Perfectionism

Nixx

Image result for ceremonial magic ritual

I am terrible at blogging. It is a simple reality I have come to accept. It is not that I do not like writing. I think it comes down to the fact that I am hypercritical of the content I put out. If it does not meet my standards, instead of editing, I scrap the entirety and stop writing for days, weeks, and sometimes months.

I am working on my issues with perfectionism. It is something I have struggled with my entire life. At first, I doubted this was the case because I constantly felt like a failure. It seemed like nothing I did was good enough. Instead of owning this as my own issue, I transferred it onto those around me who I assumed were demanding too much of me. Perhaps it developed out of the impossible expectations of my father and some of the other male figures in…

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Story Time: Past Life , Present Consequences

When I was around 20, I had a very troubling experience. Until today, I really never understood WHY it happened. This is going to be a long post, but – I want to tell this story. I’m not sure why, but I do.

To really understand why this event I’m going to talk about happened, I need to go back to both my childhood, and then I need to go much further back – which is why this will be a long journey – I hope you will be patient with me. I will also admit, up front, that some of what I will say will sound fantastical – especially if you do not believe in the new-age theory of Otherkin. I’m ok with you not believing. It has no impact on my perceptions of the facts.

But let’s start with this world, and we’ll get to the nuts and bolts of the stranger tides later.

The body I currently wear was born in New Zealand. In the very early 80s, America was going through one of the most extreme nursing shortages in its history. Even the shortages felt today are not as bad as they were back then. In desperation, companies began to hire nurses from other countries to try and fill the gaps in coverage, and they were willing to jump through any hoops necessary to incentivize foreign nurses.

Both my parents were nurses at the time, and because my father had recently left the ANZAC, and my mother had two very young children, and New Zealand did NOT have a shortage of nurses, both of them were having difficulty finding employment. New Zealand also did not have a very strong economy, so money was short, and they were worried all the time.

When Nurse Finders contacted them, both of them lept at the chance. Nurse Finders offered them a contract – NF would provide work visas, and put our entire family on the fast track for green cards and permanent resident status. In exchange, my parents would work for the company, go wherever the company needed them to go, for the next six years. The company would pay for us to move to America, and they would provide a sign-on bonus that would make sure that we could buy furnature, food, clothing – anything that would need to be replaced because it wouldn’t be coming with us. They also found us a place to live, and provided the capital to purchase reliable transportation.

After three days on a plane, we landed in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where we would live for the next three years. My father worked in the emergency room, my mother worked in mother-baby – aftercare for women who needed training once their babies were born.

It was… well, a bit of a culture shock would be the understatement of the millenia. We went from living in pastoral farmland to a place that was at least partly desert – and we went from a village to a city that was rife with gang violence.

My father saw more gunshot and knife wounds in the first week on his new job than he saw in the three years he flew as med-evac in Viet Nam. It… left a lot of stains on his mind. To this day, my father has a terrible issue with racism – and it started with that hospital.

We stayed in Pine Bluff for nearly three years before Nurse Finders let them know that the hospital was well-covered now, and that there was another hospital with shortages which had contracted them to fill the positions. It was in Arlington, Texas – and my parents didn’t take two minutes to think about the move.

We stayed in what will forever in our family be termed the “roach motel.” The temporary apartment provided to us (while the new sign-on bonus was used as down-payment on a house in Fort Worth to be built in a new subdivision going up) was so full of roaches that they were in the plumbing, and in the fridge. To this day, roaches throw me back to my five-year-old self, and I want to cry, hide, and beat it to death with the nearest object handy, all at the same time. I am probably NEVER going to be able to be rational about roaches.

It was while we were in Texas, while my parents were working in the hospital in Arlington, that my mother made her first real friend. She’s a lot like me… she’s friendly, but she never makes the first move – so really, it was more that her first American friend decided for them that they would be friends, and my mother went along with it.

Rena had two children. I don’t remember the girl’s name – but I remember the boy. His name was Seth. Rena pretty much adopted my mother for the time we were in Texas, and made life much easier for my mother – Rena acted as a guide, a mentor, and a bridge, and helped my mother flourish in this new, and strange, land – something we ALL needed, desperately. Cut off from family and old friends, adrift in a sea of strange customs and language (and yes, you Americans have TRULY butchered the English language – for which I salute you), Rena gave us context, and helped us truly settle.

We stayed in Texas for ten years, while my father went to Med School to become a doctor, and my mother worked at the hospital and supported all of us. It was… nightmarish. Dad was never home, Mum was only home for breakfast – and two children who were eight and nine and had very little adult supervision (the neighbors were asked if they could be emergency contacts, and if they would check up on us occasionally – which resulted in them doing precisely NOTHING for us) were not very good at raising themselves or each other.

Eventually, though, dad finished medschool, and gained his internship, and we moved to California. Once he’d finished his internship and residency, my father signed on to the US Airforce as a doctor – his contract was six years in exchange for the USAF paying off his student loans in full. He became a citizen, and they moved us to Delaware… where I discovered a deligtful internet cafe (back then it was dial-up, but they had six computers, plenty of coffee and muffins, a D&D game running almost all night, people playing Spades in the opposite corner, VtM kids doing LARP on the cobblestones outside, and witches all over the place. It was like coming home.

And out of some strange twist of fate, Seth was at that coffee shop the first time I walked into it. It took less than 20 minutes for me to call my mother from the phone behind the counter, for her to call Rena, and for them to set a lunch date to catch up.

I didn’t like Seth. Truthfully I’ve never liked him, but our antipathy for each other seemed to have grown over the years – for no discernable reason – I hadn’t seen him in ten years, nor thought about him at all… but just the same, our mutual dislike was intense.

That didn’t change the fact that Rena and her children were family. We owed them a debt.

It wasn’t too long after I became reaquainted with Seth before things suddenly became truly dramatic. Not between Seth and I, but just the same. Seth was working, at the time, at a tuxedo shop, as a manager. There was another young man who worked there – his name was Pat.

Pat wasn’t liked at the coffee shop. I really have no idea why he kept showing up – except that he was an absolute social outcast, and the coffeeshop was absolutely the place for outcasts. He had a number of faults, but his true fall came because of greed. Gavin wanted Seth’s job. Everyone knew it… but there wasn’t much anyone could DO about it.

He somehow managed to become friends with the tuxedo shop’s owner – and eventually asked for a job. Seth was fired the next day. He walked in one morning, and without warning, his livlihood was gone.

