Healing, harming, and war…

Points along the meridians.Illness in its many forms is a horrible thing.  It is usually hard on not only the one suffering from it, but also on those around them as they watch a person they love in distress.  One of the disheartening parts is when nobody knows what is wrong.  The symptoms may be there, but the underlying cause remains a mystery sometimes, which can kill hope as the light at the end of the tunnel seems to grow dim.

My wife recently had horrible pain, swelling, and a collection of other problems show up suddenly in her lower extremities.  As it progressed we were trying to find an explanation as to the root of the problem.  A lot of the problems were associated with a potential blood clot, so it became a very concerning situation.  To keep this part of the story short (which I rarely do) we finally narrowed it down to a rare side-effect of a medication she was taking.  We eliminated the drug, and about 70% of the pain left in just a single night.

The problem that remained was that she already has liver and immune issues, and her body was just left thrashed over the whole ordeal.  This left her quite weak and semi-ill even after the medication had worn off.  Being a fan of many eastern traditions, I have learned a bit about healing.  These traditions work well with what I have also learned in my own practices, and seem to compliment each other harmoniously.  So, combine a bit of the east, some chakra work, and a touch of the chaos, and you have the makings of successful healing sets.  We did it both for pain management before we found the culprit drug, and afterward to get her system smacked back into shape.

This whole little backstory does eventually come to a point.  First, over the last year I have worked on healing quite a bit.  I’ve come a long way with it, and have now had quite a bit of success.  That’s a long way from where I started, which was a complete lack of understanding about healing, and no idea which direction to head for learning.  Second, it rolls back to the baddie that has been lurking about for a long time now.  If you need to catch up, the last two posts (1, 2) cover a lot of it quite well, with a smattering of things sprinkled throughout some of my past posts just for seasoning.

The short version of the whole thing is this:  A bad creeper has been trying to mess with my wife for a long time.  He’s a remnant of some sort from her sister’s old boyfriend, who was a theistic Satanist.  He is the reason I went from studying magic and the occult to actually practicing.  Since both my wife and I have become more ‘in tune’ with things, he has resorted more to manipulating things from a distance rather than direct intervention.

I think that’s enough about enough about him for now.  I leave the vast storyline involving this entity off of here because it’s just unbelievable, even to those of us who are living in the reality of it.

Moving on:  So, C met this guy last year who had some of the same interests as her, and decided to hang out with him a bit.  We’ve never had a problem with either of us having opposite-sex friends.  We know where our love is.  But, something different happened with this guy.  She noticed there was an abnormal attachment to him.  If you look at my post about love, you’ll see that C  doesn’t feel things quite the way that most other people do.  So this kind of attachment felt entirely foreign to her.  For some odd reason, she was having a ‘normal boyfriend/girlfriend’ kind of connection with him, even though she had never experienced one before in her life.  Without the story getting too long, our little friend (who has become known as ‘The Dark Man’ due to the mixing of divinatory sources) made this connection with this guy when she was vulnerable after the death that crushed her last summer.  This actually happened with two people, but only one of them matters for this story.

We figured out that there was this artificial connection, broke it, and moved on.  C still communicated with him over text (and still does), because he wasn’t a bad guy, he just had a bit of help being overly attached to her.  Even though she broke the attachment, he never did, so that made her have to set some boundaries, but it didn’t mean they couldn’t continue to communicate.  Once in a while he would pop up with some grand idea about the two of them running away together to live in some random place doing a random thing for work (I think crocodile hunting was one of them), but C always politely declines, reminds him that she’s married, has a kid, and isn’t interested.  His most recent push caused a major problem though.

People have a hard time accepting the fact that C is fairly gender-neutral, and our marriage involves very little sexuality.  Our relationship is built on being intellectually challenging to each other, enjoying the quirks and nuances that we each bring into things, and wanting to spend the rest of our lives together as best friends.  We only got married due to familial pressures, tax benefits, and work benefits.  It didn’t change our relationship at all.  Little N was a planned baby, not the result of chance or too much nookie flying about.  But…C does love to tease.  Because of this she has tons of fun online, but people have a hard time interpreting the meaning behind it.  Some interpret it as ‘she’s into me’, others assume she’s a catfish, or they thing she is somewhere between bisexual and lesbian.  The real interpretation is that she doesn’t mind showing who she is, especially if she thinks it might ruffle your feathers.  With the way her brain works it’s nothing more than that at all, but people have a funny way of getting too serious about things online.

