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The Mysteries: Closure

osiris_bracelets

Because I was doing a different type of Mysteries observance this year, I decided that I wanted to keep something on my person to remind me of what was going on. Normally, I am struck by the heaviness of the Mysteries because I have my Osiris statues all closed up and sealed away. Instead, I get to stare at a grumpy Set statue that side-eyes me because I kicked him out of his home because of his brother. However, this year I didn’t close up my shrine or do anything with my Osiris statues- so I decided to wear bracelets instead. I had originally thought of making only one bracelet, or leaving the second bracelet on Osiris’ statue. However, I had enough fabric to make two of them, and I ended up giving the second bracelet to the man who came with me to that Duat. I wore both of them out here because I wanted to remember that this trip wasn’t only about me.

The bracelets were on my wrists for every single moment of the Mysteries, with the exception of showers. I chose the colors based off of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony, and I got the idea of wearing bracelets from Bezen. I really liked the idea of keeping my observances with me 24/7, and I felt that the bracelets would be good for this- they wouldn’t totally stand out to people I interacted with, but they would be a constant reminder of my work. I also liked the symbolism of the braiding methods- bringing separate strands together to make something new and better.

However, I ended up really hating these bracelets by the time the Mysteries came to an end. They kept getting in my way and I seriously had to modify just about everything I did to compensate for the long tails that came off of each bracelet. They certainly did their job for reminding me that the Mysteries were going on. In a way, they sort of sum up the entire Mysteries experience that I had. I wanted to do the thing, and then the thing kinda sucked, but in the end, I’m still glad I did it.

When I returned from the Duat and I was given the okay to remove the bracelets from my person, I left them in my shrine box on top of O’s statue. I stared at them regularly, trying to figure out what to do with them. I knew I wanted to do something- I needed some kind of closure for this whole thing. But burning them didn’t seem fair, that was too close to an execration, and that wasn’t what this needed. Ultimately, it was suggested that I bury them. A funeral, in a way, for the bracelets that endured the hell of the Duat with me.

My original goal was to have these bracelets buried the week after I got back from the Duat, but that failed. My schedule kept changing on me, and I couldn’t find the time to make it out to my old stomping grounds where I was to bury them. It wouldn’t be until the Full Moon hit in February that I would be able to make it out to the desert to get everything done. In between Jan 3 and February 14 I ran through tons of ideas and scenarios for these bracelets. Initially, I think I wanted to let the process be cathartic. I expected it to be like a real funeral, and I’d cry and get upset and just let it all out. Then, as I pushed into the end of January, I expected that the whole affair would be very solemn, and that maybe I’d finally feel some closure.

I don’t know why I always expect more grandiose things for my rites. I should know better by now.

I was shown where to bury these bracelets weeks ago. I don’t know if I chose the place on a subconscious level, or if it was the gods or land spirits that showed it to me- but I knew exactly where to go. I found my location and grabbed a rock to help dig the hole. I placed the bracelets and a couple of other small items into the hole.

photo(2)

I stared at the hole briefly. I don’t know what I was waiting for, maybe tears, or words or something. Something to mark this as some type of important ceremony, but nothing ever came. In fact, the only thing that came to my mind was “I should have brought water to pour over everything”. Too little too late, there was no water to be had, so I went without.

I placed the sand back over the bracelets, and included the small plant that had been uprooted in the process and called it a day.

photo(1)

Above all, I think that by the time I had gotten to burying the bracelets in the ground, I no longer needed the closure. I understood why the process panned out as it had, and I had figured out my place and my friend’s place in all of this. I had gone through the motions in my mind and on the astral, and so a physical representation was no longer needed. At this point, the ceremony became nothing more than a nicety- something you do out of a necessity or politeness more than anything. I think I still would have felt bad if I hadn’t have gone through the trouble to trek out into the desert, though. I would not want those bracelets to be thrown into the garbage, and so burying them provides me some mental peace as to where they ended up.

But all in all, I think I had reached my closure two weeks ago when everything finally fell into place. And there is nothing as peaceful as having closure.

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The Mysteries: The Process, Pt2

If you have not read part 1 of this post, I recommend reading it before you continue forward. Otherwise, this will make no sense.

