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Category Archives: Astral

Healing and Destruction: Two Sides of the Same Coin

When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals, and I thought it would be a nice idea to help heal and save the animals that I loved. That is until I realized that in order to be a vet, you must be willing and able to also kill animals when treatment was not available or working. And with the mention of that, I decided the profession was not for me. Life’s funny like that, because despite my best efforts to move away from death and destruction, my life Over There landed me neck deep in both. Over the years I have made a lot of vague passing comments about the nature of my life Over There, but I’ve never really gone into any amount of depth or detail regarding the work I do. As with most everything I do, this has been done on purpose, as I’ve always felt that talking about it would result in one of two things: people looking at me like I’ve lost my marbles while they whisper “special snowflake” to their closest friends, or people looking at me with horror while they call me a monster. Both options lead to suck so I’ve never bothered.

However, recent discussions about the nature of ma’at and the nature of the gods has led me to decide to finally open up about some of what I do Over There. I guess we can consider it getting an early start to the work Set has laid out for me this year.

Usually when I sum up my work Over There, I de-fang and sterilize everything down to “I heal and destroy”. It sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s honestly anything but. I’ve noticed over the years that many people seem to have troubles understanding how these two things can live so closely together, as seen by goddesses such as Sekhmet. However, let me assure you that the two are opposite sides of the same coin, as with the veterinarian mentioned above. In order to be able to heal, you must also be adept at being able to kill, and one can easily lead into the other.

I never expected to end up in this role, and taking up this sort of “work” happened very organically- at least on my end. I still can’t tell if Set and Osiris came to me because they foresaw what I was capable of doing, or if this is all just icing on top of their already made cake. At first I tried to escape the role that lay before me. However, the more I ran, the faster it caught up with me, and eventually I ended up embracing what was laying at my feet. Anything else resulted in more discomfort. Sometimes it’s easier to find solace in what you are than to continually deny what is written in front of your face.

Much like with my gods where Set came first and Osiris followed, my work started with destruction and I didn’t learn some of the finer points of healing until much later. Destruction came very easily to me from a very early point in my astral work. This is mainly due to my ability to access the deeper points of people Over There. I don’t even have to really try, and I can fall into some of the deepest darkest parts of a person or a plane (because planes can have embodiments and cores, just as humanesque entities do), places where it’s very easy to do damage. Waking up neck deep in astral fuckery meant that I had to kill sometimes in order to survive. Sometimes I needed to destroy a place, person, or item in order to get away and restore some semblance of balance or totality to my existence. Destruction was very necessary when I first started out. I had to clear out the wreckage of my house in order to actually address the foundations below.

The need to heal people was pretty quick to follow, though. Turns out that when you’re popping up in these horrible places to collect parts of yourself, you often find other people who are just as screwed up as you are. I found myself wanting to help these people, and wanting to help heal them as best as I could. I also think that I secretly hoped that I would be able to avoid killing things because healing them was the solution to everything. I didn’t realize at the time that this isn’t really the case- healing is not always a solution, nor is it always the best solution.

Shortly after, Osiris began to teach me how to use the river to heal myself and others as well. We’d branch from using my particular river to using vats of water in general. I learned various methods of picking nasty bits out of people’s energy lines, and I began to work on learning how to heal cores and core spirits. I felt as though I might have found a solution to everything- I would heal whatever I came across instead of killing it.

The problem is, healing doesn’t really work that way.

Death and destruction are part of a healer’s arsenal. When someone from Over There opens up their proverbial medical bag, death and destruction are one of the first things to be pulled out. The first method that Osiris showed me, after all, involved drowning in order to facilitate the ability to heal. It doesn’t get much more morbid than that.

And even if you’re not using death or destruction to heal, sometimes killing is still an unavoidable side effect. Sometimes you work your ass off trying to heal someone, and the healing still does not stick. The healing doesn’t work because the person isn’t ready, or in some cases, the person doesn’t even want to be healed anymore. I had a man that I ended up calling Waffles because he kept waffling in his healing so much. Some weeks he wanted to live and wanted to stay with me forever. And then other weeks he’d withdraw entirely, and wish for death.

Eventually, the death won out. Part of being the healer is being able to put someone out of their misery if you need to (or if they want it). Another part of being a healer is being able to put someone down if they are becoming a serious danger to you or others. Sometimes death is the best way to facilitate the healing. And of course, we can’t forget the other popular end result- which is when the healing works out so well that the person passes on by their own choice, leaving you with a surprisingly empty room one morning. All of these results are not only possible, but common when it comes to healing Over There.

To bring this into a more mundane aspect, you can even see destruction in the healing we perform here on Earth. Ever taken antibiotics? That involves killing bacteria in your system in order to get better. Destruction facilitates the restoration of balance within your system. Destruction can sometimes lead to ma’at – which is exactly why we have less than peaceful deities in our pantheon. Sometimes peace and passivity are not the answer.