This interpretation of her sexuality led the guy she had been talking/texting with to assume that she was bisexual.  So, as a new plan to win her over, he proposed a third person (female) be introduced into things.  He told this new girl (who was apparently very ‘into’ him) that she couldn’t be with him unless she could convince C to come into the relationship as well.  C and I laughed about it as it unfolded, knowing that the reality of it would never come true, and how far his perception of what she actually wanted in life was from reality.  C and this new girl sent texts and got along fairly well, but (even if C was actually interested in things) there were no sparks.  The only thing that C could see going on was this gal getting more desperate as it progressed.

Fast-forward a couple of weeks, and moods are getting ugly around the house.  C and I don’t have a traditional relationship, so we don’t tend to be faced with the same problems that many couples are.  We don’t bicker, we don’t fight, we don’t let the petty shit of daily life get in our way of enjoying our time together.  Yet, there we were, in an abnormal situation where we were both pissy, Little N was acting like a butthead (usually she’s the easiest kid on the planet), and something just felt wrong.  C was born with a fully developed ability to sense things that I have only scratched the surface of.  This has allowed us to test each other in interesting ways that has guided both of us in our spiritual development.  Needless to say, she was the first to notice that there was something going on that was just more than moods and personalities.

All I ever got was a stuffy, oppressive feeling, but she identified that it was something affecting us that she couldn’t quite put her finger on.  It didn’t feel like an entity to her, it just felt like our house was filled with negative energy that was messing with all of us.  I consulted the tarot, and the answer it gave didn’t make sense to me.  The answer boiled down to this:

Someone you know has betrayed you with magic to destroy your love, and ‘The Dark Man’ has made it stronger.

I stay out of her wacky conversations and friendships with others, so I’m almost never privy to the details of what goes on.  I’ve done some blind readings (meaning that I’m totally clueless) about some of her friends and dug up things about them that they wouldn’t even admit to for many months.  It’s a skill I’ve gotten quite good at over the years.  But this reading wasn’t about one of her friends, it was a question about what the hell was happening around the house.

When I told her what the reading said and she instantly scowled and said a few choice words about the gal she had been talking to in the love-triangle situation.  It turns out she is a Wiccan.  So, a simple love spell was probably what was cast.  C is too different to be effected by a traditional little thing like that (see the love post).  The beauty of the whole thing is that ‘The Dark Man’ has had an agenda with the guy and C for a while now, and we keep kicking it out from under his feet.  All of a sudden this ‘we should be together’ magic gets sent out and gets in the hands of the bad guy.  He figured out the last time he tried to create love connections with C that she doesn’t work like that, so the best way to achieve his agenda is to first split up C and me.  So this fairly innocuous spell gets turned into a giant pile of darkness that settles over the whole family to try to tear us apart.

Once we figured all of this out, the problem was still there, but now we had a bit more information to work with.  Since this was obviously something that we hadn’t dealt with before, I prepared for war.

I was already familiar with many of the Wiccan casting traditions, so I didn’t have to do much reverse engineering how such a thing would have been built at its source.  The big problem was how to counter the force that our little buddy had put behind it.  Understanding ‘how’ people cast their spells is the greatest defense against them.  That’s one of the reasons I discuss mechanics very little on this blog.  First, my casting is typically for very personal reasons, so the methods are sometimes very personal too.  Second, I don’t think anyone can be told how to do quality magic, it’s just something they have to develop on their own.  Which brings be to my final point of keeping things secret for your own protection.  Too much info about practices can lead to vulnerabilities appearing, and it’s also a good reason to never cast the same way twice.  Do I use sigils?  Yup.  Every time?  Nope.  When I do use them, do I construct them using the same methods every time?  Nope.  Do I use reagents every time?  Nope.  When I do, are they the same ones?  Nope.  Do I always do ritual magic?  Nope.  When I do ritual magic do I have a set form that I use?  Nope.  Every spell, every intention, and every casting has to be customized to the need and mood of that moment.

