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.

 

How It Happened… and What Comes After PTSD

It starts with a simple migraine – you remember me telling you about those migraines back in February of last year, those brutal migraines that left me screaming…

But I didn’t know this was anything more than an ordinary migraine.

I took my migraine meds, and I carried on with my day. I wrapped myself in darkness and I attempted to sleep it off.

It was only four hours later, when I was staggering from the living room to get more medication from the bedroom, vomiting from the agony that I realized that something was seriously wrong.

Whimpering when I couldn’t even pick myself up off the floor and had to have my husband help me dress, we drove to the emergency room in the middle of the night, I in my sunglasses with a thick jacket over my face, struggling not to scream whenever we came upon cars or traffic lights – we took the back roads as much as possible.

When we arrived at the hospital, I could barely leave the car, because the parking lot lights hit my skin like hammer blows. Photophobia is no joking matter. I clung to the bowl in my lap, and wrapped the coat around my face as my husband carefully guided me blindly though the doors of the emergency room. Every light we passed under made me cringe and scream, and crumple in pain. He had to hold me up. Somewhere along the way I lost the bowl of vomit all over the nice clean floors. I was beyond caring.

We sat in a dark room for a moment while we waited for them to take my vitals. I had a brief respite from the pain and I thought it was over… but suddenly, the pain came roaring back, ten times worse. It was as if the pressure had built up directly at the base of my skull and was attempting to lift my head off my neck by sheer force of pulse. My muscles burned, every nerve ending on fire. My feet kicked helplessly as I tried to push my own head off my neck. I don’t remember screaming, but apparently, I frightened the people in the outside waiting room quite badly.

They rushed me into a private, dark room with a bed… and when they had me calmer, and they’d given me something to stop me from throwing up that melted under my tongue and tasted like bananas, they tried to dope me up with opiates. The nurse chased me around the room, not knowing I was allergic… I remember the lights being turned on so she could give me the shot and me shouting at her as she asks me “Well, what happens when you take opiates?” “I start itching all over so badly I have panic attacks, and I think I’m high strung enough right now, don’t you?!” I shouted at her. I think I startled her into nearly laughing, but she left the room.

They put me on a very strong anti-inflamatory and a migraine medicine, but it takes a long time for the pain to go away… while we wait, I scream, the waves of pain encompassing my entire reality. There is nothing but me, my body, and the pain… and my longing for it to end. I entertain a variety of plans, from the waiting room all the way until the moment the pain begins to subside and my sanity begins to return in dribs and drabs, as to how I will find this end.

All my highminded ideals about suicide being a cop-out for anyone who’s not already terminal and who hasn’t sat down their loved ones and had a very calm and clear conversation with them all about it went out the window. I didn’t care about anything other than ending my pain… because all I WAS was pain. I didn’t even care that ending the pain would mean I was ended… I wasn’t capable of thinking that far ahead. I thought about ways I could trick the security guard into shooting me in the head. I looked at my husband and pleaded him with my eyes alone, hoping that he would kindly break my neck and end my suffering. Consequences? Who gave a damn – I was in pain, and he was my answer, my savior.

I wasn’t rational. I was an animal in a trap and I wanted OUT.

I broke. I broke myself. I broke my rules. I broke every promise I ever made about my life, my ethics, my loved ones… I broke my beliefs about myself… I broke under the lash of my pain and I gave up.

When I came up for air, I still didn’t quite understand what had happened… honestly, it didn’t really hit me for several months.

When they finally got me calmed down and stabilized, they sent me down to radiology to scan my head, even though I kept telling them, “This isn’t a normal migraine, and it’s starting in my NECK!”

The scans came back and the neurologist came into my very dark room to tell me I had the most beautiful grey matter he’d ever seen, such a lovely amount of wrinkles. I told him thank you very much, but could he do anything about the blue tunnel on the wall or the fact that my neck was hurting so bad that the pulse was making my head want to fall off? No one would listen to me about it not being a migraine.

Finally, the pain began to subside to a point that I could bare it like I could the migraines I’m used to dealing with every day, they sent me home – I guess since they couldn’t figure out what was wrong, all they could do was manage the symptoms and move me out.

I saw a giraffe on the side of the road in the trees on the way home.

Two days later, we got an ice storm. Thanks, neck… I appreciate your art of weather prediction by pain induction.

 

This experience was repeated three times in a two week period. When I remember the pain, my skin crawls. I remember it so clearly it’s as if I am reliving it. The very thought is enough to bring me to tears, and in fact, remembering these experiences is enough to trigger a migraine.

Three months after these three experiences, I started dreaming about walking out into traffic. I couldn’t cope with the disconnect. I couldn’t cope with the fact that I had given up under the lash of the pain, and I couldn’t cope with the fear that the pain would come back… it was even worse because no one can tell me WHY I had those three such severe migraines, screaming migraines… and I was still having migraines, though admittedly not nearly as severe…

I now had an anxiety disorder. I had PTSD, and generalized anxiety. I couldn’t cope with what I’d gone through… so… My subconscious started offering me relief.

When I was six years old, I was hit by a car and I died. It was quick… it was painless. It was just… suddenly dark. I never even saw the car that hit me. There was just sudden peace. Dying was easy.

My subconscious is not eager to admit that at 36, we have 30 years of weight and growth, and that we are considerably more likely to damage a car than the other way around. However, it did alert me to the fact that I had a problem. I was trying, I thought, to escape the pain of my migraines, and I needed to see a better doctor and get some bloody answers, dammit!

So… I went to the emergency room again, hoping that they would help.

They were… not really so helpful as all that.

They decided I was suicidal.

Well, I suppose I was… the problem is that I’m not. I couldn’t ever be truly suicidal because I’m too damned intelligent to be suicidal, and I know the odds… I’d never risk suicide because WHAT IF I FAILED?

There’s a whole host of nasty side effects I wouldn’t want to suffer… which is why I was dreaming of it, rather than actually doing it. I’m too apathetic to ever ACTUALLY commit suicide. Plus… as I stated earlier… I’m too ethical to do that. I believe suicide is something that you should only do if you are already terminal and you have planned it with your loved ones in the loop. It’s just common courtesy. Everyone has the right to die… no one has the right to harm others in the doing of it.

However, I do NOW understand, having had the shoe on the OTHER foot, that there are extenuating circumstances where mental, physical, or emotional pain may be so great that one should be granted mercy, irregardless of the harm it might cause others, because of the great harm it is causing oneself. HOWEVER – that should only be the case where there are no other options and there is no solution. If you are not rational, you are not capable of making that decision for yourself, and therefore YOU should not be the one to decide that suicide is an acceptable solution for yourself. I should know… I was there. I was not rational. It was not in my best interests. I’m doing better now… and I would have missed getting better had I been granted mercy.

It turns out that all I needed was glasses, by the way. Go figure.

Anyway, I digress.

In the emergency room, I explained about the dreams, and said, “Look, I’m in enough pain that my subconscious is now attempting to give me options to escape the pain. This means that I need some help to deal with the pain, and I need a diagnosis as to why I’m in this much pain in the first place. I need a neurologist.”

What they heard was, “I’m having dreams about suicide.”

What they did was lock me up  in a psych ward for 8 days.

I rode an ambulance in the middle of the night under armed guard to a city three hours away. I was forced to ride two elevators, of which I am phobic, which raised my heart rate to over 177. I STANK of fear and bolted out of the second elevator only to huddle in the hallway like a rabbit in the grass. It was humiliating.

When I arrived on the ward, the nurses, assuming I was your typical suicide case, attempted to strip me of my clothes and wanted to examine every inch of my skin. I had to sit them down and explain to them why I was really there, and that I wasn’t going to be combative, but that there had been a misunderstanding over a headache and I was NOT going to strip for them like I was in jail because I had already been traumatized enough. By this time I was in tears and was nearly hysterical because the incident with the nurses had hit a trigger with me.

I didn’t see a neurologist for six days.

Instead I spent a week without pain management. I had another screaming migraine.

I had dreams where my teeth were falling out because I was in so much pain that I was grinding my teeth in my sleep. Because I was in so much pain I couldn’t sleep, I asked them for something to put between my teeth, a mouth-guard or something. They didn’t have anything like that there. “Fine, go up to the NICU and get me a pacifier. This is a hospital. You DO have THOSE. I have to put something between my teeth because my teeth are killing me from all the grinding.” They told my husband I was psychotic, reverting to childish behavior.

He didn’t sleep for a week, barely ate, and cried every day. When I saw him, he was a bigger mess than I was.

About the only thing that staying in the psych ward DID achieve is that I’m now receiving therapy and I’m on a medication for the anxiety disorder that THEY gave me.

I don’t just have PTSD… I’m PISSED that I have PTSD.

I lie… I alternate between feeling sorry for myself and crying in incredible sympathy for all the pain I experienced, trying to understand WHY all this happened and how to never have it happen again, and being so angry I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t know what to throw at whom. I feel helpless and hopeless and angry and compassionate all at once.

Every weekday I get up thinking, today, I’ll go to work. Today will be different.

Every day I sit down at my computer and I realize, today’s no different than yesterday… I can’t deal with other people’s problems because I can’t dig my way out of my own.

Some days, I actually CAN, though. Some days, it actually helps to bury yourself in someone else’s aura and forget your own trauma…

But today…

Today I had to write all of this out.

I had to tell the whole story.

I had to begin from the beginning…

To remember it all.

Admittedly, I haven’t even begun to talk about the side-effects that the screaming migraines and the mismanaged care have caused… the nerve damage and the fact that I can’t wash my hair on my own because I can’t lift my arms for very long anymore, or the fact that whenever I have migraines I lose control of my bladder now, or a whole host of other unpleasant facts of my new life… but those came after PTSD… those came after I got out of the hospital. They came with not being able to log on to the bank’s website without finding myself curled up between the couch and the coffee table rocking myself and crying because I entered the password wrong and it wouldn’t let me in. Those came with standing in the kitchen and the sudden blackouts, or the fear of the shower because I’m afraid the nurses will ask me to strip again. Everything after PTSD is different. Everything after PTSD is overwhelming. A grocery trip has to be managed after midnight, with medication, a protein bar and a bottle of water, and your favorite stuffed toy in a death grip. Any new experience has to be carefully scripted with people you know holding your hands and a quick escape route available at all times. After PTSD, patterns are everything. Spontaneity is a bad word.

