elaborate? Could you describe the feeling? I find that often, people are using different words to describe the same things, and once we describe how it feels, everyone understands one another better.

I fully agree that when we describe how something feels emotionally we come to a better understanding. In fact, I think what we feel is much more revealing spiritually than what we think. I will allow you to ponder the irony of that little statement.

Here is the deal. This isn't a feeling for me. It is knowledge. I know this book is coming out like I know I am getting out of bed and going to work tomorrow. You can ponder the irony of that statement, if a meteor crashes through my ceiling tonight and kills me in my sleep.

So, how do I know? Damn. Good. Question.

Part of this is that some things land square on between the incredible and the so easily explainable mundane. For instance, I went from a ten year problem with PTSD that my spiritual advisers, professional mental health providers, other smart people, various magickal rituals, and other meditations could not resolve. The Manifestation Meditation (MM) brought about the circumstances to cure the largest problem in my life, rooted out the core 'negative' issue I'd been programmed with, which a lot of smart people honestly thought was one thing and it turned out to be something else. This in turn solved my second biggest negative of getting frustrated, mostly at work, and in other places.

Frankly, this is how magick works anyway. So, how do I know I have contact with my soul?

First of all, I am happy most of the time. When I am unhappy, it is unusual. Not only is that a radical change for me, I believe happiness is a sign of soul contact. By happiness, I mean real happiness, not the smile we put on to be social. One of the most miserable and out of touch people I know looks happy when in social situations. It is an act. Real happiness comes from being able to live right now, in the now, with full faith in yourself/Yourself, the Universe and everything else.

I love people I once severely distrusted. I have compassion for those I used to hate. I understand how pain caused and causes people to behave in questionable ways.

Further, when I do the MM, I feel like I have a halo. I have had that astral feeling about the head for many years when meditating or doing astral work but that felt like I was pushing up against something. Like a hand pushing up against a tarp. Now, that feeling has changed to an incredible sense of place. It is more like the halo is part of a part of me.

I feel that every question I ask of my soul will be answered. So far it has. I feel like everything I ask of my soul is granted, save one thing, which earned the response, "finish the book."

I feel that when I write or speak of the MM the universe is helping me. The only effort I have to put in is the discipline to work on writing or ask the questions I need answered and everything else is provided.

I feel that the universe is validating many of my conclusions from magickal work. For instance, I've been drawn to reading Buddhist praxis. There are five states of "I" all of which I have arrived at before reading. The challenges presented to being present are all things I faced and from that drew the same conclusions. I am now developing a practice to solidify that wisdom and state of being.

At times, I am overwhelmed by the love and bounty of the universe.

I love my friends more than ever before.

Those things that I felt guilty about in the past still happened but now they are like the memories of a book read. They do not plague me. Even the things that I didn't know were plaguing me are gone.

I know what my virtue is at any given moment. Since January, I've literally had ONE period of questionable THOUGHT. I went to a place that used to be a way of privately acting out my expression of pain and being out of control. Aside from that, my mind has been extraordinarily at one within my virtue.

I have very solid boundaries. Yet, I am not judgmental if you cross yours.

I have reached a point of balancing mercy and severity.

I have been in a bad mood, one time, since January 1. I am going to post on that soon.

I no longer "reach" for realities thinking that will make me happy.

To wrap up, there is a feeling of strength, place, confidence, wholeness, compassion. I am Robert and that is ALL there is to that.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

C is for Captured: Pagan Blog Project

Post written Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today, I sat down for a bagel, coffee and a little Dalai Lama reading. I heard one sentence of a conversation between a couple of guys sitting next to me. "She is trapped like a spider in a web." This butchered metaphor is exactly what I needed to write on this topic. I'd been working on it in my head but just didn't have the words. The Universe provides, even in a bagel shop.

Life is hard. We struggle with everything sooner or later. We don't like our job, relationship (or lack of one),  whatever Aunt Sue said a week ago Tuesday, the war that just passed through our town killing half the people we know, the weather, the ravages of disease and, of course, having our favorite television show being cancelled. We struggle with our self-worth, it's over-inflation or under-inflation. We seek the divine, which we may feel is often silent. We fight with the kids, the spouse and the guy that just gave us the wrong change. We are unhappy.