This casting too was customized to the need. Since I didn’t know exactly what the need was, I went in with every trick I knew, and made up a few that I hadn’t used before.  I knew the things that I needed to address:

  • I had to learn exactly what it was that was causing problems.
  • I had to deconstruct the way it was cast to gain control over the origin.
  • I had to use that control to get rid of whatever it was.
  • I had to make a big enough showing to make our ‘Dark Man’ think twice before pulling crap like that again.
  • I had to appeal to the same authority that it was cast through to correct the wrongdoing that had been set upon our family.

Simple, right?  Yeah…not so much.

After a full day of planning, waiting for paint to dry (not a euphemism), studying the exacts of some Wiccan traditions, and other preparations, I had myself ready to go for the following evening.  One of the few rules I have is that none of this stuff can go down while Little N is awake.  Hopefully she never has to deal with this kind of nonsense.

The full process was huge.  I’m not sure how long it took me, but the entire thing probably lasted for over an hour.  I knew that I would need astral and physical work for this one, and that much going on simply takes a while.  Just getting into the astral can take a long time (or even not happen) if the mind/soul connection doesn’t want to cooperate that day.  After an unknown amount of mental prep work and slowly deepening meditation, I finally entered the astral.  Holy shit.  I had never seen anything like it.

In my experiences in the astral I have encountered a few places with terrain as we could traditionally consider it, but I find that most of what I am looking for (conversations with unbound entities) happens in the dark places; those places that aren’t designed for me to enter.  Many of these places exist in layers, with scenery and representations of the physical, designed to distract from the true nature of the astral.  There are various techniques to do it, but eventually these layers need to be stripped back to enter the ‘home turf’ of most entities and to be able to interact with them without illusion.  Without stripping away the illusion, a person can get in a lot of trouble out there.

1441175_19243069The…thing…that I saw was awe-inspiring and terrifying at the same time.  It was not an entity, it was the embodiment of an intention, and made of pure willpower.  The spark had started from the original spell, and had become twisted and strengthened into a behemoth.  It laid in the sky like a storm, stretching as far as the eye could see, and crushing everything underneath it with a shadow of oppression and hatred.  Above me was the center of the storm.  It had no eye, it just became pitch black with the thickness of its strength.  My admiration of what had been built quickly turned to rage as I realized the severity of what had been sent against my family for the selfish desires of the ‘Dark Man’.

When one finds oneself in this sort of position, it is good to know about the tradition that originated the spell.  Why?  Because many traditions don’t actually cast spells.  Stay with me now, and please don’t take offense.  I’ll start with the Wiccan belief system as an example.  It’s simple when you think about it.  You gather tools and reagents that represent the aspects of nature, you declare an intention, and then you make an appeal to a deity to make things happen (I know, I oversimplified it).  Christianity is the same way.  They have their 3 primary gods (creator (God), intervenor (Holy Spirit), and Messiah (Jesus)), and their array of demigods (Angels, Demons, and Saints).  When a Christian makes a prayer, they are not attempting to cause the change themselves, they are appealing to an authority to make it happen.  When these prayers, rituals, and other things are appealed to their respective authorities, an entity that represents the nature of the tradition and intention is what can actually do the work.  That’s why so many prayers and spells through pantheism, monotheism, or whatevertheism go unanswered.  There is another authority involved that gets the final say.  When dealing directly with magical forces, there is no intermediary, and nobody to decide what’s best for you.

Casting, praying, or any other type of action in this way also means that you are bound by the rules of the authority you appeal to.  I’ve even seen spells out there that appeal for others to be held to the same kinds of laws.  Ever hear of Christians praying for God’s will/law to cause judgement on a some sort of perceived sinner?  Ever see/read/hear a spell that calls for the law of karmic retribution to be enforced on someone?  These ‘laws’ are not universal, they are only present because people choose to act within traditions that come with consequence.  Some people seem to need that structure in their lives I guess.

The good news about all of that is, even if you’re not a part of that tradition, you can appeal to those same authorities for enforcement of their own rules.  I’m not Wiccan, nor would I choose to cast under that structure, but I can make an appeal to the authority that allowed the intention to be manifested to judge it under their own rules, and ask that those rules be enforced.  Part of Wiccan morality is ‘An it harm none, do what ye will’.  This spell was doing harm to my family.  Any love spell cast that would break a happy family apart for a person’s own desires is harmful, even if there was no amplification of the spell due to Dark Man intervention.  One of the other parts to Wiccan morality is the Law of Threefold Return.  Hopefully if that is enforced on the original caster it is based on the original intent of the spell, and not on the final manifestation.  That would be horrible.

So, that took care of the witch, now it was time for a show of force to let our Dark Man know that I’m not the small-fry that I used to be.  I have been receiving guidance.  Not from a new spirit guide (still don’t have a new one), but from someone who is a long story all by themselves.  This entity forced me to learn how to bring magic from the physical directly into the astral.  It took me a long time to learn it, but it was time for my big debut.

There was a lot of anger.  I have grown tired of being badgered by The Dark Man’s intentions constantly.  I’m tired of having to check out new relationships and happenings to see if they are part of something bigger than they seem on the surface.  It causes me stress in my life, and I don’t tend to handle stress well.  The blast was enormous and punched a hole through the center of the storm.  It slowly started closing back up, letting me know that it was hardly enough to vaporize it, but it had to shift inward to close, which meant that it wasn’t regenerating, it had been damaged and had to shrink to fill in the hole.  To put it in a way that we are more used to, I could make it bleed.

Knowing that I could cause change in something this big, I threatened the dark man and let him know that he was beaten on this round, and that I was going to destroy what he had helped to create.  I then left the astral and started the physical portion of the spellwork.  This is where I deconstructed the original spell.  I used some of my really big guns that I had been saving for special occasions.  Some of them were ‘gifts’ given to me by old friends like Lazarus and parts crossed boundaries that others refuse to cross.  I also made my intention clear to our little nuisance that my fight was in it for the long haul.  Even if it cost me my life, or meant that I couldn’t move on after this one, I would not relent until he was either driven away or destroyed.  Worse yet, I threatened to bind him.  That is like prison for entities.

It took nearly two days for the ‘storm’ to fully clear, but things did return to normal.  My wounds took an unnatural time to heal.  After nearly two weeks they were still mostly open and had developed almost no scab.  There was no infection, it just was just wide open like it had happened that day.  Over 6 weeks later there is still deep scabbing on portions.  Normally I tend to be a quick healer.  I can get a deep laceration and have it be gone in a matter of just a couple of weeks.  This one was different somehow.

I was also exhausted afterward.  It took a couple of days with a lot of sleep and naps to really recover from the ordeal.  It’s the biggest toll I’ve had on my body and mind since I started using magic.  I’m not sure if this kind of thing is like a muscle, where as you use it you gain strength and endurance, or if there is a finite amount that your system can handle.  I plan on building a focus that I can use in the future.  Something to channel the energy through that isn’t my body.  If it works, perhaps it can take some of the strain off of things of this magnitude.

Of course, in a perfect world, nobody would ever need to do things of this magnitude.  Too bad it isn’t a perfect world.

Sorry for the long delay between posts.  As you can see there has been some serious stuff going down, and a lot happening on the personal and work side too.  Life just gets in the way of making blog posts sometimes.  Then you poor devils have to put up with nearly 4,000 words at a clip when I do post.

D.S.

A new perspective on love…

Love

Love (Photo credit: praram)

Strange title, no?  Love isn’t really the kind of thing I ever thought I’d be writing about on here, but things happen and I like to share them.

A week ago yesterday my wife’s sister’s husband’s brother (brother-in-law twice removed?) died in a car wreck.  My last post was about what to say to comfort those who are outside your own belief system, and this is kind of a strange extension to that story.

My wife’s life story is a really interesting one, and some of it we are still learning about in recent times.  One of the things we have learned is that she was born dead, and was actually dead for 5 minutes after she was born, and they don’t even know if she was dead while stuck in the birth canal.  So, her total time ‘not alive’ is an unknown.  We were only told this at my daughter’s birthday party in the beginning of June, so we’re still putting together some of the pieces of how that explains a fewe of her personality and problems.  She’s had her own psyc doc for a while and she’s never made sense to them.  She still doesn’t make any sense, but at least they have a good idea why.  I know…it’s a strange situation.