The first thing he did was head to the coffee shop. He needed his friends. I think that within five minutes, every regular there knew what had happened, and we were all… So, SO angry. The undertones of a stirred up wasp’s nest were everywhere.

When Pat walked into the shop that evening, he walked into a mob. It took him less than a minute to decide to find a room with fewer of Seth’s friends around…

I read tarot at that store. Tarot, for me, requires low lighting and a little bit of privacy. Not much – a little distance, fewer people, goes a long way. At the time, I had an aura that gently nudged people with the idea that this room wasn’t terribly interesting – if I was reading, that is – which kept the traffic to a minimum. Pat escaped into MY room… and then he had the NERVE to ask, “What’s everyone so upset about?” I think it was the smirk at the end of his comment that really set me off.

I turned to him, and looked him full in the face… and suddenly, he couldn’t move. I could tell he was freaking out, but I was SO angry, I didn’t care. I sat there, pinning him with the force of my will, staring into him until the discomfort built to agony and he blurted out, “What are you LOOKING at?”

I smiled. It probably wasn’t a nice smile. “You. I’m looking at YOU.”

And then, he said the magic words. “What do you See?”

So I told him. In that small, dark room, surrounded by all the people who hated him, as trapped in the moment as I was, I laid him bare – I flayed him, peeling back layer after layer after layer. I told him about all the pieces of his broken soul, and how they came to be. I told him how he was perceived by other people, and why. I told him who he was, and I told him why. I told him about his mother and his childhood. I told him everything I saw. The world was dark, and only he existed, and I had him in my jaws, and because he asked, he had to hear, every bit as much as I had to speak – and I WANTED to speak. I wanted him to know. I wanted him to hurt. There was no right or wrong – there was only answering the question. Most times now, I can temper it when it happens – soften it.

But Gavin was the first person to trigger this particularly terrible gift in me – and I was angry when he did it, so I let the darkness take me, and I spoke with no gentleness, because he didn’t deserve it. He got someone who was my family (no matter my personal feelings about Seth, he IS family) fired – and he had the nerve to SMILE ABOUT IT.

When it was finally over, and we had both been released from it, tears pouring from his face, he ran. I never saw him at the coffee shop again.

It didn’t take too long for what had just happened to really sink in for me… and when it did, I was horrified. I was ashamed. Gavin wasn’t always a good person, but his life hadn’t really given him any opportunities to BE a good person, and while he was absolutely an adult and therefore responsible for his actions and the way they affected others, what I did was, in my eyes, deliberately cruel and a horrific mis-use of my gifts. I didn’t even stop to hear his side of things. I let my anger use me, and he paid the price.

Until today, I carried that shame. I worked really hard to either prevent people from asking that question, or I worked really hard to be as delicate as I could be when it was too late, and whoever had asked had taken the choice from me.

Two years after this first incident, I ran into Pat while he was working at the local walmart. He looked like a completely different person, but I knew right away who he was. I was still so ashamed of my behavior, I tried to turn the other way before he saw me. I didn’t know what to say, didn’t know how meeting him after that horrible night would go, so I panicked… but he’d already seen me, and was walking towards me. All I could think was – whatever happens, I deserve it. It was an accident, but I could have held back, and I didn’t.

“Hi, Raven.”

“Uhh… Hi?”

“Do you remember me?”

“Ummm… no?” Maybe if he really thought I didn’t remember him, he’d give up and go away and that would be that.

Except…

“It’s me, Pat. From the coffee shop.”

Well, shit. “Ahh. Hi. It’s been awhile.”

“Yeah. Well… I wanted to thank you.”

My eyes got really wide… “You… what?”

“You were the first person to ever tell me the truth… and it changed my life. Because of you, I’m a better person. I’m who I want to be, now… and I’m happy. So… Thank you.”

He tried to hug me. I kid you not, this crazy person that I had essentially psychically violated in the worst, most morally reprehensible way possible, was HUGGING ME. It was like… some weird one night Stockholme syndrome thing.

I awkwardly patted him on the back, said a few cliched congratulatory comments, and then he went back to work… and I very carefully walked out of walmart, deciding that I really didn’t need soap that bad.

For most of my life since then, I have dreaded someone saying those words. I never know what will come out once they’re said. Sometimes, it’s a kindness. Sometimes, it’s brutal. Sometimes I can mitigate. Sometimes.

But today, I finally understand why this ability exists. Why it’s triggered by that particular question.

Which brings me to a past life so long ago, so far away, that distance and time are absolutely irrelivant.

Once upon a time, there was a winged cat. I was fast, I was strong, I was just. I had a tribe. I had an sister with a new litter, whom I doted on, as I had no cubs of my own. I had a village, and every life there was precious to me. I led, I followed, I loved, I provided, I defended. My family, my village, was everything to me.

Until one day, it wasn’t.

I was a member of my world’s police force. While I was off planet, the being that I hunted found my home. To this day, I can remember a scene so horrible that I cannot give words to it. The thing that truly destroyed me was my sister’s cubs, caught hiding in my den by the beast. Looking down at their little bodies, knowing they had gone to the home of the one person they were sure would save them, knowing that I had failed them. Failed them all.

I found the monster who had destroyed my world. I hunted him down… and then I became the butcher… but there is a price for every action. While it was determined that I wasn’t precisely sane, and therefore I would suffer no consequences for my actions, the very fact that I was so unstable made continuing my chosen carreer impossible.

After being released from service, I began to wander. I think I was looking for wonder – something to spark me, bring me back to life. It was a dark time… and as all people going through such times, I was not as aware of the worlds around me as I should have been.

And then I met HIM. He was so powerful. He was charismatic. It felt like the answer to everything was in his eyes. For the first time in so long, I felt like I’d come home. He was passionate, he was an intellectual, he was vibrant and rash… and when he smiled, I felt like flying again.

I took the Familiar vows – I’ve always been a good amplifyer, so it felt like the Call from him was destiny. I had met my soul mate.

It should have been beautiful… but we were so unequal.

I don’t remember much about my time with him – it was the ending that really stayed with me. I know that I felt him slipping. I know that I ignored the signs – something a familiar is absolutely not to do – but I loved him, and it blinded me. I made excuses. I looked the other way.

And then, in one single moment, everything changed.

We stood on a planet, and he raised the sun. He changed a solar system… and he did it just because he could. He was showing off to me. I watched that sun in absolute horror – I watched him smile as he destroyed the worlds around us – and I knew. Billions of people snuffed out because a madman wanted to impress the being that brought him to that height.

