Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ignorance and Bliss

William Blake
I became a “Jesus freak” when I was a teenager. On the one hand, this was a good thing because it kept me out of trouble and provided a community of wholesome friends. On the other hand, it imposed a kind of mind control on me—and that control happened outside of my parents’ knowledge or involvement. The group I was involved with was run by a couple, who was the Catholic version of fundamentalist Pentecostals, and a nun who was probably specially trained in a BDSM workshop about how to wield a ruler.  But being an independently intellectual and philosophical sort, I broke out of the trap. Specifically, an interest in the writings of the friar Father Thomas Merton and contemplativism (the Christian equivalent to “meditation”) led me to an interest in ecumenism, universalism, and ultimately, Advaita Vedanta (Hinduism of a kind, that is).  Well, the Holy Rollers didn’t like any of this.

The couple who ran the Christian youth group I belonged to decided I needed an intervention. I was invited to the couple’s house to have a talk. During this encounter, the man was oddly handy-dandy, leering and making comments that seemed suggestive in between his good Christian solider advice, especially when the wife stepped out of the room now and then. His tone toward the wife was also rather abrupt. Among other things, this, sort of behavior made the light bulb go off about why the wife and daughter always looked so quiet and brittle.

I was dealing with something that was really encroaching on my innocence. An illusion about my reality was shattering. So, upon departing from this couple’s abode, any reservations I had had about following a new, improved path and having a mind of my own were effectively resolved.
Is hypocrisy and narcissism unique to zealot Christian folks? Hardly. Thankfully, I never got roped into a guru cult or became an acolyte of some New Age voice of “enlightenment” in my travels, but I did have my brushes and close calls with a character or two—and I’ve known lots of people who were embroiled and manipulated and pick-pocketed in these kind of scenes. 

In pre-Judeo-Christian creation mythology, the ever self-renewing serpent-god is the bringer of wisdom and culture. Also, the Roman god Saturn is the king of a Golden Age of prosperity when cultural arts and cultivation technology emerged and flourished. In Judeo-Christian mythology, all this is turned on its head. The serpent is an evil influence because it tempts humankind with knowledge. Beings responsible for bringing culture and technology to mankind are the fallen angels. And Saturn, in medieval Hermetic Christian spirituality, is equated with snake in the Garden of Eden whose job now is to impede passage from the mundane to the transcendent. Naiveté is, thus, a virtue and ignorance is bliss because…how else are you going to be controlled and manipulated?

Meditation from Cassiel: You are the primeval maya, the source of the universe…. By you, Oh Goddess, this whole world has been thrown into an illusion. If you become gracious, you become the cause of freedom from this world. From the Devi Mahatmyam 11:5

Excerpt from The Savior at the End of Time  From Chapter 20 A Snake in the Grass

Zosi began to be spotted in flamboyantly full ceremonial regalia within the Mercury Gardens. He would wear a tunic of thick raw silk and tightly fitted, black leggings that were made of tanned leather and full of straps and whips of lacings. Over this, he would wear high boots that matched a mottled, purple-black tanned leather cope embossed with images of ourobori, moondragons, and griffins. His hair was meticulously plaited and decorated with pins and ribbons. His head was topped with a black double-cone hat that was rakishly crimped and folded over so that the tips of the horn-like cones, embellished with opalescent jingle bells, menacingly flounced and jangled in front of his face. He wielded a rather large and tall staff, the core of which was made of slender poles of cedar and fennel stalks. It was wrapped in embossed leather that matched his ensemble. Like a sinister maypole, the staff’s leather sheath was itself wrapped in a filigreed design of cords and leather straps on which gadgets and flotsam were affixed and that dangled, flail- and cat-o-nine-tails-like, from the staff’s finial, which was a gold spearhead in the shape of a fish with an acorn protruding from its mouth.

Like that, he would stroll about the Gardens and then stop here or there to deliver a sermon that attracted larger and larger crowds as word of the spectacle grew. He would begin the rant in a gentle voice with the words, “See the illumination at the center of being,” and materialize some small sparkly object that would fascinate and mesmerize onlookers.

“The body and all phenomena arise causally and provisionally within absolute being,” he would continue, yet still in a very meek and quiet voice. It would be trembling and barely audible despite his ferocious appearance. “There is no time and no dimension to space, both being mere adaptive projections of mind. The personality is an interdependently arising construction of circumstances and experiences, driven by reactivity bred by conditioning devoid of awareness or true will. What is it to wake up from the idea of yourself? Heaven, hell, God, the Adversary, pleasure, pain, and all the pairs of opposites are projections of your own consciousness. You project ideas out of yourself. Treating them as independent entities, you go into them, fear them, and allow them to have power over you although they are your own creations. No one is there to deliver you; you must deliver yourself. Glimpse self-effacement and the root of your existence. Reality is silent, blissful, self-composed Being. This is the Redemptive Principle, the Christos, the Ground, and the Life beneath the mechanism.”

Then he would walk off to another part of the Gardens and say it again even though people weren’t really listening and hardly understood him; they were just grooving on being part of the show and the very groovy euphoric feeling Zosimo’s magical words incited in them.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sachiel-- Know Thyself

Apsara, Original digital art by Soror ZSD23
I got certified in hypnosis last November. I thought that most people thought of hypnosis as a quirky way to stop smoking or lose weight or break a phobia. But whenever I mentioned that was studying hypnosis to anyone, the only thing they wanted to know is whether I knew anything about past life regression. Well, as part of my training, my classmates and I did briefly dabble with it. When it was my turn to be regressed, I had at least one experience that not only moved me but was rather jaw dropping to the 2 other classmates I had been working with during that particularly session. I’ll keep the details to myself for now. But the experience and also the awareness that this is where peoples’ interest about hypnosis lies has made me interested in pursuing specialized certification in past life regression.

I do not want to study past life regression because I am particularly curious about whether I have lived before. I don’t want to study or practice it as an antidote to fear of death. I certainly do not want to study or practice it to assure someone that they were Julius Caesar or Marilyn Monroe in a past life. I do want to practice it to assist folks in drawing on messages from visionary consciousness to help then better understand and navigate their present reality—feel more comfortable in their own skin and okay and with choices made based on what their soul says rather than what they think they are expected to do.

Message from Sachiel

The face of Truth is covered by a golden disk. Remove it, oh Lord of Life, that I may behold its beauty. Oh Lord Who Allows Us to Thrive, the only seer, the Judge, the Sun, son of the Lord of Being, spread out thy rays and gather thy light so that I may behold they radiant form!

That Being in that light there, that, too, am I.

May this life return to air and the immortal! Then may this body end in ashes. Oh, my mind, remember! Remember what has been done. .Mind, remember. Remember what has been done. .Remember. --From the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 5:15:1-3.

Excerpt from The Sex Lives of Sorcerers
Bellaluna Drago was a fallen fairy because having had the ill-fortune of becoming some sinister Renaissance necromancer’s pet (and Michael knew who that fiendish bastard now was), she had haplessly done something despicable that led to the necromancer’s and her own ruin. She was now clawing through lives and worlds in atonement. Her redemption had come. Michael felt privileged to play a role in it.
“There is a saying in the alchemical texts that goes like this,” Michael murmured. “The dragon only dies when he is killed by his brother and sister at once; not by one alone, but by both at once. That is, by the sun and moon.’ You and me,” he said.

“We’re compelled to create stories for the whys and wherefores of things in an attempt to trump a wild card, which is existence itself. Existence happens despite us and also is a product of our own making. It’s a bit of a paradox,” Michael continued.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


  Moving right along...

Raphael's message for today:  See, I make all things new.

Excerpt from The Savior at the End of Time

“Where is he then?” Leo finally said. “Are you mad because he’s small?”
“He’s here,” she gasped and placed Leo’s hand against her belly.
In you?” he exclaimed as if angered by the stupid joke the guy was playing on them now. Then, alarmed and shamed by his stupidity, he uttered, “A child. Of course.”.