After PTSD… everything is different.

But I’m learning how to put myself back together. And someday…

Someday I will be whole again.

Someday I will be me again.

Someday… I will be able to live like I never thought I’d want to die again.

Thoughts on Victim Type PTSD

“Why does PTSD happen?”

PTSD Happens when an experience is blocked, instead of finished. To avoid PTSD, a traumatic experience must be finished, fully experienced. When you stop in the middle, there is no resolution, no understanding in the subconscious or the conscious. There is only a disconnect.

“So I have PSTD because I didn’t finish my experience. The doctors stopped me from fully experiencing and resolving my emotions on my own.”

Yes. If you had been able to fully go through your own experience, instead of them layering more trauma in an attempt to prevent you from experiencing trauma and blocking the original trauma, you would not have PTSD.

“So what do I do now?”

You must face your trauma. You must go through it again and again, until you have resolution and understanding of the full picture. Shall we begin?

If Today Was Your Last Day

I’ve been thinking a lot about the song by Nickelback “If Today Was Your Last Day,” and I’ve realized something… there’s a lot going on in my life that isn’t working for me.

I don’t want to fight anymore. My biosister isn’t worth the effort… and the hallmark moment isn’t ever going to happen, so it’s not even worth the therapy for the makeup moment, either.

I don’t want to bother with the silly stuff. There’s a lot of petty mimicry going on out there, and I’m finding it amusing, instead of annoying. At first it was just exhausting… oh, yay, someone else trying to pick a fight… but now it’s not even that. It’s just funny. I’m just standing here, waiting for them to crash their waves upon the rocks… because I don’t care… today’s my last day. Every day is my last day.

My nervous system is shot… I don’t have migraines anymore – the medication is working, and apparently a new set of glasses fixes a lot of problems, but the damage that all the migraines did while I had them to my entire body is done… I have trouble remembering anything that’s not written down, multiple places. I’m weak as a kitten, I’m tired all the time, I have a host of other issues, I have muscles and nerves and sphincters that don’t work, I’m a wreck… and I keep smiling, keep on trucking, because today’s my last day, and I want it to be a good one.

So much is just not worth my attention anymore… something doesn’t come in my order – is it worth even contacting the company and sorting it out, or do I have better things to do? I have better things to do. I have only so much time. I have people to see, things to do… today’s my last day, and I don’t want to spend it with customer service.

Today’s my last day, this is my last Christmas… I don’t want to spend it fighting with my biosis… I want to spend it watching my nephews unwrapping their dinosaurs and watching them push the buttons that make the paws raise up and the dinosaurs walk towards each other going “RAWR!” because I want to see their faces when it happens… on the scale of one to awesome, those faces matter, and my biosister’s manipulative egocentric bullcrap doesn’t.

It’s rather shocking. If she died tomorrow, the only thing that would bother me is that I knew her. I’d be relieved her kids would probably grow up to be better children because they’d have the chance to grow up with a better mom without her… but I wouldn’t actually feel bad, or sad, or mad, or glad that she was gone… I’d honestly feel nothing at all.

That’s the saddest thing of all. When you’ve become so disconnected from someone you’re related to that you can actually say, with absolute truthfulness, that you don’t care, and mean it.

Today is my last day, every day is my last day… and I don’t care if she is in it.

But I want to see her kids open their dinosaurs, so I put up with her. She comes with the package.

If today is my last day, I want to go visit my sister May one last time. She matters.

I want to feel the silence at dawn over the standing stones at Stonehenge before they build that freaking highway tunnel under it and ruin the power of it forever. I’ve not been to England, for all I’ve crossed the world five times… you’d think I’d found time in all the hopping I’ve done. I want to make time. If today is my last day, I want to see the world, not spend it sitting at a desk. I want to live.

Speaking of sitting at a desk… expect some changes at the beginning of the year. I’ve realized… I don’t want to sell my Craft… I want to teach you all how to do what I do. I want to offer more interactive services, and be more involved with the community, more hands-on. I still love conjuring, but I love teaching and talking far more. It’s not like I haven’t been teaching this whole time… but…

I think it’s time to really take it to the next level. Not just a 101 class, not just snippets on a forum, but really intensive Skype sessions and serious tutelage and stuff for people who really mean to take their practice to the next level.

I’m tired of everything that’s not working for me. I’m tired of doing the things that don’t make me happy. I’m done with doing the things that I think I should, or because other people tell me to. Today is my last day doing anything for any reason other than because today is my last day.

I’m going to live it up like today is my last day… and I’m going to do it right. Right for you… right for me. The way I should have done it all along.

From now on, all the magick will be from Teacher Kat. All the Healing will be from Teacher Kat… and you’ll do it yourselves, and be proud of it.

That way… I’ll still love you in the morning.

New Moon Brings New Beginnings – Wholeness

So, today, I got another storm migraine.

As I was lying down for another nap (read drug induced coma), I suddenly had a vision of Simon. I could see myself reaching out to touch him. I had memories of us laughing, in love. Making love.

I had the memory of moving through the unmaking whirlpool of uncontrollable chaotic destruction surrounding him to touch him, to unravel him. Yes, he’d lost that much control, fallen that deep into madness… he was like a wandering black hole out among the multiverses. Only bigger. A black multiverse.

But I had a thought. I was in two places at once.

I had all these lifetimes of experience of unweaving sickness, of stripping away disease to bare the good, healthy thoughts beneath, so that they could grow and bloom. Why not, in that moment, reach down through the ages, merge with my old self, and give her the understanding I have now… show her how not to unweave ALL of Simon, but how to RENAME him. How unweave only the sickness, the madness, the uncontrolled chaos…

How to create Simon David?

So that’s what I did.

I merged with myself in that moment, and showed her what to do… and that’s what we did. We unraveled the parts of Simon that were unsalvageable… we unraveled the storm…. But we SAVED OURSELVES.

And then I passed out.

I dreamed. Simon David was in Hell. In prison. He knew it. He knew I was watching him. He saw others in prison. A child who didn’t belong. A group of people. He made a choice. They didn’t belong. He broke the rules. Bent them really. Only slightly. Just enough.

We watched. We allowed the bending – to see what he would do.

He saved the people, and got them out of their hell so that they could move on.

Simon David was a changed man. We approved.

I woke up. I thought about it. “Quit thinking about it. You don’t belong there either… and if you’re going to let him go, and not go, pretty soon he’ll be too far ahead for you to catch, and then you’ll never fix that hole.”

Damn… Time to let go of some things.

I trance down. I see where I’m at. I look at the rules. No flying. I flap my arms. I jump. Nothing. Damn. Can’t break the rules. But I have to. Have to catch up. Reach for my Twin. Reach down the line and CONNECT…

And suddenly I’m not where I was. Rule 1 broken.

“Well? Are you going to stop there? He’s 5 ahead of you NOW… RUN, GIRL… RUN!”

So I ran… flew, BULLETED through the layers… caught up to my Twin.. kept going, grabbed him and pulled… layer after layer, rule after rule… not paying attention anymore, just by instinct, because we are breaking out now…

It’s time to let GO.

Final door stops us…

The Gatekeeper stops us.

“Your last trial is the only one that ever mattered here. It is the only one that ever mattered anywhere. Merge and you may leave. Fail and you will never leave, no matter what you do.”

I’ve done this before, so it’s my boat to row. I take us down.

We fall into the cloudy, airy, white abyss, we let go of control, and we die the first death. We walk the abyssal plains of the dead, and we are buried, our second death. We rise from our graves, and we walk to the ocean, and we swim into the oceanic abyss. We confront our shadows. We flow into the abyssal lava, burn away our impurities, and meet our higher selves. We merge with our shadows, our egos, and our higher selves. I merge his shadow, his ego, and his higher self with myself. We come to the red lands, and walk to the edge of the black abyss. We cross into the void and shed all that is not who we truly are. We find the starlight singularity of Source, and walk into the light of rebirth. We emerge before each other, wholly ourselves… and we are still separate. I look at him and say, “I welcome you into me,” as he looks at me and says to me the same words. We walk to each other, and merge… and are one being.

I come out of trance and scan my energetic body. The hole is shrinking. I scan the threads, and notice that the ones that were covered by black threads before, the blackness hiding empty void underneath, now seem to be growing a matrix of song.

I’m not fully healed, but something has definitely begun to change.

I was also called a different name while I was down there… not Apple – something else. But I can’t remember what it was… which means it’s important enough that I’m not allowed to share it with you.

Happy New Moon, everyone… it’s a good day to begin to become whole after a few billion years, don’t you think? :)

I’m getting Flereous some cinnamon whiskey. He deserves it.

Unwitting Verbal Attacks – I’m Sorry

I get… enthusiastic when I’m discussing my point of view sometimes. People can misinterpret that as an attack.

I’m sorry.

I don’t know how to be less enthusiastic about things.

It’s a personality quirk. I’m opinionated. I love debates.

People think that sometimes debates with me are… heated exchanges.

I don’t see them that way.

I’m sorry.

I see those debates as fun. It’s exciting, thrilling… the bounce of ideas back and forth is hotter than the play of skin on skin… it’s better than sports, it’s better than sex.

No, I’m really not kidding. Not meaning to be raunchy, but it’s true…

It’s my hobby.

I’m sorry.

I don’t mean to be domineering.

I don’t mean to be argumentative.

I don’t mean to come off as combative.

I’m autistic.

I don’t think like you think.

My brain doesn’t work like yours works.

I don’t feel the way you feel things through.

I may be an empath, but when I’m hot on the tail of an idea, a fact, a trail on the informational highway that could be bumblebeed together into this amazing hybridized web inside my mind… I’m so caught up in the beauty, the passion… I forget to be human. I forget to be feeling… I forget to connect to you…

I’m pure mind.

I don’t mean to intimidate you.

I’m sorry.

So if I do… please… just stop me. Right there… just stop me and say so.

Just poke me and say… Hey… you, girl with your head in the nebula… remember me down here on earth?

Whoa Nellie! Put your autism back in its pocket, woman, you’re flashing! Here’s your social cue… moderate yourself a bit, for me please… slow down some… you’re dragging me overboard and I don’t like it.

I’m cool with that, you know. I don’t mind.

Actually, I kinda like it when people are blunt with me.

It lets me keep my friends.

We can be friends, right?

I’m sorry that I’ve scared some of you sometimes.
I love you.
Can I stay? :--

Three February Migraines

I am afraid.

When the wealthy or the artistic cut off their hair, people call it art, or call it a protest. When normal people cut off their hair, people say nothing, think nothing of it – “I guess they just wanted a change of pace.” When I cut my hair, when a person who is different cuts their hair, it’s butchery – and everyone thinks of it as symbolic suicide.

Of course, for me, it was two-pronged. I cut off my hair because I wanted to cut off my head. I wanted to kill my pain. Cutting off my hair was a last-ditch effort to cure the pain in my neck. But deep down, I think it was probably a cry out for help. The fact that I had it professionally done just meant that I got away with it in public – no one noticed but my Sister, and she was polite enough, kind enough, to keep her thoughts to herself.

I am so afraid of the pain I experienced back in February that I would rather die that experience it again. I’m not suicidal, by any means, don’t get me wrong. I don’t even believe in suicide – in my perspective it’s pointless and cruel to everyone – you don’t die until you’re supposed to – only Death claims the dead, and I’ve seen too many fail, and so many people suffer, both the living who survive those who succeed, and the living who fail their attempts… it’s just not worth that much suffering to me. Not only that, but to be honest, I don’t actually want to die – I have a lot to live for, so I’m not seeking death… I just… fear that pain… but that fear is eating my life whole.

I remember those three trips to the ER back in February with a crystalline clarity that is horrifying. I remember my thoughts. I remember the pain itself, as if it were a living thing, still pounding away at the base of my skull, beating and breaking apart my neck with every pulse, breathing down my spine. It’s like a beast that hunts me… haunts me. It is the terror in the night, and I the mouse that huddles in the field, frozen while it, soft-winged, invisible, claws through my skull to break me.

It always starts with sparks. Black and white, tiny, shiny flashes, right before my eyes, and a glow around everything that’s lit. But after a while, it doesn’t matter whether there’s light or not. I could have my eyes closed, and a blanket over my head, and light will hammer at my body in physical blows, blocks of cement weighing me down and shoving me to the floor.

It begins to build, pressure beside my temples, behind my eyes, and above my nose, and always, always, at the base of my skull, in my shoulders, in my neck.

Lastly, it begins to pulse. With the pulsing in my neck, the screaming starts. Pulse, pain, pulse, pain, pulse, pain… until the world is nothing but the need for darkness… and death.

Three times, my husband half carried me to the car, bowl in hand, as I tried desperately not to vomit again and again from the pulsing pain in my head. It was as if my neck controlled my entire body, pulse by pulse, the back of my head beating me senseless.

By the time we reached the hospital, every light made me scream in pain, because it was like a weight that hit me, punched me, knocked me senseless. I could feel light through my clothing – my thighs rebelled, my skin said NO, my muscles denied the light and screamed.. twitched, RAN. I crumpled in the parking lot. I think the emergency crew carried me through the hallways into a hospital room. I don’t know, because the pressure of the lights from the parking lot hitting my body that night made me pass out for a moment.

I don’t remember much of the three times I went to the hospital, honestly – it‘s all broken up into pieces. I remember that the pain reached from my neck down to my feet in waves, that it would grab the soles of my feet and the spasms of my feet as I writhed were because I was attempting to escape my head, kick my own head off.

I remember turning to look at my husband in a moment when a wave had passed, to beg, knocked speechless, with only my eyes, for him to please, MAKE IT STOP, thinking that I would do ANYTHING, anything at all, if he would just end it, end ME, to make it stop.

I remember there were moments when I thought of ways I could escape the confines of the hospital room to find and trick some security guard into shooting me in the head, because that would end the pain finally and completely.

I remember being in enough pain that I wanted to die, not because I wanted to leave anyone behind, but because I just didn’t want to hurt anymore. I love, truly, utterly, and completely. But I am also truly, utterly, and completely terrified of that pain.

I don’t want to die… I want to LIVE. I want to know WHY THIS IS HAPPENING TO ME.

But I don’t want to deal with that pain ever, EVER again…

And no one knows what caused it, or why it happened… and no one knows if it will happen again.

Do you know that after 5 months, they still haven’t even done an MRI? I have mentioned to four Neurologists so far that I was hit by a car when I was 7, and STILL no MRI. I’m thinking I’m not the only one who was hit on the head as a child….

So they don’t know what causes my headaches… and so I keep getting them. I have them every day… and every day, I wonder if this one will be like one of those February Screamers. And so… I am afraid. Every second of every hour of every day…

I am afraid. And I’m ashamed because I am this afraid, that this is not in my control, and that I did not tell anyone.

The Consequences We Choose for Ourselves

I dreamed an interesting dream last night.

I was in Hell.. or one of them. There was a woman set to torture me with illusions. I figured out they were illusions, and I defeated them all. Then I was taken out, and asked by a voice, “Why are you here?”

I replied, “I deserve to be here. I killed Simon.”

The voice replied, “You are weak since the death of your twin.”

Then I woke up.

I got the feeling that the missing heart chakra is because of my missing twin… and that I don’t deserve to be there, that is my weakness, that I’m being silly. I don’t really deserve to be there. Don’t deserve to be treated like that, and I know it, or I would have accepted the treatment instead of finding out how to defeat the illusions, been so stubborn about not going with the program.

It’s the first time I’ve spoken my twin flame’s name since I unmade him all those millennia ago, to stop him from unmaking everything else.

Even to myself, I never say his name. Isn’t that odd? I didn’t even let myself know until this morning that his Name was Simon.

So… I guess that ritual really did set my feet on the path to healing that hole in my chest.

Even after the chakra removal, the hole is still there… but it’s much less painful now, and I’m clearly still working on it….. all the way back to conception. lol

For You I Yearn

Smooth and dusty,
silky, musky,
soft winged flight of fancy,
dancing…
feet are sliding through air like linen,
scent of flowers
in fairy bowers,
you know we’re all about the sinnin’
here
where the air
is glistening, shining,
and skin
sparkles wet with dew drops, dining
on nectar of the gods own kin…
come dance with me the wicked dance…
you know you want that
sliding silken slick lipped
kiss of death and heat
and hiss and moan against the sheets…
twist and turn
and wheel and burn…
It’s always for you I yearn…

Love Yourself

My Thought For The Day:

Do NOT.

Do not think like me. Do not act like me. Do not believe what I believe. Do not dream my dreams. Do not see through my eyes, speak my words, or hear what I hear. Do not taste my world, do not behold its frequency.

Go out and find your own.

Live your own life. Think your own thoughts, act your own way. Believe your own faiths and no one elses. Dream your own dreams, and no one elses. See through your own eyes, speak your own words, and hear your own sounds. Taste your own world, and behold the frequency that is unique to your singularity.

I am only a mote in your eye – you are the storyteller, the protagonist, the antagonist, the victim, the hero, the sidekick, the saga. This is your life – do not let me tell it. Tell it for yourself.

Do not love me… go love yourself.

Psyche and Cupid – The Journey of the Shadow

The following is a slightly edited retelling from Wiki with my notes embedded – if you’d like to read the original article (which I highly recommend) and hunt down all the relevant links, you can click here.

The Greeks and Romans, despite our current, Western, provincial views on sexuality, were actually a very moral and psychologically aware people – their myths explore many concepts relating both to historical shifts in cultural behaviors and traditions, but those myths also explore the deeply heroic journey each person takes to find themselves – the journey Western Mysticism now calls the Journey of the Fool.

The Story of Psyche and Eros, or Psyche and Cupid, is one such tale – the tale of the confrontation and destruction of ego through shadow work and chthonic mystery via sex magick and pranic healing. Cupid and Psyche is a story from the Latin novel Metamorphoses, also known as The Golden Ass, written in the 2nd century AD by Apuleius. It concerns the overcoming of obstacles to the love between Psyche and Cupid, and their ultimate union in marriage. Although the only extended narrative from antiquity is that of Apuleius, Eros and Psyche appear in Greek art as early as the 4th century BC. The story’s Neoplatonic elements and allusions to mystery religions accommodate multiple interpretations, and it has been analyzed as an allegory and in light of folklore, fairy tale, and myth. To Boccaciio (an Italian author, poet, correspondent of Petrarch, and important Renaissance humanist from the 14th century), the marriage of Cupid and Psyche symbolized the union of Soul and God. The Song of Solomon supported his theory, and and William Blake’s “Luvah and Vala” showed obvious agreement – which is why this myth is the cornerstone of our study today.

More importantly, the story is set inside another story in such a way as to create a mirror effect to the story outside – frequently, when working with Shadow, just as the inner psyche is crumbling, the outer world is also falling apart. Not only that, but as with all mirrors that face mirrors, when working with Shadow, we are all faced with the Abyss – the Abyss of Self, as well as every Abyss – the story within a story, both following similar patterns further emphasizes the effect of shadow work, demonstrating how the Tower must fall in all ways, in order for the Star to rise, to understand the Unconscious at work (the Moon) and become the full glory of Self (the Sun) releasing all Judgment, and thus completing the cycle (the World).

In other words – this myth is a map inside of a map.

There was once a king and queen who had three very beautiful daughters. The youngest and most beautiful was Psyche. Psyche was so beautiful that her parents and her admirers prayed and made offerings to her, instead of to the Goddess of Love. They whispered that she was the second coming of Venus, or Her bastard daughter. Venus was, of course, extremely offended, and demanded that her son Cupid shoot Psyche with one of his arrows and make her fall in love with a monster. Cupid, however, when he finds her sleeping, is so struck by her beauty that his arrow slips from his fingers and strikes his own leg, and so he falls in love with the girl and desires to possess her for himself.

