It’s that time of year, again. Here is our hall, decorated in a style we like to call: Halloween Threw Up!
KKK I missed you so much!!!!
Ok shall not squish you. *backs away*
You all right???
I don’t really know… I usually tell people I’m getting there, or that I’m doing better… but mostly I’m just bleh anymore.
*hugs* that’s a usual feeling to feel during recovery. You sort of hit a plateau of ‘blehness’. But that’s still an improvement from the horrible low parts of before.
Take it slowly ok? Don’t feel the need to appear OK just to please people.
Don’t worry. I’m being careful.
I have a good therapist.
Oh that’s great
Yeah… she’s been wonderful.
I’m glad, I really am. You deserve good doctors.
Yeah… it’s about time, huh. Lol
You’re not doing anything metaphysically right? Hope youve just been recuperating
No… I’ve not done anything magickal since last year.
That’s good, you’re focusing on recovering
Ah what am I saying? I’m just so happy to ‘see’ you again.
It’s nice to be back.
I’d like to think i’ve ‘grown’ in these few months. Lol.
That’s good to hear. I’m not sure if I’ve grown… I think that I’ve changed so drastically, growth is the wrong concept.
Well change isn’t a bad thing.
It just… is.
Changed how so?
I’m not sure yet… I just know I’m not who I was anymore. I’m someone else, and I’m still trying to get to know the new me.
I’m not sure if what I’ve had to do lately has changed me.
I didn’t realize I was someone else until the middle of summer, 15 months later.
That can happen.
Yup. Lol Color me clueless.
Welcome back…I was wondering if I’d see you here again
I needed some time..
Nothing wrong with that…we all need to step away from time to time to work things out…it’s good to see you…pixelly speaking
Good to see you again, too.
How are you?
Well, honestly I’ve spent the last 20 months trying to recover from a medical issue… I haven’t done anything more important than breathe.
Don’t undervalue the importance of breathing, both literally and metaphorically…if you feel like talking about it in always a good listener, if not, it’s good to know that you’re still around
I wrote a little on my blog… but I’m mostly trying to put it all behind me. I’m such a drastically different person from the Me that went through all of that… that old me died and now I’ve got to figure out who this person is that I rose from those ashes as.
It’s hard… like being a kid all over again… a lot of the time I feel very lost. At least my reactivity is getting better.
I apologise, I am blogless and out of touch…but either way, kudos to you…it takes a lot to be able to reassess ones life
I didn’t really have a choice… I was in so much physical pain that there were moments I was willing to die to make it stop… being tortured chronically by your own body, with no hope of relief or escape… well, I just had to confront things I believed about myself that just weren’t true, and I had to accept that, and adjust to what was real… I guess I kinda broke, and there was no putting the pieces back together the old way… I had to become someone new just to survive the experiences.
Ah…metamorphosis…that is a concept I actually know quite a bit about
*nods* I know. That’s why I can say these things to you and not worry about your reactions. It’s hard enough to talk about at all without having to comfort your audience.
I’ve always found comfort to be…well, comforting…but not all that constructive…it seems to focus too much on the problem, where as the solution/s are where our attention should really lay…which probably explains why no one ever comes to m for comfort
*nods* honestly, I’m not a very comforting person anymore… my best is to avoid discussion of things that make people feel uncomfortable unless they REALLY need to hear it… but this is more that people feel pity and a weird kind of helpless handwringing over my experiences, which is useless to me and creepy, too. So I just tell people what they want to hear… I tell them I’m getting better, when really, there’s nothing for me to go back to and GET better… there’s just pushing forward towards a new normal that hopefully resembles some kind of functionality and purposeful forward movement… but I’m nowhere near that yet… I seem to be in that stage where you’re not an emotional or mental basket case anymore, but you’re not out-monstering the monster yet, either. A plateau.
Never understood pity, it’s one of those useless emotions that does nothing but belittle the recipient, and expose the ignorance of the giver…
And to be honest, there is something comforting (yes I see the irony in using the word) about building from scratch and starting over.. it means you can pour a brand new, stronger foundation from the last…or, to avoid metaphors, the experiences make you stronger and more able to handle what comes next
Yes to both points. I don’t want pity… I’m alive and that counts for something. And I learned things about myself that have made me a deeper human being. More rooted in the truth of what pain lays bare. That definitely makes me stronger than someone who has never experienced anything that pushes you to the brink, let alone into the abyss. I know things now… I survived.