And perhaps that is why I have ended up with the selection of gods that I have. Set’s destruction and Osiris’ passivity give me the best of both worlds, and in many ways both of their tasks fall into the same category: healing, or the restoration of balance for a person, plane, or realm. Sometimes killing and death are required in order to restore that balance. Sometimes good old fashioned nurturing and healing are required to restore the balance. Sometimes you need both in equal measure.

I was once hopeful that I could use all of what I have learned regarding healing to wipe away all of the red on my hands from everything I have destroyed or killed. But since then I have learned that healing doesn’t wipe the red away. It simply adds to the richness of the color. Life without death does not exist, nor does healing exist without destruction, as both are inseparably linked.

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KRT: Flyin’ Solo

When your practice leaves the beaten path: what happens when the gods throw you for a loop? What do you do when the gods present you with a situation that doesn’t seem “normal” for a Kemetic? How do you handle things when your practice wanders off the map?

Once upon a time I was what you might consider a relatively “normal” Kemetic. My practice was more or less by the books, and there wasn’t anything overly “strange” or abnormal about how I practiced and lived Kemeticism. As someone who has lived on both sides of the “normal” divide, I have to say that the biggest problem with the idea of “normal” is that it is horribly limiting. And when the gods chuck you over the “normal” chasm and you see yourself plummeting into the Valley of Weird, you can’t help but be afraid- or at least I was- of what everyone else is thinking of you. Being thrown into the Valley of Weird is kinda like being thrown into no man’s land, and the territory can seem really hostile and daunting. The first time it was suggested to me that I should write about “not normal” stuff, I feared being ostracized and leered at by the community, and I’d put money down that anyone that has fallen into the Valley of Weird has felt the same way.

I don’t really think I realized what being thrown into the Valley was going to mean for my practice. I think that I sorta believed that I would write a few posts about this “weird’ stuff that I do, and then things would go back to normal. I thought I was going for a visit into the Valley of Weird, only to wake up and find that not only was I now stuck down there, but that I was to set up shop in the Valley and lead tours around the place to show others that the Valley of Weird isn’t really all that weird when you look at it a bit closer (which has now formed what I call my “house burning” season).

In many ways, what I thought would be a one time event has almost turned into the “bread and butter” of my practice. I almost feel that “weird” has become my hallmark.

pretend the hole is a bus. it’s kinda like that.

 

I will be the first to say that this is likely by design. I have no doubt in my mind that this is part of Set’s planning, part of his “grand plan” about where the larger Kemetic community needs to go. He once called me the “guinea pig” of the community. Well, he didn’t quite word it that way. Instead he told me “I will throw you under the bus, so that others won’t have to be”. That is to say, he purposefully has placed me in certain situations, situations that fall more into the weird or taboo category, so that I can document those situations. Then I can disseminate the information to others, and in so doing, help others feel less alone in their circumstances, and break down the restrictive ideas about what should be considered “normal” in our community.

For those of you who haven’t been in Kemeticism for very long, this may sound a bit strange since many newer Kemetics have stated that our community is really open to new ideas. That’s because what is considered normal now is not what was normal once upon a time. Back when I first came into Kemeticism, you didn’t have a lot of “woo” Kemetics. Astral and Kemeticism didn’t appear to touch. There were no Kemetics that I could find that were discussing things like magix, witchcraft or even heka. It’s as if everything outside of shrine work was considered taboo, and that doesn’t even address the parts of Kemeticism that are still a bit “out there” for some people’s tastes- things like sexual relations with gods, god spousing and other types of non-physical relations that can happen.

Everything that is considered relatively “okay” and “normal” now is only that way because brave people talked about their experiences. The only way that I’ve found to move from “weird” to “normal” seems to be through openness and discussion amongst our peers. But that’s why being thrown into the Valley of Weird is so terrifying. Because in order to actually make things more okay in the wider community, you have to put yourself out there to be judged and possibly ridiculed. And when everyone who is living in the Valley of Weird refuses to talk about their experiences out of fear, newly tossed people have no idea who to turn to or who to ask about their situation. Everyone being closed off creates a bad situation where many people end up being scared, and that serves no one.

This is also why I have worked very hard to push people to challenge their views on what is “normal”. This is why I’ve written about how to break new ground, just in case you fall into the Valley of Weird, and want to try and show people that it’s not such a bad place. But for those of you who have fallen into the Valley of Weird, but don’t want to necessarily write about it- here are my tips for figuring out what to do when you’ve been thrown out over the chasm.

Stay Calm

It is challenging to stay calm when you’ve been thrown off of a cliff into what appears to be nothingness, but I have always found that staying calm is the best place to start in any new or unfamiliar situation. Staying calm allows you to think through things more readily, and it will prevent you from acting out in a panic, which can often take a situation from bad to worse. When in doubt, remember to be still and breathe for a bit.