The beginning of the story is one of a fall. Psyche literally means Soul/Mind/Spirit – In ancient terms, EGO or PERSONA. In other words, in the context of the story, the parents of the mind, the ego, worshipped that mind, that ego, to the exclusion of Love… and so that ego becomes destined to be married to a monster. When we talk about facing the Shadow, one of the things that comes up again and again is how the ego throws up illusions when confronted with the Shadow – not because that’s what the shadow IS… but because the ego is AFRAID. So the Ego throws up illusions against the shadow, creates monsters. Eventually, though… you gotta ignore the monster… and marry yourself. It’s inner alchemy. It’s the Great Work.

Ego is always there – there’s no denial in the myths about that. The comment is that the problem arises when ego is WORSHIPED OVER LOVE. Love must come first. And not just Outward Love. ALL FORMS OF LOVE.

So let’s look at Love a little more before we continue the story, and continue to dig deeper.

Venus is The Morning Star. You can think about that later, but I really want you to remember that, because it’s pivotal. Venus is the dawn star that heralds every new day. She is, was, and forever will be the Morning Star. She is also the Goddess of Love. In this story, she is a Herald, but I’ll leave you to figure out what exactly she Heralded, because it’s not obvious, even to Her. You have to dig for that and I’m not your spoon.

The Goddess of Love has two aspects which can be separated into four faces. The Mother and the Romantic – The Mother who can be nurturing and warm, or stern and hard; The sultry seductress or the jealous monster. She is the Goddess of Love and Beauty – and all those aspects have qualities which are both beautiful and terrible. Nurture can be smothering. Warmth can be suffocating. Sternness can be cold. Hardness can be cruel. Sultry can be addictive, seduction can be thoughtless, jealousy can be wrathful, and a monster can be a murderer. Love is all things… including hate. It is the most terribly beautiful thing in the Multiverse… and anyone who doesn’t treat it like broken glass is in for a rude awakening.

The worst thing that anyone can do is not love themselves or let love in. The second worst thing that anyone can do is be an insufferable fool who only loves themselves, too much, and doesn’t deserve it. She is not kind to either, and does not suffer fools gladly.

Now that you understand Venus a little bit better… you will probably understand why she behaves the way she does in this myth. It’s the job of Love to make you prove to yourself that you do actually deserve the things you want. It’s the job of love to allow you to put obstacles in your own way until you actually stop beating yourself up. It’s probably kind of a sucky job. I can see why Christians get The Mornings Star all mixed up… in some places, it’s Jesus – a Herald of Love… and in others… it’s Lucifer, a Herald of Adversarial Work… Honestly, Love is BOTH. You face the dark before you face the dawn.

Now let’s look at Cupid/Eros.

It’s interesting, considering our current social perceptions of sex, what the Greco-Roman world had to say about sexual love, isn’t it. They paint Cupid as an INNOCENT in all this. More than that… despite His hobby of wandering around shooting people randomly with those lusty philandering arrows and causing all sorts of trouble… in this story, He’s supportive, gentle, generous, kind, pretty much the Nice Guy. He’s sensitive, strong, loving… and obviously, being Eros, not so bad in the sack… and in the end, He stands up to His mother (don’t worry, we’ll get to that later) for Love. REAL love. He’s honorable, even if He’s not entirely honest… He kept the secrets He had to keep in order to keep the woman He loved safe.

Culturally, Lust and Love were pretty much the same thing back then… and there was nothing wrong with physical love in any form in their eyes. Now, I know, someone’s going to want to bring up Agape… but Agape is spiritual love. It’s more chivalrous. It’s like… the love a mind feels for another mind.

These days we see emotional love and physical/sexual tension as being separate. In the Greco-Roman world… the two were synonymous. Agape might be included in a rare relationship… but Eros was EVERYWHERE. However… they also understood that casual lust, that a random hookup at the bathhouse, while fun, wasn’t love. They perceived Eros in those relationships where sexual love was something that occurred as a pattern, not as a random physical act. A brush with Eros was not the same thing as being SHOT BY HIM.

So… Eros is pretty sweet. Droolworthy. An ideal to either live up to, or swoon over… or both.

Back to our story.

Although her two humanly beautiful sisters have married, the idolized Psyche has yet to find love. (It’s hard to find love when your ego is in the way.) Her father suspects that they have incurred the wrath of the gods, and consults the oracle of Apollo. The response is unsettling: the king is to expect no human son-in-law, but rather a dragon-like creature who harasses the world with fire and iron and is feared by even Jupiter and the inhabitants of the underworld. (Time to face the shadow.)

Psyche is arrayed in funeral attire, conveyed by a procession to the peak of a rocky crag, and exposed. Marriage and death are merged into a single rite of passage, a “transition to the unknown”. Zephyr the West Wind bears her up to meet her fated match, and deposits her in a lovely meadow, where she promptly falls asleep. (Step one on the map – the willingness to fling yourself into the abyss of the unknown – to let go of control even just a little bit – because the death of the ego is the marriage of the whole self – so you go up, and you go down – the upper realm and the lower realm. It’s different for everyone, and each triggering and each vision is different, because each person is different.)

The transported girl awakes to find herself at the edge of a cultivated grove. Exploring, she finds a marvelous house with golden columns, a carved ceiling of citrus wood and ivory, silver walls embossed with wild and domesticated animals, and jeweled mosaic floors. A disembodied voice tells her to make herself comfortable, and she is entertained at a feast that serves itself and by singing to an invisible lyre. (The upper realm – the belief of, well, that wasn’t so bad. I guess I didn’t die after all… or I did, and it’s over, and my shadow’s just not a big deal, whew!)

Although fearful and without sexual experience, she allows herself to be guided to a bedroom, where in the darkness a man she cannot see makes her his wife. She gradually learns to look forward to his visits, though he always departs before sunrise and forbids her to look upon him, and soon she becomes pregnant. (The confrontation of sexuality and desire, hidden needs.)

Psyche’s family longs for news of her, and after much cajoling, Cupid, still unknown to his bride, permits Zephyr to carry her sisters up for a visit. When they see the splendor in which Psyche lives, they become envious, and undermine her happiness by prodding her to uncover her husband’s true identity, since surely as foretold by the oracle she was lying with the vile winged serpent, who would devour her and her child. (We always have good things, and we always fall to the opinions of others – we create monsters where there are none.)

One night after Cupid falls asleep, Psyche carries out the plan her sisters devised: she brings out a dagger and a lamp she had hidden in the room, in order to see and kill the monster. But when the light instead reveals the most beautiful creature she has ever seen, she is so startled that she wounds herself on one of the arrows in Cupid’s cast-aside quiver. Struck with a feverish passion, she spills hot oil from the lamp and wakes him. He flees, and though she tries to pursue, he flies away and leaves her on the bank of a river. (Thus we lose the good things because of the monsters we have created because we have accepted the programming of others rather than our own true selves’ good sense.)

There she is discovered by the wilderness god Pan, who recognizes the signs of passion upon her. She acknowledges his divinity, then begins to wander the earth looking for her lost love. (Acknowledgment of the path, and then the beginning of the search for self – the quest for unification of male and female, higher self and lower self, shadow and light.)

Psyche visits first one sister, then the other; both are seized with renewed envy upon learning the identity of Psyche’s secret husband. Each sister attempts to offer herself as a replacement by climbing the rocky crag and casting herself upon Zephyr for conveyance, but instead is allowed to fall to a brutal death. (There are many who try to mimic your own personal journey – it’s yours and they will fall trying to do so – a journey is secret – you can share it, but understand that those who try to walk your walk will fail. Make them walk their own.)

In the course of her wanderings, Psyche comes upon a temple of Ceres, and inside finds a disorder of grain offerings, garlands, and agricultural implements. Recognizing that the proper cultivation of the gods should not be neglected, she puts everything in good order, prompting a theophany of Ceres herself. Although Psyche prays for her aid, and Ceres acknowledges that she deserves it, the goddess is prohibited from helping her against a fellow goddess. A similar incident occurs at a temple of Juno. Psyche realizes that she must serve Venus herself. (Remember that proper cultivation of not just the gods, but also yourself is necessary… put not just your spiritual life, but also your physical life in order during your passage. Juno is a reminder for self-reflection – put the past in order just as much as you put your present in order – mind, body, spirit – ALL must be put into order – and then all must be turned to serving Love. As for that – why should you serve Love? Love, welling from deep within you, Love that drives you, Love that is your passion, Love that gives you purpose and dreams – not some far-away old man on a throne, stroking His white beard claiming omniscience and omnipotence, screaming about your free will while the world falls apart, but the love within you that honestly moves your own Soul – what else would anyone serve? In the end, it’s what we all serve – Love is the Law, Love under Will. Your Soul’s Love. Your Soul’s Will. Your desire to manifest that here, and make a goddamned difference in this mess. Who else will? But hey… you don’t actually have to choose that… again – it’s all about choice… every step of the way, you get asked to choose. You could always not choose Love, and fall flat on your face. I dunno what happens then, because I chose this way. But I imagine it’s possible. Otherwise why would the word “Choose” be bandied about so much?)

Venus revels in having the girl under her power, and turns Psyche over to her two handmaids, Worry and Sadness, to be whipped and tortured. Venus tears her clothes and bashes her head into the ground, and mocks her for conceiving a child in a sham marriage. The goddess then throws before her a great mass of mixed wheat, barley, poppyseed, chickpeas, lentils, and beans, demanding that she sort them into separate heaps by dawn. But when Venus withdraws to attend a wedding feast, a kind ant takes pity on Psyche, and assembles a fleet of insects to accomplish the task. Venus is furious when she returns drunk from the feast, and only tosses Psyche a crust of bread. At this point in the story, it is revealed that Cupid is also in the house of Venus, languishing from his injury. (Finally, the confrontation with Shadow begins – and as you see… Ego throws up many illusions to avoid accepting the loss of the worship of SELF, and the return to worshipping LOVE – but the process of stripping away all pride is not something you go through without help – you are never left alone… if you remember to ask for it. This process always reminds me of that one movie, Mortal Kombat – “You must face yourself. You must face your Enemy. You must face your Fear. You must face your worst nightmare.” They got it backwards. Your worst nightmare is that your fears are your enemy, and you have to face yourself. That is the passage to meeting your shadow. Not merging – but meeting.)