So when we last left off, I and my partner in crime had been down in the Duat for two weeks traversing through the sand. We had finally gained entrance to a subterranean location where we hoped that the answers for everything would lie. After trekking down into what appeared to be a tomb, we had managed to convince the door guard to let us through to where we believed our destination would be.

And when the door opened, what did we find?

We found an empty room.

Okay, not quite an empty room- it was a room with a small rectangular pool in the middle of it. The place seemed familiar to me, but I have no clue where from. Left with no other choice, I sank into the water to see where it would lead while he stood guard on the surface. There, I was met by O who told me that this is where the “real work” would begin.

The Healing Process

So this is where it all comes together, right? This is where I tell you that I was given the tools needed to finally put into motion all of the stuff Osiris had taught me the few months prior. This is where I talk about the healing practices he had taught me. Where I mention that he told me that these methods would work better than the stuff I had been using before. That these methods would be easier on me and I wouldn’t feel like death after doing them. This is where I talk about how I had everything I needed to do this- I had a pool of water, which would act as a portal and a vehicle for healing. I had the knives that I needed to penetrate the problems at hand, and I had a man who was willing to let me inside so that this could all be done.

This is where everything comes together and simultaneously falls apart.

We’d dive into the water, we’d go through the motions of inceptioning into him, into his problems, into his past. He’d take me to see things that were bugging him. He’d show me areas of his core that needed healing. It was all working pretty well- except for the fact that it was an emotional roller coaster that kept knocking us on our asses. Slowly his demeanor would change. He became calmer and more relaxed. He was less prone to fits and crying. It seemed like things were working.

One night we went into the water and found that it was not water, but a huge vat of hot firey who knows what. It reminded me of a furnace, or perhaps the surface of the sun. We moved as quickly as we could to try and get out of the searing heat. We cut through into the darkness beyond. Except this darkness bit back. We were ripped from one another and thrown into who knows where. The blackness reminded me of sticky tar, and I’m pretty sure that it was the Nun.

I tried to navigate this place while some unseen male prattled away at me from beyond. However, I made a misstep and fell flat on my face.

Don’t fall flat on your face in the Nun. You will not be able to get up. You will not be able to breathe. Do not recommend (if you do fall down, or can’t breathe, I recommend putting a ma’at feather on your astral/Unseen person).

I was asked all sorts of random stuff. If it was Nun who was there, he likes to talk a lot. About all sorts of stuff. And he likes to ask the most obscure questions. I felt myself being ripped apart and put back together. The image of atoms and cells and the like came to mind. It was very fast and not nearly as painful as some of the other changes that I had experienced- but laying in the tar like a moron was certainly not my idea of fun.

I eventually was spat back out of the pool and into the room. When I awoke, I was by myself. Surely this was what we had come down here for, right? Being ripped apart and put back together. Surely my partner would surface soon and we’d be able to leave this room and trek back up to the surface or something.

One of those things happened- he did eventually surface out of the water. However, the door did not open. We were both still stuck in the room trying to figure out what to do. Left without any options, we jumped back into the pool to see what would happen.

What happened is what happens when you heal someone, apparently.

We moved inside of him and he led me to some of the deeper portions of himself. We did a series of things that seemed to make him at peace. So at peace that he disappeared.

Entirely.

Gone. Poof. Bye-bye.

I surfaced from the pool, angry and confused by what had just happened. It was a total conflict of what he had said he had wanted (to stay) and what had happened (he moved on). I stood up in the pool to find the Right standing in the doorway. It had been over a month since I had seen him, and our reunion was bittersweet considering the circumstances.

He grabbed me and we jumped right back into the pool. The doors of the water opened up for us and we moved to a large temple-like building. We moved through a series of halls and rooms all while assistants and people tried to primp and clean me. However, I was too pissy to be messed with and all of their clothing and jewelry were shed off of my person by the time I reached the double doors to go see Osiris and Set.

I moved forward into the hall and stood before them. While my physical body had been healed by the past few weeks of work, my mind was reeling and I felt like I had regressed in my progress from the month prior. Deep within me, I hoped and pleaded that I would receive some semblance of answers from them.

But I didn’t.

My astral life had blown up while I was busy dragging this man through the Duat. I had other tasks that needed to be handled right away- which also had ties to the person I had just helped. They would not give me answers until all of the threads had been un-knotted. They would not tell me anything until the timing was better.

At this point in my adventure, I had been in the Duat for about 3 weeks, and when Set and Osiris sent me onto the “last leg” of this, I thought that I had one week left to get this done. But it turns out that I would continue chasing things for the next month. The month that followed was a blur. It involved other healing work with other parts of this man and myself that were trapped elsewhere. Multiple deaths on both of our ends and huge implosions and explosions of all kinds.

It all ended up culminating in returning back to the beginning as it were. And when I say the beginning, I’m talking about this beginning that I chronicled in my Cycle series last year. I found myself face to face with the Taint- the sticky black stuff that had originally eaten the core out of me.

My relationship with the Taint had grown since I had first fallen into the astral back in 2005. I no longer feared the stuff and it now flows through my veins. Taint is as much a part of me as my own skin and bones.

From Taint we were born, and into Taint we would descend. And through Taint we would both meet our end.

And that is it. Literally. That’s where the story of the Mysteries ends- three weeks longer than anticipated and not in any way that it was supposed to happen. The man that I was trying to heal was healed to a point that most of him was okay with moving on. The parts of him that weren’t okay with moving on were ultimately absorbed by myself through the Taint, and I lost a friend and a mentor and parts of myself in the process.

The idea that trips to the Duat are only to heal you and fix you are fairy tales as far as I’m concerned. The Duat consumes you and doesn’t give anything back. The Duat and death does not pull any punches. That would be my take away lesson.

Flowers in the Snow via flickr

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The Mysteries: The Process, Pt1

“If you’re going to send a fool to do it, you might as well do it yourself.”

That is what my grandmother always told me. Usually, in these cases, I was the fool and she was the poor schmuck who had to fix whatever I had “broken”. When it came to the Mysteries this year, I don’t know if I was the fool, the fool replacing a fool, or the right person for the job- but I was the person selected nonetheless. My feelings regarding the Mysteries and the work they entailed were very mixed- in some ways I desperately wanted to help the person that sat across from me in the sand of the Duat, and in other ways, I felt so entirely out of my depth I was sure that I would only succeed in making the situation worse.

And I’m still not sure whether I did a good job or only made it worse.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what happened during the 2013 Mysteries. To start off with, I don’t think I expected the Mysteries to end up as they did. I mean, you can only expect so much when the word “mystery” is in the name, but even then- what ended up happening was completely different from what I was told would happen and from what I had expected.

And I think it’s because of that that I am having so many problems with writing my Mysteries posts.

Back in November, when I approached O at the river, I was in the mindset of “I’m going to actually do some in-depth work with my deity this year. I’m finally going to sit down and work with him for a month straight so that I can learn what he is like and what this process of death is about”. At least, I think that’s what I wanted.

And when I went to him, I expected that he would help me work through my anger and move to a more stable place emotionally. When I got thrown into the Duat, I expected that I would go on a journey with the person who was with me. That we’d both go and travel to Osiris’ khat within Rosetjau. That we’d go through a rebirth process and maybe learn something about each other or our “purposes” along the way. Secretly, I hoped he would become my vomit reader, because I needed one. Or that at the very least, I’d make good what I told him I would do for him a year prior- and at least ensure that he was healed so that he could move forward without a million pounds of baggage hanging on his shoulders.

But that’s not how any of it happened. And because everything ended up so wonky, I still don’t know what on earth is going on, or why I was even sent on this adventure.

So instead of a big moral-ridden post about how the Mysteries changed my life for the better, let’s talk about how confusing they were.

via flickr

The Road There.

The first phase of my adventure lasted from the New Moon to the Full Moon and it involved trekking through a series of terrains with another person. When we were left in the Duat, both of us had injuries to our bodies, and we had both been stripped of 90% of our magix. Everything we did required significant amounts of energy, and we spent a lot of time smoking and laughing as not to cry.

It’s my theory that the wounds were two-fold. First off, they were a literal reminder of the wounds I and my partner had existing within us. He and I had a lot of baggage to sort through. We had had a year full of drama and backstabbing and our relationship had been tumultuous at best and downright deadly at worst. As we were forced to rely on one another to survive our trip, our wounds would open up, drain out, and slowly heal. As our bodies recovered, our relationship recovered.