In most of these situations, we are trapped like a spider in a web. We think we make our living in these little corners of hell. We live our lives in the same intransigent way as our insane politicians 'debate' issues. If you think those people are crazy and accomplish nothing, turn to look to your own life, Spider, and see that painfully cozy spot from which you will not move. That spot is your web and you've trapped yourself.

We do this because we identify ourselves as our lot in life rather than by our souls. Stating that you are a Republican or that you ARE a Democrat is flat out wrong. You may share similar values to one of those parties but you are not a Republican. You are a human. You are a soul. When we identify as a party, we link our identity to it. If your very identity revolves around those ideas, is it any wonder how angry and angst ridden we are when the other side wins? That means over half the country has INVALIDATED who you are. Ouch!

This is the same in other areas. I am a banker. I am a computer programmer. I am a shop owner. Hogwash, you are a human being that makes his or her living in an occupation. You are NOT a computer programmer. This is explains why we often stay in jobs that make us miserable instead of getting educated enough to do something else. We are afraid of losing the core of who we are. As my father would say, "Horsefeathers!"

The core of who you are cannot be lost but it can be found. The core of who you are can be found in those things that you've always wanted to do but never did or merely attempted to in some half-assed way. Spider, abandon your web and do what you've been meant to do.

Part of doing that is learning to listen to your own soul.

And when you do that, you may learn something. You may learn that in all these years of looking without to gods, you've made a miss. Gods are fickle. Gods do you not have your immediate concerns in mind Gods are sometimes elsewhere. Chasing gods, their approval or their assistance, is a hit and miss proposition. This is not to say worship and relationships with gods is wrong, invalid or even incorrect. Those relationships are valuable.

However, by focusing on such things alone, you may have missed something important. You are trapped like a spider in a one paradigm web.

While gods are hit and miss, here and there, with you and against you, your soul is always hit, here and with you. No matter where you go, no matter how you got there, there YOU are. Your SOUL will respond in your life. Your soul is immortal; It is LARGE. It can create anything you desire. It is your teacher. It is teaching you every day if you'll just listen.

You are willing to put so much effort into praying to gods and finding relationships with them but neglect your own immortal soul. You can't see it while you're trying to trap a god to live in your web with you.

Tonight, say a little prayer to your own immortal soul. You just may be surprised by how it responds.

Upcoming Pagan Blog Project Posts:

D is for Dos and Don'ts for Teachers
D is for Dos and Don'ts for Students

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not So Sexy, Is It?

Yesterday, I posted about Listening to your soul. The hit count bounced up to just shy of double the previous day's. The actual count isn't unusual but it was a dramatic spike from the previous posts. Yet, there was not a single comment.

People interested in magick like the showy stuff. They want lightening bolts, parades and the occasional supernova. I have experienced those but the real good stuff, the stuff that matters to the long term nature of the theurgist, is making the magickal...mundane.

Learning to listen to your soul is just knowing which little thoughts are from the soul and which are normal traffic. This is akin to knowing your lover's mood without him saying a word or knowing she doesn't like the person she just met. You know because you've made it your business to know. It isn't psychic. It is making a relationship work. At my stage, that is what I am doing. I finding the little signs that says, "soul message" and filtering out the monkey mind and day-to-day concerns.

The Manifestation Meditation is bringing some big things but is doing so by slowing tweaking the various levels of my soul in order to allow them to happen. For instance, I'm suddenly reading multiple books on Buddhist praxis, not religion. In practicing mindfulness today, I had one of those little psychic experiences that tell you you're on the right track, had a pleasant interchange with an obviously violent man walking down the street at lunch, and was at my customer service best. Little stuff matters a great deal.

I am also finding myself loving the planet. I feel like I am in a water initiation all over again. All you people are so wonderful! My compassion for other's suffering is growing in leaps and bounds. In taking the Dalai Lama's advice, as I was in extreme pain today, I focused on the pain of others and let my heart go out to them for their suffering. This was not a mind trick of switching focus. I am not sure of the mechanism involved but as long as I could hold the thought, my pain subsided significantly. I just can't hold that sort of emotional thought and do my job at the same time.

How to Improve Intuition

This is a quick tip on improving your intuition and allowing the universe to speak to you in dreams. Stop forming opinions. Opinions interefere with intuition because they attach things to your psychic input streams too quickly. Observe, notate, watch but do not form an opinion until you absolutely have to. Trust me on this one.