At dawn, Venus sets a second task for Psyche. She is to cross a river and fetch golden wool from violent sheep who graze on the other side. These sheep are elsewhere identified as belonging to the Sun. Psyche’s only intention is to drown herself on the way, but instead she is saved by instructions from a divinely inspired reed, of the type used to make musical instruments, and gathers the wool caught on briers.

For Psyche’s third task, she is given a crystal vessel in which to collect the black water spewed by the source of the rivers Styx and Cocytus. Climbing the cliff from which it issues, she is daunted by the foreboding air of the place and dragons slithering through the rocks, and falls into despair. Jupiter himself takes pity on her, and sends his eagle to battle the dragons and retrieve the water for her.

The last trial Venus imposes on Psyche is a quest to the underworld itself. She is to take a box and obtain in it a dose of the beauty of Proserpina, queen of the underworld. Venus claims her own beauty has faded through tending her ailing son, and she needs this remedy in order to attend the theatre of the gods.

Once again despairing of her task, Psyche climbs a tower, planning to throw herself off. The tower, however, suddenly breaks into speech, and advises her to travel to Lacedaemon, Greece, and to seek out the place called Taenarus, where she will find the entrance to the underworld. The tower offers instructions for navigating the underworld:

The airway of Dis is there, and through the yawning gates the pathless route is revealed. Once you cross the threshold, you are committed to the unswerving course that takes you to the very Regia of Orcus. But you shouldn’t go empty-handed through the shadows past this point, but rather carry cakes of honeyed barley in both hands, and transport two coins in your mouth.

The speaking tower warns her to maintain silence as she passes by several ominous figures: a lame man driving a mule loaded with sticks, a dead man swimming in the river that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead, and old women weaving. These, the tower warns, will seek to divert her by pleading for her help: she must ignore them. The cakes are treats for distracting Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of Orcus, and the two coins for Charon the ferryman, so she can make a return trip.

Everything comes to pass according to plan, and Proserpina grants Psyche’s humble entreaty. As soon as she reenters the light of day, however, Psyche is overcome by a bold curiosity, and can’t resist opening the box in the hope of enhancing her own beauty. She finds nothing inside but an “infernal and Stygian sleep,” which sends her into a deep and unmoving torpor. (This, finally, is the chthonic moment where the ego will be laid to rest, one hopes – and the personality merged. Trust me, after all that work, you’re going to appreciate the nap – this whole process can take YEARS.)

Meanwhile, Cupid’s wound has healed into a scar, and he escapes his mother’s house by flying out a window. When he finds Psyche, he draws the sleep from her face and replaces it in the box, then pricks her with an arrow that does no harm. He lifts her into the air, and takes her to present the box to Venus.

He then takes his case to Jupiter, who gives his consent in return for Cupid’s future help whenever a choice maiden catches his eye. Jupiter has Mercury convene an assembly of the gods in the theater of heaven, where he makes a public statement of approval, warns Venus to back off, and gives Psyche ambrosia, the drink of immortality, so the couple can be united in marriage as equals. Their union, he says, will redeem Cupid from his history of provoking adultery and sordid liaisons. Jupiter’s word is solemnized with a wedding banquet.

With its happy marriage and resolution of conflicts, the tale ends in the manner of classic comedy or Greek romances such as Daphnis and Chloe. The child born to the couple will be Voluptas (Greek Hedone), “Pleasure.” (Yeah – that would be PRANA – the destruction of Ego and the merging of the shadow and the higher self, along with the marrying of male and female principles in an act of divine love – in most cases a sexual act, but it’s not necessarily always so, to create a moment of godhood, a moment of wholeness, releases Prana.)

Baby Steps – Finding My Footing

2/13

My skin is white as selenite. I glow like I’ve swallowed the moon, the sun, the stars. I am crystalline but unfaceted. Moonstone. Opal. Indescribable.

An inch off my skin, my aura begins, electric blue – the color of magick. It’s sky blue, cerulean blue, lightning blue, electric blue, cyan blue. It’s so impossibly blue, and I’m so impossibly bright and reflective, that my skin catches the hue of it, so you think that I am blue… but I’m not.

I have no hair. At first you think I have black zebra-like lightning stripes tattooed all over… and then you realize… it’s ACTUAL lightning… and it’s moving. It’s shifting.

I pull. I pull on that lightning, draw it inwards, into my heart, that blackness, that power, that indescribable… RIGHTNESS. It pulls into my heart, and the frenzy in me STOPS. FINALLY… finally I can REST.

Finally, I am silent.

Except that I am not. What storm ever is?

2/14
He comes to me. He is red with black hair. He is tall, well-muscled. He does not have horns, wings, a tail – despite the red skin. He’s not feathered. He doesn’t glow. He’s not wearing robes. Come to think of it, I have no idea what he’s wearing. He doesn’t have fangs or claws. If he’s got a flaming sword, he doesn’t bring it to work with him. He doesn’t process as guide or teacher or friend or foe or anything other than there, and we are working. He sets a task, and I do it. It’s a strangely automatic and unquestioned response, and yet… I have absolutely no issues with any of it. I don’t know what he is. He doesn’t have Presence. He’s just… himself. He does not have a feel of demon or angel or god or any other flavor that offers up a label. He simply Is. As I simply Am. Species is Irrelevant. Names are irrelevant. Everything is irrelevant except the Task.

He is Tech, and I am Subject if you want words… but when you choose the Edge… labels don’t exactly matter anymore. Appearances don’t count for much either. It’s interaction and information that matters. We’re starting at the beginning again, and he’s helping. Why are we doing baby exercises? Because last night, I burned my student accidentally with a lightning discharge through his phone. Admittedly, I was very tired. I got up yesterday morning at 7:30 AM after four hours of sleep. I worked with him until 11:30 at night… and then my soulsister called and we threw our ovaries at each other until 1am… and then I finally hauled my butt to bed… but I have sleeping troubles, so I didn’t ACTUALLY fall asleep until three… and I had to get up at 7 to see the doctor at 8 am this morning. So that’s 48 hours on 8 hours of sleep… for a girl who needs 10 hours a night. Exhausted doesn’t cover it quite. It’s still no excuse.

When you go up, sometimes you have to go back to Boot Camp, to get a handle on your new strength. It doesn’t normally take as long, because you already know what you’re doing – it’s really just… muscle training to help you not to throw your weight around so much… but it still has to be done so you don’t accidentally hulk out on your clients. Everyone who’s been practicing a certain amount of time and has experienced going up a bit knows this… and I should have remembered and been doing the baby exercises already. So… as I said… no excuse.

I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep, but he’s come to me, and he’s most insistent… and he’s right. So the first step is to stand in the Edge, and to center and ground, and calm my aura, and re-affirm that this is where I want to be. To solidify being Edge – because I’m still worried I’ll fall off – that I’ll fall into the Abyss where who knows what will happen next… or I might fall back into the old me, and crumple – and I don’t want either one. Second step is to get back to where I can control how much energy I use for whatever I’m doing. Third step is my daily fire meditation. Three tasks instead of one today. Yay. All I wanted to do was nap… but work comes first. *sigh*

So… I close my eyes, I calm my mind… and I settle into the Edge… and I promptly realize that all my recent feelings about falling to one side or the other are ridiculous. It feels so natural here. I’m not going to fall anymore. I made my choice. This is what I am. Before I pulled myself together last night, sure, I might have… but not anymore. I’m on the Edge between there and Everywhere… and I realize in that moment… I don’t actually have to fight to be there. It’s as natural as breathing. Cool. I’ll probably, with a few more days of just plain sleep and self-care (and I’ll always need this schedule of self-care, because everyone does, and I need to never neglect myself the way I did last year ever again) be ready to start work again. I’m fully healed, and I just need my brain to rest.

I should point out for those of you who might be confused that there are many Abysses. There’s the elemental Abysses – Sea (Water), Air (yeah, really – check out hurricanes and tornadoes sometime) Fire (Volcano), Earth (quakes and caves and maws oh my, honest). There’s the Abyss of Space, and countless others.. and then there is the OUTER ABYSS… beyond the Void… Beyond That Which Emanates This. There are some that try to cross it. There are whole paths dedicated to that. There are singularities in that Abyss – and you can pass through those, through the Eye of the Needle, meet the Gatekeeper, and if you can hold onto your hat, you can discover some fairly interesting things…

But I’ve always been less interested in following the rules and more interested in beating about the random shrubbery, so I didn’t worry about any of that stuff. You want to talk to a Gajillion-year old Gatekeeper with an attitude problem, be my guest. Most people don’t come back from that. I’ve got enough on my plate… and I’m not into sewing, anyway. Needles are creepy and I’m just not that skinny. Besides… power… really? You’re gonna go mad, for Power? I mean… why not go mad because it’s FUN. There are so much better reasons. The Gatekeeper is the very definition of NOT FUN.

Sorry… did I mention the ADHD? Yeah. Right. Where was I? Oh… The baby steps. 1) Edge. 2)… Ah… Lightning. Stop Burning My Friends. Right. Here we go. Back on track.

Anyway, the first thing I do is center and ground myself, and have a look at my aura, because I know I’ve been having a lot of surges lately… I’ve been REALLY ADHD, just all over the place. It’s starting to drive me a little nuts, tbh. See above. I did a little focusing on the lightning in my aura. I focus on what being able to pull lightning means – the symbolism behind it. I think about lightning, and how much power is running through me lately. I have a lot of juice, and that’s part of why I’m so… I hesitate to use the word manic, because it’s not that. I’m scattered, but I’m not manic. I’m just… my brain is fuzzy in some places, and so incredibly BUSY in others. So my intention was to pull on the lightning and… settle myself a bit more. Settle my energy, ground myself a bit. But to do that, I had to understand what exactly I was.

So I thought about the power, the energy. Lightning is, in essence, being all frequencies. Symbolically, it’s being pure energy – not any one element, but being all of them at once and yet still being none of them at all. It’s also being the scale – being able to be the big bang, or the smallest quark on the scale of vibration. Essentially… it’s chaos – void – creation and destruction in one tiny bottle. I had to feel out the whole scale, from the big all the way down to the very small… and once I knew I could get DOWN to that very small… then I was sure I wouldn’t hurt anyone else. I’ve now got it fine-tuned enough that I know no matter how much juice I CAN pull… I won’t burn anyone anymore.