Objectivity, Documentation, and Discernment

The next step that I usually take is to walk myself through what I am experiencing. I document everything that I can recall- even if it seems far fetched or downright inaccurate. Remember that documentation is there purely to capture what it is you’re seeing, feeling or experiencing. Don’t worry about discerning things when you first write them down. Just get them down on paper, the discernment can come later. It’s better to have notes that you write off later as being mental vomit than to be sitting down half of a year from now trying to remember “what that one symbol that he showed me?” Staying calm will make it easier for you to document what you’re seeing, and documentation can help you to better discern what is going on in your particular situation. Remember that it is common for a single situation to have elements that are accurate as well as elements that are being misinterpreted or misunderstood by your brain. It’s normal and to be expected. And the best way to figure out which is which is by turning it over as many times as you can while you’re going through the process. You may not owe an explanation to anyone else, but I’ve always found that feeling secure in my ability to discern my situations makes me feel better about what I’m doing. And that’s always been important to me- trying to find some shred of sanity amidst my chaos.

Remember You’re Not Alone

Whatever part of the Valley of Weird that you’ve fallen into, remember that you’re not alone. I know it probably feels like you’re alone, but I have yet to hear anyone’s experiences of the Valley that really struck me as being odd or out there. Remember that a lot of people are not talking about their experiences, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t experiencing them all the same. It can feel alienating, but I promise that you aren’t alone in what you’re going through.

Being thrown over the chasm of normal into the Valley of Weird can be daunting. But it can also be very rewarding once you get to the other side. Although the experiences I’ve had through all of my crack have been way out there, and very trialing at times, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade them in for a “normal” practice. There are so many things I’ve experienced that I am grateful for, and my life is better for all of the metaphorical crack that I’ve snorted. While it may not seem like it at first, sometimes finding a small place to set up shop in the Valley of Weird can be one of the best things that ever happened to you. And who knows, once you spend some time there, you may even come to enjoy it.

To read other responses to this topic, check out the KRT Master List

 

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“Strange” Devotion

I have found that when it comes to my relationships with Unseen entities, devotion is a strange two-way street where Unseen entities devote a large portion of their time to harassing requesting me to do something, and only after they have spent enough time bugging me about it asking for the thing to be done will I actually do it. They devote enough time to showing me it’s important to them, and then I will devote my time to performing their request as an act of devotion to them. And it seems that the stranger the request is, the more time that must be devoted to the cause before it gets done. Or something.

A perfect example of this occurred a few weeks ago.

It was a Sunday afternoon, and I was sitting on the ground surrounded by nearly every pair of shoes that I own. I hadn’t formed some type of shoe-cult at this point in time, though it might have been more entertaining if that was the reason for being surrounded by several pair of shoes when I’d rather be resting or working on something I deem “more important”. No, the reason in this case was rather mundane in that one of my menz had spent enough time devoted to nagging me that I finally agreed to polish all of my shoes. And it only took three weeks of consistent bothering to “convince” me to cave.

boot polish supplies

As normal as strange requests have become, this one was particularly absurd to me. As I wrapped the cotton cloth around my fingers and dipped it into the boot polish, I couldn’t help but think to myself “I wonder if anyone else has to put up with this sort of crap? I mean honestly, who dictates that you need to polish your shoes?” I slowly worked the polish into the leather and mused on the strangeness of it all. While I mused on it, I heard some type of guttural remark from somewhere else in the room. I looked up at what appeared to be an empty corner where one of my menz was sitting and watching me work. “Overseeing”, he’d say. His noises indicate that I’m not polishing shoes to his standards.

This is also normal. Once I have decided to devote my time to performing this request, many entities will often watch me complete their request and comment on my performance while I do so, because an audience makes everything better. In this instance, I stare back at my menz blankly before going back to the polishing. “He may not like my methods, but I am trying, and he will have to deal with that,” I tell myself before I go back to wondering how I ended up here, and whether anyone else has to deal with this sort of thing.

And when I say “this sort of thing” I mean the weird stuff that Unseen entities make you do in the name of “devotion” or “dedication”. I mean, I’ve heard lots of stories from many different people of some of the weird stuff they’ve been requested to do, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone being harassed to shine their shoes or iron their shirts by their astral partner or deity.

But isn’t that how it goes with the Unseen? You start off simple enough. You talk for a while, you leave out offerings, you say the prayers and hymns and it’s this nice little package that you can pick up and put down and it’s got its place and everything is fine. But then one day you wake up and find the Unseen leaking into your living room, into your weekend, into your sleep and before you know it you’re being asked, if not forced, to do some strange things in the name of devotion.

