More Historical Info about Demons and Hell

Re: What Do You Mean, “Demon”?

darkwing wrote:
However, there are several problems, e.g.:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
For example – prior to about the 16th century, the words “demon” and “angel” actually referred to the same thing.

Can you provide reference for this? And from which language and what the word is?Because there were already words distinguishing those two in other languages prior to 16th century AD. For example, Arabian Islamic tradition distinguished “malaikah” vs “jinn” and “shaitan” since the 6th century AD.And I don’t think the Jewish tradition’s “malakh” is equated with “shedim” since about 2nd century AD.

 

Ok so the etymology for the word Demon is actually the answer.

demon (n.)
c. 1200, from Latin daemon “spirit,” from Greek daimon “deity, divine power; lesser god; guiding spirit, tutelary deity” (sometimes including souls of the dead); “one’s genius, lot, or fortune;” from PIE *dai-mon- “divider, provider” (of fortunes or destinies), from root *da- “to divide.”

Used (with daimonion) in Christian Greek translations and Vulgate for “god of the heathen” and “unclean spirit.” Jewish authors earlier had employed the Greek word in this sense, using it to render shedim “lords, idols” in the Septuagint, and Matthew viii.31 has daimones, translated as deofol in Old English, feend or deuil in Middle English. Another Old English word for this was hellcniht, literally “hell-knight.”

The original mythological sense is sometimes written daemon for purposes of distinction. The Demon of Socrates was a daimonion, a “divine principle or inward oracle.” His accusers, and later the Church Fathers, however, represented this otherwise. The Demon Star (1895) is Algol.

 

So essentially, demons were once neither positive nor negative. They were bringers of fate – the reference to them as being both the divider and provider of destiny or fortunate events, means that they were regarded as both positive and negative in aspect, depending on how they rolled the dice for you. The other phrases: tutelary deity, divine power – shows that people regarded daemons as personal. They are what our modern day guardian angel concept comes from. When you see how the word changes from a provider of provenance to a “hell knight”, it becomes even more clear – over time, especially with Christianity gaining a stronger foothold, the attitude changed. Anything other than the Hebrew God that meddled with a person’s fate, for good OR for ill, was not of God. I said that demons and angels were once considered the same thing, with their actions from a personal perspective defining them as acting for the good, or for the ill of the person receiving the results, and you can see the literal truth of that through the etymological record.

darkwing wrote:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
For further clarification of language, over the last 700 years, the word “devil” has become a colloquialism that can encompass anything. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “Devi,” meaning Goddess.

Can you also provide reference for this?Because it is not correct. The word “devil” came from the Greek “diabolos”, which became Old English “deoful”, which became Middle English “devel”. This can also be seen from German “teufel” and Dutch “duivel”. Moreover, the “diabolos” is still seen in French “diable”, Spanish “diablo”, and Italian “diavolo”. None of these is related to the Sanskrit “devi”.

 

So here, you are correct in the etymology of the word. When I was doing my research for this article, I came across several references to Devil having Devi, Devala, Devata, and Deva, as a root word. Upon further investigation, at your suggestion, I note two things. Those sites are slanted to the extremes of “new age” thinking, and where there was comment, the original posters said they came to the conclusion that Devi and Devil were cognates because “it sounds the same,” which shows a clear lack of understanding of the nature of lingual shifts and etymology.

I apologize for that small bit of shoddy research on my part. Though, if it will get me back a brownie point, it WAS 3am.

darkwing wrote:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
What fascinates me about this is that in the bible, Satan is an angel of light.

If you’re talking about 2 Corinthians 11:14, the verses said: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 KJV). This is generally accepted that Paul facing against with false preachers, as can be seen from the verses before that: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV).

 

I was not actually speaking of any New Testament scriptures. Given the origins of the belief in Satan, I felt it was important to stick to the root, and not discuss the resultant tangled overgrowth.

The original Hebrew term Satan literally means “to obstruct, to oppose.” Ha-Satan literally means The Accuser, or The Adversary. The addition of the definitive article HA denotes a title bestowed upon a being, rather than the name of that being. Thus, Ha-Satan means THE Satan. In Judaism, a satan is always referred to with a human component. In other words, someone inspired by God to stand against something – an action, a group of people, a leader, and put stumbling blocks in their way – but THE Satan is always an angel, bound by God to obstruct humans to force them to prove their faith or lack of to their Judge, Yahweh. Ha-Satan was always referred to as an Angel of the Lord.

Numbers 22:22,32 “and the angel of the LORD stood in the way for an adversary against him.”
32 “behold, I went out to withstand thee,”

2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
1 Chronicles 21:21 Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel.

Zechariah’s vision of recently deceased Joshua the High Priest depicts a dispute in the heavenly throne room between Satan and the Angel of the Lord (Zechariah 3:1–2).

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Ephesians 5:5

Thus, in both the Hebrew bible, and in the Christian bible, there is agreement in the texts. Satan is man’s adversary, not God’s, and He stands in God’s Throne room – where no “unclean” (evil) being can reside.

In Isaiah 45:7, we see that Hashem is the creator of everything, as the text says, “bringing forth light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil, I am G-d who does all these things.” In the Jewish bible, everything is under the jurisdiction of G-d and under His power – all forces, even evil forces. Everything comes from G-d, He created everything, good and evil. That being the case, Satan is not a rival of G-d, he is a messenger of G-d and unable to do anything outside of G-d’s will.

Hebrews do not perceive Satan to be evil at all. They perceive him to be NECESSARY. Without friction, without challenges, without obstacles, we would not grow, we would not achieve all that we have the potential to do. Trials develop us, they develop our minds, our emotions, and our personalities, but most of all, they develop us spiritually. This is a vital thing. Satan creates circumstances in which free will arises and must be addressed through decision making – and then learning from the consequences of those choices.

For more on this concept, I highly recommend this Rabbinical writing about the subject: http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-2566/the-jewish-view-of-satan/?p=2566

darkwing wrote:
MagickFromtheMysts wrote:
Around the 1300’s, people realized that some of the things Jesus said in the bible were about organized religion – specifically that it wasn’t the way to God… So… they rewrote the bible (again), and created the ideas of hell and the devil to scare people back into the pews. Hell isn’t even in the bible at all.

Can you also provide reference for this especially the 1300’s?Since the ideas of eternal punishment and hell was already existed since before the Crusade (11th century), e.g. from writing of Clement of Rome and Apocalypse of Peter, which was one of the reasons people went on Crusade (forgiven from sins and saved from punishment).

 

Ok, so this answer requires a journey, so it’s gonna go long. Bear with me. In some respects, especially about the beliefs about Hell, you are essentially correct, so this is going to be mostly confirming your statements, but it’s to show my thought processes about my comments regarding the Gnostic revival in the 1300s causing papal decrees which made changes to religious law, taking advantage of things that the Church had already added to their mythos (through the twisting of the meaning of the texts). The issue is that the Cathars figured out that hell wasn’t in the bible… and they started teaching that. It went downhill from there for them.

So, to start.

The concept of a hell of torment, and the complexities of purgatory, limbo, and the inferno, isn’t in the New Testament prior to 110CE.

The myth of hell that we know today had its start in the early years of the Church. Back then, only Jews were members. The issue arose that Jewish people believed that Yeshua was the Messiah, in the traditional sense of that word. He arose to free them from Rome’s oppression. A messiah is anointed by God to rout an occupying army, and establish and earthly Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of Israel, as a Theocracy.

“Salvation” then meant being saved from the Roman army and being part of the kingdom of God, and that salvation was for Jews ONLY. From the religious texts, it’s clearly evident that Yeshua was thoroughly Jewish, bringing a message to Jews exclusively, had Jewish disciples. He never thought to start a new religion, and never considered converting non-Jews to become Jews.

After his death, his followers were deeply wounded. They had truly believed that he was the Messiah, that he would return to rout the Romans, and redeem Israel. Salvation, in this context, has nothing to do with a place of torment. You’re either Jewish or you’re not. You are either saved, or your not. You either get to live in the Kingdom of God, because you’re Jewish and thus saved, or you live outside the kingdom, and when you die, nothing horrible happens, you just… cease to exist, while the redeemed Jews get eternal life.

The problem arose because Yeshua’s disciples didn’t understand his teachings. His message for the 12 Tribes of Israel was that the kingdom of god is INSIDE YOU. For the Jews to be “born again/born from above,” that is, receive salvation, Yeshua was VERY clear. You must grow to be compassionate, loving, non-judgmental, peaceful and forgiving. The person who grew to spiritual maturity would display these qualities, and would thus live in the kingdom of god that was within. THIS was salvation, for Yeshua.

The disciples misunderstanding his message and continuing to believe that he would return to drive the romans out of Israel to establish a kingdom there is how belief in hell began. The gentiles who were converting to this spiritual path couldn’t relate to the Kingdom of Israel at all. They weren’t interested in converting to Judaism, did not wish to follow Mosaic law, and much of the history, such as Yeshua being a descendent of David, meant nothing to them.

Salvation began to have a different connotation, one which gentiles could understand and accept. Anyone who believed that Yeshua was the anointed one would be regarded as part of the Kingdom of God Yeshua was going to return and establish, and would have everlasting life. Through Yeshua’s death and resurrection, death had been defeated, and believers would live eternally.

There was STILL no concept of Hell. People who weren’t saved simply died and were no more. However, by the second century, the church, in their zeal to convert followers, began cherry picking passages in the old testament that referred to fire and judgment, and began telling people that if they didn’t convert to Yeshua’s theology, that they would not simply die, but would be thrown into a fire to burn for eternity. They based this belief partially on pagan ideas about hell at the time. In fact, the ideas about both heaven and hell came primarily from descriptions made by Homer, Virgil, Plato, and Orphic and Pythagorean traditions.

In New Testament cannon, Yeshua does refer to Gehenna, the valley of Himnom, where people threw their garbage to be burned, corpses were sometimes deposited, and in earlier times, where human sacrifice had occurred. He brought it up to show how his people had evolved spiritually – and to show that the body is basically meaningless, and will be thrown on a garbage dump… it’s the spirit that is the important factor.

He NEVER referred to an everlasting torment for the people who chose not to follow him. However, by the time the bible was translated into English, the idea of hell was so entrenched in Christian theosophy, when people read the word Gehenna, they translated it as Hell and moved on. I, and most religious scholars, feel that if Yeshua does see what has been done to his message, he’s probably rather distressed about it, being as mythos now has him front and center throwing babies into hell.

Now… from that bit of evolution, how did we get to the 1300s? Well, between the 8th century and the 14th century, biblical scholars began speaking out about the fact that bibles were only written in Latin. The intention behind this was that ordinary Christians of the Roman Empire should be able to read the word of God. “Ignorance of the Scriptures is Ignorance of Christ.” During this period, the bible is understood only by the learned, most of whom are priests. They prefer to corner the source of Christian truth, keeping for themselves the privilege of interpreting it for the people. Translation into vulgar tongues is discouraged.