I didn’t think. I ran. I didn’t stop running – and he didn’t stop chasing. I was his, and he was destroying everything in his path to find me. Whole universes collapsed in his search for me – in his madness he couldn’t stop – and in my terror, neither could I.

Eventually, though, the destruction and the losses were so great, my guilt and shame at abandoning my duty to him, and my horror at what he continued to do, became too much for me to bear. I went to the Library for help, and I struck a bargain. They would give me the knowledge I needed, and I would end his life (and my own).

However, there was a greater price to pay. I had wronged the multiverse. I hadn’t seen the warning signs… and when they grew too great to ignore, instead of doing what needed to be done, according to my vows, I ran – and there were so many dead at my feet from that failure, there will never be an end to the debt.

When I finally caught him, when I finally ended him, when I went to my rest, I went knowing my task had only just begun.

Five little words – and they hold such power over me. I had once refused to see – ignored what was right in front of me. I owe the dead – so when someone says those words, I have no choice. The shadows come, and my mouth speaks the truth. I say what I see. I say what they need to hear – and when I speak of these things, they must listen.

Never again will I be permitted to willfully shun my duty – and never again will those I run across who have even the slightest potential towards power addiction escape my words.

I got off lightly.

So… that’s a past life memory – and the consequences.
-Raven

Are You Ready to Work with Demons?

Let’s start with the easy questions.

What exactly are you looking for in a demon Lord, or a demon familiar and companion? What are your plans for your future when it comes to working with, and living with, demons and demonic companions? Why are you drawn to them? Is it just curiosity, or are you looking for a spiritual path? If you’re exploring a spiritual path, are you exploring Thelema, the goetia, and other forms of ceremonial magicks, or are you looking at Satanism, Theistic Satanism, Demonolatry, Luciferianism, or another specific religious/non-religious path?

When you can answer these questions for yourself, you will know more about whether working with the Demonic Lord’s or a demon companion is right for you.

Education is the fulcrum around which working with demons revolves. It’s important that you educate yourself about ancient mythology and ancient religions, as well as older forms of magick used in those pre-Christian cultures, but also that you gain a working knowledge of demons themselves. Working with demons takes a level of dedication that… seems to be missing in most other spirit path practices. If you’re willing to push yourself, if you’re wanting to stretch and grow, even if it’s not always comfortable or pleasant, then working with demons is definitely for you.

If you’re just looking for quick fixes to everyday problems – a demon can help with that, sure… but they probably won’t if you’re not going to give them your own effort in turn.

It’s important for people to take their time to really think about where they want to be in a year, in five years, in ten years, in fifty years, when they’re thinking of working with any kind of entity – not just demons, but also angels, gods/immortals, the Sidhe, etc. because the entities that can be summoned and conjured are used to working with magicians. They’ve had contact with humans practicing magick for thousands of years (I’m not joking – it goes all the way back to Babylonian and beyond times), and they’re used to being educators and counselors, and they expect when they are being worked with that you will be invested in discovering more about the underlying movements of the universe and the powers that rule our souls and our everyday lives. They expect that when someone comes to them, that person is seeking to evolve themselves, through knowledge and practice. They expect formality, respect, and dedication. They expect magickal experience and knowledge.

It’s important to know these facts before working with ANY entity.

If you truly seek this path, welcome – everyone on this path who is knowledgable will do whatever they can to assist you on your journey, though most of it will be deeply personal to you, and thus we may not be able to always offer assistance.

Blessings –
Raven

Working with Asmoday – Exercises and Results

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.

9th Sunrise, January 20, 2018

Today’s sunrise was both successful and not.

I’ve been away for a week – I managed to get two sunrises in this week before today’s, but honestly, things have been a bit crazy, and I’ve been really struggling, so I just didn’t get them written up. The other four sunrises, I slept through.

Today’s sunrise, I got to listen to the wheet wheet peeps of the baby sparrows in the eves. I got to watch two tiny flocks of sparrows vanish into the field in front of the apartment… and I got to tell my husband that I really like to think about there being a “bird portal” there, because of how the birds always vanish before they land. It makes me laugh to think such whimsical thoughts.

I did not see any crows, or hear them this morning.

My husband, who was up most of the night (he’s still working nights for another three weeks), joined me on the porch with a beer. I was drinking chai. The scent of his beer occasionally wafted towards me, and it smelled like a very yeasty bread dough, and made me think I’d like to do some baking soon.

My husband was part of why I felt that this sunrise wasn’t a COMPLETE success. For one, he was running the car below us the entire time. Our Honda’s dashboard computer has a short in it, which causes it to continuously drain the battery even when the car is off, which means that if we don’t run the car for at least ten to fifteen minutes twice a day, we can’t start the car without a jump. Because of how much it will cost to fix the issue (it is a known issue, but requires replacing the entire dash console and computer and then programming the new computer, which is a difficult and time-consuming job and therefore not only parts-expensive, but also time-expensive), running it twice a day is the cheaper option right now. The other issue is that my husband has severe tinnitus, and because of this, he doesn’t cope well with long periods of silence. We would be silently contemplating the horizon, and I would JUST start sinking into the experience, when he would suddenly start talking, and throw my concentration out the window.

HOWEVER – The horizon was full of those cirrus clouds that are so fabulous at making a sunrise SPECTACULAR – and this one was DEFINITELY all that.

There were the usual mauves and purples around the edges, which slowly changed to so many oranges and reds and flames and yellows and baby turquoises, and greens and blues… I just don’t have words to name all the colors we saw this morning. It was absolutely glorious.

Even better was the energy I felt. Today, I felt the world SHIFT, felt the ENERGY shift. Even now, an hour later, I can still feel the way the energy is moving and how different it was from before dawn, and during dawn, and at the moment the sun rose. I also felt that… pause that comes right before the sun crests, where you can literally see the energy drawing back towards the horizon like the undertow of a tsunami, as if the universe breathes inwards, deeply… and then holds its breath for nearly ten minutes before that breath of power and energy and light floods back out into the world in a gigantic smashing wave, and then for another hour or so, you get little ripples over and over, like shivers over your aura and into your skin.

I haven’t felt that in five years.

I’m still working on reintegrating my senses, but clearly, I have taken yet another step forward in the process, and I am overjoyed at this newly-rediscovered sensitivity.

Needs Met

I worked with King Paimon again this morning. However, I did not cast a circle (didn’t have time), or write His sigil on paper to be burned (again, no time) because I forgot what day it was until about three minutes to sunrise. I’m glad I remembered and was able to get into my ritual space, grab the bells, light His candle and some frankincense for Him, and begin chanting His Enn.

It didn’t take long for Him to come to me, once I settled into the energies. He again introduced me to King Asmoday, and He has instructed me to begin working with Asmoday as soon as possible. He also wants me to start working on my relationship with my husband (we have a really good relationship, but between our schedules, we’re not as close as He thinks a married couple should be) and so He has requested that I also devote one day a week to working with Rashoon.

To that end, my husband bought me two yellow 7day candles, and one pink one, some more frankincense incense (which he hopes will smell better than the frankincense that I use – except that his is just organic bulk, and mine was harvested by an incense specialist, by hand, from different types of frankincense producing plants all over the middle east, and is neatly stored in separate bags, by origin and type – eg, Beyo, Boswellia carteri, origin: Somalia; Cricognimu, Boswellia dalzielii, origin: Burkina Faso; etc – if you’re interested in the company, it’s Ethereal Aromas Incense Company http://www.eaincense.com/ and trust me They Are Worth It).

I’ve also agreed to start a new thread for my work with King Asmoday, and a thread for my work with Lady Rashoon. I’ve been told that the reason my post about my Journey work to fix the issue I had with rejecting my empathy was because it was work I did with Lord Asmoday, and therefore should have been on HIS thread, not on King Paimon’s thread, even though King Paimon brought King Asmoday in and introduced us to make sure I understood I should work with Him on that front.

 

One of the things that really struck me was, when I was asking if there was anything I needed to be doing, King Paimon stopped me, and said, “Is there anything YOU need?”

I immediately said, “No,” because there really isn’t… and then I realized I’d answered too quickly and not actually thought about it, which was what He wanted me to do – to THINK about What I Need…

So I did. I came to the same conclusion – there are some things in my life that aren’t very smooth, but there’s little that can be done about them, and aside from those hiccups that can’t be solved, I really have no needs or complaints. And maybe that’s the most important thing I got out of this morning – the realization that I have what I need.

King Asmoday has been with me almost every night – He always comes in the form of a dog with coyote colorings, including the banding – but still very definitely a dog – and I feel very safe and protected whatever we get up to. Some of what I’ve been dreaming just seems like nonsense, so I haven’t written it down, but I did take a moment this morning to let King Paimon know that the level of attention I was receiving was very comforting, and exactly what I’ve needed for so long – and knowing that King Paimon is behind King Asmoday’s coming to me every night, knowing that my Lord has an interest in the health of my relationships with others, knowing that if I DO need anything, I have someone I can ask who will respond, knowing that if there’s something I need that I don’t recognize, that He will step in and call my attention to it… it is so freeing, so soothing.

I am loved. I am lucky. It is enough.

8th Sunrise, Sunday the 14th of January

This morning’s sunrise was… a bit of a disaster, honestly.

On the up side, I got to share it with my husband.

On the down side… I got to share it with my husband.

It was cold. He didn’t want to be outside. I forgot, because he’s very distracting, bouncy and all over the place which disorganizes me mentally, that it was Sunday, and so had to rush inside and prepare for my ritual with my Patron… and my darling husband kept talking and moving and just generally shot my concentration to pieces every two seconds… and he hates the smell of frankincense…

Today, I’m going back to bed to try and reset my brain after all that.

I’ve realized, I’ve gotten used to my sunrises being MINE. My quiet time, my moment… which I am EXTREMELY jealous of.

 

On to my brief five senses exploration of the morning. This morning smelled of smoke, with a faint chemical after-tang, so people have been burning wood for heat again. I heard a couple of crows, quite far away, and enough of the peeper bird that I’m almost ready to say what kind of bird it is. I didn’t see any of my bird friends, but the sky was lovely, all copper and fire and rich red rose, fading into white and deep, dusky blues. The sun rose very quickly, and there was no wind, so while it was cold, it wasn’t unpleasantly so. My cheeks and ears and nose were unburned. Emotionally, I was… a bit strained. Disordered. My husband was rather grumpy – he thought we were going to watch the sunrise from inside, and when I tried to explain that you cannot experience a moment without being IN IT, he was a tad bit… miffed. I was unable to fully connect with the moment at all until he’d left the porch, and by that time I was so all over the place, and then I suddenly realized it was Sunday, and…

No connecting with the energies of the moment at all this time.

However, I consider this a valuable experience, and tomorrow, which I also plan to share with my husband, will not go as badly.

-Raven

7th Sunrise, Saturday the 13th of January

Today was clear, and very cold. So cold that I could not smell anything at all. The wind has died down – now it is only an occasional gust, just to remind us of the knives in its keeping.

The crows were very busy this morning. The sudden freeze has left them many meals, and they were shouting their celebrations to the world, thanking Winter for the bounty. I’m pretty sure I also heard gueese, but I did not see them. I also heard the peeping – it’s no longer coming from above the door to our complex, though. It seemed to be coming from much futher away. I didn’t get to see any birds mysteriously vanishing above the field across from me today, but I think I got to see the bat again. The dart-shaped bird was not in evidence, nor were any sparrows. I’m worried about them.

The traffic was light. The sky was cloudy enough to do a sunrise justice, but not cloudy enough to hide the sliver of the old moon – no longer wide enough to be a Cheshire moon, She will be New again, soon. I heard two planes flying – I don’t think it was the air force today. They sounded like twin engine planes, probably from the local airport. It’s a good day to fly.

The sunrise started with a stunning contrast of dusky blue grey clouds with brick red highlights. The clouds themselves were art – closer to the horizon, they were arcus clouds, crashing waves rolling up into the sky. They morphed into creamy golden feathers, airy wisps of cirrus. Finally, the dome of the sky was smothered in altocumulus, scattered and pocked with grey and ruby and gold.

In the very center of it all, a cumulonimbus cloud rose in firey glory, collecting the shades of lavender, wine, and buttery gold in one place, so that all that mauve and magenta had to share the rest of the horizon, drowning in airy whites and yellows. That tower of brick red, blood red, stood tall above the ambulance bay across the street, and as it grew in presence and deepened colors, the world seemed to move to the background, the silence of the portent swallowing every sound and movement.

It was hypnotizing.

Finally, the sun rose, and put all these dark moments away. The cold air allowed that fiery golden orb to swallow all the red, all the grey, even much of the blue… until all that was left was unapproachable light, the palest blue sky, and all those portentious clouds stripped of their grandure until they were only a pale, white presence, all gravitas gone.

And so, once again, the light rises, and we sigh in relief, safe from the monsters of the night. Isn’t it the most perfect illlusion?
-Raven

6th Sunrise, Friday the 12th of January

Well… today was… brutal. I didn’t stay out for more than a minute. Right now, it’s -9 C outside (16 F), and the wind is stalking around the building, digging its claws into every soft, warm surface it can, biting and cutting its way through the world.

I really do love the air, after a good snow storm, though. Even though we didn’t get much accumulation, the air is so crisp, so clean. This morning, there’s hardly any traffic on the roads, and beyond that quietude, there is another, subtler silence – the sound of animals gone to ground, to wait out the weather and see who survives.

The sky is gunmetal grey, solid – not even that hint of mauve – and even that hunting wind does not move the clouds.

It is as if I am alone on an island of icy breezes.

Even the grasses bend to the weather today, their dried out stalks kneeling and creaking. Occasionally they rise up, only to perform another salutary bow in a new direction, a wave of worship to the wind.

It was only a moment, before my cheeks were burning and the tip of my nose, numb. I scurried back inside as quick as I could, while still appreciating my moment of peace – thank goodness for hot cocoa. Today is definitely the day for it.

Inside, though. Definitely better served inside.
-Raven

5th Sunrise, Thursday the 11th of January.

Today, it’s finally actually raining, as opposed to misting. It was 14 C (47 F), and it’s expected to get to 17 (62), and then it will plummet to -9 (-15 F) by 3pm. The rain on the ground is expected to freeze very quickly, and any precipitation following will be ice, and eventually snow. Because it’s raining, they cannot treat the roads with salt – the roads have to be dry to pretreat them, so we’re expecting tonight to be a very loud night – the new ambulance bay across the street became operational on Monday.

The wind is quite brisk, and very warm. It was absolutely lovely. I’ve managed, finally, to collect some rain in my jars, so even if I can’t find the lancets, I will at least have fresh rainwater to offer on Sunday.

I really love wet, windy days, because you can truly see the many layers of the sky, and the different speeds of wind within those layers. Watching lower clouds, dark with rain, scuttle across the sky so quickly, while higher clouds are more ponderous and somber, I can actually BE the wind. It’s like a clear night, when you can see the multiple layers of stars, and you can feel yourself falling upwards, ever so small, but still a part of everything in this three-dimensional reality we call life – only instead of falling upwards, I feel when I watch the clouds race against the sky that if I just could jump a little higher, I could get swept up into the race, floating forever.

I truly envy the birds their freedom.

Speaking of birds, I’m slowly becoming more convinced that the constant morning peeping is a nest in the eaves above the front door to our complex. I got to see a flying something that might have been a bat (they flap. A lot), and I got to see another bird launch towards the ground, and promptly vanish. I’m almost positive there’s some kind of mysterious bird portal that I can’t see, and that’s why they keep vanishing in the field that’s 20 feet from my porch.

The crows were invisible, but they did call out a morning greeting. As the sound came from behind my building, I suspect lunch was somewhere in the direction of the dumpster, but considering we’re heading into a deep freeze that will last over a week, I don’t begrudge them the scraps they might find there.

I stayed out long enough to get smacked in the face with a lot of water, and for my ears to decide they were icicles. I even took a few moments to carry each of my cats outside, to hold them in my arms and let them sniff the winds, which everyone appreciated (even Cleo, who was nervous and had to be chased down to get her chance). I might actually start doing that every day. Well… every day it’s not below freezing, that is.

Also – hot apple cider is absolutely the perfect beverage to pair with a weatherish kind of morning.
-Raven

Reintegration Struggles

As I leaned on the damp balcony rail, looking out over the pale rising light, I was also reaching within me, testing the return of my Gift.

The reintegration is not going well. After my ritual on Sunday, I had a very restless night, and the reason is that as I was beginning to fall asleep, I felt something enter my body. I could literally SEE another body inside with me. It frightened me and I fought to push it out, even as I knew that it had something to do with my Gift – but because it was so unexpected, so overwhelming, I simply reacted and shoved. And then every time I started to drop back off to sleep, I’d panic and jolt awake.

I know it wasn’t a possession. The body didn’t feel like a god, a lwa, or one of those nasty little pests that infect the weak minded. It was made of light though it didn’t FEEL like light. It just felt… solid. And I KNEW I was supposed to be merging with it, not fighting it, but I was so reactive, I couldn’t help it.

So the next day, I tried to fix what I’d done… and it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, because I then had a dream that if the rejection won, the power would have to go somewhere, and it would most likely hit my son – who is absolutely not prepared for anything woo in his life. My mother raised him as an atheist.

So… I went back to the place where my vision started – the standing stones with their gems of many colored light. I gathered up the light, and swallowed it. And then I tried again to blend with the power I’d rejected so violently.

Right now, I’m at a standstill. I can feel it half in me and half out… that body of power… I can feel the anxious tension between us… but I can’t seem to get further than this.

At sunrise today, I finally decided, I need help to fix this.

I stood with my arms on that damp balcony rail, and I spoke His Enn until I felt His presence.

“I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to fix this. Can You help me?”

“Ah, my lovely girl, you know this is your task. This is your challenge. You must find the answer to this puzzle on your own.” I feel His hand gently move my hair from my face.

“I’m afraid. Will You stay with me while I work on it? Will You hold my hand?”

“I am always with you. All you need do is ask and I am here.”

“Thank you. I’ll work on it again today. I tried to get You rain water, by the way. It’s not working out.”

“Psh – the purified water will do until the rain water comes. A drop of blood in it would be better though.”

“I’ll look for the kit. If we kept it, I know the three most likely places to look. If I can’t find the kit, You will have to wait on that, too, but I will make it happen when I can.”

“When you can. Enjoy the day, my lovely.”

4th Sunrise, Wednesday the 10th of January

Today was a busy thinking sunrise. Again, the world was grey with only a tiny hint of mauve which quickly vanished. I got to hear the peeping of the birds again, saw the same mystery bird flying off and doing its strange vanishing trick. A single, VERY large crow visited, chattered for a bit about the meal he’d found, and then flew off again.

The traffic was a little heavier today, and because the roads were wet, there was a lot more shushing of tires. I got to smell baking sugars this morning, but the chemical afterscent of oil – both cooking oils and road oils, made it less sniffy than usual.