“It was plan B,” she said, and pouted, with her nose and eyes wrinkling into a bitterly angry sulk. “He just went on with the ‘game,’” she yelped, “and he told me we would do this—because I had been trying to do it with Michael Solaris—bring him back, reincarnated, but it wasn’t working.” She disgustedly flecked her hand at the glossy photo of Solaris that was now faded and burnt from having been exposed to the raging elements at the end of Time. “It was supposed to be a surprise . . . if it worked,” she griped......"... now we’re going to get further apart in Time,” she cried.

“You’re meant to be with me now, Sofia. My friend and partner,” Leo whispered. “And if he can find his way back through you, he is not lost or far at all. We have all been played, all three of us, like chessboard pieces—and me, blinded by pomposity like a clueless demiurge, was baited to accomplish this.” He wagged a hand at the shambles the world had become. “Things have ended so they can begin again,” he concluded. “He who was yourself before all other memories of permutation of kith and kin across aeons of time, he who was your brother in the past will be our son in the future. May you and I together also wander in this way through Time and Timelessness.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Camael: Howling at the Moon

I have no rant or bright ideas for today, but since I have already begun providing quaint little messages from the angels I am meditating on each day, I thought I ought not interrupt the momentum.

No, but wait, I do have something to say...

The great thing about realizing that what I have to say, in my creative and spiritual endeavors, is irrelevant or obscure is the liberation of it. It takes the pressure off trying to be heard. I can, instead, sit back and wonder why I want to be heard. I can drop the bad habit of expecting or needing approval or recognition like I did when I was a child working for that gold star or the pride of having Mommy tack some ouvre onto the refrigerator door…  It’s okay to fade into the woodwork, be contemplative, focus on the bigger picture and the grand scheme of things…

Camael means “sight of God.” This angel is said to not do much but lurk and watch. For me, he is a boy and his obediently long-suffering hound dog standing in the desert, patiently biding their time through thick and thin.

Today's message from Camael (also known as Chamuel and Samael)  is the Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Excerpt from La Maga from Chapter 7 The Daughter

They parked. Lady Vinca Blanco Sortiar pulled out a black scrying mirror. She spritzed water on it and turned it toward the light. She and Professor Camael Magus gazed into it intently. Mirelle leaned in to study it as well. She had to push up close to Professor Camael to do this. She smelled his cologne. It was something with vetiver and sandal and torturously titillating to whiff.
“Are these the girls?” Lady Blanco asked Mirelle.
The mirror held an image of the inside of Homunculus Tongue. It was a dingy, rustically wood-paneled place that had tables scattered around facing a stage. 
“That’s Tina—Serpentina—Hamadryad.” Mirelle pointed to the wiry girl with the dark, pin-straight hair. “That’s Karen.” She pointed to a more imposing and husky young woman with red hair and ruddy, freckled features.
“Karenia brevis,” Professor Camael snickered. The others in the SUV turned quizzical glances at him. The consul's brother, de Lux Magus, shook his head and tapped his brow as if something very stupid had occurred. He seemed to be even more grave and snobby than Consul de Lux Sortiar typically was.
“Karen Ea Brevis. You know her?” Mirelle asked.
“The affectations of young magical persons never cease to amaze me,” the consul’s older brother quipped.
Lady Blanco was smiling smartly but sort of compassionately—or maybe it was pathetically. The consul was clucking and shaking his head. “Does Karen Ea Brevis sound like a magical name to you, Mirelle?” he asked.
Mirelle simply blinked. It didn’t .She waited for the punch line.
Karenia brevis is the name of toxic microscopic algae, the proliferation of which causes a phenomenon known as Red Tide,” the consul announced. “Do you know what Red Tide is with your ties to the Creole South—the Gulf Coast of the U S A, Mirelle?”
Professor Camael and the others gaped at her, as if hanging on to her answer.
“Red water that kills everything in it and can kill you if you eat anything fished up out of it and takes your breath away and makes you wheeze if you stand on the shore near where it settles,” Mirelle recounted.
“What kind of person would choose such a name for herself?” the consul asked bitingly.
Lady Blanco told the consul to stop picking on Mirelle. “So she’s got an adversary now. That’s the spice of life. A little excitement. Every young sorceress should have an adversary. Otherwise, she might as well get a job as a radiology technician or something in the Outer Plane, don’t you think, Leo?”
The consul simply nodded distractedly.
Lady Blanco turned back to Mirelle. “Are you a maga or a sorceress, Sweetie?
Mirelle told her that she hadn’t decided.
“Yes, why do people have to be one thing or the other? Why is that, Leo,” Lady Blanco quipped.
The consul didn’t reply.
Lady Blanco grimaced. “He’s ‘distracted,’ Sofia La Maga.  Who knew.” she uttered to Mirelle. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Whining to God

