Teaching it to my baby.

Little N is almost three now, and she’s really starting to understand more and more every day.  She plays Cut The Rope on her Nook, she has her computer, and all sorts of little techo-weenie stuff.  She has the normal toys, she just doesn’t care about them at all.  An electronic family produces an electronic child I guess.

One of the things she has also learned is the concept of life and death.  I didn’t plan for her to learn it quite so early in life, although it is an inevitable and unpleasant lesson we all must learn at some point.  I think the basics were in her head due to the documentaries that we tend to watch, and when we were at the pet store it really hit her.  At first she thought that the goldfish bobbing near the bottom was a little funny.  Then two others came by and started taking some bites at him.  That’s when she got it and her laughter turned into a terribly cry that I had never heard before.  It broke my heart.  Even if it needed to happen at some point, most of us try to shield our children for things for a long time.  The innocence of youth is lost one goldfish at a time.

So, lately her biggest concern has been volcanos.  Why volcanos?  We have no idea.  My wife is a homemaker, so we can’t blame it on childcare, and none of us can remember having a show or any other such thing on television.  She even had a terrible dream that her grandpa was going to throw her into one.  None of us can figure it out.  It’s so damned strange.

For the last couple weeks she’s been gently pleading with me about keeping the volcanos away at bedtime.  “No volcanos Daddy.”  “No honey, no volcanos.”  To combat this I took a recent gift from her grandmother (a crocheted pillow with an elephant head in one corner) and poked in her bed one night.  I told her that the little elephant was made to protect her from volcanos.  There would be no volcanos so we didn’t need to be afraid of them with the elephant next to her.  If she got scared, all she needed to do was cuddle the elephant and it would all go away.  Of course, this is an easy promise to keep because we’re just not in that kind of area right now.  Our area used to be a super-volcano that has since migrated.  Everywhere you look in our area, there is some form of lava rock.  Jutting up out of a field, used for a foundation, and even some structures were built out of it in the 1920s and 1930s.  Most of the five-hour drive to Yellowstone, and you can see the flows are much younger than where we live.  Now that we’re done with the history lesson, let’s proceed.

This tactic of alleviating and channeling fear into the elephant pillow has worked like a champ.  It has done exactly what it was supposed to do.  I was thinking about it last night, and it was a small touch of magic.  We had intent, there was an item involved and there were outward actions.  Heck, there were even words involved when I explained what it was and what it did.  If you look at it in its most basic form, it’s magic.  If there was a volcanic eruption would it protect her?  No way.  The real part of it is that it has removed those fears from her.

People do this all the time for their kids.  Then at some point, they take it away from them.  To little N it works 100% the way it’s supposed to.  There are no volcanos and no threat from them, and that’s it.  I’m sure that some of you reading this blog (agree or disagree with it) have done some of the same things.  Why do we take this away from them as they get older?  They lose Santa (totally unsustainable, but a loss in their eyes), the elephant, and many other things they believe just because that’s the way they are.  My wife was always told growing up that the auras and sensitivity she has wasn’t real.  She suppressed it as hard as hard as she could until she met me.  After about a year she told me and my reaction was just kind of neutral.  I accepted it for what it was.  I was still involved with the Catholic church at that point and I still accepted there were things out there that I didn’t understand.

I think that’s going to be one of the hardest things around here.  Even if she accepts or even celebrates whatever she knows or can do, it’s going to receive a bad response her entire life. I just don’t want her to be ashamed or afraid of whatever beliefs she has, even if it is different from C and me.  Heck, if she wants to be a main-stream religion, I’ll be glad she found a home there.  Atheist with no occult orientation?  Badass.  I hope she challenges me on my beliefs, I hope she studies other religions and cultures as much as she can and just unsettles my own beliefs.

The thing that I do not want is to take that journey away from her, and I don’t want to let others take that away either.  Disagreement?  Fine.  Ending up as a bit of an outcast?  A shame, but acceptable.  Calling everything bullshit and trying to take that belief away entirely?  Piss off.  Leave the elephant alone.  Even if it seems silly in a couple of years, it doesn’t mean it never worked.  It just means that the need for it went away.  And last night while we were putting on her PJs, I gave her a kiss and told her to never let someone do that to her.

Perhaps I’m doing it right.  Perhaps I’m doing it wrong.  Either way, it will be her choice about her own beliefs.

I love little N, I love what I believe, and I will fight for her to the death.

–DS

Chaos has been a big part of healing…

A while back I wrote a post about mental health and non-traditional religious/spiritual practices, and I wondered if the ‘pros’ were correct in their assumptions that abnormal beliefs were a red-flag for many different classifications of disorder names that they could throw at you.  It makes you question your beliefs, your sanity, and the things you experience that are outside the ‘norm’.

Recently though, I’ve had a few biggies that made a huge difference in the way I see myself and even others.  mostly me though.  I’m allowed to do that on my own blog ;)

The first confirmation was a huge section I wrote in my personal files.  I keep them because  I consider them to be more of a part of my work rather than part of my journey (which is what I tend to share on here).  They don’t really don’t do me any good, they just help set concepts and new knowledge into my head, and act as a form of ‘thinking out loud’ without bugging my wife.

I was reading a week ago and I hit something creepy in a book.  It was an entire chapter that sounded like I wrote it.  The concepts were identical, and some of the explanations were almost entirely verbatim.  These were things I know that I came up on my own through much trial and error, and TONS of meditation.  I only acquired the book about two weeks ago, and the entry was many months old.  Somehow I came to the exact same conclusion about things that someone had through my own methods.  The person that wrote it isn’t even alive.  Somehow that makes it better.  I guess because you’re less likely to be exposed to it?

Another thing that happened just a few days later confirmed one of my favorite meditating techniques, and the way I do it.  Throughout my journey with meditation I have always tried to find better ways of doing it, including trying different tools (no, not drugs.  Ever.) to help the experience.  I found binaural beats a while ago and really enjoyed the experience I had with it.  I kept fine-tuning the frequency I used when I meditated to get the best results.  After quite a long-stretch of experimentation I ended up at 7.6hz as my favorite to meditate with.

My wife’s Dr. told her (he’s a medical Dr. and a master of eastern philosophy) that the earth resonates a 7.8hz frequency (true) and that the body can too.  He said that everyone needs to experience it at least twice per day.  Certain activities, that can vary by person, can cause this frequency for a few moments, but it’s all the brain needs to get what it wants.

Do I even need to point out how close those frequencies are?  Talk about confirmation from an outside source.  My wife didn’t even know what frequency I used, only that I used binaural beats when I meditated.  I’m definitely going to try 7.8hz the next time I do and see if that slight adjustment makes things just a little bit easier to achieve.  Not to sound too shamanistic, but that frequency could really tune you into the Earth, which has some useful tools associated with it.  Nothing against shamanism, I really enjoyed that portion of my training, it’s just not the bulk of my practice; although some of my experience with meditation could easily be described along those lines.

All of that rolls down to the original point I was making in the beginning: mental health.  If you take someone who has a condition or two pop up in their life, mostly from genetic predisposition, but you add the non-traditional beliefs, it throws you into an entirely different category.  Compound that with the primary problem being so severe that it can present itself as other conditions and you can get shoved into a bucket of psychiatric misery.  Some of the things they say are wrong with you can only be treated by medication, especially if your beliefs and other behaviors don’t change.

I’m sure you can tell I’m talking about myself by now, so here’s the bucket of love involved.  I have severe PTSD (not from the military) and a predisposition to bipolar disorder.  The short part of it is that the PTSD was so severe that it presented as bipolar, etc, etc, etc… and all of the symptoms of that, anxiety, panic, social anxiety, and especially the ‘non-traditional’ beliefs threw me into the “Borderline Personality Disorder” category.  Hit it up on Wikipedia, it’s not a pretty thing.  But wait, what’s that?  A year and a half of therapy for the PTSD by a therapist who respected my beliefs made a difference?  Without the PTSD running around rampantly I don’t hardly present the symptoms of anything else?

Before my therapist moved last week (sad), I gave her privacy clearance to disclose everything about our progress and sessions to the new med lady.  I saw her for the first time today and she wants to remove the bulk, if not all, of my medication because of what we did in therapy.  So I guess that the non-traditional beliefs don’t matter any more.  Nice.

So, between the outside confirmations of some of my beliefs and practices, and the confirmation that the medical world doesn’t care since I’m too far out of the bucket for them to use belief against me, I’m feeling pretty damn good about things.  I’m not crazy in (some) of my beliefs in many different areas of my life.  Also, the work that I’ve done for the last few years has meant something.  Not just in the confirmed beliefs, but that the comfort I found in my studies was as therapeutic as it felt.

I’m not one to share emotions on here very often, but I just thought I’d share this little story with everyone.  The moral of the story?  If people tell you that you’re crazy for believing whatever it is you’re all about, just say something rude back and laugh at them.  I know that as Chaotes we can adopt any belief system we want at any time, or even waffle and mix them if we’d like, but if you believe in them, it’s never wrong.  It’s one of the fundamentals of Chaos.  Believe it.  Be it.  Own it.

D.S.

What is the ether…

Right after my post yesterday, I was asked what the ether was, and if I could explain it more.  When asked that question I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever explained it on here, even though I’ve used the term many times.  To me, the ether is glue that bonds, the energy that powers, and the gateway to all that we know.

First, in my system of belief and interpretation, the ether is what holds the soul.  Since there is no way to prove the soul exists, it really just comes down to processing the information that is available to you and choosing from there.  The information could be from belief in ghosts, earlier religious teachings, or even just a hunch you have.

I am a believer in the soul with a true will, so that makes me one of the most difficult kinds of Atmanists out there. (Note: I hate it when people make up words.  Atman(ist) is from the Liber Kaos p. 177)  Having this belief does make some forms of what I do more difficult, but it’s who I am.  As a part of this belief I find it necessary that the soul be something.  If a soul can haunt someone, reincarnate, ‘cross over’, or whatever different ideas that people believe in, there must be some form of cohesive energy that binds its composition.  What is this energy called?  Who knows.  The force?  The holy spirit?  Elmer’s glue?  I can’t say what it is because I have no idea of how such a thing would work.  So, I call it ether.

I don’t believe that it’s what makes up a soul; that it something entirely different.  I just believe that the ether is a force like any other that can interact with things.  For example: If you  tried to trap a soul/demon/ghost in a shoebox (I’ve seen sillier) I don’t think you’d really want to reach out with the same energy that something was made of.  What would happen?  Would it get stronger?  Be destroyed?  Add or remove some unplanned electricity into one of our happy little electronic devices and see what happens.  Now, grab it with a hand, a shoe, or let your cat smack it around for a while and it should survive the situation, even if it does have a couple of scratches.  Ether is what lets us interact with things on the ‘other side’, but like electricity, it can also be used to power what we do.

Some groups pray to a single god-form, others pray to a few or all of a pantheon of deities, and all of these are possible with Chaos (Kaos, whatever).  Some of us though can be deity-transient (using whichever god-form we find useful at the moment), create our own god-forms (Larry, god of the lawnmower), or be completely atheistic.  As an atheistic Chaote, my practice is designed to work with the forces that make things happen.  This, in my opinion, is controlled by the ether, the power source of magic.  Ether is typically manipulated with the subconscious implanting of intent, but there are rare times when it can be worked with directly.  They seem to happen more with time and practice, but it’s not always a sure thing when dealing with sorcery, shamanism, or ritualistic magic.  The times where it happens more often than not is during astral magic.

When I first started to do astral magic it was really an interesting experience.  It was a great compliment to the meditation I was already so fond of, so it came quite naturally to me.  The problem was that sometimes I would have uninvited guests in my astral travels.  Not another person travelling, or a Jehovah’s Witness banging on my astral door, but entities that can come in and out of things.  I became curious as to where they came from, so I started to try to figure it out.  Eventually I found the ether.  The source of it all.

It’s very hard to describe.  It’s like the energy and force that runs through all things wrapped up in a ubiquitous ball of powerful nothingness.  I know.  It makes no sense to me either.  If reality is an illusion, ether keeps the illusion intact.  If magic intervenes, ether is what guided it.  The astral is nothing more than a subset of the ether.  The ether itself breathes.  It has a rhythm.  It ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea.  It contains both the sacred and profane who try to move to what lies beyond it.