The strongest medieval demand for vernacular texts comes in France from a heretical sect, the Cathars. The suppression of the Cathars is complete by the mid-13th century. But in the following century the same demand surfaces within mainstream western Christianity, and eventually the demand for vernacular bibles led to the reformation of the church, and the schism that created the Protestant branch of Christianity.

Why do I choose the 1300s and the massacre of the Cathars specifically? Because the Cathars were gnostic. They believed that the kingdom of God IS inside you, just as Yeshua taught. They let women give the only sacrament that Cathars believed in: Consolamentum – a practice that only occurred once in a lifetime – as that life was ending. When someone performed the ritual of liberation, the receiver had a heavy, though obviously short, obligation for purity. Many would, afterwards, forgo food and water as their penance, hastening their death. Women were also teachers. Cathars believed that reincarnation existed, and that your goal through reincarnation was to eventually reach an angelic state by becoming like Christ. Cathars strongly opposed the Catholic church, seeing it as corrupt. They believed that Yeshua was an angel of light, and that Yahweh was actually Satan, and as Yahweh created physicality, including mankind, bodies and all worldly things were unclean, tainted, evil… and the Church embracing monarchies, meddling in politics, converting people through fear, and making money hand over fist, really sat wrong with them… and unfortunately, they were extremely vocal about it. Last, but definitely not least – The Cathars created their own bible. It began as a vernacular bible, but they sought out gnostic gospels, apocryphal texts, and pseudopigrapha which had, through previous Church counsels, been removed and declared heresy – and they added translations of these texts into their vernacular text.

The Catholic Church, obviously, took issue with this much “heresy.” At first, they sent legates to “gently” steer the Cathars back to the way things were done. They were rebuffed – not only by the Cathars themselves, but also by many bishops of the region, the nobles who protected them, and the common people who respected them.

The next step was to start excommunicating the nobles. This didn’t go well… the man they sent to do the dirty deed was found dead very shortly after. That caused the Pope to call for a crusade. The Avignon Crusade lasted 20 years.

This war pitted the nobles of the north of France against those of the south. The widespread northern enthusiasm for the Crusade was partially inspired by a papal decree permitting the confiscation of lands owned by Cathars and their supporters. This not only angered the lords of the south but also the French King, who was at least nominally the suzerain of the lords whose lands were now open to despoliation and seizure. Philip Augustus wrote to Pope Innocent in strong terms to point this out—but the Pope did not change his policy. As the Languedoc was supposedly teeming with Cathars and Cathar sympathizers, this made the region a target for northern French noblemen looking to acquire new fiefs. The barons of the north headed south to do battle.

The Cathars spent much of 1209 fending off the crusaders. The Béziers army attempted a sortie but was quickly defeated, then pursued by the crusaders back through the gates and into the city. Arnaud-Amaury, the Cistercian abbot-commander, is supposed to have been asked how to tell Cathars from Catholics. His reply, recalled by Caesarius of Heisterbach, a fellow Cistercian, thirty years later was “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius”—”Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own”. The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Reportedly at least 7,000 innocent men, women and children were killed there by Catholic forces.

Elsewhere in the town, many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice. What remained of the city was razed by fire. Arnaud-Amaury wrote to Pope Innocent III, “Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex.” “The permanent population of Béziers at that time was then probably no more than 5,000, but local refugees seeking shelter within the city walls could conceivably have increased the number to 20,000.”

Ultimately, it was this act of… essentially Genocide, followed by the creation of the Inquisition, all over the rights of people to read their holy books in their own tongues, that ended with the schism in the Church, the reformation, and the creation of the Protestant path. People who were doing research in secret, and the knowledge that the Cathars managed to smuggle out to the world, brought about a rebirth of Gnostic thought, and began to build the idea into Christianity that the Pope, the Church, was corrupted. By the early 1500’s, the reformation was in full swing, and due to the advent of the printing press, dozens of new bibles, from all the little sects that began popping up during the reformation, were produced and distributed.

As I said – Religion be crazy… and sometimes just devastating.
-Raven

Godspousery: The Mystery of the Hieros Gamos

I will start this by stating – I am NOT a godspouse. This article is actually in response to something I read in a casual forum mostly dedicated to helping beginners who are almost entirely monotheistic navigate the world of buying metaphysical items and solutions.

One of the services I discovered being sold was a ritual done by a practitioner other than the purchaser, which would essentially marry the client to an immortal/deity of their choice. Though I am not a godspouse, I know several people who are, and I feel that a frank discussion about the pros and cons of Godspousery is important, especially given the treatment that Spouses experience in the wider pagan community.

I understand that it is not a generally accepted practice. Most pagans do not believe in divine marriage, or if they do, they do not approve of it. That doesn’t mean that if you’re not a pagan, you get a pass on treating something so sacred so cavalierly.

So. Let’s discuss terminology to start off with, shall we?

Marriage: 1. the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman). 2. a combination or mixture of two or more elements.

Wikipedia defines marriage as:

“a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses married to each other, between the spouses and any resulting biological or adopted children of theirs, and between spouses and their affinity (in-laws and other family through marriage). The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. When defined broadly, marriage is considered a cultural universal.”

In other words, Marriage is a Social Contract.

So what is Hieros Gamos? Well, it’s literally Spiritual Marriage.

Hieros gamos or Hierogamy (Greek ἱερὸς γάμος, ἱερογαμία “holy marriage”) is a sexual ritual that plays out a marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities.
The notion of hieros gamos does not presuppose actual performance in ritual, but is also used in purely symbolic or mythological context, notably in alchemy and hence in Jungian psychology.

And what about the word Hermaphrodite?

Hermaphroditus, the two-sexed child of Aphrodite and Hermes (Venus and Mercury) had long been a symbol of androgyny or effeminacy, and was portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure with male genitals.

Theophrastus’s account also suggests a link between Hermaphroditus and the institution of marriage. The reference to the fourth day of the month is telling: this is the luckiest day to have a wedding. Hermaphroditus’s association with marriage seems to have been that, by embodying both masculine and feminine qualities, he symbolized the coming together of men and women in sacred union. Another factor linking Hermaphroditus to weddings was his parents’ role in protecting and blessing brides.

Hermaphroditus’s name is derived from those of his parents Hermes and Aphrodite. All three of these gods figure largely among erotic and fertility figures, and all possess distinctly sexual overtones. Sometimes, Hermaphroditus is referred to as Aphroditus. The phallic god Priapus was the son of Hermes by some accounts and the youthful god of desire Eros of Ares and Aphrodite.

OK. Now that you have the basic definitions, let’s talk details.

First of all, you need to understand that Godspousery is a pact, a contract, with a divine immortal, and no one should make such promises lightly. Case in point – the reason I’m writing this article in the first place: the person discussing their purchase of a marriage to their chosen divinity was not prepared for the fallout that occurred when they didn’t behave as a husband ought to behave towards a goddess.

Divine Marriage, the formal commitment to a deity to have a relationship with that deity that is as deeply intimate as a couple’s relationship would be, is not a new concept. As you’ve seen by the definitions, it’s at least as old as ancient Greco-Roman culture, and probably quite a bit older. There is mention in the bible of Solomon’s marriage to God, and the famous Persion poet Rumi was also married to God. Several well-known Catholic saints are acknowledge Godspouses. Krishna married 16,000 wives. Even to this day in western culture, women marry their god, wear wedding rings, and seclude their bodies from human men for the rest of their lives – though we don’t talk about it, because most people think Catholic nuns are a little odd in our modern world.

Marriages to divine beings can be sexual marriages or chaste marriages. There are people who have both a human husband or wife, and a divine one, and there are people who are required to be monogamous with their God. They can be plural marriages – it is possible (though probably not recommended) to be married to more than one deity. Gods also don’t seem to be particular about the sex or sexual orientation of their human spouses, despite the mythological evidence of their specific sexuality and relationships with other deities of their pantheon. These marriages can be for a set length of time, or they can be for the life of the human involved.

The deity who is part of the marriage is usually the one that proposes the union. This is generally because they wish to formalize a relationship with their chosen priest or priestess – and while being a Spouse is NOT the same as being a Priest/ess, it has a lot of the same requirements for dedication, time, energy and resources.

It is VERY important, when entering into such a pact, that you know your Intended’s mythos, and that you also are aware of Their expectations about your conduct. Negotiation is very important – you need to know what you are required to give, and you need to say what you are WILLING to give. You also need to express what you wish to receive, beyond the spiritual benefits of a union with a divine expression of archetypal power. When you enter into a contract with a deity, whether it is one of godspouse, patronage, or even a simple bargain for a one-time need, it is important to remember that you are not a slave, not a servant. You are requesting or responding to a request for partnership – it’s not meant to be one-sided, so it’s vital that you be willing to express your needs being met as a part of the contract. If your experience DOES end up being one-sided, understand that your deity is giving you an object lesson on the consequences of not speaking up for yourself.

Why would a deity wish to enter into a contract with a human being? Well, it’s simple – Gods have no physicality. They are capable of seeing the whole of potentiality laid out, and yet, without you, they cannot act as they see fit to mold the world into a better image. You have one power that they do not, nor will ever have. YOU ARE THEIR HANDS. Do not forget how vital you are, and that you have power that they need – the power to act in the physical world.

A Sacred Marriage ALWAYS has rules attached – this is a contract, remember – and the deity will wish for specific behaviors attached to the title of Spouse. Some of these demands could be considered quite harsh – and there are consequences for breaking your word in a contract. Here are some possible questions you will need to have answered – every contract, every relationship is different, but I offer these generalities as a starting point. Are there specific times you are required to contact them and make yourself available? If there are requirements for set times of contact, what happens if you are ill, or if some life circumstance requires you to be away from your god? Is there a requirement for either spiritual or physical distance from others? Can you marry or have sex with other humans? Are there dress requirements? (Seriously, I know some Wives who are asked to cover their hair for their Gods – this is an important question to ask.) Are you required to make a pilgrimage to Their sacred sites? Are you required to live a certain way, or in a certain place? Are you required to take a vow of silence? When you contact them or they contact you, what types of jobs might you be required to do for them and for yourself? What will you receive in return for this work? What will the deity share with you, teach you, as you move forward in your relationship with them? What will the consequences of failing to meet your obligations in this relationship be?

Marriage with a deity, like marriage with a physical partner, is an agreement to go on a journey with each other, to share experiences, to act for the benefit of each other. If you decide to marry an immortal, whether it is for a set period of time, or for life, remember that you are agreeing to the journey, and to the sharing and blending. You are agreeing to becoming One with a God/dess – They the head, and you the hands. This is a sacred honor, and an important one. Do not take it lightly.

Step gloriously down the path, loves, in beautiful light and shadows.