Anyway, back to the death.  So one of the issues she has is that when she’s under a MASSIVE amount of stress, her bowels shut down.   Funky?  Yeah.  It’s only happened three times in her life now, so it’s not a hard day at work makes her not poop.  We’ve had CT scans and all that good stuff and nobody knows why, it’s just the way it is.  Well, with all the death in her family (7 in the last two months), work, our little girl, and dealing with me, things got to be too much again.  The problem is that this time we couldn’t tell her to drop a class or something to lighten her stress, things just are the way they are.

The funeral for M was on Friday, and she was already having big problems by Wednesday.  She’s been watching his kids, prepping meals, grieving, and all those other things that come along with the untimely demise of a loved one.  So, Thursday night I devised a plan.  Being a loving person and caring for her overall well being, I decided to involve her in a ritual.  She couldn’t know what it was about, sometimes that has to be the way things are, but the goal was for me to ease her burden on Friday.  So, I setup a multifaceted approach to help her out.

In the ritual I set things up to give her a sense of peace, calm, and comforting when she came under emotional stress, and to pass what it replaced on to me.  I’ve recently been through so much therapy, including grief/mourning training, that I was willing to deal with the ramifications of lifting her emotional burdens for a day.  All of this was so she could receive a good experience from M’s funeral and achieve a very positive closure like I have learned to achieve.

The good news is, it worked!  The interesting news is, I had NO idea what I was in for.  That day, when she would have come emotionally apart, she really did get that sense of peace, calm, and comfort.  She didn’t know that was specifically what I did the night before, those were just the words that came out of her mouth.  So, I considered that a success.  The part I wasn’t expecting was how the ‘overflow valve’ that would send her emotions over to me would actually work.  It was WAY different than I could have ever imagined.

I think the first thing I should explain is that I really didn’t understand how naive I was.  Not about how well it would work, but about the way people feel.  There is a part in my mind that just assumes that love/hate/anger/loss and the entire gamut of emotions are the same for everyone.  I know we all may feel them stronger in different situations or towards different people, but I had no idea that my entire concept of an emotion could be wrong.

When I read about love, or even hear others talk about it, there are different traits that appear.  Some seem very hierarchical like ‘motherly love’, ‘platonic love’, ‘religious love’, or even the ‘love those we hate’ (I still haven’t figured that one out).  I can see the love people have wax and wane based on familiarity, time, positive and negative deeds, and even sometimes seemly their love can change on a whim.  I’m no stranger to these different ‘types’ of love.  I love my daughter different than I love my wife.  One is a ‘fatherly love’ and the other is a ‘romantic love’.  Right?  Does this make sense?  I’ve been asking people about ‘how’ they love others and ‘why’ they love others the last couple days, and so far it seems like everyone I talk to can use the same words and get into the same conversation about the concept.

Not my wife.  She has no idea what I’m talking about.  As a part of her psyc evals and therapy there has been a lot of talk about an “emotional wall” with her.  It’s one of the things that made doctors wonder about something in the autism spectrum before they found out about the whole ‘dead’ thing.  We’ve always talked about the fact that she doesn’t feel ‘romantic love’.  It’s just not there for her.  It’s not a problem in our marriage as I love her for many reasons beyond reciprocation of emotion, and there is love there, it’s just not expressed in the same way.  Or so I thought.

Back to Friday.  We go through the funeral, the reception, and the obligatory hugs on the way out.  I noticed that I was far more emotional than I should have been.  I think I met M twice before he died; both times at a holiday barbecue, so I didn’t even really have much of superficial connection to him, let alone a deep one.  So I’m getting all of this emotion, but my primary concern is to be there for C and to make sure she’s ok.  I even made a little ‘item’ for her during the ritual for her to use if I thought things were getting out of control.  But, she was fine.  She sat there and listened, remembered, and thought.  There was one specific time where I could see she was starting to get a big ball of emotion going and it just fizzled out and she went back to her peaceful state.  As designed, it came over to me.  Through the whole thing, she was perfectly peaceful and I was being bombarded by emotion.  After it was done I had to go straight to a meeting that ran late, and it wasn’t until it was done and I was heading home that I really had a chance to sift through the emotions and what had happened.