There have been many discussions over the years about what some people deem as acceptable in terms of offerings, devotional acts and things of that nature. And the longer I work at this, the more I really do believe that weird devotional acts that are off the map are par for the course, if not to be entirely expected. I really have no clue where these entities come up with some of the strange requests that I’ve gotten over the years, and I honestly want to know why they ask for such stuff. Is it seriously something that they want? Or are they simply trying to see how much weird stuff they can ask for before their devotee throws their hands up in the air and says “no more”?

Over the years I’ve been asked to do things that I might deem to be weird. I’ve been told to do more mundane things like go to movies, have a nice dinner, pick out a very particular baked good from the bakery rack or things of that nature. And while I sometimes have no clue what any of this has to do with showing a deity I care, or why a deity cares about what movie I watch or what I eat for dinner, I do it all the same because I don’t want to listen to the complaining if I don’t.

It may seem harsh to say that, but I would be lying if I said that I did everything purely out of love and some altruistic bent that I have. I only have 24 hours in the day like everyone else, and there are many times when I honestly don’t care about whatever some Unseen entity is trying to convince me to do. Much like an RPG, there are days when I don’t want to go hunt down every farmer’s lost goat, even if the XP is not bad. There are days when I don’t want to iron my shirts. When I don’t want to go stand outside and leave offerings. When I don’t want to make a circle of rocks next to a busy street just because some spirit told me to.

The entities that have been around the longest have learned that the secret to getting me to do bizarre or cumbersome stuff is all in the presentation (“it’ll be fun and amazing!” *jazz hands*) – and failing that – it’s about nagging me and bugging me until I do it for the silence that should follow. It may not sound very rosy and spiritual, but it is the truth. If one half of the spirit worker equation is that all spirits are like kids that scream mine, then the other half of the spirit worker equation must be that spirit workers don’t value altruism, they value silence. And it wouldn’t surprise me if most of the Unseen knows it. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve met that put off doing obscure, weird, or “strange” acts of devotion or offerings because, well, it’s weird and not a priority to us. If I stopped and instantly fulfilled every request a deity or spirit put in for me, I’d be broke and have no free time.

So in a way, the “two-way-street of strangeness” is a sort of filtering tool for determining what I spend my time on, particularly if the request is inane or down right bizarre.

How do you determine which offering requests to listen to or ignore? Do you have any sort of filtering criteria? Have you ever been asked to do some weird or strange things in the name of devotion? Did you end up doing them?

 

 

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Worshiping Yourself

It sounds kind of funny, doesn’t it? “Worshiping yourself.” I can hear people thinking already, “what kind of actual well adjusted person worships themselves? Only narcissists and greedy jerks think of themselves as gods needing worship!”

But I am here to challenge that notion.

As you surf through the Pagan-sphere you’ll see a lot of shadow work going on, and if you stop to read some of that shadow work, you’ll see that a lot of it stems from a lack of self love and self worth. We as a society (especially women and minority groups, imo) are taught that we are not worthy of our own love. We are taught that we need to put literally every. single. person. on the planet. before ourselves. And in turn, we neglect our own needs, our own wants and desires, and that can lead to some self-destructive tendencies. When I wrote about unconditional love a few years ago, I mentioned that unconditional love also included loving yourself, and that includes making yourself a priority in your own life. In order to help facilitate loving ourselves more, I decided to explore the idea of creating a shrine for yourself.

Or as the title of this post states: creating a shrine where you can worship yourself.

How do we create a shrine to ourselves?

It may seem really confusing at first- figuring out how one makes a shrine to yourself. However, I can say at least this: there are no rules on what a proper shrine to yourself would include! Unlike trying to please a deity or religious obligations and rules in typical shrine creation, you are completely in control of what goes on your own shrine. You get to make the rules, and only put things on your shrine that help you to move closer to self acceptance and love. I know that this is really generic sounding, so to help you get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas for you!

To start off, here is a list of things that you could start with:

  • Pictures of yourself
  • Pictures of things that you love, or things that make you happy
  • Mantras and affirming statements (for ideas on these, see here, here and here)
  • Workbooks and tools to help with your goals
  • Journals
  • Jewelry or other finery that you like to wear. Things that make you feel good and look good.
  • Nice smelling things such as perfume, candles or incense

As stated above, you could include anything on your shrine. Nothing is off limits. It can be large, or small. Something you wear on your person, an image you keep in your wallet, or be a huge shelf in your living room. It’s all about what helps you to be happy. For example, I tend to include stuff that reminds me of my astral family because they make me happy. I also like to include images of my gods because they have played a key role in a lot of my shadow work over the years.

Use whatever makes your shrine yours.

I’ve got my shrine set up, but what do I do with it?

With all of the small spaces that I have set up for myself, I spend most of my time in those spaces being happy and calm. I use my own personal shrines to reflect upon myself and where I am going. I think about where my life is heading, and if I need to adjust anything to reflect where I want to be. I also use these spaces to talk with entities, the same way you might with a deity at their shrine. However, the conversations in my own personal shrine space are either regarding my own personal self work, or are lighter in nature. I don’t go to my personal spaces to talk about other business.