Second, I believe the wounds were there to force us to take our time. We weren’t able to cover miles in a day. We had to move slowly because of our bodies. We also had to rely on one another because we were not self-sufficient in our physical abilities. It allowed forced us to each be vulnerable in one another’s presence- which feeds back into my paragraph above.

So we walked. And we walked some more. We found a netjeri who sorta helped us along- pulling our sled along behind him for a bit. We walked when we couldn’t do that anymore. We ran into Ra. We got rerouted to who knows where. We saw snakes and random entities that I have no clue what they were. We walked some more.

That was all the first two weeks consisted of. Walking and moving forward while we smoked and cried and talked about whatever came to mind. By the time we reached the end of the first leg, we had found ourselves at some outcropping of rocks that looked to have a type of cave to them that led downwards. We camped there while we waited for the ability to enter inside.

Moving Underground

On the night of the full moon I noticed that my body was acting up. The energy lines that course through my limbs were lit up and there was a large energetic marker by the rocks outside. As the evening drew on, a small group of people gathered outside of these rocks. A few women carried baskets of offerings and flowers. Another man had scrolls, and another man held a sistrum.

They were all happy to be there except for the man with the scrolls who looked like he was over everything.

I wished I shared their enthusiasm. By that point I had been run ragged. My body was still aching and I had a huge welt on my forehead (I joked that it was payback for all of my months of claiming to wear the Atef). I had been away from my family for nearly a month at that point and I was over the whole thing. But hey, at least they were nice and allowed us to enter into the depths below with them.

My partner and I traveled down into the darkness. A series of single-file stairs led us hundreds of feet down into nothingness. We stopped at a gate/pylon where the group of people performed some amount of rites. 30 minutes or so later, the doors opened and we all slowly moved inside. However, once my partner and I crossed the threshold, we found that we were all by ourselves again and our bodies were healed. Our clothing shifted and the other people we had come down here with were completely gone.

We were on our own.

It seemed like we were in a smaller hallway now. The ground continued to drop slowly and there were reliefs around us as well. Honestly, it reminded me of a tomb. We followed the path that lay before us until we hit another entity guarding a door. It was the only way forward- so we spoke the right words to gain entrance to whatever lay beyond.

All of our work was supposed to culminate to this, right? Surely all of the answers would lay on the other side and things would begin to make more sense, right?

Continued in part 2.

 

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The Mysteries: Navigating Rosetjau

A smattering of hints, tips and musings about what to consider if you should find yourself thrown into the Duat.

When I was dumped into wherever I was for this year’s Mysteries, I was given no information. In fact, the whole process was rather unceremonious. Wpwt struck the sky with his staff, a hole opened up between us, and I got thrown down into the hole. By the time I hit the ground, I found that there was another person with me, and that the world around me was a bland mix of black, grey and beige.

To the best of my knowledge, I was thrown into Rosetjau- the place of towing.

This place occurs in the 5th hour of the solar barque’s trek through the underworld, and it is the location when Ra has to have his barque towed across the sands of the Duat. Sometimes the towing is done by jackals, other times by urai or people, and sometimes the barque becomes a large snake. According to Nicoll, Rosetjau is “home of Sokar and the resting place of Wesir’s khat, lies in the deepest portions of the Duat, furthest from the daylit world, but also at the boundary of the sky.” (pg 86)

All in all, Rosetjau is not a very great place to be. Most of the accounts regard it as being arid, dry, and desolate. And if Rosetjau is where I ended up- those accounts are accurate.

The Terrain

When I fell into the Duat, I must not have landed where I needed to be, because someone dragged me and my companion to a gate while we slept (literally). I woke up strapped to some sort of sled being led by I don’t even know who. And when we were finally thrown out onto the sand, it was in front of a huge pylon and wall.

Beyond the gate I found sand. Lots and lots of sand. But not all of the sand was the same. The first stretch of sand reminded me of an ocean. The dunes were not very deep, but the sand felt like it was always shifting and moving- like water. Beyond that, we had to cross a dried out flat area with huge cracks in the ground. And the third section of sand I crossed was filled with deep dunes that were ridden with weird… sand creature things.

So the first tip I can give you is: not all sand is created equal. Some sand is easier to navigate than others. Some sand houses creepy crawlies. Some doesn’t. Always be careful when you reach a new stretch of terrain because who knows what is going on beneath the surface.