-Raven

What Do You Mean, “DEMON?”

I find this topic interesting, and I have a few things I’d like to offer – these are my PERSONAL perspectives, and may not agree with yours. Again – this is a long read… But I think you’ll find it worth it. 🙂

I feel that there are huge issues with the label “Demon” in general metaphysical society. Some of it is because of religious obfuscation, cultural belief. Some of it is due to a complete lack of experience. What you do not know, you fear. What you are taught to fear, you do not learn about, which increases the fear.

Let’s rip that blindfold off, shall we?

I think it is necessary to explain, to start off, how I personally define “demon,” as well as WHY I use this definition, as that will save a lot of misunderstandings throughout this post. Again, these are my thoughts, my experiences, and you may disagree.

There are many realms, and many dimensions within these realms. If you picture a spiral that goes up and down, ever broadening in both directions like two cones set together at their narrowest in the middle, and consider that on those spirals are many planes of existence, each with doorways into yet other planes along the same line sideways as well as upwards and downwards, then you begin to approach an understanding of how complex our reality truly is. There is a reason that most civilizations eventually describe the multiverse as a gigantic tree, roots and all.

Our world, our dimension, is inside a hell realm. We’re actually the highest of the hell-realms. By high, I mean that our vibration is the mildest. The lower you go, the deeper the vibration, the heavier the energy.

Our world used to be a kind of… cross-over point. The lowest “heavenly” realm, which we call by many names, but to simplify I’m going to call Faerie, and our realm, used to coincide as one single realm. We were neither heavenly nor hellish, we were the fulcrum, the meeting point. However, over time, the energies here became polarized, and the two planes drifted apart.

Because we live in a hell-realm, albeit the highest possible one, that would mean that WE are demons, because by most definitions, a demon is simply that which resides in a hell realm.

When you consider things from that perspective, it’s clear that location and vibration are what determines an entity’s classification for most people who are well-versed in the metaphysical arts.

With regards to the difference between black arts and dark arts – YES, there are hell realms of such a dark vibration that everything there is innately inimical to us – there’s no “choice” to this… they are what they are. Like a lion eats gazelles, like bunnies burrow, they will do what they do, wherever they find themselves. There are also heavenly realms where the vibrations are so high, the same is true – they are equally as dangerous to us, simply because they are what they are, and what they are is just that alien to our realm, and to our energies. The issue with labeling something Black Arts is one of perception. If it does harm to humans, if it ONLY does harm, and you cannot see any benefits coming from that, then it is black arts.

You can see how narrow this definition is. It is absolutely a human-centric perspective. There is nothing in the multiverse that exists only to do harm. There is nothing in the multiverse that exists only to do “good.” Everything that exists in the multiversal ecosystem has its place and purpose.

Lions are dangerous. We have learned from experience that taking them out of their natural environment does damage to their habitat, to them, and also to us. They have a place. They have a purpose. Take that away, and destruction follows.

In New Zealand, the importation of rabbits caused such a problem for the South Island that the EARTH WAS LITERALLY MOVING. New Zealand has no natural predators. NONE. Because of this, the release of rabbits by colonials who wanted to hunt them but didn’t want to raise them eventually led to disaster. Our solution was to release a tailored virus that killed every rabbit on the South Island within two weeks. The clean up was… indescribable.

When you introduce something not native to an environment, whether it is predator or prey, plant or entity, trouble ALWAYS FOLLOWS. Are rabbits black arts? Is Kudzu? Of course not. They are simply out of place.

The easiest way to deal with something that behaves in a Black Arts way is to contain it, find where it came from, and send it back home to its natural environment, where it actually belongs, and where it does no harm by existing, but benefits its place. Rather like Kudzu, if you remove it from its own ecosystem, damage will occur. That does not make it innately evil. It simply means it does not belong where you have found it.

This is my perspective, and ymmv – but my beliefs about these things are based on personal experience and the use of analytical thought, serious research, and the scientific method, to determine those beliefs. This does not mean I’m an expert, by any means, but I feel that I can offer a unique perspective in this discussion about what evil truly is, what good truly is, what qualifies as a demon, and what qualifies as black arts.

We have many myths about immortals, and very few about demons. We have many myths about beings we now call demonic who are immortals whose societies fell to religious fanatics. Monotheism has labeled more immortals “demon” than any other religious path. But LABELING something “demon” does not make it so. For example – prior to about the 16th century, the words “demon” and “angel” actually referred to the same thing. People believed that angels and demons were not separate, but actually that a being who helped you, and harmed your enemy, was your angel, but your enemy’s demon. A being that harmed you, but helped your enemy, was your demon, and their angel.

We, as a society, have this group perception that demons are evil, that they are capricious, that they lie with the truth, that they set traps. The issue I have with this is that these aren’t the qualities of demons, so much as they are the qualities we ourselves hold… People lie all the time. They cheat, they steal, they cause harm, both emotionally and physically, and sometimes they do all these things deliberately. These are also, not to put to fine a point on it, the qualities of most fae. If you want to point out a vessel of true evil, I invite you to meet a faerie of the court of light and illusion. They look damned pretty, and they are vicious hunters, and you are their food. They also reside in the lowest realm of heaven… which is why I bring them up – just because you express a higher vibration does not make you “good.” Good and evil are subjective terms.

I have had many experiences with those beings that we collectively assume are demons over the years. The one thing I can say with absolute surety is that demons TEACH. They have the ability to choose. They are absolutely NOT black arts beings. The things we label as being black arts are things that are inimical to us as a species. Very few beings that people come across, even in hell realms, are black arts.

With demons, you get what you give. If you are dealing with them for power, for the aggrandizement of your own ego, it is not going to be a fun ride. Just as, with tigers, if you do not respect their power, if you are egotistical enough to think that by working with them, that makes you powerful and special, then when the tiger eats your face, you probably deserve it.

I have had experiences with angels, and also with immortals. Immortals sometimes teach, but more often they have an agenda, and though they may trade something of value, the trade off is seldom equal. Immortals USE.

Angels, in my experience, neither teach nor use. They also do not protect. They give information or assistance, but ONLY what you ask for, and EXACTLY what you ask for… and they do not warn you of consequences. Angels DO NOT CARE for anything beyond their own purpose. With the angels that are typically conjured for workings, from the Key of Solomon, and from Enochian, they tend to be… forces of nature. Rather LARGE forces. They are the physical representation of the underpinning metaphysical laws of the multiverse… and as such, they are… rather narrow in their focus, can sometimes appear to lack autonomy and self-determination, and they are mostly disinclined to actively teach. They are far more… GIGO than I could have ever suspected. My first experience with working with them was… a bit of a shock, because at the time, I was still thoroughly embedded in the social constructs of what an angel is. It was… educational.

I can quite honestly say that working with angels is actually even more dangerous than working with demons is supposed to be. Because of the social stigma that humans hold about demons, we tend to treat them, at least to start, the same way we would treat a sharp knife, or a loaded weapon. Angels, again because of the social constructs surrounding them, do not get that level of respect, and because they are not even as human as demons are, this can cause huge difficulties for the practitioner by way of consequences.

We’ve all heard of those people who get involved with demons and the dark arts, for reasons of ego, self-aggrandizement, the shoring up of imagined flaws, the search for revenge against slights. We’ve seen what happens to such weak people. They flail around, they spread hysteria and drama, and eventually, they run back to their gods, screaming for someone else to be in charge. They then proceed to tell everyone how horrible demons are, how dangerous – even though everyone knows the old adage that the craftsman never blames the tools.

What we seldom hear is those who step afoul of angels. Because people have such set ideas about what angels are, when there are unintended consequences to working with them, people don’t say that angels are the issue. They blame life, they blame themselves, they blame other people… they may even blame “negative” spiritual forces… but they NEVER think that it might possibly be because they screwed up while working with an ANGEL.

This bias is quite odd. Especially when you look at biblical records and see how truly frightening and destructive angels can be. In biblical records, demons were mostly pests. Angels were the things to be feared.

For further clarification of language, over the last 700 years, the word “devil” has become a colloquialism that can encompass anything. The word is derived from the Sanskrit word “Devi,” meaning Goddess. When westerners got ahold of it, because anything other than the Christian god was seen as evil, they changed the definition of the word to suit their religious and cultural perspectives. When bad luck falls repeatedly, one is said to be “bedeviled.” The word can mean anything that we perceive, however temporarily, as a negative experience. The quote investigators use, “The Devil’s in the Details,” literally refers to the idea that if you dig deep enough into a situation, you will find the culprit, because no one can truly cover all contingencies. The details will catch the troublemaker. So Devil can refer to a person, an event or series of events, a being, a multitude of beings, nature and natural spirits and/or happenings… devil is a catchall word with only slightly different connotations to the word demon.

As to my experiences with demons, allow me to share. I’m sure you’ve read this elsewhere, but I think it’s worth putting down in this post as well.

My first experience with a demon was an imp. I have no idea how it got into the house, but in the middle of the night, it launched itself at my back, and tried to rip off my psychic wings. It said, in a truly theatrical, dark and gravely voice, “He didn’t die for you.” It’s a strange thing to say to me, because I am in NO way a Christian, but… what was remarkable was what happened next. My SOUL rose up through my body in a HUGE wave of light, tossed him off and through a window, with the words, “OF COURSE HE DID.”

I learned something beautiful in that moment. Not just that “HE” died for everyone, no matter your faith (no, this is not a conversion story), but also that my own soul is made of light. I felt that light. I felt that SURETY. I discovered that at the core of me is something powerfully beautiful, glorious.

This is what I mean when I say demons teach. I’m not saying they aren’t unpleasant in their lessons, but what they teach is absolutely NECESSARY.

My second experience with a demon was a demon named Molov. He had golden skin, and orange eyes. When he showed up, I was still of the opinion that if it was a demon, it was evil and I should attack it and drive it out. I would like to say, he offered no violence until I did. Then he wiped the floor with me. The thing is, I did learn from that experience (and not just that attacking a demon is not a fun experience). I learned that demons are not evil. I learned that they show up when there’s reason – because they are teachers, they go where the lesson is needed. And they will do WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to teach that lesson. They are unafraid of our labels. If we call them evil, that’s fine – as long as we learn the lesson.

I also learned that it doesn’t have to be ugly. You get what you expect. If you hold a belief, even if a subconscious one, that all demons are evil, that the Immortals labeled as demonic are evil, if you believe they mean to cause you harm… they’re perfectly willing to give you the experience you are expecting. They have no time for games. They’re here to teach. Sometimes, the lesson is that you need to change your expectations.

The next experience I had with a demon, Asmodeus came to me in a dream. He came like a heavy weight on me, an aura of menace. He came as a nightmare, a thing of terror. I woke myself up and said to him, “There’s no need for us to be rude. That’s not who you really are, and it’s not what you’re here for. Show me your true face, your true energy, and let’s talk.”

And so He did. I learned a lot from him, simply because I put aside my cultural beliefs, and simply allowed Him to BE.

Yes, I understand that Asmodeus is an immortal. But he is an immortal which has, by culture and myth, for the past at least 600 years, been considered a demon… and like anyone who bears that label, he likes to play up to the part.

When I work with demons in circle – when I evoke them – I am cautious. I am respectful. I am OPEN. I treat them the way I would treat any deity or higher power than myself that I might evoke. The courtesy and the dialogue with demons is quite different to that of angels. My experience with angels is that you call them, you say what you need, they do what you ask, and they leave. They usually do not offer any advice.

If you call a demon, and you’re open with them, they’re likely to say what they’re thinking about doing for you, and why… and how that might turn out. Demons enjoy teaching, and so discussing consequences is part of the experience. There have been times when a demon has NOT discussed consequences – but that was because it was part of the lesson. Sometimes we learn best when faced with the consequences – and demons, above all else, require you to be responsible for your actions, your choices, and your emotional approach to all things.

I continue to learn about myself, and develop spiritually and magically, thanks to the assistance of all my spiritual helpers, those of lower vibration and those of higher vibration. Of course, I’m not working with them because of ego, or a desire for power. I’m not interested in silly things like secret names or their favorite color. This isn’t a gossip session – I conjure with purpose. I conjure to learn and to grow. I’m not interested in any personal knowledge of the beings I summon unless they are sharing such information as it relates to the lesson I’m learning. As you’ve seen from my other posts, sometimes, the information isn’t helpful until you put it into perspective within a larger framework of actual experience. So if a demon or angel or immortal wants to tell me something about themselves that’s personal, they’re telling me as a way of explaining a life lesson.

Also, sometimes being deceived is the lesson. Sometimes, the only way you learn something is by being lied to, because you cannot accept the truth before you experience the lie. This is just human nature.

A note about immortals who are considered to be “demonic.”

Historically speaking, Lucifer is the Roman god most often referred to as “Son of the Dawn” or “Morning Star,” and is associated with the star that rises right before the sun comes up. It was considered presumptuous of him. His Greek counterpart is Phospheros. Lucifer/Phospheros has a twin brother, called Vesper/Hesperos, the Evening Star. They are all personifications of the planet Venus.

There is a tendency to equate the mythos of the Fall of Heaven with the stories of Enki and Enlil – to equate Lucifer with Enki, and Yahweh with Enlil, but there was never a Lucifer in the Hebrew pantheon – this is a new addition to the monotheistic mythos. There ARE some similarities between Yahweh and Enlil, and if there were any mythological records left behind by the very thorough Hebrews as they swarmed through Canaan, during the period where they were still polytheists, I believe that they would have had an Enki, as well. When we look at Roman/Greek mythology, we see an almost one-for-one religious context occurring, simply because of the amount of sharing of goods, services, and culture happening in that part of the world at that time. As Romans conquered the world, they found other gods which they either added to their pantheon, or accepted as being like one of their own gods already – which is why Zeus, Jupiter, Odin, and Yahweh, are all considered from a Roman perspective to be the same deity. The Hebrews, while they were still polytheistic, often co-opted the gods of other cultures in the same way.

Yahweh had a wife until his people went to Babylon. Her name was Shekinah and she was honored in his temples. Shekinah was likened to both Astarte/Ashtoreth and the Roman goddess Sophia. Her name means “Presence/Peace of God.” She is both the Bride of God, and His dwelling place. When the Hebrews were taken by the Babylonian king, and their temples destroyed, they went through a religious revival. Many things were changed. Books were removed from their bible. They became monotheists, and they became extremely patriarchal. They went to war with each other to stamp out the worship of any god other than the god of Abraham, a warrior sky god that most likely began as a tutelary deity within one specific tribe. It is worth noting the damage that this rabid slide into patriarchy for the sake of the preservation of the people did to that people – damage that continues to be spread throughout time and humanity. While you can still only be Jewish if your mother is Jewish, Jewish men now pray every morning, thanking their God they were not born a woman, and in Orthodox practices, women are not allowed to be Rabbis, nor are they permitted to study the Kabbalah. The feminine has been removed utterly from their religious experience, except through oblique references in mystical texts not included in the Jewish bible.

Lilith is a Sumerian/Babylonian being associated with owls and night terrors. There is debate as to whether she was considered a demon, but she was associated with the Tree of Life in the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh, which describes her origin story. She and an Anzu (a protective being having the qualities of both snakes and lions) were the spiritual manifestation of Inanna’s fears, and until Gilgamesh came to battle them both and drive them out of the tree, Inanna could not rest. Most historians believe that she is a dark goddess, associated with Sumerian witchcraft, and the darker aspects of sexuality. As further proof of the mixing of gods and cultures, some Hebrew mystical texts include stories about Lilith, listing her as Adam’s first wife. These stories suggest that she was disobedient to Adam’s sexual wishes, believing that she was his equal and demanding she have a say in their lovemaking. Lilith was apparently so dissatisfied with Adam as a lover that she eventually abandoned him to become a spirit of wind. This eventually evolved into a description of her encouraging “night emissions” in young men, and sucking souls out of newborn babies. She is now considered by most of society to be a succubus and demon.

When we look at the Immortals whom modern monotheism, and ancient monotheism, have labeled demonic, we see, again and again, the cycle of one group of people taking over another group of people, and destroying their articles of faith, salting their spiritual ground. Over time, people stop questioning the definition of “demon.” The myth of the Garden, when really examined, is quite obviously a Goddess myth. The snake is a symbol of pretty much every Earth Mother goddess in that region of the world. The apple has always been considered to be a goddess fruit – cut it in half, and the star of knowledge, symbol of the Goddess, is right there staring back at you. So, we have a Goddess, sharing magick, wisdom and knowledge with mankind – things that their creator deity had SPECIFICALLY LEFT OUT OF REACH. There’s even more evidence that the story of Cain and Abel is actually an allegory for the rise of farming and herding, and the demise of the hunter-gatherer way of life. As farming and herding became more and more the norm, people settled into their stability, and they wanted gods with more boundaries, more rules. Having religious rules enabled such civilizations to work together – if everyone agreed on the rules of behavior, and the punishments for breaking those rules, society could continue to grow and develop, nurturing everyone within it. Ultimately, this lead to the death of the Goddess in monotheistic faiths, as she was seen as an image of a constantly shifting earth, often fearsome, dangerous, treacherous, and unwelcoming.

There is a biblical Satan, in case you’re wondering – but Satan was the title of an angel, unnamed. The reason we do not know the name of the angel is simple – Satan could be any angel, and when that angel was being Satan, to maintain their impartiality, they had to be anonymous. Satan literally translates as “Accuser.” In other words, Satan is a prosecuting attorney with Yahweh as judge. If you read the Book of Job, it’s clear that Satan is MAN’S adversary, and not Yahweh’s – the job of a Satan is to test mankind to make sure their faith makes them worthy of returning to the presence of God.

There is also another angel, Samael, whose only job in life is to tempt mankind into sin. The descendants of Abraham have the job of resisting his suggestions. This proves their worthiness and faith to Yahweh. Gotta say, that’s some system – one angel to cause people to fall, another to accuse them of falling, just so the God that didn’t want His people to have knowledge of good and evil can show them all why apples are bad.

I find it fascinating, given the mythology and the history of the angels, that people now pretty much worship them – in the case of the title Satan, there’s an actual religion dedicated to a being that is essentially a bastardized blend of Pan, Dionysus, satyrs, and Pluto, with bits from the medieval bestiary thrown in for good measure. The color scheme is meant to be deliberately threatening. God is gold, the devil is black and red.

What fascinates me about this is that in the bible, Satan is an angel of light. The Sanskrit word Devi means goddess. The modern western concept of Satan/the Devil actually only exists because of Jesus. Yeah, not joking. Around the 1300’s, people realized that some of the things Jesus said in the bible were about organized religion – specifically that it wasn’t the way to God. Jesus said that personal gnosis, good works, and love were the only ways forward. The church was faced with a conundrum – people were no longer attending services and funds were drying up. So… they rewrote the bible (again), and created the ideas of hell and the devil to scare people back into the pews. Hell isn’t even in the bible at all. Sheol is – and it’s literally the hole in the ground you are buried in, where your body and spirit wait for God to raise you like some freaky necromancer for the battle at the end of the world. Because hordes of undead aren’t at all scary, as long as it’s God holding their leashes… The whole concept we now know of as hell actually comes from an operatic poem: The Divine Comedy, by Dante. Specifically, the section titled “Inferno.” So… here we have a male “anti-divinity” who symbolizes lust, frenzy, alcoholism, shamanism, death and the underworld, and, hey, bats too, because all those things should scare you into being religious, living in an underground fiery cavern, eating naughty people for eternity. Religion – it be crazy.

Soul Retrieval

Throughout life, we all go through things that affect us at a deep level. Some events affect us more than others. Sometimes, something happens that causes a shift in our perception of reality, and changes our personality, even if just in a small way. When this happens, if the event is traumatic, in essence, a piece of the Self has been lost during that experience.

Soul Retrieval is a Shamanic practice that allows a person, when they are ready, to go back to the moment of loss, and recollect themselves. Because in Shamanism, healing is always two-fold – spiritual AND physical, Shamans recognize that there are times when a loss is so great, the physical body can become weaker, allowing dis-ease in. While it is always important to treat the physical issues one might have, it is also important to repair the spiritual health of a person so that they can better recover from their illnesses of mind or body.

Soul Retrieval can be done for you by anyone who has been trained. It requires Shamans to walk in the Other World, through time and space. They must go to the place and time where the original soul injury occurred, and they must collect that piece of you, bring it back into the physical world, and place it back into your body, your energy. However, they do not work alone. Not only are their spirit guides a part of this process, but YOU are the most important part.

During a Soul Retrieval, you are drawn back into the memory of the moment, with the Shaman. You may not actually see the Shaman working, because your focus is on yourself during the process. You may watch the events that caused the fracture, or you may arrive to deal with the aftermath. You must approach your old self, the piece of you that was lost, and you must convince it to come home to you.

Case Study:

Justin has difficulty asking for help. He cannot believe that other people are reliable. As a result, he often takes on too much in his life, and cannot admit when he has difficulty coping. He decides to seek a shaman. He tells the shaman when the problem first started. Ten years before, he was dealing with health problems. He had a bad reaction to a medication he was on – it made him extremely dizzy, and he kept losing his breath and falling. His boyfriend at the time was also going through some troubles, and was self-medicating in order to cope. One night, after Justin had taken his medicine, he collapsed in the kitchen while getting a cup of tea. The tea fell on him, and he was badly burned. He called out to his boyfriend, who was in the bedroom asleep. His boyfriend did not wake, because of his self-medicating. Justin was forced to crawl to his bathroom to treat his burns, and then crawl back to the kitchen to clean up the broken glass and spilled tea. His feeling of helplessness, coupled with his realization that he was on his own and had no one he could truly depend on, wounded him deeply.

He and his shaman discussed the event. In preparation for the Soul Retrieval, the room that they would use was cleansed, blessed, and sacred space was erected. Justin was smudged by the Shaman, and then he, in turn, smudged the Shaman. Justin was instructed to lie down on the floor on his back, in as comfortable a position as possible. A crystal was placed on his sacral plexus, the chakra where we connect to all people, places, things, ideas, and events. The shaman keeps a second crystal in their hands. Both the Shaman and Justin lay down on the floor, side by side.

The shaman did not bring a drummer to this event, so instead, they used a drumming CD, which had both single and double drumming, as well as a call-back drumming ending. As they lay side by side, the Shaman instructed Justin to listen to the drums, and to breathe to the rhythm. Justin entered a trance state with the Shaman, and their breathing began to sync up as the Shaman and Justin, on their separate journeys, came to the event that caused the fracture in Justin’s soul.

Justin arrived in the kitchen. He saw himself sitting against one wall of the kitchen, feeling lost. He sat down, and began to talk to his old self about his life in the here-and-now. Justin is married now. The man he is married to is very caring. He looks after Justin. Justin knows that whatever happens, his husband will be there, helping him. Justin mentions several experiences where this has proved true. He and his old self comfort each other with the understanding that things are better now, and the soul piece agrees to come home. They merge.

At this moment, the Shaman collects the soul piece in the crystal they have had with them on the journey. The shaman returns to their own body in the here-and-now. The shaman stands up, and walks to Justin’s head. He takes the crystal with Justin’s soul piece, and places it above Justin’s head. He then blows the soul piece out of the crystal, and into Justin’s body through his crown chakra.

Justin slowly comes out of trance with the sound of the call-back signal on the drumming CD. He has a very emotional moment. He is warned that he must nurture himself carefully over the next few days, while the soul piece reintegrates. There are times when a soul retrieval is successful, but a lack of self-awareness and self-care can cause the piece to be lost again, because integration takes time.

Over the next few days, Justin’s outlook changes. He feels more trusting of his husband, and is more willing to ask for help. After some time, it is as if he never had troubles with these aspects of life.

Soul Retrieval can also be done through journeying without a shamanic practitioner acting as a guide, though it is considered an advanced practice, and is not recommended for beginners. Traveling to a lost soul piece has its own trials, ones that the shamanic practitioner has been trained to deal with. Sometimes, there are tests and challenges in the journey, because the spirit and the subconscious throw up blocks. Soul Retrieval is not an easy, or smooth process. It can leave you feeling extremely emotionally fragile  and off-balance afterwards. This is why it is normally better to have a shamanic practitioner trained in soul retrieval and the necessary after-care to do this for you.

That being said, if you are comfortable Journeying on your own, and if you truly feel ready, and are being drawn towards a soul retrieval, it is important that you honor that recovery.

Case Study:

Jillian is having troubles with her heart. She has developed pulmonary hypertension – her anxiety causes difficulty breathing, and syncopated heart rhythms. She has trouble connecting with others.

Jillian is on the autistic spectrum, and it went undiagnosed for most of her life. She has trouble recognizing social signals, and does not cope with her emotions. She has extreme dissociative events. Because of the circumstances of her experiences as an undiagnosed child, she grew to believe that she was unlikeable. her extremely low self-confidence led to a series of relationships that only deepend her beliefs.

Eighteen years ago, Jillian had a child. Her autism made it difficult to care for the child – she was constantly loud, and always needed to be held. Because of Jillian’s autism, so much loud noise and so much touching was physically and emotionally draining. She was extremely stressed, and found it difficult to bond with her new baby.

However, it wasn’t the baby’s fault, so Jillian did her best to look after her child, and give what she could of the child’s needs, willingly experiencing the discomfort, despite the struggle waging inside herself. One day, while she was taking care of her child, Jillian looked into her eyes, and saw the child looking back at her. It was such a knowing look… as if she could see all the way through Jillian. Her child saw all the bad, and the good, and loved it all. She loved her mother.

Jillian had never felt such unconditional emotion from anyone. It changed her mind about herself. It changed her life. In that moment, she found herself beautiful.

Several years later, Jillian was dealing with extreme financial difficulties. She asked her family to take care of her little girl, and the family agreed. However, soon after, they received a job offer out of state. Jillian couldn’t afford to move, and she still couldn’t afford to provide a stable home for her daughter. Her family moved, and her daughter went with them.

This event was extremely traumatic. It resulted in an extreme unwillingness in Jillian to connect in a meaningful way to anyone else, ever again. Even people she knew loved her deeply, who gave all of themselves to her, only received the surface of her. She was unable to give, unable to love deeply, unable to share herself.

As she began to realize how damaging this was to her sense of self, she realized that she wanted to open up. She began working, through a series of meditations, to open her heart. Eventually, she had a breakthrough.

During a meditation, she found herself back at the moment she learned that her family was going to take her daughter out of the state, and that she would not see her daughter for a long time. She met herself at that moment. Her old self appeared to be burned, all over, skin, hair, teeth, eyes, her whole self blackened by the fires of loss. She huddled in the corner of her world, and keened. Jillian knelt down by her old self, her burned self. She began talking about her daughter, who is now nearly an adult. She talked about the times they spent together now, playing video games, sharing their favorite books with each other. It wasn’t enough. Jillian realized that her old self was holding onto the idea that only her daughter could love her, and only her daughter made her loveable, and that was why she couldn’t recover.

Several years before her soul retrieval, Jillian had been in a relationship with a man who was using her. She loved him, and didn’t really believe she was being used. However, as with all relationships, eventually, an event occurred that proved to her that her boyfriend did not respect her and did not care for her thoughts or opinions. She realized in that moment that SHE DID care. That she respected herself, enough that his treatment of her was no longer acceptable. She realized she no longer loved her boyfriend, but she also discovered that she did love herself, and she left him.

During her soul retrieval, Jillian realized that in order to recover this piece of herself and continue to heal, she needed to be honest. She explained to her past self what she had learned from her ex-boyfriend. She shared that sense of self-worth, love, and respect with her old self. Slowly, her old self uncurled from her huddled position. They embraced, and they merged, the soul fragment grateful to return to loving home.

As you can see, Soul Retrieval requires total honesty. If you are truly not ready for it, even with the help of a shamanic practitioner, it may not happen – or if the retrieval is successful, it may not last. Also, the work is not done, once you have recovered the fragment of yourself. You must nurture it, and care for the discoveries you make about yourself during the experience. You must honor the lessons.

Jillian, prior to her soul retrieval, had done considerable, intensive work on her soulscape. She had been working inside the soul home of her heart chakra, breaking down the walls, digging up the soil, preparing her soulscape for the garden to come. After her retrieval, she continued this work. She was finally able to take down most of the walls around her heart’s home, and slowly, those spiritual tasks began to change her in emotional and physical ways. She had less anxiety, her heart troubles and breathing issues slowly faded, and she began to work on her relationships with her friends and family.

Justin, on the other hand, did no real work before his soul retrieval, and after his soul fragment was returned, he continued to retreat from others. He became more determined that he could not depend on anyone other than himself, and as a result, suffered a breakdown due to stress.

These results are not due to the process – they are not due to whether or not you have an experienced practitioner helping you. Soul Retrieval, whether you are helped by someone trained, or you do it yourself, requires you to be responsible afterwards for the pieces of you that you bring back. It requires you to truly honor and care for those pieces, and to include them into your life in the here-and-now. If you do not, the problem will remain, and may worsen.

If you decide that you need a soul retrieval, it is your choice whether you learn to do it for yourself, or you contact someone with training. Before the actual retrieval occurs, however, it is recommended that you do some serious ground-work. This may require therapy, and a lot of personal spiritual work. Ultimately, your dedication to yourself will make the experience worth it.

Deepest blessings –

-Raven

 

Psychic Attack

This is a long one, guys. Bear with me.

I would like to start this post out with some cautionary advice. It is not unusual for people new to metaphysics, or, for that matter, general practitioners to some extent, to experience SOME symptoms of psychic attack. One of the greatest difficulties for a person diagnosing themselves is the fact that, when life is difficult and you are under a great deal of stress, the desire to ascribe cause to someone or something other than yourself or simply the general unfairness of life, is strong… and once you begin to believe that your circumstances are being controlled by some force outside yourself, the tendency towards hysteria is also strong.

Please understand – I am NOT saying that if you believe you are under attack, that you aren’t. I’m not saying that you’re being irrational.

I’m saying that when things go wrong, it is human nature to look for a cause, usually outside yourself. Only a few hundred years ago, an eclipse such as the one that will soon be upon us, caused people to assume that their gods were ending the world. We have always looked for gods, demons, forces outside ourselves, whom we pray have control of this madly spinning ball… because if no one is driving the bus, the cold hard terror we feel is unbearable.

So. Today I’m going to talk about the actual symptoms of psychic attack – how to truly diagnose it in yourself or another… and I’m going to talk about solutions.

A true psychic attack is a violation. If you’ve ever had your house broken into, you know that afterwards, there is a sense of not being safe in your own home. The place you retreat to, your den, your symbol of peace, your nest – is no longer yours. It is open to the universe, and the universe is random. Anything can happen now. “ANYTHING” is a very frightening word, when you are considering your own personal security. If you’ve ever had someone attack your body, you experience a similar shock. Your body is no longer yours – it is not your temple, it is your cage – and anyone can steal from you again, at any time. When I talk about psychic attack as violation, this is what I mean. Our spirits, souls, minds – those are ours. We might sometimes share pieces of them with others, but it is always OUR CHOICE what we share, or even IF. When you experience true psychic attack, just as with home invasions or a dominating physical attack, that sense of security is gone.

What is left behind after such an attack is what is left behind by any similar attack on that which you hold closest to you. There’s very little emotion after a psychic attack – there’s shock, and there’s desolation. The stark difference between the aftermath of an actual psychic attack, and the drama and heightened emotions that occur in situations where psychic attack is merely assumed to be the trouble, is so obvious that once you’ve seen it, you will always know the difference between a true psychic attack, and mere worry.

The first step in diagnosing psychic attack is simple. You do not call what’s happening a psychic attack. The reason for this is that the moment you call something a psychic attack, you exclude all other possibilities in your mind. It’s important to understand that the very act of observing a phenomenon can make it true, and by making one idea true above all others, your ability to consider those other potentialities is negated by your own emotional dedication to your perception of that truth. It’s absolutely vital that when attempting to diagnose psychic attack you do NOT allow your emotions to get involved. Even if you are the possible victim, you need to be willing to step back, and truly assess the situation to the best of your ability. Heightened emotions will cloud your judgement.

Once you have let your emotions lie still, begin with the facts that can be proven without a doubt. What are the things that are going wrong that has caused you to wonder if this experience is psychic attack? What are things that are NOT going wrong? If you remove metaphysics from the equation, what are some possible reasons why these things are going right, or wrong, in this experience? What abilities do you have to affect change in these situations – do you have control, even if it’s just over your reactions? How did these experiences come to be – break it down into steps. Finally, and I know no one really wants to talk about this, but it is important – is the person experiencing the potential psychic attack emotionally unstable, or mentally ill. If they are, does their instability or illness include experiences such as periods of paranoia, auditory or visual hallucinations, do they have delusions of either empowerment or victimhood? Are these contributing to their sense of being psychically attacked IN ANY WAY?

Quote:
CASE STUDY:
Sally believes she’s a victim of psychic attack. She recently lost her job, her boyfriend is drinking more and it’s causing some stressful confrontations. Her car broke down out on HWY 6 last night, and she had to walk to a gas station 4 miles up the road to call for a tow, because her cellphone died. Her teenage son got in trouble at school last week, and is at home on suspension. She feels stressed out all the time, like the world is on her shoulders. She had a fight with her best girlfriend about religion during a conversation started about how frustrated and helpless she’s been feeling lately, because her friend told her that it was “God’s Will” that all these things happen now… and now she thinks that her friend is attacking her.

Here’s the other side of things. Sally’s company hasn’t been doing well. It’s a local business, and times are hard. Sally is often emotional because of stress in her homelife, and that means that at work, she’s less efficient that usual, and her work is of lower quality. The company needs to let a few people go, and Sally is one of the ones chosen. She was offered a severance package, a list of potential employers, and a letter of recommendation.

Sally’s boyfriend is an alcoholic. He works temporary jobs around town, and when he gets paid, he drinks. He doesn’t cope well with life, because his childhood was a difficult one, so he drinks to feel better. Unfortunately, because his childhood was also a violent one, when he drinks, all the anger he feels, all the helplessness, comes welling out of him, and he can be dangerous. Sally stays with him because she feels that he is still a good person deep inside, who just needs to face his issues head on. She thinks that if they love each other enough, he can change.

Sally’s car is 16 years old. Because of her uncertain income, and her own lack of experience with cars in general, she does not provide regular maintenance to the car. Her warning lights have been on for awhile, but she is so distracted by so many other things, that she has been ignoring them.
Sally’s phone is on, all the time. She is very busy on many social media sites, and she uses her phone constantly. She often has to charge it twice a day. Because of the chaos in her life right now, she’s been less diligent about keeping a charger in the car.

Sally’s teenage son has been being bullied. Because of his homelife, he didn’t feel that he could speak up about it. Eventually, things at school built to a point where he became extremely emotionally reactive… and he decided to fight back. He was caught fighting, and was suspended for two weeks.

Sally’s best friend is a very devout Pentecostal. She believes that everything has the hand of her god on it, both the good and the bad. She also believes that if you don’t acknowledge the power of her god, then you are in danger. She believes it her personal duty to save her friend. Sally has been exploring new age beliefs, and her friend is afraid for her, and tells Sally that her whole church have been praying for her to stop “letting the devil into her life,” and that all these things that are happening are “God’s Will,” so Sally will see the error of her ways and change.

When you really break it down, when you REALLY look at the whole picture… you can see that Sally is NOT being attacked. She has made choices – she has ignored problems, she has avoided the things she is responsible for. When you make choices like that, the consequences are that those problems grow until you are forced to be responsible… most often at a time that is the least convenient for you.

Because Sally thinks that all these things are happening because her friend’s church is praying for her to change her ways, she gets to blame all of these problems, not on her own derelictions, but on that church, on those people. She’s not in control, so it’s not her fault any of this is happening. It’s all happening TO her, and someone with power over her is ruining her life.

You can see, when it’s broken down like that, how the belief in psychic attack can mean that you remove other possibilities from the table. You can also see that Sally LEPT at the chance to abrogate responsibility, to assign it to a God and a group of people “siccing their God on her.” This essentially means that she can continue to avoid her own responsibilities… which unfortunately perpetuates this cycle of psychic hysteria.

Conclusion? This is not truly psychic attack.

Now let’s talk about what IS a psychic attack.

Quote:
CASE STUDY:
Caitlynn is a very happy, extremely social person. She’s giving and kind. She’s respectful. She believes the best in people. She’s recently married and has started a business. Her friends are strongly supportive, she’s active in her community. She’s engaging and intelligent, and people often come to her for advice. She feels like an important addition to her group – she feels valued.

Caitlynn has some minor health issues. They are normally not enough to cause trouble in her life. She’s always been able to, even when her health isn’t the best, push through, and still enjoy her friends, her relationships, her life.

Suddenly, for no discernable medical reason, her health begins to fail in a major way. The doctors run test after test. She sees 8 specialists in two months. No one can tell her what is happening, or why. The problem continues, and slowly, she begins to have difficulty socializing. She starts to put things off at work, because she is too tired. Her beliefs about people undergo a radical change – she stops believing that people are basically good. She stops being giving. She stops talking. She stops praying. She stops doing any activity that she used to be passionate about. Her personality changes almost overnight.

Caitlynn begins having nightmares. In the dreams, she experiences violent attacks. When she wakes up, she has strange marks on her body. Scratches, bruises, and other odd things. She begins seeing things that aren’t there. Sometimes there are foul smells that she cannot find the cause of. Sometimes, her things move when she’s not looking. She starts to feel more and more disorganized. She has memory troubles. She feels a constant pressure on her chest – a sense of doom everywhere she goes. She begins having panic attacks.

Caitlynn is hospitalized, and again, the doctors can find nothing wrong with her. They prescribe treatments for her anxiety, and send her home.

Within a month of arriving home, Caitlynn is… gone. She sits on her couch and stares at the walls for hours, but sees nothing. Her husband and other friends attempt to communicate with her. She does not answer them, or if she does, she answers hours later. She feels as if she’s been swallowed by a darkness, and what she experiences has to filter through that, so that it takes her awhile to even recognize someone is talking to her. Many conversations, she simply sees no reason for, and will not participate in them. She forgets to eat, because she never feels hungry. She forgets to drink fluids, because she’s never thirsty. She forgets to bathe, because time has no meaning for her, so the normal patterns of life also have no meaning.

She feels nothing. She is desolate. She is empty. She is no more.

Caitlynn was the victim of a psychic attack. For most of the time she was being attacked, she didn’t believe she was under attack, which is fairly common. When she finally did try to get help, people did not believe her. Most people who are victims of true psychic attack have trouble getting people to believe them, partly because they have trouble believing themselves, but mostly because there are so many people who claim to be experiencing attacks who aren’t. It’s a bit like the boy who cried wolf – after so many people cry wolf, when the wolf comes, no one believes in wolves anymore.

This is the clear difference between people who THINK they’re being attacked, and people who actually ARE. What a person under attack goes through is deeply traumatic. It is a VIOLATION of who they are. The more severe the attack, the more likely that the person you knew before the attack will not be the person who comes out the other side. Some people die, literally… some, like Caitlynn, die a psychological death. Once you’re dead, it’s hard to come back from that. It takes a very long time… and if you do manage it… YOU WILL NEVER FEEL SAFE AGAIN.

Anything you associate with that period of your life will cause you anxiety. It takes enormous personal strength and willpower to be willing to pick up the pieces of the life-that-was, and try again. And it takes TIME. Your physical health, your emotional health, and your spiritual health must recover… and your personality must be rebuilt. Recovery can take years… and parts of you may never recover.

Now that you’ve seen the two examples, let’s talk details.

The symptoms of psychic attack are as follows:

  • – The victim feels a crushing weight upon his chest and a sense of fear and paranoia.
    – As the attack continues over days, weeks, or months, the victim is afflicted with nervous exhaustion. With that may come a physical deterioration.
    – Upon awakening, the victim discovers bruises which cannot be accounted for by any conscious waking experience. The bruises may have a definite pattern, depicting a form with some symbolic significance suggestive, for example, of evil.
    – Foul odors inexplicably appear. Strange footprints starting suddenly and ending just as abruptly are observed. Odd sounds and poltergeist manifestations occur.

Once you understand the real difference, including the most obvious sign, which is the emotional state (or lack of one) in a potential case, go back to that list of questions from the beginning of this article.

  • 1) What are the things that are going wrong that has caused you to wonder if this experience is psychic attack?
    2) What are things that are NOT going wrong?
    3) If you remove metaphysics from the equation, what are some possible reasons why these things are going right, or wrong, in this experience?
    4) What abilities do you have to affect change in these situations – do you have control, even if it’s just over your reactions?
    5) How did these experiences come to be – break it down into steps.
    6) Finally, and I know no one really wants to talk about this, but it is important – is the person experiencing the potential psychic attack emotionally unstable, or mentally ill. If they are, does their instability or illness include experiences such as periods of paranoia, auditory or visual hallucinations, do they have delusions of either empowerment or victimhood? Are these contributing to their sense of being psychically attacked IN ANY WAY?

Once you have answers to these questions, it is easy to see which cases are genuine, and which are not. This does not necessarily reassure those who are not being attacked but believe that they are. If you tell them that they’re not being attacked, they will most likely keep looking until they find someone who will support them in their belief that their problems are not their own fault. Be prepared for those types of people who will lash out angrily when you essentially question their way of life.

So. If a case is genuine, if a person is truly under psychic attack… what can you do?

  • 1) Stay grounded. It is important that you allow any negative energies that are around you or inside you a place to go that isn’t YOU anymore. Being grounded means that you can exchange energy with the earth, one of the most capable alchemists when it comes to transmutation of energies. Also, being firmly rooted will strengthen your own aura and energetic systems to be able to withstand the attacks, so they do less damage.
    2) ASK FOR HELP. Pray. Connect to beings who are helpful for you. For some, this includes angels and/or demons, spirits and entities that are part of your family, gods, guides, ancestors. Connecting with friends and family also helps.
    3) Practice daily cord-cuttings. Sever cords that lead to things that are not for your own personal highest good, cords that lead to that which will do you harm.
    4) Practice psychic shielding, preferably of a reflective type.
    5) Practice shielding those you believe might be behind the attack – but here’s the trick. Shield them with love and compassion. People so far gone as to desire to use their personal energies not to fix their problems, but to destroy you instead, NEED compassion. They need soothing. They need love. I’m not saying turn the other cheek – if you’ve got the know-how, and you’re sure of your target, by all means, have at – but if you’re not sure, this shield does no harm – it replaces the desire to harm with a sense of being understood, of being safe… things we know all people need, but most especially the unhinged. They were broken by life. We, with our own nicks and cracks, understand.
    6) Cleanse, clear, and rebalance your aura and chakras daily. Daily meditation also helps strengthen your focus and your will, making you a harder target to influence.
    7) Wear, and place around your home, in your car, and around your work spaces, crystals that help protect against or mitigate psychic attack, negative energies and entities. Remember to cleanse and recharge them regularly.