I also treat my personal shrine space as a safe place. I go there to unwind or reduce stress. I have a lot of small spaces in my house where I will stop for just a few seconds as a means to remind myself to breath and calm down. If your space is large enough, you could meditate in front of your shrine, or listen to music that helps you to relax.

Essentially, it is a space that is designed to help you grown and become a better person through whatever methods help with that.

And to help bring it all together, here are some examples for you to look at!

This is my main “me” shrine. It sits by my bedside and is changed regularly as my needs and wants change. This particular version of the shrine has a focus on heart-based magix and has been set up to help my heart heal after what I had experienced during this years Mysteries.

This shrine features a lot of items that I relate to my astral family, including multiple necklaces that my menz have claimed as well as the brass candle holder that my partner has claimed. I keep keys on the shrine to help me remember that I have keys to moving forward. I keep spoons on this shrine to remind myself that I need to keep my spoons and manage my spoons better. I also keep a small icon of Set and Osiris on this shrine because they are trying to help me become more balanced.

Balancing is a primary focus of this shrine, hence the fairly even distribution of items and the symmetry that is present here.

IMG_0077

This is a very small shrine that sits in my closet. This is one of those shrines that I see daily while I get ready in the morning, and I use it as a small reminder to make time for myself and to remember that I am worth pampering. I keep very bright, expensive (ish) looking items in the glass case. I use items that remind me to dress well and focus on keeping up with my appearances (because it helps my mental health). The pin for sewing reminds me of the changes I’m making through my clothing. The pocket watch reminds me that my time is valuable. And all of the items in this case remind me of my astral family and the positive things that my family Over There has brought into my life.

Shrine001

This shrine features a star jar, which I use star jars for heka purposes and fulfillment of wishes. Each of the stars in the jar have been imbued with desire and purpose for where I want to go in life. I’ve also placed a picture on this shrine that has a pair of owls on it- which reminds me of my physical partner and helps me to remember to focus on my life here as well. I have a large quartz (I think?) sphere on this shrine that I roll around in my hands when I’m thinking and mulling.

shrine002

I wanted to show this idea as a concept for everyone because I want people to see that your shrine doesn’t necessarily need to be big or fancy. This type of shrine setup could easily blend into the rest of your house and no one would be the wiser. In this case, the aim is to make yourself a cup or pot of tea. You sit down with your cup of tea and while you drink it, you work on any shadow work or self-work that you need to get done. You could drink your tea and write down affirmations in the book. You could use the book to jot down things you got done today (see: done lists). You could use the journal for doodling or brainstorming. Again, its about whatever helps you to move forward towards a better you.

Hopefully this post has helped to give you some ideas about ways that you can help better yourself. If you guys create shrines for yourself, I’d love to hear about it!

 

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All Souls 2013

I was lucky enough to be able to go to this year’s All Souls Procession down in Tucson. The All Souls Procession is a local event that occurs every year around Dia de los Muertos and All Saints Day and is geared to help people honor their ancestors, family and community. When I go, I go walk with a local Taiko group that likes to utilize elements from Japan’s Obon celebrations- most notably, Ondo dancing.

Much like the last time that I went, I stared at my prayer form for quite a while before I could even begin to figure out what to write on it. In an effort to get inspiration, I placed it in front of the shrine with some offerings for the gods; which proved ineffective for inspiration. But at least I got their blessing in a way.

I decided to go a different route instead. I decided that I would look at the past year, as though I had gone to All Souls last year, and reflect on how things had changed. This last year has been an adventure and many things have occurred and transformed. Some for the better, some for the worse. I mused on it for a while and ended up writing a short series of statements on my prayer form and folded it into a heart- a double edged symbol for me for the heart represents a lot of my astral work, and its reflection – balls – is a main symbol for Set.

Unlike my last prayer form, which focused heavily on purging the pain from my system and finding some sense of foundation in my crumbling life, this year’s prayer form focused about celebrating the fact that I’m still standing. I have been monitoring the anger and pain I feel for a while now, and I knew that I would be a fool to think that this one ceremony/event would be enough to purge that anger and pain out of me. So instead of even attempting to figure that out, I opted for the latter- focusing on what I’ve got left. While its true that my life has crumbled significantly in the last year, what has managed to survive is beautiful indeed, and I am very grateful that these people and things are still with me even now.

Its worth cherishing and remembering daily. I wanted to really embrace that.

Also like last time, I didn’t experience some sort of earth shattering mind breaking epiphany. However, the event was much more organized and more enjoyable (to me) than the last time I went. We were able to give our dancers enough space to move freely, and the crowd that lined the streets was very supportive and the whole vibe throughout the procession was better. In addition to this, the weather was awesome.