Very many years ago when I was very immersed in Advaita Vedanta, I had a series of visionary dreams—the kind that are very vivid and leave a lasting impression.  One night, I had a string of the dreams in which I was many different deities of the Hindu pantheon.  Now, although my experience of being a deity was pleasant enough, what I was doing as a deity, in part, included rolling my eyes and sighing over the incessant racket of people piteously crying to me to fix their problems. As far as I was concerned, in my supreme godly wisdom, there was no problem.  Everything was really OK, but mere mortals, caught up in their self-involvement, egoity and neuroticism were grievously pining over all sorts of things that they thought were desperate and catastrophic.  

In my magnanimity—god that I was—I dispassionately went down to the tormented person(s) and assisted them. Then, I would wake up for a moment and fall right back to sleep to dream that I was a different god and go through the same cycle again with my whining supplicant devotees. This seemed to go on for hours all that night.
I have had other experiences similar to this one when I was heavily involved in meditation practices.  The experience was always that nothing bad was happening or ever happens.  In fact, it was as Nisargadatta Maharaj once said: “In Reality, nothing ever truly happens.” Or as said in the Ashtavakra Gita: “The body, heaven, hell, bondage, liberation, and fear are mere illusions. What then needs to be done?” But the ordinary state of being is certainly to be rather caught up in one’s personal patheticism, with the gall to think that some otherworldly being cares in the same way you expected mom or dad to when you were two years old.

Yes, very many people confuse whining for prayer. I can hardly say I am not guilty of it. Even in occultism, which is really an alternative form of spirituality,  a lot of emphasis is put on how to get something from other worldly beings —if not by whining, then fast-talking.  This being the case, although you might think that your holy guardian angel is your buddy, he or she might just think you are a pain in the ass if not an asshole… And if you think God or Jesus or whoever is answering your prayers because he likes you personally, no…that’s not why. It’s because he’s just sick of listening to you, and like a lazy parent, would rather spoil you to shut you up than train you to figure out how to be truly resourceful and fit for life.

Today’s message from Gabriel:  “From the unreal, lead us to the real. From darkness, lead us to light. From death, lead us to immortality. Reach us through and through ourselves and evermore protect us by thy sweet, compassionate face.” (Vedantist prayer adapted from the Vedas).

