A few days before the Feast of the Dead, Aidan Wachter, wrote this piece at his blog, Hotel Vast Horizon, about Ur-sorcery. He gives me credit for partially inspiring the post because I had been discussing Dirt Sorcery and "old line eclectics"(of which I am one), in my Facebook group, Black Moon Lodge, but I am beginning to suspect that other agents are at work here. First amongst these is the absolute randomness that lead me to Aidan in the first place, not to mention the people I met along the way. Secondly there are the whispers from below that are guiding me. Towards what I am not quite sure, but the current is strong and definitely flowing. Lastly the amount of High Weirdness and Synchronicity that I am experiencing, which is off the charts, even for this time of year, suggests an agency I have yet to experience in my life.
I began my journey over 30 years ago at the tender age of 15.That was 1983, long before the "Teen Witch" craze of the nineties, hell that was even before the book Teen Witch came out. I grew up in Houston, Texas, where Santeria from South Texas, Louisiana Voodoo, and Piney Woods Hoodoo overlap. As a child I watched my mother and her friends "Draw down the moon" on the Texas coast, and helped my friend's Arbuelas prepare ofrendas and dress veladoras. I grew up hearing tales of the Man in Black that met you at the crossroads at midnight, or during an overnight cemetery vigil. So when I gave myself a mo-hawk to connect with the indigenous spirits and join the outcast culture of punk it was a double initiation for me.
I did not discover Wicca or Thelema until I was in my twenties, although my step-sister did introduce me to Uncle Al, and his Liber Al Legis, much earlier. My first forays into this "Other" were a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and a very worn copy of Pow Wows, or Long Lost Friend, that I found at my local library. Those early days were exciting, fearful and largely unproductive, but the raw feral intensity was unmatched, until recently.
I am a devotee of Santisma Muerte, and have been since I got her tattooed on my arm 13 years ago. Most of the intervening years have been spent in a magical retirement of sorts, and then depression nearly killed me. In November of 2011, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, I attempted suicide. While on the other side Santisma Muerte and the Baron both came to me; the message was simple, I was not done. During the resultant therapy I realized that I had let my spiritual life lapse, and had lost my Voice. This blog was borne out of that journey. My work had only just begun.
Santisma Muerte spoke to me. I cannot explain this in a coherent way, or in a way that those without the experience can understand. Suffice to say I literally heard her voice, and she told me seek out Saint Cyprian. I was completely unfamiliar with the Patron Saint of Necromancers, when she told me to seek him out. So I went to the source I trust with such matters, Lucky Mojo. From there I was able to tease out a ritual and make initial contact; then this years Feast of the Dead came.
I have written elsewhere about my journeys through the elements and my Grandmother's passing, so this has been an intense year for me personally. After lighting the candles on my altar, I broke down in tears remembering the gifts my Grandmother gave me, the most important one being the planting of seeds. That night I dreamed of Saint Cyprian. This is what I remember from my notes in my dream journal.
I am alone in a wooded space. The land is alive and interactive. I feel the need to move towards the sound of a river. I find the river and decide to hike upstream. I notice two upright rocks making a triangular arch over an opening into the earth. At the cave entrance I see a figure, so I move closer. It is Saint Cyprian. He points to the cave and tells me that I must spend a year and a day in the ground. Inside I meet Mother Bear and she gives me medicine; next spring I will emerge from darkness to nurture what I have borne forth. So I will spend more time working with Earth energy, and around Beltane I will have spent my year and a day in the earth, the ground, the underworld, the root of all things.
That was my dream. This is my interpretation of that dream. I am at the roots of the tree, the underworld, where the great serpent dwells. Beneath everything is the serpent, the Great Serpent Below, the current that flows beneath all traditions. I am to spend more time tapping into that current to inform my work now and for many years to come. I asked Santisma Muerte to open roads for me and boy howdy is she opening some roads. For the first time (admit it you heard Dio's Last in Line) I feel as if my "everyday" life and my "spiritual" life are merging.
My Grandmother occupies my earliest memories of planting seeds. Everything she taught me can be summed up in this. You plant.You nourish. You love. You pray. You nurture. You Prune. You Fertilize. You nourish. You sing. You dance. You nourish. You harvest. This is the essence of my magic at it's core, and my Methodist Grandmother taught it to me. So I will get to the roots in the underworld and spend my year and a day. I am a seed and I will burst forth as new life, to bear fruit and begin again. With my roots nourished by the primal current, that Ur-sorcery, I will grow and manifest my vision. My Vocation and my Avocation shall be as one.
There are forces, animal spirits, mineral spirits, plant spirits, elevated ancestors, and spirits of place, they all wear many masks and manifest to each individual differently, but despite cultural costuming they all spring from the same source. Tapping into this current of Ur-sorcery, allows me to find my own individual expression of what Lao Tzu called ,"Tao" and Rob Brezsny calls "The Divine Wow". This dance of veils and masks is what we call life, and behind it all a current runs, the trick is knowing how to steer your Craft.