How are your closest friends and family taking it all…generally speaking
After everything happened I really shut down a lot. So I don’t really have any close friends anymore. I just… they didn’t understand and I couldn’t cope with the baggage of trying to protect them when I needed to be protecting myself… and… my family doesn’t seem to have noticed. I don’t talk to them about it. My husband is the only one who sees how much of a mess I still am… but even there… we don’t talk about it… he just gets shit done and lets me muddle along behind him.
Is that the best course…to muddle behind? I understand the need to “get shit done” I’m of the same mind…but one also needs to communicate…otherwise problems stay problems
There’s not really anything much to talk about. I mean we do talk, when there’s issues… but my recovery isn’t something we talk about, or what happened, either… because talking about that doesn’t fix anything.
Not even as a “comfort”?
It doesn’t comfort me to talk about it. It upsets and depresses me. I know that’s a sign that I really NEED to talk about it… but I just can’t. It’s easier to just not think about it, not feel, just move forward…. well, except that I’m not.
It happened. No one knows why. There’s no fix for the fact that it happened… and since there’s no why, there’s no way to prevent it from happening again, and I can’t face that… so we just ignore the elephant.
Good then…focus on what you do have control over…Everything else will either happen, or not, in its own time
Exactly. At least that way, I don’t have to think about how terrified I am, which always leads to panic attacks and migraines… which lead to more fear… best to not start the cycle. That way lies dragons. I wonder, though, if I’ll ever get over the trauma enough to stop being so afraid. Therapy hasn’t really gotten me too far… I’m able to ignore the issue, but that’s about it.
I don’t know how helpful my advice will be…but when I find I’m afraid of something I go at it head on…it’s like poking a wound…it’s hurts at first, but eventually you get numb to it…and eventually it just stops hurting…i know, it sounds cliché…but I never feel so alive as when I’m afraid
My fear is of pain, physical pain, of being trapped in a place where that is my only experiential reality and as I burn and writhe under the pulsing waves of my own body betraying me, I know there is only one way out. My fear is of pain so great that rational thought becomes impossible and I am not Kat anymore. I am just an animal, with one need…. to make it stoo, and I don’t care how. I’m not afraid of garden variety physical pain anymore , or even emotional shit… and I’m not sure how to face that and become numb to it, because in that moment, there’s no me to face anything… and trust me… there’s no numbing it out. It’s the only thing that’s real. I didn’t feel alive, I felt agony, and I wanted it to stop more than I wanted to breathe.
Part of the reason that we magickal people practice visualization to the point where we can see, feel, smell, touch, and taste our magick is that it allows us to give the energies we wield a greater depth, making our additions to reality more hefty, more likely to become the reality we seek.
But true visualization requires going a step further, in my mind, and eventually, several steps down the rabbit hole.
A rather famous exercise in visualization is called The Apple – where the practitioner creates an apple so completely that when they eat it, they actually feel full, they feel the moisture in their mouths, taste it, smell it, they can touch it – in essence, they actually create an apple from nothing.
But true magick is bendy.. requiring we practitioners to also be a little bendy… to take our visualizations a step further.
Say you have a spell that requires acasia. We all understand correspondences – they’re like short codes for magick… Blue is more than just blue, it’s air, or water, or healing, or peace… Water is more than just water, a rose is more than just rose… everything in existence is a symbol for everything else… an enormous web of information stored in symbol – sometimes literally, as in the case of runes, letters, ogham, and the many various other symbols used in magick… but all of those symbols and substances lead back to their root substance… Using acasia taps you into the ESSENCE of Acasia, because at its root, all acasia is Acasia… and acasia is used for purification, protection, wisdom, and visions… which means that the Essence of Acasia is those things… so you can use it in a spell to represent those things…
But I said we’d take it a step further… why stop your visualization at creating an apple? Why not create yourself? Why not BECOME acasia,and then follow acasia back to its roots, and become ALL Acasias, and from there, become the essence of purification, protection, wisdom and visions? Use acasia as a portal to all acasia everywhere, and from there to the roots of it, and from there, to the correspondence you desire, simply by becoming acasia and then diving inwards.
But it gets even more complex because all acasia is connected to all other acasia… so now it’s not just a portal to its own essence, and the ideas it is symbolic of.. it is also a portal to any place where acasia is.
You can do this with runes, with symbols, with colors, with plants, animals, stones – if it exists, it has a root, it has connections to all other things like itself and thus is a gateway, and it has connections to ideas. You can become everything, go anywhere… all by becoming the magick.
This method means that you never need tools for your magic… you can just become the essences of whatever you need and layer them into the spell using raw energy – so if you’re short on supplies, cash, or working an emergency where all you’ve got is yourself, this is a good method to be well-versed in.
Also, because you truly understand the symbology behind whatever you’re using, when or if you choose to use tools, the magick is that much richer, because not only are you using the short codes subconsciously, the way most practitioners do, but you are truly one with those symbols and their deepest meanings – which gives you more bang for your buck, magickally speaking.
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…
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.
“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?
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.
Matt: My phone is possessed. Do you know how to do an exorcism on electronics?
It’s started selecting things and zooming and moving things.
Me: It’s called a hard reset… it requires copious amounts of swearing by several gods of technology, and the use of various blessings of copper, zinc, quartz, and the like… you have to ask the spirits of the base particles of the phone to rise up and heal themselves, throw off the evil spirit and choose to be free…
If the phone is willing, and you work really hard, you can exorcise it like any other body…
But it’s kind of a bitch… phones seem to generally like being possessed… they seem to think it’s funny.
I think last time this happened to May, she just gave in and bought a new one. Also… how is it that out of everyone there, you’re the only one that managed to be the person that thing followed home??? Tch Tch… bad shaman… no donuts.
Matt: I’m mostly joking. It’s been doing this since before this weekend. I could try exorcising it, I guess… which gods do you call on?
Me: Probably the hardware gods all computer geeks swear by… I think phones fall under their purview… Gates, Jobs, etc?
Matt: Bill Gates?
Me: Well, yeah…
I don’t really know… maybe Samsung, Apple, “By the Power of BlackBerry, I Free You of This Evil…”
It’s like finding a parking spot at the Mall… you call on the Goddess Asphaltina..
Seriously… it really works… magick is weird and bendy… but you knew that already… however, really, your problem sounds more software than possession… I suspect that a real hard reset or a visit to your local store to talk to the professionals might be better than talking to me…
Matt: *snip* So put a bunch of pennies that I’ve cleansed with lemon oil and some anti static spray, and quartz, and pray to google and linux to cast out the evil from my phone and let it be cleansed of all adverse energies?
It’s something in the screen. The phone’s always been quirky and it would do this if I wasn’t totally grounded and was running a bunch of energy, but this is ridiculous.
Me: Pretty much. And ask your phone to get involved. No sense in doing an exorcism where the person who is possessed doesn’t work to get rid of the offending entity, you know.
Matt: It started flashing green when I cast out things.
It’s still twitching a little, but the phone did some twitching under my fingers as I was casting it out. We’ll see how it goes.
On a related note, I’m going to start keeping rolls of new pennies on hand. They always seem to come in handy for spells but I get tired of cleansing them.
Me: Encourage the phone to work with you… remember that I told Joan that she had to fight for herself, WITH us.
Copper is better… pennies have other stuff in them. Nickel and stuff.
Matt: I did encourage it. I felt it doing things, green sparkly energy was getting thrown off. It’s working fine now. I pulled whatever off the screen and fed it to fire.
Well, mostly fine. If it starts typing words I’m gonna freak out a little.
Me: Remember that a phone has copper and crystals and stuff made from plant and animal byproducts… plus it has a brain and a memory… so it has a spirit. It just might start talking and actually BE talking.
Matt: Earlier it was just mashing letters, no speech. I should really head to bed. I don’t think my eggless brownies turned out. 😦 The sorbet was a success at least.
Me: Sorry about the brownies. Sleep well. No more midnight baking/exorcisms for you. Sleep is important. 😛
Be nice to your new phone friend. Be gentle to it for a few days… it’s had a rough time. Possession is no fun.
Grats on the sorbet. Dream well.
THE NEXT DAY
Matt’s Phone: Also I’m glad you weren’t here for the chocolate sorbet. I would’ve fought to the death for the dasher. So put a bunch of pennies that I cleanse with lemon oil and some anti static spray, and quartz and pray to google and linux to cast out the evil from my phone and let it be cleansed of all adverse energies?
Me: you said that yesterday.
Matt: Weird… I wasn’t even on the texting screen and it sent that.
Me: Told you that your phone would start talking. 😛
Shadow Reintegration Work
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.
I get… enthusiastic when I’m discussing my point of view sometimes. People can misinterpret that as an attack.
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 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 don’t mean to be domineering.
I don’t mean to be argumentative.
I don’t mean to come off as combative.
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.
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?
Yesterday, Lord Flereous decided that He wanted my Deity altar to combine with His altar, so instead of having an altar that’s just dedicated to Flereous and Ashtaroth, I now have one that’s also dedicated to the Morrighan as Aine, Hades and Persephone, Karnanos, Re, Loki, Bast/Sekhmet (Her Elder Self is One Being), Amun the Hidden One, Hanuman, Ganesha, Minerva, and to the two Bodhisattvas, Kuan Yin and Buddha.