The whole time I was “above ground” in the Duat, the sky was black. There were no stars, there was no light. You could see, but at the same time, it was like the sky was a void. The whole place was very quiet, and sometimes the only sound you’d hear is the wind blowing (which it often did during the ‘sand ocean’ part).

General Tips for Navigation

For whatever reason, I found that many of my non-physical abilities were stripped from me upon arrival in the Duat. I don’t know if this is a reflection of the type of plane that Rosetjau resides in, or if this was some added bonus on Osiris’ part, but either way- be prepared to travel old school. Be ready to walk a lot. And be ready to get tired a lot. There were many times when we would only get a couple hundred feet before we found that we were exhausted and had to sit down. It was very very very slow going.

If you have any time to prepare before you get thrown into the Duat, learn how to build some type of sled with a sail, and learn how to create wind. I found that this cut some of our travel time down, though it took a lot of energy to fuel the wind that would propel us forward.

Additionally, learn how to ward yourself up properly before you get too far in. Wards are a good safety net to have while you’re sleeping- because sometimes weird stuff shows up when it thinks you’re not awake and are vulnerable.

If you’ve got anything on your person that the NTRW have given you- keep that with you. When I needed to prove who I was, or the validity of me being in the Duat, I’d pull out some of the items Osiris and Set have given me, and more or less used their authority to give myself authority. “They say I am allowed here, and I am here under their direct orders, so step aside”.

While I don’t necessarily consider it to be part of navigating, I would highly recommend you learn how to make food of some kind. I found that giving out chocolate and beer worked really well for making friends at the various gates I’d run into. I paid the entity that dragged me and my friend to the gate with gold coins. I paid the bouncers at the pylon in chocolate for showing me which direction to walk in. I gave the small group of people I met at the entrance underground flowers and beer. I bribed a netjeri into carrying me across the desert by feeding it. Offerings and “stuff” can get you further and ease the minds of those you run into.

Some Notes About Heka

One of the first things I worried about when I entered the Duat was my heka. Most people say that you need a Book of the Dead in order to navigate the Duat because you need to know all of the random stuff and the proper words to open the gates and avoid trouble. While that may be the case for some places- that was not the case for where I navigated. That’s not to say that your heka and verbage was not important- but using words from antiquity was not necessary.

Every interaction I had, I chose my words carefully. I made sure to use words in the present tense, and I chose sentence structure that made the world around me conform to my will. For example, I had this weird… wall statue? head? thing? ask me where I was going and what I wanted. I told this entity that I was moving where Osiris commanded me to go, and that that he was obligated to open the door in front of me that prohibited me from moving forward.

Everything I spoke was confident and allowed no room for weaseling out of what I wanted. If and when you need to talk with others, don’t be afraid to take a few moments to get your wording down, and try to block any doubts from your mind when you begin to speak. This seemed to work well for me and I didn’t need to worry about how it would have been said in the old days.

I would also suggest sticking to being as polite as possible while still being authoritative. Don’t go around making unneeded enemies. Sometimes the strangest entities can help you out.

Some Final Notes

If you find yourself in Rosetjau (or possibly any area of the Duat), don’t get alarmed if the accounts don’t entirely line up. It seems that the terrain changes regularly- and I’m pretty sure that there have been shifts in population and landmarks since ancient times. I also found that the geography of the area made little sense. I expected to travel linearly- across the sand to the lake of fire, and then possibly down under the lake of fire to Osiris’ khat- but that didn’t happen in any respect at all. Sometimes down is up and up is down, and nothing necessarily makes sense on a map.

I would also advise you to try and find something to use as a compass for navigating- if you don’t have a guide on you. I ended up using the sword Osiris gave me as a means to figure out where I needed to go- but that involved knowing how to trace threads and such. If at all possible, try to secure a guide for your trip- it will make it much easier. If you can’t get a guide, try to befriend or bribe a netjeri to help you out- my netjeri certainly knew a thing or twelve about how to navigate the sands. My trip would have been much harder without him.

And finally, one of the best things I can suggest to anyone who ends up in the Duat is to try and stay calm and move at a pace that is comfortable for you. Rushing along may not be the best answer, and freaking out may only make it worse for you. Try to keep your expectations very neutral because who knows who or what will show up there, and above all- good luck.