Stavish Work

This hasn't been going well the last few nights as I've been on pain killers again. I may have to extend my time working with Spirit before I move onto the planets.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

How to Listen to Your Soul

Our soul is always trying to communicate with us. I haven't figured out all the ways I've not heard it but I have found a few that I will share.

  • Have you always wanted to do something but found a reason not to? I have always wanted to be a writer but never pursued it. As you can tell from this blog I love to write. Yet, I never wrote a book like I am now. Those urges that you've always had are your soul speaking to you. I am not talking of unrealistic dreams but obviously achievable actions.
  • Consistant unfulfilled world views. (See below on ethics) I have major problems with people's ethical violations. I see the world a certain way and do not understand why others do not see ethical situations as I do. This doesn't mean that I should try to understand the world. It means my soul is telling me to live that way to the nth degree. 
  • Things constantly falling into your life that fall outside what you would expect. For instance, over the course of your life people constantly try to get you to go to ceramics classes and it always baffled you because, "I am not an artist". Go the the class already! 
Selfish Compassion?

My father once pointed out that Mother Theresa's motivations could have been selfish. He wasn't saying anything negative about her. He was saying that her faith claims to reward lives such as hers. Thereby, she could be doing those wonderful things with a selfish motivation.

In reading the Dalai Lama, he makes a similar claim in that our compassionate acts and kindnesses much us feel good. Therefore, it is okay to practice selfish compassion.

I bring this up because today, I was able to forgive. I was able to forgive those involved in the incident that caused my PTSD, other people's most recent misdeeds and people who wronged me so long ago that I can't remember their names. You would think that latter group wouldn't matter. It did.

When I was truly able to forgive, it was as if a thousand points of tension released from my body. (Come on, you thought I was going to say a thousand points of light didn't you?) I felt GREAT.

Now the downside was that I wasn't able to fully hold it, not yet. Some of that crap is still there but I did get rid of a bunch of it. I spent a lot of time today thinking of forgiveness, compassion and the like.

I was amused to learn that the Dalai Lama's version of ethics is what makes me angry. I have always tried to live by them but few others can even understand what I'm talking about. Over the years, this has stoked my anger, in complete contradiction to my ethics. His ethical principals ought to be obvious to anyone. I am going to work on embodying these principals for myself and the further manifestation of my soul because I have learned to listen to it. (See above)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Identity and the Manifestation Meditation

Obviously, I am changing my self-definitions.

If you met me not long ago at a pagan gathering and asked me what part of paganism I practiced, I would tell you that I was a ceremonial magician, Golden Dawn style. I F---ING OWNED that little corner of Pagandom. Over the last year or so, I may have added that I do some "Greek work" but I'd leave that vague.

Now, I'm Robert.

Yes, some people know me as Robert the Tarot Guy. Others know me as the magician. Others that knew me or of me a bit longer may see me as the pompous ass.

Now, I'm Robert.

I am not a magician. I am not a meditator. I am not a seeker. I am not a pagan.

I am Robert that practices magic, meditates, seeks stronger and stronger connections to the divine and generally holds to some sort of pagan tenants. I am not these things. I do these things.

Obviously, I had been toying with identity for a while, when someone linked, Christians Openly Advocate Killing Athiests on Fox News to Facebook, it jelled my thoughts together. I have no idea if this is true but for the sake of argument, let us pretend it is and check this out:

If you can't read the text it says, "these people are f'ing scum of the earth. can we start killing them now? few groups are filled with more hatred than athiests [sic]." 

Can you just feel the irony? I'm not speaking of Christianity. I'm speaking of this fellow that is going to kill people because "THEY" are full of hatred. Where does this come from? The article states there is some controversy over putting up a cross at the WTC as a memorial. The reason this so infuriates this guy isn't because he believes in Christ but because in his head, he IS a Christian. It is his self-identity and the folks on the other side, are challenging him as a person. They don't feel they are doing that. He likely doesn't know this is why he reacts this way. Yet that is the way these insane things take place. If he thought of himself, "I am Michael Perri and I love Christ," this crap wouldn't fall from his keyboard. The sad part is that he has nothing of himself to define. So, he borrows something external.

Christians do not have a corner on this. There are quite a few examples of people in Pagandom seeing a question or challenge to their tradition, lineage or lack thereof as a personal attack upon themselves.  Again, this is identifying ourselves with what we do or believe. This is false.