So I FINALLY get around to starting my Fire meditation… and I’m in a pool of molten lava. It’s swirling… and then I realize that… that pool has a center. It’s a whirlpool. In the center, there’s a flash of Spirit. AND THEN I realize that there’s… flashes of other elements – that Fire is cycling into other elements.

And he’s there… and he tells me quite bluntly that until I can a) make the pool fill with each element, b) tune my aura to each element and then merge with each of the four elements in turn, c) fill the pool with all four at once and merge them together to create the fifth and merge with that fifth… and then d)from there, make the leap to pure energy, to pure consciousness, and merge myself with THAT…. I do not get to go to sleep.

It took me over an hour because I’m so tired and my ADHD and the lightning are both so distracting that my focus is just… gone. A baby exercise, but I’m just that scattered because of everything lately, so my focus is THAT bad. However, I did finally manage it… and I did get my nap.

I’m still tired as fuck, dammit.

However… I did discover yesterday that migraines now feel like tight skin and tingles, instead of pain… and that today, headaches can be dealt with by standing on the Edge, and just gathering a huge bolt of lightning and casting it at the singularity in the center of the Abyss. Apparently an energetic discharge releases the pressure. Cool. :)

I hate the fact that all the screaming pain I dealt with has officially boiled down to metaphysics. That is just plain rude.

A Client’s Responsibilities To Themselves

It should be noted that a healer is responsible for actually knowing their Art, whatever part of the world their healing work ends up coming from, and whether they pursue herbal medicine, energetic medicine, shamanic practices, or conventional means… or some combination. Personally, I’m a fan of mix-and-match. I use shamanistic and energetic, and I mix some western and some Ayurvedic energetic practices, and some family stuff. But my tradition works for me, and it works for my clients, and I know it REALLY well… and that’s another thing you want in your healer… and that’s a CLIENT’S responsibility…

CHECK OUT YOUR HEALER.

The first thing that YOU THE CLIENT should look for in a healer is that, you know… they’re ACTUALLY A HEALER…

Do they know what they claim to know?

Are they practicing chinese acupressure/puncture? Ask them what a meridian is. Ask them to show you where the ones in your right big toe are. Ask them what each one will affect.. Then ask them to pull out a diagram and show you again. Did they get it right?

Are they into chinese herbal medicine? How well do they know the herbs? Who is their supplier? How fresh are the herbs? Who was their teacher? How long did they study? What are the elemental qualities of the herbs you are going to be taking? What are YOUR elemental qualities? Why does that matter?

Are you going to an ayurvedic healer? Have they thrown a scope for you yet? I was attuned to ayurvedic energies, but I wasn’t trained in the old ways… just the energy – I’m always quite clear about that to my clients. I can claim energetic mastery by right of attunement, but in no way could I walk into India and set up shop. That doesn’t mean I don’t know that what it is I don’t know. If they say they’re an Ayurvedic healer and they don’t pull out a board and start telling you your life’s story, you are not talking to an Ayurvedic healer. Run away.

Are you talking to someone who is a Guru or Sheila? Do they actually know the difference between a chakra and a nadir? Can they quote not just the Kama Sutra but also the Bhagavad Gita and all the vedas?

Are you talking to someone who claims to be a north American shaman? Well, that’s your first clue. They don’t call themselves shamans. Only westerners do that – we use the word shaman all over the place because we’re idiots. I use the word shamanist, because I’m polite, or shamanism. I’m not a shaman – I just walk that way sometimes. Only people in Mongolia are Shamans. Anyway… every tribe in North America has a different word for their Holy Person… and not all Holy People are Medicine People… And some Medicine People do Edgework, and some don’t. Some work with herbs, and some with spirits, and some do both. And each tribe has a different catalogue of herbs and lore they work with. Plus, there was that moron offering sweat lodges two years ago that killed a lot of people.

Are they a reiki practitioner? What’s their lineage? Are they (dear gods) one of those people who has to get every new flavor of reiki attunement ever, like it’s a fad? How seriously do they take their training? Do they actually practice reiki on themselves, and LISTEN to the reiki guiding energy every day? (Yes, you CAN ignore the energy’s suggestions… to some REALLY nasty results for your clients. Trust me. I’ve cleaned it up.) Do they practice the Gratitude aspects of reiki? Do they remember the cleansing aspects? In other words… how good was their teacher, how well were they trained? A lot of reiki teachers these days are sloppy – I have literally heard a reiki teacher tell a student, “Oh, the reiki will handle everything… just let it go do it’s thing, and you don’t have to do anything.” I cleaned up the mess, for both the student AND their clients. And I spent awhile teaching that poor student the CORRECT hygiene procedures for reiki, because YES, there actually ARE some. Reiki has a Glove ritual. It comes with the second attunement. DO THEY KNOW HOW TO RECOGNIZE SOMEONE WHO IS ALLERGIC TO REIKI AND CAN THEY ACCEPT THAT AND WALK AWAY???

There are people who are healers out there. We’re real. We know our stuff. I have several very good friends, one who I trained, six whom I consider to be highly respected colleagues (two who are shamanists, one an actual spiritualist I don’t want to smack, and four of whom are attuned to Reiki, which I’m not always in favor of, because I’ve seen some really stupid stuff happen there).

Pay attention to that kind of thing. In other words, make sure that whatever type of healing your “healer” is offering, that person shows obvious knowledge and proficiency in it… you know? Because… really… anyone can call themselves a healer. That doesn’t actually mean that they ARE ONE.

You as the client have a responsibility to choose your healer, and choose wisely. Choose someone who knows how to be gentle, how to be neutral, how to be compassionate, accepting, open, who knows how to be firm when necessary… and who knows what they’re doing. DO YOUR RESEARCH.

A Healer’s Responsibilities

To preface this: To my clients –

I’ve had a lot of people hesitate to use my services for fear of harming me.

I appreciate your care and concern.

I’m an empath. Talking to you and feeling the depth of your psychological and energetic rut is shadows enough. However – there’s shungite for that.. and I’ve also long since learned how to see and not touch. I’m very good at Seeing problems without taking them into myself until it’s absolutely necessary.

Beyond that, what I choose to do is completely MY CHOICE. Not yours. MINE. I do not HAVE to heal the way that I do – and that is not always the way I do things – so don’t make assumptions about your case. Or me. I ALSO do not HAVE to heal, at all. I simply love doing so too much to stop – and when you refuse me the opportunity to help you, you are actually refusing me the opportunity to do something I truly love to do. However, there are three more practical things to consider, and I’d like you to consider them carefully.

Firstly – I am considered one of the best healers in this market. Obviously, I’m obsessive about a great many things other than myself, and that’s led to some personal issues, but this in no way has EVER led to a degradation of the quality of my services once they actually occur. If you can find another healer (and by healer, I don’t mean someone who offers a Third Eye Service, I mean an acknowledged healer, someone other healers accept) who disagrees with that statement, I’ll find the means to pay for a service for you from them.

Second – When I rose from the dirt and threw the stones of my chains into the abyss… all my cracks were filled with gold. You might consider where that gold first came from. Healing is the art of transformation. Your black for my starlight is only the first step. That black in me becomes even more beautiful – in me it becomes golden. In other words… doing what I love makes me something worthwhile… it makes me someone I love. You give me purpose, and you help me love myself. You help me love you. That makes me beautiful in my own eyes. That is no small gift. (If you do not understand the references… stay here long enough and you will.)

Lastly – this is how I pay for food right now. If you are hesitant to harm me for the sake of yourself… please, do not hesitate to harm me for the sake of my stomach. I’m practical enough to take a little TEMPORARY spiritual injury which can EASILY be cleansed and repaired in moments, in favor of nourishing the physical vessel that allows me to do so for so many other people – a path that is deeply fulfilling to me.

Thank you for thinking of me – you have my deepest blessings, love, and thanks…

Nycto

Now. On to the responsibilities of the Healer.

I’ve given this lecture before. A dozen times. Right now, I’m mostly giving it to myself. Because I should. And you should hear it. I should have NEVER ended up in this condition. A healer’s first responsibility is NOT to their clients. It’s to themselves. Why? Because if your healer isn’t whole… how in hell do you think they’re going to be able to make YOU whole?

There are several aspects to that.

A healer needs to be sound of body: That means: a good diet, plenty of fluids, if they take medications, they need to be stable on those medications. They need to take care of any medical conditions – for example, I’m sensitive to sound, distraction, and light. I need to minimize those conditions as much as possible in order to be as effective as possible a Practitioner. My husband running the TV at a volume he can comprehend (he’s partially deaf in one hear, and wholly deaf in another and REFUSES to use subtitles) for half the night leaves me incapable of conjuring for days because the light and sound gets my brain and energy so frazzled. This is why I don’t have cable. A healer also needs plenty of exercise and sunlight – preferably in natural settings. This is difficult in wintertime, but where there’s a will, there IS a way. I have one other need. I need starlight. Considering my other revelations, I’m sure I don’t need to go into many details as to why. There are plenty of healers out there who have other energetic requirements outside of their basic physical needs of food, fluids, sex, sunlight, fresh air, nature, peace and quiet, and exercise. Those other energetic requirements run the gambit.

A healer needs to be sound of mind: They need to take time for themselves. They need to cleanse themselves regularly – not just bathing, but also meditating, disconnecting, centering and grounding before and after each client, taking time for practical matters… but mostly… we get SO wrapped up in taking care of other people that at least once a day we just need to stop everything and JUST TAKE CARE OF US. Nothing else. Just us. A pattern of centering and grounding, working, disconnecting, cleansing, centering, grounding, washing your hands with cold water, eating something and drinking something is great… adding a half hour meditation every day, and maybe an hour’s walk… but none of that does you ANY good if the whole time you’re meditating and walking… you’re thinking about something to do with work, or with anything other than the moment, and you.