Excerpt from La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi

Sofia explained that the anchorite never spoke and allowed only three people to ever see her. Those three people were her apprentices. She only communicated with them while they were asleep or otherwise out of their normal minds.
“But besides getting into our heads, she used to be up all night listening to Commons who were, you know, praying to whoever because of their ‘problems,’” Sofia explained. “She used to comfort them, and give them little teachings. She told me I was going to have to do that someday, but I don’t know if I have the patience. I ignore them when they show up,” Sofia confessed.
"It's called the Misercordia Maneuver," Alan Raphael said.
 “I knew a mage who became sensitized to praying Commons,” Juliet added. “Man, if you never want to sleep or have an uncluttered thought, do that—listen to Commons and respond to them,” she laughed. “It got so bad that this guy couldn’t work anymore. It took up all his time and all his mind. I don’t even know if he ended up in the Balthazar Institute, he got so crazy.”
She turned to Alan to ask whether the case sounded familiar at which the friends got into a loud discussion about oddities involved in communications between Inner Plane denizens and Commons. Sofia remained silent in her weariness. She was sleepy, a little tipsy.... Danny Bruno just carried on with the rest of the guests, announcing that he was in agreement with Alan who, although boorishly overbearing, made the point that magi who run into problems with the Misercordia maneuver have Fluffernutter for brains. “They become egotistical and sappy and insinuate themselves into the lives and concerns of Commons. Erroneously identifying with them, they believe their whining has substance,” Danny griped. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Calling on the Angels

A few years ago, I did .some meditation and dream experiments with. the Olympic spirits, which are the Roman gods re-positioned as planetary intelligences in a late medieval book called the Arbatel.  But medieval and modern magic have a much greater interest in angels associated with the seven planets:  Michael, Gabriel, Camael, Raphael, Sachiel, Haniel, and Caffiel. Evoking them is my new project.

I had been trying to do with for years with fits and starts and little success.  A reader even  had had some correspondence with me regarding my Arbatel working telling me that I ought to try my luck with evoking angels.  Of course, his point was to immerse myself in the complexities of hoary Rosicrucian/HOGD and Enochian norms.  Ain’t got time for that.  Especially that I rather feel that I’m approaching an intimate part of myself when I do this stuff--or at least that I am being intimate with something I share the intimacy of Being with in a monistic paradigm. 

Now that a few years of an oppressive work and commuter schedule has become part of my past, I have returned to meditative practices.  I have been spending part of my meditation time in traditional silent meditation and the other half fixating on the sigil of the angel associated with the day of the week and seeing what insights and impressions appear to me.  This time, rather than sharing my impressions in a diarist approach, I intend to share my impressions through a series of paintings in the coming weeks and months.

Very many people claim to be in contact with angels, whether they be occultists, New Agers,  Christians, or others.  Some have even made a nice business of it.  But working with spiritual entities, which are really parts of ourselves, is highly individualized. I think it would be good to approach these projects in a personal and highly individualized way but also in a way in which  practitioners can hold some insights close to their hearts and share others in a free and open exchange about self revelation and commiseration rather than in a way that sets someone up as a self-proclaimed “specialist”or authority. It is fine to be inspired by someone else’s experience, but, ultimately, you have to have your own. Frankly, there is no one there to deliver you, you must deliver yourself.

In my period of stops and starts regarding angel evocation, I had wanted to make the project a group one, but could not muster the interest—either in a Facebook group that I briefly relaunched—or in a small “grove” of women I have been circling with for a few years. Is it a shame? I don’t know. But I have launched my project finally on my own and am letting you know.

Michael's message for today...Love yourself.

Excerpt from The Fallen Fairy, from Chapter 7 A Giant Pink Dragon

She closed her eyes and envisioned the sky as if jettisoned into the vault of night: the myriad of stars spied when the evening was clear and the moon was new. The scintillation before her eyelids was merely the effect of over-breathing from stress and sobbing. Still, with wet eyes and bitter endearment, she held the image of Michael in her mind and while uttering the name envisioned his angelic namesake. Micha-el, “Who is like God”: a towering archangel, shining white and made of fiery light who subdues chaos and guides and protects souls as they traverse the spheres. He was the crown of the secret fire and guardian of the interspaces between the end and beginning.
Bella let it embrace her. She imagined it being virile and great, like Michael had been. She let it pity her tenderly and gently command the cessation of tears. Its potency grazed her face. Her sinuses, impacted with bitter tears, cleared. Then she could breathe. A calm feeling overcame her.
So she rested with that feeling of communion with that presence (whether it came from within or without) until dusk descended and then night.