In the Bible "G-d" uses the word Ehieh meaning, "I am that which I am." Ehieh is the the "god name" associated with the first sphere of the Tree of Life, Keter, in the Qabala. That tree is macrocosmic. It is the divine fractal of how "G-d" created the Universe. Microcosmically, it is you, your soul and its divine fractal. You start out as that which you are. Adding these labels of self-identity clouds the picture. They cause us to identify our little personality with an idea instead of with our souls.

I am that which I am. I am Robert. Robert blogs, does magick, meditates, writes his book, goes to work, loves, hates, thinks and sleeps. Robert does these things but he is not these things. I am Robert and that is ALL there is to that.

This is the Manifestation Meditation. The point of it is to connect with our own soul in an entirely new way. It is knowing, "I am that which I am," on this level of reality.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Change, The Dalai Lama and Dreams


I have never posted on this before, mainly because I opt to avoid the Golden Dawn wars, but some time ago, I started a lodge under the supervision of an adept. The plan was that as I reached adepthood the 95% leadership roll would merge into 100% my responsibility. I tried to work hard on that. I did put in a lot of effort some of which was seen and other parts of that work were hidden. However, something always interfered. Things were never really right in my gut.

Today, I sent a letter to that small group announcing my resignation from all things Golden Dawn, save serving as an initiatory officer under an adept friend and answering any questions they may have continuing their Work.

I could point to the asinine social judgments that often occur in group work (but didn't in my short-lived lodge), the mistakes my mentor made over the years, the mistakes I made over the years, the sometimes explosive results of initiation, the wanna-bes, the wankers and the guy that wanted to learn to astral project into women's locker rooms. Oh yes, we remember  you!

Once, one of my "students" went from "Robert the Great" to "Robert is the devil" simply because I obtained a girlfriend. Though, I am quite pleased of my nonplussed reaction to being threatened to be hit over the head with a brick. You haven't lived until you get phone calls from human watchers telling you that someone is attacking you and upon hearing the description of the person they have never met realizing that it is one of your own. Really? No one wants to deal with that.

(Insert plug here for being able to admit what your talents are not and allowing friends to watch your back.)

To this day, I don't know if that particular attack was intentional or subconscious. Frankly, I am not sure if I should have responded more harshly than I did. What I did do was reflect the attacks and piggy-backed a prayer to Hermes that she would learn whatever she needed to from the experience. I didn't have the arrogance to try to control the lesson or even figure out what it was. She can own that part. I do know that Hermes went along for the ride. Hermes and I have a thing. My response was my version of the balance between severity and mercy. I do not think I did wrong. Oddly, as trying as it was, I value that learning experience at this point.

That learning experience was understanding that I can protect myself and have gained enough compassion for someone that was doing me harm to assist that person in some way. In the past, I would have sacrificed myself completely on the magickal side or utterly destroyed the perpetrator. No more. In this type of situation, balance is mine. This was a very valuable lesson to learn.

Others counselled revenge. To me, this is a very base emotion and a pointless exercise for a theurgist. Allowing such harmful magick into your sphere (in order to work it) means you have to deal with that level of distraction in the future for it must be balanced and reconciled. I do not see much value in that for my work. Still others counselled extreme mercy. No. I will not suffer for another's illness. I will heal an illness, if I can. I will protect myself and, if it prevents such attempts from being made at others in the future, I will strike but again, with compassion.

That said, all of that complaining and finger pointing about so-called bad things in GD work as an excuse for stepping aside would be total bullshit. I consistantly participated in GD work while some version of all that was going on for ten years. A lot of that stuff is where the great lessons come from. This is something that GD detractors from Ellic Howe to many modern magicians have never understood. In the bullshit lay the lesson. My mentor was right far more often than wrong and I learned. From time to time, you may hear me lament at certain public exercises of GD silliness but you'll never hear me bad mouth the system. It worked for me.

The fact is that I am no longer what I was. The Manifestation Meditation, its evolution and teaching is my life's work at the moment. It is not Pagan or Christian. It is not a system but a method. This is a softer, gentler and a more universal art than GD. Part of what GD did for me was to teach me not to get trapped into what flows against my nature but to flow into my nature. This is a positive affirmation of Golden Dawn Style work, not a rejection.

I seek not consistency, only Truth.