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The Mysteries: Death Lays You Bare

“Desolate” by Michael Chen via Flickr

One of the first things I learned from this year’s Mysteries is that death lays you bare. And what I mean by that is that death reveals truth- about yourself, and about those around you. I noticed it the first time when I kneeled on the ground in the great hall at the end of the first Prologue. As I looked down at my hands, I noticed that all of my bond symbols were completely out and exposed- something that I almost never do.

But at this point, it was beyond my control- in death, everything was exposed. And I mean everything- there are bond symbols on my person that I don’t even know about or recognize.

And as I worked through my death over the following weeks, I noticed that my bond symbols stayed out more frequently- because death reveals the true nature of things. And in this case, due to the significance that I have with my bonds, death was trying to show me a bit about my nature, and the nature of the family that I have.

O talked to me about this one evening as I lay in the river. We were in the middle of a massive situation on the Other Side, and the situation left me with a lot to think about in terms of death. I asked him how he had felt regarding his own transformation. He had told me that initially he felt like he could handle what was coming his way, but that he soon found himself overwhelmed.

“Death is different for everyone,” he would tell me. “And even if you experience it a hundred times- it will be different a hundred times.” No two transformations are alike. He also noted that you can tell a lot about a person based off of how they behave in death. You have nothing left to gain, nothing left to lose- and so your true nature comes out. Additionally, you can tell a lot about your family and kin around death as well. It can be amazing what secrets and behaviours come out of a death that hits close to home. Some families fall apart during the death of a crucial family member.

Death, much like chaos, is not selective. It treats us all equally, and it reveals us one by one in its own time.

Furthermore, he likened life to a series of patterned energies. When we are all alive (as a unit, a community, or a family- as an example), we all hum and move at the same pace. But when someone is on their deathbed, one person stops- and that energy is transferred to the people around them. We see this in funeral plans, people freaking out, hospital visits, discussion- all the energy has to go somewhere- and so it goes into the people around us.

Death also leaves you incredibly vulnerable.

I’ve seen people give O flack over the years for his passive and largely uninvolved process in his own death. People have criticized that he simply laid there and did nothing for a large duration of his transformation. However, after this year’s Mysteries, I can understand why because I was much the same. There were many days when I couldn’t even sit up in bed, let alone get up and fight the good fight that was going on outside of my door. I was completely and utterly taken in by the process and rendered useless and incapable of doing anything about anything. I was reliant upon my family to keep me safe and to help see me through the process.

And by the time that I and another had been thrown into the Duat as a means of working through the Mysteries- there were days when we would lean against one another- unable to sit up otherwise. Sometimes, we’d start to try and move forward towards our destination and find that we could only traverse a few hundred feet before we had to sit down again.

Death rips you a new one. And when you’re laying on the ground trying to cope with the death that you’ve just lived through- you really don’t care about a lot of things anymore. Your priorities shuffle and your attitude with them.

The first night that I and my friend had landed in Rosetjau (best we can figure), we awoke to find ourselves in the middle of nowhere and coated in scratches, cuts and scrapes. We were a complete mess. We sat on the ground bewildered and shared a cigarette. In that moment, that cigarette was the most beautiful thing in the world, because it offered some sort of solace from the situation we were in. Our past suddenly dissolved because in our state, the past was irrelevant. We’d have to let go of a lot of our crap in order to survive the place that we were in- in the state we found ourselves in. In addition to this, our bonds and links and emotions were spelled out on our hands and faces. Our lips said things we didn’t want them to. Our bodies would expose wounds and hurts that needed to be healed. There was no way to avoid looking at the problems that existed between us because they were written on us plain as day.

And as I progressed through the Duat, I believe I began to understand how it was that O could forgive his brother (in time), and why he is so insistent about letting go of the arbitrary emotional crap that I tend to hold on to.

Because as someone who oversees death, he is in a constant flux of alive and not- and sees the process regularly. He watches and experiences people who die and whose priorities shift and things that we think are huge here are nothing but specs in the grand scheme of things.

Death had exposed everything in front of me and I realized just how much time I had wasted. And how pointless so much of the previous year’s crap had really been. I found myself frustrated with how I had handled things as I and my friend worked through traveling in the Duat. He was different as well.

Death had changed everything.

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The Mysteries: Prologue, Pt 2

Nothing ever truly dies.