Through therapy I developed this unconscious process of dissecting and handling emotion.  My brain just starts picking at them one-by-one, rather than as a mass, examines them, comes to peace with them, and then moves on.  It sounds very formulaic, but it’s a coping skill that some of us need to learn.  One emotion at a time until all of them are handled.  Never try to handle them all at once.  That’s what makes pills necessary.

So I’m sifting through the day and I start having a hard time processing some of the emotions.  It wasn’t because they were so powerful, or that they were for someone I didn’t know, it’s because the way they were experienced was totally foreign to me.  The sense of loss, sadness, and all those others were running around in there and very normal to deal with, but they all revolved around love.  It makes sense, she knew M, loved  him, and lost him.  What I didn’t understand was her version of love.

C’s version of love is almost indescribable.  She doesn’t have hierarchies, qualifications (deeds, attitudes), and it doesn’t wax and wane.  I didn’t just get to feel her love for M, I got to feel it for every person that she met during that day.  Not everyone got the love, but those that did all got the same love.  She loves M as much as her brother.  It’s the same with T (M’s brother, my brother-in-law) and her mom.  It’s the same with me and Little N.  Her love doesn’t change based on the person…at all.  As far as the love aspect goes, there would have been no difference if it was anyone that she loved in that box, the emotion would have been the same.  Period.

I didn’t just get to understand the way she feels love, I got to feel love the way she does.  I felt love as her on Friday.  It wasn’t sympathy, it wasn’t empathy, I felt her loss and her love for M as if I was her.

You know what?  It absolutely humbled me.

I have never felt anything so whole and unconditional in my entire life.  Ever.  It was so pure and true that it honestly makes me wonder if I even really understand what love is, or if I can truly know how to love someone.  I know that sounds ridiculous.  She could have explained to me that he love was different a million times, and I would have just tossed it back to the old ‘she can’t express romantic love’ statement.  Now that I have experience the way that she feels love, I know why she doesn’t feel romantic love; she’s completely beyond it.  It is a whole  and entire love like I never could have truly understood unless I had experienced it myself.  It’s almost more like a soul-link to others.  She admitted that once she loves a person there is nothing they can do to ever change it.  She would separate herself from them if it was needed for her physical or emotional well-being (she’s not stupid), but the love would still remain.

There is only one exception to that, but I won’t really touch on it here.  The love is still there, but link has been severed.  What love was there is still there, but with the link severed, the love cannot be nurtured and grown anymore.

I know I already talk some seriously nutty stuff on here, but this one makes me feel like a total loon.  Experiencing what I did on Friday is making me reevaluate everything.  I want to love like that.  Having a taste of it and having to let it go is honestly disheartening.  I want to be able to feel that way for those I care about.  I want to be able to show other people what that pure, whole concept of love really is.  All of the poems, songs, and philosophy ever written cannot compare to what I got to experience on Friday.  To be one of the few recipients of that love makes me feel like the luckiest man on the planet.

Understanding that love will be part of what consumes me for a while at least.  It was like getting a small glimpse of how I want my soul to be.

She feels bad that I carried that emotion for her, I feel bad that I had to let it go.  I think it’s possibly the single most powerful spiritual thing that has ever happened to me, and the one that has also made me feel the most inadequate.

D.S.

 

P.S.: The fact that my ritual worked that well makes it one of the most awesomely powerful things I’ve ever done with magic.  The true lack of boundaries within Chaos is still hard to fathom in its entirety.  I need to figure out how this can even happen within Carroll’s probability formulas.

A good time to just shut my mouth…

Death

Death (Photo credit: tanakawho)

So there was a death in my extended family a couple days ago.  My wife knew him well, but I had only met the guy once.  He was quite a different type of personality than I usually spend my time with, so it was only brief small-talk.  Nothing against the guy, there are just people who you click with and those who you don’t.