As I stood around waiting for the procession to start (which is about 2 hours of killing time) I listened to the DJ talk about the nature of the Procession. He discussed repeatedly about how the Procession is about experience. You’re there to be in the moment and to be a part of the gathering around you. It’s not about being a spectator or watching from being a camera lens (a problem that I have). To keep true to the nature of that mentality, I didn’t get very many photos. However, you can take a look at the All Souls FB Page, Tumblr, more Tumblr, or some news footage to see some of the variety of costumes and floats.

Much like with the Obon dances I participated in a few years back, this year’s Procession felt very much like I was a part of something more. I felt more connected with the people around me, with the community that came out to watch us, as well as with the other dancers. This year I didn’t stay for the finale of the Urn burning. I was too tired and had to drive back to Phoenix that same night so I decided to leave early. However, I don’t feel like my experience was any less for not staying. I knew that my Prayer Form would be burned in the urn and that I felt secure in my gratitude about what I still had in my life- my friends and family that are still standing with me despite the past year of turmoil.

And that is enough for me.

Relevant Posts:

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Astral, Hypnosis & Inner Work, Rambles

 

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Devo Magix: Vision Questing

Alternate title: How to Crack Out

Disclaimer: I have no clue if vision questing is the right term to use. I’m not taking this term from any other culture- it’s something I came up with to try and describe what I do when I literally go out looking for visions. If there is a better term for this sort of thing, please let me know so I can use what is considered “standard” terminology.

As I’m sure many of my readers have heard by now – I have a proverbial IV of crack flowing in my veins. I’ve received visions and weird ass images in my brain for many many years now. Sometimes, these visions just come to me. However, over the years I have learned a thing or two about chasing visions down. I wanted to discuss some methods about how I track down visions, which I lovingly refer to as crack. While I initially used these methods to obtain visions, it is possible to use these methods to access the astral, the gods, or a host of other things. So be aware that it can be a mixed bag of what you could get when you dip your toes into the crack filled lake that is the UnSeen.

Please be advised that these methods will not be suitable for everyone. Please use your discretion when trying these methods and I am not responsible if you hurt yourself from using my ideas.

When I started seeking visions, I found that I needed the right mixture of tired and awake to get anywhere. If you’re too exhausted, you’ll fall asleep. If you’re too awake, you’ll likely be too excited or alert to actually get anywhere. In my experience, you need to be passively alert to get the best results.

But Devo, how on earth do I do that? That doesn’t sound possible.

Believe it or not, you’ve likely hit this place of passive alertness before and not even realized it. Ever found yourself daydreaming while staring at the wall? That’s a good example of it. How about having a cat nap- where you’re not really asleep, but not really awake? That’s another good example. Often times we hit this state without even realizing it. And that’s part of the trick- realizing you’re in this state without breaking the state. When I first started, I’d often get into a good rhythm, and then go “oh my god! I’m actually doing it!” and promptly lose it because I became too alert and broke the trance I was in. Learning how to get there and stay conscious enough to remember what you see is key.

With the methods listed below, I recommend that you start by letting your brain wander. Just let it go wander off somewhere. The more still you can make your brain, the easier it’ll be for you to retrieve things. However, if you sit there the whole time telling yourself “I must relax. I must relax,” you’ll end up being too tense to actually, you know… relax. So let your mind go where it wants to. The more you practice, the easier it’ll be to let your mind roam. The better your mind is at roaming, the more likely it is to return with a nice batch of crack for you to look at. You can also try asking a deity for assistance when doing this, if that’s your thing.

So, what are some common methods I use to get into this state?

Driving.
Yes, seriously. Driving. This isn’t recommended for everyone, but I find that driving at 70 miles an hour is very zen like and relaxing. I’m just focusing on the road and my brain sorta goes into auto-pilot. I’m alert enough because I’m making sure I’m not going to kill anyone. However, I’m relaxed because the vibrations of the car and the pattern of the dotted line on the road just relax me somehow. Some of my first visions came from this method and I wasn’t even trying to get them.

Puzzles, Coloring/Painting/Drawing, Cleaning/Doing Chores.
Once again, all of these are things that keep me slightly mentally active- but are mind numbing enough that I can sometimes hear or see things.

Hiking or Going For a Walk.
Many times when I go for walks in quiet places, I will find that my mind starts to wander- and gets lost out in crack-ville. Certain locations and times of the year work better than others. I find that being comfortable while I walk is important if I want to get anywhere. If it’s too sunny, cold, hot, etc. it won’t work.

Listening to Music.
Sometimes, I can listen to music and get caught up in the sound and the movement of the music that I retrieve images or visions. Different types of music will give me different results. Quiet, lulling music will likely make me fall asleep. Active music tends to give me more successful results.

Sex.
Seriously. Yes. After the fact, I am usually quite relaxed and can sometimes get into a semi-lucid state where I can see stuff.