Part of my growing work with the manifestation meditation is love. I did not seek this lesson but it appeared spontaneously. It is seeing the people in this world as agents of the divine, every last one of them. This has long fit into my philosophy but it is now creeping into my reality. The Buddhist have an exercise in which they look at each person they meet and think "Buddha," "Buddha", "Buddha"...this is sort of what it is like for me now. I would like to have that awareness all the time but I am not there yet.

Writing the Book

As mentioned yesterday, I was inspired to read the Dalai Lama's book Beyond Religion instead of doing actual writing. I am more than a little blown away to find that the conclusions I reached in GD work and what I have been writing in the book, line up up with His Holiness' work. In fact, were I in college, I'd have been nailed for plagiarism for a three paragraph snippet that was ever so close to what I had read in Beyond Religion. Of course, I had written it before I read it.


I had tree dreams that I clearly remembered upon waking. Unfortunately, it is three hours later.

1.  I dreamed that I was having a conversation with someone that hurt me very deeply a long time ago. She said how unhappy she was in the tradition of her initiation. This woman is very good at showing you whatever emotion she thinks you want to see from her. Her real emotions are deeply buried. I didn't get that this time. Her statements of pain seemed genuine.

Analysis: If this dream was my own mind trying to make me feel better about a long ago incident, it didn't work. That time is past. Instead, I was left with a feeling of compassion. Being unhappy within an initiatory tradition that by oath you cannot get out of has to be more painful then going every day to a job that you absolutely despise.

2.  I dreamed I was a murderer. Like most dreams of late, my reaction was much more of "Well, that is reality" then "Holy shit, what did I do?" The murder was not recent but someone in authority, like a coroner, had recently found out.

3. I have no idea what this dream was anymore. It had something to do with magick.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

More MM Success and a Dream

I had a rough night last night, in part due to pain and in part due to the dream time recorded below. I woke, had my traditional weekend bagel and coffee at Uncle Harry's, came home and took a long nap. for all intents and purposes, my day started at noon. This is unheard of. I am normally up and about by 6:30 AM.

I tried to write more on the book as I have a 3,000 word goal for the weekend. I know that from both public and private comments people are waiting for this book to be out. Of course, by people, I mean four of you.

I did the Manifestation Meditation (MM) with the goal of being inspired to write, to chose the correct words necessary for teaching this method. I sat down to write full of energy but...well, nothing happened. So, in a pure act of randomness, I typed Dalai Lama into the search engine for no other conscious reason than wondering how the Dalai part was spelled. Immediately, I found a book by His Holiness called Beyond Religion. Given last night's post and my reference to myself being beyond religion (possibly) I immediately downloaded it to my Nook. I have been diligently reading and highlighting. This work will be quoted in my book.

This is a very good example of two things. The first is being more in tune with universe. I was going somewhere with my thoughts last night but I wasn't sure just to have them reflected in today's activities. Or was today, reflected back to those thoughts? Secondly, this is an example of how the MM works. I asked for something specific but generic enough for the MM to work through my own divine guidance. I got exactly what I NEEDED, not what I thought I wanted.

Another wonderful thing happened today with the MM. My very good friend, The Witch, asked me what her lesson was in a particular situation. I thought I knew but rather than imposing that on her, I did the MM with the goal of her learning the lesson she needed. With each line I rang this huge astral bell. Withing ten minutes she had it figured out.

I seek to learn that I may serve.

I am beginning to feel that it will be good to do the MM upon waking and sleeping.

That Voodoo That  You Do! (Dream)

Well spank me and call me Charlie! On second thought scratch that. I don't like being hit and my name isn't Charlie.

Last night was the first night of going to sleep using the spirit symbol as part of the Stavish Meditation, previously discussed. There was a problem. Before going to sleep, I meditated on a red sphere at my throat. This is an alternative method to a indigo sphere at the nape of the neck. It was a pretty good meditation. The problem was much like months ago the meditation gave me loads of energy. The energy was tense and a bit angst filled.

Eventually, I slept but it was a light and disturbed sleep. I woke several times for the bathroom, for having kicked my covers off an for who knows what? I had one very strong dream.

I was in a room that reminded my of bayou country from a horror movie. The walls and floors were boards. The furnishes had that same homespun look to them and a bit beat up. My grandparents were there.  Note: In both of them are actually deceased.

The dream then cuts to a city that is also a bit down in the mouth. My grandmother is driving their old Malibu. This was odd because I never saw my grandmother drive a car. Grandfather, was walking up to us and she kept pulling away. He shot an exasperated look in her direction and got in my car and followed us. The idea was that once we got to where we were going we'd switch back to our proper vehicles.

Cut back to the bayou room.

My grandmother is dying. She has face paint on that is black and white. The black was around the eyes and mouth. There was a dirty look to it. Papa Legba was outside and trying to get in. From what I know of Papa Legba, which I admit is not much, if He is trying to get in and you're trying to keep him out, it may be wise to be a bit scared. I wasn't. I knew the symbol I needed to draw to keep him at pay and simply started looking for paper and something to write with.

I am seeing a theme in dreams of late of things that ought to have an emotional impact. Coming across acts of incest ought to get revulsion. Having mother nature disrupt the world, like in yesterday's dream post, ought to leave one full of adrenaline/fear. Having Papa Legba trying to get at your dying grandmother, ought to leave one fearful. Instead, I am dead calm (pun intended) in all of them. I am just taking care of business.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I Am What I Am?


I am feeling an unexpected change taking place. I am asking the question, "Am I pagan?" Of course, I work work pagan gods with the Conclave of the Greek Key. Pagan is a very generic word. For all intents and purposes it means non-Christian. Am I that? Would the deity that is the Christ be as bothersome as I feel he is? The Helpful Deity and the rest of the Greeks certainly surprised me.

I have long said that spirituality transcends religion. If it does, as spiritual as I feel at this point, am I beyond a religous label? That sounds arrogant as hell. Then again, I've never identified as particular religious. I have always been more of a generic aspirant.

Am I a magician anymore? Am I something else? Does a label matter? Can I self-define as Robert?


Last night, I dreamed a dream of disasters. There was a huge flood coming. I was stopped at a rail road crossing out in a country area. There were rolling green hills. WitchDoctorJoe was in a car next to me. We both realized the train was out of control and was about to be hit by the flood. We turned our cars around and headed up hill. The 'road' was still a road but it was clipped grass, no pavement. Joe abandonned his car and was running beside mine. That dude was fast. I gave him the chance to get in my car but he just kept running along side. At some point, we came across something on fire. There was a lot of implied elements. We never saw the flood, the train, or the fire. Yet we both knew of the danger of sticking around. Neither of us was afraid in the slightest.

Tonight, the Stavish meditation turns to the final element, Spirit. After a week of that, I start on planets.


My back pain has moved into high gear again.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

C is for Conversion: Pagan Blog Project

In the interests of full disclosure, I am drunk blogging. I don't get accidentally drunk but somehowe a glass and a half of wine with dinner wiped me out. 

I have seen a few teachers in my day. I have seen a few students. I have heard a few stories.

Religion is full of rules for proper behavior. It is a societal construct. There are some good things to be said for it. There are some bad things as well. Obviously, religion can be used to control both the masses and the individual. Behave this way or "God" will not like you! You dirty filthy bastard.

Spirituality is using religion or religious imagery to break through mundane concerns and false constructs. The goal is to have direct experience with the deity of your choice. Spirituality that works is a blessing beyond all measure. When it doesn't work, it is the worst of delusions for it turns into religion! That is right you filthy bastard I AM better than YOU! But, out of the kindness of my heart, and a mere $19.95, I can make you better.

Any true teacher has found their spirituality. Yet, things degrade in translation. Sooner or later, they are tempted to fall into a trap. They are tempted to judge you based on their spirituality. You begin to judge yourself against their standards. This my friends is religion. This is being converted into a way of thinking, living and believing. This is dangerous. Spirituality isn't about conversion but Being. Anything less than Being, is religion.

Find the teacher that encourages you to find your own way. For the teacher that wants you to find his or her way is the most dangerous kind teacher. You will learn something but you just might forget who you are.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taking the Manifestation Meditation to the Next Level

I am very excited about the Manifestation Meditation. It has worked so well for me and appears to be off to a good start for others. I pray that my little book will help others find there way and be as little interference as possible for those that need something else. I have such a ways to go before it is complete but it feels like it is already a part of me. In the interests of full disclosure on exactly how far I have to go, I am just shy of 8,000 words. I am really starting to push though. I am shooting for a realistic 15,000 by months end but really wanting 20,000.