That is what repeated in my ears for the week following my initial dive into this years Mysteries preparations. I had just finished reading the chat log from KO’s discussion about Osiris and it would not leave my brain- nothing ever truly dies.

Most astral people I’ve met know this to be a “thing”. It’s a blessing and a curse that stuff is pretty much impossible to kill in the Unseen. It’s a blessing when the person that you love comes back to life a little while later, and its a curse when the asshole down the street just won’t keel over. Even when you think something’s dead, it rarely is. It’s either just in the process of preparing to be reborn, or it’s been reborn somewhere where you can’t see it.

But nothing ever really dies.

via flickr

We even see it here on this plane. Even though your auntie might never re-inhabit her body again, she lives on in the stories we tell of her. She lives on through her children, and items that she owned that we still use. She lives on through her famous casserole recipe that we use at family functions. Even though she is a little harder to see now- she continues to live.

This is also true of ideas and concepts. They say that history repeats itself, and I think that that is another formation of “nothing ever dies” or “things that you wish would die rarely do”. We often fall back into old habits and old ways of thinking because true and total death is nearly impossible.

It is with that notion that O sent me onto the next leg of my pre-Mysteries work.

It took me a while to see where this was going, honestly. I knew the concept well, and many of the astral people I had sent to their deaths earlier in the year had undergone the necessary rebirth processes and found their way back to me in due time. I knew what it meant to watch a core explode in my hands and hoping that this person would eventually find a way to exist in a better state. So it’s not like it was completely uncharted territory for me. But in this situation, his applications for me were a bit more abstract.

His applications dealt more with the ways of thinking that I mentioned above. He was hinting at the intangible thoughts and feelings that exist inside of us and how I would handle those things. You see, feelings have a way of growing and consuming us. My anger and doubt from the previous year’s mess had proven this to be true. What started off as something small- a small seed of discouragement or a moment of doubt- eventually grew into a monster that was fed and fueled by the world around me (including myself). His reminder that nothing ever truly dies was his way of noting that just because I beat this today doesn’t mean I won’t have to beat it down again tomorrow.

Those of you out there who deal with mental “demons” such as depression and anxiety can likely relate to this.

This was also his way of telling me not to slack off on my mental and emotional hygiene. I can no longer ignore these things for weeks and months at a time. It’s not healthy.

Every emotion that we feel, every pain, every loss- it resides within us somewhere. All of the turmoil and strife from this past year will reside within me forever to some extent. Even if I am able to cope with it, accept it and grow from it, it will not change that because things don’t entirely die- some tiny bit of that emotion will live within me forever. And this sentiment exists not only for the bad emotions, but the good emotions as well. In situations where I feel extreme rage or hatred for someone, there is still the opposite love and caring that I felt for them beforehand. Just because the anger burns within me doesn’t mean that the pre-existing love isn’t there as well (even if it is hard to see). It is possible that the stronger the love was before, the stronger the hate and hurt will be after the fact.

I mulled on these concepts for a couple of days and mused on what it was I was looking for over the next month. Yes, I wished to heal my wounds, but what would healing look like? Would I seek to let go of the anger and move back towards love? Would I even be able to go back to my feelings before? Should I go back to the feelings I had before?

I wrote down a list of the people and situations I was trying to heal from over the past year and I decided where my end goal was for each. For some people, I wanted to return to a love I felt before things went south. In other situations, all I could ever hope for was a neutrality of existence. Neutral in the sense that when I see them, or their name or words, I would feel nothing, or at least nothing beyond a sense of “this is that person that I know of.” I continued to work through my emotions and keep track of when I was stable and able to let go of negativity surrounding certain people and situations, and on the days where I found that I was slipping into old thought patterns, I sat down and examined why I was falling back into old mentalities.

Even after the Mysteries officially had begun and I had started on my crack-laden adventure at O’s behest, I’d find that I’d have to sit down and re-examine things regularly. Once again looking at where the emotions are coming from and why I am feeling them. Osiris had given me the tools to better understand my emotions, and I found myself turning back to those tools regularly as I worked through all of the relationships I had experienced during the past year.

He told me right before the Mysteries started that he would strip me down to nothing before this was all over. At the time, I didn’t truly realize what he meant, but I certainly would by the time this whole experience was done.

