This is a 3 post series about a cycle. A cycle that took nearly 3 years to complete. I’ve decided to write about this now because this is my time for celebrating O’s Mysteries, and I feel that the cycle I have been through and the Mysteries go hand in hand (for my own personal experience). I am always contemplative about myself, life and death during the Mysteries, and if anything I’ve gone through could embody those traits- the Cycle is it. The Mysteries are all about death, transformation, and rebirth. A period of killing things, being torn apart, inert, helpless. Followed by a period of gathering your pieces up, regaining yourself, and rising to power, as it were. This Cycle that I’ve been led through did exactly that. It cut me down, ripped me apart, cleansed my bits, put me back together, and then I climbed out of my hole to find myself whole again.
I think it should also be said that I want to write this out for others to consider. A lot of people seem to think that recons are dry and dull- that our practices are completely stale and dead. However, I submit this experience for your consideration. I ask you to challenge your thoughts on what you think you know- about recons, and the gods. I ask you to take a look at the crack-laden roller coaster ride I’ve been on, and see if your opinions are the same once you come out the other side.
So shall we?
The Cycle began in 09. In fact, it started right after Set came barging into my life. I guess he doesn’t like to waste time. Shortly after my job situation was handled, he sat down with me one day in a vision and told me that I had a black hole in me. And in that black hole was a lot of anger, depression, frustration, malice. Inside of my black hole (my pit, he often called it) were all of these emotions. These things that were a part of me, but that I ignored them. And by ignoring these things, I was allowing them to control me.
I suppose it’s like ignoring a ferocious animal in your living room- and then wondering why your furniture is half eaten when you get home from work.
I looked at my black hole, and I saw all of these swirling black things.. like looking into a huge basin of black sludge and oil. I didn’t really know what to do about it. I was a mess. He then showed me his own black hole. I experienced this in multiple ways- the most prominent being through his own mythology. We took the basic myth of Set felling Osiris, and then he laced it with anger, jealousy, rage. He wove a story about how everyone got all of the good things, but he constantly got shafted. He showed how being the middle child, being the lesser son, having many people dislike you- how all of these things can create these demons, these problems- this pit that lives in your heart. He took every myth I could find of him, and warped it into something dark and angry. I have no clue if he actually felt some of this stuff in correlation to the myths, or if it’s reverb from people warping the myths themselves, or if he just tells a good story. But at the time, I could see where he was coming from. I could see the bitterness, the anger and anguish that lay beneath the cool exterior.
I could see myself in him.
The biggest difference being- he had control of all of that stuff. Those emotions were in check. They were his to use and manipulate- not to be manipulated by. Because he acknowledged all of this dark stuff, he was able to use it to his advantage. And it was exactly this that he wanted me to become.
So how did he do this? He took me to the edge of my pit, and kicked me in. Sparta style.
And thus began the cycle. I spent months in this pit. In fact, I think I was there for at least a year. The pit is best described in feeling and color. It’s dark, it’s warm. There are reds and blacks- but mostly black. It’s deafening. All you can hear is yourself, your emotions, your thoughts- every bad thing you could ever imagine or think of lives there. It’s awful. And even worse- its inside you.
It’s inside you. Inside me. Inside all of us. In each of us lies a dark hole that is filled with all the bad stuff we could ever imagine. It’s only a question of if we choose to acknowledge it and work with it- or completely ignore it. In many ways, this part of the cycle is a lot like Dark Flame work within FlameKeeping. You must go into the darkness that is within yourself. And you must live with it, and become it, and embrace it before you can triumph over it.
And it took me months to even get a grip on anything. It took my anger months to get to a point where it was sated and quelled. It took me months to get a point where I could even think with a remotely clear mind. But even then, it wasn’t over. Once you can stand in the pit, you then have to find a way to crawl back out of it again. Once the anger was no longer boiling over, I needed to figure out a means to take hold of it. Only then could I find a way out. And the way out was filled with plenty of screaming, rage, and anger.
That is where Set told me to go look into Shinto. If there is anything that Shinto can address it’s peace, coming together, seeing the good in the bad. Things like that. And through working with Shinto (and a million other changes in my life), I began to see light at the end of the tunnel. I began to slowly crawl out of my own pit.
About this time, Set began to tell me that I needed to make my two halves whole. I was currently two parts, two portions, two mes at war with one another. That this journey into the Pit was ending, but that there was more in store for me.
And ‘lo, as I come out of the pit, I found myself at a river…
Other parts of this series: