Last night, I was so tired I was having trouble keeping my eyes open. I crawled into bed, and I had JUST gotten comfortable… and suddenly I was wide awake. I could feel that subtle nudge – “Go to your ritual room and meditate.”
“NO. I JUST got comfortable. I need to sleep.” I snuggled deeper into my blankets… but I already knew, sleep wasn’t going to happen. I sighed to myself, and said, “Fine. I’ll meet you half way. I’ll stay here, but I’ll still meditate.”
With my eyes closed, curled up in my blankets, I visualized myself getting out of bed. I went over to where my robe hung, and put it on. I walked into the hallway, and through the living room, into my ritual room. I sat down on my meditation chair, and picked up the box of matches. I lit a match and the scent of sulfur wafted up to me. I lit my black candle, already set up on my altar. And then I realized that, once again, I’d forgotten the incense. I got up, and went back into the living room to the coffee table. I pulled out the drawer with the herbs, and picked up the box of Nag Champa incense sticks, and pulled one out. The powder dusted my hands, and for a moment, I enjoyed the sweet smell. I put the box back, closed the drawer, and walked back into my ritual space and sat down again. I held the stick of Nag Champa to the candle flame – it shook like always, and I had to use two hands to steady it. When it caught, I waited a moment, and then shook the flame away, and placed the smoking stick into the holder.
In my mind, I closed my eyes, sat back, put my hands on my knees, and began to breathe. As I breathed, I counted. Three, three, three. Two, two, two. One, one, one.
I couldn’t remember His Enn. I haven’t worked with Him enough to have committed it to memory. “Asmoday, I invite you to my ritual space.”
I waited. It didn’t take long before He was there. He’s thinner than I remember, but His black hair is the same. “Ok. I’m here. What are we doing?”
He hands me a ball, charged with energy. I remember this – I have a ball made of real rubber – it’s actually a racquetball – and when I’m teaching students to sense energies, I will charge the ball with a specific type, and then have them hold it and tell me what the energy is.
“Match your aura to the energy,” He tells me.
I take the ball from Him. I Look, and say, “Fire.” The ball is flame. My aura does not shift.
He takes the ball back, charges it again, and hands it to me. “Ice.” Again, I cannot make my aura shift.
He takes the ball back. “Are you Seeing, or Sensing the energy?”
“I’m only Seeing. I can’t sense it at all.”
He sighs at me. “You are so stubbornly pig-headed. Why are you not doing this?”
“I keep trying. I can’t sense anything. I’ve tried everything, but I just can’t do it.” I’m frustrated, and I feel depressed. I can feel the block. I just can’t make it go away.
“Let’s try something else then.”
I feel Him Calling to someone, and then almost immediately, Rashoon is behind me. She wraps Her arms around me, leaning over me like a blanket, a protective shell. I snuggle into Her embrace, and I can feel myself melting, the tension in my body evaporating.
“How do you feel right now,” He asks.
“I feel safe. Protected.”
“Good. Let’s try again. Shift your aura.” He hands me the ball again. It’s fire, but this time, I can see beneath the fire. I can see the sparks of His energy that make it fire. And then, I sense the vibrating string which makes the whole of it… and the second I sense that string, my aura SHIFTS.
He reaches out, and touches the ball, and now it is Ice again… and my aura shifts. He touches the ball again, and it is Shadow, and I can feel myself stilling, sinking, darkening. He reaches out and changes the ball back to ice, and again, I shift.
“Good. Now We know. Now We can help,” He says, and then I’m back in my bed, and They are gone. I’m sweating, my whole body flushed with heat.
I get up and go into the living room to the coffee table, and open the drawer where I keep my scented tea lights. I pull out one of the red ones. The scent is “Sensual Passion.” Right now it’s His favorite. I put it into my amethyst holder, and light it, and finally, I’m sleepy again. I crawl into bed, His offering a soft glow beside me, and fall asleep.
And then I dream.
I’ve been gone a month, staying with my mother. I’m finally home, and I came home in the dark and went immediately to bed. When I wake up, the curtains are messed up. I go to fix them, and there’s things stuck to the windows. An infrared security camera pointed at the alley. A planter, sideways, with spider plant in it. And then I notice that there’s a cat bed, and a bowl with cat toys. I realize the planter is for the cats, and try to put it back. It won’t stay. I put the planter down on the floor, and finish fixing the curtains. I can ask Robin later to fix the planter again. There are cardboard boxes all over the floor, and I start to gather them up to throw them away. Seed packages go everywhere, and I realize that while I was gone, Robin had been thinking of me, and how much I love green growing things in the house. He’d bought seeds, and soil, and pots, all ready and waiting for when I came home. I feel so loved. I gather up the seed packets and put them neatly away, and leave the bedroom.
The living room is a disaster. There’s crap EVERYWHERE… and there are two strangers, a man and a woman, in my house. I don’t know them, and they don’t belong there. I scream at them, “Get out of my house!” I chase them out. I’m so angry. I follow them out of the house, still shouting. I want to call the police. I’m looking for the apartment manager – I want to let him know about these strangers who are squatting in my house.
One of the demons who lives with me comes up behind me. I can’t tell if it’s Euild or Teaze. I just feel him like a protective shadow, a few feet behind me, exuding strength. “Do you need help?”
“I need to get their stuff out of my house.” He nods, and we go back to the apartment, and begin to clean. I throw electronics I don’t recognize out the front door. I’m throwing puzzles into the trash can, and little tabletop gaming models, and trash. SO much TRASH. I’m overwhelmed. “I don’t know what’s ours and what’s theirs!” I’m so angry and upset I’m trying not to cry.
The man comes back into the house and sits down in front of me. I want to hurt him. I want to tear into him, I want to see him BLEED. I start throwing things at him – anything I can get my hands on – a yellow coffee cup full of some kind of liquid, a clay bowl, other things. I run out of objects before I run out of rage. I shove the coffee table up against his legs so he can’t leave. I start to crawl towards him. I’m still so angry, still raging, I want to destroy him. “You have a spare bedroom. Why won’t you share it.”
“That is my SON’S room. You will NOT take my son’s room away from him. You will not take that away from ME.” I’m even angrier. Just because my son doesn’t live with us does not mean he can just steal my house, THAT ROOM, from me. I feel murderous.
The woman comes in, and I find out that they have a third person, someone not well, sleeping on the couch in the spare bedroom. I force them to leave again, and I follow them out. The neighbors are all concerned, trying to help.
Once again, the demon is there, behind me, supporting and strengthening me. “What do you need?”
“Right now what I really WANT is a very rare steak.” I’m still trying not to think about how badly I wanted to rip the man’s throat out with my teeth. Gnawing on steak is a safe alternative. Wisely, my demon says nothing as he follows me, still raging, back into the house.
I wake up, and I understand EXACTLY what the dream was about. When you dream of a house, the house is an image of you – your emotional and psychological insides.
Empathy made me feel invaded, all the time. I was full of junk – pieces of other people’s lives. It was a mess, and I could never tell what was mine, and what was anyone else’s. People took up my space, and parts of them hid in places I believed sacred. My son’s room may be empty, but it is still HIS. It will ALWAYS be his – that’s my CHOICE. It was never my choice to have everyone ELSE in that space – in ANY of my space. They just moved in and took over, strewing their messes everywhere, surrounding me with detritus, the flotsam and jetsam of their lives.
I never felt safe, and I was always ANGRY. No matter how careful I was with people on the outside, on the inside, I raged at them all, wanting to hurt them as much as I was being hurt by them… and in the end, when it cost me everything, when I died because of their messes… I wanted to murder them in return.
I miss a lot of things that my empathy let me see… but I’m still so angry, and so traumatized, and I still haven’t been able to finish cleaning up the mess. I still can’t tell the difference between myself, and theirs… so I resist. I block it out. I REFUSE, at a base level I have no control over, no awareness of.
It’s going to take a long time, a lot of patience, to help me feel safe again. I’m not afraid of the work. My empathy IS under my control, or I wouldn’t be able to block it so effectively… and the exercises with King Asmoday show me, over and over, that sensing, even shifting to what I sense, does not mean drowning. It doesn’t mean Becoming, it doesn’t mean being invaded and violated.
The wounds are deep. The work is worth it.