Mysteries 2013:

 
 

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The Mysteries: Prologue, Pt 1

This year’s Mysteries ended up following a different pattern than normal. I came to Osiris shortly after the beginning of November and told him of my desires to handle my anger and cope with the past year during his month. As I mentioned in this post, the past year has been tumultuous. I’ve lost a lot and I wanted to really come to grips with what has happened, and I felt that O could help me with this best.

He simply stared at me. He did not nod or acknowledge me at all. He was busy keeping my river stable at the time, and didn’t see fit to respond at all.

But he heard me.

Two days later, I found myself dead. It was not a shock to me, really. I had been fighting off something for nearly 3 months now, and even though I had seen the warning signs, I wrote them off as something else or didn’t know how to handle or fight off the disease that corroded my insides. My family watched and tried to combat it, but regardless of our efforts, the result was the same.

I fell into the darkness and upon awaking, I found myself limited to a few places- the river, the lake, and a shared space between my two halves which looks a lot like black nothingness. When I came to at the river, I found myself in various stages of “healing”. I would wake up to find O tinkering with my core, or floating in the water with various cords coming out of me. Sometimes the Left would be there, checking stats and keeping an eye on things. Other times I’d wake up to find the Right whispering to me.

But for the most part, I floated in the water and stared up at the stars.

On this side, I worked on processing the anger that I had developed. Luckily, I learned my lessons from Set well and I didn’t need to spend time with him to even address that I had the anger. I could skip that step and move straight onto figuring out how to morph it into something more positive or useful. As I opened up the box that contained most of my rage, I could hear O asking questions to help me develop a clearer insight as to what was actually going on inside of me.

It started with two questions that would be asked one after the other.

  1. Who are you angry at?
  2. Why are you angry at that person/entity?

And these questions played back and forth until I could narrow down my list. As I examined the reasons behind my anger, I began to understand what was really going on in my head and heart.

Once I got a better hold, I started with the “Who”. I made my list of the people I was actually, truly angry at, and I broke that list down into two brackets- people that I was only slightly perturbed with, and people I was genuinely angry at. I then wrote down why I was angry at each person (or frustrated with each person in the case of the second list) in a short-form, bullet point format. I wanted to keep it simple for my brain to keep track of, and I tried to strip as much emotion out of the reasons as I could. In order to beat this, I would need some objectivity.

I then took these items and examined them individually. I looked for trends that were occurring and I created statements that helped to break my thinking and reinforce new thought patterns. Each statement was written down to make it more permanent. Whenever I felt the old thought pattern creeping back in, I’d pull my statements back out and read them to myself as a reminder of where I was heading.

At the behest of another, I also examined the emotions that I carried and determined which of the emotions were mine and which were placed on me. I took the emotions that were mine and put them into one list. I took emotions that were not mine and placed them into another. Most of the “not mine” list were adjectives and labels placed upon me by people who did not know me or had no right.

And I refused to carry those things any longer.

I examined each label and reflected on why each label had been placed upon me and whether that label was accurate or not, whether I should change my actions to change labels (if applicable), and then created affirmations to remind myself of who I was inside. This step was probably the hardest for me because I place way too much weight on others opinions of myself.

But I will not let others define who I am.

With each step I would write my thoughts and affirmations into a book. And with each stroke of the pen I felt better about my situation. I felt like my anger was becoming more manageable, and while it wasn’t completely gone, I felt like there might be light at the end of the tunnel. It was also at this time that I really began to appreciate the act of writing things down, and noticing how I wrote things down. The act of putting pen to paper made things feel more concrete and more final. I suppose in a way, this was one of the first times that I really began to appreciate some of the nuances of heka.

Once I had cut through the bulk of my larger issues, I found that I was no longer floating in the river, but that I had sunk to the bottom. I lay there and look up through the water to see the sky beyond. It was very quiet and still. I didn’t entirely feel at peace, but I felt like I was on my way to where I needed to be.

When I finally awoke, I found myself in a hall with O sitting in a fancy chair in front of me. He wore clothing that was much more elaborate and formal than normal.His kohl was particularly thick that day, and he was 110% serious business while I was there. It was a complete 180 from normal.

He looked down at me and told me to prepare for where I was going. Though before I could get to where I wanted and needed to be, there would be more work yet to do.

 

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