    Amethyst: Protective against dark energy.
    Banded/Zebra Agate: Good for general psychic protection and to prevent you from absorbing another’s negativity.
    Black Moonstone: Good for general psychic protection.
    Black Obsidian: Good for basic psychic defence.
    Black Onyx: A good aid to grounding.
    Blue Aventurine: Protective against psychic vampires.
    Blue Tiger Eye: Protective against negative energy for healers.
    Brown Tiger Eye: helps protect against unwanted spirits.
    Brachiated Jasper: A good psychic shield that returns negative energy to the sender.
    Calcopyrite: It is generally protective against psychic attack.
    Carnelian: Protective against psychic intrusion.
    Chiastolite: One of the best for all-round psychic protection.
    Citrine: Helps clear negativity caused by ghosts.
    Clear Quartz: it is protective against negative energy and will transmute it to positive energy.
    Garnet: Good for general protection.
    Green Moss Agate: It will protect your aura from negativity.
    Hematite: Good for grounding and general protection.
    Howlite (Natural): Protective against unwanted ghosts and phantoms.
    Kyanite: It is THE anti-negativity stone. It doesn’t just repel it, it destroys it.
    Lapis Lazuli: An all-round protective shield.
    Mookaite: It is protective against negativity. Mookaite should also be carried when dowsing.
    Red Jasper: A good psychic shield that returns negative energy to the sender.
    Red Tiger Eye: Protective against the evil eye.
    Rhodonite: It can be used to ward off negativity and psychic attacks.
    Rose Quartz: Another good stone to help with grounding.

    8) If you’re in the dark and experiencing symptoms… turn on a light. If you’re indoors and the sun is out, go outside. Sunlight is best, but light in any form will help decrease the intensity. If you do go outside to stand in the sun, go barefoot and stand on grass, if you can. This will allow the sun to cleanse your aura, and the earth to transmute the energies you don’t want, as you ground.
    9) Get involved in some kind of physical activity. Get yourself focused on the here and now, get yourself focused on your own body. Walking, doing housework, gardening… anything is better than curling up in a ball and waiting for the kicking to stop. Such activities will also strengthen your aura and empower you.
    10) There are foods that help support people undergoing psychic attack. Raw fruits and vegetables and nuts are best. Also make sure you are properly hydrated. Water is conductive. The more water in your body, the better your energy conduction – in other words, the more power you have available to protect yourself with.
    11) Listen to music that uplifts you, inspires you, moves you, makes you want to dance, or sing, fills you with joy.
    12) Commit random acts of kindness, gratitude, and generosity. When you bring others a sense of happiness, that happiness is shared back to you. It coats your aura in another layer of protection.

Now that you know things that you can do that help… Here is a list of things you absolutely should not do.

  • 1) Keep your hopes up – do not entertain negative, hurtful, destructive, or despairing thoughts. If you notice them happening, turn your mind to positive thoughts. If you’re under attack, hope is the first thing they try to take. Don’t let them.
    2) Do not get drunk; do not abuse drugs; avoid hallucinogens! Avoid people who get extremely drunk. Drugs and alcohol weaken the mind, however temporarily, and make you an easier target.
    3) Do not do mind-numbing tasks. Don’t spend five hours tumblring or fbing, or watching tv. Stay alert as much as possible. When you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to sneak past your protections.
    4) While it may work on occasion for some, in general it seems to be a bad thing to have the attitude that one is a lost and helpless little sheep in need of rescue. This kind of “I’m lost and helpless, save me” attitude attracts wolves or sharks. If you must express that sentiment, try to wait to express it to someone your heart tells you will actually help you – don’t broadcast it.
    5) Do not tune into bad news, do not listen to depressing/angry music, do not let your spirits tune into negativity.
    6) Don’t panic! You are not alone. Others have survived these trials – you can too.

This concludes this lesson on psychic attack. We have covered what it is, and what it is not. We have covered what you can do to determine whether a suspected psychic attack is real, or not. We have discussed what you can do during a psychic attack to protect yourself, and we have talked about things you need to avoid during those times because those activities can make you more susceptible.

I look forward to your questions and comments.
-Raven

World of Warcraft and Mental Health

About four or five years ago, I went through something that turned my life, and my head, completely upside down.

It started with, of all things, a migraine.

I was used to them. I got them all the time. I had them for days at a time. I pushed through. I got things done. I ignored the pain, and mostly, that worked. Admittedly, as things progressed, the amount of days I spent enduring migraines lengthened, until I quite possibly had less than a week out of every month where I wasn’t in pain… but it happened so slowly that by that time, I had adjusted. I persevered.

Until one day, my body decided enough was enough.

I had a migraine so severe I was screaming in pain. We rushed to the hospital, where they struggled to help. Eventually, the pain faded, and we went home… where I couldn’t forget what had happened.

The anxiety and fear of both the pain, and not knowing what had happened to me, or why, eventually led to another screaming migraine.

And another.

Finally, I was in such a state of constant vigilance, I couldn’t cope with even my normal migraines. I started having dreams of dying.

I had a dream of walking out into traffic… and I woke up completely numb – I felt nothing about it. I understood, my subconscious was speaking about my desperation. I wasn’t suicidal, but when you’re experiencing trauma coupled with pain, your brain does a funny thing. It grabs onto any idea for relief.

When I was a child, I was hit by a car, and I died. While I was dead, I experienced not light, but darkness. Pure, empty darkness. There was no pain, there was no fear, there was no hate, there was NOTHING… and it was the most beautiful, quiet experience of my life. When they brought me back, I cried for days, because I didn’t want to leave that peace for a life that was nothing but horror.

So of course, when I was again experiencing something I couldn’t cope well with, my brain remembered what it was like to be dead… and suggested, through dreams, that solution.

This is actually quite common in trauma patients. This does NOT mean they are suicidal. It means that their subconscious is reaching for a way out. That doesn’t mean they have any intention of acting on it… it just means they’re nearing the end of their endurance.

Realizing what my dream signified, I knew I needed medical assistance to get my pain under control. I had my mother take me to the hospital, where I TRIED to explain to multiple medical professionals about my pain, and the dream, and what I needed.

THEY decided I was suicidal, and stopped listening to me. They sent me to an inpatient psychiatric facility for a week, where I experienced even more psychological trauma. The only person I met during that week who DID understand was a paramedic who was an Iraki war veteran. He had shrapnel in his head. He lived with pain daily. He understood the difference between wanting to die, and your brain trying to find solutions to situations.

The end result of these experiences was an anxiety disorder, severe depression, and PTSD.

I sat on the couch for two years. I barely spoke. I wasn’t really aware. People spoke to me, and I honestly felt everything they said meant nothing. Their questions were all obvious, and clearly rhetorical. I stared at the world, and felt nothing, thought nothing. I was empty, at the bottom of a deep well. The world was very dark, and I didn’t care. The only time I experienced any emotions, I would be having a panic attack.

Eventually, we realized that the hospital’s solution of drowning me in medication I didn’t need had exacerbated my situation. My doctor took me off every medication she could.

I was unmedicated for a little over a year…. and slowly, I started to live again. I wasn’t my old self, by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t think I’ll ever get that person back. She died – that’s how I look at it. We found out that I have a sensitivity to sugar. I’m not diabetic – it’s a different issue. If I have too much sugar, I get migraines. We also found out I needed glasses, which clearly contributed to my issues. Dehydration and forgetting to eat definitely contribute, but the main cause is sugar. I stopped drinking gatorade, which I had been drinking because of chronic electrolyte deficiencies, and got an app for my phone that reminded me to drink, and to eat. My migraines and my anxiety both cause me to become very scattered and forgetful. I needed those apps.

Because I was home, and unwell, I had a lot of spare time. I read a lot, but even someone for whom reading is a passion can become tired of reading when that’s ALL you do… so I started playing games from Google Play. I played mystery games – games with a story line, where you would have to find objects, and use them to complete tasks to get to the next section of the game.

I bought a LOT of games. It was becoming expensive.

My husband suggested I try creating a character on WoW. When we first met six years ago, I had tried to play, but I had this tiny Vista hybrid laptop. It had a flip around touch screen, and the latency on the thing was so bad, I couldn’t see what had killed me… It was so bad, that I got very frustrated and just decided that I wasn’t a gamer. I didn’t blame my tech… I blamed myself. After all… I’d played console games with friends. I knew I was bad at games. Shoot – I died during RPG’s.

However, he convinced me to give it another go. I had a newer computer, and he’d played on it. It wasn’t awful, so he thought I would be able to play. He was right, for the most part.

Because I have a lot of social anxiety, I didn’t run any dungeons. I just quested. Despite that, I leveled a toon to 100 in under four months. For a new player, that’s pretty good. He bought me Legion as a present, for making it that far.

The thing about Warcraft is that it gives me goals. Small, achievable tasks, for which I gain rewards. Slowly, my mental health improved, because my confidence in my own ability to solve problems grew. I started running dungeons with my husband and his best friend. I joined a guild and ran some content with them.

My new laptop couldn’t handle Legion. I had latency issues. I had lag issues. Loading into dungeons and scenarios took too long, and I frequently dc’d and spent a lot of time catching up to groups… and dying.

We started saving for a computer that could handle Legion. I got The Beast as a Valentine’s Day present this year. I LOVE my Beast.

After I got The Beast, and realized that a large part of my problems WERE in fact technological, I started feeling confident enough to pug dungeons. We moved to a higher population server (we’d been on Moonguard, which is an RP server, and not really our style) which was progression based, because I finally felt ready to move forward. To challenge myself.

I found a WONDERFUL guild. I can’t even begin to express how helpful and understanding they’ve been. I was clear from the start about my issues, and the reason we click so well is that they are a group designed to support people with my health issues.

Because of Warcraft, and a strong support system, I’ve begun to enjoy being challenged. I still get frustrated if I die a lot. I feel like I’ve failed my team. It just pushes me to learn more.

I’m working, right now, to gear a new character, because I want to get into the higher level dungeons, the mythic plusses, and into the Nighthold Raid. I want to run the heroic Guldan battle, and get my Ahead of the Curve achievement.

I want to be ready for when Tomb of Sargeras comes out. I want to be in the front lines. I want to be part of the team of guildies who run mythic challenges for the guild weekly.

A friend dragged me into battle ground scenarios last weekend. It was the first time I’ve done real PVP stuff. I didn’t die as often as I expected. It was chaotic, and confusing… but I learned a lot. I think I’d like to do more, because I know things about my toon I didn’t know before.