Dancing.
For those who have talked to me about vision questing- this is more or less my “signature method.” Dancing is by far the best method I have found to obtain visions. However, this method is the most physically taxing – to the point that there was a 2 year period where I couldn’t do it because it was too demanding on my body. Generally, my process in regards to dancing is fairly simple: I dance until I can’t dance anymore. Once I can’t dance anymore, I will lay down and wait to see if things come to me. If they do- great. If not, I will attempt to get up and dance some more, basically repeating the process until something comes to me. If I’m really trying to push myself, I will combine the dancing and sexing bits to try and push my limits further. I find that dancing in a dark room works best- as my eyes will have little to focus on, and I’ll be forced to focus on the music and movement. I also find that having my music super loud helps to drown out any mental noise that could distract me (I also have a habit of cranking up my music when driving for the same reasons).

I tried these and it’s not working? What now?

There are a few things I can say when the methods above don’t work:

  • These aren’t the methods for you- try to find something that works best for you. Active meditation/cracking isn’t for everyone.
  • Keep trying- it can take multiple attempts (and years for some) to get good at it. Not every attempt will bear fruit. There have been times where I have danced for over an hour and not successfully received anything.
  • Perhaps this isn’t your skill set. Not everyone is hardwired to receive visions or crack out. There is nothing wrong with this. Where you should draw the line for ‘having tried enough and this isn’t for me’ vs. ‘need to keep trying to develop the skill’ will be different for everyone.

I tried some of the methods above and I think I accidentally stumbled onto the astral. What do I do?

Technically, we all access the astral to some extent every day. We dream in the astral. If you talk to gods, you likely do that astrally to an extent. Some argue that we live in one of the layers of the astral. When it comes to things of this nature, I’ve found that visions usually come of one of two varieties (or a combination of both):

  • Images that you can’t control- like watching a movie. No amount of will on your part will allow you to influence what you’re seeing. These are visions.
  • Images that you can control or interact with- just like in your waking life. For this particular tutorial, we will call this accessing the astral.

Sometimes, an experience will start as the first- a movie you’re watching, and will end up as the second- a world or situation you can manipulate or influence.

So what happens when you end up in the second category? That largely depends on what type of situation you find yourself in. Before you being seeking visions, I recommend that you read up on what types of things you could potentially come in contact with- as it is possible to attempt to get the first selection above, but accidentally get stuck with the second (see useful links at the bottom).

If you do happen to stumble into a situation that is more than just watching a movie- your first step is to assess what exactly is going on. Are you around people you know (such as deities) or not? Do they appear friendly? Do they even realize you’re there? If you find that you are not being noticed, or that you can simply observe without conflict- do exactly that. Watch what is going on and stay quiet until you can leave or are excused. However, it is possible to blip onto the astral into a dangerous situation.

If you find yourself in a dangerous situation you have a few options:

You can cut bait and leave right then and there. Pull yourself out of the meditation/trance/etc. Ground yourself. Possibly cleanse and ward yourself up for safety (I usually do this by eating something and taking a shower). The downside to this is that you could potentially leave a part of you in that area of the astral that may or may not have it’s ass handed to it now and/or stolen (this is not common, but can happen).

Or you can fight. Fighting ability will depend highly on the realm you are in. In many cases, the sky is the limit. Anything you can think up- you can do. Don’t be scared to push the limits of logic to come up with a means to kick butt. In many cases, you can create and manifest weaponry and magix out of thin air to get the job done. With any luck, the person/entity picking on you will realize you are not worth their time and leave. At which point you can come out of the vision/trance that you are in and follow up with grounding and cleansing as mentioned above, if you feel you need it.

If you stumble into the astral once, be aware that it can happen again. If you manage to get there once, I would recommend learning more about protective measures on the astral before attempting to crack out again- just in case.

On the by and large, vision questing can be a very interesting and useful practice. It’s a good means to get insight to situations, ideas for stories or art projects, and its a good way to communicate with the gods/spirits around us. Even before I began interacting with the astral, I loved to look for visions- just for the aesthetics alone. If you do try any of the methods above, let me know how they work for you!

Good luck cracking out!

This post has been edited from its original form. I made an error in using the acronym ADD as an adjective, which is offensive to anyone who is diagnosed with or has ADD. I apologize for this oversight and have changed the verbiage above to remove the offensive sentence/wording.

Relevant Links:

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Astral, Devo Magix Series

 

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The Beauty of Pain

Right now, a lot of people that I know are in pain. They hurt. Their lives are falling apart. They’re scared. Lonely. Frightened. And for many, there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of the world is in pain.

Sometimes, the pain is our own creation. Sometimes it’s brought on us unjustly from outside sources. Sometimes it’s both. And in all cases, it hurts. Usually, a lot.