Before the roads got so busy that the chemical smells started, though, the air was so pure. I love the smell of the air after it’s been raining a while. It was still misting – not raining, but there was enough water moving in the air that you could feel the finest drops touching you everywhere. The railing on my balcony was damp, and the water felt lovely. It’s strange to have such a warm rain in January. Especially considering that in two days time, we’re expecting another freeze and some snow. It was 40 degrees F this morning, quite balmy considering the weather last week.

I could feel the earth thinking about spring, which worries me. It’s too early. I hope we don’t have any blossom die-offs again this year. Missouri winters are just so unpredictable.

I had the idea, while sitting out in this very unseasonable damp, that perhaps a “Break the Back of Winter” ritual might be appropriate soon. I’m thinking that sometime during the first week of February, I might create such a ritual… and I’m thinking that Asmodeus is going to be a part of it. I can feel Him in the back of my mind, rubbing His hands in pleasure at the thought of such a ritual.

Perhaps He wants a holiday of His own.

How was your own sunrise? Were you inspired, too?

3rd Sunrise, Tuesday the 9th of January

Well, today I didn’t make it all the way till sunrise… but I did have a really wonderful experience. Sunrise is about 7 minutes away, but one of my neighbors was leaving for somewhere, and his car made a lot of noise, and the fumes were a bit hard to take. I also noticed this morning that one of my other neighbors has not been policing their dog’s… leavings… so I got to experience that odor this morning, too.

However, on the positive side, today’s sunrise came with another dense fog, though not nearly as thick as yesterday. Today’s misty morning clouds were low enough to give all the street lights halos, but not so thick that I couldn’t see the trees in the distance.

The cloud cover is still too thick for the sun to really make a showing – there was a brief appearance of pale mauve across the horizon, but quickly melted back into the grey. The light seemed to pulse from the sky in waves, which was something new and lovely to experience.

I got to listen to the peep peep wheet sounds of those mysterious hidden birds again… and I saw the darting shape of the same bird I saw yesterday. I’m also fairly sure that I heard the sound chhrr of a sparrow out there in the distance – but with all the metal sounds from the traffic, I may have mistaken it. The crows did not put in an appearance today, nor did they call out to say hello.

I did get a very special treat I haven’t had in a very long time. While I still can’t quite FEEL the land and animals around me… I am starting to SEE things again. Today, the air was full of lightning sparks, arcing everywhich way, sheet lightening from atom to atom… and the earth rippled, power like heat waves rolling over her skin, causing the ground to breathe and writhe. I could almost feel it reaching out to me, could almost feel our connection again. It was truly, breathtakingly beautiful.

Second Sunrise, Monday the 8th of January

Today I didn’t get a sunrise, I got FOG. The clouds were so thick, I could not see from my balcony to the cars below it in the parkinglot. All the traffic along the damp roads made shushing sounds as people drove through town. The lights from the local McDonalds made rainbow becons through the mists.

Above me, on the roof I think, were the sounds of some kind of bird. “Wheet, wheet, wheet.” Once, I heard half the call of another bird, one whose call is SO familiar to me, but which I cannot identify at all. It was like listening to liquid light.

Every now and then, I could smell the sweet, spicey scent of frankincense rising off my robe, reminding me of all that I’m working on right now, and making the morning even more sacred.

Twice, I heard military jets flying overhead. They love to fly when the cloud cover is thick – this morning was perfect for them. I can imagine the flyboys and girls, up above the clouds, glorying in their freedom as the sun shines down on their wings and the clouds, making a world of rainbows for them to dance in.

While the sun never truly peaked out from under the cover of the heavy fog, the light steadily increased, as did the warmpth. My downstairs neighbor came out to enjoy the morning as well. He used to be a farmer, and we got to talking about being able to watch the seasons change – how much a part of the cycle you feel, how much a part of the world you feel, as you watch the small day-to-day changes.

Over all of this experience was the soft, moist air, warmer than it’s been in a month. There was no wind, and no real rain – but there was enough mist to cause the gutters to steadily drip, and I found both my breath and my heartbeat joining in the rhythm. I could feel that patterned beat sinking into my muscles, my nerves, my psyche, relaxing me completely.

Last night, I’d put out a few jars, hoping to catch some rain water for Lord Paimon, but unfortunately, while the fog was thick, the roof caught most of the condensation, and the jars were dry. I’ll have to wait for a proper rain.

How was your sunrise?
-Raven

Taking Back the Heart

Earlier this week, we had spoken very briefly to decide when He would like for us to work together – to set up a regular schedule. Paimon’s correspondences include the planetary body, the Sun, as well as the astrological sign Gemini and the directions West and Northwest. Because Gemini is associated with dawn, and because the sun is, as well, we decided that Sundays at dawn would be a good time for us to meet, to start.

I set my alarm for 6 AM, because the sun rose today at 7:18 here in Missouri, and I wanted enough time to ready my ritual space and myself – however, my downstairs neighbors woke me at four, and the cats dragged my happy ass out of bed by five.

I took a ritual shower (I do ritual baths for major ceremonies that I have at night), set up my space, created a new sigil for him (my first, the image on the tablet kept jumping all over the place, so it was… rather messy), set up my altar, put a fresh yellow candle in the center of his offering dish, poured some purified water over the dish as well, lit the red candle for fire and the incense charcoal in the cauldron, and added frankincense resin to the charcoal. I stirred the sea salt to make sure it was still fresh, and cleaned the bowl I use for my water offering, and poured more purified water into it. Finally, I lit King Paimon’s candle from the candle for fire.

I drew a second copy of His sigil, this time without the circle, on a small piece of paper.

I took off my robe, centered myself, and cast my circle, inviting the elements and their Kings, using the Demonic Lord’s Enns. I then settled into my meditation chair, and focused on my breathing. When I felt I was ready, I began shaking the bells rhythmically as I chanted King Paimon’s Enn.

When I felt the power swell within me, I held the sigil to the flame from His candle, and when it was burning well enough, I dropped it into my larger cauldron.

I closed my eyes, re-centered, and waited.

It wasn’t long before I felt his hand on the middle of my back, over my heart, just below my shoulder blades. I breathed into the energy, and said, “I don’t know how to take back my heart. I died. I sacrificed it to come back. I wouldn’t even know where to look… and I’m not sure I want it back. I don’t want to be manipulated and used anymore.”