He chose the bookcase, so… it’s a bit… cluttered. I’m not sure how I’m going to do offerings now.
I guess I will stick to offerings of energy and tealights.
The tealight in front of Hades is a pomegranate tealight… that’s my stand in for Persephone. You’ll note that, as part of my shamanic path, most of my deities are represented by either their animals, or by candles. Flereous and Ashtaroth are candles over their sigils. Re and Loki are both highly symbolic – Re is a copper bowl, and the rune Kennaz, and Loki is a bunch of matches, a yoni, and a picture of a bloom on fire. The Hidden One is represented by bones of the body and bones of the earth. Ganesha and Hanuman and my Bodhisattvas are the only ones with actual statues of themselves… and those were gifts from a friend.
Yes, the Morrighan really is a Halloween prop. Shush. She likes it.
On the chakra front… I’ve had several people look at me now… they all agree… I look like one big blue and white chakra.
I’m also noticing that my headaches are decreasing in severity and frequency, though apparently tension and panic can still cause one.
The other thing I’m noticing is a STRONG uptick in my gifts… and also my control of them. More dreaming, more accuracy, more channeling, more being ridden. It’s turning out to be something I’m very pleased with.
Flereous told me last night in a dream – woke me UP to tell me matter of fact – that I needed to create an altar to both Himself and Her. I’ve started work, but without more information on Her correspondences, I can’t do much for Her half of the altar.
I’ve been able to find a few of her correspondences, and her Enn –
Planet – Venus
Day – Friday
Sacred Animal – Horses
Enn – Tasa Alora Foren Astaroth
Courtesy of Akelta:
Dates: 1/1 – 1/10
Tarot: 3 of Pentacles
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.
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
Once upon a time, Monkey lived on the Forest Floor, and it was a great place to live. Elephant saw that he lived there with much to eat, unlike his domain on the savanna… and envied his luck. Hippo saw that he lived there and was always safe, unlike her domain in the river, and envied his luck. Tiger saw that he lived there with many friends, unlike her domain in the jungle, and envied Monkey’s luck. One by one, each came to him, and said to him, “Monkey, you are so lucky to live here. Tell me, how can I come out of my own domain, to live with you on the Forest Floor?”
Monkey did not want to leave the Forest Floor, so he thought and thought about how to outwit these great creatures, and keep his domain for himself.
Finally, he went back to each of them, and told them all to meet him on the night of the New Moon, here on the Forest Floor, at the peak of dark, and he would tell them the secret to living on the Forest Floor.
The night of the New Moon came about, and sneaky Monkey climbed his tallest tree.
Elephant, Hippo, and Tiger came in the dark to the Forest Floor in search of Monkey… but they could not see in the deep, dark, depths… and they ran into each other. Because the night was cloudy, they could not see… Elephant trumpeted in fear and trampled them all. Hippo grunted in surprise, and began to use her tusks and teeth with wild abandon… and Tiger, in anger, growled and struck out with her fangs and her claws… and such was the ruckus that they caused and the agony they created, that soon they all ran back to their own domains, to hide and lick their wounds.
The very next day, each of them separately came and told Monkey, “Now that I know the secret of your domain, I don’t think I would like to stay… how do you survive!?”
“Only a monkey who can climb a tree to get away from such fearsome creatures could possibly survive here,” said Monkey calmly to them all… and then when they left, he danced in joy.
Once upon a time, a Fire child was lost in a great flood as an infant, and when he washed up out of the river of time, he was found by a the Water Tribe, who being kind people, adopted him, and raised him as their own. But as Fire Child grew, when he spent time with the other water children, they teased him about his fiery red hair. So he tried to dye his hair black, like theirs. They teased him about his strange pink skin, so he tried to dye his skin brown like theirs.
His adopted mother tried to tell him, “Silly boy… you dress like us, and they will laugh at you when it all washes off, because you are a Fire child, not a Water boy, and they will laugh at the streaks that come off your skin and hair!”
And that was what happened when he went among the water children… and being a fire child, he grew so angry, that he began to fight with the water children…
Then the Sky Father came down, and drove them all apart. He said, Water and Fire must never fight. All things must be in balance at all times – for if Water and Fire fight, then the world will break. Water and Fire work together to create the world – that is how things must be. Cease this fighting – Fire Child is a gift to your people. Learn to love each other, as things are meant to be!
My Thought For The Day:
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.
Pretty much the story of the Journey. lol
Hey, May – next time we go out for a Drink… we totally need to do karaoke and see how many people we can get to join us on the chorus for Crazy All My Life. rofl
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.)