I want to increase the immediate impact of the meditation for my own work. I have two methods in mind.

Years ago I asked Sam Webster why he didn't teach the Middle Pillar exercise in his order. He said that you do not add energy to an impure vessel. This logic ought to be readily apparent. However, I was taught another way. Such energies helped keep one balanced during the difficult initiatory process. This logic is just as sound. Given the trauma of the PTSD I had at that time I am thinking that for me, Sam's approach may have been better. Then again, the approach I learned may have helped me stick with the program. There is no way to know. I am not even trying to apply even a hint of fault in my mentor's instruction on that score.

What I do know is that I cannot be a purer cleaner vessel than I am immediately after I do the MM. So, next time, I will do a middle pillar afterwards. I will also experiment with doing it during the meditation. In yet another variation, vibrating the entire tree as part of the process. Hopefully, I will take my sweet time and not blow my head off again. Though, blowing my head off last time seemed to have some positive result!

The other method I will use will be to fold in my version of the Prayer of Jabez into the process. This prayer was very effective for me. I need to return to it anyway. Those interested in reviewing that area of the blog can use the blog archive to the right of the page and find posts in February 2011. I think you'll find references in March as well.

The Nutty One Takes up the Flag!

The Nutty Professor, frequent contributor to the comments section of this space, will be doing the meditation as well. Normally, I do not cut and paste people's emails and post them but I have permission to blog on her progress with the meditation.

I am in a lot of back pain today. I really didn't want to write to Nutty as I promised. I put it off for some time. Then, I felt I had no choice. I HAD TO send that email. The email was a set of brief instructions for doing the meditation. She wrote:

...thank you for this. I had just completed my weekly "meeting" with HGA. Cried out for guidance, there were some thwarted plans and expectations today. Why is this happening? why am I unable to align myself with the Will? I asked. Tired, cranky, I turn to see your email to me on the screen.

Little confirmations like this tell me I was listening properly when offering the opportunity to Nutty. That doesn't mean it will work out well for her or I. It simply means the lessons will be necessary.

Others Doing the Manifestation Meditation

I have offered the text and VERY basic Manifestation Meditation training to three people. One is My Gal, my ex-girlfriend. Another is one of my Helpful Deity (Greek Magick) partners that I refer to as The Witch. The third is a loyal reader of this space.

The Witch is hesitating due to health reasons and will start in a month or two. The reader hasn't been sent the material yet.

My Gal asked for something special. She has a little baby that I call Copi, short for Copernicus, a name I "try" to convince all pregnant women to name their child. She feared the doing the manifestation meditation would be the equivalent of taking the adept oath. She became quite concerned that the initiatory fallout may have adverse impact on her being able to take care of her child. Unfortunately, what she really needs is a job to take care of that very child. I modified the MM to that practical end.

She has only been doing it for a few days. Today, she received very good news that will aid her in getting that job. Frankly, I cannot claim that is the result of the meditation. Things were in the works before she started. However, I have a long standing yarn, "There are no coincidences in magick." I have added what I call Robert's Addendum, "Though, we may misinterpret their meaning." Was this a result of the MM or merely Universally timed to be encouraging?

My Gal did report that whenever she does the MM the music of the spheres enter her head so loudly that the song drowns out all her thoughts. This can be nothing but a good and very positive sign. I expect to hear more reports from her and others.

The reader may ask if this positive report could be apocryphal. Would she tell me what I want to hear? She may. Even though she is an ex, we were are friends and she loves me in that capacity. She may say something to make me feel good. However, she normally doesn't and I don't think she'd make something up regarding a spiritual matter.

Were I a reader, I would be marginally skeptical. However, given I am not a reader but a writer and apparently growing into a teacher of sorts, I am not.

Stavish Work

The Stavish exercise involves a couple of steps. The first is meditating on an orb at the back of the head and seeing oneself within that space. Of course, that is simplified a bit. The second step is picturing a symbol of an element near you as you sleep. I have worked through the first three elements and am now on fire. The first time I did this, I dreamed of a fire. I beat it with a shirt to put it out.

I suppose this is a good thing as the work I am doing is showing up so directly in dreams. I suppose this is also a challenge considering I was trying to put out the fire. Is this a fear of my own will and creativity? I don't know.