He smiled. “You have already learned how to draw in your aura. You will never again be a victim of your empathy. I know you miss the Song. I know you feel the hole. Let me make you whole again. Here.” In His hand was an orb of energy, a riot of rainbow. Every color of emotion, swirling madly in his palm.

I considered the hole in my chest, the feeling, after all this time, of jagged, sharp edged wounds unhealed. His had on my back supporting me, I took a breath, and said, “OK.”

Gently, He placed the orb into my chest. Immediately, I felt it begin to connect to me, mending broken strands of me, weaving me back together. Like an infection, it sped through first my physical energetic systems, and then slowly began to infiltrate my other layers, binding to every chakra along the way. As we watched, and occasionally He directed my attention to a new layer or a new area, the Gift that all of my abilities rests upon came home, and finally, I understood. Not an infection at all, but instead, my foundation, my stability, my strength. I watched as this rainbow of power healed places that I didn’t even know were broken, re-weaving me into wholeness.

As everything finally settled, He patted me once more on the back. “Good. Better. You will need rest now. And water. It must settle. Do nothing yet. Wait. When you may extend yourself, I will come to you.”

I opened my eyes, bowed before my altar, gave thanks to my Patron and to the four Elemental Kings and to the All, put out the candles, and went out to greet the day.

I admit, I did try to stretch, just a little bit, while outside. I couldn’t reach very far, but I could feel the difference. Now I have to actually WORK to stretch my aura. It has learned to stay close to me. I am not a victim of my empathy anymore, and never will be again.

And finally, after years of silence… I heard the Song. Just the edge of it, but it was enough. I almost cried.

First Sunrise, Sunday the 7th of January

My Sunday sunrises are dedicated to time with Paimon, so today’s sunrise was viewed through the window in my ritual room. Because it was so overcast (we have a winter storm coming in), my sunrise was nothing more than a smear of magenta beneath the clouds. The pre-dawn light rapidly became daylight today, as if the world was in a hurry to wake.

After my morning devotional ritual to Paimon, I made myself a cup of hot cocoa and went and sat on the porch. It was about twenty minutes after sunrise, and while the world was definitely up and moving, there were still a few pleasant moments.

For one, there is a lovely wind today – oddly warm, while still being nippy, it charged up the side of my building and into my secluded little nook, before racing around the corner and wailing between the two buildings. I really love it when the wind is so excited, as it rushes ahead of a really good storm.

There were only two crows this morning who joined me for my morning moments, but there was also another bird, I think perhaps a starling, though that would be surprising as they’re migratory birds, but it flew by scooping its wings and pushing, so that it was for a moment bird shaped, and then only a slightly plump line with a long straight tail. It was only a little smaller than the crows, but watching it move like a dart through the air so joyfully made me smile. The crows, of course, called to one another as they flew by – but the other bird was quite silent.

The air smelled crisp and clean. I didn’t get to smell any of the nearby restaurants and their morning baking. We live in a very small town, so a lot of places are closed on Sundays, but I did miss the smell of baking sugars and coffee on the wind.

The sounds of the wind through the trees, across the grasses, and between the buildings, was a steady hiss with the occasional creek and groan, and once or twice, a howl. The traffic was light and distant, the sounds of the cars, and I think a trailer loading up, a pleasant background to my steady breathing.

Despite the storm on its way, the world felt calm. There are times when, before a really good winter storm, you can feel the whole world pausing. Animals huddle in their burrows, wondering if they’ll make it through, people rush off to the stores to pick up the strangest supplies in their sudden instinctual grab for comfort foods, before they, too, retreat to their homes to hide. There’s often a sense of waiting, with an edge of panic. I have always called it Snow Fear, because there’s no better description.

Though we are expecting both ice, sleet, and snow today and into tonight, there is no Snow Fear to be felt, so I know that today’s winter storm will be neglible in its effects.

I sat outside in my favorite pajamas, socks, and robe. They’re all super fluffy and soft, and so very warm that I don’t normally wear them inside, but for early winter mornings, they’re pretty perfect, so I got to snuggle in my soft, fuzzy, comforting clothes, sipping hot cocoa, feeling the wind nip at my skin. It was a wonderful start to my 100 days.

How was your own sunrise?

-Raven

Sunrise Challenge – 100 Days

Starting tomorrow morning, I will be challenging myself to an Awareness Exercise. Every day, for 100 days, I will be present as the sun rises, and afterwards, I will write down my thoughts and feelings, and my sensory observations during the experience.

If any of you would like to join me in the challenge (or do 100 Sunsets, if that’s better for your schedule), please feel free! I would love to hear about your own experiences as we go forward together… and honestly, the more people who are participating and sharing, the more we can all support each other!

See you tomorrow morning!


-Raven

Keeping an Oath

The circle is cast, the candles lit, the offerings made. His sigil is painted in gold on canvas and laid on the altar.

I breathe in, and out. In, and out.

In my hand, I hold a bracelet made of bells. As I breathe, I shake the bells in rhythmic time to my breath, as in my mind His Enn echoes… “Linan tasa jedan Paimon, Linan tasa jedan Paimon, Linan tasa jedan Paimon.”

I see a thick rope of energy stretching out into infinity before me, a cord built of Enn and Name. I reach out and take hold of it, resolved to follow it to its end and Keeper.
I plummet, and find myself surrounded by mists, in a circle of worn down rocks. Each stands as tall as I, and each has a gemstone at about heart height, all the gems producing pastel light through the vapor around me. I see ballet slipper, butter, cerulean… I know there are more, but the world is wavering before me, as if the mist has been parted by a frameless window. Through it, I see the desert.

As I try to see clearer, I feel an odd… shifting/falling/spinning… and then I am surrounded by sand and heat. A sharp wind whips me with small grains, pushing me forward, and to the right. I look in that direction and begin to walk.

It’s not long before I find a scorpion. It’s nearly a foot long, almost see through. My mind tells me to be wary, but emotionally, I feel no fear, no concern. I find myself remembering the fifth pentacle of Mars seal of Solomon, the scorpion seal for protection and reversal of negative energy, which at the end of my long illness was so pivotal in my rebirth. I reach down, and stroke the scorpion in gratitude for its message and its nature, and then I walk a wide circle around it to the left, and then continue straight, again letting the wind show me the way.

Sand wafts like smoke signals before me, and I follow them.