A healer needs to be sound of spirit: Strength is wonderful. And there isn’t a healer on the planet who isn’t. We don’t actually know how NOT to be strong. But there’s strong for other people, and there’s being strong for ourselves. There’s shoveling our own stuff – strength of spirit means being willing to face the music. It means being willing to face your shadows and your light, and be neutral. To accept your whole self, with a whole heart. Plumb your depths, and clean yourself up…

Why? A dirty healer, in body, mind, or spirit, especially a judgmental one, or one who doesn’t know how to protect their clients, is a danger to their clients. Is likely to do more damage than they are to fix anything. Look, we know it. There are a lot of healers who let their egos get in the way. They aren’t Neutral. They judge the energies of their clients – oh, sure, they talk about how non-judgmental they are… but at the same time they’re talking about how into the “light” they are. Light’s just another frequency – and I’ve seen light harm. I’ve seen someone who’s natural energy identified with black and who when healed with light felt AGONY. I’ve seen people allergic to Reiki. I’ve met and spoken with people who’ve had “healers” RIP things out of them, out of judgment, and it has HURT both the client, and many other people… because the “innocent” healer made a JUDGMENT based on BIAS. If you do not ask the energy itself, and from a neutral perspective within your own self… you have no business f*cking with it. I’ve seen that kind of healer let their religious upbringing, or their teacher’s judgments, or some other form of ego, tell them that some forms of energy are wrong, and some are right. That some things SHOULD be ripped out of clients. That such levels of damage were JUSTIFIED. There is no justification for doing more harm than good. We are healers. We are not Judges. Sound of spirit means you let go of judgment… including of yourself. It means you face your clients with neutrality… and when they tell you, or you see, the worst of the worst, you face it WITH them, not against them… not all blackness is evil… and not all white lights are good. Not all red is love, but not all red is inflammation and should go away, either. Sometimes, when something looks nasty, you have to actually ask it what it is, why it’s there, and what it should be… rather than just assuming you know best… because really – you’re just the human. You DON’T know best.

This doesn’t mean that things shouldn’t be removed from your clients. It means that your client’s energies know what should and should not be there, and you should listen as them, and not as you. Your opinions as to their perspectives on reality do not matter, except to answer two questions. Are they happy? Are they hurting anyone? If the answers are yes and no, LEAVE IT ALONE. If the answer to either is unsatisfactory, THEN muck with it. But only as far as the energy itself says it should be mucked with.

Last Lesson – A healer must be sound of metaphysical hygiene. This kind of goes along with sound of spirit, but it deserves it’s own paragraph. Do not EVER let your own mess spill onto your clients. You can tell them you’re a mess in your head… but never, EVER let your energy make their energy a mess. No matter how many screws come loose… when your energy touches theirs… you will be a freaking professional… These are people we’re talking about. They’ve got enough problems that they’ve come to you for help… and they’ve come to make you golden in exchange for your starlight. The least you can do is wear gloves. Sheesh. Hygiene. Seriously. Get some.

Dear Gods…

Thank you for EXCELLENT teachers. Sorry I am occasionally lazy and forgetful when it comes to myself. I’m grateful I’m only currently guilty of the first two – as always, my sin is self-neglect… and have never, EVER been guilty of the second two – never EVER have I neglected or injured a client. Ever. I’ve had good teachers, so I’ve always had an open mind when it comes to people’s energies, and I’ve always been willing to plumb my own depths, too… and I’ve always been careful with my clients not to leave any uck behind. Because… I mean… what would be the point of going through all the work if they didn’t get better?

Caryatid Fallen and Rising

Image

This poor little Caryatid has fallen under the load. She’s a good girl—look at her face. Serious, unhappy at her failure, not blaming anyone, not even the gods…and still trying to shoulder her load, after she’s crumpled under it.

But she’s more than just good art denouncing bad art; she’s a symbol for every woman who ever shouldered a load too heavy. But not alone women—this symbol means every man and woman who ever sweated out life in uncomplaining fortitude until they crumpled under their loads. It’s courage…and victory.

Victory in defeat, there is none higher. She didn’t give up…she’s still trying to lift that stone after it has crushed her…she’s all the unsung heroes who couldn’t make it but never quit.
~ Robert A. Heinlein,
Stranger in a Strange Land

Saturday, 2/8

A friend, a local shaman, comes to visit, to talk to me about how to understand stone. We talk about the underworld. From now on, I will go into the underworld to work with my stones, and I will go with Sage, Thyme, and Rosemary to translate. I will meditate on Fire every day, to calm my mind. I can never stop being busy… but I CAN slow down a little, he says. We laugh.

Sunday, 2/9

I become lava. My eyes become diamonds. I understand that fire SEES… that Fires ESSENCE is PERSPECTIVE.

There’s a sudden gathering of energy, throughout my body, like electricity. I know the fire, the magma, is purging me. Afterwards, I feel clearer.

Monday, 2/10

I sit in my Temple, surrounded by the crystal dolmens, the salamanders who call me Nycto snuggling in my hair instead of in the campfire. There are undines twining around my legs and sylphs sliding sinuous around my arms. But I am incomplete. Where are the gnomes? One comes, and curls up in my lap, as if I am a womb for it.

The fire cracks open, tunnel wide… but I can’t take them with me. I shift them all into my apron – they become a perfect sphere, fit together like a 3D puzzle, and I grab a slab of stone, and board down the tunnel… and into the underworld…

They aren’t a sphere anymore. The sylphs are blue swords, tall and crystalline, fragile yet strong. The salamanders are golden shields. The gnome is a teddy bear, and the undines are a soft, silken black blanket.

I’m not sure why I’m here, so with no instructions… and the red sky and earth empty in all directions… I simply start walking.

A car comes out of nowhere and hits me, and as I fly up into the air, a Mack truck flips over the car, trailer vertical in the air as I’m flung by gravity against it…

And then I’m back in the underworld, under a blue dome of protection not of my making.

Voices all around me from people and things I can’t see shouting at me, “Caryatid, Caryatid, Caryatid!” I feel… loss. An overWHELMING sense of grief and RAGE. And NEED. And GUILT. I’m trying to stand and I can’t, and I don’t understand why NOT. But I don’t stop trying. I don’t know HOW.

I’m surrounded by stone. I AM stone. I’m burdened by it. The building has fallen. My face is cracking, body broken. I try to stand. I can’t. I try again. I don’t stop trying. I cannot stop trying. I will never stop trying. I will NOT GIVE IN. I WILL NOT.

I see… a long life. Many lives. I see myself plucking the darkness out of others, taking starlight out of myself and replacing their darkness with it. I see the joy I feel when they go on, when they MOVE on. I feel that love, that dedication. I feel that, I need that. I love that moment of success. It’s so beautiful, watching them get out of that hole.

I see me take that darkness and replace the light I took from myself with their darkness. I see that part become stone.

I see the Choice.

I see it made, again and again.

I come back to the dome. I come back to the shouting. “Caryatid!! CARYATID! CHOOSE!”

I see the stone.

I see also the Abyss. infinite possibilities. A singularity. No more stone.

But I cannot choose. I cannot choose.

I wake up.

A friend that night drew a card for me. The Hierophant in Shadow. Buck the System – in other words… screw the rules. Another friend reminded me of the Japanese habit of mending broken pots with gold. Kintsugi – look it up.

Wednesday, 2/12

I sit down with my salamanders. I tell them… This time, I think I’m going to go alone. They smile. “Don’t worry. We’ll be here.”

I open the firepit. I enter the tunnel… and in the other world, I stand up. I STAND UP, and all my cracks are filled with gold, and I heave that freaking stone into the abyss. I look out at the otherworld and I say, “EDGE.” And I Choose.

I step up to the edge of the Abyss, and I don’t go over, but I don’t stay in the other world either… I find that place Between. And right there… I catch, out of the corner of my eye, Grey Robes.

I found my Goddess again.

They asked me why, afterwards… Why, when you hate the pain so much? I laughed. “Because you cannot hate something you don’t love. I can’t hate them nearly as much as I love them. And I never would choose to hurt myself this much if I didn’t love them as much as I do. I hate their pain. I hate their tragedy. I hate them for their indulgences. But I love myself too much to give up trying. I love the light and the gold too much to stop. I love to love more than I love to hate, or even hate to hate.”

I went back to my Temple. My salamander friends were there to greet me. So was every other spirit and entity in my life. I don’t think my Temple has ever been quite so crowded. We threw a freaking hell of a party!

There have always been two pieces of artwork that have summed up my life. The second piece is Edvard Munch’s The Scream. I came into this world that way, and I’ll probably feel that way even after I leave. But that won’t stop me from trying to lift every stone between me and my last breath… or the one after that.

I Just Don’t Know Where To Begin (PS – LANGUAGE)

So – the random commentary is aimed… internally or at, you know, not you. Just… ignore it. Or giggle. Sometimes it makes other people giggle.

February 2nd –

Migraine.

I went to the sea in meditation for help – the abyss is cleansing. In the water, I met a Kraken plant, who grabbed me by the wrist and began to take me into the abyss. I didn’t feel anything positive or negative, friendly or foe-ish – it had a job, doot-de-doot-de-doo. So, as we’re going into the abyss, my chakras are stripping from my body along with the layers of the aura they produce.

The earth star (which is a deep red brown molten indescribable color and isn’t actually a chakra per se). The black chakra. The silver foot chakra. The root (yes, yes, I know I have issue with not wanting to wanting to have a human shell fuck off). The womb (SO clogged and bogged with other people’s goop, WOW, I may as well just BE other people’s sludge). The solar plexus (wow… since when have I been that pale sickly green? wth?). The hearts (OMG WHAT A FUCKING MESS HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS BATMAN! PANIC! all raw and red and inflamed and black and clogged and… just.. EW) The throat (overactive – go figure), the third eye (a bit overactive, but also missing things – I knew that already), the Crown (white, over-active in some places, missing seeing things in other places – again, nothing I didn’t already know)… Worse still, the magenta and cyan chakras are backwards, the pearlescent and silver and gold are all kinds of dislocated and also are out of order, a freaking jumbled mess… and the final white one that symbolises Union is the only one that isn’t screwy. Shoot… even my palm chakras, the left one which should be clear and the right one which should be white, and both of which should have the bluish tint of a healer, were GREY… screaming that I’ve worked myself into the ground. *sigh* Go figure. In other words, I’m a mess. Thank you, I knew I was bad… now I know that I’m also a wreck. Thanks. Great. Well. That explains why I literally cannot even THINK about touching anyone energetically lately.