It’s hard for me to watch people in pain – for conflicted reasons. Sometimes, I think we need pain. And it can be hard for me to tell someone I care about that their pain is deserved, or serves a larger purpose. It must be how it is with the gods, sometimes. They love us (on the by and large). They want what is best for us (on the by and large). And yet, sometimes, they have to inflict pain upon us, or let us burn our hands on the proverbial stove. Why? Because sometimes people are stupid. Sometimes we have to hurt in order to really learn or grow.

Whenever life throws things my way, I always try to consider what purpose this could serve me long term. How might this pain and frustration be helping me to grow? I know that in our society, pain is feared and generally is to be avoided. But really- sometimes if it doesn’t sting bad enough, we’ll just go right back and do it again without any other considerations. And many times, when things are falling apart, there are other lessons that can be gleaned from the situation.

To illustrate this, allow me to pull from one of the worst years of my life.

I was living in Vegas. I could feel that the rug was going to be pulled out from under me. Sat likes to talk about how she sometimes is running towards a cliff- but can’t stop. At that time, I could see the cliff. I had been warned in dream, through runes, and in feeling that my job- my livelihood would soon end. And not just for me, but for the person I lived with, too. And I buried my head in the sand. No way! That wouldn’t happen!

And then, the floor fell out.

I was left without work. As was the other person making money in my household. We had no income at all. No severance pay, and no recourse to unemployment. We were surviving purely off of our savings. And despite my pleas and attempts to find work (in literally every state west of Ohio), nothing worked. Nothing was happening. I became unemployed in early May, and stayed that way all the way through to September. I watched as all of my hard earned savings ran out. I had to swallow my pride and fear and move back into my parents. I lost furniture. I lost fish in the move. I lost a lot of things. And I couldn’t see it getting any better.

But then! I got a job. We both got a job! On the same day as the interview! A miracle, right?!

Well, sort of. Shortly after my new job, I got the same nagging feeling of “the floor, it’s going to fall through”. And it was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. Within a few months of being there, I lost my job again. As did the other person I lived with. So not only did we lose most of our savings from the Vegas debacle, we lost even more from having to get a new apartment in a new city, only to have to shut down the lease early because our managers couldn’t manage worth a damn, and the company went under. And once again, I found myself back at my parents. I had a new job, but everything stung. I was in a place I hated. My relationship at the time was falling apart (and would end spectacularly within a few months). And I was just so bitter at everything.

I was in a lot of pain.

However, despite this pain, a lot of good occurred. A lot of beautiful seeds were sewn. I could see glimpses of how I might be making strides to something better, but it was incredibly hard to believe it at the time. I felt I was deluding myself into thinking that things were better than they were. But in retrospect, I owe a lot of what I have to that time of languish. Here are a couple examples:

First off, do you like reading what I write? If you do, you should be thankful that I was unemployed as long as I was. My time of unemployment lasted nearly 5 months. Had it been any shorter, I would not have taken strides to join the Kemetic community at all. It was only right before I moved back to my parents house that I decided I should go talk to others. I mean, I had nothing else to do- so why  not. I firmly believe that if I had gotten a job sooner, I would not be here writing to you now.

Second, having such a long time off helped me to seriously work on my portfolio. I gained a lot of new skills while I tried desperately to expand my portfolio and skills so that I could apply to new work.

I also found that I am stronger than I thought- I was able to move back to my parents house and survive it.

I gained skills from the short job that I had that helped me to get my next job- the one I still have to this day. And my horrible failure to find work after my previous job fell through taught me to keep my portfolio up to date and ready to go- in case things fell apart. The pain of my previous situation allowed me to hit the ground running when my second job fell through- which is partially how I was able to find work so quickly.

And my relationship that ended- was a good thing. It opened me up to finding an even better relationship. Having my mother’s house as the location for that relationship to manifest was a blessing in disguise- because we really had to focus on working together and sticking it out together despite my living situation. Had the previous jobs not pushed everyone to a breaking point, who is to say if that relationship would have ever ended. Him leaving has been a huge blessing for me.

All of these things needed pain to occur. They needed stagnation, frustration, anger and sorrow. I needed to really get down and dirty with my negative emotions in order for good things to really manifest later. As an added bonus of going through that, I now know that I am tough as nails. I can look fear in the face daily and still figure out a way to keep moving. I learned that despite how dark and dreary life may be- you are never truly out of the game. There is always the potential for new growth, for bigger and better things. It tempered my will and strengthened my resolve to go through that. And I think that pain can be that way for many people- if you let it. Pain can be a good teacher. It can really show us how strong we are. It can show us what we are truly capable of. It can sew the seeds of growth, even if we don’t realize it at first.

I think we could all benefit from examining our pain, to see what it could be teaching us, what we could be learning from it. Perhaps the next time you find yourself wallowing in pain, take a look around and see if it might be helping you.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Astral, Rambles

 

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