I come to a clay vessel buried in the desert soil. As I gently brush the sand away to unearth it, I find it is nearly three feet tall, but it weighs very little. It is still sealed shut with wood and tar and leather, and both handles are still attached. The pottery feels slick and cool, and oddly smooth and pitted at the same time – as if I am feeling both the present and the past all at once. I open it to find water. As I drink, I find beneath the water dates, raisins, and figs, and chunks of spices and resins. Under the fruit and spices, I find scrolls, fragile and ancient, their ink long since vanished away. Finally, I find flakes of gold, as if the inside of the urn was once gilded, and time washed it all to the bottom.

I understand, these are the riches I carry within myself – a symbol of the gifts I carry in offering to others, and also a representation of what is being offered to me.

I hoist the urn up, and with rope, I place it on my back to carry with me… and then I move forward. The wind turns me again to the right, and before me I see ruts in the sand, as if many wheels have passed. I find this strange – wheels would bog down in the granulated earth – and then I see that there are stones, a road, paved through the desert. I follow the grooves.

There is another strange skipping sensation, and I am standing beside stone walls. They have been worn away with time – most are buried in the sands, but what remains only comes to my knees in places. I reach out and rub my hands on the bricks, feeling their rough, weathered texture against my palms. As I take my hands away, I rub the grit off between my fingers. I feel an enormous sense of pleasure in the feel of those stones and the dust of ages – a feeling of deep appreciation for the history they represent. This is a City. There is a sense of City as an energy, a human experience. As I touch the walls, I feel in touch with times beyond my memory… and yet I see the days when the City stood as if I lived them – as if I REMEMBER them.

I have a sense of someone with me, now, behind and to my left. I cannot see them – I am focused on the arch that has appeared.

I walk through the entrance, and there is another twist to reality. I am at an ancient well in the center of the city. I have a sense of the city both alive and dead around me as I kneel at the well. I take the urn off my back, and use the rope to send it down into the well. I’m not sure if I’m offering what’s in the urn to the depths, or if I am drawing something out of them with the vessel. Perhaps it is both.

I see a male hand held out to me in offering. It is brown, and callused. As it reaches towards me, I can see a silk cuff at the wrist. I hear a man’s voice say, “Take back your heart, Sister.”

I’m hesitant. I’m not sure if I want to…. but, I take the hand, and feel it help me begin to rise up.

My eyes open. I offer my thanks, and open the circle.

What’s In A Name?

He stands before me, silent now. Before, when He was so determined to catch my attention, it was as if the entire world was crashing into my awareness. Always with His coming, I fracture, so great is His noise, but once He is before me, all is still. The pause between moments, the in-breathing before magick Happens. I revel in that stillness – for a person of my sensitivity, it is a gift – and worth all the pageantry and near-trauma in His coming.

We regard each other. I know it’s not time yet, but clearly, He has a reason. I have been overset for two days now – my attention pulled every direction, my wits scattered, even my sleep distracted. It took time today to relax – I awoke unhappy and unable to settle. Two days He has tried my defenses, and finally He has found the Moment, and has no more need to shout.

Of course, after all that, I’m the one who speaks first. “Who were You?” He arches one fine black eyebrow at me, and I shake my hand. “No, I don’t want your Name. That would be silly – besides, I don’t have one, so why should I ask for Yours? No, I want to know who You were back then. I want to know more about You, Your history, the culture You were part of, the traditions, the mystic paths. You know I have a passion for such things.”

He smiles, a flash of white in all that golden skin. They’re mostly sharp – I suspect it’s intended. “You DO have a Name. I remember You. You were ____”

The world implodes with that Word.

I never expected to hear it again. After all… I am no more.

It was as if aeons were stripped from me, and my atoms flayed, that word… In one moment, I lost this fragile skin suit, this illusion, and I was returned to myself. I could feel the fertility of my soil, that rich, black, powder. I was greenness as it pushed upwards into the sky, as it dug down and broke rock to carve nutrients from my skin. I remembered the heat and the cool winds from the ocean. I remembered the feel of the sky pressed against me. I remember the vagaries of island weather. I remember the river that cut through my body to nourish those who called me Mother. I trembled with the pounding of beasts hooves upon my flesh, the small sounds of burrowers, the hunters and the hunted all nourished by my verdancy, while deep in my heart, the fire that created and destroyed slumbered…

Until one day, it didn’t… and all I knew was death.

I remember my heart bursting forth, pouring fire and smoke and ash over my greatest triumphs. I remember the frantic scurrying, the bleating, the silence. I remember the screams of those who called me Goddess as they burned beneath my heat.

I remember the loss of my Name.

With that one word, I realize that 70,000 years is not enough time to mourn.

“No one has spoken that Name in a very, very long time. Did I know You, then?”

He laughs. “No – I’m not nearly so old as that. But I knew You. We all know You.”

I’m not sure if that’s terrifying, or soothing. I don’t know that I ever liked being nameless – I’m used to the familiarity of it at least, but the idea that I am remembered, that a Name that has died is still known… that’s deeply unsettling.

 

I’m still not sure what His purpose was, in coming to me… and He never did answer my question. So far, my research has shown that He was probably a caravan God in ancient Persia – His name literally translates to “Oath,” or “Promise,” and probably refers to trade protections, and the vital necessity of trade goods and services. Much of what we know from that time in Syrian history is based on cuneiform pictograms from Sumer, which were used in trade between Sumer and Elam as a means to track trade items, debts, and payments. To these ancient peoples, writing was practical magick – both useful and binding. What was written, as a debt or collection of a debt, and what was recorded as a catalogue to keep track of items in trade routes, was seen as an unbreakable contract made with the divine – literally oaths or promises protected by the God of the Caravan.

Even the way that He arrives shows the holdover from those roots. Caravans were always loud, but often when coming into populated areas, they were deliberately LOUDER, sending cryers before them into the cities, announcing their possible wealth to the citizens – the arrival of a caravan or ship was a cause for celebration, anounced by drums, cymbols, and loud voices. Such pageantry is still evident in the customs still maintained today in places such as the Aswan Market in Egypt, and the Marrakesh markets in Morocco, where a good bartering session that ends in a pleasing bargain is called out to all.

His name has remained in the language of modern Syria, virtually unchanged for the last 5,000 years. Today, it is a popular name for men.

All of this is, of course, pure conjecture – which was why I asked Him who He once was… though His answer was certainly revealing of His feelings about such a question. I don’t like to be reminded of who I once was – it hurts too much to remember what I lost. It was insensitive of me, to say the least.

I do tend to let my curiosity run my mouth. Clearly, He’s prepared to give as good as He gets.