 

I have gone from someone who, when I couldn’t log into my bank account, ended up curled in a ball under a coffee table, completely hysterical, to someone who is actively looking to challenge herself. To push. To grow.

World of Warcraft saved me. I am reborn, and I am ready to face the World… and the world.

Thank you, Warcraft, for teaching me that I Can. And thank you, my husband, for insisting I try it. You’re right… it’s cheaper… and a lot more fun.

 

An Ending

For years, I believed that you did things because it was all you knew. I thought you showed me how much you cared when you sent me food, cat toys, clothes, books, blankets weighted specifically to help with me with my autistic anxiety attacks, because you didn’t know any other way to show me – and I excused that because of how far away from each other we were… Even stranger, in the beginning when I kept telling you not to do these things, because I felt I would owe you something in return (because everyone always wants something in return for their charity), and because I felt that anyone who buys me things was attempting to buy my love (because it’s happened so many times before) – you told me not to worry about it. None of that was true about US. WE were DIFFERENT.

When my illness became so bad I couldn’t communicate anymore, you waited for me to answer your texts – even when it took months, even when my answers simply never came. Of course, you took me to task for my negligence of you, but you were always been the first to admit you are needy and greedy – and I always assured you that wasn’t the case. I agreed that I was the negligent one.

When I was so sick, I simply wanted to die, and you would tell me I wasn’t allowed to die until you were ready to go, yourself, I told myself that you were being loving… the truth is, telling someone they can only die on your schedule is cruel, and grasping. It is not caring when they’re experiencing what I went through. It’s just more emotional torture added to the experience.

In exchange for all of this perceived care, you received from me acceptance, and excuses for all that you were. I accepted the things in your life, and the things about yourself, that were out of your control, beyond your power to change. I accepted those things about you over which you DID have control, and yet still would not change. I occasionally discussed with you what I thought about how your choices, and lack of choices, were affecting your health – spiritually, physically, and mentally… but I never thought of it as judgment, or a request for you to change… I accepted you, wholly. You were who you were, and that was more than ok… it was wonderful.

While you were going through your separation and eventual divorce, I dealt with your constant  criticism of my relationship with my husband, and your frequent oblique references to your ex, as if my husband was cut from the same cloth. I always told myself that your negativity towards R was because you were so hurt… I realize now that there were other issues you had with my happy relationship – one was jealousy… our relationship is significantly healthier than yours was, and I am happy with my husband. The other issue was one of ownership. Every time I mentioned a problem I had, your immediate response was to tell me to run to you, come live with you and be your only person… you never included my husband in your offers unless I brought him up. In your mind, I belong to you, and with you, and shouldn’t be happy anywhere else, with anyone else. When I look back on conversations where you talked about my husband, I feel very manipulated, emotionally. That is not something a friend would do. 

When you expressed an interest in my husband, I was open about it. I know what happens around you when you want things and have to be sneaky, and that is not what I wanted for any of us. When, to protect myself and my relationship with my husband, I laid your desires on the table, you were angry. Part of it is that you enjoy sneaky theft, but a larger part of it was your deep, abiding fear of rejection. Seduction works for you. Bluntness leaves you too open, too revealed. It terrifies you. 

Of course, you and your therapist decided I was a raping raper who pushed you towards things you swore afterwards that you didn’t ever say you wanted. You looked good from that angle… and I took the fall like a good dog. 

When I agreed to take a stronger roll in my own life and power, and in yours, I asked for one thing from both you and the Universe. I asked that I no longer carry the blame for those things that are beyond my control… and you failed to keep your oath.

I experienced something I did not understand, and I came to you for help. You laughed at me, and then you told me that what I’d done (even though it was something beyond my control) was stupid, and that it was going to cause you harm, and that maybe next time I found myself in such a predicament, I should take a moment to think about the larger picture, and all the facts, before I do something like that again.

In other words… you blamed me, and you chastised me. 

You seem to think you gave me information I was unhappy to learn. I was glad to learn what my power had done. I was happy to understand. What pissed me off was your attack of things I had no control over, your blame of me. It’s like yelling at cats for having hairballs or shedding. They have fur – to expect them not to have trouble with their fur from time to time is irrational, and to hold them accountable for their troubles is unreasonable and cruel. 

When I found myself in a situation where I was doing things, but didn’t know what was happening, or even WHY, and I came to you for help – you lorded your superiority over me, and told me, once again, that I think I’m just SO smart that I can do anything I want, because I’ll always find a way out of it. Except that you know that’s not true, and that’s not how I think. This is not the first time we’ve had this EXACT discussion… or even the 90th.

The truth is there are moments in my life where I am fully aware of everything going on around me, yet I am not the one in the driver seat… It appears to everyone else that I am in complete control of what is happening, and yet THAT’S NOT ACTUALLY ME. I move, speak, change the world, and everyone sees my face, my mind, my hands; everyone hears my voice. It’s still not me. I do agree that I’m fully conscious in those moments, where time and the multiverse seem to take a breath, before a sudden wave of power and will changes everything completely… and the epicenter is absolutely me, but I am still not the architect – and saying that I am is like saying I’m to blame for the sun rising.

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I say this to you – you refuse to understand it. No matter how many times I tell you, “I wasn’t thinking anything at all – there wasn’t an opportunity for me to think, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t do this,’ or ‘Wow, the ramifications of this action make it inadvisable…'” – you STILL insist that because I was there, and the action happened through me, that somehow I could have stopped it, could have changed it… and that next time this happens, I should take control and make it NOT happen.

All this, while also telling me that one of my biggest issues is that I try to control everything (though of course anyone who consistently has their life turned upside down by a puppet master universe would OF COURSE have control issues) and that I should stop “insisting that the system behave the way I want it to,” WHILE you’re simultaneously telling me I should have more control over myself.

The final straw, I think, was that when I asked, you, no… BEGGED YOU to PLEASE attempt to see what was happening to me from my perspective so that you would understand why blaming me for this type of shit is so hurtful, ESPECIALLY COMING FROM SOMEONE LIKE YOU WHO HAS BEEN THERE, TOO… 

When I said to you that you do not seem to understand when I tell you with words, or when I write it down, or when you see it happen to me, but that you seem to ONLY learn by doing, so would you please ALLOW a flow of information to SHOW YOU, BY YOU DOING IT YOURSELF, and you told me I was asking you to be raped – more than that, you told the world that I WANTED you to be raped, that I insisted on it… despite the fact that both of us have been in situations where we were not in control of what happened to our bodies, and neither of us would EVER wish that on ANYONE, EVER… that accusation was just it for me. 

The moment you said that you were not interested in experiencing my world for yourself, I said, OK. I stopped asking you for what I needed, and tried, ONCE AGAIN, to explain IN WORDS what I go through, and you called it a lecture, and then you threatened me – and then you followed that with some incredibly passive-aggressive bullshit.

That was the moment I realized how toxic you are.

I find it interesting that when I won’t do my job, I’m a horrible person, and when I do my job, I’m to blame for the things that happen through me. You call what I asked you to try and experience “Rape.” This essentially means, when you asked me to take back my power, you were asking me to accept rape… and now you’re blaming me for the results… and telling me I’m a rapist because I asked you to attempt to view things from my perspective. What I hear you saying is that it’s ok for me to be raped, and for you to blame me, but it’s not ok for you to emotionally, spiritually, or mentally support me while I endure what you have asked me to endure.

All the gifts in the world don’t make up for you calling me a rapist because I asked you for understanding – asked you for something EVERYONE NEEDS. All the food in the world would not make up for you being ok with me experiencing what you consider to be rape, and also being ok with blaming me for the results. All the pretty dresses, all the plush toys, all the blankets in the world, don’t make up for you greedily telling me that I don’t get to die on my own schedule, but yours. All the visits to organize my medical care, all the offers to pay for various therapies, don’t make up for you lying to me about so many things, and then blaming me for not knowing anything. 22 years of friendship doesn’t make up for you continuing to blame me for shit I cannot help, while doing your damnedest to remain as pure as the driven snow.

That’s about as pure as the shoveled shit. You have betrayed me, abandoned me – every time I have become homeless it has been because of you and your choices. Every time I’ve moved across country, except for the very last, it has been to suit your desires – to either have me, or to throw me away because you found something better for a little while – and the one time I have moved by choice, and for my own reasons – the one time I’ve managed to maintain a stable life for an extended period – when you finally realized what you had chosen over me wasn’t going to work for you anymore, you began trying to emotionally blackmail me into changing my decision.

Do not reply to this post. Do not call me. Do not email me. Do not send me another single thing in an attempt to make yourself feel less guilty for who and what you are, and all the betrayals you have heaped on me over the years. I do not want you – in my life, in my power, in my future – we are not family, we are not friends… and I don’t care enough to even want to be enemies – because you’re not even worth THAT kind of energy.

I have forgiven you, accepted you, loved you… and you have lied to me, accused me, blamed me, betrayed me… and all of this, for the last time. I’m done with you.

 I’ve blocked your phone number and your emails. We’re done. I got help and removed my power from your family line, untwisted our fate, and separated our godhead. We are now two, on two separate paths. I have paid you what I owe, and washed my hands of all of it. 

Thank the gods we’re over. That was the silliest 20,000 years of my life. 

I thought of you when I read this quote from “Urban Shaman (The Walker Papers Book 1)” by C.E. Murphy –

“In Ireland, you go to someone’s house, and she asks you if you want a cup of tea. You say no, thank you, you’re really just fine. She asks if you’re sure. You say of course you’re sure, really, you don’t need a thing. Except they pronounce it ting. You don’t need a ting. Well, she says then, I was going to get myself some anyway, so it would be no trouble. Ah, you say, well, if you were going to get yourself some, I wouldn’t mind a spot of tea, at that, so long as it’s no trouble and I can give you a hand in the kitchen. Then you go through the whole thing all over again until you both end up in the kitchen drinking tea and chatting. In America, someone asks you if you want a cup of tea, you say no, and then you don’t get any damned tea. I liked the Irish way better.”

Start reading this book for free: http://amzn.to/1PhRKC4

The Second Coming – Yeats

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

       THE SECOND COMING

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Feast Day of Saint Carl of Sagan

Blue Flame Magick

On November 1st, the Feast of All Saints, Jason asked some of us “Who are your Saints?” and suggested people think of the “great Sorcerer Saints and Mystics that have come before, and upon whose shoulders we all stand.” I knew right away who one of my main saints is, despite not being a sorcerer, and by many perceptions of him, not a mystic or spiritual person at all.

For me today is a feast day, with an unconventional feast celebration, for an unconventional saint. Outside of a technical definition adhered to by Catholicism, it’s hard to define a saint. Catholicism has a complex system of slowly canonizing and investigating miracles to evaluate if a person could be a saint. (A modern idea within the Church, as many early saints were considered saints by the people, and essentially grandfathered in.) Within Buddhism we have a myriad of interesting saints, but…

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