The voice tells me to take my migraine meditation and have my bath to relax my muscles. Tells me to drink two glasses of water with lemon after my bath for fluids. Tells me to get something to eat, do a few other things, and then tells me to FIX THIS. Well. I am a healer. I do actually know better than to let myself get into this mess… but honestly… it’s not all my fault – it’s only MOSTLY my own fault.

I’ve spent the last year under assault. Here’s the thing… You cannot run a business, heal the masses, cast upwards of 100 spells a month, protect around 50 people and your home and property AND yourself and your household and people/spirits/entities/conjures etc for OVER A YEAR BY YOURSELF from a very determined and angry and somewhat skilled practitioner who attacks you at least once a month without warning… without a break for an entire year (especially when you’re frequently so busy that you forget to take care of the basic details… like disconnecting and cleansing and eating and drinking… I know… don’t give me the lecture I give you… I’ve already given it to myself… twice) without eventually falling apart like the only dollar general kleenex during an influenza pandemic.

So. I came back, and went into the tub, and took my bath, drained the bath and let it suck away the worst of it that it could, took my pills, drank my water, lay down, and got started detoxing my auras and fixing my chakras.

I run energy from crown to root, because I just don’t belong here – so since I live there and not here, grounding down first gives me a splitting headache, and I already had one of those, so… I always start there.

So… after my bath… I had this second experience during the healing…

I took some time to do some deep, DEEP healing on my aura and chakras with some stone spirit friends. They raised a LOT of power for me, which really surprised me. It was more power than I’ve felt in a LONG time, and made me feel so tiny, it was like I was as small as a pixy with little seedling twigs for fingers. Anyway, while we were working on my solar plexus, I got an offer. Well, several… for POWER… Like… SERIOUS POWER. I also got offered the chance to blend my Shadow and my Higher Self and all the bits inbetween as another option. There were some other things… I’m not really comfortable talking about it, because even thinking about the offer makes me feel a bit… well, nutty. Weirdly… I saw a lot of what I could Become… but you know what? In the end, I didn’t even think about it. I’ve had that offer before – even though I didn’t understand what it meant at the time. I took it back then, and my life was hell for a long time because with Power comes RESPONSIBILITY… Tbh, I’m TIRED. I don’t want to be Servant anymore. So this time… I chose Comfort. I chose to just be ME. The moment I chose that… all that energy that my stone friends had raised to help me heal from everything over the past few months just… VANISHED… pouf, gone. I finished the rest of my chakras on my own. I think I’m ok with that, though – it really was just too much power. I wonder, though, where this will lead… this new step on my journey.

Of course, my headache didn’t go away. *sigh*

The voice who spoke to me, and has been helping me, called itself Lord of the Greater Deeps. He’s admitted to being a trickster of sorts. He didn’t even feel Dark… OR Light for that matter. He just felt… THERE. Anyway…

After thinking about it for a little while, I realized that before you say yes OR no to anything offered… you ought to maybe ask exactly what you’re saying yay or nay to… so…

I went back into the Deeps to talk to the Voice again. I was told that I needed to reawaken my fumarole. I’ve been trying to do that but.. I keep getting lost in my thoughts. Then I realize I’m distracted, and I come back and get back into the task… only to get lost in my thoughts again. It’s dreadfully difficult because fire is SO not my thing. I don’t even know where fire is in my body. *sigh* I’ve been looking everywhere… like, in my root, or my solar plexus, or maybe my physical heart because of what fumaroles do, but… gah.

What was really interesting was… I went back to Him, and He offered to show Himself to me, and when I told Him I probably wouldn’t See what He really looked like, He told me I was right… so we’ve agreed that I won’t look. I have this issue with forgetting things, and that came up, and he said that He planned on fixing that. He also said that He would be taking over my care for a little while. The Lord of the Greater Deeps explained to me that my Lady has given me to Him temporarily because of the Ice that separates. He said that things weren’t working right between me and the Morrighan, because I have too much Power and Knowledge, and, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, anyone with enough Power and Knowledge has trust issues. With good reason. lol So… He said we need to Break the Ice… and then He said, fire thaws the frozen heart… awaken your fumaroles. And then He vanished, and so did the ocean, and there was just me.

I’ve been struggling with it for the last two hours. Whatever’s next isn’t going to happen until I get this done… and I suspect this is going to take a whole HELL of a lot longer than two frigging hours.

There was some pulsing momentarily, but then I lost it.

February 5

STILL TRYING, DAMMIT – Oh, and still absolutely totally messed up.

February 6

I go to my circle of stones. I cast an invoking pentagram of fire – the circle becomes a cut in the temple – I pull the chunk out and carefully lay it beside the campfire in the center of the dolmen circle – and the cut is a tunnel of black, a tunnel of void. I know it will lead nothing in, except what I have called. When three salamanders appear before me in the fire… I explain the problem to them… and they take me through the tunnel I have made, into the realm of fire.

I don’t remember who or what I spoke to. I don’t remember anything.

I remember returning to the dolmens and putting the chunk back, and mending the cut with a banishing fire pentagram. I know the three salamanders are still in my campfire. I remember thinking, as I drifted off to sleep, quite sadly, that I was disappointed, because Fire could not help.

In my sleep, I met Serenity and Tranquility. I looked at them both, and said, I don’t know what to do anymore. I reached out to Serenity i her gold and black, and said, “Please, please just HELP me.” She laughed at me, and said, Finally! I thought you’d never ask. Then she just… merged with me. I looked at Tranquility in his blue and white, and said, That was it, that’s all it took? Really? All this freaking time? He laughed. You always did overcomplicate things. I sighed. I suppose I’m supposed to do you both, then. He started moving towards me and I panicked… “Wait, I’m not ready for this!” It’s a bit late for that… you’ve already started.. you don’t want her in charge, do you. “No, no I totally do not.” *sigh* I looked at him, and admitted, I can’t do this on my own. “Please, please help me.” Three small words… but you have to mean them. You can’t say please help me, and mean, stand there and look pretty while I get irritated because you’re doing it all wrong, and then get the fuck out of my way while I do it myself. You have to really mean… I cannot control this, because I can’t do it myself, I just.. I need help. Please Help Me. So I looked at this man, this higher self that is me with his dove grey feathers and his blue and white aura, this man I hadn’t even known existed until two months ago… I looked at this man, and I admitted… I can’t deal with her without him. I said those words… and I meant them… and He drifted into me… and that was almost that.

And I looked into me, at those two shifting energies… and then I said one last thing… “Now kiss and make up!” And they blended like they’d never been separated… and the Power blew me awake.

My skin crawled with it. Itched. Scuttled. Shadow by a shadow be consumed…. and be made whole. :love2: :party:

Fell back asleep.

Met myself as a baby. She’s screaming and I’m watching as my parents, so totally involved in their own issues, can’t meet her/my needs. I’m in two places, I can feel what she feels. Abandoned. Needs not understood because their problems worry them more than hers.

I’m an adult. I have this deck… it represents my psychic ability… it’s the size of a Magick the Gathering collection – like, seriously, the deck is probably 6 inches thick. Each card has four pictures, one in each corner, and one main picture in the center of the card. The pictures move around – and all the pictures mean something different. They tell me things about the people. They tell me a lot. Each reading I do, the spreads are 15 card spreads. Just to show you how complex a reading I do cold, in my head, with every person I look at. Every time I touch a person psychically.

Sometimes, one of the corner pictures will be a blue question mark. The blue question marks MOVE… That is, sometimes a card will have one, and sometimes that same card will come up for someone else, and won’t have a question mark, or will, but in a different place on the card. The question marks hide demons… and no, I do not mean DA demons like what Akelta conjures. I mean those internal demons, problems. Issues. The ones that I drag out of people and help them face and destroy. I use the cards to find the demons, and then I do just that. I see the question marks, and then I open them up, and see what’s under them… they pop out of the cards, and then I beat them up, and I kill them for the person I’m reading. That’s my JOB.

Then I’m back to looking at baby me. She’s got ahold of the deck of cards. She’s collecting the cards… but she’s deliberately collecting cards with demons… and she’s collecting them not to kill them, or even to learn how… she’s collecting them to get attention. I take the cards away from her, and tell her NO, it’s not SAFE! She throws a temper tantrum, everyone’s always abandoning her, even I abandon her. She shows me ignoring her, sitting on my computer ALL THE TIME.

I apologise, and I promise her, I won’t ever abandon her. I promise her I will make her a necklace of garnet and mother of pearl to prove that I will always be hers and she will always be mine. (Garnet is fidelity and mother of pearl is my birthstone.) She promises never to play with the cards ever again, and flings her arms around my neck. There’s an overwhelming feeling of gratitude.

I wake up crying, but… I feel… different. I feel… OK.

My husband comes by to visit, and spends the night.

February 7

My husband wakes me up early, to tell me he’s leaving to go home to take care of the cats. Apparently, I cry and beg in my sleep for him not to go. My abandonment issues are raw and wide open and I cannot even pretend they do not exist anymore. He agrees to stay, and gratefully, peacefully, I tumble back into the void.

I wake with another migraine. There’s an M-class Flare and snow coming. I’m not sure whether I hate our sun or our planet more. I feel like a bobble head, and my mother’s entire house is made of glass – with four inches of snow on all sides, there is nowhere I can go that doesn’t send daggers through my eyeballs and into the back of my head.

My husband and I talk about everything that’s happened, and discuss the future of the business. He agrees to start letting me teach him how I do things, so he can start taking on some of the workload – FINALLY! He goes home to take care of the kittens, with the promise of coming back tomorrow.

Another cleansing bath.

Another trance.

Another deep cleanse. This time… I felt… I felt the edges of the multiverse reach out to me. Something beyond… what I’ve been working with so far. Something very delicate…

It starting pulling on my… strands… and it started putting them back in order.

Today I feel better. Today I woke up with a bit more energy.

And thirsty as fuck. But that might just be how dry the air is here…

Gods I hate fireplaces. Tomorrow, no matter how late my parents get home, my husband has sworn to take me home. I can’t take another day here. I need my nest. I need my place. I need MY space, my burrow, my wards and shields and territory.

I’ve done a lot here on my family land… and that’s good… but…

It’s time to go home.