So he died over the weekend, which obviously causes a lot of turmoil in a family.  Not being terribly connected to the death, I become the comforter as it’s easy for me to be calm and mellow for people.  The problem I’m facing is this: People want comforting words about the death.

That may sound like it isn’t much of a problem.  For parts of it I’m even quite good at it.  I’ve experienced the death of a parent at a young age, so I have gentle and reassuring words in that regard.  I’ve spent enough time in therapy to know to encourage people to go with their emotions and find their own ways to grieve. The problem comes down to when people start asking about the more religious/spiritual aspects and what they should do or what is happening.

In that regard, most of the things I have to say wouldn’t be comforting to a Christian or most other main-stream religious people.  The soul, death, the afterlife, and all of those topics are things that I hold very different beliefs about, and I refuse to just tell people what they want to hear.  So the only tactic I’ve had is to either just shut my mouth and let them spew, or to turn it into a question.  When asked, “Even though he was drunk/high/sinner/whatever, do you think he’ll still go to heaven?”  I’ve been asking things like, “Well, what do you believe will happen?” and letting them roll on their own beliefs.

I think people are starting to see through it though, and the last thing I want to do is piss on someone’s beliefs in a time of suffering.  I seriously doubt it would go well.  The words that would I would want to hear are definitely not things that would help them at this point.  It’s really a sticky spot to be in because I like to help people when I can, but there are boundaries I set for the sake of others.  I think my unwillingness to talk about some of it is being misconstrued as ‘he just thinks he’s going to hell’ or some other judgement.

If someone wanted my honest answer, the best I could tell them is that I could try and find out.  Everyone’s death is unique, and how they interact with the afterlife can be different depending on a lot of things like their religious convictions, willingness to accept their own death, and even their own preconceptions as to what will be waiting for them (or not).  I have some tools (including my wife) that are available to get an idea, but that’s about it.  If they’re looking to know if someone is playing Scrabble with a specific deity, it’s a question that I feel that I should dodge out of respect.

On a personal note, illumination has been the key lately.  The ‘fake it ’till you make it’ mentality has been ruling my life.  I never realized how truly powerful the concept of illumination could be until I started applying it to non-esoteric areas of my life.

A little bit more reality change and I won’t even recognize myself.

IO Chaos!

Eyes in the darkness…

English: Singing Dog eyes glow bright green wh...

English: Singing Dog eyes glow bright green when light is shined on them in darkness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t believe that it’s been two months since my last post.  Little N had a birthday, vacations have been taken, and living arrangements are being shuffled.  In other words, I’ve been insanely busy and have been neglecting just about every online presence I have.  The good news is, something happened tonight that made me instantly want to post it on here.

Just an hour ago I was standing outside having a smoke and talking with my wife when I saw a pair of eyes looking at me in my peripheral vision.  I’ve misidentified things in my peripheral vision before, so I turned my head and looked right where it was.  Expecting it to not be there, I was absolutely stunned there were in fact two eyes staring directly at me in my neighbor’s driveway.  It was after about only a second that they turned and moved where I couldn’t see them.  It wasn’t one of those ‘they moved away the moment I looked at them’ kind of things, I stood there sand stared directly into them for what could have been an eternity.

The first big ‘wow that was odd’ thing was that they were a deep, deep orange.  Not quite red, but well on their way.  Now, it was twilight where I live, and my neighbor’s drive is covered, so it was really dark over there.  I couldn’t see a body or a lack of a body, so that part will be a mystery.  All I saw were the eyes.  Another big problem is that they were bright.  Not like they were glowing or anything bizarre like that, they were just colorful and clear like they were two feet away in a well-lit room.  The next interesting point is where they were located.  If it was a dog (and they did look like dog eyes) it would have been a massive beast.  Something the size of a Great Dane.

After I saw it, I told me wife and we went over and looked at the driveway.  What I couldn’t see from where I was standing is with where it was, and the direction it left, it would have had to move through a jet ski to move in the direction it left.  It left towards the back of the house, so if it was just a dog, it could have slipped out that way (through the jet ski).  It means it would have also had to tip-toe past two other dogs to do it.  Stranger things have happened, so I’m not discounting that possibility entirely.

The big thing was just meeting whatever it was’s gaze.  I have never seen eyes like that in full light, let alone in low light.  They wen’t that color of normal ‘dog light reflection eyes’ either.  I’ve never seen that color before in the eyes of any living thing.  It almost looked like a bad special effect from a cheap Sci-Fi movie.

I decided to ask the cards about it and it gave me (for once) a simple and clear answer.  It didn’t mean or want to be seen.  It was keeping an eye on me (usually things watch my wife) because it doesn’t trust me for some reason.  If it becomes a problem, I have the tools to take care of it.  I was specifically told to keep my wife out of any resolution should it need to happen.

So, there you have it.  It just seems to be a totally random encounter at this point that should amount to nothing.  I always love good news!

In other happenings: I am going to be more free to do my practice in the house as my father will be moving in a couple weeks.  He’s finally going to get a little retirement place and put his feet up.  This will free up space in the house and not create awkward moments when I get interrupted in the middle of doing something.  I hate that more than anything.  It will also give me a dedicated meditation space!  I think that’s the part that I look forward to the most.

D.S.

Tales of a part-time atheist.

Atheism

Atheism (Photo credit: atheism)

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Google+ lately.  I mentioned in a previous post that there is a really good occult community, but I also enjoy hanging out in some work related communities and an atheist community.  I’ve considered myself to be an atheist for most of my life, with only brief moments of theism fluttering through.  Even in my Chaos I don’t tend to use, or even recognize, any god-forms.

I have found it interesting lately that many atheists have very different definitions of the word ‘atheist’.  A theist is one who believes in the existence of a deity(s).  It’s very simple.  The ‘a’ that goes in from makes it ‘not’ or ‘without’.  So ‘atheist’ just means someone that does not believe in a deity(s).

This has created a slight problem for me.  I have respect for those that have belief in deities.  Faith is what makes the world go around.  The only problem I ever have with it is when it is shoved in my face with some promise of eternal damnation if not followed.  This makes me have to hold my tongue a bit in the atheist community as many of them are extremely militant towards anything that science hasn’t already proven.  It seems a bit ironic to me that many of the things they believe are ‘proven’ still aren’t by their own definition, but that’s a different discussion.

Many atheists try and wrap the ‘paranormal of any kind’ into the definition of non-belief.  That’s where I start to get pissy.  Atheist doesn’t mean anything but a lack of belief in a deity.  That’s it.  Nothing else.  Are there other things out there?  In my opinion: Yes. Based on the definition, that doesn’t exclude anyone from being an atheist hat believes in them either.

It’s sad, but it seems like even non-belief based communities have zealots and groups who see themselves as superior.

The other problem is that I’m not always an atheist.  It’s one of the things about Chaos that makes it great: I can do/borrow/use/steal from any belief system I want at any time.  I can also make things up on the fly and drop them at my whim.  Craig, the God of the Park Bench, can be my Lord and savior for an hour if I want, then I can laugh him off and never think of him again.  It’s part of how I roll.

So where does that truly place me?  I’m an atheist…mostly.  I don’t believe in god(s)…unless it’s handy.  So, how in the heck does a guy put a label on that?  I know we really don’t need to label ourselves to be defined, but sometimes it’s a handy place to start.  I consider myself to be an ‘Atheistic True-Will Atmannist Chaote’.  I guess I may need to change it to something like nigh-atheist or something.

It’s a confusing spot to be in.  Chaos just doesn’t seem to fit well into anything.  It gives me the freedom I need to seek out what I want, but without any restrictions on how I do it.  I don’t see anything wrong with trying on other peoples’ shoes for a while.  In fact, some of the best things I’ve learned have come from doing that.

It’s just been bugging me the past few days that people are so restricted in their definitions.  I thought that was something I would encounter less of as I walked farther away from mainstream belief, but it only seems to be getting worse.

At least I’m armed with enough knowledge to play a good ‘devil’s advocate’ for them.  I am awesome at Christian apologetics, so I can just run rampant in there if I want to.  I behave though.  For the mots part it’s a good community.

Besides, if I can be a theist any time I want to, I can be an atheist as it suits me too.

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.