When I first started understanding it felt enlightening and liberating, but now I realize that it has just caused more questions, more to learn, and the realization that I know less than I did before when compared to the overall magnitude of things.  I can’t tell you how to get there, how to feel it, or how to experience it.  It’s not because I’m a greedy ass, it’s just because my work slowly gave me information that I could use.  Then connections were drawn, new hypotheses made and tested, etc.  Combine that with a couple of fortuitous finds, and I have my current understanding of things.

That understanding has changed and it will again.  It’s the nature of Chaos.  Half of the stuff on this blog (especially the older stuff) is total crap and out of date.  The experiences I had and the conclusions I drew were all accurate in my mind at the time of writing, but having grown and expanded my knowledge, I can see that a lot of it is very simple, rookie thinking about the entire situation.  That’s part of learning, so I leave the information alone to chronicle the journey.  The Servitors page (the most popular on the blog) may be an interesting read, but there is some information that is simply wrong (kind of).  Which parts?  I won’t tell unless I update it.  It’s quite the paradigm shit to my existing one.  If I do another, I will present it as an alternative and leave the original intact, as people seem to enjoy the simplicity that it offers.

So there is the ether completely unexplained in just over 1,000 words.  There is no big takeaway from this one, only that it’s the name I use for a number of forces and concepts that all seem interrelated to me.  As always, don’t believe it until you’ve tried it.

D.S.

There is a storm brewing in the distance…

A (sample) sigil as an iPad painting.

A (sample) sigil as an iPad painting. (Mine)

It’s odd.  My wife is a sensitive and I don’t really share that gift with her.  Once in a while there is something so strong, or so close to me that I can get a read off of it, but normally it’s just something that’s not a part of my life.  Now magic, that’s quite the different story.

Everybody seems to have their own definition of what the magical force is that seems to drive the entire universe in an esoteric way.  Even Christians have the Holy Spirit, which is a force very similar to others that so many believe in.  I decided to settle on ether (Æther is such a pain in the ass to type) because it rolls off the tongue and it’s not such a funky name that it feels awkward to say it in public.

Now that I’ve been into things for a while, I can get a good read of the currents and waves within the ether when it’s involved in my works. It’s there all the way from simple divination to some of the deep, dark work that I enjoy so much.  Lately there has been something in the ether that seems strange.  It’s a bit hard to describe, but it’s something not quite right.

Normally, to me, the ether has a natural ebb and flow to it.  At times it is stronger than usual, other times the tide seems to be out a bit.  It simply changes the methods and effort required to get the results you need.  The last few weeks there has been something turbulent, making it difficult to control, changing the strength of spells.  It doesn’t really matter the kind of spell, or the casting difficulty, they can fizzle or fire too hard without any way of controlling it.

This whole thing feels like the wind on the edge of a storm; very turbulent and very unpredictable.  Almost like a chaos within the chaos.  If you look at the nature of chaos,the math or the magic, variables are a big part of any type of prediction or success respectively.  The additional instability of the power source itself is quite possibly one of the worst variables I have every worked with.  It’s very unpredictable right now.

I’m not sure if this kind of thing is happening everywhere, but wherever I reach into the ether it is filled with instability.  I enjoy working with the ether stream directly.  I like to feel it move through my work.  I suppose I could build an item or two to help with things being so turbulent.  I could do something that would restrict the stream to its relative low point so I could work with a consistent minimum amount, making my work take a lot longer for the more complex ones.  I could also make something that works like a battery that would store what I need for later use.  I’m not even sure the last idea would work, and the ether always feels like such a living stream when I work with it, it would really be a shame to try to stifle it within a container of sorts.

My real hope is that things mellow out in the near future.  I’m already a bit timid trying to work things right now, but if they get more turbulent, who knows what it would be like.  You just have to ask yourself: If turns into a storm, do you want to buckle down inside of a safe shelter, or do you want to become Benjamin Franklin with his kite (yes, it’s a myth) and unlock more secrets than you knew could even exist.

I’m not sure if this is just the place where I pull from, but if it’s everywhere the turbulence is huge.  It just may be a passing storm that I’m getting the edge of, or it could hit straight on. The only way I’ll be able to tell is by reaching regularly and seeing what the ether holds.

–DS

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